Tuesday Kicker: Random Bits of Info

Tuesday Kicker: Random Bits of Info

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 13, 2008
  • 4 Comments

There’s not a lot really going on today in the MLS news world. I have a couple things that I am saving for another week or two here.

I figured I would throw out some more random notes that I had wrote down over the weekend to help close the book on week seven as we begin to look at week eight. Also have some more US National team news to throw out there for ya as well.

One main point to throw out to begin with is the continuing domination of the eastern conference over the western conference this season.

After this past weekend the gap between the two sides grew even greater. The east went 3-0 against the west last week, with all of the victories coming on the road (Columbus over San Jose, New England over Chivas USA and New York over Los Angeles). Let’s say that one more time, all victories coming on the road. Big time ouch for the western clubs.

Furthermore, FC Dallas and Colorado have nine points and lead the West. Dallas, 2-2-3, is the only team in the conference without a losing record. THE ONLY TEAM. Yeah, its looking that bad right now for the west.

Six of seven teams in the East have 10 points or more and the conference has a combined record of 26-16-6. The West’s overall record is 12-22-14.

Further proof that Major League Soccer probably did the west a service by changing up the playoff format for this season. Instead of the top two from each conference followed by four wild-cards like last year, this year we get the top three from each and two wild-cards. Think about which side that will help out more in the long run.

Now for thoughts and notes on each club. I’m going to kind of do this in a team-by-team manner. Some things are also just links to other articles that I found over the last day or so that I think are worth a read as well.

Chicago Fire:

Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports on “the seven sins of Cuauhtemoc Blanco.” – Saw this late last week but never got around to talking about it until today. A very solid read from Rogers, who is slowly becoming one of my favorites here this season. Anyways, check it out, all seven sins are accounted for here.

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Luis Arroyave talked yesterday about the upcoming weeks for the Fire (and Toyota Park). We may as well point out the friendlies that are beginning to happen around the league. Some European clubs are ending their season much like the Galaxy finished theirs last year, with exhibitions in other countries.

May 21: Fire vs. Wisla Krakow (Toyota Park)
May 31: Fire vs. Jagiellonia Bialystok (Toyota Park)

I believe the Fire are also expect to play a couple other friendlies this summer. Once I have the teams and the dates I will pass that out to you all.

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Chivas USA:

Another tough blow for the Goats. We all saw that Jonathan Bornstein missed Sunday’s game against New England, well the report on him isn’t good at all. He suffered a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his left knee in practice at the end of last week. He is expected to miss around two months of action. Not good news for a club that is drastically struggling on defense right now.

A big reason why they made moves at the end of last week like they did. Just a recap of everything that they did on Friday night:

1. Traded for Carey Talley from RSL for future draft pick
2. Defender Dan Gargan retires due to a knee injury
3. Defender Chris Pozniak is released after three starts with the Red-and-White

I saw that Bruce over at du Nord pointed out something that I forgot to mention in my weekend recap yesterday about Chivas on Sunday.

They played a couple guys that I hadn’t even heard of before.

Eric Ebert – rightback
Bobby Burling – leftback
Daniel Paladini – defensive midfield

Now Ebert is a guy I’ve heard of but as for Burling and Paladini, I am left wondering if Chivas is so desperate for some luck that they are switching to reserve team players for help.

I did some digging on each to find out more.

Turns out Paladini was originally drafted by LA in 2006 but he never made it to the first team and was later released. Last year he was in the USL PDL before Chivas picked him up earlier this year. With the San Fernando ValleyQuakes he scored three goals in 14 matches a year ago.

As for Burling, he too was drafted by the Galaxy but in 2007. He never made it on with the Galaxy but did obviously sign on with their building mates, Chivas USA instead. I also realized that he played for Loyola Marymount University. Turns out I have seen this kid in action before. Back in 2005, while Burling was playing at LMU, his team traveled across the country to play at West Virginia University. After looking up some info on this game Burling had a couple shots in a 1-1 tie between the schools.

Sure that was all a couple years ago but from what I recall the kid had some decent pace in defense and looked alright on the ball.

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Colorado Rapids:

A little Fernando Clavijo hot seat update:

His current all-time coaching record in the is now 49-63-29 thanks to the loss at Houston. You gotta be freakin’ kidding me. When I see records like this I am simply amazed that someone can keep a job this long with that kind of an overall record. Just fugly.

At least that Christian Gomez trade is half-way working out for this club. He’s been one of the few bright spots for this club all year. Maybe if he would finally continue to play more of his younger talent, then this club would start to see more success on the field. Seriously though, this club has the talent to win in this league but the coaching is keeping them back right now.

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Columbus Crew:

Apparently Robbie Rogers was a bit ticked off at getting snubbed by Peter Nowak for the Olympic qualifiers a month or so back. He said after his two-goal effort on Saturday against San Jose that he is using that as motivation for this season. Keep it up kid, its working very nicely for ya. I think most Crew fans would continue to hope he gets snubbed this summer again by Nowak so their club continues to play well.

And the day of that two-goal effort also happened to be his 21st birthday. Cheers mate, you definitely celebrated in style!

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DC United:

The boys in Black-and-Red are set to announce a partnership today with one South American side.

D.C. United will hold a press conference Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. to announce the club’s new strategic partnership with Club Bolívar of La Paz, Bolivia. United General Manager Dave Kasper, Bolívar President Marcelo Claure, former United and Bolívar midfielder Marco Etcheverry and United forward Jaime Moreno will address members of the media at Tutto Bene Restaurant in Arlington, Va.

All partnerships are great right? Sure. Its obvious as to why DC made one with Club Bolivar. If you can’t see it from the press release then I honestly don’t know what to say to you.

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FC Dallas:

Forward Kenny Cooper has been called for offside more than any other player in the league so far this season. Its no real surprise that he would lead the league in this category. Anyone who watches Cooper knows he typically rides the border of the backline of defense and typically gets called for it because of his size (believe me, as a former defender who knew how to play the offsides game, the bigger strikers were easy targets to get offside calls on).

A great read from Buzz at 3rd Degree on the RSL loss. I pretty much had a lot of the feelings about the game as Buzz did. He mentioned how Kenny Cooper could really use a running mate in terms of a DP is exactly what I’ve been saying all season about this club. Sure Arturo Alvarez and Cooper pair up nicely but in too many games teams know how to lock them down and no one else on that team is left to pick up the pieces. As Buzz put it, a Angel-type player would drastically make this club a contender this season.

The talk about Dax McCarty is also a great point to bring up. Some may see this kid as overrated or something but he is a very valuable player to the Hoops. Buzz spells it out a little more in that article.

One thing I would like to see Dallas do is bring up rookie Eric Avila from the reserves. From what I’ve seen and heard, he has really been impressing people lately with his play. Dallas could use some help in the central attacking spot right now too so it could be worth a try.

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Houston Dynamo:

Apparently some Houston fans are just as annoyed with the current stadium situation for the Dynamo as the league is. Word has it some fans are going to start a website in hopes to raise money and awareness for the stadium. Saying they hope to show people the benefits of a downtown stadium.

You know what I say, good for them. Too bad they will need more than a website to get this stuff taken care of here.

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Kansas City Wizards:

Not a lot of news surrounding this club. I don’t know whether that is good news or bad news. Anyways, I did find one good link about what they did with their time off last week.

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LA Galaxy:

David Beckham was named to the initial roster for England’s two upcoming friendlies – May 28 in London v USA and Jun 1 in Port of Spain v Trinidad & Tobago.

As we saw last week against New York with this club; if Beckham, Landon Donovan and Carlos Ruiz (whenever he is healthy again) are all gone at the same time, exactly how ugly could it get for this club? Seriously, you really think Alan Gordon will carry the load on offense? I highly doubt it. The defense is getting slightly better thanks to young guys like Sean Franklin and Brandon McDonald but that won’t be enough.

Its all making me wonder just what exactly will Rudd Gullit and Alexi Lalas do with this roster to help them out this summer.

Oh and by the way, the Galaxy have a friendly tonight in Edmonton against USL-1 Vancouver Whitecaps. Yippie, a early week friendly in Canada!!

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New England Revolution:

Hold the phone on Taylor Twellman here. Something I totally overlooked and forgot to mention yesterday. He may be going back on the shelf with an ankle injury. The Revs are hoping the ankle isn’t as bad as it seemed on Sunday but he could miss the next game against San Jose (like they should really need him in that one).

Other team news: Midfielder Sainey Nyassi got a new contract last week that puts him on the Rev’s senior roster. No surprise here, the kid played his way into that contract and from what I’ve been told that was going to be the case all along with him. If he played well they would reward him, if not they would just release him. Big shocker, I know.

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New York Red Bulls:

Steve Goff (not Ives) is reporting that MLS turned down an offer from a German club who made were told to give at least $7 million to get striker Jozy Altidore. Turns out back in January the league also turned down EPL-side Reading, who offered around $8 million. My bet is the league is wanting to bank at least $10 million on Jozy.

Whether or not he leaves this summer or even next winter is still up in the air. But either way the league is not taking clubs lightly here on offers for Jozy. You can’t blame them either, he’s a budding star and to lose him would be a big loss for the league. But if they can bank that much money, if not more, then I think they will be fine as they always have been with transfers out on young stars.

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Real Salt Lake:

Not much here, they win and move on from what head coach Jason Kreis called the team’s worst game of the year. Wins are wins and for Kreis he will take an ugly win when he can get one.

But I did see some photos of their new stadium. Its moving along quite nicely right now. Still too bad they couldn’t have gotten it open in time for the start of the season and not the end. Smells a lot like the opening of Pizza Hut Park to me.

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San Jose Earthquakes:

Did I miss something. Since when did we start calling striker Jean-Philippe Peguero, ‘Peguero Jean-Philippe‘? I think we all missed something on that one.

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Toronto FC:

Not a lot of news here other than the usual random rumors surrounding this club. I’ve never seen a club with so many random players and items linked to them. Most of the talk is just that, talk.

  • Paul

    The playoffs should be determined by the top 8, regardless of standings in individual conference. For that matter, it should also be a single-table format; this conference thing is stupid (as evident by this year).

  • American Dust

    I remember pondering why Dax Mccarty was a SUB at the U20 World Cup and not a starter–maybe the US coaches see he's overrated.<br />
    <br />
    10 Mil for Jozy is about the right price tag. I think the MLS should work out some kind of deal with a club that wants Jozy though… sort of a trade. Bring back something people want to see (how about an aging American player and 8 Million? I know we can't have real trades but we can certainly open negotiations on the back-end for another player).<br />
    <br />
    I think the idea of a playoffs is stupid anyway… just schedule the semi finals and finals of the US open cup to coincide with the end of the season.

  • Paul

    The playoffs should be determined by the top 8, regardless of standings in individual conference. For that matter, it should also be a single-table format; this conference thing is stupid (as evident by this year).

  • I remember pondering why Dax Mccarty was a SUB at the U20 World Cup and not a starter–maybe the US coaches see he’s overrated.

    10 Mil for Jozy is about the right price tag. I think the MLS should work out some kind of deal with a club that wants Jozy though… sort of a trade. Bring back something people want to see (how about an aging American player and 8 Million? I know we can’t have real trades but we can certainly open negotiations on the back-end for another player).

    I think the idea of a playoffs is stupid anyway… just schedule the semi finals and finals of the US open cup to coincide with the end of the season.