- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 15, 2009
- 4 Comments
- 2009 Christmas, Christmas Wish List
The holiday season is in full force here as we have (gasp!) nine days until Christmas! Yikes. Anyways it seems like a perfect time to sit back and look at what each team and the league in general should be putting on their Christmas shopping lists this year.
Now I will admit some of this is purely for fun while the rest may be serious wishes that people out there probably want for their teams. I’m being reasonable too because not every team can get a star player for Christmas here.
Feel free to join in on the fun with your wish lists for your club.
Major League Soccer:
- A new CBA. – Easily the biggest thing on all of our minds this winter is the CBA discussions. Let’s hope for both sides the deal gets worked out and all will be happy with it. Its the perfect time of year for the two sides to put aside their differences and get to work for real on this issue.
- Stadium deals. – Let’s face it to get the league where we all want it the league needs to help each club out that is currently working on a stadium deal. So your KC, Houston, San Jose, DC and to a lesser extent New England get their deals worked out. Sometimes a league stepping in more can help things out. More soccer-only stadiums lead to better scheduling for the league.
- A good run in the WC by the US. – 2010 should be a big year as a whole for the sport of soccer in the US. The deeper the run by the national team in the World Cup next summer the more the league will benefit from it.
- Montreal. – The league wants to be in Montreal and they will get there soon enough. It all comes down to the money from the local government now.
- Portland and Vancouver. – Just a general getting all their ducks in a row kind of thing here. Both have stadium situations that need ironed out in the coming months.
- A healthy year out of Brian McBride. – It may be his last so lets hope the guy has a full season with the Fire in 2010.
- A new coach. – Big thing right now is a new coach to replace Denis Hamlett. Will it be Robin Fraser (current RSL assistant), or someone else?
- Stronger play at Toyota Park. – It was no secret in 2009 that the Fire were a so-so team at home while being a dominating road team. Fire fans better be hoping that changes in 2010 that they figure out a way to turn Toyota Park into a fortress while maintaining that strong road play.
- Finding offense. – Chivas was good in 2009 at finding tough goals but they were also pretty weak in the offensive department for a big chunk of the season. Maykel Galindo can only do so much for this club so they need either a big time signing offensively or some guys like Jesus Padilla to step up.
- Improving in playoffs. – Getting there each year is one thing but actually showing up is another. So far Chivas has only one playoff win and a load of first round exits to show from. Chivas fans better be wishing for more playoff victories in 2010.
- Getting younger defensively. – Yes having a strong veteran defense is good to have but Chivas’ defense is old. Aside from Jonathan Bornstein this is a fairly old bunch. With the amount of good young options in next month’s draft they should be able to find some help that can contribute right away.
- What to do with Kljestan and Bornstein – Both will eventually be moving on so they better figure out a way to manage that or better yet find a way to keep them!
- A playmaker. – Been saying this one for years about this club they need someone to make things happen in the midfield. The day they traded away Kyle Beckerman to RSL was the day they set themselves back a couple years offensively. Sure they were great with Conor Casey and Omar Cummings in 2009 but the last month and a half proved they needed a playmaker in a big way.
- Better home following. – This one is more so for the rest of the league. Getting more butts in the seats at non-RSL and Galaxy games is key for this club moving forward. DSG is a nice stadium that should be full on game days, not empty.
- A better draft. – Last couple years the Rapids have been slacking on their draft picks. It won’t be easy though this year with no first round pick (traded it to Columbus). Gary Smith and company need to find a couple hidden gems.
- Keeping GBS. – I know they low-balled him on a contract offer but really they lose him and this club goes back down the pipe in the pecking order in the eastern conference. They won’t be the worst team (say thank you to New York for that) but they will be close if they lose him.
- Gaining offense. – GBS was their leading scorer in 2009 and with the loss of Alejandro Moreno to Philadelphia it only puts more pressure on this club to get some serious offense for 2010. With a couple first round picks they could go and probably will go that route for it. Question is do they package the 8th and 12th picks to move up?
- More love from the Hunts. – This club deserves better owners, I’ll just put it at that. I know all MLS fans would agree that the Hunts may be the worst owners in this league right now.
- A new coach. – First and formost they need a new coach. Some say it will be former KC manager Curt Onalfo, others tend to think Akron’s Caleb Porter is the man for the job. Honestly either one doesn’t get me excited if I were a DC fan. I’d wish for better options if I were a Black-and-Red supporter.
- A stadium deal. – Damnit this club needs out of RFK and in a hurry. Seeing them without a stadium makes me hate baseball that much more right now.
- Stronger finishing. – The last few years this club has dropped the ball late in the year in either reaching the playoffs or going into the playoffs strong.
- Packed stadium. – There’s nothing more that I want for this club than a full stadium on game days. Or at least 15-16k on average (excluding double-headers of course).
- Second scorer. – Jeff Cunningham isn’t getting any younger here and who knows if his current hot streak will last in 2010. Dallas needs a big time scorer to go with him and replace him too.
- Defensive help. – The defense in the Big D was getting better at the end of 2009, one or two more pieces and it could be one of the best in the league. With lots of draft picks once again they could load up on more young talent.
- Keeping Stu. – I’m a big Stuart Holden guy and I’d hate to see him leave. I posted earlier on how the league is in serious discussions with Holden to keep him here for a long-term deal, let’s hope it happens.
- Stadium deal. – Things are in the works but they are also in serious doubt with the new mayor coming on board that is said to be just “lukewarm” about the stadium. The Dynamo need this new facility and deserve it.
- Replacement for Clark. – We know Ricardo Clark is as good as gone here so the club needs a replacement in a big way. Clark was a big time player for the Orange and finding someone at the defensive midfield position isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do.
Kansas City Wizards:
- Stadium. – Another team with a stadium issue going on. Things are in the air right now with it and there is starting to be a lot of uncertainty with it. Hopefully that all gets resolved and the hard hats get out and to work on their new digs.
- A playmaker. – KC has lacked a true playmaker in the midfield for a few seasons now. They’ve gotten by some of the time with decent players but if they want to be back in the playoffs they have to get serious about things. No leader in the midfield means another season ending early with no playoffs.
- Some identity. – All of 2009 we never really got to know who this club was. We thought they were going to be the up-and-coming team that took some by storm but their schedule, coaching change and lack of depth killed that rather quickly.
- Staying strong. – This club got back to the level they needed to be at in 2009 thanks for the moves Bruce Arena made, now they need to stay there. I hate saying this but the league is better when LA is good.
- Dealing without Beckham and possibly Donovan. – We know both will possibly be gone until after the World Cup. Offensively that hurts this bunch like no other. Young guns need to step in and contribute in a hurry.
- Improved offense. – Speaking of offense this bunch has to get better in 2010 if they want to return to MLS Cup. They were near the bottom of the table in offense last year.
New England Revolution:
- Healthy players. – We need to see a healthy Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston in this league again here. 2009 just wasn’t the same without them on the field for the entire season.
- Re-signLarentowicz. – Word has it he is wanting to go elsewhere but believe me this club takes a big dip next year without him. Shalrie Joseph doesn’t get to be himself without him on the pitch. Pat Phalen is a good replacement but he’s not totally there yet.
- More offense. – With or without Twellman in 2010 this club definitely needs some offensive help. Signing a striker or three would be a start to say the very least. Maybe make a trade to move up in the draft to get a top scorer wouldn’t hurt either.
New York Red Bulls:
- The right coach. – I’d love to still see Richie Williams get his shot here as he knows the club and the league here more than who will probably end up with the job.
- Better roster decisions. – Poor choices in the transfer windows, bad loans and terrible trades have doomed this club. I’d also throw in below par draft choices as well. 2009’s terrible year could have been avoided with better moves, let’s hope things turn around in 2010. I’d start with some defensive work first, then find a playmaker in the midfield.
- Red Bull Arena. – Let’s hope this beauty of a stadium gets finished on time like it is suppose to here and fans fill it all year long. Giants Stadium is a thing of the past so let’s hope those issues surrounding this club don’t carry over to the new digs.
- Chester Stadium. – Another stadium that needs to get finished in a hurry. Union fans need to hope that there are no more delays in construction and that it all opens on time here.
- Fill out roster. – Its early but so far Peter Nowak has got a solid 11 players on his roster. Obviously he still has a long way to go with open tryouts, transfer windows opening and the upcoming draft. That first pick in the draft will be a big one too.
- A playmaker. – Looking at this roster and some of the rumors that have been going on in terms of players possibly coming in this bunch will need a playmaker in the midfield.
Real Salt Lake:
- A repeat. – Obviously RSL fans want to see their club repeat as MLS Cup champions in 2010. They have to be a little more consistent in the regular season though if they want to do that. Finding ways to win on the road will be key for that to happen.
- Finding offense. – They do have Robbie Findley who is solid but they will lose Yura Movsisyan this winter. Finding someone to partner up with Findley will be a key item this winter.
- Consistency. – They got hot when it mattered most in 2009 but most of the year this group was a pain to watch due to lack of consistency. If I were a RSL fan I’d be wanting more consistent play in 2010, particularly in the defense which was spotty at times and in offense that lacked finishing sometimes.
San Jose Earthquakes:
- Defense improvement. – No team was worse in goals allowed in 2009 than San Jose. Work was being done late in the season but believe me it won’t be enough for 2010. Getting some solid defensive players on this roster will go a long way. Part of that also extends to the midfield and forwards and retaining possession, they lose the ball more it puts more pressure on the defense.
- Partner for Johnson. – I think Ryan Johnson made it clear that he is a go-to scorer for the Quakes in 2009 with his 11 goals. Thing was after him no one was really stepping up to the plate to join him.
- Stadium issues. – The league and this club need the Quakes in their own digs and not some college stadium. Let’s make it happen Lew Wolff, stop talking about sponsors and just do it already.
Seattle Sounders FC:
- Retaining Loans. – This club needs to keep the current loans of Fredy Montero and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Without those two this club takes a serious dig in 2010. Keeping them insures at least another playoff run.
- Improving offense. – Yes Montero was a beast to handle and yes the club has quality attacking from Nate Jaqua and Freddie Ljungberg but they couldn’t seem to score when it mattered most late in the year. Sigi Schmid needs another scorer to go with Montero.
- Adding depth. – I thought at times Seattle had solid depth but late in the year it looked like they lacked some punch and it wasn’t totally because of injuries. With a few picks in next month’s draft they should be able to get some good talent.
- Playoffs. – Its easy to think what TFC fans want in 2010, a trip to the playoffs for the first time. With Preki as the manager I don’t see why it won’t happen.
- Improving their defense. – They need some big time help at center back like you wouldn’t believe. Hopefully this time around they find someone to fill the issues in the back that has been bothering them since they became a team in the league.
- Consistent finishing. – I like Chad Barrett and sorta like Pablo Vitti and Ali Gerba but all lack the finishing touch for this club. They have the playmakers in the midfield to set things but but they also need to find someone to put the ball in the back of the net.