An un-comprehensive and and un-objective look at the week that was
Big Cheers to US Soccer for hiring Jürgen Klinsmann as head coach, a move that should have been made back in 2007. Standards and expectations are being raised, and this is a good thing.
A lot of folks will leap to conclusions based on the upcoming friendly with Mexico. Please don’t be one of them. There’s plenty of news to come, as Klinsmann puts together his staff. One interesting quote from his press conference: “ You have the case that probably two thirds of your squad of the best 20 players are in Europe so maybe a thought is, ‘Should we have somebody in Europe to oversee those players so I don’t have to fly back and forth every weekend?'”
Does the Klinsmann hiring mean that Bob Bradley will return to MLS? I can think of a few teams who could use his help.
I’m not a big fan of all the mid-season exhibition games against European clubs, but all those tickets sold do pay a lot of MLS’ bills, and once in a while you get a feel good moment like Thierry Henry’s return to play at the Emirates. Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer made the trip with the Red Bulls, and his team beat Paris St. Germain 1-0 through a Joel Lindpere goal. Then, a deft Henry pass lead to an Arsenal own goal to tie the Premier League side 1-1. After picking up the Emirates Cup trophy, Henry put on an Arsenal scarf and took a solo lap around the stadium. Great stuff.
Back on this side of the pond, LA is unbeaten in 14 games after showing a sellout crowd in Vancouver how far the Whitecaps have to go to compete in this league. Two goals and an assist from Landon Donovan, all coming in the second half, led the 4-0 rout.
Dallas kept pace in the Supporters' Shield chase by beating Chivas USA 1-0, the 12th clean sheet this season for Kevin Hartman and the Hoops’ back line. LA hosts Dallas next Saturday, and the story doesn’t end there. Word from Frisco is that reigning MVP David Ferreira might be back in the lineup come September. This would make for great drama if winning the regular season championship meant anything.
Further down the table, Columbus scored twice in the opening 10 minutes, and picked up a 2-0 win at Salt Lake to climb atop the Eastern Division. It was the Crew’s first ever win in Utah.
Philadelphia, three points back of the Crew with two games in hand, sold Carlos Ruiz to Veracruz, a club trying to work their way up out of the Mexican second division. Despite 6 goals in 14 matches, “El Pescadito” never won over the PPL Park crowd.
Don’t think this means the Union is trying to save a buck. Ruiz’s salary was just over $300K, and with two other players released, Philly has freed up over $400K of cap room to shop with before the transfer window closes August 14.
Watch out for Kansas City. The SporKCs are unbeaten in their last 13 matches after a late Teal Bunbury goal lifted them to a 1-1 draw with New England. Omar Bravo is healthy, and new DP Jeferson (on loan from Brazilian club Vasco de Gama) can play. KC has yet to lose at Livestrong Sporting Park (a 3-0-4 record), and their schedule is back loaded with home games.
Last, a shout out to Toronto, who only seem to win games outside of MLS play. Ryan Johnson — yes, that Ryan Johnson — scored twice to give TFC a win in Nicaraugua over Real Estelí, 2-1, and take the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round series 4-2 on aggregate. Toronto now joins the LA Galaxy and Colorado Rapids in the CCL, while Dallas and Seattle hope to make it five MLS clubs playing for the CONCACAF crown.
(Photo: Joe Nuxoll, centerlinesoccer.com)