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I want to see Pontius get a call, as well as Lichaj, so that Johnson can be moved upfield.
Stu's target return date is sometime in late October or early November if I recall correctly. If his previous injuries are anything to go by, once he's back on the field it'll take him another month to get into the groove of things, then another month to get back to get into form, then every month after that he'll slowly and quietly push himself further and further. Just before his injury, fan polling put him as the best midfielder in the Premier League. When at his best, he's the epitome of the box-to-box linker - every bit as good as Scholes and Xavi at making himself available to receive a pass, making the pass, and making himself available to receive another pass. Rarely do these kinds of players make the assist or steal the headlines, but they make the pass that set up the guy who made the assist or created the channel the guy who ended up knocking it in used. Its very hard to quantify that statistic, but its a bit like the soccer equivalent of oil in an engine. Stu probably won't be the oil that makes the whole engine work - for Bolton or the USMNT - for at least another 3-4 months. But if he works his way back into that kind of form again, he'll move on from Bolton and find himself on a top half team and he'll be the "missing piece" that finally lets the Yanks achieve the style Klinsi's been pushing...all just in time for the World Cup.
Its not just Jozy that's in a goal drought - its the entire team! With all the lineup experimentation, Donovan/Dempsey/Bradley being out for entire camps, and Jones being pushed up the field to 'create' its no wonder we haven't been scoring goals. Its also important to note in Jozy's case that he hasn't started as many games under Klinsmann as he did under Bradley. Jozy's spot isn't secure anymore due to the emergence of Terrence Boyd and the continued success of Herculez Gomez. For proof, just look at Jozy's 2012 stats - 2 games started, 4 times off the bench. In addition, for all AZ has done to develop him as a player, they have repeatedly been a pain in the butt when it comes to releasing him for camps and international duty. Maybe we would have made it to London if he had been on the U-23 Olympic qualifying roster? Maybe he'd have scored against Brazil and dropped a hat trick on Scotland? We'll never know unfortunately.
Considering how much personal interest he takes in the Galaxy, I wouldn't be surprised if he unloaded AEG, then cut a deal with the new owners to buy back the Galaxy when they inevitably sell off the sports properties they aren't focused on.
How could the Galaxy ever be out of compliance with League rules? Isn't that something the League should be checking on a regular basis and addressing as it comes up? I'm all for the salary cap, but it can get so complicated with allocations, injured/disabled lists, and youth players that its hard to follow sometimes with the league so reluctant to publish exact terms of most deals.
The fact that the All-stars defeated Chelsea doesn't matter. What does hold weight, however, was that the quality of play shown by the All-Stars - passing, off-ball movement, and technical proficiency - (especially in the first half) was similar to that of an elite European team. While the game was still just a friendly exhibition match, this is the first time it made me feel like it was a showcase of MLS's talent instead of MLS's heart and fighting spirit. That's a step in the right direction for the league as far as I'm concerned.
Plenty of clubs have made the leap from the second division to MLS recently, and I would love to see a storied franchise like the Cosmos follow suit. As long as they can rack up wins in the NASL and put on a good show in the Open Cup, fill the stands, get the Borough Boys behind them, and pay the price of admission to MLS, I'm for it. That being said, may the best teams win slot #20-24, and may the also runs create a "vibrant second division" that will someday inspire pro/rel.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2012 on Garber issues statement on Cosmos at Soccer By Ives
If Beckham's immaturity was worth a one-game suspension, then Cronin's simulation is worth that as well. If the Disciplinary Committee wants to hand out punishments, that's great - but please do it for all infractions, not just ones that get bad publicity.
Is there any possibility that the USSF or MLS could be the first to run in-game trials? America has the capital to make it happen, the fans should already be used to replays from our other sports, and we are already in-season for MLS and WC qualifying.
I think the number of teams is fine as is. I also agree with whoever posted near the top that the real problem is hosts being seeded in pot 1 over much stronger teams. If Platini wants to avoid the better teams getting knocked out in the group stage, the powers that be either need to bump the hosts out of pot 1 to the pots where they belong or they need to find hosts that actually deserve to play alongside the other teams who qualified (COUGH! Qatar 2012! COUGH!) (An aside for the "numbers people" out there) Going into the tournament, Ukraine and Poland were ranked #28 and #32 in Europe, respectively. The weakest two teams in the entire field were put in Pot 1 alongside World Cup finalists Spain and The Netherlands. Even by using the convoluted coefficient calculation Uefa uses for seeding, the point gap between Spain (43,116) and Poland (23, 806) was nearly 45%. By comparison, the point gap between Holland (40,860) in Pot 1 and Germany (40,446) in Pot 2 was just over 1%.
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2012 on Should UEFA expand the Euro field? at Soccer By Ives
Looks like a very strong roster. They should be the favorites to win Gold. The US isn't that far behind though - I'd be ecstatic if we could sneak into a medal spot with a big upset against the likes of Spain, Brazil, or Team GB. It looks like this group needs an experienced goalkeeper badly. I'd expect Cesar to be brought in to fix that. Maybe they'll bring in Ronaldinho as a last hurrah with the national team so he can pass the torch to someone else.
After Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and now Montreal, the bar has been set higher - if you have a market you think is MLS worthy, the ownership group needs to prove they can run a tight ship, challenge for titles in D2, draw passionate crowds of 5,000-10,000+ mostly from season tickets and supporters groups for multiple years, and either have their own stadium to renovate or a signed and secured plan for a 25,000+ seater stadium downwtown. If you're a fan and you want see a team in your area play in MLS, get together with your friends, form a very outspoken supporters group, and preach this at your ownership until they do it. Orlando seems to be doing it right, but they need to move up to D2 to prove they're serious or they need to quit their saber rattling. I agree NYC2 will probably be a success, but I'd like to see them prove it first in D2 just to be sure. Same goes for any team in the South and Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, and even my home, Vegas.
One question I don't see anyone asking: Was it correct and/or moral for Efrain Flores, Pachuca's manager, to risk long term injury to a player to avoid going a man down? Was it mismanagement of the game to have used all three subs before the 70th minute or should he have left one in reserve in case there was an injury? In a final or a make or break game, I might have understood. But this was 'just' a league game, early in the season with relatively little on the line and Pachuca made another substitution in the 75th minute, seemingly contradicting Flores' statement that Torres had been left on because all his substitutions had already been used. Source for the substitution summary:
I assume that the conditions of the conditional draft pick are not public, as per the league's usual rules? As a neutral I would have preferred to see both teams get burned pretty badly from this fiasco. Feels pretty bad to see Houston come out of this more or less ahead considering they were trying to game the system as well.
Hopefully West Ham can help Ravel Morrison sort himself out and become a model professional in the mold of a graduate of The Academy. He has phenomenal technical ability, but he's had problems off the field when he was with United. Like 'in a gang and regularly in and out of court' problems. Being fined for a homophobic slur in a Tweet is a bad start though. Maybe the change of scenery will help him. I hope Bentley coming to MLS will help raise the profile of the league, or rather, diminish the Championship to the point that MLS is closer to its equal in the eyes of aspiring players. The "where would MLS, SPL, etc. fit in the English Pyramid" argument gets tiresome every time an MLS player transfers there, so it will be nice to see a transfer go MLS' way for once.
Security Guard: "Suspect is concealing a gun under his sweatsuit. It must be a hit on the reporter. Initiate Protocol Alpha. Take him out."
It could very well have been a trivially small amount of allocation - far less than a player would be worth, but enough for DC to extend a contract or give a slight raise to a guy who might be on the fence. If the Timbers weren't going to use that money anyways, they just gained something that might be worth value in exchange for something of little to no value - and that's good business. We'll never know though, as league business is never disclosed directly.
Also, if you watch Brasil Serie A, how much better is it than MLS or Mexico? Is there a European league its comparable to...maybe Holland?
I was under the impression that LA moved Ricketts along and are trying to restructure their contracts with Hejduk, Robinson, and the solid vets they picked up in the Re-entry Draft to try to free up salary space to afford Juninho. I'd be disappointed to see him go, he's been one of my favorite players the past couple seasons. Maybe Mikey Stephens can get more minutes if they can't re-sign Juninho, which wouldn't be that bad.
England is always cancelling loads of matches during the winter months. Wouldn't it make more sense for the rest of Europe to join MLS and the Scandinavian countries in a Spring-Autumn schedule? If its so important to be on the European calendar, why isn't he bemoaning the schedule of Japan's J-League and Brazil's Serie A? Both are respected leagues in their region that run April-December and I don't see him complaining about them...
Gotta be Sacha. He's getting consistent minutes and chipping in with regular assists and occasional goals for a top-of-the-table team in Europe. Good form is good form and he deserves a call-up considering the 'killer pass' has been one of the weak spots in the Yanks' lineup as of late. Donovan can fill that attacking mid spot, but I'd rather see him stay with the Galaxy since they're still in the hunt for the MLS Cup. I think Williams or Johnson could do a good job in the middle too, but I don't watch the Bundesliga enough to be able to say that confidently. I'm sure Klinsmann does though.
I remember the first 'Rafa Rant' about spending. As I recall, United released a complete listing of transfers from '04-09 from their PR department and several independent accountants confirmed Rafa's numbers were way off base. Not sure if LFC ever did the same. I thought I saw a statistic (can't remember where) that said net spending in the last 5 years has been 1) City 2) Chelsea 3) LFC 4) Spurs 5) Sunderland. United and Arsenal were well down the list.
And as far as expansion goes, I'd like to see any club that plans on jumping to MLS establish a big fan base in D2, put a title-challenging group on the field, and make the ownership groups prove they deserve it. Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver all did this, and they don't look a bit out of place in MLS. Sabre-rattlers in theoretically good markets like NY Proper (looking at you, Cosmos) would do well to emulate them. And before the league starts expanding past 20, I'd like to see struggling MLS teams (looking at you, Revs) get their sh*t together and put a competitive team on the field in an SSS or face the prospect of relocation.
I'd like to see MLS move to a February to November schedule. Good teams should expect to play a lot of games. And with a 30 man roster, a bump in the salary cap, and an extra foreign player spot or two, MLS will be able to cope with it better than any league in the world. A big team in Europe that makes deep runs in every competition will play 60+ games a year over 10 months. If MLS wants to compete with those teams for fans' money, they need to sack up and expand the schedule. We're already darn near there. Such an expansion would only add an extra 2 or 3 weeks onto the schedule. Might as well make the schedule balanced, adopt Grant Wahl's proposed playoff format, limit the number of mid-season ("Euro pre-season") club friendlies, and bias the home/away schedule for weather while we're at it.
That's really unfortunate news to hear. He's one of my favorite players! Poor guy just can't catch a break!