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MLS Alphabet Week 3

MLS Alphabet Week 3

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann getting vocal about DISCO calls, Michael Bradley tackles a referee. Which MLS team is attacking in with the new “Costco” style? Is Julian Green our next Landon? Chris ReikoWhat happened to Montreal and why is there no “Impact”? Negative Impact? Why Toluca taped SJ Quakes practice and the heartbreaker of the year – all and more in the MLS Alphabet Week 3.

By Chris Reiko 

MLS Alphabet – Weekly and Alphabetically tells you the ABC’s about all the MLS action over the past week, and more. This is brought to you from a European perspective by Chris Reiko posted here each Monday immediately following all the action over the weekend.

A – Anor, Bernardo – his 2 goals, including cracker form 35 yards out, helped the Crew enjoy their home opener. The 25 years old, from the Venezuelan capitol Caracas, who played for the University of South Florida, before Robert Warzycha drafted him for the Crew. Anor, got my vote for a goal of the week.

B – Bradley, Michael – just watch this 6 second video, and look what USMNT star did to PRO referee Silviu Petrescu, during TFC vs DCU game. “Get out of my way ref” that’s what Michael should have said.. Press conference by Jurgen Klinsmann is also expected after that play 🙂

C – CONCACAF Champions League – All three MLS teams were smashed by Mexican clubs last week with a 10-4 in total goal difference favoring the Mexican Clubs. The Quakes, are the only team, that gave us something to be proud of. The San Jose team went to Toluca, and at first when I looked at the starting lineup I was struck by coach Mark Watson’s choices and my first thought was – throwing in the towel? Turns out Quakes coach Mark Watson confused everybody, including Toluca and their coaching staff.

D – DISCO vs Dempsey. Clint punished by MLS Disciplinary committee called DISCO, for punching TFC player Mark Bloom in his crotch last week. DISCO verdict 2 games suspension, and an undisclosed amount of money for Clint Dempsey to pay. Is this enough, or too much for one of the most famous American players? Not sure about the amount of money, but I hope that a percentage of the players salaries, had to be used as part of the formula to penalize MLS guilty parties. We have players that are making $44,000 / season, and we have guys that make 8 million- so a flat fee should not apply here but a sliding scale. A penalty of $2000 has a great impact on a $44K salary – but not a blemish on a $8MM annual contract.

E – Earthquakes team and coaching staff. Thank you for representing MLS with honor and dignity in the CONCACAF Champions League to the very last kick. Not many believed – but they almost did it. Words of respect for the enormous effort, The Quakes received from the entire country, even from some that usually are not very friendly to them even if only on Twitter.

F – FC Dallas under coach Oscar Pareja, are collecting points, this time they sent home Chivas USA with a bag of 3 goals. It is still early in the season, and the first team can be last, and today last can be first in October, but I’m sure FCD fans like to see their team on the top of the table.

G – Green, Julian – finally we got something from Germany that is not a coach, a car, beer or aspirin. U.S. Soccer announced that the 18 year old, born in Florida Julian Green has chosen to play for the United States in all FIFA competitions. Julian Green approved by FIFA PHOTO US SoccerGreen has dual citizenship German and U.S. Many have already put him in the U.S. 2014 FIFA World Cup roster, which could happen, but likely we will see him ready for the 2018 tournament. Let’s be honest, and as of now he is still a prospect, and it’s kind of hard to call him a “player” yet. Pep Guardiola put him on the field once in the UEFA Champions League, for a few minutes, when Bayern was comfortably leading 3-1 in Moscow vs CSKA.
I have a different question? When will he come to the MLS? Which club will win the lottery to get him? About 14 years ago, a player of about Julian’s age, came to the MLS from another German club Bayer Leverkusen. He has carried The men’s U.S. soccer team on his back for the last 12 years. His name is Landon Donovan. Is Julian our next LD? Lets hope so, and that 12 years from now, all of us will be saying DANKE to Jurgen Klinsmann, for his effort on the transaction. Don’t you wonder what Jurgen actually promised Julian, to help him make this decision?

H – Heartbreaker of the year so far goes to the San Jose Earthquakes. They did what they could, to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal. An incredible performance, by the entire team came down to one penalty kick. Shea Salinas has made huge progress since he came back from his injury. However, I’m little worried that hitting the crossbar from the PK spot in a game that could eliminate the Mexican club, could cause some nightmares? I feel sorry for Shea Salinas, but Landon Donovan, Diego Maradona, David Beckham, Roberto Baggio, Michel Platini, and many other world class stars also missed penalties in crucial moments of their careers. I’m confident he would love to take us past Toluca, but Salinas is in a prestigious club of big players that missed the big penalties. BTW he’s on the way to becoming a big time player ☺

I – Impact Montreal is in crisis. 3 games and 0 points? That’s not what Impact fans, and the Saputo family was hoping for. Even as it is still early in the season, and plenty of time for all the moves and improvements to be made the expectation is so much more from the Quebec club. Things are not getting any easier; a trip to Philadelphia could likely extend the wait time for first points of the season.

J – Jeff Larentowicz, he scored nice a goal, but wasn’t enough to satisfy demanding Fire fans. The Chicago team is still a project, The Red Bulls did not show anything special in Chicago, but Dax McCarty scored a goal, and got the point needed. The Fire need some time, and some players asap, but max out in their salary cap – it will be hard to make moves.

K – Keane, Robbie is getting back to his prime form. Two goals in 4-2 loss in Tijuana, and a beautiful equalizer in Salt Lake all prove that he will need extra attention in and around the box for the rest of the season.

L – Lenny, means Steven Lenhart, and his hand ball cost the Quakes a point, because there is no way, that a tired Sporting would score any other way than on a PK on Saturday. Jon Busch was stellar and Quakes were on track to get a draw in KC. The Quakes team is a little too mature to afford Lenhart s “handy” behavior. Can anybody from the coaching staff, explain to Steven that he’s paid good money for scoring goals not for yellow cards?

M – Mastroeni, Pablo – Welcome in the Coaching winners club Pablo. Two penalties late in the game, gave the Rapids their first win of the season.

N – NYCFC – new MLS club from New York City, will start their on the field challenges in the 2015 season, but for now we got their official logo. NYCFC logo official New York City Football Club logoOf course it had to be Blue, as their parent club Manchester City and partners the NY Yankees are as well !

O – Obafemi Martins, the Nigerian star scored the insurance goal for the Sounders, but he was also the reason why the Montreal defense did not have much time, or breathing room on Sunday. Obafemi was at some point of his career a world-class finisher, and Inter Milan and Newcastle fans still remember his goals.

P – Precourt, Anthony – the Crew owner, was very active with the media during pre game week in Columbus. We can read and hear many of his interviews, but after going trough a few of them, I came to conclusion that the Crew have some kind of long term plan to become a consistent winning team. They will also change their logo, because the current one is a little outdated. All this seems to make sense. Definitely Mr. Precourt’s presence in Columbus has a positive impact on the team. Our MLS “Yellow Submarine” enjoy for first time in club history a perfect 2-0 start into the 2014 season. A crowd of 17,517 at the home opener is not bad score either. Apparently wasn’t enough for new owner from San Francisco, who on Monday fired club President Mark McCullers after 15 years with the club. For multiple reasons, for last 17 years I’m following closely Columbus Crew team, but to be honest I have no opinion about Mark McCullers. I don’t really count last year, because he was used by the corporation, to do the dirty work, means firing who he was ask to fire, and after he cleaned the house, at the end they fired him. Typical corporate strategy, wonder who will come to Columbus as his replacement? Any ideas? Mr. Precourt is looking for resumes.

Q – Quakes, made the entire MLS and U.S. soccer nation proud on Wednesday night in Toluca. When local critics compliment Coach Mark Watson for a game plan, Mexican press is harsh on Toluca Coach Jose Cardozo for not having a game plan. Did Watty really have a plan? Or was he just pissed on the taping of his top-secret practice?

R – Revolution, when they in attack, they looked like COSTCO customers trying to get into the store on a Saturday morning when the doors first open. In the new season, New England has new problems, scoring problems, and these issues are not a quick fix, and are likely to be extending for at least another week.

S – Sounders without suspended Clint Dempsey, found their way to get 3 points on the road. Credit to Sigi Schmid for quick mental recovery of his team, and they can also send a “Thank you note” to Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who also contributed to Sounders success.

T – Taping practice, that’s what the Earthquakes complained about when they caught their opponent filming their training session in Toluca. They actually filed a complaint to CONCACAF, but lets be honest – No coach will do anything serious, during a pre game practice on a opponents field. Toluca videographers were more e focused on Jon Busch’s gloves, and Steven Lenhart’s moves and haircut, than the Quakes formation or game plan.

U – United, team from D.C. – despite losing they looked actually really good in Toronto. DCU coach Benny Olsen has some optimism in his eyes, some of his players coming back from injuries, and the team is getting clearly better. TFC are lucky to celebrate with 3 points, thanks to Jermain Defoe 3rd goal in his 2nd MLS game.

V – Vocal Jurgen Klinsmann, he was loud in criticizing Clint Dempsey suspension by DISCO. USMNT head coach complained that suspension will throw Dempsey out of game rhythm before “friendly” match vs Mexico (April 2 in Arizona). Don’t you think Clint is out of rhythm since he has made his MLS come back? With such great advocats maybe Clint feels he has the right to become comfortable with hitting others in their G spots. Hopefully Clint wont hit below the belt with folks like Cristiano Ronaldo, Bastian Schweinsteiger or Lukas Podolski in Brazil. Cristiano’ girlfriend Irina will get really pissed, and her connections are high. Appreciating the fact, Klinsmann cares for his players, I fully support the DISCO verdict. Suspension was absolutely the correct call, confirmed “Holy Cows” and low blows, are not permitted on MLS fields.

W – World Cup watch, did not look good for some MLS players, last weekend, but these midweek games vs Mexican clubs, really takes a lot of energy, and typically a ton of frustration.

X – How long will it take for David Beckham to organize funding, and build the just promised Miami Stadium for his new MLS team? That could be one of the most difficult free kicks David Beckham has had to take.David Beckhams new Miami stadium

Y – Yannick, Djalo the ex Benfica, Portuguese National Team winger the Earthquakes signed before the season, fans can’t wait for his debut.

Z – Zero on the back? That’s a good thing in soccer language, but after 3 weeks only Houston Dynamo (played 2 games) didn’t concede a goal. The United and Revolution also have not scored yet. I know there is 34 weeks of the regular season, but …..time goes by. See you next week.

You can also contact author Chris Reiko at ChrisReiko@hotmail.com

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