Friday, July 06, 2007

Laugh At Kreis No More

You can say a lot of things about the mistakes Real Salt Lake have made since coming into the league in 2005. One thing you can't fault them for is giving their coach support. They didn't flinch when others were doubting Ellinger. They stepped up and were willing to open up the check book to bring some new players in. While it didn't work out, it looks like they're willing to give Kreis the same support. RSLFM is reporting that Real Salt Lake is about to sign the Nigerian Jay Jay Okacha. If this guy still has a enough gas in his tank, he will be working the sort of magic that RSL needs to start getting some badly needed wins. More importantly he could be the sort of players that RSL needs to help attract more talent as Kreis continues to try to build a winning squad.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Baffling Move?

Apparently the Colorado Rapids have released Chris Wingert. This on it's one isn't the craziest of moves especially from a team that traded Hunter Freeman for a bag of balls and mysteriously cast off others like Ritchie Kotschau and Eric Denton. But it comes at a time when the team, facing missing their veteran Mike Petke for most if not all of the remainder of the season, decided to trade what natural width they have had on the left side of the pitch (remember, their new field is as legally wide as possible) Greg Vanney to DC United for a player DCU was likely to cut in the off-season due to his inconsistency in the back, Facundu Erpen. That is, playing at the left back position under Fernando Clavijo appears to be the way to get a one-way ticket out of Colorado. So it's not confusing in that sense at all. Nor is it because Wingert appears to be struggling to prove himself a starter in the MLS in his 3rd season in the league. And with the July 1st deadline that dictates players on the roster on that day have their contracts guaranteed for the remainder of the season, it is not surprising that they'd make the move before then.

It is confusing that such a move is made at a time Petke is out. It could mean the team is ready to put faith in Stephen Keel (IIRC, who has only made one or two first team appearances in 3 years). The same with using Jordan Harvey as a left back. If that's the case, why would they take the risk with not knowing how either of those two will fair. Wingert has been the defender Clavijo has turned to before those 2. Could it signal that the Rapids are making roster room for a new signing? If so, why not waive one of the multitude of strikers? Surely Cummings would be the most expendable of those. And if the need is a roster spot plus more cap room why not release Cancela or Kirovski?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Record In The Making

Maybe it's the horrible hair or his skill on the ball but no one has been talking about an MLS Toja of FC Dallas is well on his way to setting. The young Colombian was brought in by Steve Morrow for his offensive skills. He has done well in fulfilling that role. It seems that along with reaching back in history for the Spinal Tap hair, Toja noticed that now ex-FC Dallas Simo Valakari had lead the league in fouls committed during his 3 years in the league. Valakari lead Major League Soccer in fouls committed each of his 3 years in the league (73 in 26gp in 04; 78 fouls in 28gp in 05; 81 in 31gp in 06). It seems that beside leading FCD's offense, Toja has taken it upon himself to take up Simo's old role in leading the league in fouls committed. The all-time league record holder for fouls committed is Diego Serna. He accomplished that by committing 83 fouls in 31 games in 2000. Juan Toja has now committed 49 in 16 games. He's on pace to commit 93 fouls in 30 games in 2007. Will Toja be the new record holder come October?

Chicago Fire For Sale?

The rumor the Chicago Fire are being sold by AEG is floating around right now. So far I haven't seen anything to back this up. But in general it would make sense that AEG's long-term goal, one that I don't believe they've explicitly stated, is to pare down to owning just the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS.