Thursday, March 31, 2016

USMNT World Cup Qualifying Stats

Overall Stats


Jozy Altidore - 3 goals, 1 assist
Geoff Cameron - 2 goals
Gyasi Zardes - 1 goal, 2 assists
Clint Dempsey - 1 goal, 1 assist
Bobby Wood - 1 goal, 1 assist
Fabian Johnson - 1 goal
Graham Zusi - 1 goal
Michael Bradley - 1 assist
Jermaine Jones - 1 assist
DeAndre Yedlin - 1 assist


Brad Guzan - 2 starts (2-0-0), 180 mins, 3 saves, 1 goal allowed, 1 shutout
Tim Howard - 2 starts (0-1-1), 180 mins, 4 saves, 2 goals allowed, 1 shutout


Michael Bradley - 2 yellow cards
Jermaine Jones - 1 yellow card
DeAndre Yedlin - 1 yellow card

Appearances (26 total)

Michael Bradley - 4 starts
Geoff Cameron - 4 starts
DeAndre Yedlin - 4 starts
Bobby Wood - 3 starts, 1 sub
Gyasi Zardes - 3 starts, 1 sub
Jozy Altidore - 2 starts, 2 sub
Matt Besler - 2 starts
Edgar Castillo - 2 starts
Clint Dempsey - 2 starts
Brad Guzan - 2 starts
Tim Howard - 2 starts
Fabian Johnson - 2 starts
Jermaine Jones - 2 starts
Michael Orozco - 2 starts
Tim Ream - 2 starts
Kyle Beckerman - 1 start
Alejandro Bedoya - 1 start
Steve Birnbaum - 1 start
Mix Diskerud - 1 start
Omar Gonzalez - 1 start
Graham Zusi - 1 start
Darlington Nagbe - 3 sub
Ethan Finlay - 1 sub
Matt Miazga - 1 sub
Jordan Morris - 1 sub
Christian Pulisic - 1 sub

Here's a quick rundown of how the current USMNT MLS contingent has fared through four World Cup Qualifiers:

vs Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, W 6-1

CB - Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) - 90 mins, 2 shots
CM - Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids) - 90 mins, 2 shots, 1 assist
CM - Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) - 90 mins, 3 shots
RM - Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) - 90 mins, 4 shots, 1 goal
LFWD - Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) - 90 mins, 2 shots, 2 goals, 1 assist
SUB - Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) - 26 mins, 1 shot
SUB - Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) - 22 mins

at Trinidad and Tobago, D 0-0

GK - Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids) - 90 mins, 3 saves
CB - Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) - 90 mins, 1 shot
CM - Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids) - 90 mins, 1 shot, yellow card
CM - Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) - 90 mins, 1 shot
LFWD - Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) - 90 mins, 1 shot
RFWD - Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) - 75 mins, 3 shots
SUB - Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) - 22 mins, 1 shot

at Guatemala, L 2-0

GK - Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids) - 90 mins, 1 save, 2 goals allowed
CM - Mix Diskerud (New York City FC) - 45 mins
CM - Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) - 90 mins, 2 shots, yellow card
RFWD - Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) - 90 mins, 4 shots
SUB - Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) - 45 mins
SUB - Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) - 31 mins
SUB - Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) - 24 mins, 1 shot

vs Guatemala, W 4-0

CB - Steve Birnbaum (DC United) - 90 mins
DCM - Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) - 90 mins
ACM - Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) - 81 mins, 2 shots, 1 goal
ACM - Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) - 90 mins, 2 shots, 1 assist, yellow card
RW - Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) - 71 mins, 2 assists
CFWD - Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) - 90 mins, 3 shots, 1 goal, 1 assist
SUB - Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) - 24 mins, 1 shot, 1 goal
SUB - Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew) - 19 mins

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

U.S. - Guatemala, Part 2 Reaction

Where was this on Friday? I couldn't help but watch this match, which was NEVER in doubt, and wonder how in the world did we lose to this team just days ago? And not just lose, but lose BADLY. For all the criticism that Jurgen Klinsmann has received about inconsistent/questionable lineups and formations, he deserves the credit for getting this one right in a must-win contest. Opting to go with an attack-minded lineup put the pressure on Guatemala early and often, and resulted in a resounding blowout win. The question now is where does the U.S. go from here? Do we continue to play attack-minded soccer (the thing Klinsmann promised us when he took the U.S. job) or will the master tinkerer shift tactics yet again? Here's the changes/"improvements" I'd make going forward:

Left Back - I thought Edgar Castillo was passable against the Guatemalans, but I still like Jorge Villafaña and I think he deserves a shot. If nothing else, I'd at least like to see Villafaña get an invite to camp so we have more than one left back on the roster. I think that putting ourselves in a position where Fabian Johnson is our left back - or even our backup left back - is doing ourselves a disservice.

Center Back - If John Brooks is playing as well as everyone says he is, then he should probably supplant Steve Birnbaum in the Starting XI. I don't have any issues with Birnbaum's performance, and I love what he brings on set pieces, but we need to find a way to get our best players on the field. One thing that came up during the broadcast, and that I actually agree with is that we should probably consider moving Geoff Cameron into the role currently filled by Kyle Beckerman. Beckerman isn't going to be around forever, and with no clear replacement in the pipeline, it's probably worth giving Cameron, a player who can play and has played that position, a look. This way you could also potentially start Brooks and Birnbaum together with Cameron in front of them.

Right Wing - Gyasi Zardes got his name on the scoresheet last night, but he's likely the odd man out in this formation with the return of Jozy Altidore and Fabian Johnson. The question becomes whether Dempsey, who played an inspired match last night, gets the nod over Bobby Wood moving forward. Personally, I don't see Dempsey sticking around for another World Cup, so I think there's value in starting Altidore up top with Wood on the right wing and Fabian Johnson over on the left, just to see if the group has good chemistry together. As so many analysts and soccer pundits have said in recent days, it's all about building effective partnerships.

Attacking Midfielder - Graham Zusi was terrific in the attacking midfield role alongside Michael Bradley, so I think you have to figure he's in the mix moving forward. The question is, who would you start alongside him with Bradley suspended for the next qualifier due to yellow card accumulation? Fortunately the U.S. has options in Darlington Nagbe, Mix Diskerud and Lee Nguyen, so I'd expect Klinsmann to ride the hot hand.

Some quick final thoughts:

1) It was nice to see Christian Pulisic make his USMNT at the age of 17. Still, I think he's got some room to grow physically before becoming a regular member of the squad. It's not to say that he looked out of place, but he wasn't winning any physical challenges, something he'd be expected to do in the tough CONCACAF region.

2) I'm a little surprised that we opted to bring on Jozy Altidore in a 3-0 game when his fitness is questionable. Yes, he scored which was great, but I don't know what the benefit of making that move was in a blowout, especially when we had other options. Bringing on Ethan Finlay made sense because the game was at his home stadium. Bringing on the aforementioned Pulisic made sense because it CAP-ties him to the U.S. But why Altidore instead of, say, Darlington Nagbe? Or Lee Nguyen? Or Mix Diskerud? It just seemed like a risky move to me.

3) Poor Ethan Finlay. He scores his first international goal in front of his home crowd and has it called back (wrongfully) due to an offsides call. On a positive note, Finlay, once again appears well suited to that substitute sparkplug role on the wing. This is two matches in a row for him where he's had an immediate impact.

4) Brad Guzan should be the U.S. keeper moving forward. Tim Howard has had a legendary career, but until he starts coming up big in MLS with the Rapids this summer, he isn't earning his spot on the field in the world of what have you done for me lately.

5) Pretty solid effort by the U.S.'s MLS contingent despite not being in midseason form. Clint Dempsey (Seattle), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), and Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) combined for 3 goals and all 4 assists. And really Ethan Finlay (Columbus) would have added another goal on an assist from Altidore had the officiating been a little cleaner. Nice job, boys! Way to represent!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Questions Following USA vs Guatemala

I'll be honest, despite the U.S.'s poor play against CONCACAF opponents as of late, I was optimistic heading into Friday night's qualifier against Guatemala. Maybe we wouldn't win, but there was no way we were coming away with less than a draw, right? This is the same Guatemala that we beat 4-0 last July after all. And now here we are, literally backs to the wall, essentially needing to win out just to make it to the hexagonal stage. Yes, this isn't that far from where we were four years ago when we drew in Guatemala and lost in Jamaica at this same stage, but this feels more dire, doesn't it? Anyhow, I really wanted to blame Klinsmann, and solely Klinsmann, immediately following the loss. But while the coach is ultimately responsible, the players bear a significant piece of the burden. After all, some better finishing by Clint Dempsey, Alejandro Bedoya and others, and this isn't a 2-0 game. Some better defense on a corner (Mix Diskerud) and some better communication along the back line (everybody) and we don't concede two goals. Still, I have questions:

1) Is Clint Dempsey still deserving a spot in the USMNT Starting XI? The active leading scorer for the U.S. has struggled out of the gates in 2016. Yes, he notched a Champions League brace against Santos Laguna, but in three MLS appearances (all losses), he's put just one shot on target out of 12, and has no goals, and no assists, despite playing alongside Paraguayan International Nelson Valdez, and one of the U.S.'s top striking prospects in Jordan Morris. I know it's a small sample size, but coupled with his poor showing against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup last fall, you have to wonder if he's not on the decline. Don't get me wrong, I think Dempsey should have been on the team, but maybe given his recent struggles, and lack of fitness (he was gassed by the end), would it not have served the team better to start someone else and be able to bring Deuce in off the bench for a late spark?

2) Speaking of that someone else, if Jozy Altidore was healthy enough to play, shouldn't he have gotten the start? Even if Jozy only went the opening 45 minutes, don't you want your best striker on the field in a big game like this? Plus, if you lose him to injury or whatever, don't you want that to happen when you have players in reserve, and not after you use him as your last substitute?

3) Why not start Yedlin in the back? DeAndre Yedlin brings blazing speed to the table, but his offensive game (speed aside) is lacking. I get that he's exciting and adds a spark, but his contributions on the attack aren't flashes of brilliance so much as they are a testament to his natural athleticism. I just feel like we had better attacking options in the midfield (Lee Nguyen, Darlington Nagbe, Gyasi Zardes) that would have brought more offense to the table while Yedlin could've been better utilized at the back.

4) Why not start Geoff Cameron in the middle? Cameron started both of the two previous World Cup Qualifiers in the center alongside Matt Besler and we allowed one goal. I understand Besler was hurt in training, but why not start Cameron alongside Gonzalez with Orozco on the right? This is how we lined up Cameron and Orozco against Trinidad and Tobago and we pitched a road shutout. This tinkering with a lineup that was already working seemed unnecessary.

5) Why not start Kyle Beckerman? Beckman's there for his toughness and prowess as a defensive midfielder, right? Two things that make sense to have when playing in Central America. Mix Diskerud is not a defensive midfielder. I love the guy, but his strengths are in going forward. Look how high up the field he's been playing for his club team and it's been working great. If Klinsmann is insistent on playing Bradley and Diskerud together, why not flip them and let Diskerud play up high and Bradley as more of a holding midfielder? Speaking of Bradley...

6) Why don't we play Bradley in the position he plays for his club team? Bradley seems far more comfortable playing deep with Toronto, but for whatever reason, Klinsmann insists on putting him as the attacking central midfielder. This would make sense if we didn't have anyone else, but we have Darlington Nagbe. We have Lee Nguyen. It's just frustrating seeing players consistently played out of position (Yedlin, Johnson, Bradley, Diskerud, Cameron, etc). There's a saying about putting square pegs in round holes that would seem to apply here...

7) Why no Villafaña? I'm still bitter about Jorge Villafaña's omission from the squad. Not that Edgar Castillo had a bad game, but I think Villafaña would have had a better one.

8) Why Tim Howard? I don't want to put this loss on the Secretary of Defense, but Howard's not the keeper he was four years ago when he single handedly (perhaps more accurately he used both hands and feet) kept us in our final World Cup match against Belgium. Since then, he's lost his job with Everton and has committed to a return to MLS with the Colorado Rapids. Bottom line, he hasn't been playing. Brad Guzan has. Tim Howard isn't going to be our keeper in the next World Cup (if we even make it), so why continue to play games about Guzan vs Howard? If it's not Guzan, let's figure out who it is, and get them in net.

9) How short is Klinsmann's leash? Reports I've read suggest Klinsmann has top cover, but for how long? Should we fail to beat Guatemala or fail to reach the hexagonal, shouldn't that be condemning criteria? Is it possible that Klinsmann's grasp of the game fits in Europe (wins over Italy, Germany, Netherlands, etc), but not in CONCACAF (see Gold Cup 2015)? Do the players get up for games for Klinsmann? We've seen a string of uninspired performances, and while that should also fall on the players, doesn't a good coach figure out ways to motivate? Maybe Klinsmann's true talent isn't coaching, but rather to identify talent. He's brought players like Miguel Ibarra, Brandon Vincent, Jordan Morris, Bobby Wood and others into the fold, that most U.S. coaches would surely miss. But he isn't winning, which ultimately coaches are going to be judged on, especially when the talent is there.

10) How much trouble are we in? We'll find out Tuesday, but another uninspired performance against the Guatemalans could make this a disappointing World Cup cycle for fans of the red, white and blue.

Week 4 Rookie Watch


33. Timo Pitter (FC Dallas) - Sub vs DC United, 9 mins, 1 shot
51. Femi Hollinger-Janzen (New England) - Sub vs NYCFC, 10 mins


Aaron Guillen (Chicago) - Started vs DC United, 90 mins

With only three games on the MLS slate, there wasn't a lot of action on the rookie front, but FC Dallas rookies Aaron Guillen and Timo Pitter each made their MLS debuts in Dallas's 3-0 thrashing of DC United. Guillen started at right back in place of Maynor Figueroa who was away on international duty with Honduras while Pitter spelled Mauro Díaz late in the match.

Week 4 Notes

Friday March 25, 2016

Guatemala 2 United States 0 - World Cup Qualifying
Trinidad and Tobago 3 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2 - World Cup Qualifying
Honduras 2 El Salvador 2 - World Cup Qualifying
Mexico 3 Canada 0 - World Cup Qualifying
Jamaica 1 Costa Rica 1 - World Cup Qualifying
Panama 0 Haiti 0 - World Cup Qualifying
United States U-23s 1 Colombia U-23s 1 - Olympic Qualifying

Saturday March 26, 2016

New York City FC 1 New England Revolution 1
FC Dallas 3 DC United 0
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 Houston Dynamo 0

Notable Performances

Michael Barrios - FC Dallas vs DC United - 2 Goals
Mauro Díaz - FC Dallas vs DC United - 2 Assists

David Ousted - Vancouver vs Houston - Shutout, 5 Saves
Chris Seitz - FC Dallas vs DC United - Shutout, 2 Saves


Gershon Koffie - New England vs NYCFC - 51' Straight Red
Marcelo Sarvas - DC United vs FCD - 66' Straight Red

Friday, March 25, 2016

MLS Exports - 2016 Edition

South America

Norberto Paparatto - Portland Timbers - Atlético Rafaela (Primera División, Argentina)
Lucas Pittinari - Colorado Rapids - Club Atlético Belgrano (Primera División, Argentina)
Leandro Barrera - San Jose Earthquakes - Club Atlético San Martín (Primera División, Argentina)
Ezequiel Cirigliano - FC Dallas - River Plate (Primera División, Argentina)
Thomás - Seattle Sounders - Joinville Esporte Clube (Campeonato Brasileiro Série B, Brazil)
Sebastián Jaime - Real Salt Lake - Universidad Católica (Campeonato Nacional, Chile)
Andrés Correa - Seattle Sounders - Boyacá Chicó F.C. (Categoría Primera A, Colombia)
Javier Calle - New York City FC - Independiente Medellin (Categoría Primera A, Colombia)
Diego Rodríguez - Vancouver Whitecaps - C.A. Cerro (Primera División Uruguaya, Uruguay)
Gabriel Torres - Colorado Rapids - Zamora FC (Venezuelan Primera División, Venezuela)

Central America/Caribbean

Leonardo González - Seattle Sounders - Herediano (Primera División de Costa Rica, Costa Rica)
Roy Miller - New York Red Bulls - Saprissa (Primera División de Costa Rica, Costa Rica)
Alex López - Houston Dyanmo - Olimpia (Liga Nacional de Honduras, Honduras)
Juninho - LA Galaxy - Club Tijuana (Liga MX, Mexico)
Omar Gonzalez - LA Galaxy - Pachuca (Liga MX, Mexico)
Luis Gil - Real Salt Lake - Querétaro (Liga MX, Mexico)
Jorge Villafaña - Portland Timbers - Santos Laguna (Liga MX, Mexico)
Luis Silva - Real Salt Lake - Tigres UANL (Liga MX, Mexico)
Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake - Veracruz (Liga MX, Mexico)
Daneil Cyrus - Chicago Fire - W Connection (TT Pro League, Trinidad and Tobago)


Estrela - Orlando City SC - APOEL (Cypriot First Division, Cyprus)
George Fochive - Portland Timbers - Viborg FF (Danish Superliga, Denmark)
Matt Miazga - New York Red Bulls - Chelsea (English Premier League, England)
Angeliño - New York City FC - Manchester City (English Premier League, England)
Shay Facey - New York City FC - Rotherdam United FC (Football League Championship, England)
Andy Rose - Seattle Sounders - Coventry City (English League One, England)
Fernando Aristeguieta - Philadelphia Union - Red Star (Ligue 2, France)
Emanuel Pogatetz - Columbus Crew - Union Berlin (2. Bundesliga, Germany)
Caleb Clarke - Vancouver Whitecaps - SpVgg Unterhaching (Regionalliga Bayern, Germany)
Charlie Rugg - LA Galaxy - Eintracht Trier 05 (Regionalliga Südwest, Germany)
Aaron Schoenfeld - Columbus Crew - Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israeli Premier League, Israel)
Rodney Wallace - Portland Timbers - Arouca (Primeira Liga, Portugal)
Steven Vitória - Philadelphia Union - Benfica (Primeira Liga, Portugal)
Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting KC - Porto B (Segunda Liga, Portugal)
Perry Kitchen - DC United - Heart of Midlothian (Scottish Premiership, Scotland)
Chris Konopka - Toronto FC - Ross County (Scottish Premiership, Scotland)
Juan Ramirez - Colorado Rapids - UD Almeria (Segunda División, Spain)
Kristinn Steindórsson - Columbus Crew - GIF Sindsvall (Allsvenskan, Sweden)
David Texeira - FC Dallas - Sivasspor (Süper Lig, Turkey)


Obafemi Martins - Seattle Sounders - Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (Chinese Super League, China)
Krisztián Németh - Sporting KC - Al-Gharafa (Qatar Stars League, Qatar)


Tony Cascio - Orlando City SC - Arizona United SC
Antoine Hoppenot - Philadelphia Union - FC Cincinnati
Jimmy McLaughlin - Philadelphia Union - FC Cincinnati
Sean Okoli - New England Revolution - FC Cincinnati
Kenney Walker - LA Galaxy - FC Cincinnati
Chandler Hoffman - Houston Dynamo - Louisville City
Lewis Neal - Orlando City SC - Orlando City B
Marius Obekop - New York Red Bulls - Orlando City B
Andre Lewis - Vancouver Whitecaps - Portland Timbers 2
Chris Schuler - Real Salt Lake - Real Monarchs
Eric Bird - Philadelphia Union - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
Dzenan Catic - Philadelphia Union - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
Taylor Hunter - Houston Dynamo - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
Memo Rodriguez - Houston Dynamo - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
A.J. Cochran - Houston Dynamo - Saint Louis FC
Carlos Alvarez - Colorado Rapids - San Antonio FC
Josh Ford - Orlando City SC - San Antonio FC
Danny Garcia - FC Dallas - San Antonio FC
Jason Johnson - Chicago Fire - San Antonio FC
Manolo Sanchez - New York Red Bulls - San Antonio FC
Jordan Schweitzer - Seattle Sounders - Seattle Sounders FC 2
Tommy Meyer - LA Galaxy - Swope Park Rangers


Matt Watson - Chicago Fire - Carolina RailHawks
Jon Busch - Chicago Fire - Indy Eleven
Lovel Palmer - Chicago Fire - Indy Eleven
Charles Eloundou - Colorado Rapids - Jacksonville Armada
Adaílton - Chicago Fire - Miami FC
Dane Richards - New York Red Bulls - Miami FC
Bernardo Añor - Sporting KC - Minnesota United FC
Danny Cruz - Philadelphia Union - Minnesota United FC
Damion Lowe - Seattle Sounders - Minnesota United FC
Ben Speas - Columbus Crew - Minnesota United FC
Jairo Arrieta - DC United - New York Cosmos
Michael Lahoud - Philadelphia Union - New York Cosmos
Jimmy Ockford - Seattle Sounders - New York Cosmos
Robbie Findley - Toronto FC - Rayo OKC
Michel - FC Dallas - Rayo OKC
Pecka - Real Salt Lake - Rayo OKC
Sebastián Velásquez - New York City FC - Rayo OKC
Eric Avila - Orlando City SC - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Jeremy Hall - New England Revolution - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Danny Mwanga - Orlando City SC - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Michael Nanchoff - Portland Timbers - Tampa Bay Rowdies

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 4/5 MLS Power Rankings

1. Sporting Kansas City (3-0-0) - Nice to see Brad Davis get a winner in his new home. Only one MLS team has wins in each of their first three matches so hard to argue someone else should be number one. Last Week: 2
2. FC Dallas (2-1-0) - This is the Dallas people expected to see, as opposed to whoever those guys were that took the field against the Dynamo last week. Last Week: 5
3. Montreal Impact (2-1-0) - Didier Drogba returned, but FC Dallas was too much for the Impact as Montreal suffered their first defeat of 2016. Last Week: 1
4. LA Galaxy (2-1-0) - On paper this makes sense, but in practice, this is probably still too high for the Galaxy. At least they capitalized on their man advantage with San Jose. Last Week: 7
5. Toronto FC (1-1-1) - Finally had Jozy Altidore back in uniform, but that wasn't enough to stop red hot Sporting KC. Last Week: 3
6. Portland Timbers (1-1-1) - Took advantage of two Real Salt Lake red cards to salvage a 2-2 draw with the claret and cobalt. Liam Ridgewell's absence is definitely being felt at the back. Last Week: 4
7. San Jose Earthquakes (2-1-0) - LA and San Jose were tied at 0 when Simon Dawkins was sent off in first half stoppage time, so hard to fault them for their loss to the Galaxy when a man down. That Wondolowski guy is pretty good by the way... Last Week: 6
8. New York Red Bulls (1-2-0) - Felipe bailed out the defense with a pair of late strikes as the Red Bulls snapped an early losing streak in a wild 4-3 win. The reigning Supporter's Shield winners are clearly working some kinks out early in the season. Last Week: 10
9. Philadelphia Union (2-1-0) - Last week is was Chris Pontius, this week it was C.J. Sapong, as the Union have now dispatched the Crew and Revolution in back-to-back matches. Last Week: 17
10. Vancouver Whitecaps (1-2-0) - Took what they were given converting a pair of penalty kicks in knocking off their rivals, the Sounders for their first win of 2016. The Caps aren't playing up to their potential, but it's still early. Last Week: 11

Week 3 Rookie Watch


3. Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia) - Started vs New England, 90 mins
4. Brandon Vincent (Chicago) - Started vs Columbus, 90 mins
6. Fabian Herbers (Philadelphia) - Sub vs New England, 1 min, 2 shots
9. Tsubasa Endoh (Toronto FC) - Started vs Sporting KC, 77 mins, 1 shot
12. Jonathan Campbell (Chicago) - Started vs Columbus, 90 mins
49. Kip Colvey (San Jose) - Started vs LA Galaxy, 90 mins
51. Femi Hollinger-Janzen (New England) - Sub vs Philadelphia, 15 mins


Joey Calistri (Chicago) - Sub vs Columbus, 1 min
Jordan Morris (Seattle) - Started vs Vancouver, 71 mins, 2 shots

The Chicago Fire continue to set the pace for rookies in 2016 with Brandon Vincent, Jonathan Campbell and Joey Calistri all seeing action for the third straight week. Elsewhere, New England's Femi Hollinger-Janzen made his MLS debut as a substitute in New England's blowout loss to the Union. Meanwhile the winless Sounders continue to struggle in Jordan Morris's debut season losing a third straight to start the campaign.

Week 3 Notes

Friday March 18, 2016

Orlando City SC 1 New York City FC 0

Saturday March 19, 2016

Columbus Crew 0 Chicago Fire 0
New York Red Bulls 4 Houston Dynamo 3
FC Dallas 2 Montreal Impact 0
Vancouver Whitecaps 2 Seattle Sounders 1
LA Galaxy 3 San Jose Earthquakes 1
Portland Timbers 2 Real Salt Lake 2

Sunday March 20, 2016

Philadelphia Union 3 New England Revolution 0
DC United 1 Colorado Rapids 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 Toronto FC 0

Notable Performances

Fanendo Adi - Portland Timbers vs Real Salt Lake - 2 Goals
Will Bruin - Houston Dynamo vs NYRB - 2 Goals
Felipe - New York Red Bulls vs Houston - 2 Goals
Pedro Morales - Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle - 2 Goals
C.J. Sapong - Philadelphia Union vs New England - 2 Goals
Gyasi Zardes - LA Galaxy vs San Jose - 2 Goals
Sacha Kljestan - New York Red Bulls vs Houston - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Boniek García - Houston Dynamo vs NYRB - 2 Assists

Joe Bendik - Orlando City FC vs NYCFC - Shutout, 6 Saves
Matt Lampson - Chicago Fire vs Columbus - Shutout, 4 Saves
Tim Melia - Sporting KC vs Toronto FC - Shutout, 4 Saves
Andre Blake - Philadelphia Union vs New England - Shutout, 2 Saves
Jesse Gonzalez - FC Dallas vs Montreal - Shutout, 2 Saves
Steve Clark - Columbus Crew vs Chicago - Shutout, 1 Save


Kyle Beckerman - Real Salt Lake vs Portland - 31' Straight Red
Simon Dawkins - San Jose vs LA Galaxy - 45'+3' Straight Red
Roger Espinoza - Sporting KC vs Toronto FC - 84' Straight Red
Jámison Olave - Real Salt Lake vs Portland - 83' Straight Red
Je-Vaughn Watson - New England vs Philadelphia - 36' Straight Red

USMNT Roster Thoughts

So, rather than comment on the USMNT rosters for the Guatemala World Cup Qualifiers and the U-23 showdown with Colombia, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could put together a roster of players not selected for either group that could, on paper, give Guatemala a run for their money. I didn't consider injured/suspended players (Benny Feilhaber, Brad Evans, Bill Hamid, Jermaine Jones, etc), but here's what I came up with:

For the purpose of argument, we'll line up in a traditional 4-4-2, but I think our roster offers enough flexibility to be able to run a 4-3-3/4-5-1 as well if need be:

Goalkeeper - Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake - The veteran netminder was a part of the U.S.'s World Cup roster in 2014, and he's been an MLS All-Star each of the last three seasons. CAPS: 21

Left Back - Jorge Villafaña - Santos Laguna - Villafaña is fresh off an MLS Cup win with the Portland Timbers, and has started all three of Santos's CONCACAF Champions League knockout round matches where they have yet to concede a single goal. A member of the ill-fated U-23s in 2012, Villafaña hasn't received any attention for Jurgen Klinsmann, and with left back such a question mark, you'd think the 26 year Villafaña would at least be due a look. CAPS: 0

Center Back - Nat Borchers - Portland Timbers - Borchers has been a key contributor on multiple MLS Cup winning sides and the 6'2" mountain man would bring a toughness that the U.S. teams often lack when visiting Central America. Borchers is 34, and his best days are probably behind him, but I think you could get two matches out of him. CAPS: 3

Center Back - Chad Marshall - Seattle Sounders - A three-time MLS Defender of the Year, most recently in 2014, the 6'3" Marshall would be big (figuratively) on set pieces. Always a threat to score on corners, Marshall's head could be the difference in a close game. CAPS: 11

Right Back - Eric Lichaj - Nottingham Forest - Lichaj's been a regular in the English League Championship for Nottingham Forest and at 27, is at that right age for a breakout. Lichaj hasn't appeared for the U.S. since 2013, but he's really seen his playing time increase overseas since we last saw him in the red, white and blue. CAPS: 10

8 Thoughts on DC United vs Colorado

*So after two weeks of really captivating, entertaining soccer, the Sunday game of the week was something of a clunker in Week 3. Yes, there was some drama with Fabián Espíndola's late game winner, but overall the play was rather sloppy. The fact that Kevin Doyle's effort where he hit the post in the first half while lying on his back was the best scoring chance in the opening 45 minutes was indicative of the type of night it was. You have to wonder how this game got the primetime slot given how bad Colorado was a year ago. Why not San Jose-LA? Or if you wanted a game already slated for Sunday, why not Sporting KC-Toronto? It's just disappointing that after building some good momentum the first two weeks of the season with a rematch of the MLS Cup in Week 1, and then a star-studded performance featuring Andrea Pirlo, Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley, David Villa and others in Week 2, that this was the best we could do in Week 3.

*Now, this match probably could have been a little bit more exciting had Colorado's prize offseason offensive acquisition, Albanian striker Shkëlzen Gashi, been able to play. But no. Gashi got himself suspended for one match for, get this, running onto the field to celebrate Marco Pappa's game winner against the Galaxy last week. Now, I get it, you shouldn't run onto the field, and suspending him sends a clear message, but COME ON! Just fine the guy. He's brand new to MLS, it was a 95th minute game winning goal, cut the guy some slack. I would think a warning would have been fine in this instance, and then we would've gotten to see one of the league's most intriguing offseason additions on National television. Instead, everybody loses.

*Dominique Badji has to be one of the surprises of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Taken 67th overall, the freakishly athletic Badji has started all three of the Rapids' matches this season and while he's yet to get on the score sheet, he has managed seven shots. It will be interesting to see if Badji's still in the Starting XI once Jermaine Jones and Gashi return from their suspensions, but regardless, you don't see a lot of 4th rounders have an impact in MLS, so good for him.

*Up until Espíndola scored the equalizer, I was actually leaning towards writing what a disappointing effort he had put forth. Despite entering as a substitute, he offered limited pace and effort, and even managed to put a long range shot so far off target, that it nearly hit the corner flag. Yes, he ended the night with a team-high five shots (and the goal), and the offense certainly seemed to flow better once he entered the match, but considering he's getting Designated Player money, I just expected better from him.

*I feel for Zac MacMath as his days as a starter are clearly numbered now that Tim Howard is officially joining the Rapids this summer. That said, if MacMath continues to make plays like the one that led to the Espíndola goal, he won't have much of a case for staying on the field.

*I actually thought that Patrick Nyarko was one of the more exciting players on the field last night. The nine-year MLS veteran showed an ability to take on the Rapids defenders 1v1 and draw fouls that created a number of dangerous opportunities for DC United, even if they weren't able to capitalize on any of them.

*Marco Pappa is going to end up being a really nice addition to this Colorado squad. He's already directly responsible for all four of the points they've earned this season scoring the game winning goal against LA, and delivering the corner kick that Dillon Powers converted last night. Considering he's had five five-goal seasons, and four five-assist seasons in his MLS career, his ability to impact games on offense shouldn't come as a surprise. You can bet Seattle misses him right now.

*Axel Sjöberg is REALLY tall. At 6'7", he should really win every single ball in the air, right? We've seen how Steve Birnbaum can impact games on the offensive end, it will be interesting to see if Sjöberg can develop into that type of two-way player as well and give the Rapids another attacking option on set pieces.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Americans in the CCL Semis

The first leg matches of the CCL semifinals both ended in scoreless draws as none of the four remaining Liga MX teams could find the back of the net this week. The second leg matches will be held on April 5th with Tigres hosting Querétaro and América hosting Santos. Three Americans featured in the Leg 1 tilts, here's a look at how they did:

Ventura Alvarado - América - Dressed but did not play vs Santos
Jonathan Bornstein - Querétaro - Started vs Tigres - 90 mins
José Francisco Torres - Tigres UANL - Sub vs Querétaro - Entered match in 61st minute
Jorge Villafaña - Santos Laguna - Started vs América - 90 mins

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Week 2 MLS Power Rankings

1. Montreal Impact (2-0-0) - No Didier Drogba? No problem. Dominic Oduro and Ignacio Piatti have shot out of the gates in 2016 and have the Impact looking like the league's best side through two weeks. Last Week: 5
2. Sporting Kansas City (2-0-0) - Did Dom Dwyer just re-find his scoring touch? Guessing not a lot of people had Sporting on back-to-back wins after starting the season without Benny Feilhaber. Last Week: 10
3. Toronto FC (1-0-1) - Sebastian Giovinco can't do it all himself, right? Or can he? Joey Altidore's return will be a welcome addition to the Reds' attack. Last Week: 3
4. Portland Timbers (1-1-0) - The Timbers should expect to see teams' best efforts all year long, and losing Liam Ridgewell indefinitely could be a problem for them. Last Week: 1
5. FC Dallas (1-1-0) That loss to the Dynamo was a fluke, right? FC Dallas is supposed to be better than they showed on Saturday. They'll get a pass this once, but that match has to serve as a wakeup call for the Supporter's Shield favorites. Last Week: 2
6. San Jose Earthquakes (2-0-0) - Chris Wondolowski continues to score goals as the Quakes are off to an impressive start. Quincy Amarikwa has seven goals and five assists in 19 starts since joining the Quakes last summer. Last Week: 11
7. LA Galaxy (1-1-0) - Lost deep into stoppage time which is tough to swallow, but what's equally frustrating is that they only managed to get one shot on target against the lowly Rapids. Last Week: 4
8. Houston Dynamo (1-0-1) - Lost Cristian Maidana and Giles Barnes to injuries, but the Dynamo attack has scored 8 goals through two matches, and we haven't even scraped the surface of Cubo Torres yet. Last Week: 15
9. Columbus Crew (0-2-0) - The goals will come for Columbus... I think... But where's the defense? This group was supposed to be an upgrade from last year's bunch. Last Week: 6
10. New York Red Bulls (0-2-0) - The Red Bulls will recover from this slow start, and the losses to the East's two Canadian sides, while frustrating, are excusable. Last Week: 7
11. Vancouver Whitecaps (0-2-0) - Vancouver's losses are to teams that are a combined 4-0-0, but Vancouver was supposed to be among the league's elite this year. Last Week: 8
12. New England Revolution (0-0-2) - Shored up the defense after allowing three goals in Week 1, but couldn't beat DC's third string keeper AND lost Charlie Davies to injury. Last Week: 9
13. New York City FC (1-0-1) - Blew a two-goal lead at home against the Toronto FC Giovincos, but strong performances from David Villa and Mix Diskerud allow for optimism. Last Week: 14
14. Orlando City SC (0-0-2) - With a man advantage and a goal advantage, OCSC failed to capitalize and had to settle for a draw against the lowly Fire. Yes, they aren't at full strength, but they need to be able to put teams away if they want to contend in the East. Last Week: 12
15. Real Salt Lake (1-0-1) - Finally managed to hold a lead late which is a big deal, especially after their stoppage time meltdown against Orlando City last week. Joao Plata has been involved in all four of RSL's goals this season with two scores and two assists. Last Week: 16
16. Seattle Sounders (0-2-0) - Back-to-back losses, lots of injuries, and still no goals or assists for Jordan Morris. This team should be fine long term, but it's been a rough March for the Sounders faithful. Last Week: 13
17. Philadelphia Union (1-1-0) - Two goals from Chris Pontius and some more solid goalkeeping from Andre Blake have things looking up in the City of Brotherly Love. Last Week: 19
18. DC United (0-1-1) - Travis Worra was tremendous in his first MLS start, but despite shutting out the Revs, this is a team in trouble. Last Week: 17
19. Colorado Rapids (1-1-0) -  Marco Pappa's last gasp game winner provided Colorado with a big three points against a team that should've walked all over them on paper. Now, can they build on that? Last Week: 20
20. Chicago Fire (0-1-1) - On a positive note, they didn't lose after going a man down early. Unfortunately, the two teams below them in last week's rankings defeated the Galaxy and the Columbus Crew. Last Week: 18

Week 2 Rookie Watch


3. Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia) - Started vs Columbus, 90 mins
4. Brandon Vincent (Chicago) - Started vs Orlando City, 90 mins
6. Fabian Herbers (Philadelphia) - Sub vs Columbus, 4 mins
9. Tsubasa Endoh (Toronto FC) - Started vs NYCFC, 59 mins
11. Julian Buescher (DC United) - Sub vs New England, 19 mins
12. Jonathan Campbell (Chicago) - Started vs Orlando City, 90 mins, 1 shot
13. Hadji Barry (Orlando City) - Sub vs Chicago, 17 mins
49. Kip Colvey (San Jose) - Started vs Portland, 90 mins, 1 assist


Joey Calistri (Chicago) - Sub vs Orlando City, 6 mins
Jordan Morris (Seattle) - Started vs RSL, 76 mins

The same 10 rookies who debuted in Week 1 were all in action again in Week 2. Chicago's Jonathan Campbell and San Jose's Kip Colvey each made their first MLS starts while Colvey added his first career assist. Seattle's Jordan Morris was shutout for the second straight match as Seattle fell to 0-2-0.

Week 2 Notes

Friday March 11, 2016

Orlando City SC 1 Chicago Fire 1

Saturday March 12, 2016

DC United 0 New England Revolution 0
New England Revolution 3 New York Red Bulls 0
Real Salt Lake 2 Seattle Sounders 1
Colorado Rapids 1 LA Galaxy 0
Philadelphia Union 2 Columbus Crew 1
Houston Dynamo 5 FC Dallas 0
Sporting Kansas City 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 1

Sunday March 13, 2016

Toronto FC 2 New York City FC 2
San Jose Earthquakes 2 Portland Timbers 1

Notable Performances

Andrew Wenger - Houston vs FC Dallas - 1 Goal, 2 Assists
Dom Dwyer - Sporting KC vs Vancouver - 2 Goals
Chris Pontius - Philadelphia vs Columbus - 2 Goals
David Villa - NYCFC vs Toronto FC - 2 Goals
Sebastian Giovinco - Toronto FC vs NYCFC - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Ignacio Piatti - Montreal vs NYRB - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Joao Plata - Real Salt Lake vs Seattle - 2 Assists

Joe Willis - Houston vs FC Dallas - Shutout, 6 Saves
Evan Bush - Montreal vs NYRB - Shutout, 3 Saves
Bobby Shuttleworth - New England vs DC United - Shutout, 3 Saves
Travis Worra - DC United vs New England - Shutout, 3 Saves
Zac MacMath - Colorado vs LA Galaxy - Shutout, 1 Save


Michael Harrington - Chicago Fire vs Orlando City SC - 32' Straight Red
Jordan Smith - Vancouver vs Sporting KC - 45'+1' Straight Red

8 Thoughts on New York City FC vs Toronto FC

Better late than never...

*For the second week in a row, the Sunday MLS game of the week did not disappoint. The Toronto FC - New York City FC match-up featured star power (Villa, Bradley, Giovinco, Diskerud, Pirlo), goals (4), and just general excitement. Bravo, MLS. Solid start to the 2016 campaign.

*I've mentioned before how I felt that 2016 was going to be a pivotal year in MLS for Mix Diskerud. After a disappointing 2015 that saw him deliver just three goals and one assist while falling out of favor with the U.S., Diskerud has been active on the attack in City's first two 2016 matches. Playing high on the right side against Toronto, Diskerud was active early delivering the pass that set up Villa's penalty kick, assisting on Villa's handball goal, putting a header on frame that forced a diving save from Clint Irwin, and slotting a teasing ball across the goalmouth that nearly went in for an own goal if not for an unlucky deflection. All told, on the scoresheet it amounted to just one assist, but that gives him a goal and two assists already this season. If I have a complaint about Mix's performance on Sunday it's that he disappeared in the second half when Toronto got themselves back into the match, but overall, I was happy to see him aggressive and having an impact on offense.

*We already talked about the star power on both of these rosters and it's crazy to think that we didn't see either of these teams at full strength. World Cup veterans Joey Altidore (Toronto) and Frank Lampard (New York City), both missed the match due to injuries. It will be interesting to see how Jozy fairs alongside Giovinco in year two, as his return should take some pressure of the Italian star who has been involved in every Toronto goal this season. Lampard's return will be a little more interesting as it's unclear where he'll fit into their lineup and who he's going to bump for playing time.

*Sebastian Giovinco is REALLY good. Seems obvious enough to say that given he was the league's MVP last year, but for two straight games this season, he's carried Toronto's attack accounting for all four of their goals (2 goals, 2 assists). Both his assist and his goal against City were pure class, and if not for Quincy Amarikwa's ridiculous chip against Portland, he'd probably be in the conversation for Goal of the Week. Anyhow, Taylor Twellman was spot on during the broadcast when he said Giovinco's performance during this summer's Euros will be huge for MLS. If he can deliver a goal or two as a representative of the league it could truly change the climate for European imports moving forward.

*Michael Bradley has really taken to the role of defensive midfielder with Toronto, and it seems like it's a natural fit for him at this stage in his career. He's not the type to take players on 1v1, but his brilliant vision allows him to sit back and play balls through to attacking targets with ease. This is much easier in a withdrawn role as it expands his field of vision and gives him more targets. People have been calling for the U.S. to deploy Bradley in this role for some time as he doesn't appear to be a natural #10, the question is, now that Bradley has starting filling this role for club, will Klinsmann give him the opportunity to do so for his country?

*I was a little disappointed with Toronto rookie Tsubasa Endoh. The 9th overall pick in the draft was pulled after 59 minutes on the right wing, and had a largely forgettable night that included a bungled trap when he had acres of space on the right flank. He hit a couple nice balls into the box, and drew a comparison to Graham Zusi for being an under-the-radar pick with a great motor, but suffice it today this wasn't the type of performance that got him drafted in the top ten.

*Holy cow, Steven Mendoza is fast. New York City's newest acquisition, acquired on loan from Corinthians in Brazil, is a burner for sure. A second half substitute for Tony Taylor, Mendoza wasn't given a ton of chances, but he had one run where he just absolutely blew by everybody showing what City surely hopes is a glimpse of what's to come. The 23 year old Colombian spent last season on loan in India (who knew they even had a Premier League?) where he led the league in scoring with 13 goals and scored the game winner in the 2015 Indian Super League Final.

*Mikey Lopez should have absolutely scored his first MLS goal and helped City come away with three points, but his free header from the six went wide late in the second half. While Lopez is more of a defensive minded player, you still can't miss from there if you're a professional.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Proposed USMNT Lineup vs Guatemala

Still a couple weeks to go, but here's the Starting XI I'd like to see us go with against Guatemala:

GK - Brad Guzan - I know there were talks about alternating between Guzan and Tim Howard, but with Howard riding the bench at Everton and Guzan having regained his starting job at Aston Villa, I think Guzan gets the edge here.

Left Back - Jorge Villafaña - After winning a championship with the Portland Timbers, Villafaña has won a starting job in Mexico and recently contributed to Santos Laguna's back-to-back shutouts of the LA Galaxy while advancing to the CCL Semifinals. While Villafaña doesn't have a CAP with the USMNT, his high level of play should be rewarded, plus it allows Fabian Johnson to push into the attack.

Center Back - Matt Besler - Apologies to John Brooks, but the edge goes to the veteran Besler here even if he's not in midseason form. Plus, it makes sense for Brooks to head to Colombia to try and help the U-23s qualify for the Olympics.

Center Back - Omar Gonzalez - Gonzalez has done well since heading south of the border already becoming a valuable contributor with Pachuca. While the U.S. has lots of options at central defense, I feel like Gonzalez deserves the nod here.

Right Back - Geoff Cameron - The versatile Cameron has played well for the U.S. lately and by playing out right, instead of centrally, allows DeAndre Yedlin to join the U-23s in Colombia.

Left Midfield - Fabian Johnson - Arguably playing as good as any American in the world right now, I feel like Johnson is far more valuable in the attack than he is on defense. At a time when the U.S. has struggled to score goals, we need his attacking skills now more than ever.

Defensive Midfield - Michael Bradley - This probably is a reach since it dramatically changes the structure of the U.S. team, but Bradley played deeper in Toronto's opener against the Red Bulls and it worked out just fine. Plus, the U.S. has creative attackers that can fill that #10 role (Nguyen, Nagbe, etc) which allows the U.S. to put a more offensive-minded team on the field.

Attacking Midfield - Lee Nguyen - I love Darlington Nagbe, but Nguyen has been better for the U.S. lately, and his experience probably gets him the nod here. No doubt Nagbe makes the team, but the high-energy Nguyen should get the start.

Right Midfield - Alejandro Bedoya - Gyasi Zardes has been getting a lot of looks with the U.S., but Bedoya's in midseason form thanks to the European schedule so I think it's fair to say he's ahead of Zardes right now.

Striker - Jozy Altidore/Clint Dempsey/Chris Wondolowski - This one's tricky. Jozy is the clear cut starter when healthy, but he's not (hamstring again) and may not be ready when these games role around. Additionally, there are rumors that Dempsey is staying out of the National Team picture until this summer which means he might not be available either. If both of those two are out, I'll probably get flak for this, but I give the nod to Wondo. The veteran striker has a knack for scoring goals against weaker opponents (which Guatemala is) and he's already gotten on the board in MLS this season. We need goals, Wondo scores goals, so he's my third option.

Striker - Bobby Wood - Wood has been taking the 2.Bundesliga by storm ranking third in the league with 12 goals. Wood's red hot league play, coupled with his solid play for the U.S. gets him a start, no questions asked.

Subs - Tim Howard (GK), Mix Diskerud (MF), Gyasi Zardes (MID/FWD), Darlington Nagbe (MF), Jonathan Bornstein (DEF), Michael Orozco (DEF), Chris Wondolowski (FWD)*, Danny Williams (MID)**

*If Jozy or Dempsey Starts
**If Wondo Starts

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Upcoming Important Soccer Dates

3/15/16-3/16/16 - 2015-16 CCL Champions League Semifinal, First Leg Matches
3/25/16 - USMNT at Guatemala - World Cup Qualifying
3/25/16 - USMNT U-23s at Colombia - Olympic Qualifying
3/25/16 - Start of 2016 USL Season
3/29/16 - Guatemala at USMNT - World Cup Qualifying
3/29/16 - Colombia at USMNT U-23s - Olympic Qualifying
4/02/16 - Start of 2016 NASL Spring Season
4/05/16 - 2015-16 CCL Champions League Semifinal, Second Leg Matches
4/20/16 - 2015-16 CCL Champions League Final, First Leg
4/27/16 - 2015-16 CCL Champions League Final, Second Leg
6/03/16 - Start of Copa América Centenario
7/28/16 - 2016 MLS All-Star Game

What Leagues Loan Players to MLS?

Primera División (Argentina) - 2

Luciano Acosta - DC United - Boca Juniors
Federico Bravo - New York City FC - Boca Juniors

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Brazil) - 1

Rodrigo Ramos - Chicago Fire - Coritiba

Campeonato Brasileiro Série C (Brazil) - 1

Anderson Conceição - Philadelphia Union - Tombense

English Premier League (England) - 1

Jack Barmby - Portland Timbers - Leicester City

Liga MX (Mexico) - 1

Carlos Lizarazo - FC Dallas - Cruz Azul

Ascenso MX (Mexico) - 1

Alberto Quintero - San Jose Earthquakes - Lobos BUAP

Primeira Liga (Portugal) - 1

Matt Jones - Philadelphia Union - Belenenses

Segunda Liga (Portugal) - 1

Sambinho - New England Revolution - Sporting Clube de Portugal B

Russian Premier League (Russia) - 1

Yura Movsisyan - Real Salt Lake - Spartak Moscow

Scottish Championship (Scotland) - 1

Fraser Aird - Vancouver Whitecaps - Rangers FC

La Liga (Spain) - 1

Amro Tarek - Columbus Crew - Real Betis

Segunda División (Spain) - 1

Diego Rubio - Sporting Kansas City - Real Valladolid

TT Pro League (Trinidad and Tobago) - 1

Shannon Gomez - New York City FC - W Connection FC

Süper Lig (Turkey) - 1

Lucas Ontivero - Montreal Impact - Galatasaray

*Updated to reflect Portland's acquisition of Jack Barmby.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

MLS Players on Loan for 2016

Bernardo Añor - Sporting Kansas City - Loaned to Minnesota United FC (NASL) - Minnesota United features several former MLSers including Danny Cruz, Ben Speas, Kristian Nicht (the keeper Montreal brought in for last year's Champions League Final) and their captain Aaron Pitchkolan. They are famous for recently developing USMNT midfielder Miguel Ibarra and also boast the 2014 NASL player of the year in striker Christian Ramirez. Añor started his MLS career in 2011 and had a career year in 2014 with the Columbus Crew when he scored six goals. He logged just 483 minutes with Sporting Kansas City in 2015.

Erik Palmer-Brown - Sporting Kansas City - Loaned to FC Porto (Portugal) - Just 18 years old, Palmer-Brown has already been around a while having signed his first professional contract in 2013. Palmer-Brown played in a career high 7 matches with Sporting KC in 2015. He has yet to appear in a match for Porto.

Jimmy Ockford - Seattle Sounders - Loaned to New York Cosmos (NASL) - A second round pick in 2014, Ockford, now 23, has appeared in just one regular season match for the Sounders (a start against Philadelphia last June) in his brief career. He returns to the Cosmos where he also spent the 2014 season to play alongside the likes of Jairo Arrieta, Adam Moffat, Hunter Freeman, Danny Szetela and Carlos Mendes.

Leandro Barrera - San Jose Earthquakes - Loaned to Club Atlético San Martín (Argentina) - San Martín finished 17th out of 30 teams in the Primera División in 2015. Barrera, 24, appeared in only six matches (1 start) for San Jose in 2015. He spent his first MLS season (2014) with Chivas USA for whom he made 24 starts scoring a goal and adding two assists.

Sebastian Saucedo - Real Salt Lake - Loaned to Veracruz (Liga MX) - The 19 year-old Saucedo has appeared for both the U.S. and Mexico's youth international squads and was loaned to Veracruz in January. To date, Saucedo has appeared twice as a substitute, once against América and once against Puebla. Saucedo made nine appearances during his debut season in MLS, logging 168 total minutes.

Michael Lahoud - Philadelphia Union - Loaned to New York Cosmos (NASL) - Lahoud will join Seattle's Jimmy Ockford on the Cosmos after spending the seven seasons in MLS with Chivas USA and most recently, the Philadelphia Union. The 29 year-old Sierra Leonean made 14 starts for the Union in 2015 and has two goals and eight assists in 122 career MLS appearances.

Romario Williams - Montreal Impact - Loaned to Charleston Battery (USL) - Williams, the third overall pick in the 2015 SuperDraft, made just two appearances for the Impact during the 2015 regular season. He joins the Battery who were winners of the 2015 Southern Derby, but whose last true hardware came when they won the USL League Championship in 2012.

Juan Ramírez - Colorado Rapids - Loaned to Almería (Spain) - Signed to a young designated player contract in 2015, Ramírez scored a goal and added three assists during his debut season with the Rapids. He will play on loan in Spain's second division with Almería for a period of six months. According to Almería's Wikipedia page, Ramírez has currently logged four appearances during the regular season. The club currently sits in 19th place.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 1 MLS Power Rankings

1. Portland Timbers (1-0-0) - The reigning champs get to stay at number one until someone knocks them off.
2. FC Dallas (1-0-0) - Mauro Díaz tallied two assists as FCD dispatched the Union with a 2-0 shutout. New striker Maximiliano Urruti opened his FCD account with his first goal. This is perhaps the league's most complete team. Don't sleep on them to win the Shield they narrowly missed out on last year.
3. Toronto FC (1-0-0) - Overhauled the defense this offseason and it paid off with a 2-0 shutout win against the reigning Supporter's Shield Winners. If Jozy Altidore can get/stay healthy and add to the offense, Toronto could be a force in the East.
4. LA Galaxy (1-0-0) - Did anyone have Mike Magee as the most valuable offseason addition in LA? Two goals and an assist as a substitute in a 4-1 come-from-behind win. Not too shabby.
5. Montreal Impact (1-0-0) - Knocked off their Canadian rivals without Didier Drogba or Johan Veneers. Can the Impact take that CCL magic from a year ago and become a serious contender in MLS?
6. Columbus Crew (0-1-0) - Played a pretty solid game against the Timbers on the road and they return almost everyone from last year's MLS Cup Runner-Ups. The Crew will score a lot of goals and should be a fun team to watch.
7. New York Red Bulls (0-1-0) - The Red Bulls couldn't solve Toronto FC, but their midfield group is still going to be one of the league's best.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (0-1-0) - Disappointing opener against a Drogba-less Montreal. The Caps are better than they showed on Sunday.
9. New England Revolution (0-0-1) - Jermaine Jones is gone, can New England avoid getting overrun in the midfield?
10. Sporting Kansas City (1-0-0) - Won without Benny Feilhaber against Seattle, but playing well early has never been an issue. The question for SKC is can they avoid their midseason swoon?

Week 1 Rookie Watch


3. Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia) - Started vs FCD, 90 mins
4. Brandon Vincent (Chicago) - Started vs NYCFC, 90 mins
6. Fabian Herbers (Philadelphia) - Sub vs FCD, 7 mins, 1 shot
9. Tsubasa Endoh (Toronto FC) - Started vs NYRB, 84 mins, 2 shots
11. Julian Buescher (DC United) - Sub vs LA, 15 mins
12. Jonathan Campbell (Chicago) - Sub vs NYCFC, 45 mins, 1 shot
13. Hadji Barry (Orlando City) - Sub vs Real Salt Lake, 13 mins, 1 shot, 1 assist
49. Kip Colvey (San Jose) - Sub vs Colorado, 45 mins


Joey Calistri (Chicago) - Sub vs NYCFC, 9 mins
Jordan Morris (Seattle) - Started vs Sporting KC, 83 mins, 1 shot

10 rookies were in action yesterday as the 2016 MLS campaign kicked off with a bang. Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia), Brandon Vincent (Chicago), Tsubasa Endoh (Toronto) and Jordan Morris (Seattle) all made the Starting Eleven for their respective clubs, but only Orlando City's Hadji Barry made the scoresheet with a stoppage time assist in Orlando City's wild 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake.

Week 1 Notes

Sunday March 6, 2016

Toronto FC 2 New York Red Bulls 0
New York City FC 4 Chicago Fire 3
Orlando City SC 2 Real Salt Lake 2
San Jose Earthquakes 1 Colorado Rapids 0
New England Revolution 3 Houston Dynamo 3
FC Dallas 2 Philadelphia Union 0
Portland Timbers 2 Columbus Crew 1
Montreal Impact 3 Vancouver Whitecaps 2
Sporting Kansas City 1 Seattle Sounders 0
LA Galaxy 4 DC United 1

Notable Performances

Mike Magee - LA Galaxy vs DC United - 2 Goals, 1 Assist
Ignacio Piatti - Montreal vs Vancouver - 2 Goals, 1 Assist
Joao Plata - Real Salt Lake vs OCSC - 2 Goals
Diego Fagundez - New England vs Houston - 1 Goal, 2 Assists
David Accam - Chicago Fire vs NYCFC - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Mix Diskerud - New York City FC vs Chicago - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Sebastian Giovinco - Toronto FC vs NYRB - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Cyle Larin - Orlando City SC vs RSL - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Thomas McNamara - New York City FC vs Chicago - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Dominic Oduro - Montreal vs Vancouver - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Khiry Shelton - New York City FC vs Chicago - 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Will Bruin - Houston vs New England - 2 Assists
Mauro Díaz - FC Dallas vs Philadelphia - 2 Assists

David Bingham - San Jose vs Colorado - Shutout, 5 Saves
Jesse Gonzalez - FC Dallas vs Philadelphia - Shutout, 2 Saves
Tim Melia - Sporting KC vs Seattle - Shutout, 2 Saves
Clint Irwin - Toronto FC vs NYRB - Shutout, 1 Save


Darwin Cerén - Orlando City SC vs RSL
Oniel Fisher - Seattle vs SKC
Demar Phillips - Real Salt Lake vs OCSC

Crew-Timbers Five Thoughts

1. I thought this was a really fun game to kick off ESPN's Sunday slate for the 2016 season. It had a little bit of everything. Lots of attacking (39 shots between the two teams), pretty goals (Federico Higuaín's overhead kick may end up being the Goal of the Year), talented young USMNT contributors (Tchani, Nagbe, Trapp, Finlay), and solid performances (Diego Chara and Diego Valeri come to mind). If this is the level of play we're going to see in MLS all season long, I think we're in for a real treat.

2. Dairon Asprilla had SO MANY chances that he failed to take advantage of in this game. I always find these kind of situations frustrating because on the one hand, he must be doing something right to get so many chances, but on the other hand, ARRRGH. Asprilla had just one goal and two assists last year in his debut season with Portland, but if yesterday was any indication, he could put up some gaudy numbers in 2016. You know, IF he can start converting some of those opportunities.

3. Jermaine Taylor wasn't spectacular for Portland, but he was good enough to limit references to the departure of Jorge Villafaña. The Crew were limited to a spectacular goal by Higuaín, but otherwise the Portland defense, despite surrendering over 60% of possession, was up to the task. The one "concern" is that Taylor has never made more than 26 starts in a season, compared to Villafaña who started all but one game a year ago. So keeping that in mind, the Timbers will have to find someone else who can hold down left back for at least a portion of the season.

4. I thought Diego Valeri was terrific and you could really see what a difference he makes when he's healthy. I would expect to see him deliver numbers on par with his performance in 2013 and 2014 (combined 21 goals, 27 assists). What's really impressive to me is what Valeri's talent says about the level of skill in Argentina. Here's Diego Valeri, a 29 year old in the prime of his career putting up double-doubles in MLS, and yet he's managed a measly 3 CAPs in his international career. CRAZY.

5. Anyone else get nervous when Will Trapp went down holding his knee after that collision with teammate Gastón Sauro in the first half? Trapp missed several months of 2015 with a concussion, and he's an obvious difference maker for the Crew when he's on the field. Not to mention his contributions to the U.S. U-23s who have a huge series with Colombia coming up. So definitely glad to see he turned out to be all right.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

CCL Update - Final MLS Thoughts

In a word, I'm disappointed. Four chances (eight if you count both legs) for an MLS club to beat a Liga MX side and we went winless with four draws and were shut out in four of eight matches. And so, once again, the CONCACAF Champions League title will be raised by a club from Liga MX and the MLS drought continues. Here are my final thoughts for each of the four clubs:

LA Galaxy - Failed to score in either leg against Santos Laguna despite a "star-studded" roster which turned in an unremarkable performance. We knew there would be chemistry issues in LA with all of the new faces, but I think we thought the tandem of Gio dos Santos and Robbie Keane would be more effective. Same can be said of the central midfield duo of Steven Gerrard and Nigel de Jong.

Seattle Sounders - Seattle actually led on aggregate goals three times in their series with América, but couldn't sustain a lead at all. When they took a 1-0 lead on the road in the second leg, they conceded the equalizer a minute later and the go ahead goal just moments after that. Their three goals scored were by far the most by any of the four MLS sides and Seattle also managed to be the only MLS team not to get shut out in the quarterfinals, but their inability to hold a lead/play well with a lead is what ultimately doomed them.

DC United - For the second year in a row, Bill Hamid was unavailable to United in the knockout round of the CCL. Not to say he would've done any better than Andrew Dykstra, but from a confidence standpoint, DC United likely would have headed into the series on a higher note had he been there. If there's a bright spot for United, it was rookie Julian Buescher who scored a laser-beam long range strike in just his second professional match.

Real Salt Lake - Perhaps the most unlikely of MLS teams to succeed, RSL was a missed penalty kick away from overcoming a 2-0 deficit against Tigres. The addition of Yura Movsisyan looks to be a great one, and Juan Manuel Martinez and Joao Plata will provide additional support on offense for a team that lacked in that a year ago. Still, in big games you have to make big kicks and missing a penalty when down one is a back breaker no matter how you look at it, especially when it's missed by arguably one of the league's best on set pieces in Javier Morales.

Anyhow, despite the MLS's early exit, there is still reason for U.S. fans to follow the rest of the tournament. A pair of American left backs started both quarterfinal matches for their respective Mexican clubs and combined to pitch three shutouts in the quarterfinals with the one goal conceded being Julian Buescher's long range golazo for DC United. With left back a perennial question mark for the U.S., the 26 year old Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna) and 31 year old Jonathan Bornstein (Querétaro) could present some intriguing options for Jurgen Klinsmann moving forward. Villafaña has youth national team experience but has never been CAP'd with the senior team while Bornstein was CAP'd 38 teams between 2007 and 2011 and even scored a pair of goals including one during World Cup Qualifying back in 2009. Here's a look at how all of the American Exports performed in CCL action this week:

José Francisco Torres - Tigres UANL - Started vs RSL, 76 mins, 1 shot
Ventura Alvarado - América - Dressed but did not play vs Seattle
Jorge Villafaña - Santos Laguna - Started vs LA Galaxy - 90 mins
Jonathan Bornstein - Querétaro - Started vs DC United - 90 mins, 2 shots

The semifinals will kick off in two weeks with Santos Laguna taking on América and Tigres UANL taking on Querétaro. Regardless of what happens, an American will raise the CCL Trophy this April.

CCL Rookie Watch

Julian Buescher got his rookie campaign off to a strong start with a brilliant goal off the bench in D.C. United's second leg draw with Querétaro. Buescher was the only member of the 2016 SuperDraft Class to dress for the CCL Quarterfinal matches. Here's a rundown of all the rookie action:

Leg 1

11. Julian Buescher - DC United - Sub vs Querétaro, 14 mins
HGP - Jordan Morris - Seattle - Started vs América, 85 mins, 2 shots

Leg 2

11. Julian Buescher - DC United - Sub vs Querétaro, 16 mins, 1 shot, 1 goal
HGP - Jordan Morris - Seattle - Started vs América, 70 mins

2015-16 CCL Goal Scorers by Nationality - Quarterfinal Leg 2 Update

Argentina (14)

Emanuel Villa - Querétaro F.C. - 6
Martín Bravo - Santos Laguna - 2
Jonathan Hansen - Herediano - 2
Diego González - Santos Laguna - 1
Carlos Izquierdoz - Santos Laguna - 1
Juan Manuel Martínez - Real Salt Lake - 1
Rubens Sambueza - Club América - 1

Belize (2)

Deon McCaulay - Verdes FC - 2

Brazil (3)

Danilinho - Querétaro F.C. - 1
Ricardinho Paraiba - Santa Tecla - 1
Israel Silva - Motagua - 1

Canada (1)

Kianz Froese - Vancouver Whitecaps - 1

Cape Verde (4)

Djaniny - Santos Laguna - 4

Chile (1)

Bryan Rabello - Santos Laguna - 1

Colombia (9)

Carlos Quintero - Club América - 4
Andrés Andrade - Club América - 1
Yerson Candelo - Querétaro F.C. - 1
Olmes García - Real Salt Lake - 1
Jámison Olave - Real Salt Lake - 1
Andrés Rentería - Santos Laguna - 1

Costa Rica (12)

Johnny Woodly - Municipal - 2
Marvin Angulo - Saprissa - 1
Jairo Arrieta - DC United - 1
Randall Azofeifa - Herediano - 1
Daniel Colindres - Saprissa - 1
Kenny Cunningham - Herediano - 1
Mynor Escoe - Saprissa - 1
Dylan Flores - Saprissa - 1
David Guzmán - Saprissa - 1
David Ramírez - Saprissa - 1
Deyver Vega - Saprissa - 1

Ecuador (5)

Michael Arroyo - Club América - 3
Joao Plata - Real Salt Lake - 2

El Salvador (6)

Tony Rugamas - Isidro Metapán - 2
Josué Flores - Isidro Metapán - 1
Irvin Herrera - Santa Tecla - 1
Otonel Salinas - Isidro Metapán - 1
Giovanni Zavaleta - Santa Tecla - 1

Finland (1)

Mika Väyrynen - LA Galaxy - 1

France (1)

André-Pierre Gignac - Tigres UANL - 1

Germany (1)

Julian Büscher - DC United - 1

Ghana (2)

Kofi Opare - DC United - 2

Guatemala (2)

Wilson Lalín - Comunicaciones - 1
Carlos Ruiz - Municipal - 1

Honduras (7)

Erick Andino - Motagua - 2
Alberth Elis - Olimpia - 2
Wilmer Crisanto - Motagua - 1
Eddie Hernández - Motagua - 1
Néstor Martínez - Olimpia - 1

Ireland (2)

Robbie Keane - LA Galaxy - 2

Jamaica (4)

Dino Williams - Montego Bay FC - 2
Allan Ottey - Montego Bay FC - 1
Jermaine Woozencroft - Montego Bay FC - 1

Mexico (23)

Oribe Peralta - Club América - 3
Miguel Aguilar - DC United - 2
Alonso Escoboza - Santos Laguna - 2
Luis Ángel Mendoza - Santos Laguna - 2
Sinha - Querétaro F.C. - 2
Alonso Zamora - Tigres UANL - 2
Antonio Briseño - Tigers UANL - 1
Jürgen Damm - Tigres UANL - 1
Ulises Dávila - Santos Laguna - 1
Kevin Gutiérrez - Querétaro F.C. - 1
Raúl Mendiola - LA Galaxy - 1
Víctor Milke - Querétaro F.C. - 1
Javier Orozco - Santos Laguna - 1
José Rivas - Tigres UANL - 1
Giovani dos Santos - LA Galaxy - 1
Ángel Sepúlveda - Querétaro F.C. - 1

Nicaragua (1)

Raúl Leguías - Walter Ferretti - 1

Nigeria (1)

Ikechukwu Uche - Tigres UANL - 1

Panama (17)

Jhonny Ruiz - San Francisco - 3
Ervin Zorilla - San Francisco - 2
Renán Addles - Árabe Unido - 1
Abdiel Arroyo - Árabe Unido - 1
Rolando Blackburn - Comunicaciones - 1
Moisés Gil - San Francisco - 1
Martín Gómez - San Francisco - 1
José González - Árabe Unido - 1
Eduardo Jiménez - San Francisco - 1
Daniel Morán - San Francisco - 1
Jonathan Pinilla - San Francisco - 1
Armando Polo - Árabe Unido - 1
Richard Rodriguez - San Francisco - 1
Enrico Small - Árabe Unido - 1

Paraguay (2)

Pablo Aguilar - Club América - 1
Édgar Benítez - Querétaro F.C. - 1

Saint Lucia (1)

Kurt Frederick - W Connection FC - 1

Spain (1)

Ignacio Maganto - LA Galaxy - 1

Sweden (1)

Erik Friberg - Seattle Sounders - 1

Trinidad and Tobago (4)

Ataullah Guerra - Central FC - 2
Alvin Jones - W Connection FC - 1
Willis Plaza - Central FC - 1

Uruguay (1)

Bernardo Laureiro - Walter Ferretti - 1

USA (20)

Alan Gordon - LA Galaxy - 5
Lamar Neagle - Seattle Sounders - 3
Clint Dempsey - Seattle Sounders - 2
Conor Doyle - DC United - 2
Ventura Alvarado - Club América - 1
Chad Barrett - Seattle Sounders - 1
Brad Evans - Seattle Sounders - 1
Michael Farfan - DC United - 1
Jared Jeffrey - DC United - 1
Tim Parker - Vancouver Whitecaps - 1
José Francisco Torres - Tigres UANL - 1
Gyasi Zardes - LA Galaxy - 1

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Who's Adding Who - Philadelphia Union


M Chris Pontius (12/7/15 - trade from D.C. United) - After being named an MLS All-Star and Best XI selection in 2012, Pontius has struggled, scoring just six goals over the past three seasons. The Union hope a change of scenery does him well as Pontius leaves United after a 7 year-run with the Black and Red. Pontius made 17 starts for United in 2015 scoring three goals and adding one assist.
M Walter Restrepo (1/12/16 - transfer from NY Cosmos) - The 27 year old winger comes to MLS after spending the past five seasons in the U.S.'s lower divisions, most recently in the NASL with the Cosmos. Restrepo has been named to the NASL Best XI twice in his career.
D Anderson Conceicao (1/13/16 - loan from Tombense) - The 6'2" Brazilian Center Back is on a season long loan from Tombense (Brazil). Despite signing with Tombense in 2011, he has spent most of his time elsewhere going on loans to Criciúma (Brazil), Figueirense (Brazil), Mallorca (Spain), Atlético Goianiense (Brazil), Bahia (Brazil), Joinville (Brazil), and América Mineiro (Brazil) before now coming to Philadelphia.
D Joshua Yaro (1/14/16 - SuperDraft) - The second overall pick in this year's draft made 17 starts for Georgetown in 2015 on his way to being named an NSCAA First Team All American and the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He appeared in 57 matches in his three years with the Hoyas.
D Keegan Rosenberry (1/14/16 - SuperDraft) - Taken one pick after his college teammate Yaro, Rosenberry started over 20 games in each of his four years at Georgetown. Rosenberry scored two goals in his senior year and added a career-best six assists.
F Fabian Herbers (1/14/16 - SuperDraft) - The Union's third pick in the top six of this year's draft, Herbers helped Creighton reach the NCAA College Cup Quarterfinals in his junior year while leading the team in goals with 15 and assists with 17. His 15 goals were tied for the third in Division I while his 17 assists were tops in the nation.
M Roland Alberg (2/4/16 - transfer from ADO Den Haag) - Dutch attacking midfielder Alberg comes to the Union from ADO Den Haag of the Dutch Eredivisie. Alberg is coming off his best professional season during which he scored eight goals and tallied nine assists.
GK Matt Jones (2/9/16 - loan from Belenenses) - English-born Jones moved to the U.S. in 2005 to attend Sacred Heart University. After four years with the Pioneers he joined the Western Mass Pioneers (USL Second Division) for a brief stint before returning to Europe with Portuguese side C.D. Santa Clara. Jones has played in Portugal ever since, and arrives back in the U.S. on a season long loan from Belenenses.
D Taylor Washington (2/19/16 - SuperDraft) - Washington was limited to 11 starts in 2011 with George Mason, but started every game for the Patriots in 2013 and 2014. A transfer from Boston University, the left-sided player and 23rd overall pick in the draft was the third defender selected in this year's draft by the Union.
D Cole Missimo (2/23/16 - SuperDraft) - The 64th overall pick in this year's draft, Missimo played four years at Northwestern. During his senior year, Missimo scored one goal and added two assists on his way to being named to the NSCAA Second Team All-Big Ten Conference for the second straight year.
D Ken Tribbett (2/23/16 - free) - The former Drexel Dragon has played in the U.S.'s lower divisions since 2013, recently signing with the Union's USL side Bethlehem Steel before leaving to sign with Steel's parent club less than a month later. Tribbett spent the 2015 season with the Harrisburg City Islanders in the USL.
M Ilsinho (2/24/16 - free) - Signed to a two-year deal, the former Brazilian international brings UEFA Champions League experience from his time with Shakhtar Donetsk to the Union locker room. A bronze-medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, Ilsinho has been without a club since leaving Shakhtar in June.


M Cristian Maidana (12/7/15 - traded to Houston) - Houston Dynamo
M Andrew Wenger (12/7/15 - traded to Houston) - Houston Dynamo
F Fernando Aristeguieta (12/10/15 - loan expired) - Red Star (France) on loan from Nantes
F Dzenan Catic (12/10/15 - option declined) - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros (USL)
F Conor Casey (12/10/15 - option declined) - Columbus Crew
M Fred (12/10/15 - option declined)
M Danny Cruz (12/10/15 - option declined) - Minnesota United FC (NASL)
F Antoine Hoppenot (12/10/15 - option declined) - FC Cincinnati (USL)
D Ethan White (12/10/15 - traded to NYCFC) - New York City FC
D Steven Vitoria (12/10/15 - option declined) - Benfica (Portugal)
M Eric Bird (12/10/15 - option declined)
M Jimmy McLaughlin (12/10/15 - option declined) - FC Cincinnati (USL)
GK Zac MacMath (12/11/15 - traded to Colorado) - Colorado Rapids
M Michael Lahoud (1/12/16 - loaned to NY Cosmos) - New York Cosmos (NASL)
M Zach Pfeffer (1/15/16 - traded to Colorado) - Colorado Rapids

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Who's Adding Who - Orlando City SC


GK Mason Stajduhar (11/9/15 - Homegrown) - A keeper for the U.S. U-20s and a member of the U-18 USSDA Best XI team, Stajduhar has been a member of Orlando City's academy teams in recent years.
GK Joe Bendik (12/21/15 - trade from Toronto) - With the departure of Tally Hall, Joe Bendik is the favorite to start in net for City in 2015. Bendik started his professional career in Norway before signing in MLS in 2012 with the Portland Timbers. After a year in Portland, he assumed the starting keeper job in Toronto until losing playing time to Chris Konopka in 2015. Bendik is 18-37-23 in his career with nine shutouts in 76 starts.
M Richmond Laryea (1/14/16 - SuperDraft) - Laryea scored 11 goals and added seven assists in his breakout 2015 campaign with Akron. The NSCAA Third Team All-American hails from Toronto and was a member of the Canadian U-18 National Team. He was selected with the seventh overall pick in the draft.
F Hadji Barry (1/14/16 - SuperDraft) - Barry played collegiately for UCF and led the Knights with 11 goals in 17 starts in 2015. Barry was selected with the 13th overall pick in the draft.
D/M Devron Garcia (1/27/16 - transfer from CD Victoria) - The 19 year-old defensive midfielder teamed with Orlando City teammate Bryan Róchez with Honduras at the U-20 World Cup. He's represented Honduras at both the U-17 and U-20 level.
M Antonio Nocerino (2/18/16 - trade from D.C. United) - The 30 year-old Nocerino has played professionally with both Juventus and Milan where he played alongside current teammate Kaká. A versatile midfielder, Nocerino has earned 15 CAPs with Italy's National Team, and was named to the 2011-12 Serie A team of the year.


GK Tally Hall (11/25/15 - option declined)
GK Josh Ford (11/25/15 - option declined) - San Antonio FC (USL)
D Corey Ashe (11/25/15 - option declined) - Columbus Crew
M Eric Avila (11/25/15 - option declined) - Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)
M Lewis Neal (11/25/15 - option declined) - Orlando City B (USL)
F Danny Mwanga (11/25/15 - option declined) - Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL)
F Adam Bedell (11/25/15 - option declined)
F Sidney Rivera (11/25/15 - option declined)
M Tony Cascio (11/25/15 - out of contract)
M Estrela (1/30/16 - waived) - APOEL FC (Cyprus)

Who's Adding Who - New York Red Bulls


D Tyler Adams (11/1/15 - USL / Homegrown) - Adams, who just turned 17 last month, signed with New York Red Bulls II last March. He logged 808 minutes over 11 matches for Red Bulls II in 2015 and has also featured in over 20 matches with the U.S. U-17s.
F Brandon Allen (12/21/15 - Homegrown) - Allen led Georgetown in scoring as a senior in 2015 with 12 goals and was second on the team with seven assists while starting all 21 matches for the 16-2-3 Hoyas.
M Derrick Etienne (12/21/15 - Homegrown) - As a freshman at the University of Virginia, Etienne made 17 appearances in 2015 scoring two goals and adding one assist. His efforts earned him a spot on the 2015 ACC All-Rookie Team. Etienne featured for Haiti's U-20 squad at last January's CONCACAF Championships.
F Alex Muyl (12/22/15 - Homegrown) - Allen's teammate at Georgetown, Muyl tallied a team high ten assists in 2015 while finishing second on the team with six goals as a junior.
M Chris Thorsheim (12/23/15 - Homegrown) - Thorsheim led Bucknell in 2015 with eight goals and was second on the team with six assists as the Bison finished the season with a record of 7-6-5. The New Jersey native started every game.
D Scott Thomsen (12/23/15 - Homegrown) - Limited to just five games during his senior year at Virginia due to a sports hernia, Thomsen did start at left back for both of the Cavaliers' NCAA Tournament matches in 2015. Thomsen was 14th in the nation with eight assists in 2014.
D Gideon Baah (2/9/16 - transfer from HJK Helsinki) - The Ghanaian defender spent the beginning of his pro career in Ghana before heading to Europe with FC Honka in 2013 where he went on to win the league's Rookie of the Year and Defender of the Year awards. Tabbed as a replacement for the departed Matt Miazga in central defense, the 24 year-old Baah has already experienced the Europa League and UEFA Champions League, and made his National Team debut for Ghana against Canada this past October.

D Roy Miller (12/2/15 - option declined) - Saprissa (Costa Rica)
D Anthony Wallace (12/2/15 - option declined)
M Leo Stolz (12/2/15 - option declined)
F Manolo Sanchez (12/2/15 - option declined) - San Antonio FC (USL)
M Marius Obekop (12/2/15 - option declined) - Orlando City B (USL)
M Dane Richards (12/2/15 - option declined) - Miami FC (NASL)
GK Santiago Castaño (1/25/16 - released)
D Matt Miazga (1/30/16 - transfer to Chelsea) - Chelsea (England)
D Shawn McLaws (2/12/16 - waived)
M Mael Corboz (2/29/16 - waived)