The final round of World Cup qualifiers are on the horizon, and Bob Bradley has named his squad. Bradley has recalled Kenny Cooper, and the awkward, lumpen, bald Conor Casey. You can find the rest of the roster here, though you can just go ahead and ignore the fact that Bradley has selected some promising attackers—he'll doubtless try and score just one goal and then retreat into an 8-1-1 shell.
Remember when MLS was seen as a destination for exiting, young American and Latin talent? Neither do I, and it looks like the league is well on its way to getting even grayer next season. Brazilian striker Dodo—who has been suspended since 2008 for doping—is rumored to be moving to MLS for the 2010 season.
Yes, MLS is getting a Brazilian injection, but not a very good one. Dodo doesn't have the most prolific scoring record, though he did have some moderate success with Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i ( former home of Cha Bum-keun!), scoring 31 goals in 56 appearances.
But, at 35, this Brazilian seems like a sure bet to make Darren Huckerby look like a spritely youth.
Houston Dynamo star and US Men's National Team scapegoat Brian Ching has just signed a contract extension that will keep him in Houston until 2013. Ching, who is popular in Houston because he doesn't completely disappear during big games for his club, said he was grateful for the opportunity to remain with the Dynamo.
“I wouldn't want to play for any other team,” Ching said. “I love the organization, the coaching staff, and the fans."
Speaking of Houston, one of their discarded players is making his way across the pond. Ade Akinbiyi has become the latest addition to Sven Goran-Eriksson's Notts County squad. After underwhelming observers during his time in MLS, Akinbiyi will no doubt fit right it with Notts County—specifically Sven's ancient tradition of also underwhelming observers.
In a bit of sad news, New England Revolution star and fan-favorite Steve Ralston has had his season come to a premature end thanks to a torn ACL. Ralston suffered the injury last Saturday against Seattle, and will be forced to miss the remainder of the season. The 35-year old midfielder is the MLS career leader in games played, minutes and assists.
MLS Name of the Week
It's no secret that football players over the years have had some pretty incredible name. Have-a-look Dube, Ice Cream, Bongo Christ, etc. In that same great tradition, Total 90 is proud to present...
Boyzzz Khumalo, of DC United. Yes, that's three 'Zs' in there, when one would have been sufficient.
Boyzzz was a key cog in DC United's 5-1 victory over San Juan Jabloteh—no slouch in the name department itself—in the CONCACAF Champions League. He contributed two of the five goals, and gave untold amounts of glee to supporters.
MLS Stat of the Week
This week's stat comes to us from RFK Stadium.
DC United 1-2 San Jose Earthquakes
The scoreline in itself is unremarkable, a pretty average affair on the surface. To understand its impact, you've got to look at the table.
This loss leaves DC sitting a single point adrift of the playoffs. DC desperately needed to win this match, but blew a chance to really help their playoff chances, and at home no less.
Prior to this match, United was 6-5-1 at home, accounting for 23 of their 36 points on the season. They'd also played excellent defense, surrendering 10 goals in those 11 matches.
San Jose, on the other hand, has been an atrocious road team this season. Prior to this match, they were 0-3-8 on the road with only nine goals scored. In fact, only New York has been a worse overall club than San Jose this season.
Yet somehow the Earthquakes, absolutely one of the two worst teams in the league, found a way to seriously damage the playoff hopes of a team that is strong every season, and plays well at home to boot.