Former Houston Dynamo midfield ace Stuart Holden hasn't had the easiest time since joining England's Bolton Wanderers in January of 2010. Sidelined twice by serious injuries, a broken leg and an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Holden has unfortunately become just as familiar with the inside of the rehab room as he is with the pitch.
But, as the old saying goes, when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. Or a Youtube series. Welcome to No Holden Back.
It may be I'm reading too much into this quote. I'll admit it. But did Rauwshan McKenzie just take a shot at Jason Kreis?
“This is the first time that I’ve had a defensive coach,” a smiling McKenzie said on Monday after inking a deal with Chivas USA three days earlier. “It’s easy to understand what he’s talking about and he obviously helps me because he played the position when he was playing, so it’s a bit easier than having like a forward as a coach.”
The move to Chivas makes sense - McKenzie played for Real Salt Lake in 2010 while current Goats head coach Robin Fraser was an assistant under Jason Kreis. Wait, isn't Kreis a forward?
Yes, actually. Kreis has 108 career MLS goals and was the league MVP in 1999 while with the Dallas Burn. Since then, he's made a pretty successful transition to coaching (see: MLS Cup, 2009).
Back to McKenzie, though: The 6-foot-4 center back has made exactly 11 appearances in MLS, so I think it's fair to characterize his field time as "limited." And whatever else he's done as a coach, Kreis did some of that limiting. If McKenzie harbors any bitterness about his lack of minutes, his former coach probably has a role in that.
And then we have this quote about how he's enjoying not having, like, a forward as a coach. Which is interesting in part because Kreis - yes, the forward - coached the team that set the current record for fewest goals conceded in a single season.
Game on? I hope so. There can never be too many grudges in MLS, as far as I'm concerned.
Forget Jimmy Conrad and his jokes. Forget Eddie Johnson talking about himself in the third person. And don't even bother to tip your beret in the general direction of Thierry Henry.
Sporting KC's Aurelien Collin is the funniest, most delightfully conceited Frenchman you will ever lay eyes on...and he's here to solve all of your problems.
Welcome to Collin's Corner.
If you have a spare few minutes I implore you to check out this clip on Kei Kamara and his reluctance to join Sporting KC, who were still the Wizards at the time.
It's kind of hard to believe now that he's one of the faces of the franchise but KC was a place the erstwhile Houston striker really didn't want to be and he told coach Peter Vermes exactly that. Mind you the Kansas City franchise of 2009 played on a tiny field in a minor-league baseball park and, subsequently, weren't too high on the wish list of many MLS players. My how things have changed.
Sebastian Velasquez didn't take a typical route to MLS. It doesn't appear that it will matter in the end.
Velasquez tweeted on Monday that he had been offered a contract with Real Salt Lake after being taken 36th overall in January's SuperDraft.
Needless to say, he was a little excited.
I Feel So Blessed!! RSL Offered Me A Contract!! Should I Sign It?? JaJaJaJaJa DUHHHHHHH :)))))))))))
— Sebastian Velasquez (@TiaN_Futbol) February 20, 2012
In their final day in Florida, the Philadelphia Union held a light practice in front of about 100 fans. While there wasn't much action in the regeneration session, four Union players put on an odd feat of strength and coordination. We present the quad-push-up.
Landon Donovan's second loan stint at Everton may not have ended in storybook fashion – he missed his final game because of the flu – but that doesn't mean the LA Galaxy and US national team stalwart didn't cherish every moment he spent this winter in Toffee blue.
Donovan sat down with EvertonFC.com to talk about his month-and-a-half at Goodison Park and what the club means to him after two wildly successful loan spells at the Liverpool-based club.
And in regards to whether this is his last go-round at Everton? Donovan had this to say:
"I would approach it the same way I approach it each year when I get a call from the manager here. One, am I physically able to do it? Two, does the manager want me? Three, do I feel like I can contribute and benefit the club? I would not come back if it was just for me to have the experience, but where I couldn't benefit the team. That would do nobody any good. I have too much respect for the club, the manager and the players to do that. The expectation is very clear if I come back. If I feel I can deliver on that expectation and the club wants me I would absolutely do it. I know I will be back in the future. I just don't know if it will be as a player – I hope it is.”
While everyone else in the New York area is still dealing with the last remnants of winter, the Red Bulls skipped out of town for preseason preparations in Mexico. To document the proceedings in Cancun, someone came up with the idea to give Stephen Keel a camera and let him go wild.
The result was some absolutely vintage stuff from Keel packed into four episodes of priceless footage.
Highlights in no particular order:
- Red moustaches
- bocce ball
- Remember the Titans
- Alcohol-free Piña Coladas
- Oblivious tourists
- Zip lines
- Fake English accents
- Ball washing stations
- Baby fat
- Designer sunglasses
Keel Cam Part 1 of 3
Team Bonding at Xplor - Agudelo interview
The Michael Ballack-to-MLS drumbeat is getting a little bit louder now, it seems.
Goal.com is reporting today that the former Germany captain is in discussion with the league to bring him to MLS this season, citing unnamed sources from both sides of the negotiation. The article lists five teams that would be interested in Ballack's services: Chicago, Montreal, New York, Philly and Seattle.
Based on comments from the player himself, though, it seems that his most likely destination is the Red Bulls.
Fans in New York shouldn't be leaping for joy just yet, though. For one, even players that have shown a legitimate interest in the league have been known to spurn MLS (see: Anelka, Nicolas). Secondly, even if Ballack does sign, his contract with Bayer Leverkusen doesn't end until June 30, and his agent, Michael Becker, said that he won't be leaving before the Bundesliga season is done.
Last week, I asked Greg Seltzer and Travis Clark to come up with the 18-man rosters they would take to London if the Olympics started today. It seemed like an easy enough task at the time; both guys would cobble together their teams and the rest of us could hem and haw about which players should have made the squad or who didn't deserve the spot they were handed.
Both slaved over their choices for a couple days, emailing throughout to moan about how difficult it was to pare a stacked player pool down to 22 players, groups which included four alternates. And although they didn't always agree on who Caleb Porter should take to the Olympics, both came up with solid sides capable of competing for a medal.
You can find Seltzer and Clark's squads here: Olympic Roster Mock: Who should Porter bring to London?
On Thursday, Porter announced the 23-man squad that will train for 10 days at the end of February before taking on Mexico – a group that is likely to include many of the players who take part in Olympic qualifying. Because of that, I thought it would be interesting to see how Seltzer and Clark's squads matched up with group Porter called in, a comparison you can see below.
Clearly, this is not an exact science. Greg and Travis put together squads that assumed availability from all U-23 players. That was not the case for this camp and Porter's choices, which changes things. So take it with a grain of salt. It's all for fun either way.
Names that match up with Porter's 23-man group were left as is. Players who either guy included but didn't get the call are struck through. Anyone left out by both but called up by Porter is bold in the official roster. Obviously, overage players don't count in this exercise, so they weren't included in the rosters below.
Feel free to give your take in the comments section below.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS (7): Greg Garza (Club Tijuana) , Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact), Jorge Villafaña (Chivas USA)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mikkel Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Jared Jeffrey (Mainz), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union), Michael Stephens (LA Galaxy)
FORWARDS (8): Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Tony Taylor (Estoril Praia)
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin),
Danny Potts (West Ham), Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact)
MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Mikkel Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union),
Daniel Williams (Hoffenheim)
ATTACKERS: Joe Corona (Club Tijuana),
Josh Gatt (Molde), Joseph Gyau (Hoffenheim), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Andrew Wooten (FC Kaiserslautern)
ALTERNATES: Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund),
Sebastian Lletget (West Ham), Ike Opara (San Jose Earthquakes)
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)
DEFENDERS: Zarek Valentin (Montreal Impact),
Timothy Chandler (FC Nürnberg), Sheanon Williams (Philadelphia Union), Gale Agbossoumonde (Carolina RailHawks), Ethan White (D.C. United)
MIDFIELDERS: Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Mikkel Diskerud (Gent), Dilly Duka (Columbus Crew), Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union)
Josh Gatt (Molde), Joe Gyau (Hoffenheim), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund)
ALTERNATES: Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Teal Bunbury (Sporting KC),
Andrew Wenger (Montreal Impact), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana)