Kick Off: Apologetic Camilo gets his second chance
Here’s the beauty of a congested schedule in Major League Soccer: You don’t have to wait long for the chance to make right what once went wrong.
OK, so maybe we went a little Quantum Leap there for a second, but is there another player in MLS who wants a second chance more than Vancouver Whitecaps playmaker Camilo Sanvezzo? Just days after his club missed a golden opportunity to top the Seattle Sounders and gain some traction in the Western Conference playoff race, Camilo is back, and he’s going to play.
At least, that’s the word in Vancouver as the Whitecaps prepare to host Chivas USA on Wednesday night (10 pm ET, watch LIVE online). With striker Darren Mattocks possibly still out after suffering an injury during the match against Seattle, Camilo could get his chance to play the Sam Beckett role against the Goats and make up for that missed chance over the weekend.
"That night, I was very sorry for the miss,'' Camilo said. "But now, my focus is the next game. Soccer is like that. The game can change very fast. In this game, I'll try to score to help my team.''
Here’s more on tonight’s matchup from the Vancouver camp, and a look at the emotions involved as the Whitecaps fight for their first playoff berth. And TSN’s Luke Wileman breaks down the importance of new Vancouver defender Andy O'Brien in his latest post.
While the Whitecaps’ postseason hopes are still unclear, it’s more than likely that the Chicago Fire will be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They host the Philadelphia Union in the other midweek match on Wednesday (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), and will honor former greats Peter Nowak, Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Chris Armas at halftime of the match to celebrate the team’s 15th anniversary.
Armas, for one, is thrilled that head coach Frank Klopas has the Fire back on the brink of the playoffs for the first time in what might feel like a long time.
"Did we lose [our] way a little bit for a while? I think so," Armas said. "It didn't feel like the Chicago Fire. Now it has taken on the personality like Frank, which it often does. It's an honest, hard-working, passionate group. It has team written all over it."
And fans at Toyota Park might not want to bail out of Bridgeview right after the final whistle. The club will show the debut episode of the new NBC firefighter drama Chicago Fire on the stadium’s jumbotron following the match, and actor Eamonn Walker will take part in the ceremonial coin toss before the game.
The New York Red Bulls, meanwhile, will take on the Chicago Fire on Satruday on the NBC flagship network (3:30 pm ET), but they attended to a bit of surprising business on Wednesday. The club announced that former AS Monaco president Jérôme de Bontin has replaced Erik Solér as the team’s general manager, and that Solér will stay on as an internal advisor.
Former France and Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier, who was appointed head of global soccer for Red Bull in July, will take responsibility on the sporting side for the club. The move is the second major front office shakeup in two months for the club, who recently parted ways with former president of business operations Chris Heck, reportedly at the suggestion of Solér.
The Portand Timbers, meanwhile, can’t focus on much other than the looming matchup against Seattle this Sunday that will play a large role in which team takes home the Cascadia Cup. With more than 66,000 fans expected at CenturyLink Field, Timbers players are bringing out the prerequisite rhetoric for this one.
Says midfielder Darlington Nagbe: “It’s the biggest game of the year.”
Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is expected to play on Sunday, despite what head coach Sigi Schmid called a “muscle strain” that kept Alonso out of practice on Tuesday. The Sounders also received a surprise visit from striker O’Brien White.
And for those caught up in the political season and tonight’s presidential debate, here’s a look at politics, Seattle Sounders style. The New York Times takes a look at the curious case of Adrian Hanauer, the Sounders GM who has put his fate in the hands of the fans in an election completely unique to MLS.
What if fans in San Jose and Kansas City embraced their teams the way they do in Seattle? It doesn’t appear to be far off. Here’s a write-up in USA Today focusing on the increase in attention in those markets as their teams inch closer and closer to the top seeds in their respective conferences.
Just what would a soccer-specific stadium do for the profile of the New England Revolution? We could find out soon enough. The Revs are still hard at work at scouting locations for such a stadium, and the Boston Globe has reported this week that the brass in Revere are interested in bringing the Revs to town.
Here’s Revere mayor Dan Rizzo: “I’d love to see a full-blown professional soccer team here.”
There’s some potential big news brewing in LA, too, where it looks like Dodgers owner Mark Walter is considering making a bid on current Galaxy ownership group AEG. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Walter who, with his company Guggenheim Partners recently bought the Dodgers for $2.15 billion, is interested in the “synergy” involved in putting all the LA franchises under the same umbrella.
“We’re looking at AEG. We’re looking at a lot of companies,” Walter said. “We certainly don’t buy them all. Even if we thought it was a great company, you’ve got to look at it to know that.”
The Galaxy, meanwhile, learned Monday that they’ll miss defender A.J. DeLaGarza for a month of action due to a knee injury. The news surrounding Montreal Impact defender Nelson Rivas isn’t quite as good, however, as he’ll miss up to five months following microfracture surgery in his left knee.
Time to take a look at the latest MLS rankings, including a shake-up at the top in the MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings. And here are the latest polls from the folks at SB Nation, Soccer America and NBC Sports.
Former New England Revolution star Michael Parkhurst suited up in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, but it certainly didn’t go well for him or his Nordsjaelland teammates. They dropped a 4-0 decision to the reigning champs from Chelsea.
Here’s a look at other American Exports who were in action on Tuesday, and a preview of the Champions League matchup on Wednesday that pits US international Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht against US defender Oguchi Onyewu and Málaga.
Get the Kick-Off delivered to you!
Enter your email address and favorite team below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.