1) Landon’s Back and Setting Records!
Sunday night in L.A., Donovan showed great character notching two goals and an assist in the Galaxy’s 4-1 win over Philadelphia, just days after the crushing disappointment of missing out on his fourth World Cup. Will the other guys that coach Klinsmann says are a “little bit ahead” of Donovan respond?
Donovan’s brace makes him the all time MLS leader in goals scored. Although his lack of sustained European success will always be a strike against him, Donovan has had a remarkable career.
Oh, and Maurice Edu added a late pk goal for the Union.
2) And so are …
Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders).
It didn’t generate the same level of outrage or general publicity, but four other quality players were returned to their MLS clubs when Klinsmann’s ax fell on Thursday.
The two other cuts were Terrence Boyd and Joe Corona, neither MLS players. Interestingly, Goodson, Parkhurst, and Edu, all returned to MLS in order to boost their World Cup chances. Parkhurst and Evans were back in action for their clubs on Saturday, and while Edu, and Donovan returned to the pitch Sunday, Goodson was an unused sub for San Jose.
3) Colorado Americans
If you are looking to practice your USA! chants before the World Cup, the Rapids might be the team for you. The Rapids started nine American players in Saturday’s 4-1 walloping Montreal.
And all four goals came from members of Colorado’s Yank contingent. Dillon Powers led the way with two, one from a pk. Shane O’Neill, also eligible to play for Ireland, and Kamani Hill, each contributed a gem to round out the scoring for the Mile High Boys.
4) And Speaking of Young Americans
Is it too soon to start looking ahead to Russia 2018? Klinsmann says yes, despite some very young lineup choices, and we sincerely hope he means it. But nothing is stopping us from taking a glance into our crystal soccer ball.
Colorado duo Powers, the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year and O’Neill, a U.S. U20 star, are legit prospects for the U.S. senior team, and 25 year old keeper Clint Irwin could work his way into the picture too.
And Klinsmann’s scouting bureau will likely be spending some time in New England in the near future. Andrew Farrell and injured Kelyn Rowe have been touted as prospects, and if Teal Bunbury can regain his scoring touch he may have a chance to add to his four caps, none of recent vintage. And it will be interesting to see how Patrick Mullins develops.
But the most exciting, and most difficult N.E. prospect for the U.S. to snare remains Diego Fagundez. A Revs “Homegrown Player,” Fagundez is nonetheless Uruguayan by birth. He has his Green Card and would like to represent the U.S., where the 19 year old has lived since age five.
It’s a long road, will it lead Fagundez to the U.S. MNT?
5) Will Real Salt Lake Ever Lose?
Before the season RSL lost their talismanic coach Jason Kreis to moneybags New York City FC, and now they have lost three of their best players to the World Cup. Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando to the U.S. MNT, and Alvaro Saborio to Costa Rica.
But Coach Jeff Cassar has looked ready for the step up from assistant and Jeff Attinella has filled in nicely for Rimando, and RSL have done well.
But not as well as their L.A. rivals, whom they now share the record for the most games without a loss to start the season. In 1996 the Galaxy roared out a 12-0-0 start, with two shootout wins, and L.A. began 2010 with a 10-0-2 run.