MLS Comes out Strong in Support of Don Garber
The long-standing MLS commissioner, who joined the league from the NFL in the days where the league underwent contraction, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The MLS community, well known for looking after its own, has come out in support of the commissioner on social media and Garber has been overwhelmed with good wishers. Happily, he is able to continue with his usual work and is expected to make a good recovery. I join everyone else in wishing him a speedy recovery.
Quincy Amarikwa can Relieve Pressure on Mike Magee
Last year’s MVP has been busy in the off-season, largely uninvolved, and getting the big contract he was playing the Chicago Fire for. While Mike Magee has been busy playing very little football for genuine reasons as well, he has left quite the void at the spearhead of the Fire attack.
Step forward Quincy Amarikwa. Amarikwa has never been able to pin down a club or score regularly in MLS. The longest time he spent at a club was two years with the Rapids. Even there, he only scored three goals. Since joining the Fire in 2013, after being rejected by the Red Bulls, he’s hit one in four at the club ,with 6 in 20 games. This season, he has managed to fill Magee’s void with several goals, some of excellent quality too. With Magee returning to the fore, it will be interesting to see if the two can form a partnership that can fire them to the playoffs, something that was just missed out on last year.
Jack McInerney is not the Total Solution
Even to the casual viewer, it was clear just how much Montreal relied on Italian legend Marco Di Vaio last year. The plan was simple, get the ball through the backline for the pacey veteran to chase. It was made more obvious by the ridiculous amounts of offside calls that come with that type of forward.
With Montreal’s midfield severely limited, with the likes of Felipe inconsistent, and Bernier uncreative, Montreal became stuck in the second half of the season. With a new coach in, it is strange how little he has changed. The aging, weak back four remains. The midfield has hardly improved. With a lukewarm start, Klopas has reacted by bringing in McInereny, a striker, in. It might seem odd as they possess goal threat, but they have at least created a formidable strike duo, who instantly hit it off in their debut together against Fire, with JackMac and Di Vaio combining for their goal. It might look good, but the Impact stil have way too many issues that remain unsolved.
Vincent Nogueira is one of the Season’s Best Signings
A reported $400,000 may not seem a lot, but in MLS it is a large sum. You’d expect that sort of money to be repaid. Luckily for the new look Philadelphia Union, so far, it has. Slotting into a midfield that is held together by American Maurice Edu, Nogueira has helped turn Philly into a top midfield unit, but also made them far more formidable than last year.
Already possessing a creator in Sebastien LeToux, the Union look able to create from all areas. It speaks volumes that debutant Andrew Wenger, known for a poor touch that prevents finishing, scored on his debut. The quality of Nogueira’s assist gave the young striker all the time in the world to finish. Watch that assist again, as you will not see too many better this year. The Union look fearsome in that midfield and will be one to watch this season.
No Star Signings, no Win
Alexi Lalas reckons that you could put Messi in the worst MLS team, and they would still be one of the worst. He has a point, although he is being a little extreme. Toronto may have disproved his point mind.
Missing Bradley and Defoe, Toronto were lacklustre from start to finish against Colorado, who were fully deserving of Edson Buddle’s late winner. Toronto may have missed some key players, but the third designated player Gilberto was there, along with Brazilian National Team keeper, Julio Cesar. It is a long season in MLS, but it seems that Toronto cannot be fixed with four or five key players. For Toronto to reach their lofty ambitions, it seems that they will need their star duo of Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley to appear and perform week in and week out.