MLS- D.C. United

Monday Observations: On Luciano Emilio, Wilman Conde and the U.S. Open Cup


                                                                                  Photo by ISIphotos.com

With MLS All-Star Game balloting set to close on Wednesday, one player has made a stronger late push than any other to be included in the Starting XI that will face West Ham United next month. None other than reigning MLS MVP Luciano Emilio.

There are two forward slots up for grabs and Landon Donovan put a hammer lock on one of them with his amazing first two months of the season. The second forward spot looked to be going to Kenny Cooper, who has been a one-man wrecking crew for FC Dallas, but Emilio’s recent hot-streak has forced him into the picture.

Emilio’s seven goals and one assist in D.C. United’s past four matches (all wins) is an insane goal tally and one that will earn him plenty of late votes, but you wonder if his terrible first two months will wind up costing him.

Will D.C. fans be able to get enough votes in to help push Emilio over the top? Will MLS players and coaches penalize Emilio for his awful first two months of the season? Will U.S. soccer fans vote for Cooper in hopes of sending a statement to U.S. soccer coach Bob Bradley? it really is a tough call.

I sent my vote in last night and I voted for Cooper. Emilio had an amazing month but Cooper has been steady all year on an underachieving FC Dallas team. I don’t have a problem saying that if you put Cooper on D.C. United I think Cooper has about 15 goals right now instead of eight.

Who do you think deserves the nod?

Conde’s latest dust-up

Here’s a simple question for you. If you were a player who were desperate to be traded what would you do to force a trade? You would probably go public with your desire to leave and if that didn’t work you might sulking around in hopes of your bad mood forcing a deal. If all else fails? You could start a fight with your team’s best player.

Now I’m not saying that’s why Wilman Conde wound up in a fist fight with Cuauhtemoc Blanco, but it sure is fodder for conspiracy theorists. Isn’t it?

And no, there is no news on the McBride trade front. I will post on that later.

U.S. Open Cup a scheduling nightmare

Will there ever come a day when MLS and U.S. Soccer reach some sort of agreement on a reasonable scheduling of the U.S. Open Cup? Something needs to be done because the current set-up is ridiculous.

Consider the plight of the Houston Dynamo, which has to travel to Charleston to face the Battery in U.S. Open Cup play before traveling to Real Salt Lake for a game just TWO DAYS LATER. Then you have the Red Bulls, who just played in California on Saturday, have to drive down to Baltimore for Open Cup play on Tuesday, then fly to Colorado for a game on Friday.

It’s a complete nightmare and something that should have been resolved by now considering MLS has been around for a dozen years. I know part of the problem is available weekends and the league’s unwillingness to give up too many of them for the Open Cup, but perhaps some schedule massaging can take place where East Coast teams face other East Coast teams around the Open Cup dates so as to cut down on travel. Sometime needs to be done because the travel demands, not to mention the actual game-playing demands, are a lot to ask for teams with rosters that aren’t exactly deep.

What do you think of any of these subjects? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

  • SeaOtter

    Imagine what you’d get with Cooper up in front of Beckham. I have to believe he’d be outdoing Lando.


  • David Berger

    I wish the U.S. Open Cup was more important. It seems like no one in the MLS cares about it. NY’s game tomorrow won’t even be on T.V. šŸ˜¦


  • Carl Setterlund


    I know the Revs are playing the Richmond Kickers in New Britain, CT tomorrow and then have to fly out to play the Galaxy on the 4th of July. The impression I got was that they’re not thrilled about that prospect. So much for fresh legs.


  • 3VIL L33T

    Simple Fix for mls/open cup scheduling

    send in the reserves

    with this and superliga coming up I hope the Dynamo try something new and pair up Ching with Kyle Brown or Guy-Roland Kpene



    Leave Emilio at home. Buddle,Beckham,Donovan will destroy out of shape West Ham. Once again LEAVE EMILIO AT HOME!!!


  • Thirsty Poet

    As a Fire fan, I do not want to see Conde go… at least not right now. I have lost respect for him as a person, but I am still amazed at his talents on the field. As a player, he brings something special to the backline that has been struggling for the past month. The Fire need to hold onto him until we can figure out how to solve our problems and get out of the slump, then I would like to see him given a suitcase and a one way ticket out of Chicago.


  • KingSnake

    The true solution is to adopt a European format of league matches on Saturday and cup matches on Wednesday. Thus no two-day conflicts.

    Oh, and open up the rosters so the teams can have enough players to support a realistic schedule.


  • SeaOtter


    You obviously haven’t seen (or have conveniently forgotten) the sitters that Lando likes whiff.

    Cooper doesn’t miss those. Plus Bob doesn’t call him in for the Nats.


  • brett

    Thirsty Poet – its either drop him at the transfer window and get something, or lose him at the end of the year due to the end of his contract…. personally id rather see him traded to help us then to lose him and get nothing….

    his skills are above most in the league, but he’ll be leaving in jan for free…lets get something from him at least


  • Tom

    MLS does not give a crap about how the scheduling impacts the play on the field.

    Logistics and TV rule.


  • Mike

    KC is flying out to Carolina today, then straight from there to Dallas for their game on the 4th. Should they advance they’ll play in either LA or Seattle next Tuesday before flying back to KC to take on NY on Thursday. Then on Friday they have a friendly scheduled against Atlas of Mexico.


  • Bootsy

    What do you mean, “Will D.C. fans be able to get enough votes in to help push Emilio over the top?” Many of us don’t want *any* of our players in the All-Star game; we have a league match two days before and don’t need a meaningless exhibition sucking away players. In fact, I wish everyone would get to work voting for Houston players.


  • northzax

    and Bootsy, let’s not forget a nicely pissed off and motivated Emilio is a bad thing for everyone else…he knows the club loves him, he knows the RFK crowd loves him, let him take out his frustration on the rest of the league.


  • brett

    Bootsy – finally someone who speaks with reason…

    i voted for players from other teams, b/c i dont want any fire players to go…. of course Blanco is a sure thing :-/, thats all we need is a meaningless game where he could get injured, or at the very least, tired….

    Segares is deserving, but i dont want him to play it… i want him fresh for the Fire, plain n’ simple….


  • MiamiAl

    Even though I think Emilio deserves to be on the All- Star team, I think he should not be voted on it, simply because, I would hate to risk D.C. United’s most important player on a useless game against a scrub EPL team. Let Cooper have it! I wouldn’t want to risk Donovan either, for the sake of the NATS.


  • CD

    The MLS can send their subs to the US Open Cup and another USL team can have a better chance of getting into the CONCACAF Champions League. If they make through that off to Club World Cup.

    I think Charleston vs Manchester United in the finals of the Club World Cup would be unique.


  • Barry Jive and His Uptown Five

    How about LA sends Ruiz to Chicago for Conde and the Fire flip Ruiz for the rights to McBride?


  • Ossington Mental Youth

    Barry Jive-

    Why would we (Toronto) take Ruiz? Obviously we need a striker but one that is consistent in goal scoring not injuries and attitude. We already have a problem child with Cunny (who we’d have to get rid of). No thanks.

    Also i know you read that on MLSR…


  • Der Kaiser

    Come on OMY, Barry Jive’s deal is brilliant!

    With both Ruiz and Guevara TFC will be the most hated team in the league! Actually LA should give TFC Conde, too…just so we can all watch those three together.


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    For those who are intrested, USLLive will be broadcasting the Battery-Dynamo,Carolina-Wizards, and Chivas-Sounders games free of charge. I watched the Sounders-Hollywood United game on there last week, and the video quality was just fine.


  • papa bear

    @Posted by: Barry Jive and His Uptown Five | June 30, 2008 at 05:04 PM

    I’ve been saying that very thing for almost a month now ever since Gullit said that Ruiz is 1 forward too many for LA and at the price they need other things.

    @Posted by: Ossington Mental Youth | June 30, 2008 at 06:19 PM

    Because he is a legit 20 goal scorer in this league and isn’t as huge of an injury threat as you make him out to be…plus McBride doesn’t want to play in Toronto. Seems like a good recipe for the move.

    Taking Ruiz is better than sitting on an allocation and getting nothing by the end of the year when it is taken away from you. (assuming you don’t finish bottom table again which is doesn’t look like you will)


  • Ossington Mental Youth

    Papa Bear,

    There are talks of a DP striker coming and Ruiz would hinder that. This is not to mention the fact that Conde only (supposedly wants to play for NYRB).

    Why would we gamble with another Cunny like striker when we can go out and look for something better (like allocations, drafts and international spots).

    We have no more room on our senior roster for player so i really doubt our FO will be allocating space to the likes of Ruiz.

    Ill gladly admit im wrong when it happens but at this time it doesnt make any sense from a TFC supporters perspective.


    We wont be taking nothing for an allocation. That is a dead horse that has been beaten into a steak. Not necessarily one that anyone wants to eat.


  • Ossington Mental Youth


    Nothing would bring me greater joy then to become the most hated team in the MLS.

    Especially if we win like a good hated team should.


  • liverpool_SC

    Edson Buddle has had a better year than Cooper (and I am a DC fan). Cooper cannot create his own shot the way that Buddle can and he is not as creative with the ball at his feet. Cooper is a good player, to be sure, but Buddle has been amazing. It is great to have two big forwards in the league with the technical ability of these guys. If Cooper had another yard or two of pace he would be a world-beater. If Buddle had Cooper’s consistent work-ethic and drive, he would be the complete forward that Bob Bradley cannot find anywhere.

    It is too bad that FC Dallas cannot figure out how to reward its best players and it is great that Gullit is getting the best out of Buddle after all of these years of wasted time.

    As other DC fans mentioned, I like Gonzolo Martinez and Emilio for the season that they have been having, but would prefer they spend a few low-key days at home after a strong run in USOC, Superliga and a big win against Houston.


  • Sgc

    As a DC fan, if I could put one guy on the all star team it would be Martinez and not Emilio. Ives is right–for an award based on half a season of play, you can’t take half of that half off.

    re: Cooper, it’s true he doesn’t create “his own shot,” but in front of Beckham he wouldn’t have to. He’d probably have a ton of goals.


  • SeaOtter

    I agree that Buddle has had a great season so far, but its that consistency tag he has around his neck. Hopefully, he can string another season onto the back of this one. Both he and Donovan have a tremendous advantage over Cooper in that they do get very good service, at least from the right side. šŸ™‚

    I don’t get the Cooper doesn’t create his own shot. I’m not sure what is meant by that. If, by that you mean that he has to have perfect service to score, then I would disagree. He’s had enough chances where, without his work on the ball, there would’ve been no scoring opportunity.


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