MLS- Toronto FC

Mid-Day Musings (On the Galaxy, the Red Bulls, Wambach's tackle and Crew Stadium shenanigans)

Galaxy Celebration (ISIphotos.com)

It is Wednesday afternoon on an extremely slow news day in the soccer world (well, except for that big game in London in a few hours) and I'm trying to come up with topics as I await some interviews here at the New York Red Bulls practice facility.

This post is a bit more blog-ish than the standard SBI news fare, which may become a new trend as we move forward. I wanted to go over some topics to discuss as everyone counts down to Chelsea-Barcelona.

Here are some topics I wanted to touch on:

How good or bad is the Los Angeles Galaxy? I personally haven't been impressed when I've watched the Galaxy play, but you can't deny that LA has been IN every game its played this year, and LA is unbeaten on the road. Does that mean LA is a good team? I won't go that far yet, but the veteran-laden team is showing something. They probably deserve more credit than I've given them and they'll have a chance to prove that vs. Real Salt Lake and Seattle.

The Anton Peterlin story created quite a buzz in American soccer circles, but it should be pointed out that Peterlin has yet to actually sign a contract with Everton. He has an offer he won't be able to accept until the summer and he still has a season to play with the Ventura County Fusion. From what I have heard, Peterlin is very much a project and anyone who thinks he's close to stepping on the field at Everton should probably slow their enthusiasm. Top European clubs make speculation signings all the time, so the 'Cap Peterlin' cheer can probably wait.

I know people want to hear my take on the Red Bulls. That will come later today. What I will say is that while there's no denying that the club is off to an awful start, the fan clamor for the dismissal of head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is a head-scratcher. Apparently helping the Red Bulls to their first MLS Cup just six months ago doesn't mean much to some Red Bulls fans these days. I have a feeling that the frustration has to do with 13 mostly-disappointing years than six terrible weeks.

The Red Bulls practiced on their grass field for the first time this year and let's just say the players are happy about training on grass. When asked how it felt to train on the real stuff, Juan Pablo Angel let out a sigh and his reaction was one of a very relieved player. Angel has been dealing with back pain all season, pain he has attributed, at least in part, to training full-time on turf.

Canadian defender Andrew Hainault is off to a good start with the Houston Dynamo, which has to leave Toronto FC fans wondering how TFC didn't snatch up the Canadian Under-23 central defender. I know Toronto has some other defenders in mind for the summer, but with Hainault looking like a pretty good player, you have to wonder whether Toronto missed the boat on that one.

Now I'm not saying Abby Wambach meant to injure Daniela, but it is definitely an interesting coincidence that Wambach injures a Brazilian national team player badly less than a year after she suffered her own broken leg against the Brazilian national team (an injury that caused her to miss the Olympics. I think it's just a coincidence and a clumsy challenge, but I can't help but wonder what the media in Brazil are saying (assuming the media in Brazil is paying WPS any mind).

The Cuauhtemoc Blanco-Jair Marrufo jersey swap story has begun to fade and one thing I can't help but notice is that for the second time in three months a Mexican was caught doing something he wasn't supposed to at Crew Stadium. Mexican national team assistant coach Paco Ramirez was caught slapping Frankie Hejduk outside the Crew locker rooms following the USA-Mexico match. So if you're Mexican, and you're at Crew Stadium, don't think you're getting away with anything.

That's all for now. Apologies for the lack of posts so far today, but I'll be back with Champions League commentary of the Chelsea-Barcelona match, as well as notes from today's Red Bulls practice session.

What do you think of the above topics? Think the Galaxy deserve more credit? Did TFC drop the ball on Hainault? Are you a fed up with the Red Bulls, or do you still have some hope?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Ives

    LA is unbeaten ON THE ROAD (For those folks with RSS feeds who won’t notice that I added At Home about five seconds after the initial posting, and ON THE ROAD a minute later). Yes, I eventually figured it out.


  • Joe Goldstein

    While it is true the RBNY went to the cup last year, the results this year have been very similar to last year. Going into a defensive shell and not holding possession at the end of a game is pure suicide and it allows the opposing teams to get into a rhythm and gain points whether they are wins or ties.


  • Cam

    The Galaxy remind me of the 2007 Red Bulls. They might get off to an ok start, but they’ll soon fade from the scene.

    I’m so glad to hear that RBNY is practicing on real grass. Hopefully the stadium opening next year will be the big piece of the puzzle in getting that franchise to prominence.

    Toronto is currently the only MLS team in Canada, but that doesn’t mean that they need to sign every half-decent Canadian player.

    The Wambach tackle was pretty vicious. I’m not saying that she had malicious intent, but it should have warrented a card.


  • RK

    From what I’ve seen…LA got lucky in the DCU game, and should’ve lost, but they didn’t look all that bad. And I watched the Chivas game, but you have to throw that one out — too many cards too really come away with anything. And finally…I watched the Colorado loss “highlights”, and LA looked absolutely dreadful.

    They are a mid-table team with a suspect defense and a superstar. Come tournament time, when LD is traveling, they are toast.


  • Gilby

    I think LA is improving their defense is better than last year and with Edson back I think they will be a little more dangerous going forward. The question becomes how much better? To get into the playoffs they will need to get by one of the two teams they play this week so we should have a much better idea on Monday of their progress.


  • Cam


    There is a report out stating that a stadium plan has been approved for San Jose. Have you heard anything about it?


  • CSD

    I think the story in LA is more than Landon Donovan is good enough to carry a sub par team on his own to respectability in the MLS.


  • CPTKevin

    as far as NYRB goes, the season is early, there’s plenty of time to turn things around. I think they need some stability in the line-up and the team will gel. But, I’m not sure they’ve got the right line-up on the field just yet.


  • Forza

    The buzz right now is all-round the Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Barcelona ( with an american voice). The build up is unprecedented (unlike anything I can remember).


  • Pura Vida/Sao Paulo


    No mention of Daniela’s injury in the Brazilian media, sorry. Apart formt he Wordl Cup & Marta’s signing with LA, I’ve never seeen one mention of women’s soccer int eh Brazilia press.


  • ELAC

    OMG, Ives is a Galaxy ass-kisser!

    Please, win a game LAG. Without a PK. Then tell me there’s something.


  • alex

    No need to scratch your head Ives. Most of us who are calling for his dismissal are the same people that scratch their heads regarding his “tinkering” with every game. Yes, they did get to the finals last year and whether or not it was a fluke is yet to be determined. The fans are not only frustrated but so are the players, just look at Angel’s face. Osorio continues to complicate a game that many of these players have learned to “keep simple.” Unfortunately, it appears that “The Professor” never taught a course in chemistry!


  • Barry U

    Your comment on Perterlin makes me think of something. This says to me that if more US trained kids had EU passports the #’s going over to the UK might grow. If Peterlin is a “project” like you say then guys how are more highly regard/polished would should be moving more often. Right? But they don’t becuase of passport issues. I think we have good young guys in the US right now and if they would be able to move around a little more easily it would grow the depth of the US pool.


  • crazysteve

    Anybody know why ESPN doesn’t carry the HD feed from the Champions League games? I am sure its being broadcast in Europe in HD? Will the CL final be in HD at least?


  • MVK

    “So if you’re Mexican, and you’re at Crew Stadium, don’t think you’re getting away with anything”

    good for a chuckle


  • Dannyc58


    You have to admit JCO tinkers way too much, and plays players out of position way too much.

    Its ridiculous.


  • Colin

    hey Ives, funny you mentioned the Galaxy right off the bat today… I was thinking about the power rankings you had up a few days ago, and then remembered that the Galaxy are UNBEATEN in their last four… I don’t think any other MLS team can say that (emphasis on THINK), so doesn’t that count for something? Sure, they needed a PK to beat NYRB, but PKs still count the same as regular goals, right?

    LA’s defense is getting better each game, and when they get back a healthy Buddle and Beckham decides to make an appearance I think their anemic offense will improve. If they can just manage to get a point every game until then, they’ll be just fine…


  • dantheblue

    All this Galaxian hatred. Give me a break. I go to all the Galaxy games and I’ve left HDC scratching my head several times so far this year wondering what in the world is going on… Still, they are getting better.

    Midfield is horrible in LA. They have such a hard time moving through the mid. I’d like LD to go to the mid and put Buddle up top with Gordon. Now that Edson is back, Gordon is versitle enough to handle the role. Buddle is a monster. He go no credit for his game by Ives on Saturday but he held the ball, distributed well, had a good work rate, and seemed to be in the action most of the game.

    Back to Mid- Kovalenko isn’t my favorite and Kirovski hasn’t shown me anything in 13 years. That kid Miglioranzi has promise but I really like Jordan. I like his heart, his work rate, and hope he can build up his strength so that he can find a 90′ role on the team.

    Once LD is gone on USMNT duties, I’m comfortable with the lineup. I think that solid defence and excellent goaltending will carry them over the summer.

    True, Ives, they do look slow but they are smart and have solid leadership in Berghoffer, Klien, and Lewis. I mean, I’m 48 and slow and fat and I still can kick the arses of the high school basketball players I teach cuz I’m smarter than they are at the game…


  • hendrix

    Hainault has played 48 minutes in MLS… not even a full game. let’s judge him on more than 48 minutes.


  • Tom P

    I’ve got a question for you all out there:

    Do you think it is about time the MLS got a Maek Cuban type owner who pushed and proded the league on all the points that it now ignores or plays down?

    Just wondering what Ives and all of you thought.


  • MetroStone

    JCO’s tenure

    early 08 – tinker with lineups, play people out of position, no signs of consistency

    later 08 – bring in mercenaries, tinker with lineups, play people out of position, no signs of consistency, barely make playoffs due to DCU’s inability to miss the post

    playoffs 08 – bench a majority of recent signings, go with a set formation and lineup (barring injury) win TWO (yep only two) games in a row to get into MLS Cup, get throttled by a deserving Columbus Crew

    early 09 – back to tinkering with lineups, playing people out of position, no consistency, resulting last place in the East

    So other than good timing for two wins in a row, what has JCO done well???


  • Jane

    If LA gets any points this week, I would be shocked, playing two good home teams, even though they (as usual) have been gifted some opponents’ red card suspensions.


  • tilt215


    Why do people like you put so much stock in JCO getting RB to the cup last year? Having been a supporter for many years (it pains me to say this, but itstrue), while it was great to see them in the cup the fact that a team with a losing record made the cup was just disgraceful to the league. Let’s also not forget that the only reason we made the cup is first because DC loved hitting the woodwork (remember we failed to clinch the spot when we got destroyed in chicago) and then luck was still on our side against Salt lake. Let’s also remember that we are missing a major component of that with Van Den Bergh. Spin it whatever way you want, but he didnt want to leave NY. His decision to leave stemmed from them not wanting to pay him what he was promised in his contract. When he realized that they were screwing him out of 6 figures he said, well then I want to go to Dallas. He has said as much himself.

    The players JCO signs are awful (with the exception of promise shown by Kandji but 1 good apple out of the whole bunch is just pitiful).

    For a soccer genuis, he doesnt seem to understand his team, his players, or his league. He has consistantly come up with the worst lineups I have ever seen and can not maintain a lineup for more than a single game.

    The players look frustrated on the field, the fans (the few that still show up) look frustrated in the stands, and all the while JCO makes stupid comments about his team “deserving points” out of games where they play like trash. JCO = worst coach in the history of the team. We have been calling for his head pretty much since he started. In fact, one of the busiest threads on metrofanatic was started in June of 2008 titled FIRE Juan Carlos. This is not a new feeling amongst supporters, but one that has been there for quite some time now.

    Why do so much of the media support him? He has brought nothing to the table for this league. He has taken an already struggling team and dug them even deeper.

    IS IT STILL A HEAD SCRATCHER FOR YOU? the only head scratcher to me is why people like you fawn over him so much. Get off it, he is awful and you saying otherwise does not speak highly for your knowledge of the game, the team, or the league.


  • D. Griffin

    Ives, the “comment” about Wambach is the sort of garbage I expect from Fox News. You have absolutely no evidence that Wambach deliberately set out to severely foul and injure Daniela because she is a Brazilian player. All you have is the “coincidence” that she is a Brazilian, and she broke her leg, just like the Brazilian’s challenge did to Wambach. Sometimes a coincidence, is just that, a random event that has no significance except to conspiracy theorists and those who wish to stir up controversy.


  • Haig

    I’m not getting it, Ives. I won’t grant JCO’s evaluations of how unlucky we are because he makes excuses every week. Is it time to fire him? Maybe not. But there are virtually no tangible signs of progress. Hell, we might have moved the ball better in the first 20 minutes against Seattle than we did last week.


  • Stumpy's Bear

    What’s the TV coverage for US at Costa Rica? Everything I’ve seen has “TBA.” Surely this game will be televised? It will be one of the US’s most intense and challenging match-ups!


  • JM

    It isn’t fair to judge the Galaxy since they just recently gained access to their full roster.

    Are the 5 goals in 2 games given up with Saunders and Sannah in the lineup indicative of the team? Or are the two goals in four games given up since Donovan Ricketts regained his health, and Berhalter and Dunivant have joined the fray?

    Is the offense really just Landon Donovan? Or will that change when Edson Buddle gets in game shape?


  • Dave M

    Haig, I agree that Osorio should feel some heat, but let’s face it, you’ve hated Osorio from jump. If I had a nickle for every negative Osorio you’ve written here and on Metrofanatic I could buy the Red Bulls myself.

    And Tilt125, please don’t speak for all Red Bulls fans. Just because you and a handful of other fans are vocal about hating Osorio doesn’t mean the entire fanbase wants him gone.


  • sonicdeathmonkey

    Stumpy, not sure where you are looking, but the ESPN guide clearly says its on ESPN2 at 10:30PM.


  • dantheblue

    JM, Sannah was simply SLOW. Ives thinks the Galaxy looks slow without him… With him they were tortoises. The rookies were working too hard to cover for his being out of position so often. Then Saunders? don’t think he’s “got it”… Maybe with some time under his belt…


  • Greg

    I totally agree with JM on the Galaxy topic. LA is not nearly as bad as everyone make them out to be. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t very good but they certainly aren’t the terrible team every article I read depicts them to be.

    It’s too early to tell where the team will go but the recent additions to the lineup are starting to pick it up. Remember what Drew Carey said. LA is the expansion team and I think they’re slowly finding their feet and will end up in playoff contention.

    As for the JCO fiasco, it reminds me of the ’05 Galaxy when Sampson ‘led’ us to the Cup. Every supporter wanted him fired throughout the entire season. The fact that we made it to the MLS Cup and won has everything to do with a little bit of luck (I still can’t believe Pando scored!) and a few good performances strung together at exactly the right time. It didn’t change the way the supporters felt about Sampson as a whole at all.


  • lou

    Ives your probibly rite, the frustration we feel as fans of the red bulls can be at least partly attributed to our dismal history, but that isn’t where all our frustration has come from. He may have gotten us to the finals last year, but

    A. that was mostly attributed to luck and the player’s heart

    B. Last year is not this year, and so far this year we are probibly equal to a strong usl2 team.


  • MetroStone


    at least you put RBNY equal to a usl2 team, last year we lost to one.


  • Haig

    “Haig, I agree that Osorio should feel some heat, but let’s face it, you’ve hated Osorio from jump. If I had a nickle for every negative Osorio you’ve written here and on Metrofanatic I could buy the Red Bulls myself.”

    Seems like I turned out to be right. Deal with it, learn from it.


  • Osori-oh-no

    I like the blog style post as opposed to just posting news stories. It adds a little life and insight to the posts, instead of just reporting what can be found on various other sites. I think it also sparks the discussions a little bit better.


  • smokedgouda

    Van Den Bergh is sorely missed, his creative abilities have not been fully replaced yet.

    Ives, you never mentioned the Cosmos story that has resurfaced. What are your thoughts on the chances that a Wilpon/2nd NY team will happen and if so, be called the Cosmos?


  • Travis in Miami

    It can be said that Osorio helped the RedBulls to the final last year but I will maintain that the groundskeeper for for that field in Houston helped jsut as much. That field was in terrible shape and allowed a team accustomed to playing on a fast surface to have the advantage. Who was the star of that game again? Oh yes, the very very fast Dane Richards. Beating RSL is another story. Everyone gets a little lucky sometimes. I think NY used it all in that game.

    Osorio is by far the most overhyped, over rated coach. should have stuck with the Bruce. LA is certainly better and defensively are in the upper half of the league.


  • lou

    metrostone, i was being generous when i said that, but this year we beat a usl2 team so i think i was probibly accurate with my comparison. Still it is pretty sad, and i think a lot of people need to realize what happened last year was in the past, what about the here and now? So far all i can see rite now is a bunch of uninspired, underacheiving players, losses, and a horrible soccer coach at the helm.


  • Anonymous

    How did TFC miss out on Hainault? Houston had discovery on him. It wouldn’t be worth paying off Houston and Hainault’s salary for a guy at Hainault’s level.


  • Mark

    No mention of the Daniela injury in Globo, the be-all-and-end-all of Brazilian media.

    Also, Peterlin would much rather play for Denmark than the U.S.

    Thanks for the info. Keep it coming.


  • artificer

    Hainault has had at least one huge defensive lapse/”swing and miss” moment in each appearance for Dynamo, including his 48 minute regular season debut, so….then again, that would qualify him perfectly for TFC’s back line…


  • BlueWhiteLion

    I really saw no vicious tackle by Wambach. Clumsy, but I just couldn’t decipher “vicious.”

    LA are a weird and developing case, but they are better than their complete bottom feeder rankings (12 is pretty low). They will move up.


  • George

    Dantheblue, you lost me at “Gordon”. I just can’t see a reason that you’d want to play him. His downsides hugely outweigh his upsides.


  • inkedAG

    Ok, here’s the thing with RBNY. Osorio didn’t lead a thing! They got into the playoffs as a fluke. If DC had won, none of the MLS Cup run would have happened. They team was absolute garbage for most of the season and most of JCO’s signings were busts. All RBNY did was play decent enough in a few playoff games and that’s all.

    Now this season, we trade our best player for a benchwarmer. Let me say it again, Ives, our BEST player for a BENCHwarmer!!! We have a coach that changes lineups and formations like people change underwear. A coach with no talent evalutaion (looks like this year’s signings are just as awful as last year’s signings), no tactical skills (hey let’s sign a Left midfielder and have him play right back!) and the team looks absolutely lost every single game.

    So the team is where it is and it’s pretty obvious what the problem is. No head scratching needed!


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer


A busy week for the USL kicks off Friday night in Kansas City with last year’s western conference champions, Swope Park Rangers, taking on current leaders, San Antonio FC. Reno 1868 FC’s match (…)