MLS West Notes: Trouble brewing for Rapids, Berhalter praised and more

MLS West Notes: Trouble brewing for Rapids, Berhalter praised and more

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MLS West Notes: Trouble brewing for Rapids, Berhalter praised and more

Gary Smith (ISIPhotos.com)

BY ADAM SERRANO

Trouble is brewing in the front office of the Colorado Rapids.

In an interview with the Denver Post, head coach Gary Smith admitted that there is a "relationship issue" between himself and Rapids techincal director Paul Bravo that may see Smith decide not to re-sign with Colorado when his contract is finished at the end of the season.  

"If we can't find some common ground and work together, I'm not shutting the door on that, but if we can't and the ultimate answer is, 'No, it doesn't work,' then there has to be a decision on one or the other," Smith said. "It wouldn't be right for the club, it wouldn't work for me, the team wouldn't be and couldn't be as successful as possible. So that doesn't fit into my plans."

CHIVAS USA

Heath Pearce may make his return to the field on Sunday when Chivas USA take on the LA Galaxy. Pearce, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury, re-injured his hamstring in the build up to the Goats match up against Toronto FC in late September. Although Pearce is unsure that he will return, he admits that he is improving. 

“I'm feeling pretty good and I've been getting lots of touches on the ball and I'm starting to open up my stride,” said Pearce. “It's a matter of how I feel. If I feel like I can play then I'm going to make the case to play, there's always important games, no matter what the situation. This is a team that pays me to play so if you're fit to play then you play.”

FC DALLAS

The dog days of September are over for FC Dallas.

With a victory over the Chicago Fire, FCD clinched a berth in the playoffs and head coach Schellas Hyndman believes that they have rebounded from a dismal stretch that saw the club go 400 minutes without a goal. 

“We had a really difficult month of September with all the traveling and the CONCACAF games and cards and injuries,” head coach Schellas Hyndman told reporters after the game. “And so for us to get the win here was huge because we know we’re in the playoffs and we can maybe start to focus on that.”

LA GALAXY

Omar Gonzalez has become one of the most feared defenders in MLS and he believes thats he owes a lot of that succcess to Gregg Berhalter. 

Berhalter announced on Wednesday that he would be retiring after an 18-year career at the end of the 2011 MLS season. Since Berhalter arrived in 2009, he has served as a mentor for Gonzalez, who is currently enjoying the finest season of his young career. 

"He's been instrumental to my growth and from the very beginning, he's been on my case and making it a mission to help me become one of the best center backs," said Gonzalez. "I really do thank him for that, he's been great with me…I've really looked up to him and it's great to have had him here." 

PORTLAND TIMBERS

Whether or not the Portland Timbers make the playoffs, the club is aware that they've made a number of shrewd acquisitions. 

With the lowest salary in the league, the Timbers remain in the thick of the playoff chase and face a must win game against the Houston Dynamo this weekend. With the highest paid acquisiton being the two million dollars spent to acquire Colombian midfielder Diego Chara, the Timbers are proud of their frugality. 

"You've got to treat that money like it's your own. You can't go spending willy-nilly, blowing someone's hard-earned money and just say, 'If it doesn't work out, it doesn't out,' " Spencer said. "It's not my money and I have to be careful with it."

REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake may be out of the hunt for the Supporters Shield, but RSL can still lock down some silverware on Friday with a victory over the Colorado Rapids in their Rocky Mountain Cup clash. For an RSL team that is eager to lock down the third spot in the west, a victory against their arch-rivals is key. 

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, RSL defender Nat Borchers admitted that the team is looking forward to a result against Colorado. 

“It adds motivation, for sure,” Borchers said. “It's always a heated rivalry game. With the situation being what it is for us, we need points, we need to lock up third place and this a great opportunity for us.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The Earthquakes may not be in the playoff chase, but Chris Wondolowski has made it a mission to chase the club's highest record. Wondolowski recently moved into second place in the club's overall scoring list and sits just 26 goals behind Ronald Cerritos for the all-time club scoring title. Cerritos leads with 61 goals while Wondolowski has 35 for San Jose. 

Wondolowski understands that it's going to take some time, but it is a goal that is totally within his grasp. 

“It’s a goal,” said Wondolowski,  ”I think it’s realistic. I hope it’s realistic. I know it’s out there. … But it’s definitely going to take multiple years to catch him.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

Kasey Keller will play his final regular season game of his illustrious career and Seattle promises to thank him for all of his service. According to the Sounders front office, 60,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes. 

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

The Whitecaps may be out of the playoff hunt, but one member of the club is playing for a title. Brazilian midfielder Camilo has kept pace in the race of the league scoring title and added to his total on Wednesday with one goal in Vancouver's victory over D.C United. With 12 goals in his first season in MLS, Camilo is just two goals behind leaders Chris Wondolowski, Thierry Henry, Landon Donovan and Dwayne De Rosario. 

After his third goal in two games, Camilo told The Province, that he could win the Golden Boot. 

“Yes, of course I have a chance,” he said. “I work hard for this. We have two more games and I try to score more.”

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