MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS Ticker: MLS players given international call-ups; Ruiz not happy in D.C.; and more

RyanJohnsonJamaicavsMexico (ISIPhotos)


With the FIFA international dates coming closer, and national teams in the CONCACAF region preparing for either Hexagonal play, friendly matches, or both, numerous Major League Soccer players have been chosen to take part.

Jamaica has called up Portland Timbers duo Donovan Ricketts and Ryan Johnson along with Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks to a 12-day training camp, where the Jamaican side will play Tottenham Hotspurs in a friendly match on Wednesday and then The Bahamas on May 31, before three World Cup qualifiers in June.

San Jose Earthquakes pair Marvin Chavez and Victor Bernardez are two of four MLS players chosen by Honduras for a friendly match against Israel on June 2, and then qualifying matches against Costa Rica, Jamaica, and the United States. Mario Martinez of the Seattle Sounders and Jerry Bengtson are also part of the squad.

El Salvador has called in Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy for a training camp and friendly match against Venezuela on Wednesday, while Haiti has selected Sporting Kansas City duo Mechack Jerome and Peterson Joseph for friendly matches against Spain and Italy.

Here are some more stories to get catch you up around the league:


Carlos “El Pescadito” Ruiz has made a pretty nice career for himself in MLS, but playing under D.C. United manager Ben Olsen, Ruiz has struggled to find regular playing time.

The former Guatemala international has played in just seven matches this season, all off the bench, and following a one minute performance in D.C.’s 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, Ruiz went public with his playing time complaints.

“Never in my career I had lived the experience I lived in DC with explanations,” Ruiz told FutbolMLS.com. “I would like to clarify something: I am physically at one hundred percent and this is not something that can be attributed to the fact that I’m injured, sick or have not recovered my physical condition.”

Ruiz added: “To be honest, I do not know anything, I have no idea why I have not been given that opportunity.”

A former MLS MVP, Ruiz has scored 88 career goals in nine MLS seasons with five teams, most notably the Los Angeles Galaxy.


Despite being one of the Montreal Impact’s key players early on this season, Felipe Martins was left off the starting lineup in last Wednesday’s Canadian Championship match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Turns out, it’s because Martins was in the hospital for kidney stones.

The 22-year-old is fully fit now, but before leading up to the match against the Whitecaps Martins had to spend time in the emergency room due to severe pain. The Brazilian midfielder came on in the 62nd minute of the scoreless draw against their Canadian counterparts, but says he didn’t really feel himself on the pitch.

“I wasn’t 100 percent, but when you’re playing a final, you give everything you have,” Martins told MLSSoccer.com. “You want to do everything, but you can’t. … Now I’m good and hopefully I’ll get better every day so I’m ready for the next game.”


A week after hosting former American international Frank Simek and Akpo Sodje on trials, D.C. United has invited three more players to take part in practices, including American forward Mike Grella.

Grella just finished his first season at Scunthorpe United in England’s League One, scoring just once in 25 league appearances. The former Duke Blue Devil has played all across England, first with Leeds United, and since then playing for the likes of Bury, Brentford, Carslisle United, and Swindon Town.

Grella was joined at training on Tuesday by fullback Peter Gregory, who played for the Nottingham Forest U-21’s this past season, and Jesjua Angoy Cruijff from Wigan, who is reportedly the grandson of Netherlands legend Johan Cruijff.


What do you make of this news? How do you see the call-ups affecting MLS teams? Do you see Ruiz leaving this summer? Do you see D.C. United signing Grella?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Matt

    Well, Ruiz is stuck playing behind so many quality strikers. Oh, wait a minute…


    • Josh D

      Ruiz should have looked at the long list of benched strikers Benny has assembled then taken a look at Pajoy’s stats and realized he was never going to play. I’m a DC fan and I hate Ruiz, but even I have to accept that Benny has no idea how to manage strikers or build an attack through them. It’s midfield offense or nothing. Especially because we, DC, are still in a drought – one goal aside. Benny’s job has to be on the line if things don’t improve by June/July. He must mix things up.

      On the flip side: I had really high hopes for Grella. I saw him play a few times with Leeds and thought he’d do well in the Championship. I suppose that’s why I’m not a scout as he’s fallen off the map in a big way. I’m not sure where he fits considering we have a plethora of strikers. He’d just join the list of so-so to bad players we’ve assembled. He won’t fix anything. He won’t add anything to what we have. We already have called back Townsend.

      For my money: Pajoy is a winger. He can dribble and has stamina. His end ball is extremely poor, but he’s just as good with that as a few wingers we’ve tried recently. To get the best out of him, and start playing better strikers, he should be seen as a winger.

      Not happy about Simek only because the only way we’ll get him is to trade. And there’s no point in trading or buying him off another team. We already have depth in the injured/overage defense department.

      On a bright side: The son of Cryuff would be cool. On the downside: Cryuff son, Jordi, was useless and it doesn’t sound like the next generation is any better.


      • Rich

        I would take your comment even further and play Pajoy as a holding midfielder. He is physical, works hard, wins balls and covers a lot of ground. To me he is like a poor mans Demblele who was a striker at Fullham but couldnt’t score to save his life, the next thing you know he is converted to holding midfield and excels and eventually gets a contract at Spurs. I think if you put Pajoy and Kichen as the 2 holding guys with DeLeon ahead of them in the middle and Pontius and Porter on the wings and DeRo up top you would have a pretty balanced line up.


  • William the Terror

    Wow. Jamaica is preparing for the Hex games by playing the Bahamas and a Tottenham team that will be stripped of its players on international duty? That ought to leave them brimming with confidence. Weren’t Belize and a full-strength MK Dons available?


      • Arkie

        Kudos to the Haitian FA for pulling that off. It’s like Puerto Rico vs. Spain x2. I bet the Spanish and Italians love the chance to get hurt against minnows.


      • Sly

        I recall that Puerto Rico vs Spain game. PR’s Goalkeeper Guadette played one of the best games I have ever seen. I believe it was a 2-1 game. Before this i kept hearing how Spain plays down to competition I didnt believe till I saw that game. Haiti has no chance but could still be interesting. Especially if Guadette files a FIFA switch in time for the game.


      • Will

        The Haiti-Spain game is also benefiting Haitian charities in the wake of the earthquake from a few years ago.


    • Sly

      Bahamas is a physical team, and I wouldnt mind seeing Jamaica playing against a good team. Even Tottenham second stringers should be speedy and technically gifted.

      Im more excited that they called up Mattocks, who hasnt been playing that well but should do well at home.

      I wonder how Dane Richards did in England second division.


  • bizzy

    Mike Grella and Frank Simek with DC United???? I’ll definitely order the MLS LIVE package for that…..on a serious note our league is getting interesting


    • bizzy

      ….and if not for anything else I like where Ben Olsen’s mind is; trying to get US players wasting in lower leagues (that once had potential) and bring them to MLS, with knowledge and a different coaching experience, to compete….awesome


  • fischy

    “reportedly the grandson of Netherlands legend Johan Cruijff.” Might be related to Johan Cruyff, too. We’re waiting on the paternity tests….


    • William the Terror

      Mom have a little too much fun at the 74 World Cup, did she? I kid. I kid.


  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    Hey Ben, I saw some kids kicking a round ball down on the mall…Oh wait it was red and they were running bases. Never mind.


  • Chupacabra

    Ruiz has played for five MLS teams now. Only three to go and he’ll finally get his free footlong from Subway.


  • Michael

    When does Canada announce its roster for its upcoming friendly? (I have Will Johnson on my fantasy team.)


    • Neruda

      Thanks for reminding me of that. I also have Will Johnson on my fan. team. If portland loses the Johnsons I don’t think it will set them back too much since they now have quality depth.


  • Neruda

    Martins playing after being in the hospital with a kidney stone? That’s crazy because they are incredibly, incredibly, incredibly painful. I’m not sure of the timing here but if he played before passing the stone then I have much respect for Martins.


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