By DAN KARELL
Omar Cummings return to the practice field couldn’t come at a better time for the Houston Dynamo.
With Giles Barnes and Anthony Arena two more names to add to the injury list, the Dynamo were pleased to see Cummings participating in full practice for the first time since suffering a right knee injury in April. The forward was acquired last winter from the Colorado Rapids, but has made just two substitute appearances with the Dynamo due to injuries.
Dominic Kinnear’s side are down to the bare bones at some positions, including forward where now Barnes injury, plus the long-term injury to Calen Carr, leaves Will Bruin and Cam Weavers as the only experienced forwards on the club.
The Dynamo are hopefully that Cummings, once returning to full fitness, can re-discover his form from the Rapids title winning season in 2010, where the Jamaican international scored 14 goals and three assists in 29 games. Cummings can make his return on June 19 in the U.S. Open Cup.
Here are some other notes from around the Eastern Conference:
On Wednesday night at PPL Park, one team was playing free-flowing open soccer, taking advantage of open space and poor turnovers in the defensive third. That team wasn’t the Columbus Crew.
On the heels of a 3-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union, head coach Robert Warzycha blasted his side for not playing with “passion.”
“Some of the players didn’t play with the passion and they have to find that,” Warzycha told the Columbus Dispatch. “It’s not just enough to be on the field. Were we tired? Maybe after four games in 10 days we had that in our legs but the goals that we gave up were nothing special. We blocked a shot, we lost a guy on the far post on a corner kick, those are things that you have to read the game better.
“Some guys need to find passion to play soccer.”
With Chad Marshall and Josh Williams nearing a return to full fitness, the defense should be back to it’s expected levels, one of the best in MLS.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
With 23 days in between league matches, the New York Red Bulls have allowed everyone on the staff and playing roster to have a week away to clear their heads and rest up after a busy first three months of the season.
One man though, has taken vacation to a whole new level.
According to reports out of Colombia, Thierry Henry is currently spending time training with Atletico Nacional of Medellin, the club of Juan Pablo Angel, formerly of the Red Bulls, who was just in New York a week ago, and took part in Red Bulls training.
There is another Red Bulls connection, as Atletico’s coach is Juan Carlos Osorio, who managed the Red Bulls from 2007-2009, prior to Henry’s arrival but right in the heart of Angel’s reign in New York.
Newly appointed CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Tim Leiweke promised to season-ticket holders that he would turn Toronto FC into a championship team.
The former President and CEO of AEG, who helped bring David Beckham and Robbie Keane to Major League Soccer, said in a video message that he is there to help fix all the issues with the team, and that if they can sign DP’s of Beckham and Keane’s quality, they will.
“We need to deliver results to you,” Leiweke said in the video message. “I get it. It’s been frustrating to see the energy and the passion you created when this franchise was introduced and then to see the results today. You deserve a championship team.”
One of the interesting sub-plots in the 2013 Philadelphia Union’s season has been the lack of Roger Torres in the lineup.
The Colombian has made the 18 on just a handful of occasions, and prior to Wednesday night, had made just one appearance, the final 10 minutes against Sporting Kansas City in the opener. Manager John Hackworth challenged him to work his way back into the lineup, and Torres was rewarded by playing in the final eight minutes plus stoppage time for the Union in their 3-0 victory over the Columbus Crew.
Earlier this week, Torres rubbished any claims of him wanting to leave the Union, saying that he just wants to wait for his opportunity to get back into the lineup.
The Montreal Impact on Tuesday announced the signing of Canada Under-20 midfielder Zakaria Messoudi, a graduate of the Impact academy.
Messoudi, 19, was born in Morocco but moved to Canada with his family at the age of eight, settling in Montreal. He joined the Impact academy in 2010, working his way to becoming the fifth graduate to sign professional terms with the club, following in the footsteps of Karl Ouimette, Maxim Tissot, Wandrille Lefèvre and Maxime Crépeau.
“I am very excited to have signed my first pro contract with the club,” Messoudi said in a statement. “In a way, it’s a dream that is coming true as I’ve been a part of the club for over three years now and it is the culmination of a lot of hard work.”
Sporting Director Nick De Santis said he believes that Messoudi will play a part in this fall’s CONCACAF Champions League matches.
Chicago Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere has accepted a call to the Estonian National Team, forcing him out of the Fire’s next two matches.
Estonia plays on two friendly matches at home, the first on June 7 against Trinidad and Tobago and the second on June 11 against Kyrgyzstan. The international call up means Lindpere will miss the Fire’s match on Saturday against the Portland Timbers and their U.S. Open Cup match on June 12 against Columbus.
Lindpere, 31, has made 88 appearances for his nation since his debut in 1999.
What do you make of these notes? Do you see Cummings playing a big impact once the Dynamo return to action? Do you agree with Warzycha’s comments? Do you see TFC bringing in a Beckham-quality player?
Share your thoughts below.