BY MIKE DONOVAN
Despite displaced ribs and a bruised hip, Whitecaps starting centerback Brad Rusin has vowed that he will be available when the club takes on their Cascadia Cup rival Portland Timbers. Vancouver has little in the way of depth as Jay DeMerit and Andy O’Brien are still out with injuries of their own.
Rusin left the Whitecaps loss Saturday to Philadelphia after he found himself unable to run due to his hurt hip. Rusin doesn’t think his injuries will sideline him from Saturday’s game, however.
“The displaced ribs are just killing me, but I’ll play through it,” Rusin told the Province newpaper. “I’m just kind of banged-up, but as defenders, you throw your body around. You’re trying to block everything you can, you’re going up for headers, coming down awkwardly. You’re going to come up with knocks here and there.”
Here are some more news and notes from around the Western Conference heading into MLS Week 23 action:
Chivas USA’s reserve team gave up a two-goal lead to the Sounders reserve team on Monday, but Chivas USA assistant coach Marco Fabian was still happy with his team’s effort. Fabian, who is the head coach of the reserves, formerly was the head coach of Chivas Guadalajara’s U-20 squad.
Steve Purdy, who had been with El Salvador for most of July for the Gold Cup, saw action for the first time this month for the Goats. The Chivas USA reserves are 2-2-1 in reserve league play and have played a MLS-low five matches so far this season.
Saturday was a big night for Edson Buddle as the former U.S. international received his 2012 MLS Cup ring and had an assist in the Rapids 2-0 victory over his former club, the LA Galaxy. Buddle started the season with a variety of injuries and has yet to return to his pre-injury form.
“Each and every day, I’m getting fitter,” Buddle told the club’s website. “I’m not as fit as I’d like to be, but [there are] challenges, and I’m looking forward to overcoming them.”
Buddle has two goals in his 15 appearances for the Rapids this season.
FC Dallas has tried to loan out forward Bradlee Baladez to an unknown club, but Baladez has turned down the chance to leave FC Dallas and play elsewhere. Dallas Technical Director Fernando Clavijo is still pursuing the loan, however.
“Unfortunately, we have a place for Bradlee and right now he chooses not to take it,” Clavijo told the Dallas Morning News. “But again, we’re going to review with him today because I think he needs to play, he needs to go and get games.”
The homegrown player has seen just 27 minutes of league action this season.
Even though he has not returned to full training after sustaining a hip injury in the Galaxy’s 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on July 13, Robbie Keane is hoping to return to the field for LA’s next league match. Luckily for Keane, the Galaxy don’t return to MLS play until August 11th, when they take on FC Dallas.
Keane did return to practice Monday, but he has yet to take part in a full workout. Even though he has appeared in just 12 matches, Keane leads the club with seven goals and eight assists.
The Portland Timbers lead MLS with 10 draws, and while their goal is to win every match, head coach Caleb Porter believes draws can have a calming effect in the locker room.
“When you tie, you stay a little more level,” Porter told the Portland Tribune. “Your locker room is a little easier to manage. By not losing, even though we maybe haven’t won as much as some teams, we haven’t lost as much. Because of that, we’ve kept our spirit better.”
REAL SALT LAKE
Jason Kreis was unable to talk to Peter Vermes about his hopes for the amount of playing time the trio of RSL all-stars would have during Wednesday’s match against AS Roma. Kreis has been without Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran, and Nick Rimando since the beginning of July due to their Gold Cup participation.
“I would have liked to have had that, but Pete’s a pretty busy guy,” Kreis told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I think he gets it. I don’t think I need to tell him I don’t want my players to play or I want them to play as little as possible. Hopefully he gets that message and understands it. Maybe it’s a discussion we don’t need to have.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
After Monday’s announcement that the Earthquakes new stadium will not be ready until midway through next season, Quakes President Dave Kaval has taken to the club’s website to explain why the stadium opening has been pushed back.
According to Kaval, “the delay has been due to numerous unforeseen challenges related to the site during demolition and grading, while we were getting the site prepared to pour foundations and erect steel.”
Construction workers also found underground vaults on the site that contained a variety of items including some type of munitions. Until their midseason move to their new digs, the club will continue to play at their current home, Buck Shaw Stadium.
Six months after becoming the Seattle Sounders first homegrown player, DeAndre Yedlin now finds himself as a MLS All-Star. The rookie from the University of Akron was named to the all-star team by Commissioner Don Garber. Despite his early success, Yedlin is already looking ahead.
“Obviously I still have a long, long way to go,” Yedlin told the Seattle Times. “There’s still a ton that I need to work on. I know I’m nowhere near where I want to be. I just have to keep pushing, stay humble, and the rest will come.”