By DAN KARELL
There could be a familiar face sitting on the Vancouver Whitecaps substitutes bench for the first time this season on Saturday with the Los Angeles Galaxy travel north.
Following surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon that cut forced him off in the 6th minute of the Whitecaps season opener, Jay DeMerit is likely to be part of head coach Martin Rennie’s game day squad on Saturday. The U.S. Men’s National Team defender returned to full training a month ago, and had targeted August 24 as the date of his return, with his wedding taking place the next day.
“We’re very close,” DeMerit told WhitecapsFC.com on Thursday after practice. “Now it’s just a matter of continuing to turn that screw and refine and make sure every day we’re improving. I’m looking forward to doing that.”
The 33-year-old center back played 70 minutes in a Whitecaps scrimmage against a local college this week as he continues his impressive recovery from a serious leg injury.
Here are some more stories to catch you up around the league:
NEW CREW OWNER TO MAKE CHANGES
To the Columbus Crew faithful who are tired of the same old, same old, you’re not alone.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, new Crew owner Anthony Precourt outlined a number of changes and decisions he was planning on making, including pushing forward a deal for stadium rights and even changing the team’s logo.
“The name and the colors are great,” Precourt said. “The crest, it’s one of my highest priorities. Man, it’s one of my obsessions. When I go to the league office and look on the wall and see the different logos, I want ours to be really relevant and local and contemporary.”
Precourt also said that he’s in the process of making upgrades to Crew Stadium, and will evaluate the head coach, Robert Warzycha, and technical director, Brian Bliss, who both have contracts ending at the close of this season.
MILLER ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL RETIREMENT
In the days since scoring in Scotland’s 3-2 defeat to England on August 14, Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kenny Miller decided that it was time to end his international career.
The 33-year-old Edinburgh native announced his international retirement on Friday, finishing with 18 goals in 69 appearances for Scotland, the last of which came on one of the grandest of scenes, at Wembley Stadium. Now playing for a team on the west coast of Canada, it’s likely that travel time played a factor in the decision, as well as Scotland’s failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In my time as national coach it has been a pleasure to have a player with (Miller’s) ability and experience in the squad,” Scotland manager Gordon Strachan told the BBC. “He has come to this decision to help prolong his club career and feels that this is the best time bow out. We understand his decision and wish him all the best for the future.”
With games for the Whitecaps before and after the friendly match against England, Miller traveled approximately 9,404 miles from Vancouver to London and then London to Denver, Colorado, where he played 62 minutes in last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids.
THORRINGTON QUESTIONABLE FOR D.C. UNITED
Heading into a match that D.C. United desperately need to win, they could be without one of their best players in midfield.
The oft-injured John Thorrington has been placed on the injury report this week as questionable with a right quad strain. The 33-year-old has played just 11 times this season due to various injuries, though he was a solid contributor with a 90 minute performance last Saturday at the Montreal Impact.
D.C. United already has six players listed as “out” on the injury report, including starters Chris Pontius and Lionard Pajoy.
What do you think of these reports? Excited to see DeMerit nearly complete his comeback? Do you hope he plays vs. the Galaxy? Do you like the changes proposed by Precourt?
Share your thoughts below.