By DAN KARELL
Though the Los Angeles Galaxy would rather focus on their final game of the Major League Soccer regular season, they’re a bit preoccupied at the moment with the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Galaxy, who are currently in El Salvador preparing for their CCL Group Stage match against Isidro Metapan, are one of four MLS teams in action this week and will have to stretch their squads thin when trying to keep players fresh for the important league action. Head coach Bruce Arena isn’t happy about the scheduling situation, with a game in El Salvador followed by another one four days later in Seattle, but he’s putting the blame on himself.
“I think that the whole exercise of us playing this week is stupid,” Arena told LA Galaxy Insider. “I take the majority of the blame for that. I should not have allowed this to happen. It is poor communication and procedure on a part of the LA Galaxy, CONCACAF and MLS. This shouldn’t have happened at this time.”
Arena claimed in the report from Galaxy training earlier this week that MLS and CONCACAF had held discussions but couldn’t come to an agreement to move the games away from the final week of the MLS regular season.
Here are some more stories from around the league:
JACKSON AND FERREIRA FINED FOR HALFTIME TUSSLE
FC Dallas midfielders Jackson and David Ferreira learned on Wednesday that they were both reprimanded and fined by Major League Soccer for their actions last Saturday at halftime.
The two players nearly came to blows moments after the halftime whistle blew and teammate Andrew Jacobson came between the two to keep the emotions from spilling over any more than they did. However, in response to the actions, the MLS Disciplinary Committee fined both Jackson and Ferreira an undisclosed amount for “unprofessional conduct detrimental to the image of the league.”
In addition, the Disciplinary Committee fined Toronto FC $5,000 and head coach Ryan Nelsen $1,000 for violating the league’s “mass confrontation policy” during TFC’s 1-0 defeat to the Chicago Fire last Saturday.
Maybe the biggest news out of the whole report is that Clint Dempsey wasn’t fined for his actions in Dallas, which saw him kick-out in retaliation for a foul from FC Dallas midfielder Peter Luccin.
YOUNG-PYO LEE SET TO RETIRE ON SUNDAY
The Vancouver Whitecaps will have to replace a huge piece of their lineup when they reconvene for pre-season training next January.
On Tuesday afternoon, the club confirmed that veteran full back Young-Pyo Lee has decided to hang up his boots following this Sunday’s season finale against the Colorado Rapids at BC Place. The team plans to honor the 36-year-old South Korean former international prior to the match.
“It will be the most memorable game in my life,” said Lee in a statement on the club’s website. “I’m a happy guy. I learned so many things throughout my career, much more than I had expected when I was young.
“It is a great time to finish with a great team and great people. I deeply appreciate our fans, my teammates, and all of the staff in the club. I’m sure Vancouver Whitecaps FC will remain in my mind as my team forever.”
Since turning pro in 2000 for K-League club Anyang LG Cheetahs, Lee played across Europe for PSV Eindhoven (2003-2005) in Holland, Tottenham (2005-2008) in England, and Borussia Dortmund (2008-2009) in Germany. After two years at Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, Lee signed with the Whitecaps in December 2011 and has been a regular in the lineup week in and week out for the last two seasons.
Currently through 64 games played for the Whitecaps, Lee has scored one goal and added ten assists.
DAVIS LEFT OFF DYNAMO TRAVELING SQUAD
Brad Davis won’t have a chance to step on to the field at Estadio Rommel Fernandez for the second time in two weeks.
After helping lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to an improbable 3-2 comeback victory over Panama on October 15, Davis was left off the Dynamo squad that is in Panama City, Panama to face Arabe Unido in their final Group Stage match of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Also left off the roster are Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jermaine Taylor, who all played during the international break and haven’t had a full week to recuperate since early this month. Included on the Dynamo squad though are the likes of Will Bruin, Ricardo Clark, and Tally Hall.
The Columbus Crew announced on Tuesday that in it’s first year, the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund raised more than $100,000 to “develop and help support youth heart health research and programming.” (REPORT)
Vancouver Whitecaps forward Kenny Miller won’t be available for the team’s final game because he is in Europe currently seeing a specialist to receive advice on his ailing knee, which has been suffering from patellar tendinopathy, better known as “Jumpers Knee”. In Miller’s place, 18-year-old Sam Adekugbe will make his first MLS start. (REPORT)
If the Seattle Sounders defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday, they’ll finish with their best home record since joining MLS (currently 10-2-4, 34 points). (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Arena’s point? Did you expect Ferreira and Jackson to be fined? Where does Lee rank among all-time full backs in MLS?
Share your thoughts below.