Monday Observations: On Luciano Emilio, Wilman Conde and the U.S. Open Cup

Monday Observations: On Luciano Emilio, Wilman Conde and the U.S. Open Cup

Major League Soccer

Monday Observations: On Luciano Emilio, Wilman Conde and the U.S. Open Cup



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With MLS All-Star Game balloting set to close on Wednesday, one player has made a stronger late push than any other to be included in the Starting XI that will face West Ham United next month. None other than reigning MLS MVP Luciano Emilio.

There are two forward slots up for grabs and Landon Donovan put a hammer lock on one of them with his amazing first two months of the season. The second forward spot looked to be going to Kenny Cooper, who has been a one-man wrecking crew for FC Dallas, but Emilio’s recent hot-streak has forced him into the picture.

Emilio’s seven goals and one assist in D.C. United’s past four matches (all wins) is an insane goal tally and one that will earn him plenty of late votes, but you wonder if his terrible first two months will wind up costing him.

Will D.C. fans be able to get enough votes in to help push Emilio over the top? Will MLS players and coaches penalize Emilio for his awful first two months of the season? Will U.S. soccer fans vote for Cooper in hopes of sending a statement to U.S. soccer coach Bob Bradley? it really is a tough call.

I sent my vote in last night and I voted for Cooper. Emilio had an amazing month but Cooper has been steady all year on an underachieving FC Dallas team. I don’t have a problem saying that if you put Cooper on D.C. United I think Cooper has about 15 goals right now instead of eight.

Who do you think deserves the nod?

Conde’s latest dust-up

Here’s a simple question for you. If you were a player who were desperate to be traded what would you do to force a trade? You would probably go public with your desire to leave and if that didn’t work you might sulking around in hopes of your bad mood forcing a deal. If all else fails? You could start a fight with your team’s best player.

Now I’m not saying that’s why Wilman Conde wound up in a fist fight with Cuauhtemoc Blanco, but it sure is fodder for conspiracy theorists. Isn’t it?

And no, there is no news on the McBride trade front. I will post on that later.

U.S. Open Cup a scheduling nightmare

Will there ever come a day when MLS and U.S. Soccer reach some sort of agreement on a reasonable scheduling of the U.S. Open Cup? Something needs to be done because the current set-up is ridiculous.

Consider the plight of the Houston Dynamo, which has to travel to Charleston to face the Battery in U.S. Open Cup play before traveling to Real Salt Lake for a game just TWO DAYS LATER. Then you have the Red Bulls, who just played in California on Saturday, have to drive down to Baltimore for Open Cup play on Tuesday, then fly to Colorado for a game on Friday.

It’s a complete nightmare and something that should have been resolved by now considering MLS has been around for a dozen years. I know part of the problem is available weekends and the league’s unwillingness to give up too many of them for the Open Cup, but perhaps some schedule massaging can take place where East Coast teams face other East Coast teams around the Open Cup dates so as to cut down on travel. Sometime needs to be done because the travel demands, not to mention the actual game-playing demands, are a lot to ask for teams with rosters that aren’t exactly deep.

What do you think of any of these subjects? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

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