Photo by ISIphotos.com
Good evening folks. I spent a large part of the day dealing with the Red Bulls so I wasn’t able to get to a handful of stories that made the rounds today. Here is a recap of several stories from the weekend and Monday that you may or may not have heard about:
Jaqua returns to Dynamo
We mentioned last week that Nate Jaqua might return to the Houston Dynamo and he has done just that. Jaqua has agreed to a new deal with the Dynamo, a deal that could see him leave Houston for expansion Seattle in 2009.
I don’t know about you but I see the Dynamo suddenly being the title favorites again. No, not because Nate Jaqua is a goal-machine, but because Houston was already starting to regain its championship form (as evidenced by its 4-0 whooping of Mexican champions Atlante) and now they add a strong forward who looked pretty good tearing things up in Austria earlier this year.
No McBride for Fire?
If you ordered a Brian McBride Chicago Fire jersey you may want to hold off, or at least put it away until next year. Growing rumors that the chances of a Chicago-Toronto trade to send McBride’s rights to Chicago are dying have turned out to be true, with Toronto refusing to budge on its demand for either Chris Rolfe or Justin Mapp from Chicago. Barring an injunction from MLS, which has been known to change the rules in the past, McBride will have to wait until 2009 to suit up for the Fire, assuming the next team to have the top Allocation spot doesn’t do what Toronto FC is doing.
Is Toronto FC wrong for demanding so much and not budging? I don’t think so. While it would be a great thing for McBride to be in the league, it does Toronto FC no good to strengthen a team it is trying to beat out in the playoff race, and potentially beat out in the playoffs. Yes, getting a draft pick and/or allocation money would be better than not getting a thing for McBride’s rights, but Toronto is right to want to keep a conference rival from getting that much stronger.
Besides, at the rate Toronto FC keeps fleecing San Jose in trades, TFC isn’t likely to miss whatever picks/allocations it could have gotten from Chicago.
Also, Chicago is smart not to budge either. With Rolfe and Mapp in the process of signing long-term deals to stay in MLS, the Fire has two cornerstone type players to build around. It isn’t worth two months of McBride to give one of those players up. That said, anybody who buys the "Chicago doesn’t really want McBride" theory is kidding themselves (or bad at reading bluffs). All you need to do is watch a lowlight reel of missed chances by Chicago forwards to know that the Fire want McBride badly.
Will Parkhurst get the Olympic call?
The Washington Post’s Steven Goff asks that very question, with sources telling him that New England defender Michael Parkhurst is likely to get the call for one of the three overage spots on the U.S. Olympic team.
Parkhurst getting the nod wouldn’t be much of a surprise. As I stated recently, both he and Jimmy Conrad are the best candidates to be the defender to go, but with Conrad’s KC Wizards clawing their way back into the playoff race, and New England riding high with the best record in MLS, it makes sense for Parkhurst to go. Parkhurst is also younger and a national team prospect who should benefit from the Olympic experience.
I’m sticking with the McBride-Guzan-Parkhurst trio to be the overage players. Yes, Guzan could be kept from going by new club Aston Villa, which would create a very interesting situation in goal. Would Peter Nowak really hand the job to young and inexperienced Chris Seitz? Or might we see a team-less Kasey Keller step in and fill the void?
Beasley injured again
U.S. national team and Glasgow Rangers winger DaMarcus Beasley is set to miss three weeks, including Rangers’ Champions League qualifying matches with a hamstring injury.
The injury comes less than three months after Beasley returned from knee surgery that had sidelined him for more than six months.
San Jose acquires Sealy
The San Jose Earthquakes continued attempts to bolster their stagnant offense by acquiring Trinidad & Tobago forward Scott Sealy from the Kansas City Wizards for an allocation.
Smart deal or act of desperation? I go with the latter. Why? Well, let’s see. San Jose isn’t making the playoffs this year and needs to focus on the future. By trading an allocation away for a player who is in the final year of his MLS contract, and who has stated that he wants to go abroad, San Jose just spent an allocation for a rent-a-player for three months.