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West Coast Update: FC Dallas adds Sikora, Cooper earns MLS honor and San Jose’s playoff hopes still not dead


Good afternoon to the folks on the West side of the country (and the MLS standings). Here are some news items and notes for you to peruse as your day winds to a close:

FC Dallas signs Sikora

FC Dallas said goodbye to Colombian midfielder Juan Toja over the weekend, but have already replaced him. The Hoops agreed to terms with forward/midfielder Victor Sikora on Monday, and should have the former Dutch national team player on the roster soon.

Sikora last played for Dutch club NAC Breda (whose general manager is none other than former U.S. national team star Earnie Stewart), and also had stints at Ajax and Vitesse Arnhem. Sikora is expected to play on the wings for FC Dallas.

Sikora joins recently acquired midfielder Bruno Guarda, who made his FC Dallas debut in the team’s 2-0 win against Toronto FC on Sunday.

Cooper earns MLS player of the week

FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper was named MLS player of the week for his two-goal performance in helping the Hoops beat Toronto FC, 2-0, on Sunday. The brace was Cooper’s second in two matches and moved him into a tie with LA’s Landon Donovan for the MLS lead in goals with 13.

Rapids loan O’Brien to Seattle Sounders

This news went down in the middle of last week but for those of you who may have missed it, Colorado Rapids rookie Ciaran O’Brien was loaned to USL side Seattle Sounders for the remainder of the season.

The loan comes on the heels of Seattle losing playmaker Leighton O’Brien to a broken arm that could sideline him up to eight weeks. Yes, Ciaran is Leighton’s brother.

The No. 5 pick in the 2008 MLS Draft, Ciaran O’Brien has been limited to one appearance this season for the Rapids. You might remember it for O’Brien’s clumsy challenge on Carlos Ruiz that sidelined the LA Galaxy forward for months. O’Brien earned a red card that day, giving him a red card-per-game average that not Dema Kovalenko and Amado Guevara could only dream of.

The loan was a classy move by Clavijo, who wasn’t getting O’Brien minutes with the first team in Colorado and saw a chance to help out former teammate and current Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer.

Earthquakes clawing back into the West race

I know I said a few weeks ago that San Jose had no chance of making the playoffs. Well, I still think the mountain is too steep to climb, but the Earthquakes are making it interesting.

Unbeaten in four matches (1-0-3) San Jose’s revamped squad won’t have it easy, but the push for a post-season berth has a glimmer of hope as the Earthquakes sit five points behind the Galaxy for the final playoff spot with 11 matches to play (it should also be noted that Chivas USA would qualify for the playoffs ahead of LA if the season ended today based on points-per-game. Chivas USA has two games in hand on LA but just one fewer point).

Here are the team’s San Jose must try to pass to reach that final playoff spot:

  • Los Angeles Galaxy    23 points (19 games)
  • Chivas USA                22 points (17)
  • Toronto FC                22 points (18)
  • Kansas City Wizards   22 points (18)
  • New York Red Bulls     22 points (18)
  • Colorado Rapids         21 points (18)
  • San Jose Earthquakes 18 points (19)

Here is San Jose’s remaining schedule

  • vs. New England (8/16)
  • at Chivas USA (8/23)
  • vs. Kansas City (8/30)
  • vs. D.C. United (9/6)
  • vs. Houston Dynamo (9/13)
  • at Houston Dynamo (9/20)
  • vs. Real Salt Lake (9/27)
  • at FC Dallas (10/2)
  • vs. Chivas USA (10/11)
  • at Kansas City (10/18)
  • vs. Toronto FC (10/25)

That isn’t exactly an easy schedule, but seven home games in the final 11 matches has to give San Jose some hope. With six matches against teams in the race for that final playoff spot, the Earthquakes will have an outside chance of clawing their way into the playoffs. At the very least, San Jose is going to be a major thorn in the sides of teams trying to qualify.

What do you think of Sikora’s signing? How about Kenny Cooper’s goal-scoring streak? Do you think San Jose still has a realistic chance of making the playoffs, or are the Earthquakes confined to the spoiler role?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. No, Pancho. Avila will continue to play at the attacking mid position and Sikora will play on the left.

  2. Just curious if Sikoras signing will impact the kid Avilas playing time? He looked pretty darn good agains the Galaxy a couple of weeks ago.

  3. If the Carolina Challenge Cup has anything to say about it, making the playoffs is a relative certainty for the inaugural Quakes. If they somehow make the Marlon James deal a reality there is going to be hell to pay.

  4. Wow…go on vacation for a few weeks and looks what happens to my Quakes: Sealy/Huckerby/Alvarez/Lima on the squad and starting…only Sealy is not top-notch by MLS standards.

    Optomistic side of me says that this line up has a chance to get a result against any team in MLS…pessimistic side says that they are a Huckerby injury away from finishing at the bottom.

    Regardless, nobody can be looking forward to facing the Quakes…especially compared to the early-June version.

  5. bob- i dont think its possible for BB to pass up on Cooper this next game, its a WCQ and we wont have Jozy to front… altho that still leaves the usual suspects, as i suspect EJ to get a call up as well… but that leaves Cooper, EJ and Dempsey to battle the front runner spots

  6. im rooting for the earthquakes, the moves they made are really good ones, and i think they will squek by and when playoffs start anything can happen go quakes!!!

  7. what cooper needs to do to get on the Nat. team is to stop scoring so much. He really should have missed the PK. That would have gotten Bradley’s attention. J/K. But really, Bradley give coops a shot. Soon!

  8. As I have said for weeks I think San Jose should make the playoffs with the squad they have. No doubt they have left many points on the table and have serious problems with their finishing but if you look at their midfield you’d be hard pressed outside of Houston and New England to find a more accomplished squad. Ever since the Lima and Huckerby talk began in late June, I’ve tipped them to slide into the last playoff spot. Sadly they couldn’t avoid the draws and I am less optimistic now than I was on July 4th about them knowing they had two players who are above MLS caliber coming in. Lima and Huckerby have shown their class in the 3 games they’ve played but two were draws and instead of the nine points I thought SJ would get they’ve gotten 5, drawing with NY and Toronto whom I consider right now to have inferior squads to the Quakes. So that’s four lost points they may not get back.

  9. Does anyone think its possible for MLS to have four 20 goal members this year? I Cooper stays thru the year, I bet it happens.

  10. Very impressed by Cooper so far, hope he can keep it going. Id also like to hope that SJ can make the playoffs. Its a long season, and plenty of games left to play. Who knows…


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