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Western Conference Notes: Galaxy deal with Juninho absence, Timbers not overconfident and more

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The LA Galaxy looks set to lose another key player for Saturday's match against Toronto FC.

Galaxy midfielder Juninho will miss the club's match with Toronto FC on Saturday to get married in his native Brazil. Juninho is added to a list that includes Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts, who are on International duty. 

The absence of Juninho comes just weeks after the Brazilian midfielder's partner in the center of the park, David Beckham drew flack for missing the Galaxy's game against the Houston Dynamo to attend a testimonial match in England. Beckham — who also skipped several training sessions to attend the wedding of Prince William was not extended an invite to Juninho's nuptials.

"We've said all throughout the season  that we'll be without players for certain games and  so it's another one of these games," said Beckham. We've got players who can play in the same way that Juninho plays so we just need to deal with what we got, but we've ot a great group of guys so we'll be fine."

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stated that he expected his midfielder to return in time to play next week.

More notes from around the Western Conference after the jump:


The Rojiblancos have been battling injuries throughout the season, but now the team is starting to come together. Midfielder Paulo Nagamura made his first start in a month and a half on Saturday and second-year midfielder Blair Gavin saw action in the 1-0 victory against the Timbers. 

Chivas USA will welcome another player back on Saturday as forward Alejandro Moreno will play in Saturday's game against Houston before once again embarking on international duty with Venezuela 


The Rapids wouldn't have won their first MLS Cup title without a heads up play by forward Mac Kandji that led to the title winning goal, it was a play that caused Kandji to tear a ligament in his left knee, but now Kandji is nearing his return. The Senegalese forward is currently seeking medical clearance so that he may resume training with the Rapids. 


FC Dallas has drawn great acclaim for their vaunted youth program and now it appears that FCD is extending their reach beyond the Dallas Metroplex. FCD announced a new youth affiliate program on Thursday with Emerald Coast United, a youth club in Florida.The Florida youth club will now carry the FC Dallas colors and members of its club will be allowed to join the FC Dallas youth Academy. 


The Portland Timbers have hit a bit of a slide with their second two game losing streak of the year, and are now looking ahead to a date with the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids as an answer to their woes. In an interview with the Oregonian, the Timbers head coach Jon Spencer admitted that he does not feel as if his team is overconfident in their first season. 

"If the players are getting cocky, we haven't seen it on the training field. I haven't seen guys acting any differently or talking any differently," Spencer said. "As a staff, we haven't got cocky. We're not thinking we're going to cruise into the playoffs and we're going to win the MLS Cup. We've never said that." 


Just a few weeks ago, Real Salt Lake was on top of the world battling for the right to be the top team in CONCACAF. Since that loss to Monterrey, things have been less than ideal for RSL. An unbeaten streak was snapped, both at home and in overall play and now it appears that the infighting as started.

After the RSL's defeat to the Columbus Crew on Thursday night, goalkeeper Nick Rimando was blunt in assessing the problem with RSL in Columbus, telling the Salt Lake Tribune that "some guys came in and didn’t want to put the effort in."


The San Jose Earthquakes are climbing up the Western Conference table with a five game unbeaten streak, but the thoughts are focused on injured defender Ike Opara. Opara suffered a left foot injury in training last Thursday, but X-rays and an MRI ruled out any broken bones or fractures. However, the second-year defender still requires crutches to get around and is still experiencing pain due to the injury. 


The Seattle Sounders are preparing to take on their other Northwest Rival, the Vancouver Whitecaps, but while his teammates prepare for their match, injured forward O'Brian White is making his return from a blood clot that has ruled him out for several weeks. White admitted to reporters in Seattle that he thought his injury could have caused the end of his career. 


The Vancouver Whitecaps are approaching their first Cascadia Cup match with the Sounders and for one prominent Sounders analyst, the match will be the latest chapter in a rival spanning several decades. Sounders analyst Alan Hinton has experience with the Whitecaps during their NASL days having played for Vancouver in the 70s and serving as head coach in 1984. With the rivalry about to kick off between the two MLS sides, Hinton paused to reflect on his days with the Whitecaps and the enormity of the rivalry between the two clubs. 


  1. I would love to see the bridesmaids! I love Brazilian women & cant wait for World Cup. Even if i gotta put it all on a credit card im going.


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