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MLS West Notes: Angel deals with scoring struggles, Vasquez named head of RSL AZ and more


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Juan Pablo Angel is hoping that a scoring tear is on its way. For one of the most proflic scorers in MLS history, Angel has been unable to get into form this season for the LA Galaxy during a season where he has dealt with a cross country move as well as various injuries. 

Angel had several scoring opportunities in LA's 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew, but was unable to break through. To top off his disappointing night, Angel was kicked in his left Achilles during the game and was walking with a noticeable limp after the match.

It is unknown whether or not the injury will cause Angel to miss Sunday's match against Manchester City, but it would be difficult for a forward that has struggled, scoring only three goals this season. Although sections of the Galaxy faithful have begun to get restless with the performance of the DP forward, Angel remains perseverent that the goals are coming. 

 "I wish the season would be different in terms of goals scored, but it's one of those where you have to keep digging and working on it," said Angel after the Galaxy victory. "There's still a number of games left and it's one of those where if you score one, hopefully it hopes up and [the goals] come all together."

More news from around the Western Conference after the jump:


Chivas USA claims that its on the verge of adding a new signing — most likely a forward — that will help the Rojiblancos begin their ascent up the standings. However, that signing will not be Mohamed “Momo” Dahmane, a French-Algerian forward who had been linked to Chivas USA earlier in the week by French reports. Head Coach Robin Fraser laughed off questions of Dahmane claiming that he did not even know who the Algerian was. 

The Rojiblancos did make one move this week, loaning out winger Gerson Mayen to  NASL side Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. 


No Conor Casey? No problem for the Colorado Rapids, who rode a Sanna Nyassi hat trick to a comfortable 4-1 thrashing of the New York Red Bulls. Nyassi shined paired up top alongside fellow speedster Omar Cummings, who worked with him the entire match. Not only did the Gambian score three goals, but he also received universal praise including, a childhood idol, Thierry Henry, who exchanged jerseys with Nyassi after the match. 


The fantastic play of midfielder Brek Shea may be getting all the publicity in Dallas these days, but it is the play of another that is also contributing to Dallas' impressive record as of late. Zach Loyd, a second-year defender and outside back for FCD has impressed with his gritty play. The former North Carolina Tarheel  has 17 of the teams 20 games in 2011 and even showed scoring flair, earning one goal and three assists so far. 


The Portland Timbers have fallen on hard times as of late, but head coach Jon Spencer believes there is reason for optimism after Portland's near victory over EPL side West Brom. Portland led WBA 2-0 before making changes in the second half before the English side battled back to win. Following the match, Spencer was pleased with what he saw from his men. 


Real Salt Lake have appointed former Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez to be the club's director of soccer operations for RSL's 'RSL-Arizona" academy program. Vasquez was the head coach of Chivas USA last season, but had been working with a Chicago-area youth team following his dismissal from the Rojiblancos. Vasquez takes over for Greg Vanney, who departed from RSL-Arizona when he was selected as assistant coach to current Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser. 

The addition of the former Chivas USA boss was not the only one for RSL, who also signed former Philadelphia Union winger Chris Agorsor to a contract. 


Earthquakes right back Rafael Baca appreciates just how lucky he is. Baca, who was a stand out at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles came to the Quakes after running into a San Jose assistant at the funeral of a former teammate. That chance meeting that came at such an unfortunate moment led to Baca joining the Earthquakes for training and eventually earning himself a spot earlier this month.

Baca has seen time in the last three matches for San Jose even nearly going a full half against the Whitecaps. Through it all, the rookie right back remains incredibly humbled by his sudden rise. 


No team ever wishes to get beaten as resoundingly as the Seattle Sounders were defeated against Manchester United on Wednesday — even in an exhibition. Seattle fell 7-0 in a defeat that caused waves throughout the league, but there was more to the match than just the final score. In the second half, with the score just 1-0 advantage for the EPL champions, the Sounders made wholesale changes to their squad bringing in reserve players as well as trialists to face players like Wayne Rooney. Although the moves were made to keep starters fresh, there was some regret for Seattle after the way the match ended. 


The Vancouver Whitecaps are hoping that better days are coming and their competitive 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes may just be a sign of the team's fortunes turning around. While Eric Hassli scored two goals for the Caps, the energetic play of well traveled winger Shea Salinas was a positive for Vancouver. With his piercing runs forward, Salinas out shined new DP signing Mustapha Jarju, who still appeared tentative to the American game. 


  1. How about Arena finds him a competent partner? After Alan Gordon, Chad Barrett, and Chris Birchall, that Lopez kid has the worst shot I have ever seen….Adam Cristman? Please

  2. after watching the Seattle v Man U game last night…the Sounders played well. Just didnt finish their chances. I hate MLS. Just a bunch of washed up Euros and no name Latinons.

  3. Another piece on Angel goal scoring struggles, hmm didn’t see that coming. I think it’s been clear the last few seasons he is on the downward slope of his career. He doesn’t move nearly as well, and doesn’t seem to have the same fight to go for balls in the air.

  4. The timing of the thing requires the teams to play backups. It’s a mid-season friendly tournament. In MLS, the playoff format means that even the low teams need to put all their effort in to stay in one of those spots. Drawing in the big clubs from Europe to fill our stadia (which only a few MLS teams do) with people is just something to help pump money in to the higher-ups and to help these European clubs tap into the growing American- Eurosnob merchandising market.

  5. I’m not comparing skill and pace, but perhaps an “intangible” – that mental attitude, regardless of level – you probably know what I’m talking about.

  6. Baca (SJ Earthquakes) plays right mid (and I believe sometimes switches to left mid in game). It even says so in the article you linked to and on Earthquakes roster:
    There’s a lot of frustration with him right now, especially after yesterday’s Caps tie. He doesn’t appear to be starter-quality.

  7. It’s really a shame that MLS schedules these money-makers in the middle of the season. It gives the impression that MLS doesn’t care about the regular season or player fatigue.

    I’m all for the backups playing. Philly seemed to do fine.

  8. Its really a shame that MLS teams put a bunch of trialists and backups in these games. It embarasses the teams and gives people on the fence about MLS another reason to say the league is crap.

  9. Women’s soccer is different much less skill and pace, than the mens so it doesn’t even compare…… and the US women have had a head start on the rest of the world yet the world is starting to catch up.

  10. Hmmm, maybe Juan Pablo should watch some tapes of Alex Morgan (USWNT) – pure joy & no hesitation.


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