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MLS Notes: Dynamo duo sidelined, SKC and Revs tie in pre-season opener, and more

Omar Cummings and Corey Ashe head into the 2013 season as projected starters for the Houston Dynamo, but now both may miss the start of the season after undergoing surgeries to repair some knee issues.

The the procedures are being deemed minor by the Dynamo, the timetable on the returns of Ashe and Cummings is between four to six weeks, which leaves both players for the March 2nd against D.C. United.

Cummings was acquired via trade from the Colorado Rapids earlier in the off-season and was projected to be a strike partner for Will Bruin. His time on the sidelines could pave the way for rookie Jason Johnson to earn some playing time.

Ashe’s surgery could help trialist Mike Chabala and rookie Jimmy Nealis gain more reps in pre-season as they fight for a place on the Dynamo roster.

The Dynamo kicked off their pre-season activity on Saturday with a 3-0 victory against Houston Baptist University, with Cam Weaver netting two goals and Giles Barnes adding another.

Here are some other results and some other news and notes from the MLS pre-season:


The first match-up of MLS teams this pre-season went off in rather uneventful fashion on Friday as Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution played to a scoreless draw in Tucson, Arizona.

Generation adidas rookies Andrew Farrell and Mikey Lopez made their debuts for their teams, both coming on as 31st-minute substitutions.


Four different players scored goals to give Chivas USA a 4-1 victory over UC-Irvine in their first pre-season match, and first match under new head coach Jose “Chelis” Sanchez Sola.

Jose Correa, Tristan Bowen, Rodrigo Lopez and Ben Zemanski delivered goals for the Goats, who will return to action Wednesday with a friendly against the Santa Clarita Storm.

Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, the subject of heavy trade rumors, sat out the match, with Patrick McClain and Tim Melia playing one half each in goal.


The Chicago Fire continued to trim down their roster on Friday by announcing the departure of Uruguayan midfielder Alvaro Fernandez on a six-month loan deal to Qatari side Al Rayyan, confirming the SBI report on the move more than a week earlier.


What do you think of these developments? See the Dynamo getting off to a slow start to 2013 without Cummings and Ashe? Looking forward to seeing Farrell and Lopez in action among the rookie class?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’m not too concerned yet. Omar Cummings will hopefully be back in shape for the Santos Laguna match. There should be enough depth until then, with Bruin, Weaver, Ching, Johnson.

    The 4-5-1 with Bruin up top for a few matches will not hurt unless the competition has grown quite a bit.

  2. Injuries would be huge impact for Dynamo in CONCACAF.

    Fire is runned by idiots, the midfield start mesh, players find the chemistry, and then loan Fernandez and earlier Grazzini, in 2011, the got rid Uruguayan duo had no midfield support.

    • You clearly don’t follow the Fire well.

      Grazzini was loaned out because he was becoming a problem in the lockeroom, likely over a contract dispute. Fernandez played decent but wasn’t worth the DP contract he was being paid and liked to **** himself in front of goal whenever the opportunity arose. Getting rid of Fernandez opens up a DP slot for the Fire as well as an international slot. The Fire should be able to find someone to match Fernandez’s ability for a cheaper price.

      As for your chemistry comment, most of the chemistry is fine. The big issue for Chicago is that they need a capable back up for McDonald up top and ideally another creative mid so that Rolfe doesn’t have to keep dropping into the midfield as much.

      • My two cents as a Dynamo fan is you were more effective against us with Nyarko and Oduro, than with McDonald. That might not have been true on a weekly basis, but I felt like Klopas did us a favor by not just approaching the game as he did when they put in 3 on us, and we had trouble with your speed. As with Olsen starting hurt players who then had to be subbed out game 1 of the DC series, I felt like your coaching hurt you.

        For that matter, suggesting a backup is what is needed for McDonald, might not be the right way of looking at it……4 goals? Kind of like the people who argue that what we need at speed forward in Houston is someone to hold the fort until Carr recovers from his ACL. Carr! Also 4 goals. If you only get that production, you should be shopping for a starter.

      • I have to disagree a bit. I think that MacDonald was much more dangerous then Oduro, but luckily for Houston, the service was lacking in the last match. MacDonald is much more of a complete player than Oduro. The difference is the service from the midfield in my opinion.

  3. Worth noting that the Dynamo played second year dudes Creavalle and Ownby at LB in their scrimmage. Creavalle in particular is arguably a better back than Ashe anyway. I could see Chabala and/or Taylor sneaking in too, and Houston may even have known there was a potential Ashe issue with all the LB effort this offseason. I’ll be interested how it shakes out but as far as Nealis is concerned Kinnear rarely turns to rookies this early. Holden took 3/4 of a season to work off the bench, for instance.

    Cummings being out this soon is also worrisome because that was the x factor on that acquisition. Everyone knows that as a healthy younger player he was tough but if this is another Colin Clark they’ve dumped on us, ugh.

    Houston was trialing former Timber Franck Songo’o and Scottish forward Calum Elliot.

    • While I don’t disagree , let’s be teal IV you would say Ives is a better back than Corey if he got a look. Your position is clear.

      I looked at Cummings as a relief speed player at this stage anyways. I think the answer to these issues should they persist maybe have been addressed by the draft

      • Who was Cummings “relief” for? The only decent forward is Bruin. Johnson’s a rookie, Weaver has had little MLS production, Carr is laid up, Kandji is gone, Ching is basically a sub these days.

        Agree to disagree re Ashe, sorry dude. Our defense allowed nearly as many as we scored last year and got blown out of the water in the final. Which is why we were a 5 seed. You can suggest I’m unreasonably opposed to a particular player but the defense is anything but airtight and Ashe is part of the reason. He gets out of position, defends poorly, distributes poorly, and crosses poorly. There is a reason that as much as the pro-Kinnear fanboys love him, he’s never been called up to the senior NT side. I don’t think he’s replaceable by just anyone, but we did manage to make it to the 2011 final with Taylor playing.

        Taylor is a high quality defender who gets stuck in. He can also set up players with crosses and passes which are actually accurate. He is not the most mobile guy and really better at CB, but the thing I like about him is when a play comes his way 90% of the time it stops at him. Creavalle has a little bit of that in him too, he’ll get stuck in. The ability to get stuck in and win balls, is something lacking in the defense. There needs to be more of an Eddie Robinson bite. Corey Ashe jogging alongside his man rather than tackling is not bite, and to me is like HS or college level defending. Ashe was an all star once but Matt Schaub is following up his choke job with a pro bowl appearance, it’s an inexact science.

    • I think Houston can still put a dangerous squad out there even if Cummings and Ashe aren’t available for the opener.

      Deployed in a 4-3-3, Barnes or Davis can move up to the LW (with the other in a central spot) with Boniek on the RW. Creavalle should have no problem slotting in at LB, especially since the season will just be starting and he won’t be playing his first match against

      For a 4-4-2, the Bruin-Weaver combo could work. Cam’s not fast, but he tore it up in CCL play during the knockout stages, has been tearing it up in preseason, and is actually a pretty creative player for a huge dude.

      Johnson could even get a run-out, maybe as a sub. After all, Bruin played a good bit from the beginning of the season on in his rookie year. Johnson’s got 5 more weeks to get in shape.

      • My concern is we seem to have made a heavy bet on Cummings’ health and we’re a week into training and he’s already laid up. Ominous. I think the Dynamo are better with a quality “speed” guy playing off the target.

        Weaver’s pattern last year was he beat up on the reserves and FAS and did zilch in MLS, literally zero MLS goals. All the positive theories ignore this basic fact. He also did well in the minors for Seattle. Still he’s never been very productive with us. For that matter, because he is so slow, when he is deployed with Bruin or Ching, the offense grinds to a halt because we are unable to move the ball down the field very fast. We need that vertical element speed provides otherwise this is too slow and predictable a team to defense.

      • Completely agree, but as Kandji proved last year, sometimes we need a little more than speed too. If we continue in the 4-3-3 I think Barnes makes for a good winger combo with Bruin. Who knows? Maybe Johnson ends up being our speed guy for the first few games of the season.

      • Kandji was not quite as hoped, I agree. I doubt his tendency to freelance got along well with Kinnear’s controlled approach, and Kandji was not effective enough to be off-script like he was.

        Barnes has shown flashes of something, say, the goal against FAS. But he was often played centrally and I have no idea what he offers as a wing. For that matter, I think what we need is central attacking quality, so moving all the interesting attackers out wide doesn’t solve the playmaking issues, or even address them.

        IMO an attacking 433 is vulnerable defensively in MLS and you need an outstanding set of attackers to score lots of goals to outpace the vulnerabilities on the counter. We have some attacking talent but not enough to play some Dutch style 433. Nor are we finesse and fit enough to play total football. So what we ended up doing instead was almost like a 451, which arguably covered up some defensive weaknesses but proved over time to not be as potent as hoped. You’re not going to blow doors off with a 433 that’s got a bunch of DMs like the US, which is what we were doing with 2 of the 3 M slots in the 433.

        Which is why we ended up back in the 442 come playoff time. Unless Kinnear changes personnel, I think it’s the appropriate formation to what we have. What we need is a #10 and some upgrades in spots.

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