Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Key players absent in middle of playoff race
by Ridge Mahoney, October 9th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]TFC is last in the Eastern Conference but again ranks No. 1 among MLS teams in players called for international duty as league coaches prepare for crucial games. Toronto isn't in the same absurd position as it was during the last FIFA international fixture window, when no less than nine players were summoned and it fielded one of its scouts and a few other short-term emergency signings in a 3-1 loss to Chivas USA. But it will be missing five players this time around to play Dallas on Saturday. Several other teams, including the Los Angeles Galaxy, have been hit call-ups for World Cup qualifying as they aim for playoff spots.

Midfielders Kevin Harmse, Carl Robinson and Amado Guevara, defender Tyrone Marshall, and forward Carlos Ruiz left the TFC squad after a 3-1 thumping of New York on Saturday night and will not be available. Instead, several of them will face off as opponents.

Harmse is a member of Canada's squad that is training in Florida for games against Honduras and teammate Guevara Saturday in San Pedro Sula, and against Mexico in Edmonton next week. Guevara re-joins the Honduran team as its captain and after the match with Canada he will possibly square off against Marshall, who has been called in by Jamaica, which plays in Kingston against Mexico on Saturday and Honduras next Wednesday.

Ruiz is with Guatemala, which hosts Trinidad & Tobago Saturday and plays at Cuba next Wednesday. The TFC list would have been six, but Trinidad & Tobago defender Julius James, named to the original national-team squad 10 days ago, has been scratched because of a hamstring injury.

The most critical shortage is felt by Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, probably deprived of Landon Donovan and David Beckham (England) for sure for a match Sunday against Colorado at Home Depot Center. While it's possible Donovan could be released after the U.S. plays Cuba Saturday in Washington, D.C., Arena can't count on him being available, or being able to contribute much if he makes it back by game time.

The Rapids won't be at full strength, either. Not only is forward Conor Casey suspended because of the red card he received last weekend, Senegalese goalkeeper Bouna Coundouland Jamaican striker Omar Cummings are on international duty. Preston Burpo has been the starter in goal recently anyway, but Colorado's offense may sputter without both Cummings and Casey, who hit a hat trick in a 5-4 broiling of New York a week and a half ago and scored against Houston Saturday before being ejected in a 3-1 defeat.

The conference leaders, Columbus and Houston, will be shorthanded but not significantly so. Venezuelan striker Alejandro Moreno and U.S. defender Frankie Hejdukwill miss the Crew's Eastern Conference match against Chicago in Columbus on Saturday. Danny O'Rourke is the probable replacement at right back and Pat Noonan is just one of several possibilities to take Moreno's spot.

Forward Brian Chingcould get back to Houston in time for Sunday's game against D.C. after the U.S. plays Cuba if he's released by Coach Bob Bradley. Midfielder Dwyane De Rosario is suspended for Canada's match against Honduras Saturday and so can play for the Dynamo this weekend, but will not be available on Wednesday, when the Dynamo hosts San Jose in the make-up of a suspended game.

Houston, leading the Western Conference by four points, needs results to stave off runner-up Chivas USA. If Chivas USA loses Saturday and it wins Sunday, the Dynamo clinches the conference title and homefield advantage. The teams will meet on the final day of the season at Home Depot Center.

Chivas USA, which can clinch a playoff spot by winning, will travel to San Jose without U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan and Jamaican defender Shavar Thomas. Preki can use rookie defender Bobby Burling in Thomas's spot and may field another Sasha, Victorine, in place of Kljestan.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge    
"Discrimination of any kind in sport and this society deserves the red card. Jerome Boateng is ...
NWSL Week 7: Results & Standings    
The Portland Thorns extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches with a 0-0 tie against its ...
MLS Talking Points: Positives for Rapids and Union    
At Memorial Day, more than one-third into the 2016 MLS regular season, the Colorado Rapids and ...
U.S. Abroad: Gonzalez completes MLS-Liga MX double    
Omar Gonzalez became the ninth American to win the Mexican league title when Pachuca tied Monterrey, ...
What They're Saying: Sergio Ramos    
"He has brought happiness, hope, humility and hard work." -- Sergio Ramos on Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, ...
Video Pick: David Villa's costly slip-up skies PK    
Spaniard David Villa, New York City FC's top player, with 27 goals and eight assists, since ...
Crowd Count: Largest Memorial Day weekend crowds    
The Mexico-Paraguay friendly at Atlanta's Georgia Dome drew 63,049 fans, the largest soccer crowd on Memorial ...
Eight Americans start in Mexico Sub-20 final    
Tijuana started seven Americans, including U.S. international Paul Arriola, and Queretaro started one, Josue Soto, formerly ...
What They're Saying: Sports marketing expert Hector Lopez Zatarain    
"Organized crime usually respects sports figures and singing stars and leaves them alone. Here in Mexico, ...
Video Pick: Keeper blooper dooms Galaxy    
If Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe hadn't lifted his hands to stop Didier Drogba's 30-yard ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives