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
Three stories we're following
by Ridge Mahoney, April 28th, 2010 1:45AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  columbus crew, d.c. united, fc dallas, mls, toronto fc

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS]Saturday starts a crowded week of league play in MLS, with all 16 teams playing this weekend, eight of them scheduled for midweek action a week from Wednesday, and all but two set to play a week from Saturday.

In the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, New York replicated its 2-1 league defeat of Philadelphia last weekend by beating the Union Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup play by the same score. On Wednesday, FC Dallas hosts D.C. United in the Open Cup, and the Nutrilite Canadian Championship kicks off with Toronto hosting Montreal at BMO Field.

Here are three stories to follow as week 6 of MLS league play approaches:

FAKE GRASS VS. SCHELOTTO. The Crew, unbeaten but with only three games (2-0-1) on its docket so far, heads to Seattle with Crew coach Robert Warzycha uncertain if he will use Guillermo Barros Schelotto on FieldTurf.

Schelotto, who turns 37 in May and has lower limbs not fond of artificial surfaces, has sat out games on the fake stuff before. However, the Crew is not one of the teams with a game the following Wednesday; it sits out the midweek quartet and resumes its schedule a week from Saturday with an Eastern Conference foe, New England, that will be coming off a Wednesday game (against Chivas USA).

“I will look for places to rest him,” said Warzycha. “We started our season early, with Concacaf [Champions’ League], and we want to have a deep squad and give other players a chance to play. But he always wants to play, especially the big games.”

Unless the field is especially wet and treacherous, Schelotto should play in front of the rabid and passionate Qwest Field fans, and against former Crew coach Sigi Schmid as teams among the favorites to reach MLS Cup 2010 square off.

OPEN SEASON. Some teams and coaches take the Open Cup very seriously, a few others want to win but don’t totally commit to it, and the rest use it as a glorified training exercise.

If you’re Curt Onalfo, coach of pointless (0-4-0) D.C. United, or Schellas Hyndman, the man in charge of winless FC Dallas (0-1-3), do you use Wednesday’s match as a chance to notch a badly needed win, or stick to the formula of giving backups and reserves a rare start and extended minutes?

Onalfo really doesn’t have too much choice, with more than a half-dozen players either sidelined or hobbled by injuries. Most of his able bodies figure to answer the bell. At some point, Hyndman’s team has to turn its splendid approach play into victories, which won’t be easy in light of its chronic defensive breakdowns. But wins are wins, and a home game against a depleted squad gives FCD a prime opportunity.

MAPLE LEAF MOJO.In contrast to the Open Cup, which is limited to teams registered to play in the United States and with a few exceptions doesn’t generate much buzz, a Canadian mini-competition is thriving and feeding on rivalries north of the border.

The winner of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, a six-game, round-robin competition that begins Wednesday with Toronto hosting Montreal in a MLS-USSF Division 2 matchup, advances to the Concacaf Champions League. Yet that doesn’t explain why Nutrilite games at BMO Field (Toronto), Stade Saputo (Montreal), and Swangard Stadium (Vancouver) played to 90 percent capacity last year.

“It’s something like an unofficial Canadian championship, since we don’t have our own league up here,” said Toronto FC Director, Business Operations Paul Beirne last year. “We take that very seriously, and we know Montreal and Vancouver do, too.”

In light of TFC’s 2-0 victory over Seattle Sunday, Coach Prekisurely wants to maintain the momentum without taxing his players too much with just two days’ rest. Yet he has not only many Canadian players on the roster, but several raised in the Toronto area, including DP midfielder Julian de Guzman, who will play in the competition for the first time this season.

“It’s a tournament that’s a source of pride for our fans and for us here in Toronto and it’s a tournament that I think we should win,” said Scarborough, Ont., native Dwayne De Rosario to mlsoccer.com. He notched a goal and an assist against Seattle and last year was named Nutrilite MVP while leading TFC to the title.

Toronto hosted Montreal in the last 2009 Nutrilite game at Stade Saputo needing a huge victory to catch the Impact on points and pass it on goal difference. After TFC fell behind, 1-0, De Rosario scored the first three goals and since departed TFC attacker Amado Guevara tallied twice in a 6-1 romp that sent Toronto into the CCL.

“It’s an important tournament for us and we know we want to win that and we know where that leads if we continue to go further,” said De Rosario.



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: Jamie Vardy lookalike Lee Chapman    
"Ranieri spotted me. The rest of the players were banging on the window for me to ...
NASL: Rowdies sign Joe Cole    
The Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed former England international Joe Cole on a contract through the ...
TV Report: Wambach joins ESPN    
ESPN has hired retire women's star Abby Wambach to serve as an analyst and contributor, beginning ...
What They're Saying: Guus Huddink    
"If you have done some judo and wrestling, you can easily fall. Even at my age, ...
Video Pick: Big goalkeeper blooper punished with volley    
In the German Bundesliga 2, first-place Freiburg led last-place Paderborn, 2-0, when goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow shanked ...
Making a List: U.S. Copa Centenario representation    
A total of 59 players representing 27 teams in MLS, the NASL and USL were named ...
Copa Centenario: Complete preliminary rosters    
The preliminary 40-player rosters for the 16 teams competing this summer's Copa Centenario were released. These ...
Copa Centenario: Jamaica has heavy U.S. influence    
Other than the USA with 19 players, all in MLS, no team has more players based ...
What They're Saying: Afghani Mohammad Arif Ahmadi    
"I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son's ...
Crowd Count: NASL openers down 37 percent    
Only two of the nine returning NASL teams -- its two Canadian teams, Ottawa and FC ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives