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Much more to talk about than just Dempsey
by Paul Kennedy, August 4th, 2013 11:30PM

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TAGS:  mls

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[MLS: Starting XI] Following one of the most exciting MLS weekends in recent memory, there's a lot more to talk about in MLS than just Clint Dempsey. Here's who we'll be talking about and hope to hear from on Monday ...

11. CLARENCE GOODSON. Goodson quietly put himself back into contention for a World Cup roster spot with a solid Gold Cup, and he helped the San Jose Earthquakes shut out Chivas USA, 2-0, in his first game back in MLS in almost six years. Conventional wisdom is the Quakes are out of the Western Conference race, but the pairing of Muma Bernardez and Goodson gives them the strength in the back to ward off all MLS challengers -- and make a run in the Concacaf Champions League that begins on Wednesday when the Quakes travel to Montreal.

10. CARLOS BOCANEGRA. We'll be interested to see how MLS's disciplinary committee comes down on the former U.S. national team captain after the straight red card he received in Chivas USA's game at San Jose. Shea Salinas was very, very lucky to escape unscathed after the two-footed challenge.

9. LUIS SILVA. He has three goals in three games since coming over from Toronto FC and is the symbol of the youth movement at D.C. United. The importance United places in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was evident as Ben Olsen substituted Silva after United went ahead in the second half of its 3-1 win over Montreal, only its third victory of the MLS season. D.C. United still has title hopes as it faces the Chicago Fire in Wednesday's Open Cup semifinals.

8. CHRIS KLUTE. If there's a better left back in MLS than the 23-year-old Klute, we'd like to know. At this time last year, he was still playing in the NASL with the Atlanta Silverbacks. But he won the left back job for Colorado early this season and is a big factor in the Rapids' surprise playoff run. His assist on the tying goal in the Rapids' 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake that earned them the 2013 Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup was his sixth of the season, the most by any defender in MLS.

7. ANTHONY PRECOURT. The pressure on the new Columbus Crew owner to address Coach Robert Warzycha's situation will only increase this week as the Crew prepares to host New York on Saturday. The 3-1 loss to Houston on Saturday was its sixth defeat in the last seven games. In taking over the Crew, the San Francisco energy investor said he was committed to creating "the resources for winning in the short term and long term."

6. ALVARO SABORIO.  There is no better penalty taker in MLS than Costa Rican Alvaro Saborio. He was 12-for-12 all-time for Real Salt Lake until stopped by Colorado keeper Clint Irwin in early April and faced Irwin again on Saturday night in bizarre circumstances. Just as he lined up to take his spot kick, lightning struck nearby, forcing the teams and fans to seek shelter. After a 62-minute delay, the RSL star went out and beat Irwin to give RSL a 2-1 lead.

5. MERRITT PAULSON. The Portland Timbers owner is usually a prolific tweeter but he was silent on Twitter since the All-Star Game, which he attended to get a feel how the Timbers can match -- or do better than -- Sporting Kansas City when they host in 2014. Portland holds the No. 1 pick in the allocation process, but we'd love to hear from Paulson on its value in light of the Clint Dempsey deal.

4. MIKE MAGEE. The deal that sent Magee home to Chicago from the LA Galaxy for the MLS rights to Robbie Rogers is looking one-sided. Magee's winning goal in the Fire's 2-1 win at Philadelphia moved him into the MLS lead with 14 goals. He has scored eight MLS goals for the Fire and in all three Open Cup games heading into Wednesday's match against D.C. United.

3. PETER VERMES. The Sporting KC coach was livid and rightly so after his team fell at home to New York, 3-2, before a sellout crowd and relinquished the Eastern Conference lead to the Red Bulls. A post-All-Star Game hangover from the Sporting crew? Vermes said the performance wasn't up to "Sporting level" and he promised his players would "feel it from me."

2. SCHELLAS HYNDMAN. FC Dallas hasn't won since May 25 and fading fast in the Western Conference race after its 3-0 loss at Seattle. A nine-game winless streak has followed a 1-0 win over San Jose that had FC Dallas five points clear at the top in the Western Conference and 12 points ahead of the sixth-place team. The slide has one wondering how much longer Hyndman has in charge of the Hoops, who are now out of the playoff zone in sixth place and only one point ahead of the Sounders, who have three games in hand.

1. MARCUS HAHNEMANN. Dempsey will address the Seattle media at a press conference scheduled Monday for 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET), but the player of the moment in Seattle is Hahnemann, whose emergency appearance in goal on Saturday followed a 14-year MLS break -- the longest in league history. His hamstring was bothering him, so he went out for a walk with his dog to test it in the morning. Says Sounders coach Sigi Schmid after the 3-0 shutout win over FC Dallas, "When we were talking to our trainer he was saying, 'If I had to be 100 percent, I wouldn't have played many games in my career, so 95 percent is really, really good.'"

OFF THE BENCH: Lloyd Sam. In recent years, the New York Red Bulls floundered in part because they failed to manage their roster, leaving them with no depth. That hasn't been a problem this year. Sam came off the bench to set up the go-ahead goal at Sporting KC and scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 3-2 win that moved the Red Bulls into first place in the East.

Sam Goal:


6 comments
  1. Bob Escobar
    commented on: August 5, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.
    8 million per year for a player that at best is an "okay" player. From now on, the signing of Dempsey will start a "new" war of DP seeking "more" money, so they'll be getting more money, while the "rest" of the players, most of the players I may add, will still be "underpaid", trust me, the MLS is shooting itself in its foot....the MLS should go after players like Ronaldinho, Robinho, Pato and other great players not in their prime, but exciting to watch...and also cheaper, the players I mentioned are not that old, with a few good years ahead of them.

  1. Paul Stierle
    commented on: August 5, 2013 at 10:41 a.m.
    Yes the players in this league don't command salaries but it is great to here an American come home to a Clebrity status than always out of towners. It all started with Beckham who had a dismal first year but helped the MLS in its exposure. I am excited for the Sounders. Sigi has a great storm story of how he first searched Dempsey in his early years. Dempsey came from the streets poor Texas to squeeze out as one of our best right now. Donovan, Bradley, Dempsey and Howard. Now 2 play in the US

  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: August 5, 2013 at 2:29 p.m.
    Reality is that MLS can only pay real salaries to the journeymen who form the bulk of their rosters when they get a big TV contract -- bringing the best US players home may help toward that end. And when those journeymen are being hired away by other leagues, they'll get more money. As to whether playing MLS will hurt Deuce's development for the USMNT, reality is that Deuce is getting toward the end of the "development" phase of his career anyway, and playing in MLS hasn't exactly limited Donovan's development.

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: August 5, 2013 at 3:24 p.m.
    I'm glad to see both Dempsey and Hahnemann on our team! Nice shut out, Marcus! Welcome HOME! :)

  1. David Mozeshtam
    commented on: August 5, 2013 at 3:29 p.m.
    Allan, some might argue that Donovan could've developed into a real world-class star if he had moved to Europe.

  1. Paul Stierle
    commented on: August 5, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.
    Donovan is a world class player. There are so many variables, injuries, sitting on the bench, playing always. The MLS with mistakes is staedy as she goes.Klinsman is pulling the best out of players right now too. Altidore, Evans, Donovan and I am a Nick Rimando fan as he has soccer skills also out of the box. I feel bad for a league like Brazil that can't keep ant=yone at home but still along side Argentina produces still some of the most gifted players. Check how many play everywhere including the MLS.


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