Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Henry and Martins are back
by Paul Kennedy, September 16th, 2013 12:14AM

TAGS:  mls


[MLS: Starting XI] MLS has new leaders: New York in the Eastern Conference and Seattle in the Western Conference. They got winning goals over the weekend from Thierry Henry, back in the good graces of Red Bulls coach Mike Petke, and Obafemi Martins, back in the Sounders' lineup after missing the last four games with an ankle sprain. Here's who we'll be talking about and hope to hear from on Monday ...

11. VICENTE SANCHEZ. The Uruguayan, whose mid-season arrival was overshadowed by Colorado's signing of Panamanian Gold Cup star Gabriel Torres, was involved in both goals as the Rapids moved into third place in Western Conference with a 2-1 comeback win over FC Dallas. He took advantage of ball headed into his path by FC Dallas midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson to even the score with his first MLS goal and then Dallas defender Matt Hedges knocked his cross into the Dallas goal to give Rapids the win.

10. CLINT IRWIN. Few goalies have broken into the starting lineup at an MLS club with as little experience as Irwin had. He spent the last two seasons in the Canadian Soccer League and USL PRO before joining Colorado in 2013. Thrust into the starting role when Matt Perkins was injured and backup Steward Ceus got off to a shaky start, the 24-year-old Irwin ranks second in MLS with a 1.00 goals-against average and has already tied a club season record with 10 shutouts. He didn't get a shutout against Dallas but made a huge save on Jair Benitez late in the game to preserve the Rapids' 2-1 win.

9. FEDERICO HIGUAIN. Once again, the Argentine showed why he among MLS's most dangerous players, setting up both goals as Columbus came back to win, 2-1, at Montreal, keeping its slim playoff hopes alive and knocking the Impact out of first place in the Eastern Conference.

8. KELYN ROWE. New England teammates Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo may have gotten more attention, but you can't ignore Rowe, who has shown an uncanny ability to strike from distance. His shot from 25 yards was deflected and beat Sean Johnson in the Revs' 3-2 loss to Chicago for his fifth goal in the last first games.

7. CALEB PORTER. The first-year MLS coach will need to light a fire under the Portland Timbers after they only managed a 1-1 tie at Chivas USA that dropped them into fifth place in the Western Conference. He certainly tried his best to get the attention of his players from the sidelines. "To come out and make multiple amateur mistakes all over the field is just unacceptable at this point in the season," Porter told the Oregonian after the game. "It is surprising and it's not good."

6. JAY DEMERIT. It was thought that a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the 2013 opener meant the end of the season for the Vancouver Whitecaps captain. But the 33-year-old center back whom 'Caps coach Martin Rennie had said earlier in the week was not ready to come back came on late in the first half for injured Brad Rusin and helped Vancouver earn a 0-0 tie at San Jose. DeMerit's comeback could not have come at a more important time for Vancouver, which was missing Johnny Leveron and Andy O'Brien, both also out with injuries.

5. OMAR GONZALEZ. This has been a big year for Gonzalez. The Galaxy made him the first American defender to earn a Designated Player contract, and he has nailed down a starting job on the U.S. national team -- he's the only player to play every minute in the Hexagonal -- but he continues to confound with momentary lapses that have cost the Galaxy. The latest: he was pick-pocketed by Chris Pontius late in the first half of the Galaxy's game at D.C. United for the first of two times United came back as it earned a 2-2 tie.

4. BRUCE ARENA. The Galaxy coach is at his absolute best when you can get him on an off-day to talk about all things MLS. Steven Goff of the Washington Post sat down with Arena at his D.C. hotel the day before the Galaxy's game against United. Among the tidbits: reducing the number of MLS games doesn't make economic sense but something has to give with the MLS schedule; the Guinness International Champions Cup is here to stay; artificial turf is a disaster; the league office needs to get out of the business of putting rosters together. On the issue of the Galaxy, he said, "We are, by far, not assured of the playoffs.” And he was certainly right on the last point as it dropped to fourth place in the Western Conference when it only managed to tie D.C. United, MLS's worst team, 2-2.

3. MIKE MAGEE. One player the Galaxy certainly miss is Magee, shipped to Chicago in the deal that allowed the Galaxy to sign Robbie Rogers. While Rogers has just one assist and played just nine games for the Galaxy, Magee has 10 goals and three assists in 16 games for the Fire. He scored his 16th goal overall this season -- second behind Marco Di Vaio's 17 for the MLS scoring lead -- in the 3-2 win over New England that moved the Fire into fifth place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of Philadelphia on the first tiebreaker, wins.

2. OBAFEMI MARTINS. Injuries kept the Nigerian star out of Seattle's last four games and limited him to 17 appearances this season, but he scored his eighth goal and added his fourth assist on Lamar Neagle's goal as the Sounders beat Real Salt Lake, 2-0, to take the lead in the Supporters' Shield race for the first time this season.

1. THIERRY HENRY. Perhaps the Frenchman and Red Bulls coach Mike Petke should go at it more often. New York has won three straight games since they nearly fought at practice, and Henry has scored in both games since he was reinserted in the starting lineup. Petke says Henry's improved attitude has rubbed off on his teammates and it's resulted in the Red Bulls sliding into the lead in the Eastern Conference. “I’ve seen an improvement in the overall attitude of this team, an overall understanding, a willingness to jump on board," Petke told reporters after Saturday's 2-0 win over Toronto FC.

1 comment
  1. Jon Deeny
    commented on: September 16, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.
    Actually it was Martin's second game back from the ankle injury

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Preseason: Training camp and friendly schedules    
Toronto FC beats the LA Galaxy, 3-2, in a preseason scrimmage in the first of six ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 5-6)    
Walker Zimmerman is back with FC Dallas. The 22-year-old defender whose late goal kept it in ...
What They're Saying: David Wagner    
"It wasn't a surprise for me. I spoke with Jurgen Klinsmann maybe a year ago and ...
TV Report: NBC Sports Group to air Olympic qualifying    
NBC Sports Group will air all 15 matches from the Concacaf Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship that ...
USA-Canada International Friendly Player Ratings    
The USA closed out its winter camp with a 1-0 win over Canada on a late ...
UCLA lands Pugh and Fleming in recruiting coup    
UCLA has signed U.S. women's national team player Mallory Pugh and Canadian Women's World Cup veteran ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 4)    
Columbus Crew SC now has Ola Kamara to go along with Kei Kamara. The 26-year-old Ola ...
USA-Canada Preview: Youngsters should get second look    
Jurgen Klinsmann says he has two short-term goals for the USA's second and final test of ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"Naturally, we're upset. The players are very, very upset. We feel disrespected. We feel that our ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Kiesewetter    
"I always did [feel like an American]. My mom always told me about my dad, about ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives