When old friends meet

He's just one piece of the puzzle, yet what the playoff picture looks like at the end of the season is sure to be framed around forward Scott Sealy and many players like him.

One of several veterans obtained by San Jose coach Frank Yallop during a midseason renovation, Sealy has scored one goal and registered two assists for the Quakes since being traded by Kansas City.

Along with Arturo Alvarez, Darren Huckerby and Francisco Lima, Sealy has helped transform from the Quakes from the league's worst team to a playoff contender, albeit one in a rather weak Western Conference.

"At the end of the day, those things happen in professional sports," says Sealy, who plays against his former team Saturday when the Quakes host the Wizards. "I have nothing against Kansas City. I'm here now and I'm happy to be here. It's just one of those things you can't control."

Sealy scored 28 goals for Kansas City in 3 ½ seasons, yet KC had acquired Colombian striker Ivan Trujillo and Argentine forward Claudio Lopez during the winter, and once the name of U.S. striker Josh Wolff surfaced during the summer as one of the Americans angling for a return to MLS, the Wizards began listening to offers.

"It was a no-brainer for us," says Yallop, who sent allocation money to Kansas City in the exchange. "The league gives you allocation money for a reason, to get players. It was a good move."

Players facing a former team are always intriguing subplots as the season unfolds, yet along with redemption and perhaps revenge, at this stage of the season results are crucial. Each team has nine games to play; with at least four of the eight playoff slots far from determined and the international transfer window closed, coaches are scouring rosters to find players already based in the United States. Quite a few moves have already been made.

Red Bull reject Joe Vide wears the D.C. United shirt against New York this weekend and his other former MLS club, San Jose, next week; and forward Jeff Cunningham, who counts the Crew among of his many ex-employers, will be wearing the FC Dallas red-and-white stripes against Columbus.

Ex-Galaxy defender Chris Albright welcomes his former mates to Gillette Stadium for a date with the Revs after being traded during the preseason. Albright left the Galaxy bitterly, since he'd just signed a new contract and had no inkling of the deal until it was done.

"I wasn't too happy about the way it came about," he said. "But if I had to leave the Galaxy, I couldn't have come to a better organization than New England."

The Red Bulls and D.C. are tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points; if the playoffs began today, both would qualify, but neither is anywhere close to clinching.

Los Angeles desperately needs points to stay afloat in the Western Conference while the Revs are deadlocked with the Crew for most points (37) overall.

Former Chivas USA stalwart Amado Guevara comes back to Home Depot Center for Toronto FC with both teams' playoff hopes in jeopardy. More than a year ago he refused a trade to TFC, and stalked off to play on loan with Montagua in his native Honduras. (This after former Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley traded the team's Designated Player slot to get him from New York. Bradley's replacement, Preki, tried to trade him four games into the 2007 season.)

Chivas USA had retained his MLS rights though the loan deal with Montagua had expired, and before the season started traded him to TFC for a couple of draft picks. Guevara may have moved on, but the Chivas USA fans won't miss this chance, which is their first opportunity to get on his case since he left in a huff.

Getting back to the D.C.-Red Bull showdown, Vide won't be the only participant to have changed sides.

The sad saga of Santino Quaranta's drug addiction and rehabilitation took him in 2007 from Los Angeles to New York, for which he played just three games before suffering a horrific ankle and foot injury that hobbled him for months.

Quaranta went through surgeries and physical rehab before and during his 90-day stay at a drug and alcohol dependency clinic. United took him back in March; he scored his third goal of the season last weekend, a spectacular cracker from 30 yards, in a 3-0 rough-up of the Rapids.

The Red Bulls were the last team to give up on him. He picked up an assist in a 4-1 United romp over the Red Bulls June 14. But there's no animosity; he'd flamed out all by himself.

"When I got traded from LA," says Quaranta, "New York just didn't feel like I was part of it. But it wasn't New York's fault. I wasn't doing anything but hanging on. My job now is to help this team win no matter who we're playing."

1 comment about "When old friends meet".
  1. Iron Flex, November 24, 2008 at 11:57 a.m.

    Its a amazing thing to create a friends in world first i wish to thank god and in my first meet i also thank god to give that opportunity then and discuss the things share our feelings in our is so nice what i told now there no word.

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