1. Crew ends road drought with Kamara goal.
Among the notable players snubbed by the All-Star fan vote were top scorer Kei Kamara and leading assist man Ethan Finlay. Guess who teamed up Wednesday to help the Crew win on the road for the first time this season, 1-0, at Chicago?
Kamara headed home Finlay’s cross in the 41st minute to extend each player’s edge atop the respective league leaders and more importantly, end Crew SC’s futility away from MAPFRE Stadium this season. It had been 0-5-4 with a minus-11 goal difference. Kamara scored his 13th goal, Finlay notched his 11th assist.
Kamara, whose 13 goals are already the most he's had in a season in his nine years in MLS. reacted sharply to the snub with this tweet.
The teams turn right around to play for the third and final time this season Sunday in Columbus. The first meeting of the season in May finished 2-2.
2. Lions sign Ashe, beat West Brom.
Corey Ashe has been through a lot since he began his pro career in 2007, but he’d never been traded -- until Tuesday.
Houston, which had drafted him in the second round of the 2007 SuperDraft, traded Ashe to expansion team Orlando City SC in exchange for general allocation money and a second-round pick in the 2017 draft. The veteran of 211 games joins former Dynamo teammate Tally Hall and regards the first trade of his pro career as a new challenge as much as a new team.
“It’s a very good, dynamic, young squad with a lot of potential,” he told orlandocitysc.com. “Fortunately, I got to see Orlando play Houston when they played in Houston [March 13] and it was a fun game. A lot of the forwards possess a lot of speed; obviously having Kaka doesn’t hurt. Tally Hall is obviously good, the back line is good as well so it’s a team with a lot of potential and I’m hoping that I can bring some veteran [presence] to the back line and to the team.”
Ashe will be available when Orlando City SC takes on the Red Bulls Saturday. In a friendly against West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, all three Designated Players -- Kaka, Bryan Rochez, and Carlos Rivas -- scored in a 3-1 victory at the Citrus Bowl. Kaka scored an electrifying goal, finishing smartly after a 45-yard dribble through the middle. Midfielder Harrison Heath departed the match with an apparent knee injury in the 29th minute.
3. Soumare out, Aquilani in?
Three weeks out of the starting lineup is enough for Impact defender Bakary Soumare. He wants out, period.
Soumare met with team executives Monday morning and all parties agree that a change is probably the best move for all concerned. Reports in Italian media that defender Alberto Aquilani could be bound for Montreal -- his contract with Fiorentina has expired -- turned up the heat on the tensions within the squad. Soumare has started 16 games (including CCL) this season but the last few weeks has been on the bench.
“I want to play,” Soumare said. “I don’t know how long I’ll keep playing. … I don’t know yet. I want to play. It’s true that it’s been a little bit up and down in terms of performance on my part, I understand that. If there comes a time when I think I'm not really needed anymore or I’m not part of the club’s plans anymore, it’s best to go elsewhere.”
Head coach Frank Klopas went through a crisis with Soumare when the pair were together in Chicago. They were reunited just six months ago when Soumare ended a second stint with the Fire by declaring for the Re-Entry Draft, but his form dipped after Montreal’s remarkable run to the Concacaf Champions League finals.
“For me, I haven’t had an issue with Baky,” said Klopas, “but I think this is just a part of any team, throughout a season, that you have to go through and you have to manage, as long as it doesn’t affect what we’re doing on the field with the team.”
4. Quakes claim Silva off waivers.
A new signing, Matheus Silva, is the youngest player (18) on the San Jose roster. He played centerback Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss to Club America and the Quakes announced his signing Wednesday.
According to a team press release, the native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was claimed off waivers. Silva (6-feet-2, 198 pounds) comes to MLS from Montverde Academy (Fla.), which he led to an 18-0-1 record. He’s regarded as one of the top prep midfielders in the country.
5. Arena, Bradley listed among top coaches.
Former USA head coaches Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley have been named among the top 50 soccer managers in the world by FourFourTwo. The men worked together at several levels and both coached the MetroStars/Red Bulls but were widely separated in the rankings.
Bradley led Chicago Fire to a league title in its expansion (1998) season and coached Chivas USA and the MetroStars as well as the national team. He is currently employed by Norwegian club Staebek and is placed No. 24. Arena, winner of three MLS titles with the Galaxy and two with D.C. United, guided the USA to a quarterfinal placing in the 2002 World Cup. He is ranked 46yj.
Not surprisingly, Jose Mourinho -- currently in charge of Chelsea -- is No. 1. Bayern Munich boss and Barcelona icon Pep Guardiola is No. 2.