Yesterday I reported Toronto FC made two last-minute moves - adding a striker and defender - to put an end to the MLS' main transfer window. Spoke too soon. Later in the morning TFC added yet another defender, longtime EPL player Tal Ben Haim. Ben Haim was with Queens Park Rangers, a teammate of TFC's coach Ryan Nelsen. He is also captain of the Israel national team. Ben Haim is reportedly on loan only until the end of June. One has to think that TFC has something more permanent in mind if he shows well (The Guardian).
Wednesday's TFC loss to San Jose was notable on the Earthquakes' side of the ball for a couple of reasons. First, the team inserted Honduran Walter Martinez into the traditional No. 10 role and he became a devastating part of the attack as San Jose pushed for the tie and win. Second, the game saw the debut of Marcus Tracy, once considered the best young striker prospect in the United States, his career diminished by scores of injuries. Tracy won Hermann Trophy for best male college player in 2008, but at age 26 had not started in a first-team game in any league since 2009. His reaction? "Just relief." (mlssoccer.com)
Someday perhaps we may be reading a similar story about Vancouver's Omar Salgado. The now-19-year-old was considered a sure thing as the first pick in the MLS Draft in 2011. But he has hardly played and is now injured again, which will cost him to miss more time with his club and, most likely, a shot at the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team (goal.com).
Vancouver got some good news in the form of Honduran centerback Jonny Leveron, who debuted to much praisefrom his coach last weekend, and could be seen as a longer-term solution aside Andy O'Brien if his strong play continues (The Province).
The news out of Chivas USA camp just continues to baffle. Thursday, coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola announced that no one informed him that the team was going to trade striker Juan Agudelo. Agudelo moved to New England early in the week for allocation money. This is not the first such story since "El Chelis" took over. James Rileyreported that Chelis told him he would be starting for CUSA this year then, a day later, Riley had to inform Chelis he had been traded to DC United (mlssoccer.com)
Finally, today, a couple of notes from Europe:
First, former Red Bull New York star and U.S. National Team regular Jozy Altidore is a cup champion in Nederland, scoring the game winner as his team AZ Alkmaar beat PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Cup Final (soccerbyives.net).
And then there's this opinion about how much the departing Sir Alex Ferguson has meant to the CONCACAF game. The writer points out that Manchester United is the only one of the "big four" European clubs that has imported CONCACAF players regularly - a list that includes Americans Jovan Kirovsky and Tim Howard, and Mexican striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez (goal.com).
- Scott Ayers