The accolades for the red-hot Sounders rolled in Monday, with the respected Soccer By Ives website naming the Sounders the team of the week and Eddie Johnson the player of the week. Major League Soccer followed suit later in the day, also naming EJ the player of the week. Then mlssoccer.com had EJ on their Extra Time Podcast too.
A U-23 Sounders player also earned accolades Monday. Striker David Geno was named "player of the round" in the U.S. Open Cup by thecup.us. Geno tallied an amazing four goals, making him the first amateur-level player to score that many goals in the Cup’s modern era, which started in 1995.
A statistical analysis of last season earned Fredy Montero an honor Monday too, as Tempo-Free Soccer rated him as the best "return on investment" of any MLS designated player last year. The analysis used a cybermetric player valuation system to decide how much each player contributed toward a team’s success and then divided that by salary to come up with the rankings. Love to hear your thoughts on this assessment in the comments.
Of course there was some non-Sounders MLS news Monday too:
Now that David Beckham’s retirement is official, talk about his contractual option to buy an MLS franchise is heating up. Beckham called the move an "interesting option," and Grant Wahl at SI.com says the word on the street is it will happen soon and that Becks wants his team in Miami. Beckham’s contract reportedly forbids him from being involved in either New York (or L.A), where MLS' 20th franchise was announced for. The team is partnered with Manchester City and the New York Yankees.
Up in Vancouver, there is news that DP Kenny Miller could be on his way out, and soon, with a Scottish paper reporting talks this Thursday to return Miller to Rangers. Meanwhile, Caps players, coaches and management are struggling to understand why they are performing so poorly this season (Vancouver Sun).
Speaking of struggling, Chivas USA lost 4-1 to Real Salt Lake in SoCal on Sunday and it could have been worse. It was honestly one of the worst MLS displays I have seen. After the game coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola held another one of his fascinating post-game press conferences. In this one he admitted, openly, that his group of players is simply not good enough to win in MLS (goal.com).
Could "El Chelis" be in danger of losing his job with such comments? Possibly, though it’s hard to tell who is running what at CUSA these days. Over at Pro Soccer Talk they take a look at which MLS managers are most on the hot seat right now.
Finally today, here is a nicely written piece about how much better MLS play is these days than it was just a few years ago (goal.com). Having watched almost weekly since 2003 I have to say I agree with the assessment that the quality of play is rising. There are still some games that are pretty unwatchable, with a lot of turnovers and some really poor passing, but the quality seems to be getting better almost annually (Chivas USA’s 2013 disaster the exception).
- Scott Ayers