Jul 3, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT
Two of the Eastern Conference contenders meet at BBVA Compass Stadium tonight. Yes, I said “contenders.”
Houston may be something of a stretch as a driver along Contender Row right now – but not much. Dominic Kinnear’s Dynamo has played just six matches at home (taking 14 of a possible 18 points, which isn’t bad at all). Most teams are sitting at around 8-9 home games already. Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United have played 10 at RFK. So, yes, the Dynamo can still insert itself into the race.
As for Chicago? Frank Klopas’ men trail three teams in the table, but none can match the fine form Chicago finds itself in. Based on recent success (three wins in a row) and some presumption that a southbound turn isn’t imminent, Chicago could easily have a say.
So, yes … big game in South Texas tonight. Here is a foursome on the field I’ll watch with special interest:
- Geoff Cameron: I’m interested to see where Kinnear stations the long-legged U.S. international. Because after some recent struggles at center back, Cameron played as center midfielder in a 4-3-3 in a weekend win over Philly. On the one hand, Kinnear’s job is all about stacking up the points for Houston; he has no obligation to develop U.S. center backs. On the other hand, I hate the Cameron might miss an opportunity to play his best position at the highest level. (Yes, center back is the man’s top spot.) But again, Kinnear’s job is to put the best arrangement on the field for his Dynamo – so I get it.
- Oscar Boniek Garcia: The new Dynamo DP clearly has talent. Playing along the right in that 4-3-3, the Honduran international’s ability was clear to see. You could also see that he’ll be even more effective once the new Dynamo attacker gain’s the local vibe of it all. He really looks like an exciting addition to MLS.
- Marco Pappa (pictured): Chicago’s main man of the moment is probably responsible for six or points all by himself this year. With goals in both of the Fire’s most recent two wins, the Guatemalan international is clearly motivated at present – clearly hopeful of a move to Europe. But he’s here not and helping the Toyota Park slowly bunch move up the Eastern ladder. So, use him up while you can, Coach Klopas.
- Chris Rolfe: He returned for a second run at Toyota Park in April but, hurt right away, only got his first 2012 start on Saturday. Rolfe assisted on Pappa’s weekend game-winner Friday and he’ll presumably get faster, stronger, sharper, etc., with additional matches and fitness. A midfielder in Friday’s win, he can play pretty much any spot in midfield or along the forward line, so he presents some tasty options for Klopas.
Jun 19, 2013, 10:23 AM EDT
Liverpool take a huge net loss on the 24-year-old while West Ham set their transfer fee record.
Jun 19, 2013, 9:48 AM EDT
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Jun 19, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT
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Jun 19, 2013, 8:35 AM EDT
The United States had the perfect lineup to slowly whittle away at the Honduras defense before it finally broke.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:45 AM EDT
The 24-year-old American has found a new team after spending 5 seasons at Villa Park.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:08 AM EDT
The Premier League has released its fixture list for the 2013/2014 season in its entirety. Find out the opening fixtures plus your favorite team’s derby here!
Jun 19, 2013, 2:00 AM EDT
Feel free to ask yourself at this point: where would the United States be in World Cup qualifying without its young, in-form striker:
Jun 18, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
Jozy Altidore was the hero for the United States, cooly slotting a left-footed shot to hand the Stars & Stripes a 1-0 victory over Honduras.
Jun 18, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The LA Galaxy coach has taken aging players and made them useful parts of the roster before:
Jun 18, 2013, 7:14 PM EDT
Everyone loves “The Pope”
Jun 18, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Our weekly re-ordering of Major League Soccer teams, following 16 rounds of play:
Jun 18, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT
Some of the best U.S. success in the past has come when the United States was backed into a corner. Tonight looks much different:
Jun 18, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
There are a few choices to be made ahead of Tuesday’s match in Utah:
Jun 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Unsaid in this narrative is this: most U.S. sites are bright and alive these days.
Jun 18, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT
Stuart Pearce has been relieved of his duties as manager of England’s U-21 squad.
Jun 18, 2013, 9:34 AM EDT
Australia join Brazil and Japan as nations that already have booked their place in next summer’s World Cup.
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