Aug 27, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT
Here is our current view of how the league’s Most Valuable Player race is shaping up:
1. Mike Magee:
We cannot really say Magee is in a scoring slump; that’s not exactly fair or even accurate.
What we can say is that the season savior around Toyota Park, whose arrival has been one of the best stories of Major League Soccer 2013, has not scored in almost a month. Any way you slice it, that’s not good for the man’s MVP chances.
The Fire forward’s most recent goal was on Aug. 3, his eighth for in 10 league matches at the time for Chicago. Now four Chicago Fire games have come and gone without a strike from “Magic Mike.”
He was injured and did not appear in two of those. Still, a loss of momentum means the spotlight gets pointed elsewhere.
The timing is hardly ideal. First, as we said before in our last MVP Awards Tracker, Magee’s chances are linked heavily to Chicago’s playoff fate. Dwayne De Rosario (in 2011) is the only league MVP so far from a club that did not make the playoffs. Every match Magee misses or that he fails to find goal reduces the Fire’s post-season chances.
Frank Klopas’ team is currently seventh in the East, where five clubs will qualify for post-season soccer.
Plus, any deceleration of momentum in and around September, as people like me begin to look more carefully at these races, can become a real buzz kill on someone’s chances.
2. Robbie Keane:
The Galaxy’s Irish international made a roaring statement in Round 25 with his second hat trick this year, a truly meaningful one as the Galaxy took apart Western Conference leading Real Salt Lake.
That is precisely the kind of headline-making performance voters tend to remember when they fill out ballots.
Keane is tied for fourth in MLS goals (10) and tied for third in assists (9). If you add those totals, no MLS man has contributed directly to more goals.
3. Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio
Almost by definition, the league’s leading scorer will become a leading MVP candidate. The Italian veteran has a league-leading 15 now. Two of those came in Saturday’s destruction of Houston.
Di Vaio’s goals are a big reason Montreal leads the East, in dandy position for a playoff berth in just its second season in MLS. That’s a great story around which to build an MVP case.
Also in the running: Vancouver’s Camilo, Portland’s Will Johnson, Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:04 PM EDT
Sporting KC get their first victory of the season, while NYCFC suffer their first defeat of the year — and history.
Mar 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
It wasn’t a great day to be a traditional European giant, but it was a great day to be Gareth Bale and Wales.
Mar 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
A dominant performance — and the three points to match — from the Revs…finally.
Mar 28, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
Think that MLS playing through int’l windows isn’t a big deal? Let’s ask Orlando City what they think about it.
Mar 28, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT
Campbell was capped 73 times, and is England’s second-youngest captain. Clearly he knows that, too.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:39 PM EDT
The Canaries finished in 7th place last season in the Veikkausliiga, Finland’s top-flight.
Mar 28, 2015, 12:54 PM EDT
Should the States’ losses in friendlies represent anything other than a concern at the lack of US youth readiness for the big stage?
Mar 28, 2015, 12:08 PM EDT
This likely comes as a surprise to Liverpool fans, as Johnson is widely treated rightly or wrongly as a scapegoat by Reds supporters.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:37 AM EDT
Does the embattled USMNT coach have a point? I’m again bracing for the comment section when I say… I think so.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:55 AM EDT
The States are 1-4 in their last five matches, all four coming on the road (Colombia, Ireland, Chile and Denmark).
Mar 27, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT
Roundup of Euro 2016 qualifying matches from Saturday.
Mar 27, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Both Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling will most likely be out of England’s friendly vs. Italy on Tuesday.
Mar 27, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT
Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahmovic buries a strange one.
Mar 27, 2015, 8:20 PM EDT
England trounced Lithuania 4-0 in a Euro qualifier for their seventh-straight win since the World Cup, and captain Wayne Rooney likes what future lies ahead for his country.
Mar 27, 2015, 6:42 PM EDT
22-year-old Ventura Alvarado asserts that he would like to play for USMNT in the long term.
Mar 27, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
Manager Chris Coleman say Gareth Bale is only focused on the Wales’ “job in hand.”
Mar 27, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT
Suarez doesn’t think he could be classified as hooligan after his biting incidents.
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