Hey folks, just keeping an oar in here, as Time Warner Cable has given us a window, a large window, for when they can reconnect the BP home offices to the Internet and we can rejoin the 21st century. We’re pretty sure they said anywhere from Easter Sunday to the Fourth of July. We’ll just have to see.
So we’re hanging tight, and in the meantime, coming to you live from the Mailboxes etc at the local strip mall, between the Quizno’s and the Szechuan Dragon, where they are currently offering ‘Free All You Can Drink Wine with Every Entree.’ That could end badly.
The meter is running, so let’s get right to a couple of updates and highlights from the week:
The Galaxy’s Edson Budddle scored his team’s first goal of the year last weekend, then followed that up with two more in L.A.’s 2-0 blanking of crosstown rivals Chivas USA last night. Sean Franklin was the provider on Buddle’s first, in the seventh minute, and Landon Donovan assisted on the second, in the 87th minute.
In Houston, Javier Morales continued his hot start, scoring for Real Salt Lake in the 18th minute against Houston, but it was not enough as the Dynamo’s Brad Davis answered with two from the penalty spot, within three minutes of one another (52nd and 55th minutes). U.S. World Cup hopeful Brian Ching left the game 30 minutes in with a hamstring strain.
There are only three more games on tap in MLS Week 2, all of them tomorrow: At 4:00 p.m. EST the Fire visit the Rapids (TeleFutura will broadcast it); at 7:30 New England kicks off against D.C. United at RFK (MLS Direct Kick); and on the West Coast, the Red Bulls face a tough test, taking on Seattle at rowdy Qwest Field at 10:30 (Fox Soccer Channel).
And we wondered in our last post if things might be gettting off on the wrong foot in San Jose. Judging by the following quote from midfielder Bobby Convey—a onetime U.S. national teamer and Premier League veteran who was taken off at halftime of the Quakes’ 3-0 opening loss to Real Salt Lake—we’d have to say yes:
“Coming out at halftime was the most embarrassing and disappointing thing that has ever happened in my career, and this is my 11th year. I don’t think it was warranted. … When a team loses, there always has to be a scapegoat, and that was me [last season]. And unfortunately it happened in that first game again.”
Some huge off-field MLS news: they expanded the Designated Player Rule (aka the Beckham Rule). Read all about it here. Does this mean the Red Bulls will add a Thierry Henry and a big-time midfielder? It could happen, and would not break the bank.
Yanks Abroad, Premier League
Clint Dempsey was involved in both goals as Fulham dropped Wolfsburg 2-1 in their Europa League semifinal first leg, setting up Bobby Zamora for the first, and starting the buildup that led to Damien Duff‘s second.
The strongest opponent for the U.S. in Group C of this summer’s World Cup, Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, suffered an ankle in injury in United’s 2-1 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, but he should be back well before the tournament. Scans revealed only minor ligament damage, and Rooney will return in two to three weeks. He’s targeting April 17, when Man U takes on archrivals Manchester City, for his return.
The injury comes at a terrible time for Man U’s Premier League title hopes, though, as the Red Devils host Chelsea tomorrow.
Jonathan Spector and West Ham travel to Goodison Park to meet Tim Howard and Everton, while the Hammers’ fellow relegation-battlers Hull City will take on Stoke City. Jozy Altidore is expected to start for the Tigers.
In other Premiership games involving Yanks, Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves face third-place Arsenal; Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa will square off against Stuart Holden‘s Bolton. Friedel will likely get the start, while Guzan will be on the bench and Holden is out injured.
Dempsey and Fulham play Wigan Athletic.
Another notable Yank abroad, Herculez Gomez, has continued his goal-scoring ways. Check out his thoughts on MLS vs the Mexican League and other topics here.
Okay, our time is up–that’s your truncated update. Do you think Gomez has played his way onto U.S. coach Bob Bradley’s radar? How about Buddle? With Ching’s injury, and if Buddle continues his hot start, is he a possibility for at forward for the U.S.?
Let us know in the comments.