It’s difficult to lose a player the caliber of Dave van den Bergh. The former Dutch National Team player has a technical ability and understanding of the game rare in MLS. But Van den Bergh apparently had two ideas at the end of last season: either go back to Holland or be traded to Dallas. Red Bull accommodated him, and actually ended up making out quite nicely in the process.
Osorio needed a quick, speedy change of pace attacker to complete his transition of the Red Bulls/Metrostars from a bloated over payed underachieving squad to that of legitimate MLS Cup threat. Losing Jozy Altidore last season hurt the team that barely qualified for the playoffs but now between the speedy and technically gifted Mac Kandji and Oduro, the Red Bulls can play flat out counter attacking soccer. Osorio used Calen Carr in a similar role in his brief stint managing the Fire.
Oduro has shown a capability for scoring late game winning goals. Few will forget the goal he scored on national television in June 2007 to sink Real Salt Lake. Osorio needed a late game sniper and he’s found one of the best in the league.
- Those critics of Landon Donovan’s move to Bayern can hide now. Not only has Donovan looked good in his two appearances for the club but he’s settling in nicely as well. The more mature 26 year old Donovan is not going to be running home to Southern California unless forced to by contract. The critics of Donovan some of whom see great humor in his failings better get used to years of sustained success from one of the best ever produced by this country.
- I’m a little surprised New York was willing to trade Mike Magee to Los Angeles. I didn’t think Bruce Arena used him well in NY, and Osorio seemed to get more out of him.
- Soccer United Marketing’s decision to keep the Pan Pacific Championship going with the LA Galaxy representing MLS de-legitimizes any impact the tournament may have had. I liked the original concept of the event but if it is simply going to become a showcase for one MLS club who will not put the league’s best face forward, I do not see the point.
- Last year the discussion around the MLS Scouting Combine in Fort Lauderdale was whether or not the Superdraft was becoming obsolete. This year despite the defection of Wake Forest’s Marcus Tracey to seek a European club, the draft is deeper than anytime since the last 1990s. That’s good news for MLS, and ultimately for US Soccer as well. –