Saturday's hero deserves his accolades this week. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Doubtless you've all heard, but Hurricane Irene is making her way to the USA eastern seaboard and fixin' to tear up the entire I-95 corridor, prompting the league to postpone Sunday's match between the New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union until next Wednesday, September 7th. It's disappointing, certainly, but with this storm being consistently billed as the worst hurricane to hit the Northeast in decades, I suppose every precaution needs to be taken. I'm old enough to remember Hurricane Bob (albeit barely) and, frankly, if this nor'easter is even going to approach that level I hope no one anywhere on the East Coast is outdoors when it hits.
Apart from that, I have a couple of things from this past week that I'd like to comment on.
First of all, the Revs led the way in mlssoccer.com's team of the week (posted on Tuesday) with three players in the squad. Milton Caraglio was a shoo-in with his explosive performance against New York, but possibly more surprising was the inclusion of Benny Feilhaber and Matt Reis. Reis certainly deserved his honors after the clinic he put on against Houston in the mid-week game, and it seems the post-match red card did little to dampen his image to the pundits over at league HQ.
Benny, on the other hand, perplexes me. I'm not saying he's played poorly of late, just that I've found him to be exceedingly ordinary in the last two games. He had some nice touches and passes against Houston and certainly looked comfortable on the ball and in a central role with Shalrie Joseph against New York, but he didn't do anything to truly stand out in my mind. In fact, lately I feel as though he's beginning to disappear from games, as though the team (or perhaps Feilhaber himself) is less concerned with having play flow through him, and as a result he has been less energetic and apt to try and make things happen. In the press box, most of us "journalists" (and real journalists, actually) have been postulating that his frustration at playing on such an unsuccessful team in a less-than-inviting (at times) place and organization is finally bringing him down.
In other news, former USA youth international Sammy Ochoa has become the next guy who once represented this country to limp into an MLS contract after his career stalled abroad. Ochoa had been with Estudiantes Tecos in Mexico since 2006, but made only sporadic appearances and has been without a contract since the end of last season. If I'm not mistaken, he trained with Seattle back in June, but didn't make the cut. Not that it would have mattered, since apparently he qualifies for MLS's twisted world of allocation orders.
The Revs have no shot in hell of picking him up (17th in the allocation order right now) and I'm not sure they'd want to. Fans have already seen enough misfiring strikers in the last two seasons to last them a lifetime, and I have to believe the coaching staff and personnel department have, too. Plus, this is prime time for penny-pinching Chivas USA to finally exercise that number one allocation order spot. Ochoa is Mexican-American and his salary probably isn't that high, two really big pluses for the Goats' management.
Oh, and one last thing: Jurgen Klinsmann has released his 24-man roster for the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Costa Rica, and guess who's on it? Our dear friend Jeff Larentowicz. Yup. The man who was traded two seasons ago for asking for too much money (he makes a whole $165,000 in Colorado, by the way) is being given another shot at the top with the US national team after picking up his first cap in January. Couldn't afford $165k for one of the best defensive midfielders in America, but throwing $200k at Dabo for two and a half games is good business.
I'm not bitter or anything.
What do you think of MLSSoccer.com's team of the week? Do you disagree with my sentiments about Sammy Ochoa? Want to vent some more about the Larentowicz debacle? Leave your questions, thoughts and comments below!