This morning Pablo Mastroeni announced his retirement. Starting with the Miami Fusion in 1998 he played 16 MLS seasons, almost 12 of them with the Rapids before finishing his career in LA for the last half of 2013. He holds the Rapids record for starts, appearances, and minutes, as well as being a 3-time team MVP and captain for almost 9 full seasons.
NPSLexpansion sideGreater Lowell Unitedtabbed former MLS first overall pick Jason Moore as head coach ahead of its inaugural season.
Moore, 35, was selected firstby D.C. United in 1999 andplayed in 95games during a five-year career that includedstints withthe Colorado Rapids (2000-01), ChicagoFire (2002)and New England Revolution (2003).
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando claimed his second-straight MLS Save of the Year award today.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper won the award for his double save against the Colorado Rapids in Week 23 that denied Jaime Castrillón's snap header before sprawling the other way to tip the rebound away before the ball could go in off an Real Salt Lake player.
Better late than never with this post. Yesterday MLS released the season schedule, the earliest its ever been released. As expected this is the same home/away splits we played in 2012, and the exact opposite of last year's. That means long road trips to the Eastern Conference (NY, Toronto, Philly, New England, and DC) and 2 away games in Vancouver, Seattle, Salt Lake, and Dallas.
We're sadly into the offseason, so its time for my annual roster review. Here I separate players into categories of what I would try to do with them this offseason. These evaluations attempt to reflect the realities of roster building in MLS, where its not easy to bring in a score of new players every season and you have salary caps to work with.
An argument can be made that the 2013 MLS Rookie class is the strongest in league history, but there was only one player who showed his consistency week in and week out during the course of the season.
Notre Dame product Dillon Powers made 29 starts in 30 games for the Colorado Rapids, establishing himself as a rock-solid central midfielder with the ability to defend and distribute, as well as attack and take corner kicks at the professional level.
The home-standing Sounders started the game well enough, which was probably no surprise after Colorado opted for big lineup changes. Oscar Pareja - my personal vote for MLS Coach of the Year - maybe over-thought things by dropping Marvell Wynne, moving Shane O'Neill to right back, and bringing in German Mera (who only played 577 minutes in 2013) centrally.
Portland Timbers have clinched their first-ever Major League Soccer playoff game, which — for Timbers supporters — is a euphoric and monumental achievement. What makes their November 7 playoff match even more enticing is the possibility that if Seattle Sounders beats Colorado Rapids tonight, the Timbers will host the Seattle Sounders in a super-sized reincarnation of the greatest soccer club rivalry in the United States.
The 2013 Major League Soccer regular season is complete, and boy did it finish with a bang.
For the first time ever, the New York Red Bulls won a major trophy, taking the Supporters Shield title and with it, a chance to host the MLS Cup final at Red Bull Arena as well as a place in next season's CONCACAF Champions League.
Zakuani has been dealing with pain from a sports hernia surgery he had earlier in the year, and it looks as if he will not able to recover in time to return to action this year. The injury has been one that Zakuani has dealt with much for of the season and he suffered a setback earlier this month when he played against the Portland Timbers.
First, Jaime Castrillon will not be returning to the Rapids in 2014. Much like Calderon, his injury-limited playing time in 2013 opened the door for Brown to claim a starting spot, and the addition of Torres as a DP and Sanchez has made it obvious who the starting strikers will be.
Well we have our first roster move of the off-season. After finishing his season-long loan the Rapids have decided to let Diego Calderon return to LDU Quito in Ecuador. Calderon started the first 5 games of the season before injuring his knee saving a goal in Salt Lake (and the Rapids won the Rocky Mountain Cup by 1 goal this year) and spending the next few months on Injured Reserve.
Good move to start the off-season. Sturgis is the kind of player that every MLS team needs. A solid capable player that can be plugged into a number of spots at a reasonable salary. He's nothing flashy but he's one of the basic building blocks of a MLS squad.
All of Black and Red United's playoff coverage - all of it, sadly, devoid of D.C. United - in one unhappy place.
With D.C. United basically firing everybody (except, so far, Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper), our betters in the league set out in the MLS Cup Playoffs tonight, with the Don't-Call-It-A-Wild-Card Round, which pits the fourth and fifth place teams in each conference in a single-game elimination.
Well that sucked. The Rapids of the last 3 games on the road showed up in Seattle last night, with the expected result. They were assisted by a number of mind-numbing mistakes from Oscar Pareja in his lineup and sub choices en route to a 2-0 loss. I'm going to dispense with the normal recap, because there's not much to say, for just some general comments about the game.
With D.C. United basically firing everybody (except, so far, Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper), our betters in the league set out in the MLS Cup Playoffs tonight, with the Don't-Call-It-A-Wild-Card Round, which pits the fourth and fifth place teams in each conference in a single-game elimination. Here's everything you need to watch the game, and while you're here, you may as well post in our open thread, which we'll keep going for both Knockout games.
Curse of the coin-flip? After a bad weekend the Rapids are forced to play the wild-card game on the road in their worst location, Seattle. Just to remind everyone, in eight competitive games in Seattle all-time we've lost seven and drawn once (earlier this year) with a -13 goal differential. The good news is since that coin flip above the Sounders have lost 4 and drawn 1 while being outscored 13-3.
Sweeep! SWEEEEEP! Here we are, the end of the regular season. After going 4 for 4 against Canada so far this season Colorado can guarantee a home playoff game with a win in Vancouver on Sunday night. Depending on Portland's game on Saturday and the LA-Seattle game kicking off an hour after we do on Sunday the Rapids could finish anywhere from 2nd to 5th but only a win will get them above 4th while a draw will leave them in either 4th or 5th.
Two posts tonight, we'll get to the schedule release later this evening. First the good news for our rookies. Dillon Powers was named Rookie of the Year today, beating out teammate Deshorn Brown. Powers and Brown finished first and second in each category (club. media, and player voting) putting them far ahead of 3rd placed DeAndre Yedlin of Seattle (though the difference between Brown and Yedlin in player voting was only 1.
There were a lot of options for Player of the Year this year, which was a change from 2012 when the choices were Pickens, Pickens, or Pickens. Looking back at my Player of the Match choices I gave it to 14 different players, 7 players more than once, and 4 players more than twice. Those final 4 were Irwin, Brown, Sanchez, and Powers.
Unless you live in the Denver area, or are a diehard Colorado Rapids fan, last night's 2-0 win for Seattle in the Western Conference knockout round gave us the match-up we really wanted to see: Portland v Seattle in the Western Conference semifinals. Seattle got Seattle got goals from Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson to beat the Rapids.
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This is be a very exciting week for weekly soccer pundits.
In curling a hogged rock is a rock that never enters play and is removed from the game for not going far enough. That sounds a lot like Colorado last night, who never seemed to enter play and were removed from the field on a Camilo hat-trick, losing 3-0.
I could break down the game like I usually do, but Drew Moor covered it for me.