TGI Saturday, am I right? It’s time to sit back, relax and revel in the fantastic slate of MLS games this weekend, including another clash between RSL and San Jose for the top spot in the West, a Galaxy trip to the Pacific Northwest and a Sunday afternoon national broadcast of RBNY and Seattle.
But it’s not all MLS grabbing our attention this weekend. We’ve got some news to share about the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying journey, what league USA captain Carlos Boganegra might end up with and who Chelsea’s bringing to the U.S. for the World Football Challenge.
Grab a beer (or a cup of coffee if you decided to sleep in today) and kick back with us for today’s Daily Kick Around.
U.S. Men’s National Team
Carlos Bocanegra is a modern day renaissance man. He captains the U.S. National Team. He models for ESPN the Mag. He hits home runs in celebrity softball games. But this renaissance man is suddenly without a club team, after his Glascow Rangers in the Scottish Premier League were dropped to the fourth tier of the country’s professional soccer. So where is Bocanegra to go? MLS? Europe? Maybe south of the border?
The veteran told press after the MLB all-star game’s celebrity soft ball game… that he’s considering Europe or a return to MLS.
But if the still-in-form 33-year-old wants to play in the 2014 World Cup, he would be wise to consider another alternative: the new Liga MX.
Though a move to MLS is no longer the death knell it once was for an international player’s career, it’s clear that Jurgen Klinsmann is looking abroad for the bulk of his roster.
Despite its proximity to the U.S. geographically, Mexico seems to be a particular infatuation. The German has tried just about every Yank playing at a high level south of the border, from Jose Torres on down to the woefully under-qualified Michael Orozco.
Perhaps Klinsmann just likes the style of the attack-oriented Mexican game better. Whatever the reason, Klinsmann seems to be much more in tune with the Mexican roots of the American game than any being nurtured in MLS, particularly when it comes to returnees.
With the 2014 World Cup now exactly two years away, the USMNT must get through two more rounds of qualifying before they can claim a ticket to Rio. MLSSoccer.com’s Greg Lalas looks at what Klinsmann’s boys need to do to qualify, and what happens if they don’t finish in the top three of the final round.
Omar Gonzalez made his triumphant return from ACL surgery last week to lead the Galaxy over the Philadelphia Union, but some nagging scar tissue is causing him problems and he may be unavailable for the Galaxy’s trip to Portland and Vancouver this week.
“For the game against Philly, I felt great,” Gonzalez said. “I had no nagging injuries, so I felt really confident to play in that game. But now I’ve got some other problems, and, you know, it just doesn’t feel right right now. I’m kind of hitting a little spot where I’m kind of questioning it a little bit. I think I have to really think about things right now.”
World Football Challenge
According to Chelsea’s official site, UEFA Champions League heroes including goalkeeper Peter Cech, defender Gary Cahill and Brazilian midfielder Ramires will lead a large group which also includes three new additions: Kevin De Bruyne, Marko Marin and Eden Hazard.
Five Euro 2012 participants — Ashley Cole (England), John Terry (England), Florent Malouda (France), Raul Meireles (Portugal) and Fernando Torres (Spain) — will join the group during the US tour.