The 2009 MLS Season is now just two weeks away so it's time to start making the rounds in MLS for a sense of the happenings in MLS pre-season.
Here is a look at what the teams in the Western Conference have been up to in the past week:
The Dynamo received some awful news on Wednesday when veteran defender Eddie Robinson was sidelined indefinitely after having knee surgery. The injury, which could keep him out up six week, likely means that newly-acquired defender Julius James will have to be thrust into the starting lineup alongside Bobby Boswell.
Real Salt Lake
RSL has re-signed defender Chris Wingert to a contract extension, bringing him closer to the $100,000 mark and rewarding arguably the team's best defender in 2008. There were rumblings about Wingert being unhappy with his contract status, and with the club turning down a serious bid for Wingert from the New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake had little choice but to sign Wingert to a new deal. In other news, RSL added Ned Grabavoy in the MLS waiver draft.
Chivas USA defender Bobby Burling will miss the start of the season after having sports hernia surgery. Burling, who started 18 games at centerback for Chivas USA in 2008, is expected to miss six weeks. You can add right back to the list of positions rookie Michael Lahoud has been used at. The Wake Forest product started at right back in Chivas USA's 1-0 exhibition loss to San Jose on Wednesday.
Three goals weren't enough to stop FC Dallas from dropping a 4-3 decision to Clube Atletico Paranaense on Wednesday. Jeff Cunningham, Kenny Cooper and Aaron Pitchkolan provided the goals for the Texans. Newly-acquired playmaker David Ferreira did not play for FC Dallas.
Los Angeles Galaxy
Yes, the Beckham circus continues, but in other news, talks between the Galaxy and Honduran club Platense over defender Osman Chavez have reportedly broken down. Could the Galaxy really be ready to play two rookies in central defense in Omar Gonzalez and Yohance Marshall? Marshall has yet to make the team but word out of LA is that he has looked far more like the projected first-rounder he was expected to be before he absolute stunk up the joint at the MLS Combine. Yes, Tony Sanneh is still with the Galaxy but he, like Marshall, remains unsigned.
San Jose Earthquakes
The Earthquakes defeated Chivas USA, 1-0, in exhibition action in Carson, California on a goal from Cam Weaver. Earlier in the week, San Jose dropped a 2-1 decision to the Colorado Rapids. Lost in all the pre-season news is the disappointing development that the Earthquakes top draft pick, midfielder Brad Ring, will miss the 2009 season with a degenerative hip condition. The loss of Ring could pave the way for veteran free agent and New Zealand international Simon Elliott to sign with the Earthquakes.
Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle dropped a 1-0 decision to River Plate in exhibition action in Argentina on Thursday. The loss was just Seattle's second of the pre-season. The Sounders improved their pre-season record to 7-1-1 on Tuesday with a 5-1 drubbing of Tristan Suarez.
The Rapids defeated the Los Angeles Galaxay, 5-2, on Wednesday behind two goals from Omar Cummings. The win came just two days after Colorado defeated San Jose, 2-1, behind goals from Conor Casey and Jacob Peterson. In other Rapids news, former assistant coach and recent director of player development John Murphy has resurfaced in Scotland, where he has taken over as goalkeeper coach for Scottish first division side Livingston.
What do you think of these stories? Think Houston is in trouble without Robinson? Still wondering what the Galaxy will do for a defense? Are you starting to believe the hype about Seattle?
Share your thoughts below.