Eastern Conference Notes: SKC to play Newcastle, Carr nears debut and more

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Photo by Greig Cowie/ISIphotos.com

By THOMAS FLOYD

Lost in the shuffle amid the announcement of Manchester's United's full U.S. schedule Tuesday, Sporting Kansas City announced a friendly against another English Premier League club with plenty of tradition — Newcastle United.

Sporting KC will host the Magpies at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on July 20. It will be the second international event at the new venue after Gold Cup doubleheader in June. Kansas City will try to replicate its international friendly success from 2010, when it picked up a 2-1 win over Manchester United at Arrowhead Stadium.

Here is some more news from around the Eastern Conference:

CHICAGO FIRE

Chicago's players are already getting excited for July's friendly against Manchester United, announced Tuesday, but they'll be directing their attention to a much more modest stage tonight when they host the Colorado Rapids in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier.

It's a tough draw for the Fire, who got matched up with the defending MLS Cup champion after Colorado's seventh-place finish in the 2010 regular season caused it to just miss out on an automatic berth in the Open Cup proper.

COLUMBUS CREW

When Emilio Renteria missed his second straight match Saturday due to a hamstring injury, Columbus coach Robert Warzycha switched from the two-forward alignment that struggled in a 3-1 loss to D.C. United the week before and instead went with Emmanuel Ekpo as an advanced midfielder playing beneath lone striker Andres Mendoza against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

Despite Columbus settling for a scoreless draw at home with a depleted Red Bulls squad in that match, Warzycha said he liked what he saw, telling MLSsoccer.com, "If you look at the two games, we definitely had more success with one striker and Ekpo behind him." With Renteria on the verge of returning, Warzycha said the club will continue to try both the 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 formations.

D.C. UNITED

Conspicuously absent from United's lineup in its first two matches this season has been designated player Branko Boskovic, who has been left as an unused substitute in both games. General Manager Dave Kasper told The Washington Post the 30-year-old arrived for preseason out of shape and is "just now getting his fitness."

A left-sided midfielder with the Montenegro national team who played centrally for United last season, Boskovic has slid down the depth chart with the return to health of winger Chris Pontius and the offseason acquisition of box-to-box midfielder Dax McCarty. During a 2-1 loss at New England on Saturday, coach Ben Olsen used Fred and Santino Quaranta as his two midfielders off the bench.

HOUSTON DYNAMO

Speedy striker Calen Carr, acquired from the Chicago Fire in exchange for forward Dominic Oduro, participated in his first full training session with Houston on Monday as he works his way back from a concussion.

When healthy, Carr will join Houston's crowded forward corps and compete for time up top with Brian Ching, who himself just returned from injury, as well as Jason Garey, Cam Weaver and first-round pick Will Bruin.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Making sure the franchise finds a accessible venue in an urban environment remains the focus of New England's quest to build a soccer-specific stadium, according to a Boston Globe report that includes comments from owner Jonathan Kraft and commissioner Don Garber.

"I don't think anybody questions that this is a fantastic soccer market," Garber said. "The question is how to bottle all that up, harness all that passion and convert that passion into support for the Revolution."

NEW YORK RED BULLS

After claiming the starting job in goal from incumbent Bouna Coundoul for New York's season opener against Seattle, Greg Sutton suffered a concussion in training last week that knocked him out of the Red Bulls trip to Columbus. With Coundoul on Senegal national team duty, New York had to rely on third-stringer Alex Horwath.

While the timetable for Sutton's return remains unclear, he understands his injury didn't exactly come at the best possible time. "It's all about timing in sports, isn't it?" he said to MLSsoccer.com. "Obviously, you always want to play if you can, but you have to look at it from another perspective, too. If I rush back, I can hurt myself worse and also hurt the team with how I play."

PHILADELPHIA UNION

The Union might consider itself lucky to have walked away with a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday after seeing this Philly.com review that concludes Carlos Ruiz's game-winner easily could have been called back for offside.

The win stands either way, though, and the Union can partially thank the contributions of teenage substitutes Roger Torres and Jack McInerney, who helped turn the tide in Philadelphia's favor.

TORONTO FC

Toronto's lineup should receive a boost soon from Canadian internationals Nana Attakora and Julian de Guzman, who are both training with the team and appear set to return soon.

After going 90 minutes in the season opener at Vancouver, Attakora missed Toronto's 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers with a minor knee ailment. De Guzman, meanwhile, has not played yet this season after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

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Do you think Kansas City will defeat Newcastle? Is Carr the right player to partner with Ching in Houston? Did Ruiz's goal against Vancouver look offside to you?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Philadelphia Union, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, MLS- Toronto FC. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Eastern Conference Notes: SKC to play Newcastle, Carr nears debut and more

  1. @badwolfdc says:

    NOTE: Newcastle is not an EPL team -Yet

  2. angler23 says:

    “Sporting KC will hose the Magpies at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on July 20.” A bold prediction indeed.

  3. @badwolfdc says:

    * Note Follow-Up………..of any note, tradition yes…should be fun to watch them, it should be competitive – sorry for the error in typing first post

  4. Colin says:

    err… are you sure about that one, boss?

  5. ga-gone says:

    You might want to join us in the year 2011. They are in fact in the EPL.

  6. ManicMessiah says:

    I hope Newcastle play someone in the Jersey/Philly/DC area. Then again, I more hope they stay in the premier league and don’t lose Jose Enrique, Joey Barton and who knows else, not bring anyone in and watch Ashley pocket the transfer money.

  7. VADCUfan says:

    +1

  8. VADCUfan says:

    +1

  9. VADCUfan says:

    Errr

  10. Mike says:

    I hope Joey Barton doesn’t cripple Bunbury then gouge out his eye while he is writhing in pain on the ground.

  11. james says:

    “Greg Sutton suffered a concussion in training last week that knocked him out…” – Were you trying to be punny or did that just happen by accident?

  12. Der_Amerikanische_Kaiser says:

    Won;t draw nearly the crowd Manchester United did last summer, that is, UNLESS Chad OCO 85 is on the roster by then….NOT!

  13. baquito alyeska says:

    I hadn’t considered this, but now that you’ve brought it up, I will also hope this doesn’t happen.

  14. baquito alyeska says:

    +1

  15. Mike says:

    You can never tell with Barton. He has done some pretty awful things on and off the pitch.

  16. Ken says:

    Serious question: who is going to be the most famous player on the field in the KC-Newcastle friendly? Omar Bravo? Joey Barton? Nile Ranger?

  17. Mike says:

    Probably Joey Barton….but not for good reasons.

  18. Jake says:

    ooh Coloccini, you are the love of my life, ooh Coloccini, I’ll let you shag my wife, ooh Coloccini, I want curly hair too

  19. Will says:

    any word on Toledo being suspended for his performance in the DC-NE game last weekend? laughable…

  20. PseudoNEmous says:

    I’m going to have to second that, along with hoping that the entire USMNT doesn’t come down with flesh-eating disease then simultaneously all break their legs in a freak accident.

  21. Mike says:

    Well that is just ridiculous. At least my scenario has some semblance of plausibility given that Barton is a thug who is prone to violent outbursts and dangerous tackles.

  22. Colin says:

    Well considering LSP only holds 19K, it’s almost guaranteed that this friendly wouldn’t draw nearly the crowd MU did last summer.

  23. Ryan says:

    Barton certainly does have a reputation, but he has been a pretty good boy the past year or so. He has at least settled down some. I would be more worried about playing De Jong than Barton. Unless you are drinking in the same bar and make Joey mad…

  24. Mike says:

    Or look at him funny at a local McDonald’s.

  25. Ag says:

    Not that bold…An in-form SKC destroys a pre-season Newcastle United.

  26. Curtis says:

    If KC can beat Man U…They can win this one easy

  27. Rex says:

    Dynamo have a crowded corps of forwards only in terms of quantity not quality.