MLS West Notes: Arena looking to make moves, Cruz fits in with FCD and more

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BY ADAM SERRANO 

Many MLS teams are looking to make a deal before the end of the transfer period on August 14th and the Los Angeles Galaxy is one of them.  

The MLS league leading Galaxy are on the cusp of starting play in the CONCACAF Champions League and may be looking to add depth at a number of positions. On Thursday, head coach Bruce Arena stated that the Galaxy are looking to make additions before the MLS transfer window closes on Sunday. 

"We've been looking and trying to see if we can add another player to our roster, it's not easy and it'll go right to the deadline if we can make an addition and that's all I can say," said Arena. "We've been through 40 or 50 names of players that you'd recognize around the world to players that you don't. At this point, we've not come up with anything." 

More news from around the Western Conference after the jump:

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA are looking to do something that they have failed to do all season–win two matches in a row.

Unfortunately, to complete this feat, they will need to defeat the Seattle Sounders in the boisterous environment of CenturyLink Field. When the Rojiblancos take on the Sounders, they are expecting a battle on the field.

"It's going to be a tough game, it'll be a great atmosphere and rightfully so because they have a big fan base and a great team," said Chivas USA midfielder Nick LaBrocca. "It'll be a battle for sure."  

COLORADO RAPIDS

The defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids are preparing for their roughest stretch in their season. 

Starting with this weekend's match against the San Jose Earthquakes, the Rapids will face a two week stretch that see Colorado travel to Central America twice while playing two MLS matches. Looking ahead to their difficult schedule, head coach Gary Smith told MLSsoccer.com, that his team will be competitive in the CONCACAF tournament. 

“Our attentions will obviously be turned to a different competition but one which should be exciting for everyone,” Smith said of the CCL. “I see no reason now that our squad isn’t strong enough to absorb both domestic and cup competitions.

FC DALLAS

Daniel Cruz is fitting in just fine with FC Dallas.

Just a week after being signed, the Colombian midfielder feels at home with FCD. Cruz participated in 18 minutes of the club's defeat to LA Galaxy on the weekend, but his travel with the club allowed him to get to know his fellow teammates.   After the long trip, Cruz admits that he has begun to feel like a valuable member of the team. 

“I talk with everyone, not just the Colombians,” the 30-year-old veteran told MLSsoccer.com. “[I talk] with the American people — they treat me very well. The truth is, I am very happy to be here. I think it’s a great decision to come here.”

Cruz, who is not fully fit, believes that he will be at full fitness in three to four weeks.

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The season hasn't always been easy for the Portland Timbers.

There have been good moments, like last week's victory over the LA Galaxy or disappointing moments like a long streak of failing to win at home. One of the negative points was a controversial call in the Timbers 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes. A potential Steve Beitashour handball in the box during the match was not awarded and well into the week, head coach Jon Spencer admitted that he was still upset about the result. 

“To be honest with you I couldn’t understand why we never got penalty kick right in the dying moments of the game,” Spencer told MLSsoccer.com.

REAL SALT LAKE

Luis Gil is beginning to draw a lot of attention at Rio Tinto Stadium.

After the 17-year-old midfielder scored his first goal in Real Salt Lake's victory against the New York Red Bulls, all members of RSL have been experiencing a bit of Gil overload. Defender Nate Borchers' even christened the week "Luis Gil week" in a recent interview with MLSsoccer.com. Jason Kreis said that although Gil is doing well, he's only one of many promising young players at RSL.

“It’s one step in the right direction,” Kreis said. ”Luis, or Collen Warner, or Chris Schuler or Raushawn McKenzie or Donny Toia — they’re all products in the making, but I do feel like we’re headed in the right direction with all of those players.”

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes need an attacking punch and are getting it from an unexpected source. 

Second-year right back Steve Beitashour has been impressive in his second year with the team scoring a team high four assists this season. Beitashour has been able to add to the attack after failing to register an assist in any matches last season. In a recent interview with MLSsoccer.com, head coach Frank Yallop told reporters just how important the defender has been this season. 

“I want my fullbacks to get forward and get crosses in, and Steve’s done that,” Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “[Ramiro Corrales] whips good balls in, so does [Bobby] Convey at times. The timing in [Beitashour's] have been perfect. Our big boys have gotten on the end of them.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

The Seattle Sounders are looking for depth ahead of the CONCACAF Champions League stretch and that will cause some players to change positions. 

One such player is former first-round draft pick David Estrada. The former attacking midfielder has seen time at right back for the Sounders in a number of matches including the friendly against Manchester United and a recent reserve match against the Vancouver Whitecaps. In an interview with the Seattle Times, head coach Sigi Schmid stated that Estrada fits very well along the backline. 

"He's a good enough header," said Schmid. "He's got enough speed. His crossing from deep is also good. It's just a matter of learning the nuances of the position and probably improving himself on his one-on-one defending."

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

The young members of the Vancouver Whitecaps are giving their head coach Tom Soehn something to think about. 

The play of forward Long Tan and wing player Canadian youth international Ben Fisk in reserve matches is forcing Soehn to consider giving the pair minutes with the first team. Both players have been performing well in reserve team matches and a number of injuries to the first team have forced Sohen to consider their inclusion. Tan in particular, is one who has lit up the reserve league,recently scoring a game winning goal against the Sounders, but a member of the 'Caps coaching staff told MLSsoccer.com that Tan's play has been a bit maddening. 

“One of the frustrating things about Long Tan is that he’s capable of scoring goals, but he’s also capable of some very frustrating play,” assistant coach Colin Miller said. “He’s capable of causing most defences in the league problems, but he’s just so inconsistent. It’s certainly some inexperience at this level of the game, as it is with all the young players, but he has some very good qualities.”

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26 Responses to MLS West Notes: Arena looking to make moves, Cruz fits in with FCD and more

  1. adub says:

    is this Daniel Cruz guy any good? Dallas has lots of games coming up (CCL,USOpenCup,MLS), hopefully he can step in right away as a sub. Avilla is gone, he could fill that role

  2. dgoshilla says:

    LA needs to make a bold move. We can’t win another SS and not win the Cup and that is exactly the direction we’re heading in once again.

  3. Juan Pablo Angel says:

    This article is really about me.

  4. gigi says:

    I called it last year, I knew gil would have more of an impact for real salt like this year. Talented kid

  5. Jose says:

    +1…I dont even think they win the SS with the lack of depth they have. They had a strong first half with Ricketts, but other teams have more motivation to get better.

    Arena is only looking to add one player? He should be looking for at least 2 if they are going for hardware.

  6. Mario says:

    It’s hard to replace a guy like Javy M. They should be looking for more depth, but it appears RSL is too cheap to go for another run.

  7. Chris Bitchell says:

    and hopefully me!

  8. Watters says:

    40-50 Players? I don’t believe it. Arena will probably add another boring defender.

  9. abc says:

    Very happy with the way Kreis and RSL are bringing Gil along, at the rate he is progressing I think he could be a regular starter by next year, even with a healthy Morales.

  10. abc says:

    Let me clarify: I’m not saying he would replace Morales. Maybe an aging Andy Williams is gone next year? Plus there is of course the Impact joining the league and the expansion draft…

  11. Alan Gordon says:

    I want to come home. My stats are better than JPA.

  12. g-dub says:

    Kreiss is outstanding. The way he’s downplaying the Gill hype is exactly the right approach. Also very smart to give other young guys recognition. Setting a very high bar for professionalism at that club.

  13. Edwin in LA says:

    I think they can get thru it just fine, with the games they have in hand, they can still end up 2nd or 3rd in the West.

    I love the fact that Gil has Javier Morales to learn from, this couldn’t be a better set up for him to learn in. Javi can teach and show him the ropes of directing the offense and how to properly become the link from Beckerman in the defensive third of the field and from the defense directly to the forwards and wingers.

    He’ll be 20 in Brazil 2014, I am really hoping he’s starting in 2013 at least 5 or 10 games, and hopefully by 2014 he’ll be either splitting games 50/50 with Morales or the main guy in the middle, but for sure this guy can have Gold Cup 2015 as his coming out party, hope he is in the 2013 Gold Cup tho

  14. Todd says:

    LOL…Gordon, Barrett, and Birchell. What amazing finishing that trio would bring!

  15. German National Team Poacher says:

    Yeah I agree. The midfield has some good potential and the back line is pretty solid, it’s the strikers that just aren’t cutting it. Getting another player on loan from Brazil or Argentina, just like Juninho, would be a nice start. But, Arena seems pretty pessimistic. I hope something happens.

  16. patrick says:

    lets hope their academy becomes the la masia for the US!!

  17. Fredie Adu says:

    Who Am I? Where in europe is philadelphia?

  18. EA says:

    Who is the oldest ex-US international that doesn’t have a team right now?

    Eddie Johnson?

    Whoever that is will be who Arena brings in.

  19. Dinho says:

    Roy Lassiter will be brought out of retirement and suit up in a Galaxy jersey. You watch.

  20. Pesky says:

    Lopez can’t shoot either

  21. Howley says:

    An absolute waste of Beckham…I wont blame him if he leaves

  22. Quiroz says:

    Eddie J would actually be pretty good, but most likely an Eddie Lewis, Greg Vanney. Gregg Berhalter type.

  23. fred says:

    poor man’s Buddle????

  24. Charles says:

    “The former attacking midfielder has seen time at right back….against Manchester United and a recent reserve match against the Vancouver Whitecaps”

    I didn’t really care and didn’t watch the whole game, but I am starting to figure out the embarrassing 7-0 result.

    Two games, one against Man U’s Rooney and that other against the last place reserve team.

  25. TommyOC says:

    I think what Arena isn’t saying is that the Galaxy has a salary cap problem. I can’t imagine the Galaxy has much space left with three DPs left.

    He can’t add a fourth DP so that will limit who he can get on the top end. Midrange wise is restricted by how much cap space he has left. Some fancy math says that space is probably (substantially) lower than ~$170,000 – or approx a half-season’s worth of cap space a DP would take up.

    Besides the obvious question of how many world-class people one could get for under $400,000/season, we have to ask how many DECENT people the Galaxy can procure for (much?) less than $200,000 to finish out the campaign?

    In other words, Angel – and his guaranteed contract – is preventing Arena from making a big move this season.

    If there’s anybody that can work out a deferred payment deal (a multi-year with a substantial 2011 payment increase after ditching Angel), it’s Arena.

    But don’t be surprised if he takes a gamble and pulls the trigger on a young up-and-comer from South America.

  26. TommyOC says:

    Nah. The NBC deal all but guarantees the Galaxy/league will ensure Beckham stays. I bet at least one of the 2 NBC network regular-season games will feature the Galaxy. It is a way to extend the league’s brand and you don’t show SKC or even RSL when you want to push something on network TV.

    And the only way to do that is to have big-name talent on the field.