MLS West Notes: Galaxy focus on Supporters Shield, Schmid rips Rapids and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

It's been a good week for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

After keeping their hopes of advancing from the CONCACAF Champions League alive with a last second win against Morelia on Wednesday, the Galaxy can clinch the Supporters Shield with a victory on Saturday. A victory over Real Salt Lake and a Seattle Sounders loss or draw, the Galaxy would clinch the Supporters Shield. 

For a team with plenty of big matches on the horizon in the CONCACAF Champions League and  MLS playoffs on the horizon, a victory could mean some well needed rest for the well-traveled Galaxy.

"Going into the last stretch of the season, you want to be as fresh as you can," said defender Todd Dunivant. "We've earned the right to have that rest and we put ourselves in the position to win the Supporters Shield and secure that playoff position. If we can do that then absolutely, guys need to be getting rest."

For their  match against Real Salt Lake, it is likely that Irish forward Robbie Keane will make his return after declaring himself "fit to play" for Saturday. Keane missed Wednesday's match with a strained right glute.  The Galaxy will also welcome back David Beckham, who has missed the last two matches due back spasms and a suspension.

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA have a chance to qualify for the postseason, but only if they can conquer murderers row. The Rojiblancos face three straight games against the Philadelphia Union, Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders as they look to qualify for the playoffs.

Currently Chivas USA are only four games out of the final playoff spot, but must win all of their remaining games — and get help from other results — to qualify. Due to the difficult road, Chivas is realistic — yet confident — about their playoff prospects. 

“You never know what’s going to happen, but I think that it’s a bit late for us,” forward Juan Pablo Ángel said. “The only thing that we can do is control what we do on the field."

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids appeared to be throwing in towel in the CONCACAF Champions League, but the victory of a reserve squad in El Salvador has breathed new life into their CCL hopes.

The Rapids defeated Salavadorian club Metapan on Wednesday and now sit in second place in group B. Colorado's victory was their first in eight games and may have breathed new life into their floundering season.

“Obviously, we’re desperate to do well in [CCL], but we’re also desperate to defend the MLS Cup as well,” Guppy said. “It’s a team effort. We got the job done, and now we get ourselves back somehow … and then we go again against Dallas on the weekend.”

FC DALLAS

FC Dallas' drive to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League took a stop on Wednesday when FCD dropped a disappointing result to Panamanian side Tauro, losing 5-3.

Missing Brek Shea, the lineup heavy with reserves was unable to come up with a victory in Panama. After the match, head coach Schellas Hyndman admitted that it was a strange match.

"A greater defeat than we've ever had and I give our guys credit for having nine player on the field, said Hyndman. "In my mind there was not be anything we could do to come out with a win."

Dallas still control their own destiny heading into the final group match against Toronto FC.

PORTLAND TIMBERS

  The Portland Timbers are trying to qualify for the playoffs in their first season, but they expect no favors for their Cascadian rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Whitecaps currently sit at the foot of the Western Conference table while their fellow expansion side is only two points out of the tenth and final playoff berth. When the Timbers take on the Whitecaps on Saturday, they know that the struggling Whitecaps will give them no favors. 

"It looks really bad (for Vancouver) for us to be in the playoffs or be close and for them to be at the bottom of the table," goalkeeper Troy Perkins said. "Of course, they're gunning for us."

REAL SALT LAKE

Javier Morales has made his return after a 23 match absence on Wednesday by going 30 minutes in Real Salt Lake's 3-0 defeat to the Chicago Fire.

After being injured in by a Marcos Mondaini tackle on May 7th, Morales has worked tirelessly to return to the field.  When asked about his return after a five month injury layoff, all Morales could do was smile. 

"Unbelievable," he said. "I don’t know how you say it in English, but my skin, you know? … That was my best feeling in my career."

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Change is coming to the San Jose Earthquakes.

After a disappointing season that has San Jose near the bottom of the Western Conference, head coach Frank Yallop admits that he's ready to make major changes.With just four games left and the Earthquakes currently mired in a franchse-record 13 game winless streak, Yallop is excited to bring in some new blood for next season. 

“I’m actually excited about that, to clean out some people," said Yallop. "They can go on with their careers and we can move on as a club.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

The Seattle Sounders were the first team to advance into the quarterfinals in the CONCACAF Champions League. Having earned 10 points so far in a difficult group that contains defending champion Monterrey, the Sounders have continued to persevere.

Due to the importance that Seattle has placed on the tournament, Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid felt that it was a slap in the face that Rapids head coach Gary Smith did not travel with his club earlier this week when the Rapids took on Metapan of El Salvador. 

"Everyone has to make their own decisions as they relate to those things. For me, if my team's in a competition I'm going to go to the game with them, no matter what the team is that I send down," Schmid told the Seattle Times. "For me, not traveling with the team I think would be disrespectful to the competition that you're competing in and to the opponent that you're playing."

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

One of the biggest criticisms of the Vancouver Whitecaps this season has been their poor defending.

Time and time again the defense which is anchored by Alain Rochat and Jay DeMerit has been prone to errors that have in many instances cost Vancouver points. Now with the Whitecaps preparing to open B.C. Place this weekend, interim head coach Tom Soehn has said that his backline's performance is just not good enough.

"I've asked a lot now of Rochat and DeMerit to solve things [on the field] before they become problems," Soehn said. "I don't think we're doing a good enough job of that, of making sure we keep our shape and tuck guys in before it breaks down. We're reactionary right now and that's a problem."

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32 Responses to MLS West Notes: Galaxy focus on Supporters Shield, Schmid rips Rapids and more

  1. Coach Bob says:

    I can sympathize with Gary Smith. I’m certainly not traveling to Algeria.

  2. mikey says:

    Sigi’s right about the coach not even travelling.

    I had a problem when Backe did it and Gary Smith is no different.

  3. Brianrants says:

    As a Rapids fan…its disappointing that Coach Smith didn’t travel. He’s a great coach, one us a cup…but if you don’t want to be in the competition, just withdraw. Let the other competitors know you don’t feel you can compete effectively in the MLS with this distraction..etc. But just not show up? I dunno…

  4. Landredas says:

    Shocking. I know that Vancouver sucks, and is in Canada, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of effort in doing reports. “Time and time again Alain Rochat and Jay DeMerit have been prone to errors that have in many instances cost Vancouver points.” On the surface it looks good, Vancouver gives up a lot of goals and those two are the current central defenders. Course one of them started the season playing on the outside and proved himself to be one of the best players of his position in the MLS. The other one mentioned has been injured most of the season. I’d mention names, but anyone who follows MLS knows exactly which one is which. Adam, if you have problems ask Ives, he can draw you a picture.

    Soehn has lost the dressing room and the as a coach who’s replacement has already been hired he has little power to influence these players

    On top of that no mention of the fact that the Caps open up their new home field might also have been worthwhile. Course that might have required an extra 5 minutes of research.

    Shocking.

  5. Jorge says:

    Is this what you mean?

    “Now with the Whitecaps preparing to open B.C. place this weekend…”

  6. Second City says:

    Generally, it’s a bit classless for another manager/coach (in any sport) to call out a fellow manager in your sport/league.

    That said, I’m glad Sigi did. What Gary Smith and Hans Backe, did before him, is disrespectful the the league and disrespectful to your very profession.

    There’s simply no excuse for it. I don’t care what rationalizations the few are trying to justify.

  7. Big Chil says:

    I have no problem with Gary Smith not traveling for the Metapan game.

    He made the worst of two competitions. The ultimate goal is to do well in both. Secondary is to do well in one, mainly your home league competition. The worst result is to weaken your team in both.

    The Rapids starters have had 3 extra days with their primary, and presumably better, coach, to beat Dallas. The conundrum now is what resources to devote to the Santos Laguna away game. The answer will be clearer after the FCD game.

  8. Juan from L.A. says:

    Sigi is absolutely right but guess who set this precedent…the worst crap that can come to MLS….mr euro snob Backe!!! He snub the US Open Cup other coaches see it and think its ok…unbelieavable I know the Mexicans dont take the CCL seriously but they dont these shenanigans. I wish MLS would fine them.

  9. Soro says:

    Soehn will do anything to avoid taking the blame himself. Playing Brovsky at RB? Leaving Harvey out there after he has shown that he just doesn’t give a s*? Releasing (after the salary cap relief date at that) depth players like Knight, Akloul and Wagner (whom I am no fan of) with the result that Rochat is playing of position and there is absolutely no depth. Letting Vagenas see the field at all is criminal. I’d rather see Alderson and Stanese from the residency program out there at this point in the season. Soehn has proven time and time again that he has no idea what he is doing. I hope he is trying to get fired by throwing these two under the bus.

  10. Mike Bassett says:

    I realize Beckham was suspended for the Morelia game due to yellow cards, but, why wasn’t he on the bench? I mean, it was a home game.

  11. Lil' Zeke says:

    Gluteal carbuncle

  12. bottlcaps says:

    I believe it is a FIFA rule that if you are under suspension, you are not allowed to sit in with the teamor on the bench. Teams have got around this by making the player part of the coaching staff, press accreditation or just ignore it.

  13. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Dear SBI: I’m really wanting to see a current SBI ROTY list.

  14. bottlcaps says:

    Then again, he may have wanted to spend time with his kids in the VIP box with their grandfather, But Becks was at the game.

  15. downintexas says:

    He did not win you a cup. The ref won you a cup!

  16. kfly says:

    All I’ve learned about Sigi Schmid this season is that he fits right in with the rest of the Seattle fan base: whiny, petulant, annoying, makes excuses, and judges everyone else who’s been around longer.

    No wonder the Galaxy ditched him even though he had good results.

  17. downintexas says:

    Or they are great coaches giving their assistant coaches, head coaching experience. You got to coach every one in the org.

  18. Hopper says:

    You’re just mad because he’s absolutely right.

    Don’t hate on us Sounders fans just because we dominate and our team is awesome.

  19. Travis says:

    who has been around the MLS longer than sigi?

  20. Second City says:

    lol….

    name one “great” coach that’s skipped his team/clubs competition that counted, in any format.

    “Coach everyone in the organization”…..by showing them how not to lead? Fortune cookie wisdom there, downintexas.

  21. CHarles says:

    He was joking. Beingwhiney and annoying while complaining about the same.

  22. bigprof says:

    Mexican teams take it seriously, otherwise they would always play reserve sides. If it was about getting into Copa lib, then they would simply lose at la liguilla’s semifinal stage so as not to qualify for CCL. Dont lie Juan

  23. sammysounder74 says:

    We were here before MLS and we will be here after MLS. Nobody has been around longer.

  24. Moron says:

    You sure?

  25. RB says:

    What a ridiculous comment. A year later and the loss in the final still goes down hard down in Texas.

    Generally agree with Brian, and only wondering if something more will come out later to explain things (some personal matter, for example), or that will be it.

    Well, also wondering why the headline says Schmid rips Rapids when it appears Schmid ripped Smith…

  26. Dizzo says:

    That’s what the reserve league and friendlies exist.

  27. KFLY, he’s a New Yorker and has had the same routine going on for years and it’s worked very well for him. Seriously doubt that he’s going to change for anyone now.

  28. phill says:

    Shut the hell up Schmid. Gary’s move was controversial, but we won. End of story. That’s it. Shut up.

  29. Sam says:

    Cardozo finally getting some minutes! Would be ROTY if they used him at the start

  30. Grog dog says:

    Demerit and Rochat are one of the nest Centre Half tandems in the legue…People forget one or the other have been injured much of the year

  31. ND says:

    they have to now…the gap is getting much smaller. They could get away with it before. This isnt 5 years ago.

  32. Jim says:

    Pids are still in the CCL…eat crow