MLS West Notes: Jimenez makes most of chances, Kreis sick of losing and more

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By ADAM SERRANO

Hector Jimenez has been living life under the radar in his rookie season, but when the midfielder from the University of California has had his chance to see action, he's grabbed a hold of it.  

Jimenez was instrumental in the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over Morelia in the CONCACAF Champions League, helping to create the winning goal. He also saw time last Tuesday during the Galaxy's 2-0 defeat at the hand of the New York Red Bulls. 

Despite seeing only limited minutes as of late, Jimenez has been a staple in Galaxy travel squads for their recent trips in the CCL and has earned praise from coaches and teammates alike for his dedication. With the Galaxy reserves likely to see extra minutes as the season wraps up, Jimenez admits that watching guys like David Beckham and Landon Donovan has done wonders for his own game. 

"Being able to watch some of the best players in the league perform at their best definitely helps me out a lot," said Jimenez. "To be able to watch how they do things, whether on the road or here, day-in and day-out helps you." 

Here are more notes from around the Western Conference:

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA's playoff dreams are over, but the Rojiblancos still have plenty to play for. With their focus turned to their Oct. 16 match against the L.A. Galaxy, the Goats understand that they must now try to pick up their first victory against the Galaxy since 2007. 

"We're very sad, because we've been working really hard to try and make the playoffs and we all expected that we would do it," said defender David Júnior Lopes. "It's difficult and unfortunate, but life goes on. You just have to keep working hard and try to move forward."

COLORADO RAPIDS

Eddie Ababio's time with the Colorado Rapids has been a short and tumultuous one, but that hasn't discouraged the youngster from the University of North Carolina. 

Ababio scored the first goal in the Rapids' impressive 4-1 victory over Metapan in the CONCACAF Champions League, helping preserve the Rapids' faint hopes of quarterfinal qualification. Ababio impressed while playing at right wing, but the young Ghanaian has shown other skills as well, playing at right back for the Rapids 5-1 reserve victory over FC Dallas last Sunday.

For a player, who at one time walked away from the organization, his success is a testament to his hard work as of late.

FC DALLAS

The Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex was awarded with the honor of "Best Sports City" in America earlier this week due to the success of the NBA's Mavericks and the NFL's Cowboys, but not to be outdone are FC Dallas. Once again in the thick of the playoff hunt after advancing to the MLS Cup Final last year, captain Daniel Hernandez believes that FCD has become part of sports fabric of the city. 

"We definitely have an identity now. Schellas Hyndman came aboard, you see the number of national-caliber players we have and Hispanic players who have gotten some publicity," Hernandez told The Sporting News. "We have a very Latin-style team, and I think we play somewhat similar to their style of soccer. It's attractive to fans we didn't have when the team moved (from the Cotton Bowl, near downtown) to (suburban) Frisco."

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The Portland Timbers are done with just being called a hard-working team. 

Following the Timbers' 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, Vancouver head coach Tom Soehn said that the Timbers were "a hard-nosed, blue collar team that likes to get challenges in."

Timbers head coach Jon Spencer admits to taking offense to this statement with his team in the heat of the playoff chase. 

"It's a little bit of disrespect to say we're just a hard-working team," Spencer told The Oregonian. "We pride ourselves on hard work, but to get to 40 points in this league, you have to have a little bit of quality as well."

REAL SALT LAKE

Jason Kreis is sick of losing. Literally. 

Having lost three consecutive matches as well as its chance to win the Supporters' Shield, Real Salt Lake looks to rebound on Thursday night in Vancouver against the Whitecaps. Facing the last-place team in the West, a team that has not won at home since August, makes the match a must-win for RSL if it is to solidify its playoff positioning. 

"It makes me a bit nauseous," Kreis told the Salt Lake Tribune. "To be completely honest, we have to be completely focused on us right now. I can be happy as I want with performances and things I see in matches — effort, togetherness, camaraderie — but at the end of the day we need to win some games, too."

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes may be eliminated, but don't expect a youth movement, at least not at goalkeeper. 

Goalkeeper Jon Busch admits that he will not be surrendering any starts to rookie David Bingham as the Earthquakes look to wrap up this season. Bingham has seen time primarily in reserve matches this season while Busch has worn the No. 1 shirt, a prize that Busch admits Bingham must take from him.

"I prepare myself for every game and to be chosen every game," Busch told reporters in San Jose. "Now, that's obviously up to [Yallop] and the coaching staff, but I've always believed and I was raised in the system that it's yours until somebody takes it from you. It's mine, I work hard every day to keep it and make it mine.

"Until somebody takes it from me, I want every game possible."

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

If the U.S. Open Cup is going to get a facelift, then Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer wants to have a say in the discussion. Amid reports in the Sporting News that the U.S. Open Cup's bidding process will change as early as 2012, the general manager of the Sounders, who have won the last three straight U.S. Open Cup trophies wants to be part of the conversation.

"I want the tournament to grow in profile, and for it to continue to become more relevant in every market in MLS, in USL, NASL, lower divisions, amateur divisions," Hanauer told the Tacoma News Tribune. "It’s probably above my pay grade to say whether the bidding process can help raise the profile. I’d like to be in the conversation, though."

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS

The Whitecaps will get their second crack at a win at the newly refurbished BC Place on Thursday night when they take on Real Salt Lake. The match that was supposed to take place earlier this summer but was postponed due to field conditions at Empire Field after a temporary surface installed for the World Football Challenge failed to drain after a rainstorm. Victories have been few and far between for Vancouver this season with the club going winless on the road and their last victory at home occuring in August. 

With disppointing results becoming the norm, head coach Tom Soehn admitted that it's time to look to the club's youth as the Caps look to next season.

"You're going to look for guys who are hungry now," Sohen told The Province. "Coming off a disappointing performance, that's the one thing you can say: Whoever is going to come back and is going to fight and scrap – because I think we missed that part a little bit – is going to play.

This entry was posted in MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to MLS West Notes: Jimenez makes most of chances, Kreis sick of losing and more

  1. MattJack says:

    U.S Open is not a focus MLS should bother with. It should be a 2nd tier tournament. focus on CCL instead of old stale competitions that even the fans don’t show up for with free tickets.

  2. Hopper says:

    That’s a pretty dumb comment. Maybe fans like you don’t show up, but fans here in Seattle show up for US Open Cup games like crazy. Just like they do in Portland.

    Giving the US Open Cup a higher profile can only be good for US soccer. I don’t see a downside at all. But then again, I live in the pacific northwest, where a lot of people really like soccer and like to watch their teams play no matter the competition.

  3. seaoctopus says:

    The US Open Cup is OUR FA Cup. Clean up the bidding mess, allow random draws for the first several rounds, and continue one of the oldest sports traditions in the US and in soccer/futbol…

  4. He sure did make the most of his chance….
    Dude has a handful of Silva Junk

  5. Billbie says:

    US Open Cup: Home and Away games with aggregate goals. More games and it gives the smaller teams the chance of hosting the 800 lb Gorilla.

  6. SWED says:

    I agree with Hopper. A higher profile for the USOC can only help soccer in the U.S. I would like to see more MLS teams going to the smaller clubs’ venues, to boost awareness of the sport and the league. As for focusing on the CCL, the Sounders have proven that you can play well in both USOC and CCL if you have depth. If you don’t have depth, then, like is the case in Europe, you can focus on one tournament over another.

  7. Gnarls says:

    That really defeats the purpose of a cup tournament, but I agree the USOC needs some changing.

  8. chris says:

    No the open cup is a stupid competition that should be dropped by mls teams. It is a waste of time and adds unnecessary travel and games to an already very congested schedule when mls teams should be focusing on CCL or securing a playoff spot.

  9. Alex says:

    hahaha that was my first thought too dude.

  10. Gnarls says:

    The U.S. Open Cup isn’t a focus of MLS because it’s the property and responsibly of US Soccer. MLS may choose to give it 100% (e.g. Sounders) or phone it in (Red Bulls), but it’s up to the individual teams, their depth and their season goals.

  11. Gnarls says:

    MLS teams*

  12. chris says:

    We dont need an FA cup. We have playoffs just because europe has it doesnt mean we need it. The US is too big for a stupid tourney like this

  13. jamesey says:

    I agree. it’s just not worthwhile. It’s nice that it has a lot of tradition, but MLS clubs only play in it to be nice to USSF.

  14. jamesey says:

    I totally agree. It’s no more difficult to win the carolina challenge cup then the us open cup. beat a usl squad. beat a couple mls teams. that’s it.

  15. Hopper says:

    You’re too big for a stupid tourney like this.

  16. Cairo says:

    Of course it needs modification, but people who think it should be gone altogether have no interest in growing the game in this country. Like it or not, the US Open Cup championships have played a significant role in raising the profile of soccer in Seattle beyond the purely soccer fans. I’ve taken non-soccer fans to the last two finals, and both times they came away jazzed up about mls and soccer in general. It’s one more opportunity to get people excited about soccer in the US. How is that a bad thing? (even if your teams are not winning the game or drawing the big crowds.

  17. Knuckles says:

    You clearly don’t watch the USOC. It’s a great tournament when taken seriously by the teams that are participating.

  18. Mo-one says:

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for Jason Kreis. Big baby needs to grow a pair and shut up.

  19. asimismo says:

    You haven’t been watching the last few years, have you?

  20. Kevin_Amold says:

    Is he not supposed to respond to the question asked of him?

  21. MattJack says:

    hopper’s argument is limp at best using the sounders fans who show up to anything just to watch the plastic pitch kickaround. I’ve been and watched multiple games each year. my comments are what they are, my opinion.

    I think anyone that knows enough about soccer and pushing this league into the TOP 10 in the world. the USOC is not something any MLS team should care about. We need to focus on beating our rivals around the continent.

  22. Hopper says:

    “Plastic pitch kickaround?” Talk about a limp argument.

  23. duhboy says:

    yeah, you told him!!!!!! high five!

  24. Peretz48 says:

    I’m with you, seaoctopus. The history of the USOC is a microcosm of soccer in America. All it needs is a visionary to tweak it so that it is more meaningful.

  25. RB says:

    Not really, when FIFA’s own assessment of it describes it as “mainly for recreational, community and municipal use.”

    And that’s the Seattle Times reporting, too.

  26. RB says:

    I don’t know, but I don’t think he’s supposed to guide his mighty team to an 0-4-2 streak on the road right during the homestretch of the season, which he’s well on his way to at the moment (even against the team with the worst record in the league).

  27. Kevin_Amold says:

    I agree completely. Thus, he feels sick of losing.

  28. acj says:

    Jon Spencer needs to stop taking offense to everything anyone else says and start putting up points. He took offense to Schmid saying they score a lot of goals off of set pieces. Now he takes offense to an opponent calling his team hard-nosed. Neither of those sound like insults and at least one of them is objectively true.

  29. Ronnie says:

    stupid post considering the growing attendance and quality of the final. Chicago played a spirited game, but they put in the Magic Man way too late.

  30. Kam says:

    Jimenez has looked good, but Cardozo has looked great. Future MLS star without doubt.

  31. JP says:

    maybe Arena finally gets it. Almost anybody is better than the awful Birtchall

  32. ryan says:

    the US Open Cup is the only soccer history we really have in this country that’s been continuous throughout the years. it’s one of the oldest tournaments in the world and deserves to be kept alive.