MLS Eastern Conference Notes: Boston bombings hit home for Reis, Oduro settling in with Crew; and more

MattReis2 (ISIPhotos.com

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY DARRELL LOVELL

The aftermath of the bombing of Monday’s Boston Marathon hit home in the New England soccer community as Matt Reis’ father-in-law, John Odom, was injured in the blast. Odom was at the finish-line waiting to cheer on his daughter, Nicole, when the blast occurred.

Odom was rushed to a nearby hospital and is in critical condition after three surgeries to repair damage to his ribs and legs.

Now Reis, who moved from the blast area moments before it happened, is balancing the crisis at home where his father-in-law is in critical condition with his work on the field.

“Its one day, one moment that changes the complete direction your life is in, your family is in, and everybody around you (is in),” Reis said at Gillette Stadium yesterday.

Read more of Reis’ comments here.

Here’s some more news and notes from around the MLS Eastern Conference:

CHICAGO FIRE

The Chicago Fire have gotten off to a tepid start this season with a 1-4-1. Part of the issue has been the rash of injuries the club has encountered with players such as Dilly Duka and Arne Friedrich missing a number of early games. According to president of soccer operations Javier Leon, the club will have to be smart in making any moves to make up for the injuries as there are always salary cap implications.

“The main thing is we just don’t want to do something just for the sake of doing it,” Leon said. “I can tell you that every team in MLS always has issues with the salary cap, but we’re not in that situation where we have difficulties. There is possibilities to do some things based on the way it’s being planned.”

COLUMBUS CREW

Dominic Oduro is making himself at home in Columbus. The speedy forward has made an impression with the Crew scoring three goals in six games and providing a spark at the top of the Crew formation. His hot start has resulted in him beating out Jairo Arrieta for the current job pairing with Federico Higuain.

“He deserves to be on the field,” coach Robert Warzycha said. “He scores goals like (his last two) and he’s active, and he’s helping the team win the games. I think it’s a no-brainer.”

D.C. UNITED

Despite a slow start, morale in the D.C. United camp is not suffering. The club currently shares the bottom spot in the Eastern Conference with the Fire at 4 points but the team is not turning on each other. Instead, they are looking to last season’s success as a way to work through their current struggles.

“Our team morale and mind-set is what pushed us through last year when we got to the playoffs,” defender Brandon McDonald said. “We all have each other’s back. Times are hard and we have to stay together and ride it out. We’ve got a bunch of good guys in here.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO

In the midst of the Houston Dynamo securing their record 35th-unbeaten home game in a row with a 2-1 win over the Fire Will Bruin was showing signs of heating up. The big forward did not score in his first five games but scored for the second straight game following being absent due to a hamstring injury.

“I don’t like sitting out games, but I’ve got to have somebody tell me to relax and make the smart decision,” he said. “If you put it in my hands, I’ll try to go.”

Bruin heating up is a good sign for the Dynamo as he carried the goal-scoring load for them with a record 16 in all MLS games in 2012.

MONTREAL IMPACT

Troy Perkins, 31, is on his fourth MLS club in 10 years and is putting in his best start of his career. The veteran goalkeeper is backstopping a tough defense and in the process allowed just five goals in six games, saving 81 percent of shots against him. His play is a big reason for the Impact’s spot just behind conference leading Sporting Kansas City.

NEW YORK RED BULLS

Juninho knew immediately what the consequences would be. In the club’s 1-0 loss to the Sporting Kansas City Wednesday night the Designated Player fired a dead ball at SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. According to him it was to speed the game up, but instead it earned him a red card and a game suspension.

“I was a little frustrated on the goalkeeper who was delaying the game a lot,” Juninho said through a translator, Red Bulls technical director Ricardo Campos. “I was trying to rush him a little bit. I felt that the goalkeeper exaggerated on his reaction a lot and it didn’t hit near the face.”

The midfielder will miss the April 27 match with Toronto FC.

PHILADELPHIA UNION

The Union announced on Thursday that their May 4th match vs. the Seattle Sounders at PPL Park will be ‘Star Wars Day’. Fans who show up in Star Wars costumes before the match will be able to enter the stadium early and watch a training session, while the Union will be holding contests and having giveaways during the match.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Peter Vermes could soon be adding some forward depth to the rotation in the form of a player KC fans know well. Teal Bunbury is almost fully recovered from the torn ACL suffered last year, and the reality is he could already have been back if the team weren’t looking to be cautious with the final stages of his recovery.

“We want him back in action on June 1,” Vermes told SBI. “We want to make sure he’s fit and ready to go and giving him that extra time to get prepared is only going to help him.”

TORONTO FC

While the league may not be taking notice Toronto FC believes they have the best ‘keeper in the league at the moment. Joe Bendik is coming of a superior outing against the San Jose Earthquakes but was snubbed for both MLS Player of the Week and other award categories (although he was SBI Player of the Week). While others may not be taking notice Darren O’Dea knows what the club has between the pipes.

“I see the best goalkeeper in the league at the minute,” said the Irish international defender. “There was no doubt about it, he was the best ‘keeper in the league this week. Since he’s been in, six games (this season), for me he’s been the best ‘keeper in the league. I’m not saying he IS the best ‘keeper in the ‘league, but (he is the one) in-form.”

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6 Responses to MLS Eastern Conference Notes: Boston bombings hit home for Reis, Oduro settling in with Crew; and more

  1. Chance says:

    Juninho is gonna miss the 20th against NE isn’t he? Not the 27th.

  2. Josh says:

    Nielsen definitely overreacted a bit, but you can’t blame him. Juninho was an idiot. The keeper wasting time is a terrible excuse on top of it. Every keeper in the league does that with the lead toward the end. Especially on the road. Expect more from the old man

  3. DanO says:

    Thoughts and prayers with Reis and his family.

    Boston Strong

  4. Stan says:

    Orduro’s reputation has been as a fast guy who dsidn’t finish well but that’s not what he has shown the crew so far. Hope Reis’ father in law recovers ok.

  5. Patrice Meursault says:

    Juninho is not a DP as this article labeled him. Also, while I think what he did was childish–and deserves a longer suspension, players from KC were falling down left and right during the second half, the delay tactics were getting out of control. The ref handed out quite a few YCs, but none for delay of games (which would have curtailed that immediatly after the first card). Also, for a good laugh, watch the video, while Juninho kicks the ball, Neilson deflects it with his hand, then falls to the ground grabbing his head……someone needs some diving lessons.