Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports
By MIKE DONOVAN
When Landon Donovan found Robbie Keane for the Irishman’s second goal of Sunday’s 4-0 romp of the New York Red Bulls, he tied Steve Ralston’s career MLS assist record with 135 for his career.
With four games remaining in his regular season career, Donovan seems primed to pass Ralston for the outright career assists title.
But that isn’t the only record Donovan and other players could set as MLS enters its final month of the season. When the league expanded its season to 34 games prior to 2011, it opened up more opportunity for records to be broken and quite a few might fall in October.
Here is a look at some of the records that could fall:
By FRANCO PANIZO
John Brooks will not be seeing time with Hertha Berlin’s first team any time soon.
Brooks has fallen out of favor with head coach Jos Luhukay and has been dropped to Hertha’s second team, according to a report out of Germany. Luhukay is unhappy with what he deems are inconsistent performances from the 21-year-old centerback, and pointed to mistakes Brooks made in last week’s 2-2 draw vs. SC Freiburg as reasons for the surprising decision.
Contrary to other reports, Brooks has not been cut from the club that currently sits in 14th place in the Bundesliga.
The U.S. Men’s National Team defender was not included in Hertha Berlin’s gameday roster for their 1-0 defeat to FC Augsburg on Sunday. He did, however, go the distance in the reserve team’s 3-0 loss to Babelsberg on Friday.
By FRANCO PANIZO
One of the Americans currently seeing more consistent minutes than most in a foreign league now has his first goal for his new club.
Edgar Castillo opened his scoring account with Atlas on Saturday, finding the back of the net in the club’s 2-1 defeat to Monterrey. Castillo struck in the 84th minute of the match to trim the deficit and give Atlas hope of pulling out a result, but they were unable to find an equalizer in a battle of Liga MX’s second- and third-placed teams.
The veteran fullback played from whistle to whistle in the match that marked the Zorros‘ 10th of the Apertura campaign, continuing his impressive feat of playing every minute of every Liga MX game this season for the club he joined in June and further improving his chances of being recalled by Jurgen Klinsmann for next month’s friendlies.
Castillo was not the only American to see time in that Atlas-Monterrey clash. Under-23 U.S. Men’s National Team attacker Joaquin Alonso Hernandez came off the bench with 32 minutes left to play in order to help Monterrey close out the game. The appearance was the 20-year-old Hernandez’s third of the season for the Rayados.
The other goal from a player in the Americans Abroad contingent this weekend came courtesy of Andrew Wooten, who extended his scoring streak to four matches. Wooten netted via a late penalty kick in SV Sandhausen’s duel with Eintracht Braunschweig on Friday, but it was not enough to prevent his side from suffering a 2-1 defeat.
While there were positive developments, there were also some negative ones. Michael Orozco was sent off for the second time this season after receiving two yellow cards in Puebla’s scoreless draw with Chivas de Guadalajara late on Sunday, and both Fabian Johnson and John Brooks failed to dress for Borussia Moenchengladbach and Hertha Berlin, respectively.
Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:
By RYAN TOLMICH
Stuart Holden’s injury history has been highly publicized, but former club Bolton Wanderers would be more than happy to have the American midfielder back when he is ready to make his return.
Seven months after a second right knee operation, Holden is now a free agent after his contract with Bolton expired over the summer. Bolton manager Dougie Freedman admitted that there hasn’t been much contact with Holden, but the club remains interested in bringing the Scottish-born midfielder back when he is ready.
“I hope, I really hope I work with him again,” Freedman said of Holden. “He’s a fantastic player and a fantastic fella, no matter what he’ll always be welcomed and that applies to longer terms as well. He is exactly the kind of player I like – he’s enthusiastic, he’s energetic, he wants to be here.
“The deal is still here,” Freedman continued. “It’s a basic one, based on appearances, and when he starts playing it goes up. For Stuart’s mind, take away the football club, the fans, me, this is a player’s career here. We need to leave him alone and not ask too many questions. When he feels completely ready for contact then we can start talking about what we can do for him.” Continue reading
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports Images
By IVES GALARCEP
Week 30 of the MLS season saw some title contenders and playoff hopefuls make major statements in a weekend loaded with head-turning results.
Episode 168 of The SBI Show looks back at the big MLS matches of the weekend, such as New England’s win at Sporting Kansas City, the Los Angeles Galaxy’s romp over the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC’s stunning comeback win against the Portland Timbers, and more.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the MLS Homegrown Player myth, we look at John Brooks’ situation at Hertha Berlin, and we answer some questions from listeners in the latest installment of The SBI Show Q&A.
Give Episode 168 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
By DAN KARELL
He hasn’t played a second of soccer in MLS, but Kaka is already the league’s highest-paid player.
The MLS Players Union revealed the salary figures for every player in the league on Monday afternoon, and topping the charts is marquee Orlando City SC signing Kaka. The Brazilian made waves when he turned down lucrative options in Europe to join MLS, but he’ll still be earning a pretty penny playing as a Designated Player in Florida starting in March.
He’s set to earn a base salary of $6.66 million and a total salary of $7,167,500.
Clint Dempsey is next on the list and is set to earn a base salary of $4,913,004 and total compensation of $6,695,188.75.