The East is stacked this year. There are plenty of reasons to believe D.C. United will go a step further in 2013, having come so close to arrival into the MLS Cup final last fall.
New York has talent across the field and a coach that the Red Bulls are now connecting with in Mike Petke.
Houston, the two-time MLS Cup runner-up, has fortified its roster. Sporting Kansas City, Chicago and Columbus have reasons to like their outlooks in 2013.
But is there one team we aren’t talking enough about?
No, we shouldn’t read too much into the Montreal Impact’s title in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament. It’s just a preseason tournament, after all. Justin Mapp had the game-winner in the Impact’s 1-0 win Saturday in the tournament final at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
But perhaps the confidence being shown by first-year coach Marco Schällibaum and some of his veteran players does tell us something. The manager seemed especially pleased with the back line of Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta and Hassoun Camara.
We are very satisfied with the tournament. We finished this game very professionally and we were almost perfect defensively. We came away with the trophy and are heading back on a high note.”
Keeping Nesta healthy and strategically rested should be a high priority for Schällibaum as he figures out MLS. One thing he’ll have to understand quickly is the heavy toll that travel takes over such a big country (while soon playing games in some fairly oppressive conditions). It’s one of the elements most likely to catch foreign managers unawares as they navigate MLS the first time around.
(MORE: ProSoccerTalk’s team preview on the Impact)
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.