The first two rounds of CONCACAF qualifying are over – United States over Antigua and Barbuda, then drawing with Guatemala, etc., etc.
But there’s still one post-script to be written here: the re-introduction of domestically based players back into their MLS clubs.
In Chicago, hints are falling that Marco Pappa might just get back into the starting 11 quickly. Pappa struck that crackerjack free kick to match Clint Dempsey’s earlier goal in the U.S.-Guatemala draw.
Houston gets most of its defense back as Geoff Cameron, Jermaine Taylor and Andrew Hainault all return from their national teams ahead of Saturday’s contest against Texas-rival FC Dallas.
Blas Perez, Panama’s man of the moment, is back with FC Dallas; he’ll oppose that Houston defense this weekend.
Landon Donovan has returned to training with the Galaxy, and they should absolutely put him to work right away, especially with Robbie Keane still away on Euro business (although not for much longer). Video from Donovan and others talking about their big job ahead is here. The Galaxy is winless in its last eight, including one loss in the U.S. Open Cup.
And of course there’s the league’s co-leading scorer, Chris Wondolowski, who has 11 goals for San Jose. But didn’t get a minute in either of the U.S. World Cup qualifiers and played sparingly in tune-up friendlies ahead of those money matches. So Wondolowski is presumably eager to get back on the field.
The Earthquakes will not, on the other hand, have their starting goalkeeper when they return early next week. Jon Busch has been suspended for his actions toward a ball boy back on May 27.