Camilo

Rounding up a remarkably newsy week in Major League Soccer

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Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe becoming official as the newest wow-wow transfers was the big whale of news in Major League Soccer, but there were a lot of sizable fish otherwise swimming around the league pool this week. Let’s recap:

(By the way, most teams will be in training camp or about to report by this time next week.)

By Monday, some of the sizzle of surprise had dissipated from the big news, that high-profile, high-priced transfers Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe were bound for Toronto FC. But there was still plenty of meat on the bone as the press conference to introduce the new MLS pair played out.

Suddenly, TFC is worth watching again around MLS, eh? We covered the story from all angles at PST. (Including this one, wherein I went to whuppin’ on the soccer snobs out there who have bemoaned Bradley’s move into MLS.

Another U.S. international is trying to elbow his way back into MLS. Richard Farley looked at the financial implication of Maurice Edu’s potential return here. And there was more to say about the burgeoning kerfuffle here.

During one of his draft day chats, MLS commissioner Don Garber said the announcement on Miami joining MLS is likely coming in early February.

Golden Boot winner Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps) left for Mexican Liga MX side Querétaro. This was a complete mess, a bizarre bit launched when Camilo (officially Camilo Sanvezzo, but he’s Brazilian, so you know … ) posted a photo of himself in a Queretaro shirt, apparently goosing the Vancouver Whitecaps and MLS into a transfer, whether they really wanted to or not.

As talented scribe Andrew Wiebe said via Twitter, the “best possible result from the whole Camilo debacle is he goes to Liga MX and tears it up, justifying transfer value for himself other MLSers.” Well said, sir.

In the MLS Draft, a goalkeeper was selected No. 1 overall for the first time – UConn’s Andre Blake went to Philly, which traded up one spot to get him. ProSoccerTalk’s Nicholas Mendola caught up with the impressive young man here.

Who really nailed it, draft-wise? We declared D.C. United the winner around here (by a close margin over New England.)

Speaking of talented young men, Juan Agudelo is bound for Europe after all, signed by Stoke City (as we thought) but bound immediately for a loan. (Remember, he was denied a work permit to play for Stoke.) So he’s bound for the Dutch Eredivisie and FC Utrecht. (Related, we still don’t know how they play soccer in those doggone wooden shoes!)

FCD will officially introduce Oscar Pareja on Tuesday. This comes a few days after the new coach made draft day news by taking a man who moved way up in draft value during the recent, Tesho Akindele.

U.S. international Michael Parkhurst is making an MLS return, back to the league that helped him get into higher-paying Scandinavian soccer. Later in the week, Crew manager Gregg Berhalter answered the question on many minds: the guy will be a center back, not a right back (as he was for the national team).

Finally, and only partially about MLS: The United States national team, currently doing the business in Brazil, announced a match against Ukraine for May. Look for 10-12 MLS men to make that trip.

Is Vancouver striker Camilo bound for Norwegian club?

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On any other year, we might be talking a whole lot more about a Golden Boot winner, a guy who just submitted one of the league’s best year’s of goal scoring ever.

Vancouver’s Camilo didn’t just lead the league with 22 goals, he stepped up when his team needed it. Yes, Camilo nipped the other Golden Boot pursuers with that final-day hat trick, when his Whitecaps were already beyond the playoff possibilities. But the Brazilian forward scored goals down the stretch when his team was still in the thick of it, too.

Either way, he’s an important man around BC Place, a guy that some new manager – whoever that will be – would love to have. We can certainly question whether Martin Rennie made the best use of Camilo during his time as manager. Perhaps the Brazilian veteran, who is just 25, with plenty of good years ahead, was a bit of a ‘tweener, making a best-use doctrine a bit of a moving target.

Still, what manager wouldn’t want that problem? The guy scored 22 goals!

So let’s keep our eye on this one, as Norwegian top club Rosenborg is apparently mulling an offer for Camilo for the January transfer window. A Norwegian publication had the news over the weekend.

Camilo is under contract at BC Place, which means the Whitecaps would stand to benefit in transfer money.

ProSoccerTalk’s MLS awards choices: Staff picks for Best XI

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We continue to roll out our choices for the league’s top defender, top goalkeeper, top rookie, MVP and more:

Today we look at ProSoccerTalk’s writer’s picks for Major League Soccer’s Best XI teams:

Steve Davis’ MLS Best XI (3-4-3):source:

  • GK: Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake
  • DF: Matt Besler, Sporting Kansas City
  • DF: Jose Goncalves, New England Revolution
  • DF: Chris Klute, Colorado Rapids
  • MF: Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake
  • MF: Will Johnson, Portland Timbers
  • MF: Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders
  • MF: Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
  • F: Mike Magee, Chicago Fire
  • F: Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
  • F: Marco Di Vaio, Montreal Impact

Richard Farley’s MLS Best XI (4-3-3):source:

  • GK: Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake
  • RB: Hassoun Camara, Montréal Impact
  • CB: Aurélien Collin, Sporting Kansas City
  • CB: Jose Goncalves, New England Revolution
  • LB: Chris Klute, Colorado Rapids
  • DM: Kyle Beckerman, Real Salt Lake
  • MF: Will Johnson, Portland Timbers
  • MF: Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
  • FW Mike Magee, Chicago Fire
  • FW: Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
  • FW: Camilo Sanvezzo, Vancouver Whitecaps

Joe Prince-Wright’s MLS Best XI (4-2-3-1):source:

  • GK: Luis Robles, New York Red Bulls
  • RB: DeAndre Yedlin, Seattle Sounders
  • CB: Jose Goncalves, New England Revolution
  • CB: Matt Besler, Sporting Kansas City
  • LB: Chris Klute, Colorado Rapids
  • DMF: Will Johnson, Portland Timbers
  • DMF: Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders
  • MF: Mike Magee, Chicago Fire
  • MF: Marco Di Vaio, Montreal Impact
  • MF: Camilo Sanvezzo; Vancouver Whitecaps
  • FW: Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy

Wednesday: Defender of the Year
Thursday: Goalkeeper of the Year
Friday: Rookie of the Year
Monday: Coach of the Y
Tuesday: MLS Most Valuable Player
Wednesday: MLS Best XI

MLS Week In Review (plus a quick playoff teaser)

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Covering what happened in Major League Soccer’s final round, Week 35 — then it’s time to turn our attention to the “Second season.”

The final round playoff clinchers

Big props to New England and Houston, which needed wins on the final day of regular season action to clinch playoff spots, and stamped “Mission Accomplished” on the thing.

Also wearing the flight jacket beneath the “Mission Accomplished” banner: the New York Red Bulls, whose comprehensive final-day win over Chicago was as meaningful  as it was impressive (see the next item), and also the Portland TImbers. Portland needed a win at Chivas USA to take the Western Conference’s top spot … and Caleb Porter’s team did it with a big flourish in a 5-0 result.

Supporters Shield decided

Congratulations to the New York Red Bulls, who needed just 18 years, 13 managers and hundreds of players to finally win a major trophy. So … nailed it!

Mike Petke’s team clinched the Supporters Shield (awarded to the team with best regular season record) with that mighty win (5-2) Sunday over Chicago.

Yes, that was the team’s very first major piece of silverware. (No truth to the rumor that workers were busy all night at RBNY headquarters actually building a trophy case.)

(MORE: Top story lines for the MLS playoffs)

The Golden Boot decided

With his early strike Sunday against New York, Chicago’s Mike Magee grabbed the Golden Boot — but he didn’t keep hold for long. Vancouver’s Camilo scored once before half and then twice on either side, seizing the league’s final goals leadership in high hat trick style at BC Place. (And putting a little Golden Boot bow on an otherwise humdrum season for his club.) His 22 goals trumped Magee’s total (21) and Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio’s (20).

And a potential MVP lost, too

As for Magee, his breakout season was a superb story for MLS, doing so much to rescue a season gone sideways around Toyota Park … but if may not be enough to get Magee a league MVP. Remember, only one MVP has come from a team that didn’t make the post-season (Dwayne De Rosario in 2011). And since Chicago finished sixth, one spot out of the post-season …

D.C. United’s dubious records – yuk!:

With its loss on Sunday, D.C. United sealed the statistical deal on what the eye test showed us all along: that this team was absolutely awful. Historically awful, in fact. The club set MLS all-time season records for fewest wins (just three for United this year, “beating” the old record by one) and worst goal difference (-37 this year, also setting the record by one goal). More on it here from Richard Farley.

Clint Dempsey gets one

It took him nine games, but the Sounders big summer signing (and the league’s highest wage earner) scored his debut goal for the Sounders in the league’s final regular season game. He came into the match with no goals and no assists in eight previous 2013 matches.

The goal that wasn’t — more controversy

Periodic calls for goal line technology arrive in the form of a close call along the line, between the pipes. But the one missed late Sunday in Seattle? Not. Even. Close.

Omar Gonzalez’s header off an LA Galaxy corner kick was a goal. Period. End of story. No “didn’t get a good angle” or any of that. Officials on site blew this one. More about that one here.

Weekend’s best goal

Thierry Henry has scored just three goals since July, but there can be no denying that that the Red Bulls’ fabulous Frenchman still has that “something special” about him. How else to talk about his first-half bit of awesome, chesting a ball inot the air (and away from a defender) with one touch, and then volleying splendidly into the corner with his second touch. Here it is:

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And now …. the MLS Playoffs

More on the MLS playoffs later today at ProSoccerTalk

For now, here are the matchups, with the single elimination matches set for Wednesday or Thursday:

  • East: Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo

— Winner hosts New York Red Bulls this weekend in first leg conference semifinal

— New England hosts Sporting Kansas City this weekend in first leg conference semifinal

(MORE: MLS Eastern Conference playoffs are set)

  • West: Colorado Rapids at Seattle Sounders

— Winner hosts Portland Timbers this weekend in first leg conference semifinal

— Real Salt Lake hosts LA Galaxy this weekend in first leg conference semifinal

(MORE: MLS Western Conference playoffs are set)

The playoff schedule ahead:

Conference elimination matches (4th place vs. 5th place), Wednesday and Thursday

Conference Semifinals, Leg 1: Nov. 2-3 (Sat.-Sun.)

Conference Semifinals, Leg 2: Nov. 6-7 (Wed.-Thurs.)

Conference Finals, Leg 1: Nov. 9-10 (Sat.-Sun.)

Conference Finals, Leg 2: Nov. 23-24 (Sat.-Sun.)

MLS Cup: Dec. 7 (Sat.)

Mike Magee up to bat! MLS Golden Boot there for the taking Sunday as Chicago battles New York

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Opportunities are bountiful for the Chicago Fire and for their inspirational scoring leader, Mike Magee, who could potentially stamp his name in MLS history with a big afternoon Sunday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio was dead level with Magee in the MLS scoring race heading into this 35th and final weekend. Di Vaio and his Impact couldn’t get it done in Toronto, falling 1-0 to Ryan Nelsen’s difficult bunch. That leaves Magee needing just one for a big possibility of claiming the league’s Golden Boot:

We should certainly point out that Vancouver’s Camilo could have something to say about all this – he just has more work ahead, currently trailing the leaders by one goal. The Whitecaps, eliminated from the playoffs and potentially looking at coaching upheaval, don’t have much left for which to play, so they are sure to focus on service into their Brazilian attacker during Sunday’s finale at home against Colorado.

Magee won’t be worried about that as he walks into Red Bull Arena for Sunday’s big contest (5 p.m. ET on Spanish-language UniMas). It’s a big occasion, as the Red Bulls can claim the organization’s first, major trophy – if you can believe that.

(MORE: Beyond the obvious, why Supporters Shield is so important for the Red Bulls)

Meanwhile, there’s so much on the line for Chicago, where the playoffs are within reach – and where a coaching change is seems likely if Frank Klopas cannot get his Fire into the post-season. The playoff positioning scenarios are myriad, but in simplest form it looks like this: If Chicago wins, the team is into the playoffs.

But a Chicago loss coupled with wins by New England and Houston, and the Fire is out – Poof! – just like that.

Individually, there’s a ton at stake for Magee.  If he scores, the Golden Boot is probably his.

If the Fire does win and makes its way into the post-season, Magee is probably the league’s MVP. Robbie Keane and others may have an MVP argument, but the story of Magee and his guidance of the Fire’s stunning season turnaround will be too much for MVP voters to overcome if Chicago’s finds their way into the post-season.