Western Conference Notes: L.A.’s MF tested, Sinovic on trial with RSL & more


Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com


It's time for the Los Angeles Galaxy to make some creative decisions.

With David Beckham and Juninho suspended, it is likely that head coach Bruce Arena will need to inject some fresh blood in the central midfield when the Galaxy face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Sunday. It is likely that Chris Birchall will return to the center of park playing the defensive midfield role for the Galaxy, while either Michael Stephens or Paolo Cardozo could play in an advanced linking role in the midfield.

Los Angeles is hoping to have Landon Donovan back in the lineup after the Galaxy captain missed the matches against D.C. United and Toronto FC with knee inflammation. Donovan announced on his Twitter account that he is "hopeful" that he will be able to play a role this weekend against the Fire.

Here is a look at more news from around the Western Conference:


Ze Roberto rumors have resurfaced with the Hamburg midfielder being linked to Chivas USA after being linked extensively to the New York Red Bulls for the past two seasons. In practice on Thursday, head coach Robin Fraser admitted that on some stage, negotiations had taken place.

Chivas USA trialist Jason Banton has returned to Liverpool after his week long trial, in which he scored a goal for the Rojiblancos in a reserve match on Sunday. The club is still in negotiations with the 18-year-old to bring him to the team.


The Rapids fell in their first Rocky Mountain clash of the season, but head coach Gary Smith was pleased with the effort that the team showed in the 1-0 loss; however, he saved his judgement for the fatful Fabian Espindola goal, which he believed was offside.


FC Dallas has been searching for a replacement for Dax McCarty and it appears that he may just have found one in Andrew Jacobsen. Hyndman admits that Jacobsen may very well be the connector in midfield that the club has lacked since losing McCarty to the expansion draft. 


Preparations are coming to a close as the Portland Timbers will play their first match against the Chicago Fire on Thursday night (11 p.m., ESPN2) at the newly renovated JELD-WEN Field. The club has undergone a number of preparations to get ready for this date including: protecting a feral cat colony that lives within the stadium to setting up an extensive pyrotechnical display. 

Tune in a little early to the broadcast to see the Timbers Army sing the Star Spangled Banner before kick off of the inaugural match.


These are heady times in Salt Lake right now after the club qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League final and defeated their archrival all in the span of 10 days. Despite all the victories, that doesn't mean that the team is without holes in the line up. One potential depth question is at left back behind starter Chris Wingert. 

To rectify this, RSL has brought in former New England Revolution defender Seth Sinovic on trial. Sinovic played the last season with New England after being drafted in 2010 out of Creighton. Sinovic was also a college teammate of RSL defender Chris Schluer. 


At the start of the preseason, the Earthquakes knew that they needed to find a second legitimate scoring option to Chris Wondolowski. It appears that Tottenham Hotspur product Simon Dawkins just may be that option. Dawkins has scored two goals in 2011, which is level with Wondolowski's total for this year. 


One of the most contentious issues surrounding the Sounders has been the turf playing surface at Qwest Field. The turf has been a source of great criticism for the last two and a half years, and this has led the Sounders to evaluate whether a grass field will be a viable option for the stadium.


The Whitecaps might not have gotten the result they hoped for in Sunday's loss to the Houston Dynamo, but three of the team's younger players made their MLS debuts in the match. Omar Salgado, Jeb Brovsky and Mouloud Akloul stepped onto the pitch for the first time in league play, with Brovsky starting and going the full 90 minutes and Salgado and Akloul each coming on as second-half substitutes.

This entry was posted in MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Western Conference Notes: L.A.’s MF tested, Sinovic on trial with RSL & more

  1. Tyler says:

    This is great info… But what I really want to know more about is the colony of feral cats living within the stadium in Portland

  2. St. Addi says:

    I’ve always said, the one thing the game is missing is wild cats running around the pitch during matches. Maybe they can somehow be incorporated into the pyrotechnic show.

  3. Thomas513 says:

    i really thought the feral cat colony was just some of my fellow sounder fans making up crazy ish. Truth is so much stranger than fiction.

  4. DirtyLeeds says:

    God lord, protecting a feral cat colony that lives within the stadium?!? Only on the West Coast…

  5. dub says:

    well, if you’ve been to PDX then you should know that most people there smell like feral cats anyway, so its most likely just a bunch of residents living under the stands.

  6. Seattle Coug says:

    No, only in Portland.

  7. Silke says:

    I’m hoping that one doesn’t get the same treatment that the Columbian owl got a couple weeks ago…..

  8. K-Town says:

    Well, they don’t have a rat problem. An article mentioned that of 80 or so rat traps set out at the stadium, none of them ever have rats caught in them. Apparently the cats are earning their keep. At least they aren’t free-loading.

  9. Paul C says:

    Here’s to the Galaxy catching onto the formula of how to win the Cup. Finish mid table, breeze into the playoffs (after all, we’ll have more teams in the playoffs than out of them this year), squeak through the first couple of rounds, and win 1-0 in the final.

    The regular season is going to be exhilarating as a supporter, can’t wait.

  10. duhboy7 says:

    they should dress all the cats up as lumberjacks, and they could be like…the mascots or something. and they could all live in one big tree. timber kittens! right?

  11. Matt says:

    Sinovic, who?

  12. RevsFan says:

    Sinovic held his own pretty well last year in NE. Seemed to get stuck in the doghouse late in the season though, and I guess with the addition of Domi I guess he was expendable.

    Still wish he was in NE though…

  13. Del Boski says:

    Oh great….Chris “The Invisible Man” Birchill is back for LA…He is really going to spark the attack! Arena has no concept of offense.

    Will be nice to see Paolo Cardozo finally get some good minutes though.

  14. Del Boski says:

    This has always been Arena’s style…Going back to Team USA

  15. Matt says:

    Sounds good to me. Wtf, I thought we (RSL) were at salary limit.

  16. PurpleGold says:

    Anybody know what the deal with Cody Arnoux is? I havent heard anything about him since he got picked up by RSL.

  17. Darwin says:

    @DirtyLeeds & @Seattle Coug

    No, not only in the West Coast or Portland. Read the article about the colony. Where’s Philadelphia?


  18. Mike B says:

    It took Seattle this long to evaluate the need for grass in soccer??? What cheap ownership!

  19. Miguel says:

    Landon’s getting old :(

  20. DirtyLeeds says:

    Did read you that chief? It was talking about the abandoned Veterans Stadium. I wouldn’t call that good company to be in with.

    So can a cat lady use that as her excuse? Just trying to get rid of the rat problem.

    “They don’t let you pet ’em, but they know where the food source is,” says housekeeping supervisor Becky Jones. “I see paw prints on my desk.”

    That’s just fantastic. Enjoy the food Portland.

  21. Idaho Brian says:

    I believe still recovering from off season knee surgery…supposed to be ready for reserve league games later in the spring/summer.

  22. USA Dude says:

    Landon’s finally getting a breather. Helped take USA to another level. Give him a break dude.

  23. Iriepup says:

    Anyone know why LA’s schedule is so front end loaded?

  24. Timmy says:


    Cats with sparklers taped to their tales.

  25. Ian says:

    Really, LAG should have easily pulled off wins against DCU and TFC. I don’t think this season is so much front loaded as much as the boys aren’t playing well.

  26. Don Pelayo says:

    The treatment of their feral cats has made me decide to become a Timbers fan. Fantastic.

  27. Balty says:

    And don’t forget the old, washed up US National in the transfer window….Cherundalo anyone???