BY ADAM SERRANO
CARSON, Calif. — The Los Angeles Galaxy suffered an injury setback on Wednesday as back-up goalkeeper Brian Perk underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Perk suffered injury while with the U.S. Under-23 side during their camp in January and has dealt with the knock throughout the preseason. In place of Perk, veteran goalkeeper Bill Gaudette will assume reserve duties behind first choice 'keeper Josh Saunders. Head Coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Thursday that he expects Perk to return in "four to six weeks."
"He had to come back from the Under-23 camp because he hurt it there. We’ve been monitoring him for about two months now. it was a sports hernia and he had it repaired yesterday," said Arena. "We held off and tried to to rehabilitate him and see if he could go without surgery but it got to a point where he wasn’t getting any better so the decision was made to do the surgery.
Two matches into the season, Chivas USA remain one of three clubs — and the only one in the Western Conference — yet to score goal. The Rojiblancos will face a stiff test to get their first on Saturday when they travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to face off against a red-hot Real Salt Lake.
Although the Rojiblancos' finishing has been lacking, midfielder Nick LaBrocca insists that Chivas are not worrying just yet.
“We’ve just been missing that final link or click that we had last year with our finishing, but we’re right there, so there’s no panic here and we’re going to get it,” LaBrocca told MLSsoccer.com. “Our offense will come along and as soon as we get hot, we’ll be able to take these specific things that we’ve been working on and carry them through the rest of the season.”
After an extensive injury layoff, Colorado Rapids forward Conor Casey has returned to the practice field.
On Wednesday, Casey trained with the club during an intra-squad scrimmage showing signs of the aggressive goalscorer that Rapids fans had become accustom to prior to injury. Casey was injured last July 16 after rupturing his achillies tendon in a match against the Seattle Sounders.
“Obviously I’m still building up strength in [the tendon] and I’ve got to work on the endurance because the movements are a little bit different,” Casey told MLSsoccer.com. “I’ve just got to get to the point where I’m not thinking about it.”
At long last, it appears that FC Dallas has found the star striker that the club hopes will lead them to MLS Cup glory.
In his second match for FCD, Panamanian forward Blas Perez tallied his first goal for the club in Dallas' 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers. The charismatic forward has already earned rave reviews from the club's coaching staff, but still believes that the best is yet to come.
“I feel good [about how I’ve played so far],” Perez told MLSsoccer.com. “I know there are going to be difficult moments in every game, but you have to be mentally and physically prepared. You have to be mature in the sense that when difficult times come, you have to overcome them. From a one to a five, I would grade myself at a 4.2 or 4.3. I’m working hard every day and hoping to get to a 5.”
Earlier this week, the Portland Timbers were given an added boost as new Cameroonian signing Franck Songo'o returned to training for the first time since injuring his right knee in preseason. The former Barcelona man has been on the shelf since suffering an injury during a scrimmage with Oregon State on Feburary 23rd.
Although Songo'o had not trained in more than a month, head coach John Spencer was encouraged by his progress.
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis' faces an interesting dilema ahead of his club's match agaisnt Chivas USA on Saturday.
Currently, RSL's second team has catapulted the club to the top of MLS with two impressive victories against the Galaxy and the New York Red Bulls, but with Alvaro Saborio and Javier Morales returning from injury, Kreis may need to shake up his lineup. Kreis admitted that the returning veterans presents an interesting conundrum for his side.
“I think you can make a reasonable argument that we should stick with what’s working,” Kreis told MLSsoccer.com. “But you can certainly make reasonable arguments that you should give the players that have been here a long time a chance to get back in the lineup when they are healthy.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Defender Nana Attakora has bee unable to latch on with a team so far this season and he believes that is due to the intrusion of the San Jose Earthquakes front office.
The Canadian defender told Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that San Jose has impeded his efforts to find another club. Attakora told Canadian news outlet that San Jose had asked for too much in their efforts to trade hm, which was preventing him from finding another club, an Earthquakes spokesman later told the San Jose Mercury News that Attakora had been offered a contract for the 2012 season.
Attakora arrived in San Jose as part of a trade that sent forward Ryan Johnson to Toronto and midfielder Jacob Peterson and forward Alan Gordon west. Although the Canadian defender is out of contract, the Quakes hold the right of first refusal for the player.
"It's basically come down to a point over the last three or four weeks where they finally realized no team is going to give them what they're asking for, so they're agreeing to do what they said," Attakora told Sportsnet.ca. "Hopefully Frank Yallop and (general manager) John Doyle can stop being difficult and get something done."
Following a lengthy medical evaluation, the Seattle Sounders have opted to buy out the contract of oft-injured forward O'Brian White for 2012.
The club released a statement on Thursday electing to terminate White's deal for the 2012 season. League rules dictate that clubs are allowed to buy out one guaranteed contract prior to the club's season opener. The 26-year-old Jamaican forward has suffered from recurring blood clots over the past year and has underwent two surgeries over the past year.
"Unfortunately, because of his medical situation, we have reached an agreement to buy out O'Brian White's contract," Adrian Hanauer, general manager and part owner, said in a press release. "We will fully support O'Brian and will continue to help him rehabilitate with the hope he can resume his playing career."
After coming off in the first half of the Vancouver Whitecaps' victory last week against Chivas USA, it appears that goalkeeper Joe Cannon may return to the lineup for the 'Caps match on Saturday against D.C. United.
Cannon was pulled prior to half time on Saturday after lingering effects of a collision with a teammate forced head coach Martin Rennie to remove the goalkeeper for back-up Brad Knighton. On Wednesday, Rennie told The Province that he expects Cannon to return to training on Thursday, opening up the possibility that he could start against United.