MLS East Notes: D.C. stadium push could hit snag; Lade could step in for injured Kimura; and moreAugust 8, 2013 • By Daniel Karell
By DAN KARELL
If D.C. United are to get a new soccer-specific stadium, the District of Columbia is going to have to complete a number of land swaps.
Unfortunately for the Major League Soccer club, it seems that city officials may have ignored one of the land-owning groups.
Located right in the heart of where D.C. United wants to build their $300 million facility sits one of Washington D.C.’s remaining salvage yards, and a company called Super Salvage Inc. that owns the land. According to reports out of D.C., while city officials have been negotiating with the big landowners in that section of Buzzard Point, no one has come to talk to Super Salvage.
A report on the matter does say that the city plans on contacting the company, which reportedly valued at $7.5 million, but it won’t be easy for city officials to negotiate considering that there aren’t many viable places to relocate a salvage yard. If the city can’t come to an agreement, Mayor Vincent Gray said that using eminent domain could be an option.
Last month, D.C. United and the district mayor made a historic announcement on building a new soccer stadium for the MLS team just a few short blocks from Nationals Park in Southwest Washington.
Here are some more notes from around the Eastern Conference:
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls are set to be shorthanded on Saturday when they visit the Columbus Crew.
Defender Kosuke Kimura suffered a concussion in the club’s dramatic 3-2 victory Saturday at Sporting Kansas City, taking a strong challenge from Sporting KC’s Seth Sinovic and being forced off on a stretcher. Although Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said the Japanese wing back was day-to-day, Petke ruled out Kimura’s participation in the match against the Crew.
The injury opens up an opportunity for Connor Lade to return to the fold, having just returned to first team training this week following a knee injury that had him sidelined for two weeks. Lade, normally a right back, has deputized as a left back before, including this season.
The semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup are always big occasions to the clubs that are partaking in them, but for one player in particular, Wednesday night brought even more significance.
Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made his 100th competitive appearance for the club that drafted him, playing all 90 minutes in his side’s 2-0 defeat to D.C. United. Johnson has had a memorable few weeks, earning his first competitive start for the U.S. Men’s National Team on July 17 in the Gold Cup against Costa Rica, earning a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory.
After scoring 10 goals in his first 14 games this season for the Philadelphia Union, forward Jack McInerney has hit a dry spell.
His last goal came in a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on June 1, and with a break in play in the middle of June combined with time spent on the U.S. Men’s National Team squad at the Gold Cup.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Easily the star of the first half of Orlando City SC’s season, the oft-scoring Dom Dwyer returned to Sporting Kansas City with plenty of expectations on his back.
After six substitute appearances, the Englishman has finally broken his goal-scoring duck, scoring two goals in his last two games. First, Dwyer scored in stoppage-time against the Red Bulls last Saturday, and on Wednesday, Dwyer scored a 74th minute strike with his left foot to put Sporting KC up 2-0 on Real Esteli in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Columbus Crew’s overall decline the last few seasons has plenty of fans up in arms.
Many of them are pointing at head coach Robert Warzycha, who has been a part of the Crew organization as a player of coach for the last 18 years, as the culprit for many of the team’s problems. And while the head coach of the club refuses to be worried about his job security, there’s a thought that with a new owner in place (Prescott Sports Ventures) and with Warzycha in the last year of his contract, he may be working in a new town come next spring.
“The simple thing is that we are not winning for some reason or reasons,” Warzycha told the Columbus Dispatch. “Some people are not going to realize what those reasons are and some people are going to say, ‘OK, the coach is the one that should be blamed for it.'”
While Toronto FC suffered a defeat on Wednesday in a friendly match to AS Roma, their week wasn’t all doom and gloom.
On Thursday, the club announced the signing of their eighth homegrown player, Manny Aparicio, to a professional contract. The 17-year-old Argentine native joined the TFC academy in 2010, and was named the team’s player of the tournament at the Dallas Cup in May.
Aparicio, who has played five times for the TFC reserve side this season, was recently called into a Canada Under-18 National Team camp.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
With rumors circulating about the future of forward Juan Agudelo, the New England Revolution did provide some answers on midfielder Kalifa Cisse.
The club announced on Wednesday that they had mutually terminated the Frenchman’s contract, which was worth more than $400,000 this season, allowing for some financial breathing room for the rest of the 2013 campaign.
Cisse had played just six times for the Revolution this season in MLS play and twice more in the U.S. Open Cup, failing to score.
In a 3-1 victory against the Columbus Crew last Saturday, Will Bruin scored his first goal in almost three months.
The 23-year-old forward bagged a goal and an assist in the victory over the Crew, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, with Bruin’s return from U.S. Men’s National Team duty at the Gold Cup.
Up next, Bruin and co. face a difficult test against Real Salt Lake, but considering their defensive issues recently, it could be the right time for Bruin to be in full confidence.
Hours before kicking off the club’s CONCACAF Champions League campaign, reserve defender Dennis Iapichino sent out a tweet that seemed to indicate his impending departure from the Montreal Impact.
While it’s unclear where Iapichino’s future lies, reports in Montreal have confirmed that the Swiss defender is on his way out of the club. Since joining the club in 2012, Iapichino has played just 16 MLS games, spending a lot of time on the bench.
In other news, new designated player signing Hernan Bernardello made his debut in the Impact’s 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night, assisting on the game’s only goal.
What do you make of these developments? Do you see D.C. officials completing all the land swaps? Do you see Lade as a solid replacement for Kimura? Believe that Bruin can go on a scoring run?
Share your thoughts below.