By MIKE DONOVAN
Steve Zakuani’s season is likely all but over.
Zakuani has been dealing with pain from a sports hernia surgery he had earlier in the year, and it looks as if he will not able to recover in time to return to action this year. The injury has been one that Zakuani has dealt with much for of the season and he suffered a setback earlier this month when he played against the Portland Timbers.
“Steve Zakuani hasn’t really trained since the Portland game, saying that the injury is just such that he doesn’t feel he’s going to be able to come back this season,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told the Seattle Times. “But we’re sitting down today and we’re going to talk about it in detail.”
Zakuani was limited to just six starts in eight appearances this season. He notched just one assist in those games.
Here are more notes from around the Western Conference:
With Dan Kennedy nursing an abdominal strain, backup goalkeeper Tim Melia received his first start of the season in Chivas USA’s 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night. It was Melia’s third career MLS start and the Lynn University-product, who underwent surgery on his back in May, mustered four saves.
“I felt pretty good,” Melia told the club’s website. “I’m still getting back from surgery so I’m still getting back to everything. Overall, there are things I have to clean up, but I’m more worried about the result than my overall performance.”
Less than a year after being selected by the Rapids with the 11th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft in January, Dillon Powers was named the club’s 2013 MVP. Powers is considered one of the favorites to take home the league’s Rookie of the Year award alongside his teammate, Deshorn Brown.
The Notre Dame product has five goals and six assists for the season and has been a force the club in the middle of the field. Powers is the first rookie to be named Rapids MVP.
After scoring for FC Dallas in their 2-0 victory over Seattle on Saturday, Michel laid his jersey on the grass and knelt before it. The celebration, which was meant to be a thank you to the club, earned the Brazilian midfielder a yellow card, but it was of little concern to Michel.
“I feel like above the players, above the directors, above the coaches, above everything is the club,” Michel told the club’s website. “That was my homage to the club. The club opened their doors for me at a tough time for me in my career.”
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
The Galaxy’s U-16 team scored a major win over the weekend with a 6-0 victory over their Chivas USA counterparts at the Stubhub Center. Adrian Vera led the way with two goals as the team improved to 4-0-2 on the season. LA’s U-18 and U-14 teams drew against the Goats to complete an undefeated SuperClasiquito weekend.
With a victory on the road against Chivas USA Saturday, the Portland Timbers will lock up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but the club will need to knock a monkey off its back to ascertain the top seed. Since the club’s arrival in MLS, Portland is winless in seven matches at the StubHub Center (formerly the Home Depot Center) against the Goats and fellow tenant, the LA Galaxy.
“It’s been three seasons and we haven’t gotten a solid three points in L.A. yet,” Futty Danso told the Oregonian.
Portland did earn a 1-1 draw against Chivas USA on the road in September, but will likely need a victory to finish the regular season at the top of the Western Conference table.
REAL SALT LAKE
On Tuesday, Javier Morales told RSL trainers that he would not be able to play the full 90 minutes against Chivas USA. The Argentine midfielder, however, was able to come into Wednesday’s match at halftime and provided a major lift in his 45 minutes of action in the club’s 2-1 victory over the Goats.
“It’s getting better. The last 10 minutes it started to get tight and I started to feel it a little bit again, but I have to keep working. I have 10 more days until the next game. I think I’ll be OK,” Morales told the Deseret News.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The Earthquakes, who were effectively eliminated from MLS postseason contention Sunday after a 0-0 draw with LA, were again facing elimination Wednesday, when they took the field needing a victory over CD Heredia to advance to the CCL Quaterfinals. And after a lifeless first half, San Jose came out to win in the second and were able to advance thanks to a Chris Wondolowski goal. The win gave the club and its fans something to cheer about after a tough weekend.
“We came into this season having two goals. We didn’t accomplish one, but this was the other one, to advance,” Wondolowski told the club’s website. “It’s something we can hang our hats on.”
After starting the season on bench, Camilo Sanvezzo ended up with one of the most memorable seasons in Vancouver’s soccer history, scoring 19 goals (with one match remaining) with many of them being of the highlight variety. After receiving the club’s Player of the Year award at a ceremony Wednesday, Camilo discussed how he forsees his future.
“I love the people and I love the support and I want to stay here a long time,” said Camilo, according to the Vancouver Sun. “We know the city, we know the people here and we feel at home here. We are very happy here.”