MLS Week 9: East shifts back to Ohio

Stories of the week:

– Five road wins in seven games. (And no draws!)

– The Red Bulls’ early lead in the East is gone, with the Crew emphatically taking control. A couple of injuries seem to have rattled the Red Bulls.

– Last year’s MLS trophy winners, Columbus and Salt Lake, have won four straight.


1. Los Angeles Galaxy (26 pts/10 games played)

– Won 1-0 at Dallas
– Lineup (4-4-1-1): Donovan Ricketts; A.J. DeLaGarza RB, Gregg Berhalter CB, Omar Gonzalez CB, Todd Dunivant LB; Chris Birchall DM, Michael Stephens RM, Jovan Kirovski LM, Juninho AM; Mike Magee WF, Tristan Bowen F. Ricketts and DeLaGarza return in place of Josh Saunders and Bryan Jordan. Klein swaps with fellow veteran Jovan Kirovski. Bowen and Magee replace some guys named Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle.
– Injuries: Sean Franklin (left ankle sprain) hasn’t yet reclaimed his spot at the back. Day to day: bruiser Dema Kovalenko (right hamstring strain), veteran Eddie Lewis (left foot contusion), striker Alan Gordon (right quad strain), defender Bryan Jordan (right hamstring strain).
– The Galaxy will be without Donovan through the World Cup and Buddle at least through pre-Cup camp. Good thing they’ve built that huge lead in the standings.

2. Columbus Crew (20 / 8 )

– Sunday: won 1-0 at Kansas City
– Sunday lineup (4-4-2): Will Hesmer; Jed Zayner RB, Andy Iro CB, Eric Brunner CB, Danny O’Rourke LB; Brian Carroll DM, Eddie Gaven RM, Emmanuel Ekpo LM, Adam Moffat AM; Guillermo Barros Schelotto WF, Steven Lenhart F. Zayner replaces Frankie Hejduk. Schelotto returns, with Jason Garey going back to the bench.
– Thursday: Won 3-1 at New York
– Thursday lineup (4-4-2): Will Hesmer; Frankie Hejduk RB, Andy Iro CB, Eric Brunner CB, Danny O’Rourke LB; Brian Carroll DM, Eddie Gaven RM, Emmanuel Ekpo LM, Adam Moffat AM; Jason Garey F, Steven Lenhart F. Iro for Chad Marshall, O’Rourke swaps with Gino Padula, Ekpo for Robbie Rogers, Garey for suspended Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
– Marshall and Rogers are off to camp. Imagine if Hejduk had gone, too. The good news is that the team is healthy.

3. Real Salt Lake (16 / 9 )

– Won 2-1 at Chivas USA
– Lineup (4-4-2): Nick Rimando; Robbie Russell RB, Jamison Olave CB, Nat Borchers CB, Chris Wingert LB; Kyle Beckerman DM, Andy Williams RM, Ned Grabavoy LM, Javier Morales AM; Alvaro Saborio F, Pablo Campos F. We’re not believing the graphic that had Williams at the back and Borchers in midfield. We’re also assuming the “Ed Grabavoy” listed there is actually Ned. So the only actual changes are Grabavoy for Will Johnson and Campos for U.S. camper Robbie Findley.
– Injuries: midfielder Nelson Gonzalez (left hamstring), striker Fabian Espindola (left ankle sprain; played as sub and scored winner)
– World Cup: Findley might be a long shot to make the final U.S. squad, but he’ll be in camp.

4. San Jose Earthquakes (16 / 8 )

– Won 1-0 at Seattle
– Lineup (4-4-2): Joe Cannon; Chris Leitch RB, Bobby Burling CB, Jason Hernandez CB, Ramiro Corrales LB; Joey Gjertsen RM, Brandon McDonald CM, Andre Luiz CM, Bobby Convey LM; Ryan Johnson F, Chris Wondolowski F. Steady as she goes.
– Injuries: Ike Opara (right hamstring strain), Steve Beitashour (right hamstring strain), Arturo Alvarez (left hamstring strain), Joey Gjertsen (left quad strain).

5. Houston Dynamo (16 / 10)

– Won 2-0 vs. D.C. United
– Lineup (4-4-2): Pat Onstad; Richard Mulrooney RB; Bobby Boswell CB, Eddie Robinson CB, Mike Chabala LB; Lovel Palmer DM, Danny Cruz RM, Brian Mullan LM, Brad Davis AM; Luis Angel Landin F, Dominic Oduro F. With a formation change from 4-5-1/4-3-3 to 4-4-2, Mulrooney moves from midfield to RB, replacing Craig Waibel. The additional forward is Landin. In a slightly simpler move, Mullan moves left, opening a space for Cruz, with Corey Ashe the odd man out. Much simpler: Robinson returns and replaces Serioux.
– Injuries: The big loss is Geoff Cameron (right knee), who had moved into central midfield. Losing Cam Weaver (right knee strain) leaves striker options limited.
– Brian Ching is at U.S. camp.

6. New York Red Bulls (15 / 9 )

– Lost 1-3 vs. Columbus
– Lineup (4-4-2): Bouna Coundoul; Chris Albright RB, Mike Petke CB, Tim Ream CB, Danleigh Borman LB; Jeremy Hall RM, Sinisa Ubiparipovic CM, Seth Stammler CM, Roy Miller LM; Juan Pablo Angel F, Dane Richards F. With Salou Ibrahim out, Richards moved up from RM and Ubiparipovic came in. With Joel Lindpere out, Stammler moved in from LM, Hall moved from RB to LM, and Albright started. Then a straight swap of Miller for Joel Lindpere. Got it?
– Injuries: attacker Mac Kandji (right foot metatarsal break), defender Kevin Goldthwaite (right adductor surgery), Giorgi Chirgadze (hip surgery), Carl Robinson (right knee swelling), Joel Lindpere (groin strain), Brian Nielson (right knee pain). Salou Ibrahim also missed Thursday’s game.
– The Red Bulls don’t have any U.S. players, but reserve defender Andrew Boyens will play for New Zealand.

7. Colorado Rapids (13 / 8 )

– Idle
– Last lineup (4-5-1): Matt Pickens; Marvell Wynne RB, Drew Moor CB, Julien Baudet CB, Danny Earls LB; Pablo Mastroeni DM, Jeff Larentowicz DM, Mehdi Ballouchy CM, Wells Thompson LM, Omar Cummings RM; Conor Casey F. With Earls back at LB, everyone shifts over a slot, with Wynne at RB and Kimura (left ankle stress fracture) out. Formation is slightly different, with wings pushed up ahead of defensive mid pair, not the usual straight 4-4-2.
– Injuries: Defender Kosuke Kimura (left ankle stress fracture) could be out a while. Winger Jamie Smith (right hamstring strain) is day to day, as is defender Scott Palguta (left calf strain).

8. Toronto FC (13 / 9 )

– Won 1-0 vs. New England
– Lineup (4-4-2): Stefan Frei; Maksim Usanov RB, Nana Attakora CB, Nick Garcia CB, Raivis Hscanovics LB; Jacob Peterson RM, Amadou Sanyang CM, Martin Saric CM, Sam Cronin LM, Nick LaBrocca LM; Fuad Ibrahim F, Chad Barrett F. Hscanovics for Nana Attakora, pushing Garcia to middle. Julian de Guzman and Nick LaBrocca out of midfield; Saric and Peterson in. Ibrahim replaces Dwayne De Rosario (international duty).
– Injuries: Julian de Guzman (left hamstring strain), Ty Harden (right leg laceration), Emmanuel Gomez (knee). Nana Attakora was a late scratch.

9. Seattle Sounders (12 / 10)

– Lost 0-1 vs. San Jose despite an 18-3 advantage in shots
– Lineup (4-3-3): Kasey Keller; James Riley RB, Tyrone Marshall CB, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado CB, Leo Gonzalez LB; Nathan Sturgis RM, Freddie Ljungberg CM, Patrick Ianni LM; Sanna Nyassi RF, Steve Zakuani LF, Fredy Montero F. Sturgis in for Peter Vagenas, with Ianni switching sides. Montero for Brad Evans.
– Injuries: Osvaldo Alonso (right quad strain), Pat Noonan (right hamstring strain), Michael Fucito (right knee contusion), Nate Jaqua (lower abdominal tear), Pete Vagenas (right quad strain), Brad Evans (left knee contusion).

10. FC Dallas (11 / 9 )

– Lost 0-1 vs. Los Angeles
– Lineup (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman; Zach Loyd RB, George John CB, Ugo Ihemelu CB, Jair Benitez LB; Atiba Harris RM, Daniel Hernandez CM; Dax McCarty CM, Brek Shea LM; David Ferreira WF, Jeff Cunningham F. Benitez replaced Heath Pearce.
– Pearce is in U.S. camp, very much on the bubble in terms of the final squad.

11. Chivas USA (10 / 10)

– Lost 1-2 vs. Salt Lake
– Lineup (4-4-1-1): Zach Thornton; Mariano Trujillo RB, Dario Delgado CB, Michael Umana CB, Carlos Borja LB; Michael Lahoud M, Blair Gavin M, Ben Zemanski M, Jesus Padilla M, Marcelo Saragosa M; Maicon Santos F. Borja for Jonathan Bornstein, Saragosa into a shuffled midfield without Sacha Kljestan, Santos for Justin Braun.
– Injuries: Maykel Galindo (left ankle sprain) just never seems to be fully healthy up front. Ante Jazic (knee strain) could earn a spot at the back whenever he returns. Justin Braun (left knee sprain) is day to day; he came on as a sub Saturday and had a spectacular tying goal.
– Bye bye Bornstein and Kljestan for a while, though the latter may have to show something in camp to assure himself a place on the U.S. squad.

12. Chicago Fire (9 / 8 )

– Idle
– Last lineup (4-4-1-1): Andrew Dykstra; Dasan Robinson RB, C.J. Brown CB, Wilman Conde CB, Krzysztof Krol LB; Patrick Nyarko RM, Logan Pause CM, Baggio Husidic CM, Julio Martinez LM; Marco Pappa AM, Collins John F. Robinson for Tim Ward (left calf strain). Peter Lowry out of midfield with Martinez in. The John-Brian McBride shuffle continues. Weren’t they supposed to play together as they did at Fulham?
– Injuries: John Thorrington (quad strain), who could be useful in midfield. Tim Ward (left calf strain) Calen Carr (quad strain) might struggle for playing time with John and McBride rotating as a long striker.

13. New England Revolution (8 / 10)

– Lost 0-1 at Toronto
– Lineup (4-4-1-1): Preston Burpo; Kevin Alston RB, Cory Gibbs CB, Pat Phelan CB, Chris Tierney LB; Joseph Niouky DM, Shalrie Joseph DM, Sainey Nyassi RM, Zak Boggs LM, Marko Perovic AM; Kheli Dube F. With Joseph returning, Tierney moves back and displaces Sinovic.
– Injuries: Edgaras Jankauskas (hamstring), Darrius Barnes (right foot sprain), Michael Videira (ankle), Emmanuel Osei (right leg laceration), Matt Reis (shoulder, knee surgeries), Taylor Twellman (concussion).

14. Kansas City Wizards (8 / 8 )

– Lost 0-1 vs. Columbus
– Lineup (4-3-3): Jimmy Nielsen; Jonathan Leathers RB, Pablo Escobar CB, Jimmy Conrad CB, Michael Harrington LB; Graham Zusi R/CM, Jack Jewsbury CM, Davy Arnaud L/CM; Teal Bunbury RF, Ryan Smith LF, Kei Kamara CF. Harrington slides left to replace Cup-bound Roger Espinoza, with Leathers moving in. Bunbury replaces Josh Wolff.
– Injury: Zoltan Hercegfalvi (knee sprain) for a while; Stephane Auvray (right knee strain) day to day.
– Forward Roger Espinoza is playing for Honduras. Conrad and Wolff have both featured in the World Cup for the U.S. team but didn’t get the call this time.

15. Philadelphia Union (4 / 7)

– Idle
– Last lineup (4-4-2): Chris Seitz; Cristian Arrieta, Michael Orozco CB, Danny Califf CB, Jordan Harvey; Kyle Nakazawa, Andrew Jacobson, Fred, Jack McInerney; Sebastien Le Toux F, Alejandro Moreno F. Stefani Miglioranzi returns from suspension, bumping out Shea Salinas. Sebastien Le Toux is back, bumping McInerney back to midfield and bumping out … Roger Torres? What is it with Peter Nowak and playing time for midfield phenoms?
– Injuries: Toni Stahl (left knee strain), Shea Salinas (right ankle sprain).

16. D.C. United (3 / 9 )

– Lost 0-2 at Houston
– Lineup (4-4-2): Troy Perkins; Jordan Graye RB, Carey Talley CB, Juan Manuel Pena CB, Rodney Wallace LB; Kurt Morsink DM, Adam Cristman RM, Clyde Simms CM, Christian Castillo LM; Danny Allsopp F, Jaime Moreno F. Perkins returns with Bill Hamid ailing. With Moreno in, Cristman slips back to RM, with Boyzzz Khumalo out.
– Injuries: Get one back, lose another. Hamid missed Saturday’s game. Chris Pontius (right hamstring) returned Saturday. Santino Quaranta (staph infection) are due back soon. Luciano Emilio has more time to work his way back into the team, and Andy Najar is back from a right ankle problem. Still out and forcing some patchwork fixes at the back: Dejan Jakovic (right clavicle), Marc Burch (foot surgery), Bryan Namoff (post-concussion syndrome).

Published by

Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

2 thoughts on “MLS Week 9: East shifts back to Ohio”

  1. I think you mean Chris, not Charlie, Birchall.

    Also, for NY, the midfield was Hall on the right, Stammler and Ubiparipovic in the middle, and Miller on the left.

  2. You mean Simple Minds guitarist Charlie Birchill isn’t playing midfield for the Galaxy? That’s sad to hear.

    I’ll fix that and take your word for it on the Red Bulls — the pregame graphics are sometimes wrong.

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