Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A few things...

#1 - Matteo Ferrari is in camp with the Impact. As a Roma fan, I'm acquainted with him. Nothing spectacular, but he has decent feet, good size and a sturdy countenance. That he's been out of the game since Besiktas released him in August should be a little disconcerting for Jesse Marsch. Not exactly a stab in the dark, but not an earth-shaking move either. Contract details are still being hammered out.

#2 - Note to MLS sides hurting for dead ball specialists: Want Brad Davis' English doppelgänger? David Bentley is here to help.

#3 - Don't sleep on the Ching-to-Houston trade just yet. In a surprising move, Montreal released Ching to hammer out contract details with his former club, which he is reportedly close to doing. Ching is no longer with Montreal's camp in Los Angeles, and it's anyone's guess as to what Montreal's asking price will be. My guess: a few shekels and some barbecue. My gut instinct is that Marsch's little expansion draft caprice is about to burn up in the atmosphere.

#4 - Big day for David Ferreira today. He gets a second opinion on his shredded ankle. This is the big one that will officially clear him for duty. The expectation is that he passes, which leaves his mental state the last hurdle to clear. Ferreira has been held out of preseason games and scrimmages at his behest, and learning to plant, cut and go again after 10 months of grueling rehab isn't easy. Trusting his ankle to support his moves will be part of the process, but being deemed fully fit again is a mental crossroads in itself.

#5 - Landon Donovan's loan spell with Everton is being cut short. I can almost hear him groaning. I caught a few of his games with the Toffees, and it's incredible how much his game perks up when he has talent around him making intelligent runs. We have a propensity to label Donovan as a disappearing act at times, but not often enough do we stop and remember that, given Donovan's unique skill set, the talent around him can be just as culpable. The Galaxy have lost three preseason games in a row, for what that's worth. Which isn't much, FYI.

#6 - Some impressions on MLS' new match ball, the Prime, are trickling in. Word is that its flight is truer but heavier than the Jabulani, favoring possession teams instead of boot-and-chase ones. Being that MLS is becoming the newest proving ground for the 4-3-3, as teams switch to the formation one after the other, it should be a welcome fit.

#7 - A look at the personal cost of the Development Academy's decision to move to a 10-month cycle.

#8 - Now for something fun. Hey NBC. The Onion SportsDome has some advice for you: don't be ESPN. Thanks!

- Will Parchman


Tony M said...

Will, one of the interesting things I've noted about Donovan was how often his Everton team mates seemed to be a step behind his thinking. Several times I saw him initiate give-and-goes, only to see him streaking into space behind a defender without getting a return pass. Other times I'd see him turn and look for Neville, only to find him foot up on the bar rail with a pint and a cigarette. (Okay, that's an exaggeration.)

Partly it's unfamilarity of course, but in part it reminded me of what has ofetn been Landon Donovan's biggest problem: he doesn't get to play with Landon Donovan.

Will Parchman said...

At times, sure. I think he'll encounter that in most places just because he's so razor sharp. But one thing I've seen more consistently is the ability to pick out players with creative chip crosses, dink nifty through balls between defenders and make *more* things happen from the wing. These are all things he does (and will continue to do) with LA, but Everton always seems to tease out a specific genre of creativity from Donovan. A part of me wishes this was a World Cup year, because he looks as good as he ever has.

DrewVT6 said...

Watched him live for one of his few starts at Leverkusen when they had Berbatov...the skills of the players around him certainly made him look even better. But that's just one side of his better performance. I think Landon also performs better in big, meaningful games. I think it's hard to convince anyone that a mid-season game in 95+ weather in a half empty MLS stadium is a big game.

Stan said...

I think Donovan is not, by nature, a 'team on the back' kind of guy. Dempsey is probably closer to that. I agree that the Donovan you see at Everton is the one you'd see if the US team was good enough up and down the roster, and got as much time together as Everton does.

Jay said...

@drew_brown The corollary to that notion might be "when one regularly plays mid-season games in 95+ weather in a half empty MLS stadiums, any and every EPL match seems like a big game."