Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Free Kicks

A couple things floating around my head on this Friday. The CCL, Charlie Davies and Jimmy Conrad all warrant comment. Got anything you want to say, let us know below or on Twitter.

MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League- 2011 is looking very good for Major League Soccer. Perhaps in no place more than the opening of the Champions League where MLS teams went 5 for 5 with wins. The LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas and Toronto FC all notched wins.

This puts MLS off to a remarkable start in the CCL, where until Real Salt Lake last year, teams have struggled mightily. Amongst all the big wins was a historic win in Mexico by FC Dallas when they defeated Pumas. This is only the beginning as there are many more game to be played, but for MLS to start off with 5 straight wins all against foreign teams is certainly something to take note of. You can find out more about the CCL here. Bottom line, teams are taking the CCL seriously and that is a very good thing.

Jimmy Conrad calls it quits - Jimmy Conrad, one of the leagues most iconic players, called an end to his 13 year career. Conrad spoke to the media and offered exactly what we've come to expect from Jimmy, humor, fun and honesty.

The league legend has suffered six documented concussions since entering the league. This is just evidence of Conrad's dedication to the teams he's played for. On multiple occasions Jimmy has sacrificed his body for the betterment of his team. We've seen his jaw wired shut and time missed for concussion symptoms yet Conrad still showed positivity and dedication to the game.

This guy will make you laugh even with a jaw wire shut.

Conrad earned five All-Star appearances as well as an impressive Defender of the Year award in 2005. Adding to that Conrad represented MLS at the world stage when he played for the United States during the 2006 World Cup, one of the few bright spots.

On a personal note, when this website was first started, having never spoken to Jimmy, he gave us a shoutout as a new blog being started. I've spoken to several professional players who have met and played around Conrad and all had great things to say.

D.C. United and the bad luck bear- DC has really been a fantastic ride thus far. From the acquisitions of Charlie Davies and Dwayne De Rosario to the frustrations of losing Bill Hamid to red cards and now hamstring injuries. Ben Olsen is one of the most passionate coaches around and the fans that support the black and red are incredible. Still they are on a roller coaster ride of a season with so many ups and downs. Staggering wins are beget by huge losses and I have to wonder what these guys have to do to shake some of their bad luck.

I can say this without a doubt though, Charlie Davies now has a bad reputation of diving. For right or wrong, many fans, journalists and apparently refs seem fed up with Davies falling so easily. It takes a certain amount of guile to get calls in the box consistently but it would behoove Davies to start pushing through any fouls he suffers. I submit this would improve not only his mentality but also his and likely rate of success in goals scored.

De Rosario has carried the team on his shoulders more than one since his arrival but he is not the only one with that ability. Chris Pontius, Andy Najar and Josh Wolff have all had fine moments this year, but they'll need to be more consistent if they make the playoff run United seems poised to make. Bottom line: teams in the league should watch out, because DC has the potential to be extremely dangerous.