There's no one greater than Bruce Arena as far as MLS managers go and he has the silverware to back it up. MLS announced on Monday that Arena was voted the 2011 MLS Coach of the Year, giving him the honor of being the first person to win the award three times (1997, 2009, 2011) with his first one coming 14 years ago. Seattle Sounders manager Sigi Schmid finished second while Sporting Kansas City’s Peter Vermes came in third.
In the past Guti has been linked with a move to MLS, specifically the LA Galaxy. That, combined with the two things above and you get your speculation that Guti is the Sporting KC DP target. While the dots can easily be connected, I'm just not buying it. At least not yet. To me I don't think KC is going to go after a 35 year old. If Julio Cesar is still around next year that would give KC a midfield with two midfielders approaching or already in, their mid-30's.
I don't expect that Julio Cesar will be a popular pick -- he turns 33 this week and he's a tad expensive. Why not dangle him out there and protect someone else? Well, because I'm not sure who else to protect. Korede Aiyegbusi? Daneil Cyrus? Milos Stojcev? Peterson Joseph? Surely not. I don't think KC would be attached to any of them. The only other international I'd entertain is Craig Rocastle really.
MLS Cup may still be days away, but LA Galaxy star David Beckham has already hauled in another piece of MLS silverware. Beckham on Monday claimed the 2011 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award, narrowly edging out D.C. United’s Charlie Davies for the honors. Chicago Fire forward Dominic Oduro, who was offloaded from Houston earlier this season and scored 12 goals for the Fire, finished third.
I went a different direction with my COY selection. It's easy enough to hand it over to the coach leading up the best team (which is kind of the easy way out if you look at it that way), but it's another matter to choose a coach who clearly overachieved with a group in need of a turnaround. In my estimation, Nowak and Peter Vermes were as worthy of the award as anybody (Sigi was second and Vermes finished third). As an expansion team, Philly was 8-15-7 and finished nowhere near the playoffs. This year, the Union were 11-8-15 and had a crack at the Eastern Conference title up until the last week of the season. Vermes' job was perhaps even more impressive. He survived a full third of the season without a home stadium, successfully integrated a young attack crew into the 4-3-3 and won the Eastern Conference without half the talent at Arena's disposal. And he won a playoff series and was a hair's breath from reaching the final.
Of all the MLS end-of-season awards, comeback player of the year seemed the most clear cut: Charlie Davies would win easily. Instead, voters selected David Beckham. In his inspirational return to first-team soccer after more than a year of rehab and reserve matches, the D.C. United forward scored 11 goals. He didn’t come back from a competition-related injury; he recovered from catastrophic injuries suffered in a 2009 car accident. There was concern he would never function properly again, never mind play professional soccer.
The SB Nation Soccer postseason award voters really liked midfielders, it seems. They liked them so much that six of the top seven vote-getters in our MLS Best XI were ostensibly midfielders. Rather than shoehorn our team into some kind of preconceived formation, we decided to go with their will. The result was a Best XI that would play like a 3-6-1. Over the next few days, SBN Soccer will release our own MLS postseason award winners. This seemed like the logical place to start.
And although it's perfectly fine to experiment, it's also reasonable to expect said experiments to have an internal logic to them. So rather than fit a square peg (Williams) into a round hole (right midfield), Klinsmann ought to be taking a look at players like Sacha Kljestan or Benny Feilhaber. While Kljestan was named to the roster for friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium in September, he was omitted this time around. Feilhaber has yet to get any looks from Klinsmann. That's not to say either performer is the second coming of Andres Iniesta, but both players would seem to fit the mold of the attack-minded player keen on helping the team build out of the back and through the midfield.
Another question that springs to mind is the apparent demand by the Gods to have 3 defensive mid-fielders on the field at all times. Just because we have talent there does not mean we should put them all on the field at the same time. Kyle Beckerman has performed admirably in his role as protector of the back line. Why not insert an attacking midfielder in front of him to allow the team to attack in free flowing soccer. Sacha Kljestan and Jose Torres are available for selection. Kljestan is in top form and Torres should be an option when he returns to full health.
The Revs are preparing to name former defender Jay Heaps as the team's new head coach, the Boston Globe reported on Monday. According to the report, Heaps will be introduced as the team's new head coach on Wednesday. Heaps, 35, retired from professional soccer in 2009 and has been working as a television analyst since.