Play by Play Plus: World Cup Roster & More

For the Philadelphia
Union, it was a familiar story on Saturday. Huge mistakes, not
necessarily the number of them as much as the size of them, is costing
this team points. Even Real Salt Lake’s Head Coach Jason Kreis felt that
the Union were the better team in the first half and deserved the lead.

Without Sebastien Le Toux,
the offense has clearly struggled. He has missed two games, and in
those two matches the team has a total of one goal. Le Toux had scored 4
goals in his first 4 games. His chemistry up top with Alejandro Moreno
was something to build on. He knows how and when to run when Moreno has
the ball, putting more pressure on the opponent's defense.   

Minus Stefani Miglioranzi
as well on Saturday, the club gave up 3 goals. Not saying that if
Miglioranzi played he could have prevented a loss, but you would like to
think that he would have made a difference. He’s the type of player who
reads the game well, breaks up plays, then starts the attack. He also
gives you a veteran presence on a young team.  

Miglioranzi will be back
to face Dallas on Saturday since his one game suspension has been
served. As for Le Toux, everyone is hopeful that he can return to the
lineup. Not playing last Saturday in Salt Lake will give him some extra
time to be ready to return to action.

FC Dallas has won their
last two games. They are led by one of the league’s greatest goal
scorers in its 15 year history, Jeff Cunningham. In goal now is Kevin
Hartman, who appears to have won the number one job over the previous
incumbent, Dario Sala. Hartman holds many of Major League Soccer’s
goalkeeping records. I'll have a preview of Saturday’s game later this

Other items: The only
thing that may slow down the LA Galaxy is the World Cup. The MLS World
Cup break will mitigate the damage, but LA will be without at least one
of their stars for some league action nevertheless. If the U.S. advances
deep into the tournament, that chunk of time could be substantial. They
are definitely losing Landon Donovan, but might they also be losing
Edson Buddle? Buddle was named Tuesday to an initial squad of 30 players
for the World Cup. From this list of 30, the squad will be pared to 23.
Buddle has a pretty good shot of making this team considering that the
USA is thin at the forward spot.

Surprises on the 30? 
First surprise was the naming of 30. All indications were that Bob
Bradley would announce 26-28 players. Naming his 30 tells me that they might be dealing with an
injury or two here, and also that Bradley has not been convinced that he
has his list of 23. At this stage, my gut tells me that Bradley knows
20 for sure, possibly 21. Which means that up to 10 players could be
competing for 2 or 3 spots.

I was mildly surprised
that Conor Casey did not make this list of 30 and that Herculez Gomez
did. Eddie Johnson has picked up his play lately, playing in Greece, so
his inclusion in the 30 was not a surprise. The final 7 cuts will be

Other big games this week:

Houston is at Real Salt
Lake for a nationally televised game on Thursday, 9:00pm on ESPN2. It’s
an important 3 points for both as Houston trails Western Conference
leaders LA by 9 points, while RSL trails the Galaxy by 12.

Saturday, Seattle is in New York to take on the Red Bulls. Anxious to
see how both teams play after being embarrassed last weekend. Seattle
lost at home, 4-0 to the Galaxy, while New York lost by that same score
on the road at San Jose.