Donovan celebration

Daily Doop: Empty feeling, Playoff playas and Brendan Rodgers

An offseason locker room is a weird sight.

Stalls devoid of players, their personal effects and the white noise one becomes accustomed to over the course of an eight month season is a thing that takes a moment to get used too.

Players are all gone and it’s all quiet. The only player left straggling was veteran defender Chris Albright, who came to pick up his locker a day late. Reason being was that Albright spent Thursday helping family clean out their home on the Jersey Shore in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

“Yeah, it wasn’t too bad, just some flooding,” Albright said. “You know, only like three feet of standing water, not too bad.”

It sounded genuine, but we know that having to do that on Week 1 of the offseason, that comment definitely came with an heavy undercurrent of sarcasm.

Moving on…

The MLS playoffs continued Thursday night with Los Angeles’ 2-1 comeback win against Vancouver in the knockout round to qualify for the Western Conference semifinals against top seeded San Jose. Former Union goalkeeper Brad Knighton and defender Jordan Harvey  (pictured with Landon Donovan, above) featured for Vancouver and while they didn’t play, both midfielder Kyle Nakazawa and goalkeeper Brian Perk are on the Galaxy roster.

Which got us to thinking…how many other former Union players are in the playoffs this year? Seven.

Along with the four we just mentioned, there is forward Sebastien Le Toux with New York who will face D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Saturday night (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network) which has former forward Lionard Pajoy. Also, remember that Shea Salinas is “doing the business” – as Bob Rigby would say – in San Jose, which open its playoff campaign against L.A., Sunday (9 p.m., ESPN).

So, I don’t know what to make of this. According to this article posted on, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says that January’s international transfer window hasn’t perennially been the best method to acquire top talent.

Rodgers says:

“January is always a difficult window. You don't get too many top, top players. Clubs will be unwilling to move on players but we have to scour the country and the world to try to get the types of players that are going to be available and correct for our model of play.”

Here’s hoping Rodgers is SO wrong, considering January between the window, MLS SuperDraft and subsequent supplemental draft is viewed – at least in this reporters eyes – as the optimum time for us to pick up our “game changer.”

And lastly…

We here at will be hosting a three-part series on the Top 10 moments of the season in select categories: “Best,” “Wildest” and “Weirdest.” With that said, we welcome any suggestions for the latter two.

For instance “wildest” would definitely encompass our away match against D.C. United that resulted in 10 vs. 9 by games end or the super rainstorm that befell the U.S. Open Cup match against Rochester…but I know there are other moments that I can’t recall that you can.

If you can think of anything between now and then send me an email.

Enjoy your weekend, catch you all Monday.

Contact Kerith Gabriel at Follow Kerith on Twitter @sprtswtr


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