Connect with us

MLS

Who’s next? 12 head coach candidates for DC United & San Jose Earthquakes

Published

on


Is Herdman the type of coaching figure who stays through the 2026 World Cup when Canada co-hosts alongside the US and Mexico? Yep, that’s easy to envision. But is the world where he’s available after Qatar 2022 also within reason? Certainly, especially if their World Cup return ends up being one of lessons learned rather than dream-like inspiration.

Let’s position ourselves in the second scenario for this exercise, and imagine that Herdman wants to try his hand at club soccer after having proved himself in both the men’s and women’s international game. He’d get to work with players year-round rather than in week(s)-long windows or less, and apply the culture, style, identity, etc. that’s made Canada must-watch.

I’m not saying it will happen, Canada fans. I’m saying Herdman’s a great coach and it’d be fun as hell to see him in MLS, be it D.C., San Jose or elsewhere.





Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

MLS

Pablo Ruiz Is Everywhere.  | Real Salt Lake

Published

on

By


Pablo Ruiz is everywhere. Whether it’s on the pitch at Rio Tinto Stadium, at the Zions Bank training center or most recently, last weekend at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Quebec.

The Real Salt Lake midfielder born in the largest city below the 45th parallel (Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina) bossed the center of the park in the Great White North, putting on a performance against CF Montreal that earned him Major League Soccer Team of the Week honors.

In Montreal, Ruiz put on a show that’s become customary for him everytime he puts on the Claret-and-Cobalt shirt this season. The Argentine assisted in RSL’s first goal directly from a corner kick, and played a part in the build up of RSL’s second goal which would prove to be the game winner as Real Salt Lake left Canada with a 2-1 victory.

Still, the play that perhaps best defined Ruiz’s impact in Montreal, and his 2022 campaign so far, could be this chance he helped create for Sergio Cordova.

Ruiz’s constant movement, and ability to quickly transition play from defense to offense has been paramount for RSL’s success this season. While he led RSL in tackles (5) and chances created (3) at Stade Saputo last weekend, his full season stats help paint an even better picture of Ruiz’s impact. In short, Pablo Ruiz is everywhere.

In full, advanced statistics highlight the fact that Ruiz is having an incredible season all over the park. Per Fbref.com, defensively, Ruiz is among the Major League Soccer elite. Highlights include:

Among other impressive defensive stats. Offensively, Ruiz has established himself as a creative fulcrum for the Claret-and-Cobalt. Highlights include:

Together these stats help give context to the kind of all-around midfielder Ruiz has become this season. He credits his coach Pablo Masteroni for helping him reach this next level.

“Before the season started Pablo and I had a chat, and he asked me to play a little more offensively, and I just added that to my game,” said Ruiz. “Now I try to have my offensive and defensive game complimenting each other.”

Ruiz’s play has earned him plaudents across the league, and spot in the Western Conference Best XI so far this season.

You could say the only place Ruiz hasn’t been is behind the sticks in goal, but that’s actually where his career began, way before his rising trajectory as midfielder in MLS.

“I started playing at 4-years-old. I was originally a goalkeeper and then when I was eight, I decided to become an outfield player,” said Ruiz.

At 14-years-old, Ruiz entered the famous San Lorenzo de Almagro academy. San Lorenzo competes in the Argentine first division and is considered one of the ‘big five’ in Argentinian football along with Boca Juniors, River Plate, Racing Club and Independiente.

Current Atletico Madrid star Angel Correa and former Manchester City star Pablo Zabaleta were also both San Lorenzo academy products.

“It was an incredible experience,” said Ruiz. “During that time I was also selected to be on the U17 Argentinian National team. I grew a lot and would have loved to continue to play in the Argentine League. That wasn’t the case, but other opportunities were presented, like going to Chile and then coming here. But while I was in Argentina I learned a lot.”

You could go to any soccer bar in Comodoro Rivadavia and have a lengthy conversation about legendary Argentinaian players such as Lionel Messi (who Ruiz once trained with) and Maradona but the same could also be said for another midfielder, Juan Roman Riquelme.

The four time Argentinian Player of the Year, who wore the legendary kits of Boca Juniors and FC Barcelona among others, is the player who Ruiz models his game after.

“He was a player that loved to be on the ball. He also liked to create space, I was really inspired watching him play,” said Ruiz.

Riquelme, notoriously a player who put most of his energy into the offensive aspect of the game, may seem like an interesting player to inspire the defensively astute Ruiz. However as the stats have shown, Ruiz’s creative side is also starting to shine.

Confidence was a defining characteristic in Riquelme’s success and style of play and Ruiz credits it as the reason for his offensive renaissance this season. The very confidence that is helping him ascend early season MLS MVP predictions was also difficult to find.

Ruiz arrived in Salt Lake City in 2018 following a spell at Chilean club San Luis and struggled to get his career off the ground on a new continent. Ruiz played intermittently his first season at RSL and then didn’t play at all his second season before being loaned to Austrian club, FC Pinzgau Saalfelden along with RSL teammate Andrew Brody.

This point in his career is when Ruiz’s confidence hit its lowest point.

“For a moment I thought that my career may have been coming to an end,” said Ruiz. “I sincerely felt like I was declining, but I think I found myself while in Austria and I started to grow. The coach (Christian Ziege) helped me a lot, he was a person that told me to believe in myself and what I can do. He was an ex-pro player who had a successful career, and played on some big teams. He told me that if I believed in myself and had confidence in what I did, I could play anywhere I wanted.”

Anywhere turned into everywhere. Ruiz returned to Real Salt Lake a different player, and reached another level last season when he helped RSL reach the Western Conference Final.

This hasn’t been enough for Ruiz. He wants more. He credits his success not only to confidence, but also to an altered offseason plan.

“Normally what I have done since I arrived is go home during the off-season to visit my family,” said Ruiz. “I actually haven’t done that since 2020. Normally as players when the season ends we’re thinking about going on vacation, traveling, seeing our families. Not having done that the last two years, but instead chosen to stay, focus and prepare for the season has made me stronger both physically and mentally. I think doing this was key in my improvement.”

The improvement from young player struggling to adjust abroad to a confident all-around midfielder has taken time, but now Ruiz is blossoming on the field. Off the field this season, he has dealt with tragedy. Ruiz’s father died in late April of this year.

Along with such tragedy, also comes hope. Ruiz announced earlier this week that his wife Florencia is expecting their first child.

“Knowing my baby is on the way inspires me to be better and to keep growing,” said Ruiz. “It has motivated me to keep pushing and striving for bigger things, and from now on I know that the thing that I accomplish will be for the benefit of them.”

Following Real Salt Lake’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps on June 4th, Ruiz will finally return home. A deserved break after such a successful and trying start to the season.

This weekend you can see Ruiz again, as he and his teammates take on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, May 28th. You can expect to see Ruiz continue to impact the game all over the field and if you’re searching to find him on the pitch, look everywhere.





Source link

Continue Reading

MLS

Loons vs. NYCFC preview: Rematch at long last

Published

on

By


7 p.m. vs. New York City FC · BSN, 1500-AM

Preview: These two teams meet for the first time since April 2019, when the Loons opened new $250 million Allianz Field. Ozzie Alonso scored the stadium’s first goal in a 3-3 draw. This will be only the fourth time they have played competitively and the second at Allianz; each team is 1-1-1. … Wednesday’s 2-1 U.S. Open Cup loss to third-division Union Omaha knocked the Loons out of the all-comers tournament in the round of 16. Their last MLS game was Sunday’s 2-1 victory at FC Dallas. … NYCFC’s Open Cup victory over New England makes them 10 games undefeated in all competitions. Its last loss was in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against Seattle. Its last league loss was against Toronto in early April. … The Loons will play without yellow card-suspended Kervin Arriaga and Michael Boxall.

Injuries: The Loons’ Hassani Dotson and Patrick Weah are out for the season; goalkeeper Tyler Miller (abdominal) and defender Romain Metanire (thigh) are out, too. Leading scorer Robin Lod (thigh) is listed as questionable, as are midfielder Wil Trapp (ribs) and strikers Luis Amarilla (foot) and Abu Danladi (thigh). NYCFC lists Anton Tinnerholm (Achilles tendon) and Kevin O’Toole (head) as out and Chris Gloster, Tayvon Gray, Maxi Moralez and Malte Amundsen as questionable, all because of “lower body” injuries.



Source link

Continue Reading

MLS

Alex Roldán turned down call-up to El Salvador

Published

on

By


Alex Roldán was conspicuously left off El Salvador’s roster for some upcoming Concacaf Nations League matches. On Friday, El Salvador coach Hugo Perez explained why.

“To close this chapter I want to say that Roldán is not coming because he is not happy with what happened before the game against Canada,” he said in Spanish. “He prefers to take some more time to digest that. But that is the reason, there is no other. Those are things that don’t have to happen, but they did. But we can’t do anything anymore, we have to turn the page and move on.”

The incident in question happened in February, when the El Salvador players released a statement saying that they intended not to play a World Cup qualifier due to a dispute over bonuses. Although they eventually relented, some hard feelings apparently persisted.

The 2-0 loss to Canada effectively eliminated El Salvador from World Cup contention and Roldán was not part of the team during the final qualifying window, nor a friendly in April.

Although Roldán only made his El Salvador debut during last summer’s Gold Cup, he’s already made 15 appearances and established himself as a team captain.

In a Twitter post, Roldán didn’t offer a ton of elaboration but did say that he “didn’t want to come back with bad thoughts and ruin relationships” and left the door open for a return in the future.

El Salvador’s loss is the Sounders’ gain, however, as Roldán will now be available for the team’s June 14 match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending