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MLSPR: How much is DeMerit worth?

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Keith Costigan

 
   
 

DeMerit wants an MLS return

Jay DeMerit has been without a club since the end of last season and has now indicated he would consider a move to MLS.

DeMerit had a decent World Cup but failed to earn a contract in Europe despite rumors of interested parties in Germany. But despite the apparent lack of interest across the Atlantic, I believe he is a player that would add to the quality of MLS.

My only problem is how much DeMerit would expect to get paid on his return to the U.S.

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I am all for the league rewarding American international players with healthier contracts, but DeMerit is coming to the end of his career and shouldn’t be paid more than an up and coming young central defender like Omar Gonzalez.

DeMerit is talented and it is not surprising that teams like the Vancouver Whitecaps are interested in signing him, but should they break the bank to secure his signature?

The lack of interest for DeMerit in Europe means that MLS holds all the cards when it comes to the contract negotiations and that is the way they should approach talks with DeMerit’s representatives.

What did we learn form the U.S. friendlies?

If he hasn't already, I’m sure Bob Bradley has now come to terms with the fact that he will never please everyone with the decisions he makes as head coach.

There was a mixed response to the U.S. friendlies against Poland and Colombia, but not too much should be read into the results. It is nice to win these friendly games but it is more important to look at new angles and start evaluating players at the international level. And for the most part, Bradley did that.

He tried two new systems and, although the team wasn’t impressive at times, at least it shows the coach is willing to try new things to help the team move forward. Some people seemed bothered that Bradley didn’t make many substitutions in the Poland game, but I liked the idea of giving the team the full 90 minutes to gel into a new system.

There were definitely more positives form the performance against the Poles with Stuart Holden impressing and Jermaine Jones showing enough to suggest he will be a good addition to the squad.

The lack of a quality striker was evident in both games with Jozy Altidore still not sharp enough in front of goal, but with Buddle, Donovan and the rest of the MLS contingent unavailable, Bradley didn’t really have too many other options at his disposal.

The results may not have been to our liking, but the World Cup is four years away and now is the time to experiment and try new things, which is exactly what Bradley did.

Houston fans have a right to boo

The reaction of the Houston fans at the final whistle after their loss to the Revs at the weekend was not surprising given the season this team has had.

MLS: June 23-25

 
Thursday, June 23
Home Road
Seattle 4-2 New York Recap
Saturday, June 25
Home Road
DC United 2-2 Houston Recap
San Jose 0-0 LA Galaxy Recap
Philadelphia 3-2 Chivas USA Recap
FC Dallas 4-0 Portland Recap
Sporting KC 2-1 Vancouver Recap
Real Salt Lake 3-1 Toronto Recap
Sunday, June 26
Home Road
Chicago 1-1 New York  
Seattle 2-1 New England Recap
Columbus 4-1 Colorado  
MLS Scores | Table | Fixtures
 

The Dynamo fans have been spoiled with some superb soccer over the last few years but the team has performed miserably and its supporters have every right to voice their displeasure.

It doesn’t help the Dynamo office to see former Houston players like Chris Wondolowski, Kei Kamara and Dwayne DeRosario all performing so well in the league after being moved on by the club. It is these types of poor personnel decisions over the last few years that have turned Houston into a very ordinary team.

Dominic Kinnear has proven to be one of the top coaches in MLS but he must shoulder a large portion of the blame for his side’s demise. Kinnear has built up a reputation as being one of the league's best, but he now faces the biggest test of his career as he tries to rebuild this battered franchise.

Some honesty from the Toronto organization

Toronto fans have proven to be some of the best in the league but have had very little to cheer about since joining MLS in 2006.

The Toronto organization has made one poor decision after another, but this week they finally showed some class and intelligence by writing a letter of apology to their long suffering fans. The front office has also set up a series of town hall meetings to give the fans a say in how the club moves forward.

The letter states the organization's desire to build one of the best management teams in the country -- which is something they failed to do when they first entered the league.

Despite solid attendance again this season, it's impossible to expect the Toronto fans to keep showing up when they are being served up mediocre soccer.

The letter was a small but thoughtful gesture by the Toronto front office. The only problem is that the people that have done most of the damage are no longer with the club.

On to this week's MLS Power Rankings ...

1. Real Salt Lake: RSL showed it is ready for any tough games on the road in the playoffs with a dogged performance in its draw with New York at Red Bull Arena.

2. Seattle Sounders: The Sounders are hitting their stride at just the right time and their superb fans may give them the edge in the race for MLS Cup.

3. FC Dallas: Schellas Hyndman must have been very proud to see Brek Shea make his debut for the national team and the Dallas coach deserves a lot of credit for the youngsters rapid rise to the top of U.S. soccer.

4. Los Angeles Galaxy: David Beckham’s delivery looks back on track and so does the Galaxy as their win at Philly moved them ever closer to the regular season crown.

5. New York Red Bulls: The Red Bulls fans better enjoy watching Juan Pablo Angel for the rest of this season because it doesn’t look like the Colombian international will be back in New York next year.

6. Colorado Rapids: Conor Casey and Omar Cummings get all the headlines but the play of Jeff Larentowicz deserve just as much credit for the Rapids improved play this year.

7. San Jose Earthquakes: Chris Wondolowski’s fairytale season shows no sign of ending but any talk of an international call-up is just a little premature.

8. Kansas City Wizards: The Wizards showed they are not ready to give up on the playoffs with their win over Chicago but they left it just too late to make their postseason push.

9. Columbus Crew: The Crew’s recent woes continued with a defeat at Chicago and on current form they are the weakest team going into the playoffs.

10. Chicago Fire: The Fire has a lot of talented players but the lack of a quality coach has let them down badly this season.

11. New England Revolution: The Revs won the battle of the former greats as they won a meaningless match at Robertson Stadium last weekend.

12. Chivas USA: Chivas picked up a rare win over Toronto but their defensive performance will have Martin Vasquez looking for several reinforcements in the off-season.

13. Philadelphia Union: The Union may be well off the playoff pace but I believe they are only a couple of players short of competing for a playoff spot next season.

14. Toronto FC: Toronto wasted chance after chance and then their players lost interest when they went behind to Chivas last weekend. This is a franchise in need of new direction quickly.

15. D.C. United: D.C. is about to finish another record-breaking season in MLS. Unfortunately all of the records they have broken this year are unwanted ones.

16. Houston Dynamo: The biggest disappointment in MLS this season.

Keith Costigan is a writer for FoxSoccer.com covering Major League Soccer.

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