Wednesday, April 4, 2012
While the Richmond Kickers completed their preparations this week for the opening game of the club’s 20th Anniversary Season, two of the club’s alumni were putting in standout performances in Major League Soccer. Dwayne DeRosario of D.C. United and Clyde Simms of the New England Revolution led the way this week for USL alums in the top flight of North American soccer.
Both DeRosario and Simms were named to the MLS Team of the Week on Wednesday after both keyed victories on national television. While DeRosario didn’t find the back of the net, the 33-year-old who spent two seasons with the Kickers in 2000-01 put on a passing clinic to create opportunities for his teammates as United took a 4-1 victory against FC Dallas on Friday night.
Simms too didn’t score in New England’s 3-1 victory on the road against the LA Galaxy, but the holding midfielder allowed the Revolution to maintain possession consistently, completing 44 of his 46 passes for the night and recovering the ball 10 times.
Simms’ Revolution teammate Kelyn Rowe had a memorable night as well, with the former Washington Crossfire standout scoring his first goal in MLS to open the scoring against the Galaxy. Revolution defender A.J. Soares, who played in the PDL for the Orange County Blue Star before being a first-round SuperDraft selection a year ago, was also named to the Team of the Week.
United goalkeeper Joe Willis also earned a spot on the Team of the Week, with the former Real Colorado Foxes goalkeeper making a number of crucial saves before his side took the lead in the 28th minute through Maicon Santos.
While United and the Revolution took victories, Darlington Nagbe’s Portland Timbers fell late to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, but that didn’t keep the former Cleveland Internationals standout from being honored. Nagbe, who scored five goals in five games for Cleveland in 2009, had a pair of outstanding strikes that illustrated why he was the No. 2 selection in the MLS SuperDraft in 2011.
Another former International, Justin Morrow, was also named to the Team of the Week after helping San Jose take an impressive 1-0 victory on the road against Seattle. Morrow, who also played for the Indiana Invaders and Chicago Fire Premier in his three-year PDL career, proved a tough matchup for the potent Sounders attack even after he switched from center back to left back with an injury to Diego Corrales.
Finally, former Charleston Battery midfielder Alex Caskey made his MLS debut on Saturday for the Seattle Sounders. After an impressive season at Blackbaud Stadium a year ago, Caskey was brought back by the Sounders side that drafted him in 2011, and he has impressed with the growth in his game that came through his time in Charleston, which has seen him already score twice for the Sounders reserves this season.