How starved are the San Jose Earthquakes for goals?
Consider that sixteen games into the regular season they've scored only 11 times, putting them well behind the pace TFC set last year when they established the league record for futility with 25 goals.
I guess they all count.
Finally, consider the ovation that Kamara received when he headed the ball into the net during a post-practice drill.
Yeah, they're goal-thirsty.
ON O'BRIEN, ON HUCKERBY, ON TURF
Neither of them likes it. It hasn't changed for O'Brien since I talked to him in a hotel lobby in March. And it hasn't changed now that Huckerby's in San Jose.
But we knew that already.
DOUBLE DUTY DAVID
Dropped in on San Jose practice earlier this afternoon and noticed the goalkeeper in jersey number 31 looked a whole lot like David Monsalve.
Because it was.
Monsalve might practise with TFC as the backup to their backup keeper, but he belongs to the league. As one of Major League Soccer's pool goalkeepers, he trains with one team but is available to any squad who needs him on a given weekend, just like Sam Reynolds, the Chivas USA keeper TFC enlisted several times last season.
The Earthquakes called him up for Saturday's game against TFC.
But unlike Reynolds, who would fly from L.A. to Toronto to practise and play with TFC before heading back out west, Monsalve only travelled about a mile -- the distance from BMO Field to Lamport Stadium, where the Earthquakes worked out on Friday.
SPEAKING OF ITINERANT FOOTBALLERS
If you're like me, then you probably had a few questions about the guys filling out TFC's roster during Tuesday night's friendly against Independiente. The guys who materialize for games like this, then vanish until the next time the team needs bodies. Guys like Murphy Wiredu, Gerard Ladiyou and Frank Jonke.
Where do they come from? Where are they headed? And most importantly, do they get paid?
Couldn't find the answer Tuesday but luckily I ran into Earl Cochrane, TFC's manager of team operations, who broke it down for me so I could break it down for you.
For reserve games at home, the team usually tops up its roster with a couple of trusted CSL players. Their clubs release them to TFC, who sign them to a short term (like two day) contract, then return them to them to their club. So yes, they get paid.
At least they do for reserve games.
Friendlies work sort of the same way, except without the cash. The players, though, are compensated in that they get to keep a jersey.
No guarantee that the jersey will be their own.
Cochrane said that after Tuesday's friendly, all 22 Independiente players wanted to trade jerseys with their opponents.
TFC only dressed 18 guys, forcing TFC staffers to scramble for some spare shirts.
I think a few Andy Welsh jerseys were lying around somewhere.
-- Morgan Campbell