Recent Updates: Azerbaijan, Penalty Shootouts, and More
|1) Yura Movsisyan played for Armenia's national team, rather than his birthplace of Azerbaijan. He's always considered himself Armenian, so it wasn't a surprise (although there was the possibility of a future USA appearance mentioned). This switch means that Azerbaijan disappears from the list of MLS player nationalities, while Armenia was already represented by Harut Karapetyan. So the total number in MLS history is reduced to 93, despite recently going up to 94 with Branko Boskovic (Montenegro) playing for DC.|
2) New England vs Puebla in the Superliga semifinal has been added to the list of MLS penalty shootouts. Chris Tierney became just one of twelve players to take at least three shootout penalties with a perfect record. Matt Reis participated in his 7th shootout, which is three more than any other keeper.
3) The debuts of 35 year olds Eduardo Coudet and Blaise Nkufo in late July did more than just help their teams. They also landed both players in list of the top 25 oldest MLS debuts of all time. Coudet ranks 15th, while Nkufo is 22nd. Kasey Keller was the oldest.
4) Clint Mathis retired a couple weeks ago. He's also one of the players who was perfect on shootout penalties mentioned above. But let's talk about the other, more dreaded kind of shootout for a second, the 1996-99 MLS version. His retirement means that the number of players left from the "shootout era" in league history continues to shrink.
I only count 25 players remaining who played in the 1990s in MLS. That doesn't count the recently released John Wolyniec, or players who are still active who could return to MLS (like Marcus Hahnemann or Matt Jordan). Here's the list:
5) I read recently that former MLS player Damian Silvera died, who played 20 total games for NY/KC in 1996-97.
I believe he's only the third former MLS player to pass away (first American), after Mickey Trotman in 2001 (car accident) and Jefferson Gottardi in 2003 (Lou Gehrig's disease).