Clint Dempsey returns, nabs a goal and the rich get richer, though (to my eyes) the most painful part of the Seattle Sounders/Houston Dynamo match was AJ Delagarza in orange. As you would expect he was the defensive glue for a gutsy performance against the defending MLS Cup champions. T's just unfair that the Sounders get to add Dempsey to an already potent and powerful squad. If they can avoid slumping in the early part of the season (due to a championship hangover) they should be one of the best teams in our conference (and league) this year.
What is it about Wilmer Cabrera and being able to get goals out of Erick Torres (Cubo)? Seriously he was tearing it up in pre-season and bags a goal in this game. To say nothing of their time together at Chivas USA. Torres genuinely looked lost in Houston during the 2015 season, it's why he was loaned out to Liga MX side Cruz Azul. Most thought he wouldn't be coming back from his loan stint as they had an option to buy the mercurial forward, instead he looks to be back to his 13-14 form. Welcome back Cubo!
It was really nice to see Oguchi Onyewu back on the field. Sadly it's replacing an up and coming Josh Yaro due to injury. That said Gooch just really wants to play soccer. He's worked hard to get back into game shape and has trialled with several teams over the last few years never latching on anywhere and then seemingly out of nowhere get's a contract offer from the Philadelphia Union. Good for him, he looked solid against the Vancouver Whitecaps tonight dealing with a lot of speed and athleticism. Hopefully his knee holds up and he can be a contributor in this league.
No matter what you think of him it's always nice to have more talent in the league, in that vein welcome back Fredy Montero. I tend to agree with Matt Doyle regarding fit in Vancouver. However, Montero is just good at soccer and I believe that talent can be just as important as fit. He has a solid goal scoring record in MLS I just wonder with how the league has changed if he can still be the impact player that he was with Seattle. Undoubtedly the league has become deeper thanks to TAM, teams are not just spending on the front line, they're actually beginning to spend on the defensive side as well. Here's hoping Montero works out for Vancouver (just maybe not against the Galaxy).
We couldn't talk about returns without mentioning Erik Palmer-Brown and Brooks Lennon! After successful stints at Porto and Liverpool (in their development teams) respectively they are back with MLS and look poised to breakout this year with Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake. Congratulations lads on the CONCACAF Championship for the US, good luck at the U20 World Cup!
Lastly, I wanted to say welcome/welcome back to Jermaine Jones. Yes. After last season and barely playing for the Rapids, we signed JJJ to a TAM level deal. Now, luckily we aren't paying him DP money and we are completely justified in our frustration that seemingly we traded AJ for the cap room to sign Jones but, BUT he's looked solid for us this far. I don't know how long his body will hold out (because he is 35 and will be 36 when the playoffs start), but he has looked like a solid player and frankly I'm glad he's on the Galaxy. That said, he's lucky to have not received a red card for a silly tackle. Thanks for the effort JJ maybe just play a little bit smarter.
Well friends, that's all I have for returns! Did I miss any? Lemme know in the comments!