Sure, there is probably going to be a strike that derails the start of a much-anticipated MLS season. And, sure, just when I thought Chris Dickson was going to get an extended look up front for Charlton Athletic -- enough so that I had intended to sponsor Dickson for the remainder of the season -- he's bundled away to the Gills. And sure, just as I was talking myself into the value of watching Bolton play football, Holden's leg gets broken in an international friendly.
No worries. Mathew Mbuta is back with Crystal Palace Baltimore. As the club correctly notes, Mbuta is loved by supporters and all of us had high hopes for his tenure with New York. Things didn't work out for Mbuta, but he will be welcomed back with great enthusiasm. Mathew's skill always made the trip to UMBC worthwhile and it will be interesting to see him matched up against second division teams -- for however long he stays with the team. Crystal Palace's friendly with the University of Maryland on Saturday at Ludwig is now even more enticing.
Also good news: CP Baltimore's Shintaro Harada's trial with DC United. Mbuta has individual talent that can be breathtaking mediated by mental lapses that are maddening; Harada is his doppelganger: solid, dependable, and a rock in CP Baltimore's starting XI. I doubt that he'll stick as he doesn't have the physical size that United probably wants at the back, but if he does, he'll provide great cover for DC... in the event that an actual MLS season is played.