Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Curtin Traded to Chivas USA

Fire defender Jim Curtin has been traded to Chivas USA, according to a source. Curtin spent seven seasons with the Fire and was a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 2004 MLS All-Star game. He played in only 11 games last year due to injury. The trade will reunite him with former Fire teammate and good friend Jesse Marsch.

The Fire has also traded a fourth-round pick in the 2010 SuperDraft for Andy Herron's rights, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch reported that Herron might sign with Saprissa of Costa Rica's first division, but I wouldn't rule out a return to the Fire. The guy loved Chicago. From what I hear, he was devastated when he found out the Fire traded him to the Crew before the 2007 season.

Herron might not be the only forward joining the Fire this off-season. I'm told the team is expected to announce a new signing soon. And no, it's not Ante Razov.


NY Red Bull Academy Cost-Free

Players selected to the New York Red Bulls youth academy teams will play cost-free. "We believe by eliminating the cost barrier, top players will be able to develop within our program with a goal of someday playing on the first team for the New York Red Bulls," said RBNY Academy Director Bob Montgomery.

"Top soccer talent will only have to be selected to the program by our world-class coaching staff, said Montgomery. "Beyond that, all of the participation costs will be handled by Red Bull."

Tryouts for the 2009 cycle of teams will be held in the Spring of 2008 for the five Academy teams (U20, U18, U16, U15, U14).

"Red Bull New York continues to commit its resources to the sport of soccer in the United States," said RBNY Sporting Director Jeff Agoos. "Red Bull is firmly committed to player development and helping support youth soccer organizations within the local community.


Gallardo Leaning Towards MLS

According to his agent, erstwhile Paris St. Germain attacker Marcelo Gallardo has his sights set on a move to America.

Borussia Dortmund and San Lorenzo are also in for the Argentina international, who has already ruled out signing for the latter.

"Marcelo won't return to Argentina at this moment," Juan Berros told Goal. "He has already terminated his contract with Paris Saint Germain, and the idea is for him to continue his career in the United States."

The 32-year old has recently been linked with D.C. United, but New York is also apparently in the running.


Osorio Scouting South Americans

New Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio is busy looking into attractive players to bring to MLS, with an eye to South Americans playing in Europe.

While the boss has targeted some playing overseas, the players he's scouting now are in Brazil and Colombia.

"I am looking for a central defender, hopefully left-footed," Osorio told the New York Times. "I'm also looking for a wide midfielder, also left-footed, and we're trying to squeeze in a playmaker."

"I can tell you that we have already found the players we need, but there are restrictions because of the salary cap."


Monday, January 21, 2008

Last Pick a Flier for Toronto FC

Toronto FC had an excellent Major League Soccer SuperDraft on Friday and it could be even better if their final pick, an admitted gamble, Joe Lapira of Notre Dame, decides to sign a contract.

Lapira, 21, is training with Nottingham Forest of England's League One and has expressed an intention to play in Europe. His mother is Irish, and last May he was a late substitution for Ireland in a 1-1 draw in an exhibition game with Ecuador.

In another development, an offer was made to goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar, 22, of Grimsby, Ont., who has been released by his club in Holland, but so far nothing has developed. During the summer, Lapira had a trial with Rangers of the Scottish Premier League that was cut short by a leg injury. Toronto head coach Mo Johnston spoke to Lapira on the morning of the draft and also has talked to those who have coached him before making him the 35th pick overall.


Guzan Set For Hoops Visit

Fresh from backstopping the U.S. to a win over Sweden, Chivas USA keeper Brad Guzan is making his way over to Glasgow for a Celtic trial.

The netminder would likely cost the Parkhead crew upwards of $2 million, with several other clubs milling around the player.

"It's always exciting when a club such as Celtic are in for you," Guzan told the Daily Record."I know all about them, they are a world-renowned team with a great history."

Schmetzer Shmoozes At Combine

Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer was lurking the recent MLS SuperDraft combine, making relationships with players who might fail to make a top flight roster.

Although the Sounders will remain in the A-League for the time being, 2009 brings a chance for all squad members to crash MLS on the expansion team.

"If a guy gets cut during the preseason, we're trying to get the last guys released from MLS rosters," Schmetzer told the Seattle Times."

We're a hot USL franchise right now," he added, giving a thumbs up to the scouting trip. "There was quite a bit of a buzz going on about that at the combine."

Babayaro to LA Galaxy

Celestine Babayaro has agreed a three-year deal with Los Angeles Galaxy after being released by Newcastle United. The left back, 29, will play under Ruud Gullit, who signed him for Chelsea in 1997.

Due to his many injury problems it was mutually decided on December 10, 2007, that Babayaro should be released from his contract at Newcastle with immediate effect and a compensation figure was agreed.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Donovan to Return to Earthquakes?

The Earthquakes still have a "designated player" exemption, which enables a team to pay a star player more than the salary cap allows. Doyle has said the team is willing to use that exemption if the right player comes along.

Which bring us to Donovan, the former Quakes star and main man with the Los Angeles Galaxy until David Beckham arrived last summer.

The stage has grown even more crowded with the Galaxy's acquisition of Carlos Ruiz from Dallas. Ruiz is the talented player who was shipped out from L.A. three years ago to make room for Donovan in the backdoor deal that still burns Earthquakes fans.

This is the Galaxy way: stockpiling stars. It's clearly what team president Alexi Lalas likes to do, but the scuttlebutt is that Lalas has lost power and Paul Bravo is now the lead on soccer decisions.

Star-studded lineups work for some teams, but the Galaxy isn't Real Madrid. The Galaxy's roster has been a bust and the league doesn't have enough star power to put so much on one team.

The Galaxy will devote half of its payroll to Beckham, Donovan and Ruiz, leading to speculation that the team will try to move one of the players.

Donovan has a no-trade clause. Also, we know from experience that he doesn't mind letting someone else be the focal point. And we know how happy and content he is living in Manhattan Beach with his wife, the actress Bianca Kajlich. Donovan likes his comfort level.


Pickens rejects Fire's offer

I don't mean to be a buzz kill after such a great draft for the Fire, but I've learned that Matt Pickens' turned down the Fire's contract offer last night. Pickens is not under contract with the Fire for next season and is currently on trial with Norwich City in England.

"We made what we felt was a good offer last night and his agent turned it down," said Fire head coach Denis Hamlett, who believes talks will continue.

The Fire used one of its first round picks to select Tulsa goalkeeper Dominic Cervi at No. 12.

"We couldn't just sit around and wait," Hamlett said of the Fire's goalkeeper situation. "We needed to protect ourselves.

"We were excited [Cervi] was available at that number."

As for reports that Cervi is considering a move to Europe, Hamlett has a wait-and-see attitude.

"We get the players into pre-season training camp, have them compete for a position, than talk about a contract," said Hamlett. "I spoke with Cervi, but mainly to say congratulations."


Red Bulls Set to Swoop on Midfielders

Just a day after adding a quality defender in the MLS Draft in Eric Brunner, the Red Bulls look set to address their concerns about the midfield.

The Red Bulls have targeted a pair of South American midfielders, one a left winger and another an attacking midfielder, in a double-swoop that could help address the team's need for more offensive productivity from the midfield.

Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio told media on Friday that the team was close to adding a left winger, but a team source has confirmed that an attacking midfielder is in the team's sights as well and both players could join the squad by the end of the month.

What does this mean for left winger/fullback Dave Van Den Bergh? His future with the Red Bulls remains uncertain and he could be on his way out if Osorio can find a suitable option at left back. Van Den Bergh's lack of pace makes him an unsuitable option on the left wing for Osorio, who prefers speed on the flanks.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

USL Sounders Roster Gets Full Promotion to MLS

...there are six to eight current Sounders who could be on the MLS team.

He also scouted two former Washington players at the combine he said have MLS potential — forwards Ely Allen, drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday, and Kevin Forrest.


Armas and Klopas join Fire staff

One week after being named the Fire's new head coach, Denis Hamlett has hired Chris Armas and Mike Jeffries as his assistant coaches. Daryl Shore will stay on as the team's goalkeepers coach. Frank Klopas, a member of the 1998 team that won the MLS Cup, has been named the Fire's technical director.

Armas has no previous coaching experience but showed he was a natural born leader during his 12-year career in MLS. After announcing his retirement following the 2007 season, Armas was approached by a handful of MLS teams interested in his services.

Jeffries was an assistant coach with the Fire for three seasons between 1998-2000 before taking the Dallas head coaching job. He spent last year as an assistant coach with Duke.

Klopas most recently was a head coach with the Chicago Storm. Even though he interviewed for the Fire's head coaching job last month, he has always had his eye on a technical director position with the team.


Report: Noonan to Rapids, Maestroeni to San Jose

Just because the draft is over doesn't mean the trade rumors stop.

Luis Arroyave is reporting on his blog
that New England Revolution's Pat Noonan may be headed to Colorado. What New England gets in return remains to be seen.

And it appears we now know Pablo Mastroeni's destination: San Jose according to Arroyave.

Moreno Re-signs With DC

According to DCU General Manager Dave Kasper, team captain Jaime Moreno will sign a new contract next week that is guaranteed for the 2008 and '09 seasons, but at a lower salary than he had been making.

"Where he is in his career, he wanted security. It's important to him. He had some good offers out there from Mexico, the Middle East. He's an important player that goes well beyond the playing field."


Revolution add Albright

The Revolution took steps toward bolstering their back line yesterday, acquiring former United States national team member Chris Albright from the Los Angeles Galaxy for an undisclosed amount of allocation money, and selecting Rob Valentino of the University of San Francisco in the first round of the MLS draft.

Albright (hamstring tear) and Valentino (knee) are recovering from surgery but are expected to join the Revolution for training Jan. 29 in Foxborough.

Albright, 29, has been among the MLS's most productive right backs, effective defending and contributing to the offense, since being converted from forward in 2004. Albright was a member of the US team but did not play in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He was injured in the fifth game of the 2007 MLS season.


Philadelphia: 'A step ahead' in MLS race?

The victor in the highly competitive contest to secure a soccer expansion team will be either Philadelphia or St. Louis, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said yesterday, eliminating the immediate prospects of cities such as Miami.

"Both Philadelphia and St. Louis are making progress in their plans, and one of them will be our 16th team," Garber said during a break from the league's SuperDraft, being held at the convention center here.

As for which it would be, Garber first said he did not think either was ahead of the other, then appeared to tilt toward Philadelphia, saying, "If Philadelphia is able to finalize their plan, they have been leading the charge and have a step ahead of St. Louis."

What was clear was that months of preparation, discussion and negotiations have boiled down to a two-city race. In addition to Miami, there was interest from Canada for a second MLS team, and a group was seeking a second New York City franchise.


Johnston loads up on defence

We get the message, Mo.

Defence is a priority.

Last season Toronto FC surrendered a league-high 49 goals, so in yesterday's MLS draft, head coach Mo Johnston and his staff went after defence, defence and a little more defence.

Toronto headed into the MLS SuperDraft with four picks, and spent the first two on UConn defender and two-time All-American Julius James (ninth pick), and Pat Phelan (10th), a defensive midfielder from Wake Forest. Phelan, 23, was also an All-American in 2007.

Before taking yet another defender with the 30th pick (UCLA's Mike Zaher), Toronto traded up to the 28th spot to take Wake Forest goalkeeper Brian Edwards.

The only help for Toronto's often-injured front line came with the team's final selection – striker Joseph Lapira, who scored 41 goals in his career at Notre Dame.


Friday, January 18, 2008

FieldTurf Announces 2007 Soccer Awards

* MLS Coach of the Year - Preki Radosavljevic (Chivas USA)

* USL Division 1 Coach of the Year - Gavin Wilkinson (Portland Timbers)

* USL Division 2 Coach of the Year - Bill Becher (Harrisburg City Islanders)

* USL W-League Coach of the Year - Keith Jones (Atlanta Silverbacks)

* NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year (Men's Soccer) - Ed Kelly (Boston College)

* NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Year (Women's Soccer) - Garrett Smith (University of Portland)

* MLS Team of the Year - Houston Dynamo

* USL Team of the Year - Seattle Sounders

* NCAA Team of the Year - Wake Forest Demon Deacons

'08 Superdraft Recap - First Round

Kansas City was toying with the idea of trading the top pick, and still might deal Myers, but the UCLA left back is one of the most coveted players in the draft.

1) KC Wizards - D Chance Myers
2) FC Dallas - M/D Brek Shea
3) RSL - M/D Anthony Beltran
4) LA Galaxy - M/D Sean Franklin
5) Colorado Rapids - M Ciaran O'Brien
6) Columbus Crew - D Andy Iro
7) Chicago Fire - F Patrick Nyarko
8) FC Dallas - GK Josh Lambo
9) TFC - D Julius James
10) TFC - M Pat Phelan
11) KC Wizards - Roger Espinosa
12) Chicago Fire - GK Dominic Cervi
13) NE Revolution - D Rob Valentino
14) RSL - D David Horst

Columbus make Zurawski their DP

Reports out of Poland state that 31 year old Celtic forward who wants out of Celtic is headed to Columbus. Yes. Columbus. Formerly the striker had been linked with the LA Galaxy but with their acquisition of Carlos Ruiz in a trade with Dallas that deal fell through.

According to the article: The offer is solid and Zurawski would make 300 thousand euros or about 445 thousand dollars .

McClaren discusses MLS at convention

Former England manager Steve McClaren is not ready to rule out Major League Soccer for his next coaching role.
Speaking at the NSCAA convention in Baltimore, McClaren revealed his desire to return to coaching as soon as possible and said he would consider MLS as seriously as any other offer.

"I'm not dismissing anything and I wouldn't," he said when asked about the league. "Football is football and I think the experience is beneficial, whatever country it is in."

McClaren spent 18 months as England manager but was fired after his team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

Movie Biography of Galindo

The movie staring actor Allanyire Lopez, is based on the life of the forward who while representing his nation during the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, defected and sought political asylum in Seattle, WA in order to pursue his football dream (which began with the USL Seattle Sounders.) This short film debuted at a Spanish sports film festival . Rumor has it that this film may be released in the USA.

Gaven to the LA Galaxy?

Rumors that the Crew is talking about trading Eddie Gaven to the Los Angeles Galaxy have been swirling, which has fueled more rumors that the Crew is trying to get as much cash as it can to sign free agents beyond the European designated player it is supposedly after.

Coach Sigi Schmid has always been high on Gaven, but on Major League Soccer's published salary list he is the team's highest-paid player with a base salary of $165,000. Guillermo Barros Schelotto is doubtless making more -- his published salary is $150,000, but he is rumored to be getting more than $1 million -- but losing Gaven's salary and gaining cash at the same time would put the Crew in good position to go after other talented free agents.

Gaven tied with Schelotto for second on the team in goals (five) last season and with Alejandro Moreno for second in assists (seven), but he would have to be considered overpaid.


Wizards expected to make Nyarko #1 pick

Despite an average combine, Nyarko's record over three years with the Hokies suggests a special talent, and it seems likely he will go first overall to the Wizards. Nyarko, a junior, scored 31 goals and added 24 assists in 57 games for Virginia Tech and finished as a M.A.C. Herman Trophy finalist. With Eddie Johnson seemingly on the brink of sealing a switch to Fulham, and the Wizards in full rebuilding mode after trading Nick Garcia and Jose Burciaga Jr. for draft picks, Nyarko is the logical choice at the top.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Philadelphia: $50 million from state for soccer

Nearly a year ago, Gov. Rendell wrote to a leader of the group that's trying to bring pro soccer to the Philadelphia region and outlined how he would provide more than $50 million to help build a stadium.

The "funding commitment letter" to James Nevels, one of the investors seeking an expansion team from Major League Soccer, is dated Feb. 27, 2007. It describes the various grants and low-interest loans that could be obtained from nine government sources.

So far, the letter has not been enough to persuade Major League Soccer to grant a team to the region. League officials say they've made no decision on which city will host the 16th team. St. Louis is believed to be favored over Philadelphia, with other cities interested.

The soccer document was among 18 similar letters released by the Governor's Office after a request by the Capitolwire news service. The governor sent the letters to companies and organizations, saying he would seek funding for their projects, conditional on action by the legislature or other state agencies.

Rendell has previously stated his support for building a $115 million stadium on the Chester waterfront. The local investors continue to talk with legislative leaders about securing aid from the state, which they say would be the final piece of funding.

De Rosario Named Canadian POY

Dwayne De Rosario, who led the Houston Dynamo to the Major League Soccer title last summer, has earned Canadian male player of the year honours.

The attacking midfielder from Toronto scored the winning goal in the MLS Cup championship and was named the game's most valuable player.

De Rosario won the Canadian honour, decided in a vote by the media (50 per cent) and Canadian coaches (50 per cent), for the third consecutive year. He earned 37.4 per cent of the votes, edging Julian de Guzman (32.7) and Atiba Hutchinson (7.7).


Chivas names Hamilton VP of operations

Chivas USA named Stephen Hamilton, a respected business leader within MLS, vice president of soccer operations on Wednesday.

In this newly created position, Hamilton will oversee all aspects of Chivas USA's technical staff and player development initiatives - including player identification, acquisition and development.

"In more than a decade of service to the sport of soccer in the United States, Stephen Hamilton has established himself as one of the bright young minds in the business," Chivas USA President and CEO Shawn Hunter said.

Hamilton, 36, joins Chivas USA from AEG Sports, where he had served as the organization's director of team services since 2002. He helped oversee the operation of as many as six MLS properties at one time.

While at AEG, Hamilton helped develop relationships with international clubs such as Chelsea and Real Madrid and promoted the teams' exhibition matches in the United States.

Hamilton played collegiate soccer at Appalachian State and North Carolina at Greensboro.


Women's Professional Soccer Unveils Name

Formally announced in September, the much-anticipated women's professional soccer league launching in Spring 2009 now has a name, Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). With the unveiling of the league logo and launch of its website, www.womensprosoccer.com, WPS made its official debut today at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) annual convention, taking place through Saturday in Baltimore, Md.

"A long and careful process led to the selection of Women's Professional Soccer and the subsequent WPS acronym," said Tonya Antonucci, WPS commissioner. "The league and team owners reviewed countless variations of league names and logos and conducted numerous focus groups before ultimately deciding on a brand identity that we strongly believe will resonate with fans for years to come."

The WPS logo, developed by branding agency Adrenalin, Inc., features a deep navy, red, and gold color scheme while showcasing a familiar silhouette - FIFA World Cup champion, Olympic Gold Medal winner and Hall of Fame player Mia Hamm, renowned as a pioneer for women's soccer.


RBNY Decline To Deal

The Red Bulls have tested the trade waters and don't think they will find any deals. According to Juan Carlos Osorio, most teams are asking for the moon, with the moon being Juan Pablo Angel, Jozy Altidore and Dane Richards. Some of you might not consider Richards untouchable, but Osorio plans on keeping him.


Colombian defender Jamilson Olave to RSL

Colombian defender Jamilson Olave has confirmed his transfer to Real Salt Lake of the MLS.
Olave had previously been close to agreeing on a move from Cali to Millonarios, but was swayed by the MLS's promising future and the chance to play abroad.

"I had everything ready to fly to Bogota to join Millonarios for this season," he told enlajuda.com. "Cali president (Rodrigo Otoya) asked me to wait as he was expecting an offer from the United States and luckily, we sealed the arrangement."

Chivas USA Rebranding?

According to a source wishing to remain anonymous, Chivas USA is in the initial phase of considering rebranding the club. According to our source, Chivas USA are concerned about the lack of interest from the original target market, and are considering re-branding the team to something more inclusive. They are taking the initial steps to gauge what are the general sentiments of Chivas USA fans and Angelinos in general regarding such move. More to come in the following weeks.

Brad Guzan to Fulham?

Rumor has it Fulham scouts will be at the Home Depot Center Saturday to take in the USA vs Sweden match. Who do they have their eyes on? Most likely goalkeeper, Brad Guzan. Guzan who currently mans the net for CD Chivas USA has been a transfer target of several club according to this SkySports report. Our source on all things Fulham stated that such a deal would be worth about $3 million if he goes to Fulham. In other Fulham news, Eddie Johnson has passed his physical and should be announced by the club soon. At the rate they are going Fulham will have bought a whole US National team side by the close of this transfer window.

San Jose sets up matches with DC / Columbus

San Jose Coach Frank Yallop says he has set up a friendly with D.C. United in February in San Luis Obispo, which is halfway between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. He is also planning a game against Columbus at the same site.

Red Bulls sign Zach Thornton

The New York Red Bulls have signed former Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids and MetroStars goalkeeper Zach Thornton, the team announced on Thursday.

Thornton, 34, is set to begin his second stint with the club he began his MLS career with in 1996 as Tony Meola's back-up on the MetroStars. Thornton joined the Chicago Fire in 1998 and earned MLS goalkeeper of the year that season as he helped the Chicago Fire win the MLS Cup title.

Link: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/01/red-bulls-sign.html

MLS Launches Mobile Media in Japan

Our Japanese visitors should be pretty happy with this. In a growing trend of MLS media expanding into Asia and other international markets, MLS has launched a mobile content site in Japan, it's first in Asia as a direct result of it's involvement in the upcoming Pan-Pacific Championship.

The content so far is news from the MLS site, including information about the league draft and all-star game, player biographies and interviews, game highlights and a photo gallery. MLJ has the exclusive rights to distribute this content through year's end. The three Japanese phone carriers that will offer the content on handsets are KDDI, NTT Docomo and Softbank. If the contract is renewed in 2009, future plans include having original content tailored to Japanese soccer fans, such as having MLS news columns written by Japanese journalists.

For more information on this service contact: http://www.mlj-inc.com/

Argentina tops FIFA rankings

The top 15 teams remain unchanged from last month's ranking, with Argentina tops ahead of South American champion Brazil and World Cup champion Italy.

The top 10 is rounded out by Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Croatia.

Mexico is the top team from CONCACAF, the soccer confederation that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, in the new FIFA rankings, at No. 15.

Benny Feilhaber to San Jose

Multiple reports are stating that Derby no longer want Benny and Benny no longer wants Derby. The 22 year old US international wants out of Derby as quickly as possible.

With a deal unable to be reached with Maccabi Tel Aviv Derby, turned down Tel Aviv's offer and turned its attention to MLS which is keenly interested on Feilhaber returning home to play in the league. According to a source it is quite possible Derby will send him to MLS on a loan deal and if that happens his most likely destination is San Jose. Talks are continuing between all parties but should reach an advanced stage on the midfielder before the weekend.

Cannon requested trade away from "Beckham Circus"

This rumor comes to us via anonymous email from some claiming to be a friend of the ex-Galaxy, current San Jose goalkeeper: Cannon, one of the few bright spots for the Galaxy wanted to be traded away from what he allegedly described as "The Beckham Show".

Our informant goes on to say that Cannon described the locker room of the LA Galaxy as a shambles with more than a few unhappy players and at one point last season all players were called into a meeting to discuss this. Our source says that once Frank Yallop was gone Cannon was sure to go as well.

Guatemalan midfielder Freddy Thompson to MLS?

Latin American press reports say that Guatemalan midfielder Freddy Thompson has attracted interest from Chivas USA and the Columbus Crew.

Link: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Carey Becomes A Soccer Boss

U.S. comedian-turned-gameshow host Drew Carey has added soccer team boss to his resume - after investing in a Major League Soccer (MLS) team.

The star is a huge fan of the sport and has pumped money into a franchise in Seattle, Washington, which will kick off its new season in April ('09).

Carey reveals, "We haven't got a name yet. We're going to have a fan contest to name it." Carey has been a longtime devotee of soccer and took off to Europe to film a documentary about the sport, which aired in 2006.

Link: http://www.pr-inside.com/carey-becomes-a-soccer-boss-r390489.htm

Dorman Wanted MLS Stay

After parting company with the New England Revolution at the end of December, midfielder Andy Dorman came off the bench in the 70th minute last Saturday to make his first appearance for his new club, St. Mirren, in the Scottish Cup.

It was a new chapter in the career of the 25 year-old midfielder but moving to Scotland had not been part of his plans.

Unable to reach agreement for a contract extension with the Revs, Dorman decided to strike out on his own and the move appears to have reaped immediate financial rewards, as he is now earning exponentially more than the $30,000 he made playing with the Revs last year.

Link: http://www.soccer365.com/mls/story_17108001523.php

Zidane's No. 1 comeback choice: MLS

Zinedine Zidane's admission that he is keen for a return to top-level soccer could have been a serious declaration of intent or merely the idle musings of a bored retiree.

Either way, Major League Soccer needs to find out and quickly.

Sources close to the French midfield maestro have indicated that if Zidane were to come back to soccer as a player – as opposed to a coaching, ambassadorial or administrative role – then a move to North America would be his No. 1 option.

Friends of the former FIFA World Footballer of the Year say that New York would be his preferred destination, a development the Red Bulls organization would be foolish not to pursue.

Link: http://sports.yahoo.com/mls/news;_ylt=AngZ7xTafzvb6hh_ABMOxNikvrYF?slug=ro-zidane011608&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Wizards may trade top pick

On Tuesday, the Wizards obtained the first overall pick from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for eight-year defender Nick Garcia. But instead of taking the top player available in the incoming player pool, that sought after top pick might be traded away before the draft begins, or while the Wizards are on the clock. Or perhaps technical director Peter Vermes or head coach Curt Onalfo will need to call a time out to begin the draft. They are certainly open to discussion.

"The release was just official [yesterday] from us and San Jose and phone calls are starting to come in and people are wanting to talk," said Vermes. "It would be irresponsible on [our] organization's part not to hear what opportunities are out there, but we're going to have to make that decision case by case. There are some guys in the draft that we really do like, and we'll weigh those against other options if they come along."

Link: http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20080116&content_id=135570&vkey=news_mls&fext=.jsp

Bryan Arguez to Hertha Berlin

Steve Goff is reporting the Bryan Arguez to Hertha Berlin deal is nearly done. A source writing us from Germany says that it is in fact done and he will be assigned his number could make his debut with the first team in an upcoming match vs Hansa Rostock.

Steve Goff speculates the transfer fee as being in the $350 thosand range which is less than we thought he'd be sold for but still a decent amount for a 19 year old player who never played a league match with United.

FIU To Hinder Stadium In Miami

The vision for a new sports and entertainment complex on the Orange Bowl site includes a $100 million, 25,000-seat home for a new Major League Soccer team.

But in addition to competition from Atlanta, Las Vegas and five other major American and Canadian cities, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz will have to fend off a much closer challenger: Florida International University.

''We're willing to do whatever it takes to get Major League Soccer in our stadium,'' said Pete Garcia, athletic director at FIU, which is opening a nearly 18,000-seat field in September on its main West Dade campus.

The stadium will be home to the FIU football team, which only plays six home games a year. With 19 luxury suites, 1,400 club seats and locker rooms that conform to soccer-league standards -- and a design that could later expand to as many as 45,000 seats -- Garcia believes it would be ideal for the MLS.

Luciano Emilio to Morelia?

Word out of Mexico is that Morelia is trying to acquire D.C. United's Luciano Emilio, which would be quite a feat considering he is under contract here and would command a large transfer fee.

Link: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2008/01/morning_briefing_2.html

Ian Joy to RSL

26 year old American, Ian Joy, a defender for FC St Pauli of Germany's Bundesliga 2 is on his way back to America to play for Real Salt Lake, according to this report.

SuperDraft '08 most unpredictable yet

Each year, teams talks quietly with MLS headquarters prior to the SuperDraft, alerting the right league officials in New York of their interest in signing so-and-so. Of course, most clubs share interest in the same names, so there really isn't that much mystery to the process.

So when you count up Generation adidas types and others who are predicted to be selected early in the draft, there usually aren't more than a dozen or so players who are pre-signed by the league come draft day.

Not so with the 2008 SuperDraft. This time around, opinions vary widely on which attackers, defenders and goalkeepers can pass muster and make a real impact on a given roster. While no one is saying exactly how many players have already signed going into Friday's draft, the number is likely approaching 20.

Link: http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20080115&content_id=135417&vkey=news_mls&fext=.jsp

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Revs Make Noonan a Free Agent

The New England Revolution has informed veteran forward Pat Noonan that the club will not pick up the option on his contract, making him a free agent. "This is a great opportunity to try to go overseas," Noonan told the Boston Globe's Frank Dell'Apa from the U.S. national team training camp. "Hopefully, this camp will continue to go well and I'll move on from there." Noonan has played 137 games in five seasons for the Revolution, scoring 42 goals. He scored nine goals last season in 35 games in all competitions.

"This is their choice," said Noonan. "I was not expecting it. They understand what I bring to the table, and I've done it the last five years. I've had a couple injuries, too many, but at the same time, I wouldn't expect that after one year of a new deal they would not pick it up."

Link: http://www.socceramerica.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=25206

Burciaga traded to the Rapids

According to league sources, Kansas City is set to ship defender Jose Burciaga to the Colorado Rapids for an undisclosed draft pick.
Link: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/01/johnson-to-fulh.html

Omid Namizi to join RBNY

Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls are set to name New Jersey Ironmen head coach Omid Namizi as an assistant coach, according to the Soccer By Ives blog. The MLS club will reportedly announce the hiring on Wednesday.

Namizi, who has guided the MISL expansion franchise to a respectable 9-5 record so far this season, is also expected to be Osorio's only assistant with the Red Bulls.

Link: http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=soc-npsl/news/CZN4122825.htm

Wizards trade Garcia to San Jose

While the Wizards are waiting to see if star forward Eddie Johnson is headed to play in England, one player is definitely on the move.

Defender Nick Garcia was traded Tuesday to the expansion San Jose Earthquakes for the No. 1 overall pick in Friday’s MLS SuperDraft, Garcia told The Star.

“It caught me by surprise,” Garcia said.

Garcia was the Wizards’ first pick, second overall, in the 2000 draft out of Indiana. He was part of the Wizards team that won the MLS Cup in 2000.

Link: http://www.kansascity.com/news/breaking_news/story/445331.html

LA Galaxy Acquire Ruiz

The Los Angeles Galaxy has found an accomplished forward to latch on to David Beckham's dangerous crosses.

The Galaxy has acquired Carlos Ruiz from FC Dallas in exchange for an allocation and 2009 second-round draft pick, Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday.

Ruiz returns to the team he led to the 2002 MLS Cup title. Ruiz scored 24 goals that season, and also netted the game-winning goal in Los Angeles' MLS Cup final victory against New England.

Link: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/01/carlos-ruiz-to.html

Dorman Signs with St. Mirren of SPL

Former New England Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman has signed a contract to play for St. Mirren FC of the Scottish Premier League. His original four-year contract with Major League Soccer to play for the New England Revolution expired at the end of the 2007 season.

Dorman, a native of Flintshire, Wales, returns to his native Great Britain after spending the last eight years in the United States. Following his graduation from Boston University, where he was a three-time All-New England honoree, he was drafted by the Revolution in the sixth round (56th overall) of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft.

“We wish Andy nothing but the best of luck with his new team and thank him for four years of dedication to the Revs,” Revolution Director of Soccer Michael Burns said. “During his time with the Revs, Andy always conducted himself in a professional manner both on and off the field.”

After starting the first 27 games of the 2007 Revolution campaign, Dorman moved to the substitutes bench for the final three games of the regular season and the Revs’ four playoff games. He finished his career ranked among the top 10 of the Revolution career records for goals (ninth with 17) and assists (eighth with 18).

The Revolution also announced that the team has waived second-year forward Willie Sims.

Link: http://www.revolutionsoccer.net/news/index.cfm?ac=latestnewsdetail&pid=30031&pcid=115

Monday, January 14, 2008

Edu Reiterates TFC Pledge

Already linked with Premiership sides, Toronto FC midfielder Maurice Edu has repeated a vow to stay with the club for at least one more season.

Were it not for a U.S. call-up, the reigning Rookie of the Year would be in England training with interested party Aston Villa, but he doesn't mind the wait.

"I'm enjoying things in Toronto, but I have aspirations in Europe," Edu told the Globe & Mail of his current status. "Ideally, I'll maybe play another year or two in Toronto."

"I don't want to put a timeline on it - when a team comes in and it's the right fit for me, that's when it'll be clear it's time to go."

Link: http://www.soccer365.com/mls/story_14108213412.php

Eddie Johnson to Fulham

According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, Eddie Johnson of the MLS' Kansas City Wizards is in serious negotiations with English Premier League side Fulham.

MLS to the Copa Libertadores in 2 years

ESPN Deporte's Fútbol Picante is reporting tonight that MLS and CONCACAF have worked out a deal which will allow MLS to set up it's own InterLiga-like tournament to determine a sole MLS participant in the 2011 Copa Libertadores. This would happen after the current Interliga deal with Soccer United Marketing an arm of MLS, expires. This is groundbreaking news for MLS fans if true, as the CopaLibertadores is the 2nd most prestigious club tournament in the world after UEFA's Champion's League. Even more to the point, the kind of travel the tournament will require may potentially, cause MLS to consider raising the salary cap significantly in the lead-up to it so that MLS clubs can increase their depth and quality. This makes sense and dovetails with something we had be hearing about a major increase of the salary cap which at least for now is on hold until the next Collective Bargaining Agreement is worked out.

Another Colombian to RBNY?

22 year old Columbian forward Luis Carlos Cabezas may be on his way to the Big Apple (or New Jersey) to ink a deal with the Red Bulls. Juan Carlos Osorio apparently likes some qualities of the player currently playing in the 2nd Division of Colombian football.

Link: http://www.elpais.com.co/paisonline/deportes2003/notas/Enero112008/depor04.html

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Toronto to sign Wagenaar

Toronto FC is set to sign Canadian goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar, a high-ranking team source said on Sunday. Wagenaar, 22, has spent the past two seasons with Dutch club Ado Den Haag.

Toronto used a variety of goalkeepers in 2007 after losing starter Greg Sutton to a concussion. Sutton is set to return but will face a stern challenge from Wagenaar for the starting job.

Link: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/01/toronto-to-sign.html

Conway inks NYRB Extension

Red Bull New York announced today that goalkeeper Jon Conway has signed a new contract with Major League Soccer and will be part of the Red Bulls' roster in 2008. Per MLS and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"During the past two years with New York and throughout his MLS career, Jon has proven that he has the ability and work ethic to become a starting goalkeeper in this league," said Red Bull New York Sporting Director Jeff Agoos. "We are excited that we were able to come to terms with Jon and look forward to his contribution in 2008."

Link: http://www.soccer365.com/mls/story_12108214521.php

Chivas USA: Galindo gone, Bornstein back

Chivas USA striker Maykel Galindo has successfully undergone sports hernia surgery and is expected to be out of action for six weeks. The surgery was performed yesterday by Dr. Richard Cattey at St. Mary's Ozaukee Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A native of Villa Clara, Cuba, Galindo enjoyed a breakout first season in Major League Soccer in 2007, scoring 12 goals and adding five assists in 28 regular season games for Chivas USA, placing himself as the club's leading scorer.

In other news, Chivas USA announced today that defender Jonathan Bornstein is expected back by early February following successful arthroscopic ankle surgery performed in late December. Bornstein's surgery, which removed scar tissue from the fullback's left ankle, was performed on Dec. 24 in Santa Monica, Calif. by Chivas USA team doctors Michael Gerhardt and Eric Giza.

Chivas USA opens camp in late January ahead of its fourth MLS campaign. The Red-and-White kick off their 2008 MLS season on March 30 at FC Dallas before playing their 2008 Home Opener against fellow Class of '05 expansion side Real Salt Lake on Saturday, April 5 at The Home Depot Center.

Link: http://www.soccer365.com/mls/story_12108214044.php

Chivas USA signs Preki to multiyear deal

Carson, CA (Sports Network) - MLS Coach of the Year Preki agreed to a new multiyear contract with Chivas USA on Friday.

Preki, 44, led Chivas to a 15-7-8 record and the Western Conference regular season title in his first year as a head coach.

"We are pleased to secure Preki's leadership ahead of this important era for Chivas USA," Chivas President and CEO Shawn Hunter said. "Throughout his career, Preki has proven himself to be a winner and we know he will continue to show his intense focus as head coach."

Preki was named Chivas USA's fourth coach last year after serving as an assistant to Bob Bradley.

Link: http://scores.seattletimes.nwsource.com/default.asp?c=seatimes&page=soc-mls/news/AHN4122163.htm

Dynamo sign midfielder Mullan

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Two-time defending MLS champion Houston signed veteran midfielder Brian Mullan to a new contract Friday.

Mullan recently completed his seventh MLS season and was named Houston's Co- MVP with goalkeeper Pat Onstad.

Mullan, one of the most versatile and consistent members of the Dynamo, played in 28 league games and had one goal and three assists.

"I'm happy to be back with a great team and our great coaching staff," Mullan said. "I'm glad it worked out and I can't wait to get next season started."

Mullan began his MLS career with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2001 and joined San Jose, which later moved to Houston, in 2003. Terms of the contract were not announced.

Link: http://scores.seattletimes.nwsource.com/default.asp?c=seatimes&page=soc-mls/news/AHN4122164.htm

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Twellman Vents About Preston Approach

Taylor Twellman ... says the Revs and/or MLS have rejected a $2.5 million offer from England's Preston North End, an increase of about $1 million since their initial approach.

Twellman, to say the least, is not happy.

"I want to go. It's perfect timing. It's the right club and, being 27, it's the right time to go to Europe."

Who rejected the offer?

"When I ask MLS, they say the Revs rejected it. When I ask the Revs, they said it was MLS. Look, you're not going to get more than that for a guy like me, who is not always with the national team. It's a good offer. Anytime a team wants you that bad, of course you want to go."

Link: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2008/01/twellman_vents_about_preston_a.html

Atlético Nacional denied by RBNY

Colombian newspaper El Colombiano have reported that Juan Pablo Angel's first club, Atlético Nacional, made a loan offer to the New York Red Bulls for the star striker's services in 2008. The paper claims Nacional deemed RBNY's demands too high, and therefore, negotiations have faltered.

Link: http://www.americansoccerdaily.com/news/newsbriefs100108.htm

Kiki Musampa to the MLS?

AZ Alkmaar winger Kiki Musampa could be headed to the United States. The former Ajax, Atlético Madrid, Bordeaux and Malaga winger is considering options in either Russia or in Major League Soccer after the Cheese Farmers splashed cash to land hot shot left-sider Simon Poulsen from FC Midtjylland.

The 30-year old appeared 25 times for Dutch Youth National teams, but has never received a cap with the full senior squad.

Link: http://www.americansoccerdaily.com/news/newsbriefs100108.htm

Friday, January 11, 2008

Beckham's fitness guru lands with Toronto FC

TORONTO — Paul Winsper worked with Toronto FC players on conditioning last year for part of preseason training in Florida and Friday it was confirmed that he will join the Major League Soccer club this season as strength and conditioning coach.

He also will work for the TFC Academy.

Winsper spent 10 seasons as fitness coach with Newcastle United of the English Premiership. He left that post and worked with TFC during its early training period at Sunrise, Fla., last year.

Link: http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080111.wspttfc11/GSStory/GlobeSportsSoccer/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080111.wspttfc11

Ken Cooper to Houston?

Ken Cooper Jr. is unhappy in Dallas and rumor has it is looking to move. The Dynamo have been rumored to be checking on his status which doesn’t surprise me based on Joseoph Ngwenya situation which remains up in the air. The Dynamo need to sign a striker.

Link - http://www.glenndavissoccer.com/2008/01/11/davis-daily-4/

Houston Striker to Austria

Reports out of Austria state that Joseph Ngwenya's signing with Austrian side SK Karten is all but a 'formality'.

MLS Clubs to poach non-MLS City's

One of the more under-publicized aspects of Major League Soccer's player development initiatives is the fact that new rules allow MLS clubs to establish affiliated youth teams outside of their own immediate territories. It is a rule that, in theory, could lead to teams establishing satellite youth programs throughout the country.

Don't follow? In essence, a team like the Los Angeles Galaxy could establish and pay for a youth academy system in a non-MLS market, say Tampa or Nebraska, and eventually sign players from that satellite system. At present, the only team to move toward taking advantage of this rule is Real Salt Lake, which set up a youth system in Florida (a second RSL program in Arizona falls under Real Salt Lake's actual territory as recognized by MLS). It should be noted that sources at RSL have stated that the arrangement in Florida is being re-evaluated (it was established by former RSL coach John Ellinger).

So why have this rule in place? It allows clubs that are located in areas of this country where there is less soccer talent to supplement their player development programs.
Worried about big-money clubs like the Galaxy and the Red Bulls using this rule to start building programs all over? Don't be. MLS has rules in place to make that less of a possibility.

Link: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/01/mls-youth-acade.html

Clint Mathis leaves Galaxy for Greece

IRAKLION, Greece (Ticker) - Greek Super League team Ergotelis have bolstered its attack with the signing of Clint Mathis.

The 31-year-old United States striker signed a one-year contract with the Cretan outfit and could make his debut for the islanders on Sunday when they host Iraklis.

Ergotelis has struggled this season and are last in the league table after scoring only nine goals in 15 games. They have collected just nine points and are five points from safety at the halfway point of the campaign.

Link: http://sports.yahoo.com/mls/news?slug=txergotelismathis&prov=st&type=lgns

Chicago Fire hires Hamlett

When the Chicago Fire's search to replace departed head coach Juan Carlos Osorio more than a month ago, that search began with Denis Hamlett. After interviewing countless candidates and taking longer than any MLS coaching search in recent memory, the Fire's search brought them right back to the same man who has been with the organization since it was founded, Denis Hamlett.

The Fire has chosen Hamlett as Osorio's successor. Hamlett becomes the fourth head coach in team history, having served as an assistant for the three head coaches who came before him.

Link: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/01/photo-by-isi-ph.html

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jorge Alvial Joins FC Dallas Coaching Staff

FRISCO, Texas (Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008) - FC Dallas Head Coach Steve Morrow announced today the addition of Jorge Alvial to his coaching staff. Alvial, who was working as the Chief Scout for Chelsea FC in North, Central, and South America until accepting the FCD position, will join Marco Ferruzzi as an assistant coach. Alvial will officially begin his new role this weekend when he meets Morrow and Ferruzzi in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for the 2008 MLS Combine.

"We're delighted to add someone with Jorge's background and experience to our staff," Morrow said. "It's not everyday you can pry someone away from a club like Chelsea, or add someone as connected with the young players in this part of the world as Jorge is. We've had the pleasure to work with Jorge in the past, and we know he'll be a great addition to this team."

Link: http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3578825

Clarence Goodson denies Earthquakes

Former FC Dallas defender Clarence Goodson won't be anchoring the San Jose Earthquakes defense as the Quakes had hoped when they selected him in the expansion draft. Goodson, who is out of contract, will instead make a run at securing a contract in Europe.

San Jose revealed this pretty significant information at the bottom of the same press release that announced the trade to acquire goalkeeper Joe Cannon. A bit of good news-bad news for San Jose.

The Goodson departure does help make FC Dallas look a bit better after leaving him exposed in the expansion draft.

Link: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2008/01/goodson-says-go.html

Earthquakes acquire goalkeeper Cannon

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Earthquakes announced today the team has acquired goalkeeper Joe Cannon from Los Angeles Galaxy in exchange for partial allocation.

"Joe Cannon brings to the Earthquakes veteran leadership and solidifies our defense" stated John Doyle, General Manager of Soccer Operations of the San Jose Earthquakes.

"We are very excited to have Joe Cannon back in San Jose" stated Frank Yallop, Head Coach of the San Jose Earthquakes. "He has proven himself to be one of the top goalkeepers in the league."

Link - http://web.mlsnet.com/news/mls_news.jsp?ymd=20080110&content_id=134986&vkey=pr_mls&fext=.jsp

Jazic to miss 4-6 months after ankle surgery

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Ante Jazic could miss four to six months after having right ankle surgery.

Jazic had an arthroscopic procedure in late December that led to removal and smoothing of cartilage, the team said Thursday.

The 31-year-old defender could return early in the Major League Soccer season, which begins March 29.

Link: http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/7660072

Rumor: Corinthians/Brasilian "Roger" to TFC

Corinthians player Roger is supposedly in negotiations with Toronto FC. Consensus opinion seems to be loads of talent perhaps hindered by a lack of ambition. Word has it he’s also a bit of a playboy. The real question is if he is coming to the MLS to bring his A-game or to collect a paycheque until retirement.

Generation Adidas class of 2008

MF Eric Avila, 20, UC Santa Barbara
D Tony Beltran, 20, UCLA
GK Josh Lambo, 17, Middleton, Wis.
D Chance Myers, 20, UCLA
F Alex Nimo, 17, Portland, Ore.
F Patrick Nyarko, 22, Virginia Tech
MF Ciaran O'Brien, 20, UC Santa Barbara
MF Brek Shea, 17, College Station, Tex.
D Rob Valentino, 22, Univ. of South Florida

All except Valentino will participate in the scouting combine this weekend in Fort Lauderdale and all will be available in next Friday's draft in Baltimore. For supporters planning to attend the festivities, click here for important information.

Link: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2008/01/mls_signings_set.html

Houston Assistant Coach declines Chicago post

Reports this morning are that John Spencer has refused the offer to be Chicago's new coach. He was the choice according to all sources and apparently he didn't like the amount of the offer. You have to digure that Dennis Hamlett is now the last man standing.

Godinez to DC United

This report out of Peru states that the UAG Tecos midfielder is currently in talks with DC United.

Jay Jay Okocha to The Crew

Steve Goff at the Washington Post is reporting that Columbus Crew are looking to exercise their Designated Player option on veteran striker Jay Jay Okocha, now with English Championship side, Hull City.Last year Real Salt Lake was in pursuit of the Nigerian World Cup veteran but could not come to terms.

Link: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2008/01/morning_update_2.html

Chicago Fire Inks Jersey Deal with Best Buy

Luis Arroyave is reporting the Chicago Fire has inked a deal with Best Buy to be Chicago's shirt sponsor. Details of how much the deal is worth are unclear but the neighborhood of 2-3 million a year would not be unheard of considering Best Buy's plans to expand to Mexico where one player named Blanco who wears Chicago's colors now is still very popular.

Link: http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/soccer_redcard/2008/01/best-buy-to-spo.html#comments

Gonzalo Martinez to DC United

Spanish language media are reporting the possible signing of Colombian center back Gonzalo Martinez of Club Deportivo Los Millonarios to a 4 year deal by DC United. The defender may very well be a replacement for Bobby Boswell who was dealt to Houston for goalkeeper Zach Wells.

Niell Close To Joining D.C. United

D.C. United is in the late stages of negotiations to acquire Argentine forward Franco Niell, sources familiar with the talks said yesterday.

A month after Argentine superstar Juan Sebasti¿n Ver¿n spurned its offer, United is close to adding a lesser-known attacking player in the first of what could be several international signings.

Niell, 24, has spent his entire career with Argentinos Juniors, a first division club from Buenos Aires renowned for developing young talent, and been on the team's senior roster since 2004. He has 10 career goals in 60 league appearances.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/08/AR2008010803786.html

MLS Can't Afford Not to Lose Twellman

At 27, Taylor Twellman thought there would be no second chance at playing abroad. But following a stellar 2007, the New England Revolution striker caught the attention of English club Preston North End, which lodged a $1.7 million bid for the New England Revolution. MLS rejected the bid.Preston plays in England's Coca-Cola Championship, its second division, and is currently in last place. Despite its low standing on the English soccer totem pole, the club is expected to up its bid to $2 million; it could also easily double Twellman's $370,000 salary, which is among the highest in MLS, and give him a piece of the transfer fee. Frank Dell'Apa, writing for ESPN Soccernet, says that aside from a salary increase, Preston's offer gives Twellman that second chance. Before becoming the Revs' star striker, Twellman endured a tough couple of years at TSV 1860 Munich of the German Bundesliga. Demoralized, the striker returned to the U.S. where he went on to become New England's all-time leading scorer. Now, MLS is not eager to lose Twellman, but it's also "not in a financial position to refuse healthy payments for its assets," says Dell'Apa, "so it is a matter of finding the right price for Twellman. "

Link: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=496558&root=mls&cc=5901

Seattle "Sounders" not to be

I’ve heard what is supposedly the final, decided-upon name for Seattle’s new MLS expansion team that begins play in 2009. If it’s true, it’s stupid. So stupid, in fact, that it makes Real Salt Lake seem inspired. I know the powers that be have this notion that “Seattle Sounders,” as historic and seemingly appropriate as it is to a lot of soccer fans and Seattleites, connotes “minor league soccer” (as the Sounders have been a USL team for the last 13 years). But this name, which will have half the people saying “Where do they play?” and the other half going “I’m supposed to cheer for that?” is just inane. Hopefully they’ll come to their senses before an announcement is made. Or, like Houston 1836, they’ll be forced to come to their senses after the fact.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lopez Possibly Coming to MLS

*After being sent a link to this story on Univision's Web site, which quotes Argentina's Claudio Lopez saying there is a 90 percent chance he will sign with MLS, I made a few calls.

The verdict: Lopez's claim is credible and three MLS teams have expressed varying levels of interest in the 33-year-old forward, who has played in Italy, Spain and Mexico, and made 58 national team appearances. However, it would take designated player money to sign him, probably similar to Juan Pablo Angel's $1.6 million deal. (Lopez apparently turned down a $4 million offer to play one season in Dubai.) Is he worth a major contract?

Link: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2008/01/lopez_possibly_coming_to_mls.html

MLS schedule rife with challenges

...here's a short list of the complicating factors as MLS deciders assign matches to 14 teams in '08, a process done in stages with significant adjustments proceeding every step:
SuperLiga's sophomore edition; the new CONCACAF Champions League to be introduced later this summer; the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup; the 2008 Olympics and, lest we forget, the pressurized complexities of the Beckham factor.

Link: http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=496381&root=mls&cc=5901

Pope joins MLS Players Union

The Major League Soccer Players Union announced today that it has hired former U.S. National Team and MLS standout Eddie Pope as its Director of Player Relations.

In this executive level role, Eddie will oversee all player communications and relations. Eddie joins the Union at a critical time, as the Union begins making preparations for negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement to replace the current deal, which is due to expire at the end of the 2009 season.

Link: http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/7651194

RSL trade Eskandarian to Chivas

Eskandarian is expected to be traded to Chivas USA in exchange for a "major allocation" of $125,000 in salary cap space, sources said Tuesday - barely seven months after RSL traded striker Jeff Cunningham to acquire him. The deal is awaiting approval from Major League Soccer before it can be announced, and RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey declined comment.

A former No. 1 draft pick who was once a dangerous scorer, Eskandarian managed just one goal and three assists in 17 games for RSL last season. He became increasingly expendable as RSL renovated its roster by acquiring talented young strikers Robbie Findley, Fabian Espindola and Yura Movsisyan - especially because Eskandarian earned $175,500 last season.

Eskandarian had been on trial with Standard Liege in Belgium last month after his contract expired, but wound up signing a new deal with the league. He had joined RSL last May in a trade with Toronto FC for Cunningham, who led the league with 16 goals the previous season.

Link: http://www.sltrib.com/realsaltlake/ci_7920297

Galaxy re-sign 3 players

Carson, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Galaxy announced Wednesday that they have re-signed three players whose contracts had expired at the end of 2007. Defender Chris Albright, goalkeeper Steve Cronin and forward Alan Gordon have all signed new deals with Major League Soccer that will see them remain with the Galaxy in 2008.

"We are very pleased to be able to re-sign three players who we feel will be very important to the success of the club both now and in the future," Galaxy Director of Soccer Paul Bravo said. "Alan, Chris and Steve are all model professionals on and off the field, and will play a significant role for the club under (new head coach) Ruud Gullit."

Albright, 28, will be entering his 10th season in MLS and his seventh with the Galaxy. He appeared in just five regular season games last season before suffering a torn right hamstring. A member of the U.S. national team at the '06 FIFA World Cup, Albright has made 172 career appearances in MLS and has earned 22 caps with the national team.

Cronin, 24, was originally drafted by San Jose in the first round of the '04 MLS draft and has been with the Galaxy since the start of the '05 campaign. A former member of the U.S. Under-20 national team, Cronin has appeared in six games for the Galaxy over the past three seasons, recording a 1.50 goals against average. He is currently training with the U.S. national team ahead of their friendly against Sweden after appearing in one league game and three U.S. Open Cup matches for L.A. last season.

Gordon, 26, will be entering his fifth season in MLS and with the Galaxy. After playing in just eight games over his first two seasons, Gordon scored seven goals in 31 regular season games in '06 and '07.

Link: http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=soc-mls/news/AHN4121306.htm

FC Dallas signs Club America defender

FRISCO, Texas (AP) - FC Dallas signed Club America defender Duilio Davino on Wednesday to a two-year contract, a move that team officials expect to shore up their defense and appeal to their Mexican fan base.

Davino, a central defender, has more than 80 caps with the Mexican national team and more than 320 appearances with Mexico City giant Club America. He is expected to replace former FC Dallas central defender Clarence Goodson, who was lost to San Jose in the expansion draft.

Link: http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/story/7656330