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 Post subject: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:30 pm 
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Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer have averted a potentially devastating player strike barely a week before their new season begins, with league owners agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement that gives the players much of what they wanted while stopping short of allowing unrestricted free agency.

Now, "it's time for all of us to get focused on the task at hand, which is building the sport of soccer in North America," league commissioner Don Garber said.

Agreement on the new five-year deal will allow the upcoming season to begin as scheduled, with the new Philadelphia Union expansion team playing the Seattle Sounders on national television on Thursday night.
RSL will open defense of its MLS Cup championship at San Jose on Saturday.

Players had threatened to strike if a new deal was not reached by midnight Tuesday, and they would up winning concessions on their major concerns after several days of late-night negotiations in Washington that included about two dozen players - RSL's Nat Borchers and Nick Rimando, among them - and a federal mediator.
Union executive director Bob Fosse said the new deal will afford players "significantly" increased compensation, more guaranteed contracts based on age and years spent in the league - for the first time, a majority of players will have guaranteed deals - and greater freedom to change teams within the league.

That last provision won't come in the form of free agency, though.

Rather, players who are released by a team or otherwise out of contract will be able to enter a "re-entry" draft sometime after each season, during which other teams can select them and presumably negotiate new contracts. Under the old agreement that expired Jan. 31, teams could release players but still control their rights, limiting their freedom to join other teams.

"I give the union credit for a unique concept," Garber said.
Officials did not disclose many other details, however, saying they need time to finalize them before announcing them to the public.
Nevertheless, Foose said the players were satisfied that they moved closer to fitting the structural model of soccer around the world, while appreciating that owners were willing to make changes only in what Garber called an "evolutionary way, rather than a revolutionary way."
Since its creation, MLS has operated under a unique "single-entity" structure, in which the league - not individual teams - owns the contracts of players, in an effort to keep costs down and ensure its long-term survival.

"We think we have made some real improvements in players' ability to move around the league," Foose said.


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 Post subject: Re: MLS narrowly avoids a player's union strike
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:10 pm 
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unlucky Landycakes

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 Post subject: Re: MLS narrowly avoids a player's union strike
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:20 am 
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Resurrection Joe wrote:
unlucky Landycakes

Yeah it's bad for Lando but I think in the end it'll prove to be good for the overall league.


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 Post subject: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:58 pm 
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The Red Bulls are really stepping up their game this season.. I found an article that says "It took 37 days for the Red Bulls to match their win total from all of last season." so the must really be pulling it together.

Article: http://www.msg.com/blogs/steve-cangialo ... in-1.41723


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 Post subject: Henry to the MLS
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 4:25 am 
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Barcelona's Thierry Henry Has Signed Pre-Contract With MLS' New York Red Bulls - Report
Thierry Henry has reportedly signed an initial deal that will see the Frenchman play in the United States next season...
As reported by Sport, Barcelona striker and French goalscoring legend Thierry Henry has signed a pre-contract agreement that will see him move to the United States' Major League Soccer to play with the New York Red Bulls after the World Cup.
After an initially rocky start in his first season at Barcelona, Henry had a successful year with the Blaugrana under coach Pep Guardiola. This season, however, the Frenchman has struggled with injury, and has seen his minutes cut down substantially with the club. He has been linked to a summer transfer away from the Camp Nou for much of the season.
Despite his age, 'Titi' remains a prolific goalscorer. During his time at Arsenal, the Frenchman scored 174 goals in 254 matches, while at Barcelona he found the back of the net 35 times in 78 games.
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Might make this a little more interesting: I was probably going anyway unless the tickets are super expensive:
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will each play two games in the tournament and will line up against New York Red Bulls and Sporting Lisbon. The dates for the games will be between Thursday, July 22 and Sunday, July 25. The games will be played at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.


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 Post subject: Henry?????
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:07 pm 
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Henry to the red bulls? I'm all for talented players coming over from better leagues to help strengthen the fan base in the US, so hopefully this move replicates the craze that Beckham brought. Ever since Henry was in those Razor commericials I had a feeling something was up...
Give it a read and let me hear your thoughts -
http://www.msg.com/blogs/steve-cangialo ... ls-1.42940


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 Post subject: Re: Henry?????
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:23 pm 
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hi wrong goal, know very little about the american game, do you mind if hear some of your thoughts as well as posting the link, in relation to henry, after that little incident in paris, the further away he is the better

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oh, and welcome to the forums

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 Post subject: Re: Henry to the MLS
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Textbook stuff from MLS side Philadelphia Union, who reacted in standard 'I never fancied her anyway' fashion after Robert Pires decided a move to Philly wasn't for him.

"It does not please me to (go to Philadelphia)," said Pires, 36. "I do not want to be difficult, but if I had to take my family away, I'd rather do it in a beautiful city. Otherwise, I will put an end to my career."

Ouch. So how did Union suit Nick Sakiewicz react to Bobby's comments? Like a spurned 15-year-old boy, that's how.

"A, He's never been here and B, we never made him an official offer," spluttered Sakiewicz.

"Look, I think Robert is a good player with a lot of experience and a lot of good football left in him, but he may just not have been for us; and obviously, given his comments, he clearly is not for us."

And the local rag got in on the act too. The Philadelphia Daily News wrote last night:

'Maybe Pires doesn't know that, according to the 2008 population figures, Philadelphia is the sixth-largest city in the country. Or that some of its suburban towns rival hotspots such as Beverly Hills and the Hamptons.'

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 Post subject: Re: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 3:56 pm 
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We can’t really imagine this getting past too many Premier League PR teams but in the cut-throat world of American sportainment, footballers will quite literally jump at the chance to bare all for ESPN magazine.

In a quote that sounds like it has come straight from his last therapy session, Ben Olsen said: “You always have that bad dream, where you’re naked on the soccer field, you know? I’ve had it before, for sure. You forget your uniform, you’re out there, and it just somehow came true during a photo shoot. It was pretty trippy.”

We’ll say. Could it be any, erm, trippier?

Team-mate Santino Quaranta added: “It was awkward. They were like ‘Jump, all right jump, jump.’ We just kept jumping. Naked. In RFK.”

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 Post subject: Re: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:32 pm 
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New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe was non-committal in his response to West Ham's bid for Major League Soccer target Thierry Henry after his side beat Juventus 3-1 on Sunday.

The French striker is surplus to requirements at Barcelona with the Spanish champions admitting they were in talks with the Red Bulls about a move to the United States for the 32-year-old.

On Friday, however, West Ham joint chairman David Sullivan revealed he wanted to sign the former Arsenal star and was willing to offer him a two-year deal worth around £75,000 a week to move back to the Barclays Premier League.

Asked to react to those reports following New York's friendly win over Italian side Juventus, former Notts County boss Backe kept his cards close to his chest, laughed and said: "I don't know. They have to pay a lot of money then."

Backe had seen his side see off the first European visitors to the new Red Bull Arena with second-half goals from Jeremy Hall, Conor Chinn and captain Juan Pablo Angel.

Juventus had fielded a side led by Alessandro Del Piero, playing alongside David Trezeguet and with Brazilian Diego in midfield, but it was Trezeguet's replacement Amauri who found the net for the Italians in second-half stoppage time.

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 Post subject: Bill Simmons' take on soccer in the USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:29 am 
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Little back story he's a sportswriter that started his own website called the Boston sports guy years ago. Eventually got picked up by espn, he's very popular with the college age crowd. He just started following soccer a few years ago, incidentally he picked Tottenham to be his team. The whole article can be found here:
Click The Link...http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100701

Question No. 19: Thanks to last year's Confederations Cup and Donovan's extra-time goal last weekend, do you think soccer is finally taking off in America?

Put it this way …

When I was in the third grade (1978), people thought soccer was taking off in America.

When I was a freshman in college (1988), people thought soccer was taking off in America.

When I was a barely employed wannabe sportswriter in Boston whose life revolved around the O.J. Simpson trial and partying every night (1994), people thought soccer was taking off in America.

When I was living in Boston with my fiancée and writing for ESPN.com (2002), people thought soccer was taking off in America.

I am 40 years old. I live in Los Angeles. My hair is turning silvery white. I have a wife, two kids, a mortgage and that same ESPN column. Guess what? People think soccer is taking off in America. Only this time … I agree with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Bill Simmons' take on soccer in the USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:30 am 
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Question No. 20: Wait a second … you agree with them? YOU AGREE WITH THEM???? You sap! They say this every four years and it never happens!!!! Klosterman is right! You are the Manchurian Soccer Candidate!

Hear me out …

When Donovan scored that Cup-saving goal against those spineless playing-for-a-tie-when-they-needed-to-win-by-two-goals Algerians, the moment resonated like no other goal in American soccer history. We didn't have anyone telling us how we should feel, what the implications were, what the moment meant. We knew what it meant. We wanted more games. We wanted our boys to keep playing. Someone scored. We celebrated. We jumped up and down. We ran around the room. We were alive for another game. For once in a fragmented sports world, we all happened to be rooting for the same thing.

When does that happen anymore? In 2010, you can follow any athlete, whether he plays 13 miles away or 3,000. You can watch any game you want. You can read any and every opinion that exists. You can find out information as soon as it happens, instead of 12-18 hours later in a newspaper. You can interact with other fans who love your team; you can butt heads with the people who hate them. You can tweet your thoughts on a big play as the players are still celebrating it. You can root for your real guys and your fantasy guys. You are fanatically autonomous.

We didn't have nearly as many choices when I was growing up. Either you rooted for local teams or you jumped on a successful bandwagon (such as the Steelers' or Cowboys') because they were always on national TV. The days of "I'm going to fall in love with Oklahoma City because I love watching Kevin Durant, even though I live in Maine" were still decades away. Eight-Year-Old Me rooted for the four Boston teams, Ali, Nicklaus, Connors and Leonard. I hated the Yankees, Raiders, Dolphins, Canadiens, Flyers, Sixers, Munson, Nettles, Stabler, Clarke and Kareem. I liked Earl Campbell and the Oilers' uniforms. I liked David Thompson and George Gervin. I loved all Topps cards. I loved Gerry Cheevers' mask. I loved Terry O'Reilly and Mike Haynes. I loved Freddie Lynn more than anything. And those were the only real sports opinions I had.

Fast-forward to 2010. What shapes Eight-Year-Old Me? How would EYOM settle on 10-12 things to love and hate? How would EYOM differentiate substance from nonsense? How could a moment stand out for EYOM when everything gets televised or covered? It's total sports overload. Too many choices, too much noise, too many extremes, too many niches, too many forums, too many opinions, too many people trying to stand out. You become numb after a while. The only thing that never gets old? Winning in the most dramatic way possible, then basking in the glow of that dramatic victory with as many people as possible.

Recently, Tiger Woods came closest to uniting everyone for a common rooting interest -- remember the 2008 U.S. Open? -- but his career imploded and he squandered that momentum indefinitely (if not forever). There is no "Wildly Popular American Athlete" or "Wildly Popular American Team." We even turned on Brett Favre. We only share the Olympics together, every two years. A rotating cast of athletes that fleetingly capture our affection, and after that, we never consider them again.

The U.S. soccer team could own that "everyone" domain for the simple reason that it's unattainable for anyone else. We always want our national soccer team to succeed; it would be un-American to feel differently. There's continuity through the years when certain players (such as Donovan, Howard and 2010 breakout star Michael Bradley, locks to make the 2014 World Cup) stick around for a prolonged time. There's always a finish line (the Cup every four years), with dozens of exhibitions, smaller tournaments and World Cup qualifying strewn in between. If you want, you can extend your attachment by following American stars on their club squads. Add everything up and it feels like following the Lakers, Red Sox, Niners or whomever.

(Note: I knew I was hooked on Saturday, after Bob Bradley started Ricardo Clark over Maurice Edu, when I was sending e-mails back and forth with friends much like I would have done had Doc Rivers started Tony Allen in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. What the hell is going on? Why are we doing this? Is Edu injured or something? This is terrible! WHY??????? You may have been sending those same e-mails to your buddies, too. That's the "everyone" domain.)

A cynic might say, "Come on, you could have said the same thing when we beat Colombia in 1994." No way. You need time with these things. Decades. You need kids like me to grow up with soccer in their lives. You need a few memories to stack up. You need it to happen organically. The theory that soccer would never catch on until we found our own Pelé or launched our own successful pro league was dead wrong. We only needed to be exposed to great soccer for a prolonged period of time. We're American. We only respond to the best. The cream of the crop. Nothing else is going to fly.

We don't care that much about Donovan playing for the L.A. Galaxy with guys who couldn't sniff the Premier League, just like English people wouldn't care about seeing Dwyane Wade playing with a bunch of D-Leaguers in London. We want to see Donovan tested against the best. In the months leading up to the 2010 World Cup, I watched Donovan play big games for our national team, for the Galaxy (in the playoffs), then overseas for a solid Everton team. I knew he was a world-class player. I knew he was legitimate. I wasn't stealing that opinion from a magazine or a talking head. The hours I logged with Donovan made me feel invested in him.

It's just easier to care about soccer now. Actually, it's something of a perfect storm -- the technology in place, the flaws of our own professional sports, the efficiency of soccer games, our longing for the pre-JumboTron days when people just cheered and that's what fans did, our best-of-the-best fetish, ESPN's unwavering commitment to pushing the sport, the urgency of every game -- that makes more sense as a whole than it did 10 years ago. After that crushing Ghana defeat, the U.S. players weren't devastated just because they blew a winnable game, but because they knew a growing number of Americans actually cared and it wasn't simply a bandwagon thing. (The TV ratings backed it up: an astonishing 19.4 million U.S. viewers.) It was like pining for the same girl for four years in college, finally hooking up with her one night, then getting kicked out of school the next day.

Dammit! I blew it! I had her! We could have had something!

Regardless, the U.S. completed Stage 1. Soccer is no longer taking off. It's here. Those celebratory YouTube videos that started popping up in the 24 hours after Donovan's goal -- all unfolding the same way, with a stationary shot of nervous fans watching the game in a bar, going quiet for a couple of seconds during the American counterattack, reacting to Dempsey's miss ("Nooooooooo!"), holding their breath for two beats ("Wait a second …"), exploding on Donovan's finish ("Hi-yahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"), then chanting "USA! USA! USA!" afterward -- tapped into a collective American sports experience unlike anything since Lake Placid.

I would never compare Donovan's goal to Mike Eruzione's goal, or compare the significance of an early-round World Cup game to the best American sports night ever. But you can't tell me Donovan's goal was a fleeting moment or a lark. Each celebration clip that landed on YouTube could have been any American bar, any group of American friends, anywhere. Like John Cougar Mellencamp's annoying Chevy commercial sprung to life. Only it wasn't annoying. I thought it was glorious. Those clips choked me up. Those clips gave me goosebumps. Those clips made me think, "I forget this sometimes, but I'm glad I live in the United States of America."

Rasheed Wallace loved to say "ball don't lie." YouTube don't lie, either. We will always have the Algeria game. Always.


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 Post subject: Re: Bill Simmons' take on soccer in the USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Good read, didn't get any of the non-football related stuff (apart from the Kareem Abdul Jabbar citation) but was interesting. All you need is to start calling it football and stop discussing plays :p

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 Post subject: Re: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes football is beginning to take hold in the United States.

He expects a competitive edge to their matches on tour - the squad leave on Monday for their training base in Chicago.

The national side held England to a draw in the World Cup and Ferguson is convinced the standard of Major League Soccer is better than ever.

"American soccer is starting to make an impact and it is so improved, " said Ferguson said.

"I made that point about the United States team before the World Cup.

"I said they were going to play like real athletes - the guys are fit, committed, they believe in themselves.

"I think American football is that way - they're all fit, athletic, they've got a good feel for the pitch.

"You can see that there is improvement in MLS. I have spoken to many people in the last few months about that and there is a big upsurge."

Veteran trio Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will lead the party on the four-match tour beginning against Celtic in Toronto next Friday.

Edwin van der Sar, Darren Fletcher and Dimitar Berbatov will also travel along with some promising youngsters including former Fulham defender Chris Smalling.

Ferguson added on the MLS website: "Winning is part of what we have to do here, but the main object is to get everyone game time, come back ready, fit to start the season."

United meet Philadelphia Union at Lincoln Financial Field on July 21, followed by a match against the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium on July 25.

They then finish the tour against the MLS All-Stars in Houston on July 28.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:52 am 
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Mexican defender Rafael Marquez could be set to follow Thierry Henry by leaving Spanish champions Barcelona for MLS side New York Red Bulls.

Sport reports that Henry's deal with the US outfit is only a matter of days away and he could be joined by Marquez this summer as Red Bulls sporting director Erik Soler hinted that they were working on the possibility of another big name addition to their ranks, fuelling speculation that the 31-year-old was their target.

When asked specifically if the player they were targetting had previously played with the French striker, Soler refused to confirm or deny that was the case.

"I cannot comment on that," he remarked.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:11 pm 
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JOHANNESBURG – Until 8-year-olds aspire to be Landon Donovan rather than LeBron James, the United States is as far away from matching the new world-standard Spain as it has been with any World Cup champion of the past 80 years.

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Landon Donovan makes an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last month.

Right now, soccer is the other sport that elite young American athletes play on a big field. The participation numbers in youth soccer are staggering. But it’s a pastime, mostly suburban, and not the route to either a college education or untold riches that inspire the best and most dedicated of players.

Those kids dribble basketballs with their hands instead of soccer balls with their feet. They play football, not futbol. That’s why Americans dominate in those sports.

Training, coaching, commitment, popularity, they all play a part in a nation attaining international success, as Spain did Sunday in defeating the Netherlands 1-0 here to win the World Cup.

In Spanish society, soccer is not a game. It is a way of life, a rite of passage for young men seeking not athletic perfection but credibility among their peers. It’s not so different than football in Texas or basketball in Brooklyn.

Eight-year-olds – or younger – are driven by material, obvious rewards. Today the richest, most famous, most beloved American athletes play football or basketball or baseball. Those sports provide the role models. Those role models are the bench mark.

They get the eight-figure endorsement and the MTV “Cribs” segments and the one-name superstar status (Kobe, Peyton, A-Rod, etc.).

Donovan is the closest thing to a U.S. star in soccer and his name only comes up once every four years. He can make around $4 million a year, in salary and endorsements – less than the NBA mid-level veteran exemption. Most of the American players have had to leave their homeland to find even less money – an unappealing prospect to a kid.

Forget the millions. A realistic prize – a college scholarship – is more readily available in those other sports. While some U.S. colleges offer full-rides, many are forced to pool their scholarships and allocate them partially to multiple players.

Even the best-funded college soccer team has just 9.9 scholarships to offer. A football team has 85.

They don’t have 100,000-seat campus cathedrals for college soccer. They don’t show the games from morning to midnight on Saturdays. They don’t have March Madness.

The kids are going to follow what’s in front of them. And the World Cup, while splashed all over television screens and the news during the briefest of windows, is enough to pique, but not maintain, interest.

If U.S. Soccer could just get some of the athletes playing Division I college football or basketball – the ones who won’t make the NFL or NBA – then it would stand a chance. With a population of 330 million, the numbers would be there. Spain is a nation of just 45 million.

Spain, however, is home to arguably the world’s best professional league. The money and glory of La Liga means soccer chooses them, rather than the other way around. And then an intricate development and identification web kicks into gear. It allows the cream of the crop to be identified at a base level and immediately ushered into an environment where they can mature.

The U.S. has neither of these things. One of the biggest problems for U.S. Soccer is that talented youngsters too often slip through the net. The country is simply too big and its soccer infrastructure is still too much in its infancy.

That’s the not case with Little League, Pop Warner or AAU basketball.

For the United States, it isn’t about a quick fix or a new coach. It can field an excellent national team – one that can contend for World Cup quarterfinals or maybe semifinals.

But without a dramatic change of the culture, one that can get the kids’ attention, the prospects of beating the world’s best and holding aloft the golden trophy are remote.

Since Landon isn’t about to become LeBron, U.S. Soccer needs a non-materialistic spark.

How to grab the next generation’s attention? Field a winning team. How to field a winning team? Get those best athletes out of helmets and into soccer cleats.

Welcome to the Catch-22 of American soccer.

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 Post subject: MLS transfer gossip
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:31 pm 
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Source: Sports Illustrated/CNN by Steve Davis


The summer transfer window opens on Thursday. This being the first full international signing period since Major League Soccer liberalized and expanded its Designated Player policies, it will the teams' first opportunity to aggressively exploit the new allowances.

MLS rosters may now include up to three Designated Players. The Red Bulls are being bullish with French star Thierry Henry being announced Thursday as a second DP. And they may not be finished at just two.

On the other hand, the Red Bulls' bold ways are balanced by several clubs reluctant to dip their toes into DP waters. So, who else is being aggressive and who is hunkering down for now? Here is a rundown of where each team stands along the MLS Designated Player continuum.

(Remember, each Designated Player counts $335,000 toward the salary cap, but the amount charged is halved for players signed in the summer window -- so that makes July additions a little more palatable.)

Chivas USA: The Goats will add a couple of helpful summer pieces in veteran Venezuelan international Giancarlo Maldonado and former midfield linchpin Paulo Nagamura, who returns after a brief stint in Mexico. But there are no DPs en route, apparently. Nothing new there; Chivas USA has never had a DP to call its own.

Colorado: The Rapids don't have one, have never had one and don't appear in any hurry to add one. Too bad, too, because coach Gary Smith has a decent side, if a little light on offensive might. A creator in midfield could seriously punch up the attack. Or, if a top-tier goalkeeper was out there to be had, Colorado might start looking like a true contender.

Columbus: The Crew haven't been in the Designated Player club since Guillermo Barros Schelotto came off the DP list two years ago. Here, the big market-small market dynamic seems to be at work. The Crew have left millions of dollars on the table in their 11-year inability to sell naming rights to MLS' first dedicated stadium. And being in a smaller market reduces access to local corporate sponsorship cash. With limited opportunity to claim this kind of auxiliary revenue, the organization doesn't have money to burn, meaning a DP acquisition may not add up economically.

Chicago: The Fire could desperately use an impact personality or two, but technical director Frank Klopas has indicated that players currently targeted may not be available until the winter. That's too bad, because the roster has plenty of "good" but only a little "great," and that's reflected in the modest record (4-5-5). Brian McBride no longer looks like a day-to-day starter. And standout center back Wilman Conde always seems to be flirting with the idea of going elsewhere. So, you never know what might happen there. There really isn't a place on the field where the Fire couldn't improve.

D.C. United: They just added 30-year-old Montenegrin playmaker Branko Boskovic as a DP. Already training with United, he could be eligible Thursday against Seattle, contingent on acquisition of his international transfer certificate. United has always been aggressive in DP pursuits, having previously signed Luciano Emilio and Marcelo Gallardo. As for Boskovic, he should pep up a midfield that lacks creativity; the team has used two holding types so far this year. Otherwise, United could still use a quality striker. Did anybody seriously believe Danny Allsopp could be the answer?

FC Dallas: This is one of seven teams sitting out the DP game for now. The team desperately needs a striker but hopes to have addressed it with the addition of Colombian journeyman Milton Rodriguez. He has been training for a month in Dallas and will likely debut Saturday against Real Salt Lake at Pizza Hut Park. David Ferreira, making close to DP money, is as close as Dallas has come to being in the DP club since the Denilson disaster.

Houston: The Dynamo's first spin of the DP wheel has not gone well at all. Luis Angel Landin has been injured, unfit or both for most of his first year in Houston. He stands as a giant, flashing red warning sign for others looking to play the DP game. Landin has two goals in 16 games and has never established a starting spot -- hardly what you want from a pricey, marquee man. Houston, focused on getting that long-discussed downtown stadium off the ground, doesn't appear to have much interest in a second DP.

Los Angeles: Los Angeles already has two DPs in David Beckham and Landon Donovan, the league's only American among Designated Player ranks. Galaxy ownership was bullish on driving the new DP rules, so it might be in the market for No. 3. Then again, teams still need to carve out cap room for a third -- and that's not going to be easy for anyone. Besides, with a league-high 36 points, the Galaxy may not want to upset the carefully built team chemistry.

Kansas City: The club hasn't been a member of the DP fraternity since Claudio Lopez's days of under-performance ended. With a move scheduled into a new stadium in a year's time, the club seems more likely to sit on its DP assets -- especially with the season going south and a coaching situation that may require sorting out.

New England: New England is one of three MLS clubs to have never had a DP. The Revs could use a striker or another central midfielder to partner with Shalrie Joseph. Coach Steve Nicol has proved his ability to get more with less, wringing quite a bit from a fairly chintzy player budget. No telling what he could do with a true marquee player.

New York: Attempting to steal the league's Glamour Boy label from L.A., this team seems ready to go all in. Henry, in all likelihood, will soon become its second DP. Assuming Juan Pablo Angel remains in place -- and there's no reason to think otherwise at present -- the Red Bulls will instantly have the league's best strike duo. Coach Hans Backe says the club continues to explore the addition of a third player. He's talked about an impact center back. Of course, the club could also use a midfield creator who can supply balls into Henry and Angel in good spots.

Philadelphia: The league's expansion team has no Designated Player but did make news over the possibility of adding one not long ago. According to reports earlier this year out of Europe, which were never confirmed by Union officials, the team was negotiating with former Arsenal man Robert Pires. The midfielder slammed the door on the process by saying he was interested in MLS but preferred to play in "a beautiful city." Ouch.

Real Salt Lake: Coach Jason Kreis and GM Garth Lagerwey have made a strategic choice to build around an abundance of mid-level salaried players. It worked to perfection last year as RSL claimed the league title. And since they're second in the West this year, behind the high-flying Galaxy, they're likely to stick with the plan.

San Jose: Another of the league's three teams to have never signed a DP. Stuck in a small, temporary-solution stadium, which means limited revenue opportunities, it's going to be tough until the Earthquakes move into a permanent home.

Seattle: Seattle secured its second DP in the spring, although Swiss international Blaise Nkufo cannot play until the window opens this week. He will arrive in Seattle this week after getting a break following World Cup play. The Sounders' other spot is occupied by Freddie Ljungberg. Is Ljungberg's two goals and 12 assists in 37 matches over two seasons sufficient production for a DP salary? There's a good debate in there and rumors persist that Ljungberg could be traded.

Toronto FC: Director of Soccer Mo Johnston and coach Preki just secured a striker to join Julian de Guzman as the club's second DP. His name is Miguel Angel Ferrer Martinez ... but you can call him Mista, which is what he typically goes by. This is a bit of a gamble as the former Real Madrid, Valencia CF and Deportivo La Coruna forward is now 31. But if Mista has enough gas in his tank, he could seriously spruce up TFC's attack; it would then have Dwayne De Rosario to run at defenses from the midfield, de Guzman to sit deep and orchestrate and Mista to operate inside the 18.

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 Post subject: Re: MLS transfer gossip
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:26 am 
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RYAN GIGGS is considering ending his career in American Major League Soccer with David Beckham.
The Manchester United legend is likely to retire from Premier League football at the end of next season.
But Giggs, 36, said: "Becks is probably the biggest footballer worldwide and he's still playing for England's national team so it's hard not to respect the quality of MLS."
Giggs is Old Trafford's most-decorated player ever and could be tempted by a swansong in the US with his wife and two kids.
He added: "Being in America you have a great lifestyle - good for raising a family - and the play is getting better.
"I still have a year left with Manchester United. After that maybe I'll be too old."
United are in Chicago at the moment at the start of a pre-season tour of Canada and the States, which will include a game against the MLS All-Stars.
Giggs continues to impress for United and his desire remains strong now the end of his top-flight career approaches.
He said: "The older you get the more you appreciate what you've got.
"With each season I've come to appreciate it more. And I think it shows in the way you play - you play knowing you may be done soon."


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 Post subject: Re: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Now we know US soccer fans might not be the savviest but did the New York Red Bulls website really need this headline on their front page...

'Backe: Henry's a striker.'

Yes fellas, one of the best strikers the world has ever seen.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Spangled Football In The MLS
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:47 pm 
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"It is an honor to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team's history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship," said Thierry Henry at his unveiling.

Admirable research there from Thierry. Imagine the long, lamplit hours pouring over the words 'New York Metrostars were formed in 1996 and became New York Red Bulls in 2006. They won the MLS Cup in 2008.'

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