Easing into MLSWeek(end) 23; It’s Prediction Season

Weeks go by that end with a sense of rest well-earned. The news-tap runs at a trickle and the stage looks ready for the show, leaving one free to idly lean back and take it in.

And that makes it something of a shame that Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Week 23 isn’t quite doing it for me.

For instance, I can chuck three of the weekend’s matches into the dumpster with a second’s thought: FC Dallas v. Toronto FC (preview), the Houston Dynamo v. Real Salt Lake (preview), and the Los Angeles Galaxy v. the Colorado Rapids (preview). If I may speak for neutrals everywhere, Contenders v. Spoilers games don’t cut it; unless you care about the particular teams’ fortunes (e.g. unless it’s the entertainment option of your particular choice out there on the field), you expect the expected pounding and don’t care much about upsets. That’s the first two games done. As for LA v. Colorado, that one could have worked were we talking about LA fighting up the standings and the Rapids sucking wind in Shitsville. This being the other way around, eh, not so much. Continue reading

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About Last Night: How to read it?

Anyone who cares to knows DC United tied Chivas USA 2-2 last night in a game a couple observers, um, observed could be a preview of MLS Cup (for the record, I’m not among them; I don’t know what’s going to happen this weekend, never mind in November).  I caught the final 20 minutes and was treated to both a good game and the sight of Preki more pissed off than I’ve ever seen him (occasioned, for the record, by a clearly blown offside call).  Naturally, nothing too meaningful can come from such a brief glimpse at a game, but I can pose the key question:

Does DC deserve accolades for scoring two goals against Chivas at home, a tally that doubled the latter’s goals-against at home figure for the season, or does Chivas earn higher marks for holding off the team widely viewed as best in MLS?

MLS Team News, Week 23: Injuries, Tactics (Sorta), Rising Stars (Sorta)

Welcome to my first crack at posting team news from all-’round Major League Soccer (MLS). What comes below will be by no means exhaustive; really, it’s only a compilation of what I bumped into during my travels. And, of course, anyone feeling I made a grave omission is welcome to correct that in the comments; by the same token, tips and mentions to reports are also welcome, so’s I can post those in future editions.

And, yes, I’m aware that I’m starting this feature appallingly late in the season. Without further adu…shit, habit…without further adu – dammit! seriously, it happened again – without further ADO, enjoy the team news. If I skipped your bunch, it doesn’t mean I don’t like ’em; you’ll notice entries for both DC United and the Los Angeles Galaxy below. Hell, I’ll even start with ’em:

DC United
Marc Burch finds his MLS niche

Emilio’s and Vanney’s upside(s)

Kissing Ben Olsen’s butt, but also laying out good dish on DC’s tactics.

Los Angeles Galaxy

Look at all them injuries. It’s true: nobody walks in LA.

New England Revolution

The FNGs from Gambia (don’t worry about the name in the headline; he ain’t comin’).

Real Salt Lake

Beckerman believes in Kreis (see bottom)

Colorado Rapids

Casey rising; Sanneh plugging holes

Kansas City Wizards

Hunting the August Slump

Chicago Fire

Gimpy Guerrero

Columbus Crew

Comings/Goings (Szetela); Convalescing and Waivers

FC Dallas

FrankenCooper “ready to push himself”; Goodson concussion

New York Red Bulls (or is it Red Bull New York?)

Jozy’s injury; Galarcep’s sass

Well, that’s it for this….waitaminute…whoops…

Toronto FC

Dichio’s busted foot, TFC’s doomed season.

OK, done now for reals.

More Philly Expansion News: Each Time more Promising.

Don Garber spoke very recently with public officials and potential investors about the prospect of an MLS team in Philadelphia.

“We believe that a team in Chester will serve to really enrich the lives of the citizens of the city, but also the citizens of the community and this region generally,” Garber said after meeting with Delaware County officials and a group of potential investors.

The main investor will be Jay Sugarman, who is a 8-year CEO of iStar Financial. Ivy-league education (Princeton though, not Penn which makes me a bit wary bein’ a Quaker myself), young CEO – only 42 and started when he was 34. Also according to Forbes, he makes a cool $33 million annually and looks like Christian Bale in American Psycho or Willem Dafoe in Platoon. This is in addition to the two that were already on board to make this happen: James Nevels, founder of the Swarthmore Group, and real-estate mogul Robert Buccini. The stadium will cost as much as $120 million – up from $100 million – and potentially will sit right near the Commodore Barry Bridge on the Waterfront in Chester, PA.

The goal is early December to lock in funding and the team could potentially start play in their new stadium as early as 2010. It looks as if Sugarman, Garber, Governor Rendell, and the city of Chester are all on-board – now it’s to the formalities…we’ll keep you updated. Garber went on to say that it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ this franchise will come into fruition.

Course of Philly Expansion so far…

Sons of Ben – a supporter group started in January to give those hopeful of an MLS team in Philly a voice; season-ticket interests (fill out the form) as well as interviews with Philly-based soccer stars; also a stadium petition (sign!)

Promising Support for MLS Philly – read up about the location, Chester City, and those supporting the push for MLS expansion, links to articles involved at the bottom of the post

EPL Daily: Wenger extends, Leeds punished again, Gio staying put

Many assumed Thierry Henry’s departure could mean a mass exodus of the French influence from the Gunners. Arsene Wenger has decided to dispel that rumor and sign on for three more years after some speculation that he would leave when vice-chairman David Dein left in the Spring  – truth is, where else could you see him?

The once free-spending, upstart Leeds United has fallen upon rocky times. Most of which we have all heard about. Today, however, brought new sanctions from the FA. Instead of a full membership – He-Man Woman-Hater Club? – Leeds have been slapped with a partial membership. They will still get to compete in all domestic competitions, but will not be able to vote at FA meetings or receive any tickets for the FA Cup final…um, okay. All of this is due to some taxes that still weren’t taken care of. The worst of it, however, came before the season after the Yorkshire club was slapped with a 15-point penalty. The former home of Alan Smith, Harry Kewell, Paul Robinson, Robbie Keane, the list goes on and on…luckily, they’ve won their first four games.

Remember the news about Gio dos Santos yesterday? The Mexican phenom’s father, Zizinho, has dispelled any rumors that link him to an EPL move. Both Chelsea and Man United or reported to be interested since Gio has broken into the Barca senior team.

Other than that, a rather tame day in the U.K.