The Penultimate Off-Season Progress Report: Best…Off-Season…Ever…

The latest report on all off-season player moves among Major League Soccer’s (MLS) clubs appears below…well, at least the ones that interest me. I’ll work with the same categories as last week’s edition, though, with the March 3rd roster reckoning coming down the pike, I’m going to have to start tracking the players who get axed…if only half-heartedly. By that I mean, I’m going to ignore waivers of say, Chris Loftus for New England. But any move that strikes me as “big enough” will get record in this and, to a greater extent, future editions.

All that said, I want to throw one bold thought out there: for my money, this has been the BEST OFF-SEASON in MLS history. More exciting/intriguing player moves, more movement in general, teams coming into the season with enough question marks over their heads that you almost have to watch the games to form a serious opinion of what it all means – or maybe it’s just that we finally have sufficient coverage. There’s a potential downside getting some airing, especially where all “them furriners” are concerned: e.g. with so many exports coming in, what will happen to the development of the American player? Marcelo Balboa treated the subject a couple times through a Q & A with USSoccerplayers.com – and it’s an interesting subject, even if a wait-and-see approach strikes me as the right one.

All I know is I’m in drunken piggy heaven herding all these cats. Wonnerful, wonnerful.

Enough about my joy. All the movement I saw (or cared about) appears after the jump. Contrary to past practice, I’m ditching links to the current rosters; all y’all know where to find ’em if you want ’em. As always, if I missed anything big, feel free to correct the record, by flagging omissions in the comments field or emailing me (jeffbull71[at]yahoo.com). I will make the change and give due credit. Here goes… Continue reading

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Pre-Season Results: The Cruelest Blow Yet…

…and who else would it fall on the Real Salt Lake (RSL)?

Real Salt Lake 1-2 Lynn University
RSL’s ongoing pre-season victory parade through colleges of which I have never heard and Premier Developmental League teams continued…right up until they hit the brick wall that is Lynn University (see the third “section” here for some details).  Brutal, brutal stuff.  After crediting Lynn for sticking it to ’em, RSL GM Garth Lagerwey expressed hope this result will lead to “two steps forward down the road.”

Yes, some days this thing does write itself…

BONUS
Back, again, to the silly.  I shouldn’t love this as much as I do.  But the formula is so simple: find photographs of high school students caught in one of their worst moments – e.g. presenting projects at the Science Fair – and memorialize it by highlighting out the very worst in those photographs.  Magical.  I will look at this whenever I feel sad.

Rapids-Reinaldo-RSL: Do They Ever Stop Competing?

Figuring they had shot their wad for several years when they signed Christian Gomez, word that the Colorado Rapids slapped a discovery claim on some Brazilian cat named Reinaldo surprised me a little. “Ambition” and “Colorado Rapids” appear in about as many sentences as “spendthrift” and “New England Revolution.”

Apart from knowing he most recently plied his trade in Australia, I know so little about Reinaldo that I hesitated to post anything on this…until today, that is, when I read on My Soccer Blog that Real Salt Lake is loitering with intent in the event that Colorado passes on, or cannot afford, a deal with the Brazilian.

The Rocky Mountain rivalry…nothing can stop it…not even the off-season.

BONUS
I have just about wrapped up The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a rather famous book I’m moderately proud to say I neglected to read during my undergraduate years.  It’s good, obviously, and contains plenty of wonderful thoughts expressed wonderfully (that butchered phrasing is, by the way intentional).  I’ll get myself in trouble later when I stretch a quote in an unpopular way, but here’s a good, general one I really liked:

“The goals we pursue are often veiled.  A girl who longs for marriage long for something she knows nothing about.  Teh boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is.  The thing that gives our every move its meaning is always totally unknown to us.” 

Pre-Season Match Reports: Too Many for One Clever Title

I just drank some African liquor…that came in a cellophane bag…so don’t expect much…

Truth to tell, I feel like I’m posting early – e.g. before the weight of the commentary and direct observations provides something for us to think about besides what team beat another and by how many. So…I’ll update what comes below as I see them over the course of tomorrow….which is today…assuming you live on the East Coast.

Here’s how this is going to work. MLSnet.com had their unpaid interns turn in the usual one-stop round-up, which caught the majority of this weekend’s games. So, if you see an item below that bears only a headline, that’s all I’ve got on it…and that means you should stop by the “one-stop” link earlier in this paragraph for all the information available at time of typing. Well, at least where all the sites I visit are concerned. As for the rest, if I have links and commentary therefrom to pass on, I will do so. And, as noted above, I’ll add to those stripped-down score-lines where future postings/commentary allows for it.

Here goes, in the order MLSnet.com’s piece listed the games. The ones they didn’t list will follow. Continue reading

Off-Season Progress Report: Mime’s A-Wastin’

For good or ill, here’s the plan for this and future editions of the Off-Season Progress Report. Every Friday, I’ll list all the player moves, trials, and rumors (with a snowball’s chance in Hell of coming together…and some that don’t) that appeared on my screen over the previous week. This feature will continue until – I believe – March 3, when Major League Soccer’s (MLS) teams must have their rosters down to 28 players, as required by league rules.

One category, the trialists, is a little more complicated than the others. To begin, I’m assuming that anyone drafted between the SuperDraft and supplemental draft – all identified here – is, effectively, on trial. I imagine some draftees have gone home already, but ignore them until the final cut comes along…and I may not acknowledge it then (too much to know, frankly). As for all other trialists, I can only name those whose names I’ve seen and I’m confident I’ll miss a couple players per team….all while blaming your team for failing to get out the good word. Given the gap, however, I welcome any and all additions to the record; drop ‘em in the comments field or send to me an email (jeffbull71[at]yahoo.com).

OK, that’s that. All the movement I saw (or cared about) appears after the jump. Current rosters for all teams are embedded under each team’s name. Continue reading

Pre-season Results Round-Up: Crew Rolls over KC (TSII Alert!)

Over the weekend, I noticed  something on MLSnet.com that made this whole pre-season results coverage concept appear redundant.  They’ve got the interns posting pre-season results round-ups – much like the item they ran on February 9.  That report contains word on one of the earlier MLS-on-MLS pre-season games, as well as a couple others.  I’ll get to that shortly, but only after a quick reassessment of my purpose here….OK, done.

Why?  The richness of the blogosphere.  Sure, MLSnet.com tells you who did what, but the explosion of blogs means there’s always more, more, MORE to pass on.  On top of that, it seems some games don’t show on the radar – for instance, FC Dallas’ shellacking of amateur side Centro America (which is more or less what you’d expect), an event 3rd Degree covered exhaustively.  So, armed with such goodness, I only want to say….I’m not irrelevant yet, you fuckwits!  (I’m just parasitic.)

So, here goes… Continue reading

MLS Off-Season Progress Report…Well, Most of One…

Thought I’d take some time today to update the latest off-season player movement around Major League Soccer (MLS). I’ll cover every MLS team down below, talking about which players the club has signed – as recorded on their respective rosters – but will only cover changes that have happened since my first off-season progress report. That said, 1) I’m away from my usual post and the notes I keep there, which means 2) I’m missing some details on some rumors, players trials, that sort of thing.

Getting back to that first off-season report, when I typed up each team’s list of incoming players, I divided them into players coming in by transfer and those “acquired” via the Super- and Supplemental Drafts. The approach for this update will look a little different. Judging from what I’m seeing on the rosters and a player movement round-up run on Soccer America on February 5, teams have signed some, though nothing like all, of their draftees. To account for that, drafted players whose names appear in their team’s official site roster PLUS any player a given team brought in via transfer will be listed as Signed. I’m assuming players in this category to be part of the team at this point.

The other two categories I’ll use are Trialist/Wish-List and Out. The first category includes players named in various sources as being associated with a given team, whether through an invite to camp or by rumor; in the cases where the names are either obscure or low-profile (no offense), I might just provide a link to the source. And the “Out” category is what it is: players who have left the team since the first off-season progress report.

As implied above, there will be holes in this. I’m operating from memory on a few calls. Further, some teams simply enjoy better coverage – among them, teams like the Kansas City Wizards (thanks to Hillcrest Road) and FC Dallas (thanks to FC Dallas Updates); those blogs cover everything down to their players’ stool samples. Other teams (think Colorado) are just hard to find because the front office in question just seems to hate their teams’ fans. But I’m mentioning my blindspots mainly by way of welcoming corrections in the comments. If I missed something, let me know and I’ll get the new information in the main post as soon as I can. If you don’t want to use the comments, don’t be shy about emailing information to me (jeffbull71[at]yahoo.com).

Good god, that’s a lot of preamble. A final thing or two and I’ll get to the goods. One, each team’s current roster is embedded in their name. Two, of course I’ll comment on where I think each team is…that’s just a given. No grades, though. Not this time.

Here goes (fixed it!): Continue reading