Thursday Kicker: MLS News

Thursday Kicker: MLS News

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 6, 2007

Today is a real slow day for news around the MLS. Not a lot of deals going down or things to make real note of so this post may be a bit random to some. Just wanted to touch base on a few things and throw out my opinions on them. As always feel free to post your comments below.

First up is the opening weekend in the MLS next year. Reports from MLSU are that ABC will be showing the Toronto – Columbus game as their showcase game to kick off the new season. MLSU believes that ABC made a mistake by taking the Reds and Crew over say the MLS Cup rematch with the Dynamo and Revs for instance.

For one, MLSU says that Toronto must have something up their sleeve in terms of a big move or change in this off season and that ABC knew about it and wanted to show this game. Some suggest it could be a deal with the Crew’s new kit sponsor and others like myself think that the league isn’t this dumb to put this match-up on national television in their opening weekend.

I kind of think the league and ABC/ESPN should have held off in announcing which games will be on the telly next year for another month or so. But that is my two cents. I really think if the league put a match-up of the Revs and Dynamo to start the season, then they meant for it to be on TV to kick off the season.

Also, I really doubt there is any kind of big move on the way for the Reds. Sure they freed up some space in waiving a few players but unless it is a DP, I wouldn’t expect a big time player coming over. Though they could still make a push for DeRo. A move that will eventually happen in my opinion.

Anyways, here is the full schedule for the opening weekend as we know it now, though things could very well change as they sometimes tend to do with TV:
-Sat Mar 29
Columbus v Toronto – 3pm central time on ABC
Salt Lake v Chicago – 5pm central time
New England v Houston – 6:30pm central time
Kansas City v DC – 7pm central time
Colorado v Los Angeles – 8:30pm central time
San Jose v New York – 9pm central time
(i would assume one of these will be on FSC, probably the COL/LA)
-Sun Apr 30
Dallas v Chivas USA – 2pm central time on TeleFutura

By the way, it is nice seeing someone report again at MLSU, its been a while, hopefully that site doesn’t go to waste like it did in the final couple months of the 2007 season.

Other news….

Seattle has now sold over 9000 season tickets for their expansion club. Over 9000. Only a couple clubs can even say that right now that are playing in the league. If every club could do that kind of marketing and season ticketing then the league would be in pretty good shape in my estimation.

Over 9000, wow.


Weird rumors in New England right now about their coaching situations.

Some think Steve Nicol is on his way to Toronto? This off season coaching circus is very interesting. Too bad for you Rapids fans that nothing new is taking place and you are still stuck with Clavijo.

The rumor has Toronto head coach Mo Johnston was moving into the front office. In this scenario, sources say, Johnston was courting Nicol to take over at BMO Field so that Johnston could focus on the club’s soccer operations and talent acquisition. Johnston and Nicol are longtime friends and former roommates with the Scottish National Team.

Nicol shrugged off the potential move saying the Revs have already exercised an option for him to remain as coach for the 2008 MLS season.

Johnston’s focus shifted from Nicol to Revolution assistant coach Paul Mariner. The former England international striker, along with Houston’s John Spencer, has been one of the hot names around the league to fill any head-coaching vacancy.

Mariner’s name has popped up for other clubs and more than likely he will end up somewhere. Maybe Toronto if this is true but most likely in Seattle in 2009. That’s my two cents on that subject.


News out of New York…or Jersey really, Jozy Altidore won’t be in a Real Madrid uniform anytime soon. Ives is reporting the Red Bulls will be keeping the youngster and that Madrid won’t be bring in any new talent this winter transfer season.

Probably the best news for Red Bull fans. Jozy can still develop his game here in the MLS and then go abroad next year or the year after that and probably still get a healthy transfer fee.

Before you say it…I know I am about two days late on this story…sue me I forgot about it.


The ever popular rumor of Eddie Johnson to Europe may be getting some more steam.

Peter Vermes, the Wizards’ technical director, said he’s working on new contracts for Argentinean midfielders Carlos Marinelli and Eloy Colombano but nothing with Johnson.

“We’ve talked with Eddie, and he told us he enjoys his time with the team and loves it here. But he doesn’t know what opportunities are going to come around.”

I think this has to be the off season for Johnson to finally make the jump over to Europe. The MLS didn’t allow it a few years ago but ever since Johnson made his move to KC from Dallas his play has become stagnant and I believe it is even showing in his national team play as well.

Sure Johnson got off to a nice start this past season with the Wizards but after the summer months got under way his play declined and he looked uninterested at times out on the pitch.

He won’t go to a big name club, but I think a lower level division should be interested in picking him up. He still has plenty of speed but he definitely needs to work on his finishing if he wants to become one of the more go-to-guys on the national team.


Interesting article on Soccernet from Frank Dell’Apa about how the rosters in the league need to expand.

Couldn’t agree more. As the league grows so will the rosters, but they need to start now in my estimation. Only really Houston and maybe DC or New England can handle playing the amount of games that they are going to play next year in various competitions along with the MLS slate.

“The Dynamo will play at least 40 competitive games this year. The breakdown is: Pan Pacific (two); Champions Cup (two); MLS regular season (30); Superliga (three); U.S. Open Cup (one); Champions League (three). This total could reach as many as 58 games if the Dynamo reach the finals of all the tournaments, and that could mean a minimum of two more games in the World Club Cup.”

“MLS teams simply cannot be expected to perform at optimum levels in outside competitions with only 18 senior players. By entering so many tournaments, MLS’ ambition is overreaching its budget.”

“…if MLS is smart, it will realize that bolstering rosters is going to become even more crucial in the future. The investment would more than pay off if an MLS team qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup.”


Soccer America is reporting that Juan Sebastian Veron’s wife is in the DC area looking for a house. But Steve Goff says that the deal isn’t done just yet. DCU has to figure out who will be gone in-order to put a big contract like Veron on the roster.

My bet is that Moreno will be gone and probably even Gomez as well. It makes sense for them to both leave at the same time in my opinion.

Plus I see United bringing in another South American not named Veron this off season as well. Gotta make room some how right?


Lastly, some site news, we have taken down the 2007 season preview and weekly power rankings pages and put up a new page dedicated to the off season player movement. Again, I will keep track of that as much as I can this off season.