A Veteran's Day Thank You, especially our friends serving in the armed services and ECS' Armed Services Group. It's a quiet weekend in MLS as everyone is on break for international games. The Los Angeles Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo next Sunday at the Home Depot Center. Tickets are up over 640% over regular prices as Galaxy fans have a rare opportunity to see their side clinch the Cup at home.
The Galaxy have been dominant this season with the highest number of players voted to the League Best XI. Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was named defender of the year this week. The Dynamo have a chance to top that award right before the MLS Cup as Brad Davis is still in the running for league MVP. Also, this week Sporting Kansas City forward CJ Sapong was named rookie-of-the-year.
Europe Calling: The season is barely over for most of the teams in MLS and the rumors about potential transfers and trials are already rolling in. This week we learned that West Brom are interested in defender Tim Ream. The young defender has been invited to the Midlands for a trial although one can imagine that Arsenal will also be extending an offer. Brek Shea is already scheduled to join Arsenal for training after the end of the US friendlies in Europe. Several other MLS players will be training in Europe this year, similar to what Alonos and Zakuani did last season.
More news after the jump:
Rost Expected to Depart: New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Frank Rost is expected to return to Germany in the off-season. The veteran designated player was brought in during the summer transfer window to fill a large gap in the Red Bulls line-up. He missed a huge chunk of games due to injury and looked rather poor otherwise. Hans Backe indicated they would try to fill their 3rd DP slot with another striker or central midfielder.
Smith Out: Gary Smith has parted ways with the Colorado Rapids after publicly falling out with his boss. Both sides have egg on their face. The Rapids tried to nickle-and-dime Smith on contract negotiations despite the coach leading them to a MLS Cup. However, the ultimately unforgivable sin, was giving a public ultimatum to release the technical director after agreeing to contract terms. Not cool Mr. Smith.
Revolution Reorganize Front Office: The New England Revolution ship hit the bergs this season. The ship isn't just taking on water. It's at the bottom of the sea. Sounds like a great time to reorganize the deck chairs. Current Kraft Sports Group executives Brian Biello and Michael Burns will have more clearly defined, soccer-specific roles. I'm sure that will fix things.
Former MLS Player Comes Out: Former Columbus Crew and Montreal Impact midfielder David Testo came out of the closet on Thursday. He is one of the few current or former soccer players to come out of the closet. While it is extremely difficult to be a professional athlete and openly gay, we can hope his announcement will encourage others.
Desert A/C Difficult: The engineers building the stadiums for the 2022 Qatar World Cup have come out against stadium air-conditioning in an announcement shocking to no one who has taken high school physics. Cooling a giant stadium to 79 degrees would be an engineering miracle and would be "notoriously unsustainable'' for the environment.
Onyewu Hits Like a Mac Truck: Great little tidbit in the Zlatan Ibrahimovic tell-all book. In a scuffle started after a bad tackle Oguchi Onyewu and Ibrahimovic were "close to killing each other" and it took about a dozen players and staff members to break the two up. It sounds like Onyewu got the better of the tussle and broke Ibrahimovic's rib. America F*&ck Yeah!
Author's Note: I'll be moving back to a once-a-week schedule for the links post now that we're in the off-season. News tends to dry up a bit as the league goes on vacation and I'd rather do one good, long post than two skimpy ones.