DeAndre Yedlin is taking the bulk of the blame for the 5-0 debacle Sunday, so offensive that Game of Thrones was actually a refreshing change of pace (not as much gore).
Today should be the day where we finally get details on the long-negotiated TV contract between MLS and their prospective networks. With ESPN and Fox reportedly involved, we may be looking at a 70 million dollar package (quite a step up from the combined 26 million the last few years) and it may also include an end to the MLS Live service (which, if true, would likely be replaced by a network-specific option.) With these sorts of deals, there are sometimes a couple other unexpected quirks that we'll need to adjust to.
Remarkably, this week saw three teams reach five goals in a game. Real Salt Lake's started quick, as Javier Morales scored the quickest goal in franchise history fifteen seconds in. That game saw Servando Carrasco received a deserved red card ejection. The other was the the laugher in New York that had defensive gurus the world over slapping their foreheads. The final score of 4-5 in Chicago's favor (yeah, Chicago WON) included perhaps a single remarkable goal (at least, remarkable in a positive way).
Late in Los Angeles' game in Draw City, the Galaxy surely believed that they were about to be the first in a year to beat the Portland Timbers in their park (save for the playoffs, of course). Robbie Keane scored in stoppage time to give LA a 1-0 lead with mere seconds left. But as always, the great Equalizer in the sky looked down upon Providence Park and graced the stadium with its gentle, even-handed touch. This was how Diego Valeri came up with the latest goal in modern Timbers history, resulting in yet another draw. LA had a chance to score a second moments earlier as Juninho sprinted at goal with the ball from midfield completely unopposed, but was brought down by Darlington Nagbe as he reached the top of the box. It was hard to see how much contact there actually was (US Diving Championships?), but after the game the Galaxy were insisting it should have been a free kick and an ejection. With the result, there are now three teams tied for last in the West: LA, Portland, and Chivas.
Even with their struggles this season, you'd think the Timbers would be content with the talent they've amassed in the attack. Nevertheless, rumors have them picking up yet another striker, this time Fanedo Adi of FC Copenhagen. Adi is billed as more of a target forward, meant to help the club on set pieces and distributing to their more technical attackers. That said, they already have Max Urruti sitting on the bench at 200k, and they just picked up Gaston Fernandez for 150,000. Would it perhaps be more efficient to spend some of that money on their horrendous back line?
The Galaxy are looking to make their own offensive splash, reportedly offering two years to Frank Lampard.
One in, one out: the Vancouver Whitecaps are set to welcome former 1st overall draft pick Omar Salgado back into the fold after a year and a half away from the first team. Salgado was picked ahead of players like Darlington Nagbe because of his youth and exceptional athletic ability, once thought to be the future of the US National Team. He could still be that (he is only 20) and played well for the Whitecaps in their 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew. His attacking contributions won't make up for what appears to be the imminent lose of Nigel Reo-Coker, formerly a leader in England's biggest stages but who lost his starting spot after reportedly tripping on a bike rack.
As if the Revolution needed more firepower, they may be getting Juan Agudelo back from Stoke City. Stoke's attempt to get Agudelo a work permit has failed again.
Forbes released their annual list of the most valuable soccer clubs for 2014, and it doesn't yet include the Sounders. Probably because our club isn't sufficiently under water in debt. Real Madrid takes the cake again this season, followed by 18 other clubs in the top four European leagues. The one outlier: Turkey's Galatsaray.
Weirdness in Iran: A newspaper in the country, covering the Champions League, printed edited photos of Atletio Madrid's jerseys in their paper. Atletico wears "Azerbaijan" on their chests, a country with which Iran has some adversarial political ties.
Men have long been the coaches of women's teams, but the reverse hasn't ever caught on at the top levels. That's why the recent hiring Clermont Foot made of Helena Costa is such a big deal. Pro Soccer Talk interviewed a few NWSL players about the move.
(In related news, Soccer Wire has a great piece on strategies to get the NWSL going in earnest. For example, MLS tried and failed marketing to "soccer moms". )