MLS Commissioner Don Garber has been talking a lot about the league this week, with much of the news centering on his statement that the league will offer an expansion announcement in the next four to six weeks. But he is also talking about other issues, including announcing a major change in direction on one. MLS had talked of being the first, or one of the first, leagues to adopt goal-line technology. The commissioner says that now won't happen. He blames the change of course on the expense of installing the systems and the game-by-game expense of using them (goal.com).
The expansion "announcement of a future announcement" also continues to make waves. The general consensus, not confirmed by the league, is that the owners of Manchester City are ready to buy-in and place a team in the New York City borough of Queens. ESPN has to go as far as stating that the "Mets will be getting an MLS soccer neighbor." (espn.com)
The league office made one more bit of news Thursday, with the Disciplinary Committee suspending and fining Chicago Fire defender Wells Thompson for a dirty, vicious tackle in the game against Columbus. I have no idea how this tackle didn't draw a straight red. Horrible. Video on the link (mlssoccer.com).
Earlier this week we outlined rumors of EPL veteran Kevin Davies heading to Toronto. As quick as that rumor appeared it was shot down. But TFC will be getting another transfer target, Argentinian midfielder Matias Laba (mlssoccer.com).
Chicago is looking to add bodies too, and before the current transfer window closes. That's the word from a Q & A with owner Andrew Hauptman (chicago-fire.com).
Didn't get much response to the question in Thursday's daily to the question "who watched the CONCACAF Champions League final first leg." I'm guessing that means very few people did. This columnist says watching the match was like "twisting a knife" in the back of MLS. His prescriptions for changing U.S. futility and finally winning the tournament won't surprise any of you (goal.com).
Finally, a look at how the soccer-specific stadium idea continues to grow, even in places with much smaller support for the sport. A blogger outlines the construction of a 3,500-seat stadium in downtown Pittsburgh and how that has helped the USL's Riverhounds finally end a nomadic existence of playing at high schools and other venues. First game in the stadium was a sell-out.
- Scott Ayers