It wouldn't be an MLSSoccer.com story if it didn't start with a dig at the Sounders to drive some traffic. In this case, Seattle Sounders' double-trophy-winning season is the subject of the piece (in fact it's one of their Stories of the Year), but that doesn't stop them from suggesting the Timbers Army mock Seattle for not completing the treble.
Major League Soccer
We already knew Thierry Henry was finished playing in MLS, but there was speculation that the legendary Frenchman would find some way to have a swansong at Arsenal. Instead, he is hanging up the boots for good and trading them for whatever TV sports analysts wear down there. Could be anything, you never see their feet!
Portland-based online banking startup Simple will appear on all Timbers training gear as part of a new type of sponsorship for MLS. Alaska Airlines will continue to hold the in-game shirt sponsorship rights.
Signs were definitely pointing towards Orlando City SC's signing of Bryan Róchez, the 19-year-old Honduran. But for how much? Now it's official, the striker will indeed be Orlando's second DP. The expansion rosters are getting interesting.
The Brotherly Game muses about what MLS could look like in 2020.
Conor Casey is a big mean machine of a man, and at 33 the machine requires a lot of maintenance. But he's still a wiley poacher with a nose for goal, and the Union want to bring him back on a new (presumable smaller) contract.
Red Bull New York Sporting Director Andy Roxbough is leaving the club after two years that saw marked improvements in the consistency of play on the field, including a Supporter's-Shield-winning season.
But who will be on the field in 2015 for the Red Bulls? It's not likely they let NYCFC get away with all the splashy signings. It appears the club is pursuing Liverpool captain and England legend Steven Gerrard.
Chicago Fire are mining the Swedish league for talent and appear to be having some success, with reports indicating the Fire will add a second former-Allsvenskan striker to the lineup before long.
Nat Borchers is excited to go to Portland from Real Salt Lake because "they can win now." Garth Lagerwey was allegedly heard muttering something similar as he boarded his flight from SLC to SEA.
Here's a convenient list of international soccer-related dates that are coming up this year that you could bookmark. But true nerds will write them all into their USMNT wall calendar and X off the days leading up to each friendly.
Planning on attending matches at the Womens World Cup? Dynamo theory has part 1 of a guide for you.
Since we haven't covered it here, in case you haven't read about the USWNT's status in the current mini-tourney in Brazil, well, it's not going great.
DaMarcus Beasley has retired from the national team.
Where do I start? Honestly I never thought this day would come, representing my country has been the greatest thing I've done in my career. Everytime I've pulled on OUR colors I tried to represent myself, my family and my country with the utmost respect.(and obviously tried to win) With that being said, I have officially retired from the U.S. Nat'l team. I've been blessed to be apart of the ussf family for 17yrs. I have so many memories from when I started with the U-15 nat'l team all the way to the men's team. I've met so many great ppl along the way I wouldn't know where to start. To all my coaches and teammates, I just want to say thank you, thank you for making me the player I am and the man I will be in the future. I will never forget all the games, friendships, memories we all shared. One thing I hope you all will say about me is that I was a good teammate and ALWAYS left everything on the field when I played. And lastly I want to thank ALL the fans that have supported me and the U.S. Team, without you guys we wouldn't be where we are today! Thank you all!!!
Ryan Rosenblatt has a very funny DMB story that will give you an idea why he will be missed at practice, and it's not just his veteran presence or play on the field.
Also over at Stars and Stripes FC, the Jozy Altidore rumor mill is churning.
World Soccer/Random Thoughts
Champions League and Europa League draws happened, and there are some juicy matchups as always. In case Fredy Montero is reading this, I will make it very easy to see the draws. Click on this for Champions League and this for Europa League, and don't say I've never done anything nice for you.
Club America just won their 12th Liga MX title after taking the series against UANL Tigres 3-1 on aggregate.
Your parents have embarrassed you before, everyone's parents have. But I'll bet money your parents have never crashed your own first-major-contract-signing press conference to do a traditional dance and song. I know i should learn more about the story before laughing, but the funniest part is actually the reactions of the jaded reporters in the room.
A Saudi Woman was arrested after attending a soccer game. Unsurprising yet ridiculous.
Don't you think Marco Pappa would be so good at this?
Who on the team could immediately play this game at an elite level?