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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Latin Americans follow :thumbsup: Beckham to MLS but hoopla quiets :mute:


- David Beckham begins his first full Major League Soccer campaign Saturday when the US league kicks off its 13th season with some talented Latin American newcomers but without Beckham-mania.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star earned his 100th cap for England on Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to France at Paris and is expected to start for the Los Angeles Galaxy when it visits Colorado.

Beckham signed a five-year deal worth 250 million dollars last year with the Galaxy but injuries kept him to only five games in an abbreviated MLS debut. This year, after a pre-season Asian tour, Beckham is fit and ready to play.

"The most important thing for me was to prove my fitness and I felt I did that," Beckham said after England's match. "I felt very fresh. I felt better than I thought I would.

"As much as you work hard in pre-season there's nothing like playing games."

MLS has signed 24 new players for 2008, 19 of them from Latin America, and boasts such Latino stars as Colombians Juan Pablo Angel of New York and Juan Toja of New England, Brazilian forward and 2007 MLS Most Valuable Player Luciano Emilio of DC United and Mexico's Cuauhtemoc Blanco of Chicago.

"We have to focus on the international player pool to continue to develop our product," MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis said.

"This short-term investment in the international market is being accompanied by the medium to long term investment in player development. I think the US player will benefit substantially by having a higher quality league at home."

Beckham, 32, became the face of MLS last season but in many ways the hype and hoopla led to disappointment when the midfielder with the magical right foot missed most late-season games.

Still, the attention and interest he generated gave MLS a boost. A Seattle expansion team will begin play next year with another in Philadelphia starting in 2010.

The Galaxy missed the playoffs for a second year in a row but new manager Ruud Gullit will try to make the team's fortunes match the fortune it paid Beckham, with forwards Carlos Ruiz and Landon Donovan and a solid defense giving the Dutch mentor confidence.

"I'm happy with the group," Gullit said. "We've got a lot of young players and a lot of new players come into the team and it's about bonding. We know what everybody can do. We're looking forward to the start."

Donovan cannot wait for rivals to contend with Beckham, Ruiz and himself.

"I don't know how teams are going to deal with it, but it's going to be hard," he said.

Gullit is wary of his top trio trying to load too much on their shoulders.

"You can't have 10 Ronaldinhos," Gullit said. "If the rest isn't organized, they can't do their thing. You're going to have stars but they can only star when others do their job. You need to have players that are going to work for the team."

The San Jose Earthquakes rejoin the 14-team league as an expansion club, the originals having moved to Houston where as the Dynamo they have won the past two MLS playoff crowns.

The new Earthquakes, guided by former Galaxy coach Frank Yallop, open April 3 at the Galaxy.

MLS teams will lose key players at times during the season for World Cup duty and the Beijing Olympics.

Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
2008 MLS Capsules:thumbsup:

By The Associated Press

Mar 25, 2008

A look at the 14 teams of Major League Soccer, which begins its 13th season Saturday:

Eastern Conference

Chicago Fire

LAST YEAR: 10-10-10 (fourth place), lost to New England in conference final.

WHO’S NEW: Coach Denis Hamlett, G Dominic Cervi, F Andy Herron, F Tomasz Frankowski, F Patrick Nyarko, D Brandon Prideaux.

WHO’S GONE: Coach Juan Carlos Osorio, M Chris Armas, D Jim Curtin, G Matt Pickens.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Chicago made a late run in 2007 after Osorio replaced Dave Sarachan, posting a 6-3-6 record in the second half of the season. The eventful year also included F Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s arrival, M Chris Armas’ retirement and Osorio’s departure for New York, prompting the promotion of longtime assistant Hamlett in January. Pickens left for Europe the same month, but the Fire added to its offensive strength with youth (Nyarko) and experience (Frankowski and Herron). Nyarko will arrive after he finishes at Virginia Tech.

Columbus Crew

LAST YEAR: 9-11-10 (sixth place), missed playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: F Nicolas Hernandez, D Andy Iro, M Brian Carroll, D Gino Padula.

WHO’S GONE: D Marcos Gonzalez, F Andy Herron, D Rusty Pierce.

WHAT’S AHEAD: After missing the playoffs for the third straight year, the Crew need to get back to the postseason to keep coach Sigi Schmid’s job secure. The team improved in nearly every offensive statistical category from 2006 to 2007 and returns most of its key components, including Argentine star Guillermo Barros Schelotto, longtime Crew and U.S. national team stalwart Frankie Hejduk, leading goal-scorer Alejandro Moreno, starting G Will Hesmer and 2008 U.S. Olympic hopefuls Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers. Hernandez joins the established nucleus from Colorado to provide more pop up front. Gonzalez, who left to play in Chile, won’t be easy to replace.

D.C. United

LAST YEAR: 16-7-7 (first place), lost to Chicago in first round of playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: M Marcelo Gallardo, F Franco Niell, D Gonzalo Peralta, G Zach Wells, G Jose Carvallo, D Gonzalo Martinez.

WHO’S GONE: M Christian Gomez, D Bobby Boswell, D Greg Vanney, G Troy Perkins, M Josh Gros, M Brian Carroll.

WHAT’S AHEAD: The best team in the regular season for the last two years flamed out in the playoffs both times, leading United to make major changes. Gomez, the 2006 league MVP, was traded to Los Angeles and replaced by designated player signing Gallardo, one of five new South Americans on the club. United might get off to a slow start as the players adjust to their new playmaker, but, as they learned in 2006 and 2007, it’s more important to finish strong than to pile up standings points during the long season. At the very least, United will have a decent field once again, getting RFK Stadium to themselves after three years sharing with the Washington Nationals.

Kansas City Wizards

LAST YEAR: 11-12-7 (fifth place), lost to Houston in conference final.

WHO’S NEW: F Claudio Lopez, F Chance Myers, F Ivan Trujillo, M Roger Espinoza.

WHO’S GONE: F Eddie Johnson, D Nick Garcia, D Jose Luis Burciaga.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Kansas City needed to win its final regular season game to get into the playoffs in 2007 and then got to the conference final. Kansas City lost Johnson, the 2007 team MVP, to English club Fulham and will need to find a way to make up for his scoring. One possibility is Lopez, an Argentine star who played in two World Cups and the 1996 Olympics. Myers, a former UCLA star, is another strong addition after Kansas City traded Garcia to San Jose for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The key to the season could be the adjustment to a new alignment—and a new field. Coach Curt Onalfo is switching from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2, and a few players—including Myers—will have to learn new positions. As for the field, the Wizards are moving out of Arrowhead Stadium and will share a stadium with a minor-league baseball team, hardly the ideal arrangement as they seek funding for a soccer-specific stadium.

New England Revolution

LAST YEAR: 14-8-8 (second place), MLS Cup runner-up.

WHO’S NEW: D Chris Albright, M Mauricio Castro.

WHO’S GONE: F Pat Noonan, M Andy Dorman.

WHAT’S AHEAD: After three consecutive losses in the MLS Cup, coach Steve Nicol may tweak his 3-5-2 alignment in favor of a 4-4-2. The defense is solid with G Matt Reis (played every minute of every game in 2007), D Jay Heaps (all-time team leader in minutes played), D Michael Parkhurst and Albright. M Steve Ralston is the MLS career leader in games (337) and assists (121), but New England is hoping that acquisition of Castro can alleviate the losses of Noonan and Dorman. The question mark is up top, where Noonan will be missed as the reliable partner for F Taylor Twellman (91 goals over six seasons).

New York Red Bulls

LAST YEAR: 12-11-7 (third place), lost to New England in first round of playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: Coach Juan Carlos Osorio, G Zach Thornton, F Oscar Echeverry

WHO’S GONE: Coach Bruce Arena, G Ronald Waterreus, M Clint Mathis, M Dema Kovalenko.

WHAT’S AHEAD: F Juan Pablo Angel scored 19 goals in his first MLS season. He and teenage rising star Jozy Altidore (nine goals) helped the Red Bulls tally 47 goals, third best in the league. The problem was a defense that gave up 45, tied for most among playoff teams. M Claudio Reyna needs to stay healthy in Osorio’s 3-5-2 formation. Osorio is the Red Bulls’ 11th coach in 12 years, having taken over after Arena’s surprise resignation at the end of last season. Osorio led Chicago to a 6-3-7 record and a playoff berth after replacing Dave Sarachan last season.

Toronto FC

LAST YEAR: 6-17-7 (seventh place), missed playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: Coach John Carver, D Kevin Harmse, D Julius James, D Marco Velez, D Pat Phelan, D Jarrod Smith.

WHO’S GONE: M Ronnie O’Brien, M-D Chris Pozniak, G Kenny Stamatopoulos, D Adam Braz.

WHAT’S AHEAD: A mammoth success at the box office but a miserable failure in its debut season, the league’s lone Canadian entry will try to put more balls in the back of the net as it builds toward contention. Mo Johnston, who coached Toronto last season, moved to the front office and has been replaced by former Leeds United boss Carver. He will hope to get more out of an offense that needed five games to score its first goal last year, then set a league record by going 824 minutes between goals. In top draft pick James, 2007 rookie of the year Maurice Edu and promising defender Marvell Wynne, Toronto has a core of solid young players. Keeping those youngsters headed in the right direction while getting the most out of aging strikers Danny Dichio and Collin Samuel will keep Carver busy in his first year at the helm.

Western Conference

Chivas USA

LAST YEAR: 15-7-8 (first place), lost to Kansas City in first round of playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: F Alecko Eskandarian, D Jim Curtin, F Atiba Harris, M Raphael Wicky.

WHO’S GONE: D Jason Hernandez, M Ramon Nunez, M-F Laurent Merlin, D Orlando Perez, G Preston Burpo.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Veterans and youth mesh to make Chivas USA a serious contender. Maykel Galindo (12 goals), Ante Razov (11 goals, 8 assists) and Sacha Kljestan (13 assists) provide the offense. Jesse Marsch and Paulo Nagamura can stifle the opposition in midfield. Shavar Thomas became a physical force in the back to complement Claudio Suarez. But Chivas USA has no depth behind Guzan (0.93 goals-against average, 13 shutouts), MLS’s goalkeeper of the year who could leave at midseason for Europe. Injuries to thirty-somethings Marsch (34), Razov (34) and Suarez (39) also would hurt, so Eskandarian and Harris were added to provide depth up front.

Colorado Rapids

LAST YEAR: 9-13-8 (fourth place), missed playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: M Christian Gomez, M Rafael Gomes, D Jose Burciaga Jr., M Ciaran O’Brien, G Mike Graczyk, D Cesar Zambrano, M Brian Grazier, D Tim Ward.

WHO’S GONE: M-F Nicolas Hernandez, D Brandon Prideaux, G Zach Thornton. WHAT’S AHEAD: The Rapids saw their string of five straight playoff appearances halted last season by an inability to find the net, finishing near the bottom of the league in scoring with 29 goals in 30 games. They addressed that deficiency by acquiring 2006 league MVP Christian Gomez from D.C. United. Gomez is one of the most prolific playmakers in MLS, ranking first in the league since 2005 with 99 points. The hard-luck Rapids had three players—D Dan Gargan, M-F Herculez Gomez and F Conor Casey—go down with torn right ACLs last season. Gargan and Gomez are expected to be ready by the opener, while Casey may take a little longer to recover.

FC Dallas

LAST YEAR: 13-12-5 (third place), lost to Houston in first round of playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: D Duilio Davino, M Andre Rocha.

WHO’S GONE: M Denilson, D Chris Gbandi, D Clarence Goodson, F Carlos Ruiz.

WHAT’S AHEAD: After overhauling its defense and trading away forward Carlos Ruiz, the leading scorer in MLS postseason history, FC Dallas faces a steep learning curve on its front and back lines. In a preseason swing through Brazil, the team experimented with three defenders in the back, anchored in the middle by newcomer Davino, a popular veteran of the Mexican national team and Club America. D Drew Moor and D Adrian Serioux are expected to replace Gbandi and Goodson. Up front, Cooper, who has two caps with the U.S. national team, is back from a broken leg and must prove he can become the team’s primary scorer without Ruiz’s creativity.

Houston Dynamo

LAST YEAR: 15-8-7 (second place), won MLS Cup.

WHO’S NEW: F Franco Caraccio, G Tony Caig, D Bobby Boswell.

WHO’S GONE: D Ryan Cochrane, M Nate Jaqua, F Joseph Ngwenya, F Paul Dalglish.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Boxer Oscar De La Hoya bought a share of the two-time defending champions in the offseason, and they added star power on the field, too, acquiring Argentine forward Caraccio. But the Dynamo lost significant scoring punch when Jaqua and Ngwenya moved to Europe. The duo produced 13 goals and five assists last season. F Brian Ching had seven goals in 2007, but he started only 17 games because of injuries. M Dwayne De Rosario scored six goals in the regular season, then tallied two more along with two assists in the playoffs. The Dynamo’s defense returns mostly intact after allowing 23 goals in 2007, a league record. Houston acquired Boswell from D.C. United to make up for the loss of Cochrane, who was taken by San Jose in the expansion draft. G Pat Onstad led MLS with a 0.82 goals-against-average in 2007.

Los Angeles Galaxy

LAST YEAR: 9-14-7 (fifth place), missed playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: Coach Ruud Gullit, F Carlos Ruiz, D Greg Vanney, D Sean Franklin.

WHO’S GONE: Coach Frank Yallop, M Cobi Jones, D Chris Albright, G Joe Cannon, D Ty Harden, F Gavin Glinton, M Kevin Harmse, M Kyle Martino, F Carlos Pavon.

WHAT’S AHEAD: If not for the hoopla surrounding David Beckham, the Galaxy would have been the team to ignore in 2007. Thus the arrival of Gullit, a former Dutch World Cup star who coached in Europe and was hired to bring “sexy football” to the Galaxy. Beckham is healthy after ankle and knee injuries limited him to five MLS games in his first season. Gullit takes over a squad with no depth, no speed and a young defense that Yallop once called “naive.” Steve Cronin, who has played six MLS games in three seasons, is the new starting goalkeeper. Ruiz, a former MLS scoring champion, had a career-low seven goals last year in Dallas. Gullit must create chemistry despite constant player turnover, and he can’t expect midseason help because half of the team’s salary cap goes to Beckham, Ruiz and M-F Landon Donovan.

Real Salt Lake :thumbsup:

LAST YEAR: 6-15-9 (sixth place), missed playoffs.

WHO’S NEW: M Dema Kovalenko, M-D Tony Beltran, M Alex Nimo.

WHO’S GONE: D Eddie Pope.

WHAT’S AHEAD: After three years of looking like a first-year expansion club (21-50-25 all-time), Real Salt Lake enters its fourth season hoping to finally take some steps forward. The roster has turned almost completely over in three years and the front office was overhauled last summer. Jason Kreis is starting his first full season as coach after retiring as a player early last season. He has tried to tailor the club to his image and has had an entire offseason and training camp to do so. RSL owner Dave Checketts needs the team to start winning. It will move into its own stadium later this summer, completing a project that nearly didn’t happen. A playoff push would help draw people to the new digs and erase some of the lingering memories of the battle over public financing for part of its construction.

San Jose Earthquakes

LAST YEAR: First-year expansion team.

WHO’S NEW: G Joe Cannon, M Ramiro Corrales, M Ronnie O’Brien, D Ryan Cochrane, M Chris Pozniak, D Nick Garcia, F Gavin Glinton.

WHAT’S AHEAD: The MLS returns to the Bay Area three years after the previous incarnation of the Earthquakes relocated to Houston following the 2005 season. Coach Frank Yallop is back after winning MLS titles in 2001 and 2003 with the Earthquakes before the move. Cannon and Corrales also were part of previous title winners in San Jose, while Cochrane—San Jose’s first pick in the expansion draft—was with the team in 2004 and 2005. While the defense has promise, the glaring hole is the lack of a proven striker. San Jose will play most of its games on the campus of Santa Clara University while negotiating for a permanent home.

Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
94,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So Far ...................

March 29

FT Columbus Crew 2 - 0 Toronto FC

FT Real Salt Lake 1 - 1 Chicago Fire

7,217 Posts
Adam Moffat scored for Columbus! Just to think, he was in the USL-2 last season.

And my fantasy team is going to do horrible this week :(

8,966 Posts
Some very interesting results for the rest of the day:

New England 3-0 Houston (great goal by Nyassi)

Kansas City 2-0 DC United (Lopez scores on his debut)

Colorado 4-0 Los Angeles :)eek: - great performance by Colorado though, LA were abysmal)

Chivas USA-Dallas tomorrow and the Quakes play LA on Thursday. :thumbsup:

Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
94,746 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Los Angeles 3, Columbus 3
Crew, Galaxy match ends in 3-3 draw
Rapids and short-handed Dynamo play
…MLS CapsulesColorado 0, Houston 0

Saturday's Major League Soccer Capsules

Real Salt Lake 2, New England 1
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