UPDATED: A moment of silence please...

Checkett's says Real Salt Lake soccer is dead

This is just sad. I wish I had something humorous to say about it but I just don't. For all of the hoopla and happiness surrounding the league this off season nothing will temper those flames of joy like a lame-duck franchise. Make that a lame-duck franchise that will most likely move to another city where it will be in the same boat; no stadium of it's own and no done deal in sight.

Why isn't there more Toronto-esque expansion/relocation that is as smooth as Johnny Walker Blue? Heck, at this stage I might lobby Kevin Costner to become an investor/operator in the league if he still believes that "if you build it they will come"; we might have to suffer through "Waterworld" DVD giveaway nights but at least their would be a stadium before their was a franchise.

So now begins the rampant speculation of where the team will move (Rochester get ready to be prick-teased like it's prom night all over again), the sharpening of the soccer-haters knives, and the litany of questions that will follow this story (Will Freddy now jump ship the 1st chance he gets?) Their are so many questions with this that I will refrain from further speculation for the moment but my oh my, hasn't it gotten cloudy out now?

UPDATE: Checketts is now backtracking a little on his threats to sell/move the team. The RSL website has the audio link to hear his comments.


The 50-50 Ball: Chivas to announce reality show

From the Chivas USA website...

"Search for the next big star to start Sunday
Chivas USA and MLS will unveil details of a nationally televised search for soccer's top undiscovered young talent Sunday during Univision's "Rep├║blica Deportiva" (12-2 p.m. PT). The hosts will unveil the program's name, logo, registration process and dates. "

The part of me that loves the engrossing nature of The Real World & The AND1 show on ESPN loves this. So does the part of me that is currently really turned off at the elitist way that soccer talent is discovered in America (expensive suburban travel teams, ODP, and the college game). On the other hand feels something like this has the potential to come across as the sporting equivalent of American Idol, and give the impression that the level of play in MLS is as good as a Sunday cascarita in the park. The winner of this thing could be a Jennifer Hudson....but most likely a William Hung; memorable for the moment but ultimately out of his depth.

What do you think? The ball is in the air, comment below.


Beckham Reality show in the works?

I has this convo a few weeks ago with someone about how it's very telling that Becks, the most recognizable sports face in the world, had his deal to come to America put together not by a sports agent but by Simon Fuller, creator of Pop Idol/American Idol. The jist being that this deal is an entertainment deal, not just a sports deal.

In said convo I mentioned that if their was a Brand Beckham reality show in the works I would be a little less than shocked. Well the rumor mill suggests just that. Fox makes sense with Fullers other TV creations living there, but I can't help but wonder how much better it would be for the perception of the game if this were done on ESPN. After all Fox is the network who once aired a "real" execution and the infamous alien autopsy video, so a reality show with them doesn't exactly scream of sporting legitimacy. But obviously little of this deal actually is about that.


"I Love it When you call me Big Poppa!"

You may have noticed the lack of posts over the last few days. My wife gave birth on Sunday to the future of the US Mens National team. He's a left-footed attacking midfielder by the name of Lucas so welcome him to show. In 2022 the hopes of the nation may yet rest with him. So please forgive my laziness/exhaustion but I'll be in & out for the next few weeks.

And welcome Claudia Reyna to the circus that is MLS. You ain't at Citeh anymore.


Kansas City names new VP of development to build stadiums

Kansas City Wizards have announced the hiring of veteran sports facility & marketing manager David Ficklin to head up the efforts to build both their permanent and temporary stadiums. With experience in creating temporary venues for soccer, football, and the Olympics among other things, Ficklin seems like the right man for the unenviable task of making KC's upcoming wilderness years as smooth (and hopefully not too embarrassing) as possible until they are able to move into a new home.

Also of note is that he's worked for prominent architecture firm HOK, where I once worked in their Oxford Street branch. They're responsible for such innovative stadiums as the the New Wembley Stadium and the Arizona Cardinals new mega-stadium, & soccer grounds both large (Arsenal's Emirates Stadium) and small (the Colorado Rapids soon-to-open stadium).

This is a very good sign that the clubs new owners On Goal are commited to the franchise, the league and Kansas City (rumblings of a KC move have been heard ever since the unavailability of Arrowhead were made known). From what I hear league officials have quickly become enamored with this new ownership group and I can see why; young, moneyed, and savvy these guys are a welcome addition to the growing MLS ownership group.

MLS Philly update, All Star game rumor

Remember all the talk last year about a proposed stadium outside of Philly? The deadline of exclusivity passed but it seems that all is not completely lost, it doesn't look that good either.

Also, rumor has it that this years MLS all-star game will be played in Denver at the soon-to-open Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The grapevine also says that the opposition will be the one & only Glasgow Celtic.


Soccer scenes: Ironbound SC on Joga TV

Nike has really hit the upper 90 with thier Joga Bonita campaign; stylish, well-produced, and edgy they really have found a way to represent soccer in a way that is the median between the suburban mediocrity of orange slices and the intesity of the world game. My only problem is keeping up with all of the great clips they produce.

The above clip of Ironbound SC is fantastic, and represents a part of American soccer culture that rarely gets seen outside of it's urban environment. An incase you don't know Red Bull Park is being built less than a mile from where this clip was filmed. What a refreshing change in scenery that will be from the Frisco's & Bridgeviews of the world.


LA Galaxy to rebrand, changes colors.

Grant Wahl's lastest piece for SI.com confirms the rumors that the Galaxy are to rebrand. As an RBNY fan I have no room to talk when it comes to this subject. But is this really necessary? The Gals are one of the most successful clubs on & off the field (this past season aside) and actually have a pretty unique strip and color scheme. At best I can at least say "thank God their colors won't include red".

Also in the piece Wahl mentions that he won't be surprised to see FREE DAVID BECKHAM bumper stickers in Hollywood this week. Let me help get that started...feel free to print off as many as you like.

Chivas USA promotes Preki to head coach

The LA Times is reporting that Chivas USA will announce today that MLS great and assistant coach Preki will be promoted to head coach following the deaprture of Bob Bradley. No word on whether this is an interim position and or if Klinsmann rejected this position as well.


A juicy tidbit to end the day for fans of the New Jersey MLS team.....

Think the Arvizu trade was suprising? Well, the talented teen's tendency to (nice consonance!) be a teen contributed to his trade. Word is that Arena was far from enamored with the youngster, who frequently showed up to training sessions, scarfing down a breakfast sandwhich before suiting up. The kid loved his carbs and was far from a model professional. Paging the ghost of Craig Capano....please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Robbie Fowler?

How does this image fit in with the suburban image of soccer in the USA?

Get your coke spoons out becuase it might get all 90's over here in the US of A. What's next, Oasis doing the theme song for the new Thursday night ESPN matches?


Reading between the lines: Toronto to sign Jacek Bak?

Bak headed to Canuckistan? Only Mo knows.

Chances are you have heard all of the noise about the absolutely phenomenal season ticket sales going on in Toronto. According to this TSN report the expansion club has sold over 10,000 season tickets with 3 months to go until the season kicks off. Hats off to TFC and the footie fans of Ontario.

But if you read between the lines gaffer Mo Johnston tips his hand as to one of his potential signings. The following line is telling:

"Johnston says his team is "comfortable all through the field" but hopes to sign a pair of internationals within the next 10 days: a "seasoned pro" who is captain of both his club and national side and a younger player."

I'll put $5 Canadian that it's Jacek Bak. As for the young player, Mo likes to go with what he knows so I hope BMO Field doesn't become the next landing spot for the disaster that is Peter Canero's career.

Pinch-hitting get well Bruce news

Like so many of you fanaticos I know that there is only one place to fuel my insatiable thirst for footy-related news. The Bill O'Rielly show. Psyche, it's the essential DuNord. No one else in America provides such thorough one-stop-shopping for the days soccer headlines as it's curator Bruce. Which one hand is brilliant, but on the other why hasn't anyone with any capital or vested interest in American soccer (US Soccer, MLS, SUM, Addidas, AEG, etc) realized that their are still gaping holes in the way information is disseminated amongst the soccer community. With all of the attention that has been thrust upon the game in this country in the past few days someone has got to realize that the culture can't rely on message boards and blogs to play the role of town crier if it is to be taken seriously as a "major" sport. But while the powers that be sleep, viva la blog!

Bruce has been out of commission for a few days after an operation, so on this MLK Day I am going to "big up" the man with this brief tribute news post. Nobody does it like Bruce so take my pale imitation for what it is...a get well card/homage to Bruce and a band-aid to those of you like myself who bleed a little when you don't get your DuNord fix. So let's get it on!

With yesterday's news of Real Madrid coach Fabio Capella benching David Beckham for the remainder of the season, it comes as no surprise that Becks legal team are working to negotiate a buyout that could see him in a Gals kit for opening day. How nuts would that be if there was actually a sellout, must-see event to open the season?

In other Brand Beckham news, the LA Times has a piece on the reactions of various coaches about his signing. Sir Bobby Robson of Newcastle shall heretofore be known as "Snobby Robson". But it's good to know that Becks gets the thumbs up from Rambo.

Steve Davis' latest for Soccernet shines a little light on what was easily the most overshadowed, uneventful draft in MLS history.

RSL says that even with Freddy Adu in his spot now Mehdi Ballouchy ain't going nowhere.

MLS finally announced the long-rumoured MLS-FMF tournament to be know as SuperLiga. With all of the games being held in the US and with this finally being an international club competition that occurs in-season (i.e. when MLS players are match-fit) it would seem that this is heavily weighted for MLS benefit. Not sure how I feel about it but if FSC shows it, or Direct Kick has it I am all for watching it.

The NY Daily News is the unlikely 1st legitimate news source to officially confirm that Claudio Reyna is coming to Red Bull New York.

Down in my home state of Texas (cowboy up!) Kick Off Soccer Magazine is taking it to the streets with their new 'zine. I love that they are getting punk rock with it in H-town.

Beckham question #2

Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star gets me thinking about this one. The soccer world already looks at America as some sort of backwater where your footballing dreams go to die, but imagine how bush league it's going to look when the British press show up to a LA-KC match at a 10,000 seat high school stadium (and you just know that they will)? The UK press will have a field day with the grand British tradition of building someone up and then tearing them down. And few have been built higher than David Beckham.

Sure, you can argue that big stars like Becks might play a few games during cup matches at small local grounds but those clubs aren't in the top flight. But you can hear the David Attenboro-style commentary now; "And this is what has become of the former England captain, plying his trade before a smattering of fans who wait on baited breath for one of his famous crosses between bites of nachos & hotdogs." Please dear God let the him not play in KC until they get a stadium built or someone make a deal with the Royals for a one-off match at Kauffman Stadium.


Official: Reyna to Red Bull New York

After months of speculation it looks like it's time to stock up on blue tights and a shield (what, too much?) because "Captain America" is coming home. Not only is Claudio coming to play in the US as a professional for the first time in his outstanding 12 year career, but the Jersey guy will keep it local and lace up for Red Bull New York.

Welcome home from the New York Daily News.

Personal information
Full name: Claudio Reyna
Date of birth: July 20, 1973 (age 33)
Place of birth: Livingston, NJ, United States
Height: 5'9
Position: Midfielder
Current club: Manchester City (pending official announcement from RBNY)
Number: 6
College career: University of Virginia 1991-1994

Professional clubs*
Club Years Apps (goals)
Bayer Leverkusen 1995-1997 28 (0)
VfL Wolfsburg 1997-1999 48 (6)
Rangers 1999-2001 64 (10)
Sunderland 2001-2003 28 (3)
Manchester City 2003-2007 76 (4)

National team**
United States 1994-2006 112 (8)

* Professional club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 2 January 2007.

** National team caps and goals correct

as of 21 June 2006.

New York Post goes tabloid, makes the Beckhams feel right at home.

"The Alien Bride" arrived at LAX yesterday. Paparazzi heads exploded.

From todays' New York Post

"Though the couple has not publicly mentioned the controversial religion, Posh reportedly has accepted church literature from her new friends.

And she is lined up to play an alien bride in "The Thetan," a Cruise-backed movie about an immortal spiritual being Scientologists believe is present in all humans."

No one would ever mistake the Post for a quality news source but even by their Gary Coleman-low standards this is just so.....well, British. I wonder if they'll add a "Page 3 girl" to complete their transformation into The Sun.

Read the entire piece after the jump but as much as I wish this were true I highly doubt it. Can you imagine the bat-shit craziness that would come out of Cruise's mouth while promoting a movie called "The Thetan"? Jesus! The really weird thing is that she would require minimal makeup to play the role.

New York Post's latest piece of garbage.


Beckham question #1

Just watched the Galaxy press conference and Alexi Lalas was mentioning things that the team has never had to think about before but now that David has arrived they will. The paparazzi was one example. But the one that got me thinking was security. Imagine someone as rich & famous as David Beckham going into Central America for a Concacaf Champions Cup match. As beautiful, and wonderful as the region is it a virtual kidnappers playground and security will certainly have to become as necessary as a training staff.

What affect do you think this sort of change in environment, and proceedure will have on the teams play this season?

We Major!

Not sure if it is unprecedented, but when was the last time you saw a full-page color ad in the New York Times for anything MLS-related? Also Soccernet has the real scoop on Becks salary, while not $250 million is still a wad of cash.

Just like Kanye said, "We Major".

Download: Kanye West "We Major"


1/11/07...A day that will live in infamy!

Wanna know why Becks is worth all that money AEG has thrown at him? Word is that Galaxy season ticket prices have gone up by $200 and that they have sold 1000 season ticket today. And tell me another player who could get the American public so hot & bothered that other clubs are selling heaps of season tickets on the back of his signing? When you see a press release stating that DC United sold over 200 season ticket this afternoon alone and that Toronto FC (who have yet to even play a game) have sold over 100 you know why. Not to mention that the merchandising arm of the league and the Galaxy are probably frothing at the mouth to get all of those Becks Real Madrid kits at your local Foot Locker replaced with yellow & green ones with the number 23 on them.

Also FC Dallas skipper Steve Morrow confirmed that he is pursuing Ducth star Edgar Davids (he of the flowing dreads and strap-on goggles) to BBC Five Live . Soccer 365 has a piece on it.

What a day, what a day.

Let the MLS media circus begin!

The MLS Superdraft is tommorrow and I would wager that the biggest news of the day will have nothing to do with some young draft pick. It'll be Commishioner Garber smiling like drunk in liquor store with a fistful of twenty's after announcing the news that God's gift to women and free kicks David Beckham has signed a 5-year deal with the LA Galaxy . But you can read about that pretty much anywhere today.

What you can't read anywhere else is that a little ESPN-colored bird tells me that Alecko Eskandarian may not see BMO Field in a Toronto FC jersey as a trade with Red Bull New York is being discussed. So right here and right now The Offiside Rules is going to start the FREE ALECKO movement to bring the Jersey boy home now!


Dempsey granted work permit

Everybody Dance Now!

Ain't dead yet; Checketts says the stadium is still alive but the site could be polluted

This shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. After yesterdays news that the Utah house speaker thinks the RSL stadium plan is as dead as Andrew Shue's career, team owner Dave Checkett's says that it is 90% done. And to take this plotline from soap opera to Al Gore-produced docudrama it now seems that the stadium site may be contaminated.

So the real question is does America need soccer stadiums bad enough to have players in hazmat suits? Personally I think that wouldn't look as bad as the Wizards in a 7/8ths empty Arrowhead or at their soon-to-be-named high school home.


DC sold, RSL's housing woes continue and Alexi Lalas is still Alexi Lalas

Well what has been a pretty slow moving offseason so far (with the exception of the Freddy trade) shifted a gear this week. DC United announced their long-overdue sale; let's just hope that they are in it for more than the real estate around the proposed stadium. Real Salt Lake's stadium plan seems to be going downhill fast. Let's hope that Checkett's & Co. can pull something out in the clutch and avoid another franchise relocation (or worse). What I would like to see more of is expansion a la Toronto; team announced well in advance, stadium deal done from the get-go and ready for opening at the start of the season.

Which leaves us with the Alexi Lalas show. It can't be said that the man doesn't give memorable qoutes. But what does it say about the state of the league that a GM is one of the most prominent personalities? I have to say that I do agree with him and that we do need more players dating models....I think most of the players would agree as well.


I just might have to get a Fulham tattoo

If they bag Dempsey AND Gooch you won't be able to tell me shit. Period. I won't listen to anything you have to say. I'll be like that hot deaf actress. What's her name, Marlee Matlin?