Weekend Updates: January 28-31, 2011

At the beginning of the year, I asked readers for feedback on different features they would like to see on the site, with the hope of giving some new content and new opportunities for discussion.  One new idea was to do a round-up feature that would capture the stuff that didn’t make it on to the site but is worth noting about MLS, the lower soccer divisions, the national team, and Americans abroad.  My goal is to do this post every Monday during the MLS offseason, and Fridays during the season to allow discussion on those stories that may have been missed during a busy time or just overshadowed.

Let me know if this is the kind of post you find useful, either in the comments or on Twitter (@roberthayjr).

  • The biggest news over the weekend was the divisional realignment in MLS for the 2011 season.  The Dynamo are packing up their bags and moving to the Eastern Conference to provide a perfect balance of nine teams in each division.  Houston is slightly more eastern than Dallas, hence the shift.
  • As expected, the U.S.-Egypt friendly was canceled.  The next United States friendly will be March 26 against Argentina.
  • D.C. United released a third kit for the first time in its history, and it puts the red in the Black and Red.  See the pictures here.
  • In other D.C. United news, Andy Najar was invited to join the Honduras U-20 squad, an invitation to which he has not responded.  Najar is one of those talented MLS players with dual nationality that Bob Bradley’s staff is wooing to play for the U.S., but Najar has not tipped his hand either way.
  • The Galaxy have signed 22 year old midfielder Miguel Lopez on loan for the 2011 season from Quilmes of Argentina’s Second Division.  He has been in the Argentina soccer system since age 10 and was a teammate of new Galaxy draftee Paolo Cardoza.
  • MLS has released its new budget and roster rules for the 2011 season, in response to the roster expansion to 30 players.  To be honest, it is so technical that I will leave it to the excellent Drew Epperley to explain them.
  • Portland looks to be about to sign Columbian striker Jorge Perlaza after a brief trial.  The 25 year-old speedster will be an excellent addition to a club that already looks like it will score a host of goals.
  • The international transfer window closed yesterday and there were a host of Americans on the move, most notably Jozy Altidore to Busapor and Michael Bradley to Aston Villa.  I plan on having a post with detailed thoughts on all American transfers up later today.

What else happened this weekend in American soccer?

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