Week in Review, March 14-18 2011

Good evening everyone, and happy MLS First Matchday Eve.  As promised, our week in review feature is shifting to Friday to cover the week’s news and items that flew under the radar.  As expected, most of these involve preparations for tomorrow’s matches.  Make sure you take our poll at the end of the post as well to let us know what match you are most excited to see this weekend.

  • The tragedy in Japan has encouraged some teams to raise much needed disaster relief funds during their first home matches.  D.C. United and Vancouver will both have Red Cross volunteers on hand before their matches to collect donations for Japan.  If your team is doing something in conjunction with the Red Cross or other relief organization, let us know in the comments section.
  • We shared that Portland is selling season tickets at a face pace, and it looks like attendance is rising throughout the league.  FC Dallas bloggers are reporting that the club is telling local media that they could sell out their home opener.  If this is true, it’s a victory for a team that could compete for a Supporters Shield but has always been a low draw.
  • On the international scene, Bob Bradley called up 24 players for the next two friendlies.  These players will be in camp beginning next week to prepare for Argentina a week from tomorrow.  Many of the big names will be there (Donovan, Howard, Dempsey) but Bob Bradley also called up a few players unknown to most American soccer fans – GK David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg), D Timothy Chandler (FC Nurnburg), and D Zak Whitbread (Norwich City).
  • The Americans’ opponent, Argentina, reported today that Lionel Messi is healthy and will be available to play on the 26th.  So good luck with that.
  • The Andy Najar story could be taking a decisive turn as rumors heat up that he will pledge to play for his country of birth and not his adopted country at the international level.  But, until he makes an announcement, we won’t know anything for sure.  A lot of pressure for such a young guy.
  • Spain v. USA this June at Gillette Stadium.  Excellent.
  • Sporting Kansas City is robbing the cradle and has hired 21 year-old Callum Williams as their play-by-play announcer for 2011.  What may be even odder for fans is that Williams is British.  But his sample is pretty good.
  • The much anticipated MLS Reserve League kicks off this Sunday.  Quite a win for the league.

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13 Responses to Week in Review, March 14-18 2011

  1. Dave C says:

    What does everyone make of this Chad Ochocinco story (having a trial with Sporting KC)? I’m surprised I haven’t seen any mention of it on this website. Sounds ridiculous to me.

    • Robert Hay says:

      Dave C –

      I can speak for myself on this one. I haven’t written on it because I hate the idea of the try-out overshadowing the first weekend of the season. I may write about it next week, but why give valuable space to that story when it should be given to REAL soccer.

      Like I said, just my opinion.

    • dan says:

      i love it! if he sucks then fine, if he is great then that is amazing press for MLS, if he plays of course. Any idea how many people would tune in just to see how he is in soccer.

    • Kevin Sutton says:

      Seems kind of cool to me if a popular athlete can convert his skills in one pro sport to another successfully. I’d expect it to be news… if he made the team and was at a professional level. Otherwise its just kind of neat.

      • Dave C says:

        I guess it’s KC’s call, but I think it hurts the credibility of the league to even give the guy a try-out. Isn’t he like 33 yrs old, and hasn’t played since high-school? I can’t imagine him even coming close to being pro-caliber. In fact I doubt he could even make the grade at any local rec league.

        On the plus side, if he does try-out and doesn’t make it, it will hopefully shut up all the idiots who say “oh if only our top athletes went into soccer, we would dominate the world cup”.

        • Charles says:

          I quit caring about the cred of the league. Makes it so much easier.

          IF 8-5 is good enough I hope he plays. Not like there aren’t examples all across US pro sports. It takes a truly special athlete to be able to do it. I don’t think Chad J will do it, but if someone does it is no different, it will take a VERY special athlete to do it.

          I also think this as much as a lot of things shows the insecurity of American soccer fans. If he makes it will be and should be talked about.

  2. dan says:


    I hope Johnny Evans gets his face broken! If you are watching Man Utd vs Bolton he just took out Holden with a very harsh challenge and HOlden was stretchered off

  3. short passes says:

    If Najar is smart he will stay clear of BB and US Soccer. He should look at the handling of Hispanic players and then run as fast as he can!!

  4. DomiNate says:

    Looking forward to seeing Vancouver play today. As a Sounder I shouldn’t say this, but Vancouver is a wonderful city and well worth the trip for those who haven’t been. I’d love to see them make the playoffs. Of course my opinion may change after we play them this season. Welcome to the league.

  5. Ian says:

    The photo of the Jabulani abomination gives me the creeps! MLS should sue Adidas for crimes against football for forcing on MLS the Jabulani piece of trash: the worst ball known to mankind! Why is MLS still playing with this disaster???

    • man oh man says:

      You might be the dumbest person in the history of the world. First, that’s not a Jabulani. The Jabulani doesn’t have the “figure 8” panels. Second, the Jabulani is not a bad ball. If you could explain why it’s bad, then I’d take those moronic criticisms point by point. Alas, you can’t, because you are a moron.

  6. Ian says:

    Have you played w/ a Jabulani? It’s the rubber ball that your parents would buy at a grocery store for a dollar. Did you see that ball fly all kinds of weird trajectories at the World Cup, as it was (is) impossible to control?
    Yes, Jabulani is an abomination! The ball pictured above appears to be the MLS version of the ball which Adidas has forced on the league due to contractual obligations. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Adidas should stick w/ a normal ball made up of 32 leather panels.
    And, yes, you know better than players from virtually all teams at the WC who basically declared Jabulani the worst ball in human history. Shushhhhh, Winston!

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