Here are some MLS-related stories making the rounds today:
D.C. United unveils Volkswagen as new shirt sponsor
After spending the first month of the new MLS season playing with a big empty space on the front of its jersey, D.C. United announced that Volkswagen’s logo will fill that space as the German automaker is set to pay more than $14 million over five years to be D.C. United’s sponsor.
Also, MLS announced that Volkswagen will be the official automotive partner of Major League Soccer, filling the void left by Honda, which ended its sponsorship of the league last summer after 12 years as a league sponsor.
D.C. United is set to unveil its new uniform on Thursday night when D.C. plays host to the Chicago Fire. For more photos and some video of the new uniforms you can find them on the D.C. United blog, Behind the Badge.
Pickens released by QPR
Matt Pickens first stint in European soccer has ended early. The former Chicago Fire goalkeeper has been released by Queens Park Rangers after spending the second half of the season with them. Pickens failed to make a first-team appearance with the club. His contract with the club expired at season’s end and QPR declined to re-sign him (so no, he wasn’t released in the classic American sense, his contract expired and QPR declined to offer him a new deal).
What will Pickens do now? A return to MLS is not in the cards and his status as an EU passport holder means he will be free to seek out a new job in Europe this summer.
Kreis cries foul over MLS officiating
Jason Kreis is mad as heck and he’s not going to take it anymore.
No, Kreis isn’t doing a remake of Network. He’s upset with the officiating in MLS and went on an extended rant about all the calls he feels unjustly went against Real Salt Lake.
The gist of Kreis’ rant? The refs in MLS are bad. No, really, they’re not that good. Glad Kreis let us know.
In all seriousness, ranting about how bad the refs are in MLS is a better way to go than the whole, "I smell a plot to keep RSL down" overtones in Kreis’ diatribe. That conspiracy must have kicked in after last year, when RSL benefited from some suspect calls that turned a 3-1 deficit in the 90th minute into a 3-3 tie against the Red Bulls almost exactly a year ago (it’s not like it wasn’t his first match as RSL head coach).
Bad calls happen, even moreso in MLS. They balance out over time. Save yourself the fine money next time (though I have a feeling RSL will be picking up the tab for Kreis’ rant.)
What do you think of the stories (and what do you think of those new D.C. uniforms)? Share your thoughts below.