Good morning folks. Apologies for the late posting but it was a late night for me here in Toronto. The MLS Player’s Party was a memorable event. David Beckham didn’t make it out to the party but Steve Nash helped fill the superstar quota.
There weren’t that many actual MLS all-stars at the party too long (they have a game today after all), but there were plenty of MLS players in attendance (including All-Star snub Gonzalo Segares, Chicago teammate Chris Rolfe and New England midfielder Jeff Larentowicz. And no Rolfe, wasn’t in town to complete a trade to Toronto to settle the Brian McBride allocation mess). There were plenty of MLS power brokers in attendence as well, including D.C. United’s Will Chang, Seattle’s Adrian Hanauer and Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman.
Tonight’s All-Star game is shaping up to be a pretty good event. I know I ripped the format, as well as the opponent, in the past but looking at West Ham’s roster and hearing the MLS players talk about how badly they want to win tells me we could be in for an entertaining match.
Now, onto some news and notes from here at All-Star week and from around the soccer world:
Here is a good story from MLSnet’s Dylan Butler on LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle. Does anyone find it ironic that two of the teams in MLS that are most in need of a forward (New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC) both got rid of Buddle two years ago?
Canadians awaiting an announcement on a second Canadian team in MLS are still waiting. There were rumors that MLS commish Don Garber would make that revelation on Wednesday at his state of the league address but that didn’t happen. I would say that I don’t see a second Canadian team for at least five years, and if it happens then it will be Montreal and not Vancouver. That’s just my opinion. You are free to disagree.
Real Salt Lake doesn’t have any players at the All-Star Game but RSL did get stronger this week by adding midfielder Robbie Russell.
One player RSL won’t be adding is Clint Mathis, who has departed for Europe to begin a trial with IK Start. Yes, that’s the same Norwegian second division club that employs former FC Dallas defender Clarence Goodson. I also hear that Mathis may not be the last American to join the Norwegian club, which is a favorite to earn promotion to the first division.
And here are some notes from outside MLS:
Tevez backs Ronaldo move
You can add Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez to the long list of people who believe Manchester United should allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Man U for Real Madrid. The Argentine striker stated that the club should let the Portuguese winger leave if his desire is to go to Spain. I have a feeling Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t going to be too happy, but Tevez doesn’t strike me as someone who is going to be afraid of the consequences of his words.
Bare set for $9 million move
Remember Gamba Osaka striker Bare (pronounced bahr-ay), the forward who absolutely torched MLS teams in the Pan Pacific Championships? He is set for a $9.2 million move from Gamba to UAE club Al Ahli.
The large transfer illustrates just what sort of competition MLS is dealing with on the international transfer market. Bare is hardly a marketing dream, just a goal-scoring machine. MLS would never pay close to that amount of money for a player like Bare, and will therefore lose out by a wide margin for lesser-known talents who could easily produce in MLS.
Liverpool signs PSG striker
Rafa Benitez continued his summer bargain shopping by adding young French striker David Ngog from Paris St. Germain for a $3 million fee. The 19-year-old striker managed just one goal for PSG last season and isn’t likely to be an instant impact player. His signing is unlikely to slow Liverpool’s hunt for Tottenham striker Robbie Keane.
So what do you think of Tevez speaking out? Are you disappointed not to see MLS land a player like Bare? Are you upset (or happy) that MLS isn’t adding a second Canadian team yet? Share your thoughts below.