Today is one of those days where you watch the clock and count the minutes until game-time, making almost everything else you do in that time just a tad bit more difficult to do.
It's okay, we are all in that boat. I am trying to finish up the Bext XI, Worst XI, Team of the Week this afternoon, but am having a hard time getting it done. I will knock it out before 2pm for those of you who haven't abandoned your computers for a watch party by then.
If you're struggling to get through the day, here are some news, notes and soccer thoughts for you:
The Seattle Sounders defeated the Colorado Rapids, 1-0, in U.S. Open Cup play-in action in Washington. The victory helped the Sounders join D.C. United, Columbus, Chicago, Houston, New England, Chivas USA and Kansas City in the full U.S. Open Cup field. Kevin Forrest scored the lone goal for Seattle. The schedule and opponents for the eight MLS teams should be released today.
Still no word on the New York Red Bulls' plans to sign Academy product Johnny Exantus, but there is at least one sign that seem to point to a signing being likely. The Red Bulls sponsored Exantus' P-1 Visa to return to the United States from France, a sponsorship that lasts five years. The Red Bulls also reached out to Exantus while he was in France on trial with FC Metz and asked him to come train with the Red Bulls. Whether he signs or not, Exantus could have a busy summer. Sources tell me that Exantus could be called into the Haitian national team for the Gold Cup.
Something that could stand in the way of New York signing Exantus is midfielder and fellow Red Bulls Academy product Dilly Duka. The highly-regarded U.S. Under-20 national team player impressed the Red Bulls during his training stint and a source close to Duka tells me that the former Rutgers standout is open to discussing signing a Generation adidas contract with the Red Bulls. It had been believed that Duka wouldn't sign any professional contracts until after the Under-20 World Cup in September/October.
San Jose has completed the signing of Trinidad & Tobago forward Cornell Glen. Call that signing the move of a desperate team (and a team actively trying to shake up its roster via trades). Those who remember Glen from his first stint in MLS will remember a fast but wildly inconsistent player who wasn't the best locker room personality (he played for four MLS teams in three seasons for a reason). Has the 29-year-old striker matured with age (and after having played in the 2006 World Cup)? That remains to be seen, but adding a player with a reputation as a bad locker room guy to a team struggling badly results could end badly.
The Earthquakes aren't the only team looking to make deals to shake up their roster. Real Salt Lake is also believed to be shopping around some of its veterans. RSL is in need of a striker and is believed to be shopping some of its defensive depth to make that happen.
Chris Rolfe's game-winning goal vs. New York bodes well for his chances to get more starts for the Chicago Fire, but it may not keep this from being Rolfe's final season in Chicago. Rolfe is in the last year of his MLS contract and has yet to sign a new deal. If he can't reach an agreement with Chicago, the Fire might have to consider dealing him or run the risk of losing him for nothing at the end of the year. The Fire may have no choice but to keep him and let him leave though because an MLS Cup is a real possibility with the current squad so dealing away one of its most accomplished goal-scorers wouldn't be the wistest move for 2009, even though it might help down the road.
The Los Angeles Galaxy's long-rumored interest in Trinidad & Tobago midfielder Chris Birchall has finally culminated in a deal being reached with the World Cup veteran. According to the Trinidad Express, Birchall has signed a new four-year deal with the Galaxy.