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Monday Kickoff: Kinnear signs extension, Blazer bolts CONCACAF and more

Dom Kinnear (

Dom Kinnear has enjoyed one of the strongest coaching careers in MLS history, and the Houston Dynamo have assured that he will be sticking around for a while.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Dynamo have signed Kinnear to a three-year contract extension. Kinnear was set to enter 2012 in the final year of his contract before sealing a new contract.

Kinnear has led Houston to a pair of MLS Cup titles, and led the Dynamo to the 2011 MLS Cup Final, where they lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy. He will lead a Dynamo team in 2012 that will open its new home, BBVA Compass Stadium.

Here are some other stories to get your Monday going.


Chuck Blazer has finally CONCACAF, his resignation from his post as General Secretary taking effect on Sunday. Ted Howard has replaced Blazer on an interim basis.

Blazer's departure, which was originally announced in October, after 21 years with CONCACAF comes after the departure of former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, who was ousted amid corruption charges which were initially raised after Blazer blew the whistle on shady dealings by Warner.


Just last summer, it was unclear whether Robin van Persie would be an Arsenal player before the transfer window closed in September.  Now, it seems that the Dutch striker could be donning the London club's shirt for a little while yet.

Van Persie paid tribute to the immense support shown to him by Arsenal supporters, how much he loves living in London and how well his family has settled in the area.  

The forward is currently in the richest vein of form in his career.  His goal in the 1-0 win over QPR marked his 35th of the 2011 calendar year, eclipsing the record set by Arsenal legend — and soon-to-be teammate — Thierry Henry. 

Van Persie's contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and the Dutchman has insisted on setting aside talks until the end of the current campaign.

Here are some other stories to get your Monday off to the right start:


Chivas USA is still attempting to bolster its ranks with Ecuadorian midfielder, Miller Bolaños. 

According to a South American radio station, Bolaños will only play on a one-year loan spell with the Goats, though neither Chivas nor MLS has confirmed any deal.  

The 21-year-old central midfielder hails from LDU Quito, Ecuador's Serie A bigwigs, and will round out the signing of fellow countryman Oswaldo Minda.  Miller joins the already-deep midfield ranks of Robin Fraser, and questions will now be asked of where exactly Miller fits into the lineup.


Fueling the fire on a potential transfer, Porto's Hulk claimed today that he didn't think the club would get in the way of his exit, should the right offer come along.

With a link to Chelsea lingering in the background, Hulk went on to say that, if he did not leave Porto, there would be no feelings of regret on his side.

The Brazilian's contract runs until 2016 has a monstrous $129.5 million buy-out clause, ensuring that his services won't come on the cheap.

Chelsea are expected to be the front-runners for his signature, should he choose to leave, but Hulk has attracted the interest of club's across the globe in recent months. 


Just over a month after the loss of Gary Speed, former Everton and Liverpool defender, Gary Ablett, succumbed to cancer last night at 46 years old.

The British journeyman, who ended his playing career with the Long Island Rough Riders, had managed Stockport County in just the 2009-2010 season.

Similar to the aftermath of Speed's death, tributes have poured in from across the United Kingdom remembering Ablett.


Queens Park Rangers lands Federico Macheda on loan.

Swansea has signed Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson on loan from Hoffenhem.

Mexican midfielder Andres Guardado looks set for a move to Valencia.


Ablett leaves behind his wife, Jacqueline, and three children.


  1. I would actually like it if Ching retired because he’s breaking down and while reasonably productive when healthy is only good for maybe 15 games and 5 goals now. And yeah it would be lots of money to play with. But this is Kinnear you’re dealing with. I assume this will be like Watson and Oduro last year where we posture and delay and something gets done during training camp to bring him home. Because Kinnear is stubborn like a mule it won’t be right now.

    If Oduro wasn’t going to perform here, why did we sign him? You forget Kinnear had to re-sign him a couple weeks before he then shipped him out. How goofy is that? Then we ship him out for a concussed player who doesn’t see the field til August, and Oduro goes on to score 14 goals in all competitions, which undermines any claims he “wasn’t going to perform in Houston.” It certainly worked for the Fire. Goofy again. Two goofy Kinnear decisions. Plus Watson, Koke, Freeman, Garey, Graye, et al. Myth of infallibility = demonstrably false.

    Boswell got beat on the winner in the Cup. Hainault got shredded by Chivas and KC in the regular season. Both are slow as molasses and have kick me signs on their back for fast teams. If we want a title we can’t field the same team, and I think we need more athletes like Cameron and less stick figures like Hainault and Boswell. But stubborn Kinnear likes talk backs even if they are slow.

    In terms of who could be signed for the spot, Taylor can play there — and I think he is underrated. But the reality is that with hundreds of thousands freed by the re-entry draft and other moves, we could probably sign who we want, regardless of “price point.” Ironically, for your concern with defensive “price point,” Kinnear was more than willing to spend $100-200K on several center backs last year, including the awful Eddie Robinson. Meanwhile he spends $80K a piece on Garey and Carr and Bruin for the frontline. To then suggest defense is a price-shy area is misleading.

    It doesn’t matter if USMNT lacks a cap because the bigger concern is his tactical inflexibility and hit-and-miss scouting acumen. He would force the team into a soulless 442, continue to be slow to adjust to what happens in games (I mean, no tactical response to LA in the final?….he just rolls out the ball for the available talent, I’m sorry), and make Arena and Bradley (who themselves play a little favoritism) look like geniuses in terms of talent identification. Arena has won everywhere he’s gone. I’m not sure Kinnear will do the same anywhere but Houston in an older day of MLS when you could get away with Route 1. Soccer is moving towards Barcelona and he wants to play hoofball like it’s the SPL (ironically, he imposes a Scottish style on Houston when he never played a first team game there…..0 St. Johnstone appearances) or English Championship. Dinosaur IMO.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s an above average MLS coach who can impose a system, but the fact he’s not won since 1997, with the old SJ holdover team laden with Clark/ DeRo/ Holden/ Ching/ Davis/ Onstad…..should tell you something. Ever since then it’s either no playoffs or a loss to Arena’s LAG. But maybe Houston fans are content with second now.

  2. Congrats to Dom, much deserved. USMNT doesn’t have a salary cap so if he was to get it in the future i’m sure he would do fine.

    Oduro wasn’t going to perform in Houston, he needed a change of scenery and a chip on his shoulder (Dom gave him both).
    The back line came together very well towards the end of the season. I didn’t see anything wrong with keeping Boswell (by the way, we got him at a lower cost). Hainault is Good so i don’t even understand that complaint. Pls share your opinion on who was a free agent that we could get at a similar price point.

    Yes we need attacking options but with Ching out (or at least going to the FO). We have some money to play with. I don’t see us picking up anything in the off-season, we will have to wait til midseason. Hopefully it’s not another Bust.

  3. I do think it’s goofy they can’t make up their minds on the concept….Hispanic? Mexican (in the US?…..I mean, there are int’l player limits, and there’s just noooooo way you can replicate the strictly Mexican Chivas concept abroad……)? SoCal (I’d swear that was the new idea, then they passed on Benny)? Just another American MLS team with mere Mexican branding? And part of the problem is that they need to pick a concept and stick with it because every reboot — like TFC has experienced — slows the building process down again.

    Adu can’t even start for mediocre Philly. That was the right decision.

    But UCLA’s Benny Feilhaber? If you “don’t have the cap room” you make it, sorry. Head and shoulders above their midfield, perfect casting, and I think Benny would have flourished on grass in the neighborhood of the US practice fields.

  4. He might have the “idea” he is next in line but he doesn’t really have a bag of tactics (he has just one approach, even when Brad Davis went down), his 442 corner/deadball/boomball concept is even more stultifying than what some thought Bradley had, and ever since MLS got in the expansion business again he’s been unable to piece together teams that win hardware. His 2011 team was as bad out of the gate as it was effective late in the season, which had to do with all the poor signings he made, and the first player he ran out of town last year — Oduro, for missing a sitter opening day — scored 14 goals once dealt out of town. Carr had 2 goals in all competitions in exchange, and the Dynamo’s leading goalscorers were Boswell, Bruin, and Ching with 5 goals. If you look around the league he has populated all sorts of offenses with good players he felt were surplus: Wondo, Kamara, DeRo, Oduro, et al.

    And what’s worse, his response to LA slicing through his slow defense like warm butter was to retain both Boswell and Hainault. He has also fallen in love with the clumsy Ashe, and spent years experimenting with the CB Cameron playing out of position in the midfield, rather than simply sign an AM…..which we still haven’t done. He’s a media darling now for making the final but I think he rolls the ball out and stubbornly imposes a direct 442, and 2 out of the past 3 years Arena (who has won everywhere he goes… mike, I agree that winning in several different positions is a better sign of coach aptitude) has eaten his lunch in the playoffs, playing a similarly defensive style but while playing a more ground-based speed offense….more modern stuff.

    Seriously overrated.

  5. Good to see Chivas USA pass on Adu and Feilhaber, and let Braun go, to sign multiple no-names with Hispanic names. I see the “nationalism” from Chivas has been picked up by the LA club too.

    Good for Guardado BTW. Hopefully Dos Santos can get himself somewhere where he can show off his skills too.


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