1
Apr

MLS teams take full advantage of April Fools’ Day

imageThe Rapids announced a spectacular return to their roots Tuesday (Image: Colorado Rapids)

It’s April 1st, so we all know to take every breaking news item with a huge grain of salt, right?

We certainly hope so, or there’s a good chance you were that person that frantically forwarded the following MLS stories along to friends and colleagues, along with an oblivious, “OMG! Have you seen THIS?”

Up first: Orlando City SC, who re-branded themselves the “Manatees” today:

#GoSeaCows, indeed. Who needs another sports team nicknamed “The Lions” anyways? Booooring.

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26
Mar

Vancouver Whitecaps lose player to ‘off-field walking accident’

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We’ve all been there.

You’re walking around downtown, without a care in the world, when something across the street grabs your attention.

Maybe it’s a cute girl, or boy. Maybe it’s a shiny new Ferrari (humans love shiny things), or a new frozen yogurt shoppe that just looks so appealing! Whatever it may be, you stare a little bit longer, when suddenly — BANG! — down you go. 

What the heck?! That bike rack came out nowhere!

It’s okay, we all eventually fall victim to the occasional walking hazard. Unfortunately, when you’re a professional athlete, the embarrassing mishap quickly goes viral. Sorry, Nigel Reo-Coker.

According to Major League Soccer’s official website, the Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder faces a short spell on the sidelines after what the league termed an “off-field walking accident.” The club confirmed that Reo-Coker was “looking elsewhere while walking when he tripped over a bike rack, cutting his face and hitting his head in the process.” According to the CBC, he also suffered a slight concussion.

Ouch. That sounds pretty rough, though not nearly as brutal as the roasting he’s sure to receive from his teammates. And from his coach, Carl Robinson, for that matter. “I don’t think he was looking where he was going, which is never a good sign for a midfield player,” Robinson deadpanned to reporters.

At least the former West Ham and Aston Villa player can take solace in this: as far as oddball injuries are concerned, it could have been a lot worse.

(H/T MLS)

Composite: USA Today/FOX Sports - Eddie Hon

16
Mar

NY Red Bulls have pro rock climber retrieve match ball from roof

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Bringing the match ball out to the pitch is a pretty boring affair, and the concept of a man parachuting in has been so overdone. But the New York Red Bulls managed to spice it up for their season opener against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

Acclaimed pro rock climber Sasha DiGiulian scaled the roof of Red Bull Arena to retrieve a match ball that was fixed to one of the rafters, more than one hundred feet off the ground. DiGiulian also unveiled the official Supporter’s Shield Banner from the edge of the roof.

DiGiulian than posted a sick time-lapse video of her climb to Instagram:

Image and H/T: Original Winger

27
Feb

NASL expands playoffs, aims to challenge MLS

By Leander Schaerlaeckens

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The North American Soccer League remains a work in progress. In its fourth season, kicking off on April 12, the continent’s other professional league will expand its playoffs from the one-off winner-takes-all Soccer Bowl to a four-team “Championship,” the league announced on Thursday.

Rather than pitting the Spring season champion directly against the Fall season champion, as it had in the past, those two title winners will now be joined by whatever other two teams hold the best overall records across the two periods. The champions will each host a semifinal in the post-season labeled “The Championship” – the champion with the best combined regular season record will play the qualifier with the lowest overall points. The top-seeded semifinals winner will then host the final, which will no longer go by Soccer Bowl, although the prize will still be called that.

The NASL, a “free-market league” – Commissioner Bill Peterson’s words – that gives its clubs almost total autonomy, sharply contrasted by the centralized Major League Soccer, envisions growing to 18 teams from its present footprint of 10. But it plans to keep the playoff format as laid out above. “When we look at where we’re going and what we want to be, one of the components of that final plan is the post-season tournament that we’re announcing today,” Peterson said in a conference call.

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21
Feb

Beckham plans Xavi move for Miami franchise

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David Beckham is already starting work in recruiting players good enough to compete in MLS. First on the list is Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who would be 37 years of age when Miami kicks off in 2017. Xavi has already expressed his desire to stay at Camp Nou but three years down the line and his body may not be up to the rigour of La Liga.

Sticking with the Barca theme we’ve also got the latest on Victor Valdes, whose proposed move to Monaco is on the verge of collapse. Where could he be heading? Click here to find out. 

16
Feb

Beckham wants CR7 Miami deal

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Following the confirmation of David Beckham’s new team in Miami, he pledged to bring some of the world’s best stars to USA’s east coast. Well, he could be starting to deliver on his promise already. In Sunday’s newspapers the former LA Galaxy midfielder has been linked with bringing Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to Miami. 

Other rumors in the tabloids focus on Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney signing a new contract and Robin van Persie potentially rejoining Arsenal.

For these rumors and the rest of Sunday’s transfer gossip, click here.

13
Feb

Sadly, David Beckham’s new team is not ‘The Miami Vice’

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Ever since David Beckham announced his intentions to bring pro soccer back to South Beach, the rumor mill has been in overdrive. And on Wednesday, nostalgists everywhere got a boost with the news that Crockett and Tubbs may be back to prowl the mean streets of Miami.

On Wednesday, the Palm Beach Post cited unnamed sources that said one of the names under consideration for the team was “Miami Vice FC.” They followed up by posting images purportedly used in the franchise’s presentations to city officials as they try to secure a stadium location.

But just as we were dusting off our white blazers and cueing up Jan Hammer’s iconic theme song, David Beckham’s publicist poured cold water on the whole thing:

Oliveira followed up by strenuously denying any such presentation existed at all. What a shame! Guess we’ll have to leave those loafers and pink v-necks in the back of the closet after all.

Click here for possible “Miami Vice FC” logos and uniforms.

H/T Palm Beach Post.

8
Feb

Julio Cesar considers MLS transfer

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Toronto FC look set to add another big name to their roster ahead of the new MLS season. Having captured USA star midfielder Michael Bradley and England striker Jermain Defoe, Toronto aim to seal a deal for Brazil keeper Julio Cesar. The Queens Park Rangers keeper is out of favor with the English Championship side and is looking for regular soccer in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup.

For this rumor and the rest of Saturday’s transfer gossip, click here.