Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Shortest-ever offseason squeezes MLS vacation time
by Ridge Mahoney, December 10th, 2012 3:56PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

If this is supposed to be the quiet period in MLS, I'm guessing a lot of teams never got the memo.

The league’s announcement of its earliest-ever starting date, March 2, for the 2013 season has accelerated the round-the-clock, round-the-calendar workload for coaches and staff members. “We’ll get some time off around Christmas and New Year’s,” laughs assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin, “and that’s about it.”

Chivas USA and Montreal and New York are looking for head coaches and those stories will reverberate through the cyberworld during the holiday season. The David Beckham Watch continues, as the loan rumors swirl around Robbie Keane and Thierry Henry and Andy Najar, who is reportedly in Belgium to go on loan with Anderlecht. A dozen players are training overseas to stay fit for the earliest start of preseason in league history: mid-January.

RSL has unloaded three starters in trades, a radical shift for a team that finished second in the Western Conference and is a consistent force. It has extracted a major player from each line: forward Fabian Espindola, midfielder Will Johnson, and defender Jamison Olave. It is conducting its annual player combine in Arizona this week as General Manager Garth Lagerwey and Coach Jason Kreis look to rebuild one of the league’s best teams.

MLS conducted Phase I of the Re-Entry Draft last Friday – one player taken, Whoo-hoo! -- and there are a few more days of negotiations and discussions and rumors prior to the fulfillment of Stage 2 this Friday. Maicon Santos raises the number of players taken in three Stage 1 drafts since their inception in 2010 to six.

One player who has elected to bypass the Re-Entry Draft is Mike Magee, a key factor in the Galaxy’s last two championship seasons – six postseason goals – who might have some value in the market at his 28. Gone are Beckham and Christian Wilhelmsson, and he’s out of contract, so he’s got leverage, right? He could roil the waters with demands for respect, as per a much bigger contract, but has taken a more sensible course. What’s to become of him with that mature attitude?

The Philadelphia Union has taken bold strides to shore up its spine by acquiring attacker Sebastien Le Toux and defender Jeff Parke. Both are good players with strong ties to the area: Le Toux delivered a 14-goal, 11-assist performance during the expansion year of 2010 before being traded to Vancouver and then New York, and Parke is a native son who played his college ball at Drexel.

It’s been more than a week since Landon Donovan lamented his burdensome life and talked about maybe doing this or perhaps not doing something else. Here’s hoping he can savor another league title – his fifth, by the way – along with the holiday cheer and ring in the New Year before he feels compelled to express more angst.

One of the league’s most successful teams, D.C. United, has ushered its longest-serving executive out the door. Former general manager and president Kevin Payne, synonymous with United from Day 1, has taken over in Toronto, which has dismissed more head coaches and lost more games than any other team in its first six years of operation, none of which have involved playoffs. Figure that one out.

For the past month or so, teams have been revealing their preseason plans and already there’s a pretty clear picture of when teams will arrive and depart for stints in Arizona and Florida, for example. It’s hard to believe that by the time pitchers and catchers report to their MLB teams most MLS teams will be two weeks into preseason, but I guess that’s just another sign that this persecuted, ridiculed league is starting to grow up.



1 comment
  1. Doug Martin
    commented on: December 11, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.
    "One of the league’s most successful teams, D.C. United, has ushered its longest-serving executive out the door. Former general manager and President Kevin Payne, synonymous with United from Day 1, has taken over in Toronto, which has dismissed more head coaches and lost more games than any other team in its first six years of operation, none of which have involved playoffs. Figure that one out." Toronto has new ownership, MLS is a single entity league, they are getting embarassed by the Cirque TFC, Payne moving in is attempt by the league to stabilize the franchise before someone twigs to the fact a NASL Blizzard Franchise would grab the hard core fans who want a team to love again, desperate times in Toronto.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
MLS's Best of July    
So much international soccer -- Gold Cup, Women's World Cup, prestigious club friendlies -- was played ...
We hand out our MLS Midseason Awards    
Can a newcomer win the MVP award? Is the defending Goalkeeper of the Year destined to ...
Soccer's scandals poison Gold Cup playing field    
As a child in the early 1960s, I was a college football fan, or as much ...
It's time to re-think the MLS All-Star Game    
As the league expands and teams sign more star players, limiting the MLS representation to just ...
USA gets reminder the red, white, and blue is not sacrosanct on Concacaf fields    
Defeat to Jamaica in the semifinals changes the U.S. landscape for the next few months. With ...
So you think you've been Concacafed?    
The Gold Cup is the tournament everyone loves to hate on, from the refereeing to the ...
USA has no one cut from Dempsey's mold -- thankfully, his exit is a ways off    
Before bagging a hat trick against Cuba, Clint Dempsey had scored three of the four U.S. ...
New MLS process twists its already labyrinth-like financial underpinnings    
In just over a week, two teams -- Portland and the Galaxy -- have announced deals ...
Galaxy breaks new ground with Dos Santos signing    
Is the signing of Giovani dos Santos another example of the rich getting richer in MLS, ...
FIFA hearing: Power, politics, the two-choice equation and why U.S. Soccer sells itself short    
According to U.S. Soccer's latest Form 990 return, secretary general Dan Flynn was its second highest-paid ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives