Major League Soccer

Columbus Crew 2008 Season Preview

Columbus Crew

2007 Record: 9-11-10 (6th in East)

Coach: Sigi Schmid (3rd Year)

Key Players: Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Frankie Hejduk

Key Pickups: Brian Carroll (from San Jose), Andy Iro (Drafted 6th Overall)

Key Losses: Ned Gravaboy (to San Jose), Andy Herron (to Chicago Fire)

2008 Outlook: Average

Major League Soccer

Colorado Rapids 2008 Season Preview

Colorado Rapids

2007 Record: 9-13-8 (4th in West)

Coach: Fernando Clavijo (4th Year)

Key Players: Herculez Gomez, Jose Burciaga, Jr., Jovan Kirovski, Buono Coundoul

Key Pickups: Jose Burciaga, Jr. (from Kansas City)

Key Losses: None

2008 Outlook: Poor

The Rapids approach the 2008 MLS season desperate to give their fans something they have never been able to in the past: a championship. Despite being one of the founding teams in the MLS, the Rapids have never won the MLS Cup, the US Open Cup, or the Supporters’ Shield. In fact, the Rapids have not even made it to a finals since 1999.

News

CONCACAF Champions League Tournament Unveiled

CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) recently announced that they will be staging a new club championship that will take the place of the Champions Cup, which will see it’s last competition in 2008. The CONCACAF Champions League will be set up much like the Champions League in Europe. 24 club teams from all sectors of CONCACAF will participate in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The breakdown of the teams participating is:

• 4 teams from Mexico and the U.S.A. (MLS)
• 3 teams from the Caribbean
• 2 teams from Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras
• 1 team from Nicaragua, Canada, and Belize

Major League Soccer

D.C. United’s Extreme Makeover

While D.C. United had the best record in the MLS last season there have been major rule changes, along with D.C. United’s desire to become a younger team, that have allowed them to totally revamp their lineup. MLS made the recent decision to allow teams in the league to field as many foreign players that they could get slots for. Because of this many international players have signed, and will continue to sign, with MLS clubs. D.C. United has the best international scouting in the MLS and their recent acquisitions point to this fact. Last year they added Luciano and Fred to the squad and have recently added three more players to add to their stacked lineup.

Major League Soccer, News

D.C. United’s South American Revolution

2006 and 2007 Supporters’ Shield winner D.C. United has been busy making moves over the last week to ensure it can compete for a third straight trophy in 2008. After having two South American league MVPs in the last two seasons, United appears to be wisely continuing the trend of acquiring South American talent.

The Black and Red’s most interesting pickup is Marcelo Gallardo, a thirty-two year-old attacking midfielder. Gallardo, who played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups for Argentina, has been signed as MLS’ 6th Designated Player.

Major League Soccer

More Off-Season Moves in the Eastern Conference

Leading Career MLS Goal Scorer Re-Signs with D.C. United

The leading goal scorer in Major League Soccer, Jaime Moreno, re-signed recently with D.C. United. Moreno has been with United since the MLS was formed in 1996, except for a brief stint with the MetroStars in 2003. Moreno is a 34 year old forward from Bolivia who became the all-time leading goal scorer in August of 2007 scoring on a penalty kick against the New York Red Bulls for goal #109.

Major League Soccer

David Beckham – Over Hyped or Under Appreciated?

He is the most famous and richest footballer (soccer player) in the world. Off the soccer pitch there is no other soccer player who can compete with Beckham for endorsements, media attention and fanatical fans. But how does Becks stand up on the pitch to best soccer players in today’s game? Is Beckham’s success due to marketing hype or does he actually have some game?

Beckham was a product of the Manchester United youth system. He first came to the football public’s attention with a goal for Man Utd from the half way line in 1997.

Major League Soccer

LA Galaxy Going To Asia

LA Galaxy recently announced that they will play FC Seoul on March 1 before heading to Shanghai four days later as part of the club’s Asian tour. The Galaxy re looking to capitalize on David Beckham’s huge popularity in the Far East and are likely to add another Chinese date as well as games in Japan.

“FC Seoul will entertain LA Galaxy on March 1 at Seoul World Cup Stadium,” the Korean club announced on its homepage on Thursday.

The K-League team are expecting a full house to see the former England captain . LA Galaxy will then travel to Shanghai for a March 5 exhibition match against Chinese Division One club East Asia.

Major League Soccer

The Domino Effect

For weeks Eddie Johnson, the star of the Kansas City Wizards, was rumored to be moving to the English Premier League. The Wizards made a proactive move before the SuperDraft and sent defender Nick Garcia to the San Jose Earthquakes for the rights to the number one pick in the draft. The Wizards pulled the trigger on this deal before knowing if Johnson would leave or not. As it turned out, as was expected, Johnson was given a work permit for the United Kingdom so he could play for Fulham. Johnson signed a 3-½ year deal with the English club and will join 4 other Americans on the club, including goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

Major League Soccer

2008 Real Salt Lake Preseason Schedule

Pre-season training is right around the corner and Real Salt Lake has released it’s 2008 pre-season schedule.

Saturday, Jan. 26:
Players report to Salt Lake City for entrance physicals / fitness testing

Jan.27-29:
Training in Salt Lake City (sites/times TBA Thursday)

Jan. 30-Feb. 9:
Preseason Trip #1 to Oxnard/Ventura, Calif.
– Dates/sites of 2-3 scrimmages TBD

Feb. 10-13:
Training in Utah (sites/times TBD)

Feb. 14-23:
Preseason Trip #2 to Sunrise/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
– Dates/sites of 3 scrimmages TBD

Feb. 24-28:
Training in Utah (sites/times TBD)

Feb. 29-March 12:
Preseason Trip #3 to Rosario, Argentina
– Dates/times of 3 exhibitions TBD