The Portland Timbers certainly haven’t stood pat this offseason.
General manager Gavin Wilkinson and first-year coach Caleb Porter have already injected steel into the side – acquiring MLS vets such as midfielder Will Johnson from Real Salt Lake, versatile defender Michael Harrington from Sporting KC and Jamaican striker Ryan Johnson from Toronto FC – and now they could be poised to add some much-needed creativity.
At only 26, Valeri is entering the prime of his career and would be a promising acquisition for a Timbers side in need of a bit more attacking oomph. It also helps he seems to be out of favor at his current club.
Valeri currently plays for Club Atlético Lanús in the Argentine Primera División, where he’s made 156 appearances since debuting in 2003 and captained the team in their 2011 Clausura runners-up campaign, but hasn’t seen much time since ex-Columbus Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto took over as manager. Of course, that’s where Portland come into play.
Should the Argentine make the move to the Pacific Northwest, the Timbers could have the type of creative midfield presence that would allow Darlington Nagbe to shift permanently to the withdrawn forward role many believe will bring out the best in Porter’s former Akron prodigy.
He’s no stranger to foreign adventures, either. In July 2009, Valeri was loaned to Portuguese champions Porto, where he played one season, then spent six months on loan with Spanish second-division side UD Almería.
What do you think? Is Valeri the answer in Portland? Will the Timbers’ offseason moves pay dividends in 2013?
With rumors flying about the possibility of Chelsea FC star Frank Lampard joining the LA Galaxy – when aren’t rumors flying around the Galaxy? – it’s no surprise that fans worldwide are anxiously waiting to see where one of the past decade’s top goal-scoring midfielders will end up.
On Thursday afternoon, it seemed like a done deal that Lamps was on his way out, according to a report on the Italian website Cittaceleste.it that quoted his agent, Steve Kutner, as saying: “As for the future, the only certainty is that he will change teams at the end of the season. Frank wants to play for a great side, capable of challenging for important targets and where he could win more trophies.”
But hold the horses. Kutner later went on BBC 5Live radio and denied he had done any interviews with the website. He said he hasn't "spoken to anybody about Lampard's future and hasn't given any interview about it," according to ESPN.com.
Still, the fact remains: It is common knowledge that Lampard is moving on at the end of the season. There are plenty of rumblings about offers from Lazio, Inter Milan and, of course, LA, with a reported $6.5 million-per-year contract from the MLS club.
That's all about his future. But there was also a brilliant rumbling on the internet on Thursday about his past.
Here’s a great video that recently surfaced from Lampard’s early days, showing then-West Ham manager Harry Redknapp adamantly defending his decision to offer Lampard a spot on the team. Of course, Hammers supporters still aren’t the English international’s biggest fans, but Redknapp turned out to be 100 percent correct about his young prodigy and nephew.
Reddit. All the cool kids are doing it. And that includes LA Galaxy defender Sean Franklin.
The veteran took an hour out of his day to answer questions on r/MLS, ranging from the best place to eat around Cal-State Northridge, to whether he'd rather fight 1 horse-sized Steven Lenhart or 1000 duck-sized Steven Lenharts, to how he feels about playing a part in David Beckham's last Galaxy game.
And here is the direct link to Sean's Q&A:
And, to pass the time until MLS Cup (Saturday, 4:30 pm ET; ESPN, Telefutura in the US, TSN and RDS in Canada), here are some past AMA's you might be interested in.
- MLSsoccer.com Editor-in-Chief Greg Lalas
- MLS Digital General Manager Chris Schlosser
- New England Revolution President Brian Bilello
- ESPN Analyst Alexi Lalas
- MLSsoccer.com Editor Matt Doyle
Attention all gamers: We've got another Tune-In Challenge coming your way during MLS Cup on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1:30 pm PT/4:30 pm ET on ESPN/TSN/RDS/TeleFutura.
Play along and you could win a sweet prize from MLS Gear. It's simple:
- Watch MLS Cup and follow @MLS on Twitter.
- Reply with the CORRECT answer to our match-related questions.
- The first 40 eligible replies will be entered into a drawing to win.
- Eligible tweets must include: #WatchMLSCup hashtag and the correct answer.
Winners will be selected on Dec. 1, 2012, and notified via DM.
You'll want to keep your computer or smartphone handy. Check out what these trivia masters won last year.
Official MLS Social Media Giveaway Rules
Employees, officers, directors, representatives and agents of any Major League Soccer LLC, its member teams, Soccer United Marketing, L.L.C. and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries & affiliated companies and their immediate families and those living in their same household, whether or not related, are not eligible for any @MLS giveaway. MLS will determine giveaway recipients in its sole and absolute discretion.
If you have received an @MLS giveaway in the last 30 days, you’re not eligible. If a giveaway recipient is determined to be ineligible, MLS may, in its sole and absolute discretion, not give away the goods or ticket(s) or may give the goods or ticket(s) to the next eligible follower.
You will be required to privately (through Twitter direct message or email) provide your name and address if you are selected as a giveaway recipient.
Contests, trivia and giveaways are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules or regulations. See applicable giveaway description for exact details of when and how to enter.
MLS reserves all rights.
One man after the 2012 MLS Cup crown this weekend will be Houston Dynamo goalkeeper, Tally Hall. But before stopping shots from the likes of Becks and Donovan, he'll took your hard-hitting questions in a live Google+Hangout.
Tune into MLS Cup on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 4:30PM ET on ESPN. http://www.mlssoccer.com/tv
Any soccer fan who tuned into ESPN's wildly popular College Gameday program this week found a familiar face serving as the celebrity guest on the panel: Landon Donovan.
The LA Galaxy star sat in for the show's traditional predictions segment at the end of the program - filmed Saturday morning on the campus at USC - and said that, among other things, he would have attended UCLA had he not signed for German club Bayer Leverkusen at age 16.
He also made a few surprising picks, including a turn against his Southern California roots by picking top-ranked Notre Dame over USC (he openly blamed teammate Mike Magee for that one) and No. 8 Stanford over No. 17 UCLA in games to be played on Saturday night.
— marcelo (@mars75dc) October 29, 2012
— Danny Ulloa (@dannyulloa15) October 25, 2012
— marcie amaro (@marcieamaro) October 30, 2012
— Derek Allen (@deesmateen) October 30, 2012
— James Carroll (@redsRobot) October 30, 2012
— Jason Furrer (@JasonFurrer) October 25, 2012
Leo the Lion with RSL logo silhouetted behind twitpic.com/b8nwot
— Silvia Smith (@rimando10) October 30, 2012
Here at MLSsoccer.com, we're always looking for new ways to cover the North American soccer scene. On Friday, we'll give a few fans the chance to help us out, when we send five "fan reporters" to New York Red Bulls training ahead of the club's important match on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park (1:30 pm ET, NBC).
They'll spend the day covering the club, interviewing the players, doing some video reports, and tweeting out everything they're doing. Training starts at 10 am ET.
We want you to follow along and give them feedback. Suggest questions they should ask. Let them know what you want to find out.
Here are their Twitter handles:
And use the dedicated hashtag:
We'll see how they all do.
Halloween is just around the corner.
MLSsoccer.com is holding an MLS Pumpkin Carving Contest that will run from Wednesday, Oct. 24 through Tuesday, Oct. 30.
To participate, submit an image of your best MLS or Club-themed pumpkins via Twitter.
To submit your MLS Pumpkin on Twitter:
Send a tweet that includes the following four elements:
- The link to an original photo of your carved pumpkin, available on public domain. (ex: Instagram, Twitpic, Yfrog, Photobucket, Flickr, etc.)
- A brief description of how the carved pumpkin is connected to MLS or an MLS club.
- The hashtag: #MLSPumpkin.
- Lastly, make sure your account is following @MLS.
The winner will be notified on Twitter by direct message from @MLS on Tuesday, Oct. 30 and announced on Halloween – Wednesday, Oct. 31.
Click here for full contest rules, and then submit your #MLSPumpkin today!
Now that was a night of soccer. The Western Conference playoff picture was solved in four quick hours on Sunday evening, and MLSsoccer.com editor in chief Greg Lalas and managing editor Jonah Freedman break it down in this Google+ Hangout.