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shawn francis

30 January 2:29 pm

"Everything fits right, everything feels right. It's not too in your face. It's really kind of subtle but in a very good way."

-David Beckham, soccer & fashion icon

 

The underwear may not be in your face but the commercial is. Brace yourselves for some extreme, intimate close-ups.

30 January 1:22 pm

The list of players who have stood on both sides of the Los Angeles MLS divide looks set to add another name to its ranks. Former Galaxy man Peter Vagenas is in camp with The Goats and may be sporting red & white stripes come March. Now there may be a few Chivas USA fans who are less than thrilled about this prospect but he certainly wouldn't be the first guy to move across the hall at the Home Depot Center. Here's a list of the top 5 Gals gone Goat.

Juan Pablo Angel

After a slow start to the 2011 season with LA, Angel was dealt to Chivas USA to make room for the incoming Robbie Keane. The change of locker room worked wonders for the Colombian as JPA picked up a hefty 7 goals in 9 games to end the year on a high note.

Paulo Nagamura

Before he was picked up by Sporting Kansas City in December's year's Re-Entry Draft, Paulo Nagamura was on his second stint with Chivas USA after having began his professional career with LA in 2005. Over the years Nagamura shined for both sides of the SuperClasico amassing 99 appearances for Chivas USA while turning out 54 times for LA.

Ante Jazic

After spending nearly 10 years plying his trade in Russia, Croatia and Austria, the Canadian defender entered the world of Los Angeles soccer in 2006 with the Galaxy before a switch to Chivas USA in 2009. He is widely acknowledged to be the most-accomplished Ante to suit up for both sides ahead of former Goats & Galaxy player Ante Razov*.

Alejandro Moreno

The Venezuelan striker has played for more MLS sides than you can count on one hand while scoring exactly 50 goals along the way. His first club? The LA Galaxy. His current club? Chivas USA.

Robin Fraser

The current Chivas USA head coach never played for the Goats but he is a stone cold, old school Galaxy legend with 129 appearances from 1996-2000. He is also the first guy to have played for both teams and later became an MLS head coach.
 

*That's a joke. It's Monday, you'll need a bit of humor to get through today.

 

30 January 11:28 am

When was the last time you saw an MLS player --or recently departed MLS player-- get the bedroom rock tribute song treatment? Personally, I haven't seen an acoustic anthem like this since Evan Brown was with Seattle back on 2009.

It's indeed a rare a treat and high praise that my ego is quite jealous of. How come no one writes anthems for bloggers?

28 January 11:48 am

Maybe it's a tribute to soccer players-turned-NFL kickers like New Orleans Saints great Morton Andersen and placekicking innovator Pete Gogolak. Or perhaps it's due to some fever brought on by the impending arrival of the Super Bowl. Either way Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and trialist Andrew Weber have taken to kicking a pointyball in the Sounders practice facility this pre-season. They're not too bad but I'd be hesitant to say they're ready for a Lawrence Tynes moment just yet.

27 January 1:36 pm

Has there been a more compelling storyline in 2012 than the intrigue surrounding the Philadelphia Union forward corps?

When Peter Novak drafted UCLA striker Chandler Hoffman in the SuperDraft a lot of people either scratched their heads or surmised that Danny Mwanga was on his way out of Chester. But then Sebastien Le Toux turns up on TV one morning seated next to Tim Ream behind the Bolton bench and just like that opinion shifts to Le Toux being the one with his bags packed.

But like any good drama, take HBO's A Game of Thrones for instance, there has to be a plot twist to keep it interesting, keep everyone on their toes. Today we received two of them: Bolton boss Owen Coyle signaling the end of his interest in Le Toux and news that Mwanga is off on what seems like an oddly-late training stint with Aston Villa.

I love the intrigue, I really do, but what's really going on in PA? Is it that Philadelphia is no longer big enough for the two of them? Is there a tactical switch on the horizon that requires some personnel shuffling? Maybe Novak is ready to throw Hoffman into the deep end?

I can't say what's going on in the heads of the Union technical staff but that shouldn't stop you from taking a guess at what they're thinking; let us know your thoughts on Philly's Game of Forwards in the comments below. I'll go get the popcorn, let me know if anyone gets the Ned Stark treatment while I'm away.

 

27 January 9:16 am

The picture above is from the 2010 World Cup but it speaks to today's must-see TV event: the FA Cup face-off between Landon Donovan's Everton and Clint Dempsey's Fulham (FSC 3pm ET). And just to sweeten the pot, FSC will broadcast the match in HD with "Uncle" JP Dellacamera and Eric Wynalda on the call for this unmissable dual between these USMNT stars.

So if you haven't already called out to work today...DO. IT. NOW. Unless you work somewhere where they don't care or encourage you to watch soccer like the MLS Digital office or in a bar. Surprisingly, both have beer but I think MLSsoccer.com might actually have more flatscreens than a lot of places you go to watch soccer these days; 1-nil to MLSsoccer.com.

 

26 January 7:57 pm

This just goes to show you that, if the opposition can sell the alleged infraction, you will always get a card even if the referee is not watching.

26 January 2:17 pm

Now that Tim Ream has moved on it's a perfect time to look back at the day the unheralded St. Louis University defender came into the league. Check out this clip from the 2010 edition of Inside the SuperDraft and you'll see exactly what went on at New York's table on the draft floor: former RBNY assistant Richie Williams showing some hesitance to take Ream in the face of Sporting Director Erik Soler's confidence in his choice. Read into that what you will.

Also of note is Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes trying to pull one over Soler, a SuperDraft virgin in 2010, by offering to trade his 3rd pick straight up for Soler's 2nd round pick. Nice try at Pete. This is almost exactly like the time my older brother tried to trade me a nickel for a dime because it was "bigger."

26 January 12:38 pm

There are no vows being exchanged. There's no mutually-owned property. Hell, there's not even a joint vacation booked yet.

MLS and USL Pro's Orlando City certainly aren't in a relationship but they are definitely flirting. In the last few days it's been revealed that Don Garber will be meeting with supporters of "The Lions" in O-town in March, Real Salt Lake have signed Yordany Alvarez from the reigning USL Pro champs and, in a turnabout, Orlando have signed former New York Red Bull John "Lil Wayne" Rooney and striker Matt Luzunaris, who spent 2011 under the employ of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Should you read more into these developments than coincidence?

Probably not. Players move back and forth between the upper and lower tiers of soccer in every country regularly. As for the commissioner he's always game for a town hall meeting with supporters. Last year he did one further down the road in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

So am I saying that MLS will never come to Orlando? Of course not. But you know how it is; sometimes you just have to buy each other a few drinks and dance a little before you figure out if you're right for each other.