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simon borg

20 November 3:47 pm

If European reports are to be believed, two La Liga clubs are chasing Defender of the Year finalist Víctor "Muma" Bernárdez.

"Bernárdez could be one of the targets of Espanyol to strengthen the team's defense during the winter transfer market," according to Fichajes.net.

"[Sevilla] has Víctor Bernárdez in its crosshairs," according to a separate report, citing a second La Liga club's interest.

It was announced on Monday that Bernárdez, a Honduran national team regular, finished second to Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler for the 2012 Defender of the Year award despite winning more votes than Besler from MLS team officials and players. His contract with the Quakes runs through 2014. 

13 November 5:14 pm

 

Fans of a potential expansion team in the New York borough of Queens received some interesting news on Tuesday, courtesy of the New York Post.

The mayor's office reportedly has a short list of priority projects, and the soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is among them.

That news comes on the heels of a survey that reveals that 71 percent of Queens residents support the stadium project. Last month, MLS officials discussed details of the plan for the first time.

Fans can get the latest news on the expansion bid by signing up at MLStoQueens.com and following @MLStoQueens on Twitter.

13 November 4:42 pm

"I woke up one morning in February and told my wife I wanted to start an MLS franchise."

Those are the words which led to the MLS version of the Seattle Sounders, who have a desperate fight on their hands to keep their 2012 playoff hopes alive on Sunday (9 pm ET, ESPN, TSN2/RDS2 in Canada).

The MLS Sounders turned five years old on Tuesday. On Nov. 13, 2007, a press conference was held to announce that the club would start play in 2009.

At that event, Commissioner Don Garber confessed that the club, which now holds every attendance record in league history was triggered by a cold call (read about it here).

The rest, as they say, is history.

12 November 4:47 pm

Does this even qualify as a rumor? It's not coming from The Sun or The Daily Mirror or some obscure web site out in Asia.

This is Didier Drogba himself talking.

Here's what Chelsea's 2011-12 UEFA Champions League hero tells SuperSport about his MLS plans.

“If I’m able to achieve my objectives at the end of my contract with Shanghai Shenhua in 2014, I’d love to attempt another adventure, maybe in the United States.

“I had some proposals last summer but they all looked like what I had in England. I wanted to move far way to another culture. I’ll be 37 then and I think I can still play because I’m always a young man in front of the ball,” he said.

Will an MLS club be willing to take a chance on a "young" Drogba at age 37? Why not?

12 November 4:23 pm

US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has never been shy to let his opinion be known on soccer matters.

While on a scouting trip in England ahead of the USA's Wednesday friendly in Russia, he stopped to visit with the BBC's Gary Lineker, who asked Klinsmann for his views on diving and technology in soccer (WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE).

Klinsmann has apparently given this more than some thought. Here's his plan:

"Use specific elements right away," Klinsmann said. "You have a fourth referee already out there. So if he has a a television screen, he can tell you like in American basketball or in football. Within 10 seconds he tells you if it was behind the line or it wasn't. It was a penalty or it wasn't. Give [the fourth official] the final shot real quick. They're connected with the ear phones already on the field. Give it a go.

"Give him the signal right away, the main ref, and he can make his call. I would use it."

The former Tottenham Hotspur star also provided Lineker some insight into what he believes to be his mission at the helm of the US national team.

"[Americans] are obviously looking for a national team that they can identify with and that maybe one day goes a little bit further in the World Cup," Klinsmann said. "That's the locomotive of the whole game in the country because their pride is huge when the national team plays. And that's kind of a little bit down to me to hopefully guide them to Brazil 2014 and do well there."

24 October 5:30 pm

This time, it's official.

Back in January, we first heard about the plans for a special edition of the Copa América to be held in the United States to celebrate the 100th anniversary of CONMEBOL. But on Wednesday, the South American governing body made it official with the backing of all its highest-ranking executives.

CONMEBOL held a five-hour meeting on Wednesday in Buenos Aires where the presidents of the 10 national soccer federations joined CONMEBOL's five-man executive committee to lay down the framework of what they call a "mega-tournament" named the Copa América Centenario.

The notes of Wednesday's meeting were published by CONMEBOL's official site and they reiterate some of the details that were previously rumored:

1) The tournament will be held in July of 2016;
2) A total of 16 countries will participate, including all 10 from CONMEBOL and six from CONCACAF;
3) The USA and Mexico are automatic entries into the tournament;
4) The remaining four CONCACAF countries will be determined based on their finish in the CONCACAF Gold Cup;
5) Colombian federation president Luis Bedoya and his Paraguayan counterpart Juan Ángel Napout were charged with setting up the commercial plans for the event;
6) Full Play, a soccer promoter which has been involved in organizing matches stateside in the past, will be involved in the organization;
7) Fox Sports and Rede Globo are contemplated to take the lead in the broadcasting of the tournament.

No other details were released about proposed sites or format. And no word yet from the US Soccer Federation or CONCACAF on the news released by CONMEBOL.

And finally, here is one other detail that emerged from the CONMEBOL summit that US fans will be interested in: Mexico and Japan will be invited to participated in the 44th edition of the Copa América that will be held in 2015 in Chile. No USMNT for that one.

24 October 3:40 pm

That moment in 2005 may never feel the same for LA Galaxy fans again.

Guillermo "El Pando" Ramírez was the Galaxy's hero in MLS Cup 2005, coming off the bench to score a dramatic golden-goal game-winner against the New England Revolution when he was the player least likely to find the back of the net at the time. (Relive the goal which ranked at No. 6 in the MLS Cup Top 50 moments.)

But six years after being smothered by his LA teammates after winning the cup, Pando is now covered in shame after FIFA on Wednesday banned him for life from the sport.

Pando is one of three Guatemalan national team players who saw their domestic ban in Guatemala extended worldwide after investigations into match-fixing surrounding three games in particular: a CONCACAF Champions League match with Municipal in 2010 and two Guatemalan national team matches (June 2011 and May 2012).

Well, he'll always have 2005.

MLS Cup Top 50: #6 Kung-Fu "Pando"

22 October 11:10 am

No joke.

Toronto FC is actually live streaming the tearing down of the BMO Field grass and the installation of the new surface. For some Toronto fans it's having a cathartic effect as you can read from one comment on the #TFCLive Twitter stream.

 

And don't worry. If you missed any part of today's proceedings, more grass growing tomorrow:

22 October 10:29 am

As we wait for more details from Chivas USA's new sole owners, Chivas Guadalajara's Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, here's something for Goats fans to get excited about.

In a video interview with Sports Business Journal, MLS Commissioner Don Garber makes mention of an "opportunity to build a stadium for them in downtown Los Angeles."

Garber says that Chivas USA is "a team we want to see rise up and create more excitement in the local market."

In addition to that news, there are plenty of nuggets for MLS fans to chew on, including expansion, a rivalry in New York, ownership in Columbus and the regular season Cascadia derby between Seattle and Portland that is "arguably the biggest and perhaps the most important event that we've had."

15 October 5:47 pm

The other day US women's national team forward Abby Wambach was apparently lavished with a Chipotle gold card, which guarantees her Chipotle burritos for life.

LISTEN: ExtraTime Radio on Wambach's Chipotle windfall

It's not the first for an American soccer star. Current ESPN analyst and US World Cup veteran Alexi Lalas received a 7-11 card in the aftermath of the '94 World Cup that gave him free Slurpees for life.

That got us thinking: Which food spot would you like a liftetime supply of, for free? Tell us in the comment section below.