La finale Kansas City - Salt Lake est évidemment le sujet de discussion principal de notre émission de la semaine (à écouter ici) lors de laquelle on discute aussi du discours sur l’état de la Ligue – avec des débats sur les sujets les plus chauds – et on présente notre Onze idéal de la saison.
Qui gagnera la Coupe MLS ? En plus de nos pronostics, on compare Kansas City et Salt Lake ligne par ligne, on décrit les forces et faiblesses de chacun des protagonistes, l’animation du jeu préférée des deux équipes, on tente de prévoir le scénario de la rencontre, on évoque les points d’interrogations et les cartes cachées des deux équipes, on parle des deux entraîneurs, de leur état d’esprit et des choix qu’ils ont à faire.
Le discours sur l’état de la Ligue a mis en avant les points chauds concernant l’avenir de la MLS. D’où viendront les nouvelles équipes, qui sont les candidats et quelle est leur situation ? Calendrier : avantages théoriques et difficultés pratiques du passage de l’année scolaire à l’année civile. Comment s’assurer d’avoir un match phare à date fixe pour obtenir des droits TV plus rémunérateurs ? Formation : Don Garber a demandé à la NCAA de s’adapter.
L’émission se termine avec le dévoilement du Onze idéal de l’émission Coup Franc avec, eh oui, des arrières latéraux, mais aussi les choix des animateurs pour des catégories originales : « le secret le mieux gardé » et « le meilleur joueur sur Twitter ».
All soccer specific stadiums are beautiful. Even ones that have the camera on the wrong side.
Check out Louisville's planned soccer specific stadium here. It's pretty great - it really is.
The one issue is that, if the mock-ups are accurate, the camera will be pointing toward the "open" end instead of the filled grandstand. That's a shame, because it absolutely will take something away from the TV broadcast/online stream.
But hey, they're all beautiful. Even when the camera's fixed on the wrong part.
Well, at least they tried.
According to our man Darrell Lovell (go ahead and give him a follow on Twitter), the Dynamo made a legit offer to highly rated defender Sebastien Ibeagha. The Nigeria-born Ibeagha is a big, bounce target pushing up on set pieces, and has played primarily as a central defender for both Duke and the US U-20s.
CORRECTION: D.C. United has not yet clinched Carolina Challenge Cup championship. I apologize for the confusion. #MLS
— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) March 3, 2012
My take? You can't really blame the kid. The Dynamo are pretty set at center back, especially with the recent addition of Eric Brunner, and unless Ibeagha turned out to be even better than everyone thinks, he would have had trouble getting on the pitch. Weighed against a degree from one of the best schools in the country (and it absolutely turns my stomach to say that) and 20 more games in the best conference college soccer can offer (I'm retching) ... like I said, you can't really blame the kid.
EDIT: And as USL communications guru Nicholas Murray points out, the Carolina Dynamo will be very happy with this decision. Ibeagha was the PDL Defender of the Year this past summer, and the return to Duke means he's got one more summer of amateur ball in front of him.
There has been no one clearly dominant player in college soccer this year. There's actually been a bunch of them.
And after a somewhat (OK, mostly) laughable preseason Hermann Trophy watch list, the NSCAA got things largely right with their 15-strong roll call of semifinalists.
Of course, the two guys they missed — CSU Bakersfield's Gyasi Zardes and Indiana University's Eriq Zavaleta — are Nos. 1 and 3 on our Big Board, and both sure-fire pros as soon as they decide to put pen to paper. Zardes is an LA Galaxy Academy product who reportedly turned down a Homegrown contract last year, and led the Roadrunners with 15 goals and nine assists as a redshirt junior. Zavaleta, a true sophomore, has 17 goals and three assists, and has led the Hoosiers into the NCAA Tournament's final eight.
So yeah, a couple of big names missing from the list, which is below:
|Ashton Bennett||Sr.||F||Coastal Carolina|
|Mamadou Doudou Diouf||Jr.||F||UConn|
|Ryan Finley||Sr.||F||Notre Dame|
|Robbie Kristo||So.||F||St. Louis|
|Dillon Powers||Sr.||M||Notre Dame|
|Devon Sandoval||Sr.||F||New Mexico|
Note the number of seniors, which speaks well of the chances for a third consecutive strong SuperDraft. I can't pretend to have watched as much college soccer this year as guys like Daniel Robertson, who provides our MLS on Campus coverage, and Travis Clark, who does great work for TopDrawerSoccer.com, but I've seen my fair share, and most of these guys have a future. I particularly like Alvarez and Diouf, because I am a UConn homer, and Sandoval, because he will be the next Steven Lenhart. Seriously, you will either love or hate him.
Odds-on favorite at this point? Probably Notre Dame's Finley, who scored 21 goals and added four assists for the Fighting Irish. All as a sub, which either makes it way more impressive or way more confusing.
Notre Dame, by the way, lost to Indiana last weekend in the Round of 16. Zavaleta scored the game-winner.
Some things are better than trophies.
Look who it is, that’s right, it’s the expected No. 1 pick at this year's NFL Draft, Andrew Luck.
With the Indianapolis Colts stating on Tuesday that they will pick Luck to plug the mammoth gap left by Peyton Manning at quarterback, you can excuse Luck for being a little overwhelmed.
If he is, he’s not showing it. He spoke with Jimmy Conrad from Kick TV about the upcoming draft, Clint Dempsey, the Houston Dynamo and his general love for soccer. What a gentleman.
And don’t forget Luck’s father, Oliver, was president of the Dynamo from 2005 until 2007.
MLS is in his blood and it's obviously there to stay.