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21 February 9:33 pm

March 11 can't come soon enough. Block out your schedule, take the day off, hire a sitter ... just do what you have to do to be in front of the TV at 3 pm ET.

You will not want to miss the debut of MLS on NBC.

21 February 11:09 am

There aren't many jobs in MLS, or for that matter in the professional soccer world in the United States and Canada. So, if you want one, you might as well give yourself the best chance possible by getting the training you need.

For salespeople, that means heading up to Blaine, Minnesota, to the MLS National Sales Center. Founded in 2011 to train salespeople specifically to succeed in the soccer industry, the NSC is like a front-office equivalent to the development academies each MLS club has established.

"We give a 'selling foundation' to aspiring salespeople that will effectively prepare them to sell for MLS clubs," says NSC founder Bryant Pfeiffer. "This is a big contributor to our desire to sell out every MLS stadium."

The NSC is currently looking for applicants for its next session, which begins in March. Trainees accepted into the program, which lasts up to four months, receive a stipend to help offset the coasts of room and board in Minnesota. There are also opportunities to earn commission while attending the program.

But it is the training and the door-opening opportunity that is most valuable. In addition to the real-life sales experience of selling for MLS clubs, trainees benefit from instructional feedback from audio and video analysis and innovative coaching from local improv theatre instructors. After each month, those who qualify are given the opportunity to apply their training through the selling of season, group and mini-plan ticket packages and are offered a job interview with participating MLS clubs.

Already, 60 NSC graduates have gone on to get jobs at MLS clubs.

"Our belief is that the graduates of the program can not only make a fast impact in growing the game," Pfeiffer says, "but also become dominant salespeople at the same time."

For more information or to apply go to www.mlsnationalsalescenter.com.

19 February 4:16 pm

In their final day in Florida, the Philadelphia Union held a light practice in front of about 100 fans. While there wasn't much action in the regeneration session, four Union players put on an odd feat of strength and coordination. We present the quad-push-up.

16 February 2:56 pm

¡Cuidado Galaxy! No eres el único club de Los Ángeles que sueña con tocar el cielo con las manos.

Al mejor estilo Hollywood, Chivas USA se vistió de pionero y presentó su nueva playera de manera muy particular: durante un vuelo de Volaris de Guadalajara a Los Ángeles el miércoles utilizando a Juan Pablo Ángel, Jorge “Sueño” Villafaña y Dan Kennedy como modelos, seguidos – por supuesto – de las siempre sonrientes ChivaGirls.

LEE EL ARTÍCULO AQUÍ

Contó Rodrigo Morales, Vice-presidente de Mercadeo del club, que la presentación además de ser muy unica fue también muy simbólica.

“El primer [símbolo] es que es un vuelo desde Guadalajara, donde nuestro club hermano fue fundado, a LA, donde queda nuestra casa. También, mantener a Chivas a esta altitud es importante porque si revelamos  nuestra  playera de este modo, entonces vamos a necesitar una temporada fantástica en 2012, estoy seguro que pasará”.

MIRA FOTOS AQUÍ

Este evento pone a Chivas USA – de temporadas débiles en años recientes – en la obligación de mostrar algo interesante esta campaña. La afición pide nuevas ambiciones por parte de los Rojiblancos y – siendo honestos – al menos uno de los dos equipos de Chivas tiene que hacer un buen trabajo… pero eso solo se hace con los pies sobre la tierra.

Una última cosa, y la pregunta de pronto sobra, pero ¿Si cambió la camiseta?

15 February 5:29 pm

Not everything we shoot gets edited. Last year we shot a few "Cribs" style features with rookies in MLS while on the road. We never found time to edit them together and these first year guys lost a great opportunity to shine off the field. With a bit of downtime in the lead up to the season and some un-cut content laying around we decided to give them their due and put the features together... albeit a bit late.  So here's the 1st of a couple "Rookie Livin" pieces that features Servando Carrasco, Josh ford, Michael Tetteh and their home in Seattle.

 

14 February 9:24 am

The Philadelphia Union -- in particular, manager Peter Nowak -- have taken a few hits this offseason. Understandly so, considering some of the messy player transactions, such as the sudden flight of goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon and the bizarre Sebastien Le Toux situation. I'm still not clear whether Le Toux was forced to go to Bolton or if he just failed and tried to pass the buck. Either way, he's with Vancouver now.

This all comes on the heels of a late overseas training stint for Danny Mwanga, Kyle Nakazawa's trade to LA, Veljko Paunovic's retirement, and the loss of Justin Mapp in the expansion draft. Plus, don't forget the explanations given by Nowak about Carlos Ruiz's transfer to Mexico. 

But there has to be a method to the madness, right? Nowak seems sure. He tweeted this out on Monday in response to a fan's question:

That response -- "Yes" -- is so perfect. So simple. So Nowakian.

Lest any of the second-guessers forget, Nowak and the Union are still on the correct trajectory for a club born just two years ago. That is, in Year 2, they improved over Year 1, and even made the playoffs.

So despite the departures and the confusing aftermaths, at some point, everyone needs to have a little faith and give Nowak the benefit of the doubt. After all, he's succeeded everywhere he's been. And so far, he's succeeding in Philly.

08 February 7:54 pm

 

En nuestra última edición del podcast Tiro Libre tuvimos el placer de platicar con el volante colombiano de San Jose Earthquakes Tressor Moreno, quien jugó para la selección Colombia como #10 entre el 2000 y 2008. El volante aseguró que aún espera con tener un llamado al seleccionado nacional y esto me puso a pensar: ¿será Tressor el mejor mediocampista colombiano que tiene la MLS actualmente?

ESCUCHA EL PODCAST TIRO LIBRE

Después miré los nombres y me di cuenta que la respuesta no tan simple. En 2011, Diego Chara brilló con los Portland Timbers y es el único jugador colombiano en la MLS en haber sido llamado a la selección de su país en los últimos años. Joven, fuerte y preciso. Puede que él sea el mejor...

Pero, ¿y David Ferreira?

El ‘torito’ de FC Dallas fue, indudablemente, el mejor jugador de la MLS en 2010. Una dura lesión lo marginó de las canchas en 2011, pero se espera que regrese este año. Seguro que este señor jugador tiene que ser el mejor… yo ya ni se. Eso sin contar la maestría del emblemático ex capitán del Millonarios Rafael Robayo (ahora con Chicago Fire) o el también seleccionado colombiano Jaime Castrillón, proveniente del Independiente Medellín (ahora con Colorado Rapids).

La pregunta es fácil, pero la respuesta no: ¿Quién creen que es el mejor actualmente? Al final de la temporada 2012 veremos si la mayoría tuvo la razón.

07 February 7:17 pm

 

Borrón y cuenta nueva.

Rafael Márquez lo dijo hace unas semanas: quiere dejar atrás un chocante 2011 para enfocarse en una buena temporada con los Red Bulls este año, y empezó con el pie derecho.

El Káiser salió como capitán en el primer juego de pretemporada de su equipo ante FC Dallas en Guadalajara, México. Los Red Bulls terminaron ganando el juego por 2-0 con goles por parte de la nueva adquisición Kenny Cooper y Corey Hertzog.

Mira más fotos AQUÍ

No existe mejor manera que comenzar el año que con un triunfo y para Márquez, en este caso, ese triunfo fue en casa. ¿Será esta la temporada donde Márquez se convertirá en el líder que todos esperamos que sea en la MLS?

06 February 3:31 pm

In honor of Paul Bravo’s new contract signing last week, I thought to dig up this gem from the archives.  Back in the day, I started as a PA that had to comb through Beta tapes logging highlights… and low lights.  This was one of my all-time favorites.  Enjoy!

(Note the classic MLS "Shot Clock" for the old school shoot outs in the background)

06 February 2:21 pm

This is the first post for the Out of Focus blog here on MLSsoccer. Many MLS fans know I spend a good deal of time arguing with my ExtraTime Radio cohort Simon Borg, but the rest of the time is spent working with a great group of videographers and editors who produce content for the site. (You’ll eventually meet them all on here.)

This blog is now our outlet… our way of taking you behind the camera and telling our stories as we journey around the continent covering the game we love. But it wouldn’t be a video department's blog without a play button, so you should expect to see videos on here more often than not. At times we may ask for feedback on content ideas or players/teams/events you’d like to see featured, but we’ll also entertain you with clips that may not be the right fit for the main site.

Bloopers, outtakes, off-the-cuff debates, classic video that we turn up and anything else we think will amuse you will be found in Out of Focus. I hope you all enjoy it. For now, I’ll leave you with some outtakes from last week’s Daily