20 March 3:38 pm

Bill Hamid is crushing it this week.

On Saturday, D.C. United's 22-year-old goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in a massive rivalry match at Red Bull Arena. 

On Monday, he was named MLS Player of the Week. He was also nominated twice for Save of the Week

Today, another honor: A place in the EA Sports FIFA 13 Ultimate Team of the Week, right alongside the likes of Eden Hazard, Rio Ferdinand and David Villa. 

What gets you on the team, you ask? Well, doing things like this surely can't hurt: 

Hamid becomes the third MLS player to earn a place in the team this year after Philadelphia Union centerback (We can call him that now, right?) Amobi Okugo grabbed a spot last week, just after Mike Magee was recognized the week prior. 

20 March 2:33 pm

Former Major League Soccer veteran Alejandro Moreno has officially joined the ESPN soccer family, and will work the US national team game as an analyst when the Americans take on Mexico next Tuesday night in Mexico City.

Moreno (above, with Chivas USA in 2012) will primarily serve as an analyst for Mexican national team and Liga MX matches on ESPN’s English networks, as well as a studio analyst for marquee events such as MLS Cup, Confederations Cup 2013 and other FIFA events.

“Alejandro has a remarkable knowledge of the game and the rare ability to communicate it with insight,” ESPN senior vice president and executive producer Jed Drake said in a statement. "His work for us so far has shown he will be a great addition to our talented and diverse analyst team."

Moreno’s relationship with ESPN dates back to 2011, when he was a guest studio analyst for the MLS Cup Playoffs while playing for Chivas USA.  He returned to the same role in 2012.

Moreno played for six different MLS teams before he retired after last season. He also earned 43 caps for the Venezuelan national team from 2004-11.

20 March 12:35 pm

Two of the brightest, boldest executives in MLS have earned places on Sports Business Journal's annual “Forty Under 40” list of top young personalities in the sports business world.


Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson and Sporting Kansas City part-owner Robb Heineman (right) have received the honor, a repeat feat for both men.

In fact, it's the third straight year Paulson has made the list, elevating him to the “Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame,” while Heineman (at right, with MLS Commissioner Don Garber) can savor a second consecutive nomination.

As part of the honor, SBJ profiled both executives, hailing Heineman's role in his club's renaissance over the past two years and his forward-leaning approach to technology and fan relations.

“Through social media, we’re trying to give fans a sense of ownership,” Heineman said. “They’re not just fans, but they help shape some of the decisions that we make.”

Meanwhile, Paulson spoke to the publication about his outspoken public profile and use of Twitter to connect with the public – and occasionally even share his opinions of refereeing decisions and the like.


“I’m trying to be a little bit less of the face of the team this season,” Paulson (right) told SBJ. “I don’t mind being out there, but if the owner is too much a part of the story of the team, that’s ultimately a negative thing.”

LA Galaxy and Chivas USA fans may be interested to note that Ray Elias, chief marketing officer for StubHub, who will assume naming rights for the Home Depot Center later this year, is also on the list

20 March 11:52 am

From the department of What Ever Happened To….

As rumored as long ago as January by some keen-eyed bloggers in Philadelphia, it looks like former Union head coach Peter Nowak (above) has landed a new job as the new technical adviser for the Kirkwood Soccer Club based in New Castle, Del.

Nowak, who was fired from the Union on June 13, 2012, will be running technical training sessions for the club beginning April 1, according to a recent announcement on Kirkwod’s Facebook page.

20 March 11:30 am

Surprenant deuxième du classement avec six points, Philadelphie compte en ses rangs le seul joueur de la compétition directement impliqué dans un but (en le marquant ou en donnant la dernière passe) lors de chacune des trois premières semaines de championnat : Sébastien Le Toux.

Malgré la défaite initiale contre Kansas City, l’attaquant français avait réussi son retour à PPL Park en inscrivant le premier but de la saison 2013. Depuis, il n’a plus trouvé le fond des filets mais a permis à Okugo d’ouvrir la marque à Colorado (vidéo ci-dessous) avant d’offrir ce week-end à McInerney le seul but du match contre New England.

Ses deux passes décisives sont venues de la même manière : un corner botté côté gauche vers le buteur posté au petit rectangle. Au cours des deux dernières saisons, il n’avait offert qu’un seul but sur corner, à Danny Mwanga lors de la plantureuse victoire 2-6 de Philadelphie à Toronto le 28 mai 2011 (source Vision du Jeu). Encore de la gauche, encore au petit rectangle… Pas étonnant que pour le moment, Philadelphie soit avec Columbus l’équipe la plus efficace sur corner.

L’an dernier au même stade de la compétition, on ne comptait également qu’un seul joueur impliqué dans au moins un but lors de chacune des trois premières semaines : Graham Zusi, qui entamait ainsi la meilleure saison de sa carrière. Tout Philadelphie espère évidemment que l’année 2013 de Sébastien Le Toux sera du même acabit.

20 March 10:23 am

D.C. United es el equipo más laureado en la Major League Soccer.

Además de cuatro títulos de la MLS, dos U.S. Open Cups, una Copa de Campeones de Concacaf y una Copa Interamericana, entre otros, D.C. ha sumado otro trofeo “igual” de prestigioso en sus vitrinas. (Nota: las comillas en la palabra igual representan las alas del personaje laureado)

Un canal de TV de Washington, D.C. invitó a las mascotas de los clubes deportivos locales a un torneo de baloncesto, en el cual solo puede haber un ganador. Lo anterior, en honor al March Madness, el campeonato universitario de baloncesto que se juega durante esta época en los Estados Unidos.

Talon, la mascota del D.C. United participó por sexta vez consecutiva en el campeonato y por primera vez se quedó con el trofeo del Mascot Madness. Talon derrotó con una canasta de tres puntos en la final al tricampeón defensor Screech, la mascota de los Washington Nationals de la Major League Baseball.

Sin lugar a dudas, y como observamos en el video inmediatamente anterior, su preparación fue la clave para obtener el tan anhelado trofeo, y aunque su oponente en la final le jugó sucio por momentos, los dos metros de largo (en las alas) de Talon vencieron en los dos minutos que duró el partido. Es de notar que Screech, quizás como burla hacia Talon, incluso utilizó sus pies en la final; pero el representante del United no cedió ante la presión, y a pesar de ser la mascota del equipo de fútbol profesional de la ciudad tan solo usó sus pies para elevarse y derrotar a su rival.

Talon no solo venció a Screech en la final, sino que para poder llegar al último partido del Mascot Madness, tuvo que sobreponerse a Mason y a Slapshot, las mascotas de la Universidad de George Mason y de los Washington Capitals de la NHL, respectivamente.

Para ver el partido completo en el que Talon venció a Screech, haga clic aquí.

D.C. United recibe en casa a Columbus Crew este sábado en el RFK Stadium, a partir de las 3:30 pm, hora del Este.

20 March 10:14 am

A quick hit from the world of one-time MLS Cup champions: Former Colorado Rapids head coach Gary Smith has been released by English League One side Stevenage after the club suffered their 14th defeat in the past 18 games on Tuesday night, 2-0 to Bury.

"After a very promising start with a new squad, we have slipped alarmingly and the board are concerned that the present management team may be unable to deliver the club's vision of increasing attendances and developing players in a winning environment," Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace told the club's web site. "We have waited longer than most others in similar circumstances, but we cannot in all good conscience continue to watch this downward spiral and do nothing."

Smith, 44, led the Rapids to their only league title in franchise history in 2010 before he and the club parted ways following the 2011 season. He joined Stevenage in January 2012.

19 March 6:40 pm

Say what you will about Carlos Bocanegra and whether he's the same player he was during the past two World Cups. But the dude is a professional.

It's been a tough week for the US national team captain, omitted from camp by Jurgen Klinsmann for a lack of minutes with Racing Santander and name-dropped repeatedly in the bombshell article by the Sporting News' Brian Straus as a flashpoint for what is reportedly a rift between squad and coach.

But on Tuesday, Bocanegra took the highest road possible on all the relevant social-networking venues. First, he penned a thoughtful, respectful few lines on his Facebook page:

"During the last 18 months, Jurgen has introduced a lot of new ideas to the team and has a vision of how he wants to grow the program," he wrote. "Every coach around the world has his own style and methods. He has always been up front with players about where they stand and where he sees them going.

"Not every player is going to be happy with all of the decisions and methods, but he will tell you to your face where you stand. From a coach, that is the best thing you could ask for. One of the greatest strengths of this team has always been our unity and spirit, and we all remain committed to the cause of qualifying for the World Cup."

Then, he added some thoughts on his Twitter account:

It's that kind of leadership that makes fans hope Boca is back in the picture soon.

19 March 6:30 pm

MLS Experts Jason Saghini and Andrew Wiebe will be back again on Thursday for another episode of “Starting Lineup,” our new MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager series dedicated strictly to helping you field your Best XI possible. So if you're having trouble figuring out who to start, who to pick up, who to drop or just a general question about the game let us know. We're here to talk fantasy soccer, that's it!

Post your questions in the comments section below or tweet them to @MLSFantasy, the offical MLS twitter account for everything FS:M related. And if for some reason you missed the second episode of Starting Lineup last week, check it out below.

19 March 11:48 am

La semaine des rivalités nous a offert un programme intense le week-end dernier, et c’est le sujet principal de notre émission hebdomadaire (à écouter ici) :
- On revient sur le match Montréal - Toronto, la manière dont l’Impact a gagné, l’importance de Bernier dans le jeu montréalais, l’apport des ailiers, le travail effectué à l’entraînement, l’ambiance au Stade olympique.
- Retour sur d’autres rencontres, principalement Dallas - Houston et Seattle - Portland.
- Après trois semaines de compétition, quel est le joueur désigné qui se distingue le plus et quel est le meilleur nouveau venu ?
- Les polémiques arbitrales de la semaine :

- La sélection américaine en vue de ses deux prochains matchs des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde
- Club de lecture : « La Balle au centre », les mémoires de Thierry Roland, commentateur mythique à la télévision française. Les animateurs de l’émission discutent de son style, de sa personnalité, de son franc-parler, de son image, de la Coupe du monde 1998, etc.

L'émission Coup Franc est disponible sur Stitcher et iTunes. Vous pouvez nous joindre par courriel (, sur Facebook ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).