In his first season in MLS, Honduran international Victor Bernardez helped lead the San Jose Earthquakes to the Supporters Shield, and, on a personal level, he was named to the MLS Best XI.
Now, it looks like he might be doing things off the field to help the club. In this Q&A with Honduran side Diez.hn, Bernardez revealed that, at the request of the Quakes' technical staff, he has networked to try to bring two more Honduran internationals to San Jose.
"I played in the national team with them," Bernardez said. "The important thing is that they are good people. That's what the president of San Jose wants: harmony in the dressing room."
Bernardez cited sensitivities around the contract negotiations and declined to reveal the names of his two potential new teammates.
More and more Hondurans have joined MLS in recent years, including Houston's Boniek Garcia, New England's Jerry Bengtson, Colorado's Henry Thomas, and Seattle's Mario Martinez, among others.
This offseason has seen several of Martinez's 2012 Olympic teammates linked to MLS. Seattle have reportedly been chasing CD Victoria defender Wilmer Crisanto for a while, while Olimpia defender Johnny Leveron, Victoria defender Jose David Velasquez, and Olimpia attacking midfielder Alex "the Honduran Maradona" Lopez have popped up on various radars.
"I'm proud because managers are becoming interested in the quality of Honduran footballer," Bernardez said.
More than 1,700 miles separate Houston and Newton, Conn., but the Dynamo aren't concerned with distance as they do their part to support a grieving community in the wake of unimaginable tragedy.
On Friday, Houston announced they were partnering with the Quinnipiac University soccer program and the Connecticut Football Club to host "Soccer Night in Newtown" on Monday, January 7. Dynamo president and Guilford, Conn., native Chris Canetti is leading the charge, using his connections in his new home to provide a much-needed distraction for those affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"Soccer is a big part of the Newtown community, and we thought it would be a great idea to give the kids a chance to have some fun playing a game they love alongside some of America's top professional players and some of the area's top collegiate players," Canetti said in a statement. "I hope this event can be a diversion from some of the harsh realities facing their world and provide an opportunity to create positive lifelong memories."
Forward Brian Ching, midfielders Ricardo Clark and Brad Davis, defender Corey Ashe and goalkeeper Tally Hall will all make the trip to Newton to sign autographs and participate in soccer-themed activities at the free event. Houston also opened an auction to benefit the United Way's Sandy Hook School Support Fund, and prizes includes a trip for two to see the Dynamo play a 2013 home game at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston.
There isn't much to say other than 'Well done, Dynamo." At times like these, we're all in it together, and Houston's attitude toward tragedy is a lesson to us all.
The San Diego Sockers indoor soccer team made US sporting history recently by winning 43 consecutive games. Sounds pretty incredible, huh? Not everyone is impressed, though.
You may remember Peter Wilt, the first president and general manager of the Chicago Fire and a veteran of the indoor soccer world. Needless to say, Wilt doesn't seem particularly enamored with the Sockers' record, one he views as built on the back of subpar competition.
@FOXSoccer & the Globetrotters have won how many in a row? If SD Sockers would dare to play a real team in a real league, streak would end.
— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) December 22, 2012
San Diego plays in the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL), a competitor to the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), which plays underneath the USL banner. Perhaps someone can enlighten me when it comes to the differences in the comments section below.
I'm actually pretty familiar with the indoor game – my grandmother and aunt had season tickets to Wichita Wings games back in the day, and I actually took in a match between the recently revived Wings and the Kansas City Comets on Friday night – but I'm certainly no expert these days.
So could this record be bogus, a mark fueled by a sizable talent gap? Sure, but it's still impressive nonetheless. Even the best teams struggle to string together five wins in a row, let alone 43.
Bryan Meredith may have managed the Save of the Year in Seattle, but he was surplus to requirements once the season ended. According to Sigi Schmid and the Sounders staff, the 23-year-old needed a bit more seasoning between the pipes.
It was clear that wasn't going to come in Seattle, where Michael Gspurning is the unquestioned No. 1 and Marcus Hahnemann appears primed to return as the most-experienced No. 2 in MLS. And although he made 10 league starts in 2012, it looks like Meredith has already found a way to rack up the playing time he needs to continue developing, as the former Monmouth 'keeper joined Swedish second-division side IK Brage on the two-year deal.
"That was the biggest thing, the opportunity to get games," Meredith told the Kitsap Sun.
After some haggling in the press – read failure to budge by the Union – it appears a loan deal proposed by Santa Fe for the services of Carlos Valdes is finally kaput. That sound you hear is the collective sighs of relief emanating out of The City of Brotherly Love, as the Sons of Ben avoid the exit of one of the lynchpins of their team ahead of a promising 2013 campaign.
Except that might not be the end of it (key word: might). Now it seems Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman has taken it upon himself to recommend Valdes to an even bigger South American power – Boca Juniors.
Count me among those that take Pekerman's words as simple praise rather than a true indication of interest from the Argentine giants, but you never know. It could be an interesting few months in Philly as John Hackworth looks to keep hold of one of the league's top center back from a year ago.
MLS "haters" be forewarned: The latest edition of Jimmy Conrad's American Soccer Spectacular pulls no punches.
And if you love great goals, well, there's that too.
Happy Holidays from MLS and MLS W.O.R.K.S. - enjoy these charitable stories to get into the holiday spirit.
For more community news from around the League, visit the MLS W.O.R.K.S. news section.
Pour le dernier Coup Franc de 2012 (à écouter ici), nous vous avons préparé une émission spéciale de fin d’année (ou fin du monde, c’est selon). Plusieurs intervenants récurrents sont au rendez-vous : Frédéric Lord, Matthias Van Halst, Olivier Tremblay, Olivier Brett, Patrick Leduc et Patrice Bernier. Au programme :
- Quel avenir pour l’Impact de Montréal ? L’effectif actuel est-il suffisamment armé pour mieux se classer en 2013 ? Sinon, quels renforts recruter et à quels postes effectuer des changements ? Y a-t-il assez de joueurs de premier plan dans le noyau ? Quelle place pour les jeunes du club dans le groupe en 2013 ?
- On discute du futur entraîneur de Montréal. Martin Andermatt est-il un candidat sérieux ? Qu’ont à gagner des entraîneurs ayant son profil en venant en MLS ?
- Petit détour outre-Atlantique pour parler du club de l’année : le FC Barcelone. Faut-il l’imiter, et comment ? Est-ce possible avec moins d’argent ? Que vaut vraiment son école de jeunes ? Un entrejeu surpeuplé sans attaquant de pointe : une nouvelle norme ? Qu’est-ce qui est le plus impressionnant dans son jeu ? Combien de temps son hégémonie va-t-elle se poursuivre ?
- Nouvel opus du club de lecture. Olivier Tremblay a épluché « Nobody Ever Says Thank You », une biographie du très coloré Brian Clough signée Jonathan Wilson… et plus précise que l’autobiographie du principal intéressé.
Is it official, league office confirmation? No. But unless Walker Zimmerman's been badly misled, it looks like the 2013 MLS Generation adidas class has grown by one:
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
Zimmerman actually tweeted something to that effect last week as well, so he's a little gun-jumpy. Anyway, here's what our man Daniel Robertson says about him in his latest scouting report:
"Big center back, doesn't turn 20 until May and will need some apprenticeship, but his ceiling is higher than any other defender in the draft."
Consensus around the league has him going somewhere in the top five. If TFC hadn't just landed Gale Agbossoumonde, Zimmerman could have gone No. 3. And he still might.