There’s a lot that goes into being a captain, and each of the 19 in Major League Soccer approach it in a different way. From Shalrie Joseph’s ever-present chatter to Davy Arnaud’s work ethic, our new series “Taking the Lead” provides an in-depth look at what leadership means to those wearing the armband, as told in their own voices. The series debuts Wednesday, April 18 with Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman.
Let's play a game of "Name That Soccer Nation!"
- Yellow jerseys = ?
- Blue jerseys = ?
- Light-blue-and-white-striped jerseys = ?
You got them right, didn't you? Because Brazil, Italy, and Argentina have long-defined aesthetic identities. You turn on the TV and if one of them -- or Holland or Spain or Germany -- is playing, you can recognize them without even a second glance. In other words, you know what those jerseys stand for before you even hear who is wearing them.
Now think back over the past couple of decades of US jerseys. How many can you remember?
The denim kit, of course. Novelty is always easy. There was a sash or two, I think, but I'm not sure I remember the color of said sashes. Then there was that gun-metal gray thing that still makes me think the designer spilled mercury on his keyboard when he was typing in the CMYK code.
Anyway, on Monday, US Soccer revealed the latest new US national team jersey, as they do every two years or so. To be perfectly honest, I don't mind it. It's got decent colors, a little character, and with apologies to FC Dallas is relatively unique on the international stage.
But then again, I didn't mind any of the other ones.
And that's the point: None of them ever sticks around long enough for me to care one way or the other. Which seems to suggest that the US lacks a true identity. I guess that's part of what Jurgen Klinsmann talks about when he talks about "finding the American style" and all that other stuff. Maybe, just maybe, he'll convince the federaion that to truly ever define the American style of playing, it would be good once and for all to define the American style of dressing.
The first MLS international transfer window of the season closes on Monday night and reports have several MLS teams scrambling to make some late additions to their squads. The next international window opens in the summer.
Here's the rundown of the names in the news:
Kai Herdling: The Philadelphia Union are rumored to have worked out a loan deal for the 27-year-old Hoffenheim forward which could potentially run through December.
Luis Advincula: The Houston Dynamo are reportedly chasing this Sporting Cristal winger with paperwork already being exchanged, according to this article.
José Erick Correa: Chivas USA may be landing an in-form striker from Boyacá Chicó, who has six goals in league play and has been called up to the Colombian national team this week.
Andreas Dober: The Austrian right back is reportedly in Portland negotiating a move to MLS. He currently plays with TSV Hartberg, which has given him the all-clear to leave.
Wilmer Crisanto: The Honduran Olympic right back has been linked to FC Dallas and D.C. United. But his contract status with Honduran side Victoria is still unclear.
Arnold Peralta Another Under-23 Honduran player is rumored to be heading to D.C. United with a contract already on the table. This report has a rumored seven-month loan from Honduran club Vida with an option to buy.
Daniele Paponi: The Italian forward from Bologna was reportedly heading to the Chicago Fire on trial. The MLS club says that they have sought out information about Paponi but they say they've not been directly in contact with him.
Transfer rumors have always swirled around Seattle Sounders star Fredy Montero.
But the latest one is interesting based on the timing and the club names.
The Sounder At Heart blog unearthed a tweet by Henry "El Bocha" Jimenez, a high-profile Colombian reporter based in Bogota, who claimed that Montero is in the crosshairs of Dutch giants Ajax and English side Liverpool FC.
Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer has already gone on the record recently, telling Goal.com last month: "I think it's impossible to say no [to a big offer]."
Although he's created plenty of havoc, the 24-year-old Colombian has not registered a goal or assist thus far in 2012.
Freddy Montero(Sounders Seattle), en la mira de Liverpool y Ajax de Holanda.
— Henry Jiménez (@BochaJimenez) April 15, 2012
Les semaines se suivent et se ressemblent pour Kansas City, qui a encore gagné. Aurélien Collin a inscrit de la tête le but de la victoire contre Salt Lake, dans un sommet très défensif. Sur les neuf buts marqués par le leader, cinq l’ont été de la tête : 2012 vole haut pour le Sporting !
L’autre match très attendu de ce samedi a aussi tenu ses promesses, avec un 2-2 entre New York et San José. L’armada offensive locale a eu raison de la solide défense californienne mais Thierry Henry a reconnu qu’en deuxième mi-temps, les siens n’ont pas touché au ballon !
Seattle a retrouvé le chemin des filets et de la victoire : le but de Zach Scott contre Colorado, attendu depuis 306 minutes, permet aux hommes de Sigi Schmid de remonter au classement.
En queue de peloton, la solidité défensive retrouvée de Philadelphie combinée à un but de Gomez a permis à l’Union de remporter sa première victoire cette saison. Battu par Chivas USA, plus à l’aise loin de ses bases, Toronto reste calé avec zéro point.
Menant à Dallas grâce à Bernardo Corradi, qui a dédié son but à son ancien coéquipier Piermario Morosini, Montréal a raté le coche en s’inclinant en fin de match face à un adversaire peu convaincant. Le LA Galaxy a enfin renoué avec la victoire, battant Portland dans un duel des mal classés.
Philadelphie - Columbus
New England - DC United
Seattle - Colorado
Toronto - Chivas USA
New York - San José
Dallas - Montréal
Kansas City - Salt Lake
LA Galaxy - Portland
Chicago - Houston
Cliquez sur un résultat pour voir le résumé vidéo
When he wants to be, Bruce Arena is one of the best quotes in Major League Soccer. He’s seen it all and said it all by now, but he somehow continues to throw out one-liners with a snarl or a Cheshire Cat grin that are some of the best in the league, again and again.
But Arena might have missed some of his audience with his latest line, doled out on Friday ahead of the team’s matchup against the Portland Timbers at the Home Depot Center.
Of course the questions in Galaxy camp are in the “do-or-die” vein these days, with LA reeling a bit and stuck at the bottom of the Western Conference. So when reporters expectedly asked the requisite “panic button” question, Arena went the rarely taken “Bay of Pigs” route with his answer.
“It’s like the president who’s got the black bag close, if you’ve got to send off the missiles and stuff, we’ve got it ready in case we have to do it too,” Arena said. “It’s time for us to start winning, no question about it. Is it the panic button? No, but we’ve got to win games.”
Not a bad metaphor, right? Oh wait, you have no idea what the “black bag” is? You’re not alone.
Arena’s going a little bit old school on this one, calling out a somewhat dated reference to the “nuclear football” that’s been around since the Kennedy administration. That’s right: Arena just went all Cold War on you and you didn’t even know it.
The “black bag” is actually a 45-pound leather briefcase that follows the president around at all times, and it’s stocked with a classified nuclear war plan. It first appeared in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the government saw a need for the president to have nuclear decision-making tools at the ready, even when away from the White House.
The bag still follows the president around to this day (the instructions on how to use the football is still considered the ritual that symbolizes that change of power on a new president’s inauguration day), so Arena’s reference is a relevant one. But considering that the largest demographic of MLS fans is somewhere between 18 and 34 years old, there’s a huge chunk of folks who were born long after Kennedy stared down the Soviet Union, and most probably think the Cold War has something to do with Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.
So don’t blame Arena if you don’t know your history. Just be glad he didn’t compare Landon Donovan to the 1973 oil crisis.
This week, we see the antics of two Sporting Kansas City youngsters on the golf course, two ex-MLS stars share a curry in England and Timbers rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste shares his favorite movie quote.
So this is what Sporting's young strikers Soony Saad and Dominic Dwyer get up to in their spare time!? Will Tiger Woods start doing this soon?
big birdie putt, @SoonySaad checking his line haha #Clueless http://pic.twitter.com/UTQ9KlnG
— Dominic Dwyer (@Ddwyer14) April 11, 2012
US International Stuart Holden enjoys a "rubby murray" (slang for Indian food in England), with fellow US International Robbie Rogers and brother Euan Holden - who also plays professionally for Stockport County in England.
Knocked back a solid Indian for dinner with @EuanHolden and @robbierogers ! #spicy http://instagr.am/p/JSouFiLFo1/
— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) April 11, 2012
Many people complain about the view from their office window - too many pigeons, construction work, etc. But Real Salt Lake's captain Kyle Beckerman can have no such complaints about the view from his "office." Wow.
Soccer w/ view. http://instagr.am/p/JP_KBCwRdy/
— Kyle Beckerman (@KyleBeckerman) April 10, 2012
Portland Timbers rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste was drafted with the 8th overall pick this year. The former UCONN standout spends most of his time on Twitter. Here he shares a classic movie quote....well, sort of.
"Back up, put the gun down and get me some Tropical Fruit Bubblelicious.............................and some Skittles!" - Bad Boys
— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) April 10, 2012
Liverpool striker and Welsh legend Craig Bellamy has always been a colorful character. Leander Schaerlaecken is eagerly anticipating a possible move to MLS.
Does anybody else think it would be really fun to see Craig Bellamy playing in MLS?
— Leander Schaerlaecken (@LeanderESPN) April 11, 2012
If you see a soccer tweet that should be included in our top five, be sure to send it to the @MLS_Insider!
Chicago Fire front office extraordinaires Brendan Hannan and Jeff Crandall dared Chicago Fire forward Dominic Oduro to a race.
The fastest man in MLS was so confident he'd win the 40-yard dash, he put his salary on the line. See how it ended up below:
KickTV's Jimmy Conrad gives us his list of the Top 5 most underrated soccer players of all-time (watch the video below), which by the way also includes an MLS player.
It got us thinking: Most underrated MLS player today is ...?
Everyone is going to have an opinion, but we submit to you 10 names from the current league season. Your votes will decide who's most underrated.