Kick Off: Real Madrid's Casillas hints at future MLS move
Oh, you love silly season? Good to hear. But how do you feel about silly season 2018? And will the Kick Off finally be written by robots by then?
Here’s the scene. Iker Casillas really, really wants to join Major League Soccer. But he’s in a pinch. Does he join the LA Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls, or maybe the Seattle Sounders, who average more than 85,000 fans per game with Seattle Mayor Sigi Schmid watching in a suite from up on high?
It might just happen. The Real Madrid goalkeeper and 2010 World Cup winner told the Spanish press on Tuesday that MLS is on his radar somewhere down the line because … wait for it … he’d be interested in something a bit more relaxing later in his career. Just imagine what those robot critics would say!
"I would like to play out my soccer in the future in a more relaxed environment, and if I have to play somewhere else then it would be for a team that would not come into direct competition with Real Madrid,” Casillas told Spanish television's La Sexta. “For example, in the USA, which I love.
"I would like to retire with Madrid, but if the critics are fierce when I am 31, imagine what they will be like when I’m 37.”
Here’s another goalkeeper rumor, but proceed with caution. The Daily Mail is reporting that the Galaxy are after someone in the Tottenham ranks, but it’s not quite who US fans would love to see.
How about something a bit more concrete, and a little more immediate? With all the buzz around Chivas USA and José Luis Sánchez Solá potentially taking over in LA, it looks like the club has its first big player signing coming down the pike. Enter former Chivas de Guadalajara star Adolfo “Bofo” Bautista, who has been linked to a move stateside. [SPANISH]
“Yes, they have spoken with me,” Bautista said. “I already talked to people from the board and now just have to wait and see what happens.”
And here’s some more fuel for the fire at Chivas: This report indicates that the club could also wrangle up Morelia striker Miguel Sabah [SPANISH].
Perhaps the biggest offseason signing thus far went down on Tuesday, with the New England Revolution shipping World Cup veteran and one-time US wunderkind Benny Feilhaber to Sporting Kansas City for allocation money and two future draft picks.
MLSsoccer.com’s Armchair Analyst takes on the trade and explains why Feilhaber can potentially take over for Roger Espinoza in the SKC midfield, if the club loses its Honduran star.
One of the biggest offseason storylines thus far has been the plight of Real Salt Lake, who shipped three key players out via trade earlier this month to open up some cap space for 2013. But their biggest offseason target could be getting midfield playmaker Javier Morales back, and it appears the Argentine wants to return.
"There are some challenges to overcome yet but we appreciate all the effort and good faith from [Salt Lake GM Garth Lagerwey] in trying to find a good outcome for the two parties," says Alejandro Taraciuk, Morales’s agent. "And again, a happy outcome for Javi would be to stay in RSL for the next few years."
The Portland Timbers have been busy this month too, but here’s a move that most fans expected. The club has re-signed local hero Danny Mwanga for 2013, with an eye on seeing where the former Oregon State star fits into head coach Caleb Porter’s system.
How about another Italian pro suiting up for the Montreal Impact? It could happen. The latest rumor links Moroccan striker Oussama Essabr to a move to MLS after he came up through the Juventus youth system but struggled to catch on with the A-team. Here’s the report [ITALIAN].
Here’s a guy who’s lost a bit of his swagger in MLS, but his departure from the league to an NASL team is still making news this morning. Looks like former Red Bulls and Columbus Crew defender Carlos Mendes is on the move to the New York Cosmos, giving the potential MLS franchise its first actual, you know, player.
FC Dallas are still celebrating this week’s acquisition of former Atlético Madrid midfielder Peter Luccin, but will it really work? NBC Sports’ Steve Davis takes a look at what it means to sign a 33-year-old veteran to hold down your midfield.
Where will the next superstar in MLS come from? A number of teams appear to be doing their shopping in Central and South America, and the league is keen on lending a helping hand. Check out this report in The New York Times about the league’s attention shift to the south and how it’s helping catalogue games for teams to improve their scouting techniques.
Is it time to talk preseason yet? Guess so. The Philadelphia Union are making a stir this morning in Jacksonville, Fla., thanks to an announcement Tuesday that puts MLS on the map there for the next three seasons.
Speaking of stirs, the word is still about this morning about Rafa Márquez, despite rumors building that he will indeed join Mexican side León on a two-year deal. And who’s waiting for him down in Mexico? Don’t look now, but there’s been a sighting of perhaps the worst Designated Player in league history. [SPANISH]
And for cartoon lovers, we offer this on the latest Rafa rumors.
Two quick stadium bites for folks who like that kind of stuff. Here’s a glimpse of what a new soccer-specific stadium in Orlando might look like, and here’s what happens when construction crews get all medieval on the former home of the Houston Dynamo, Robertson Stadium.
And two brief notes about Americans abroad. Former New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream is eying more minutes in England with Bolton, and US national team captain Carlos Bocanegra is about to get a new head coach with Racing Santander in Spain.
And last but not least, a quick foray into the world of luxury real estate. The folks at Forbes are taking a look at the residents of Aspen’s Red Mountain in their latest issue, and they’ve got the lowdown on a certain MLS owner’s cushy digs, complete with a 1,600-bottle wine cellar.
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