Kick Off: Beckham celebrates his new Galaxy deal
The story of the offseason finally comes to a close: David Beckham stays.
So what do you do after penning a two-year deal worth a reported $15 million if you’re Beckham? Dinner with Bruce Arena and his coaching staff at CUT, a Wolfgang Puck steakhouse in Beverly Hills.
Beckham has a busy day ahead of him today with a live Google interview at noon ET in addition to participate in a hangout on his Google+ profile at 1:30 pm ET. Find out more here.
And looking even further ahead, the English icon will make a flashy appearance during the most American of events, the Super Bowl.
Listen to what ESPN’s Alexi Lalas told the BBC about Beckham’s decision to sign on. He was the GM who welcomed Beckham with the LA Galaxy back in 2007. (AUDIO)
In addition to the Beckham news, the other developing news story in the last 24 hours features a twist. Philadelphia Union striker Sébastien Le Toux is not a Bolton player just yet.
Although he begins training with Bolton today, Wanderers manager Owen Coyle indicated this morning that Le Toux is on trial: "We have received good reports about Sébastien, so we thought we would give him an opportunity to come into the group. He will train with us for a week and we will see where we are after that."
Speculation was rampant last night that perhaps the deal that would send New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream to the same English Premier League club may have hit a snag after a tweet from Ream’s wife citing “change of plans ... yet again.” But Coyle cleared things up today: “It is close but we need everything in place before we can announce it.”
If both transfers materialize, there is the possibility of three MLS players taking the field for the same EPL team. What’s interesting about that is Coyle having to defend these moves: “Ideally, you would love to have English players but you have to look to the market place to get the best you can. If that means going to the United States, that is what we will do.”
Italian daily Tuttosport claims that Juventus striker Luca Toni is entertaining an attractive offer from the Montreal Impact, which is competing with other Serie A deals at smaller clubs and a proposal from Brazil. Could this be the big-time striker Marsch’s club has been waiting for? (ITALIAN)
In other player transaction news, it’s being reported that US Olympic hopeful Gale Agbossoumonde has turned down an offer to join MLS after a few years playing overseas. Find out what his next step could be here.
Seattle Sounders camp opens today and if you’ve found it hard to keep track with all the players coming and going, here’s a complete recap including the latest teenage addition from abroad.
Sounders manager Sigi Schmid, who is entering Year 4 with the club, points out how his team wants to emulate the Galaxy: “It took LA three years to figure it out and win it, and they spent a lot more money on their team. It's a case of us being able to figure it out and do the same thing. I'm confident when we get to the [MLS Cup] final, we'll win.”
Another team opening camp today is the Columbus Crew. Here are some questions the Crew are facing heading into preseason. Columbus draftee Kirk Urso hopes he can answer some questions that still linger about him after an underwhelming Player Combine. “I don’t think he showed at the combine as well as he wishes,” manager Robert Warzycha says. "That’s probably why he fell in the order."
While other teams haven’t even started training camp, the Montreal Impact are already shifting their preseason to Guadalajara, Mexico, for the next 12 days. While there, newcomer Patrice Bernier hopes to continue to solidify his standing as a symbol of the club.
As far as the New York Red Bulls are concerned, their official training camp roster is reportedly expected later today. Meanwhile, there’s news out of France that the NYRB have offered ex-German international Michael Ballack a two-year deal beginning in June. (FRENCH)
At D.C. United practice yesterday, the theme was the number of holes that still need to be filled on the squad. It forced manager Ben Olsen to reassure the media: “Don’t worry, guys, we’re going to have a team.” The number of available players also stood out to newcomer Robbie Russell: “Until we fill out the locker room, we can’t really know what the team is going to be.”
Just a few weeks on the job, new Colorado Rapids manager Oscar Pareja has already participated in a fan Q&A during which one of the interesting nuggets was his plans to engage Arsenal, the English club which shares the Rapids’ same owner: “One of my firm objectives is to make that connection with them more real. And actually exercise it, where the coaches and players and the organizations actually get connected in a real way.”
Pareja is also working on bringing fellow Colombian Wilmer Cabrera, soon-to-be ex-US Under-17 coach, to his Rapids coaching staff.
Cal Poly defender Pat Sigler, who participated in the MLS Player Combine went undrafted in both the SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft. Now he’s pondering what to do about a pro career which seemed like a sure thing to him just days ago: “I’m pretty much surprised, shocked. I’m kind of blown away.”
Speaking of college players, new Toronto FC Academy director Thomas Rongen is looking forward to building a structure at TFC that challenges the college soccer status quo and he uses Montreal’s No. 1 overall pick as an example of why it will work: “Andrew Wenger went [three] years to Duke. No disrespect ... but Wenger was as good or even a little better when he went into college. He has matured maybe mentally ... but technically and tactically, I don’t think he has gotten a lot better.”
Meanwhile in Dallas, there is concern about whether 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira can return to his old form after the Colombian revealed his ankle injury required a second surgery.
Staying in Texas, talk of the NBA San Antonio Spurs ownership group getting involved in pro soccer at Alamo Stadium is now off the table following a decision by the San Antonio Independent School District. Does this mean the Spurs will now partner with the Scorpions? “That train left the station a long time ago,” says the Scorpions’ owner.
Beau Dure is reporting that magicJack owner Dan Borislow and the WPS are working together again after a deal reached between the two parties. He will have a team but won’t be part of the league, playing an exhibition schedule instead. “I won, the league won and my team won,” says Borislow. "The fourth win is actually the fans and soccer."
Soccer didn’t win when Real Madrid’s Pepe intentionally stomped on Lionel Messi’s hand in yesterday’s Real Madrid vs. Barcelona match for the Copa del Rey quarterfinals. Even Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney called Pepe an “idiot.” If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the play here.
Fans can get their soccer TV fix today with Inter Milan vs. Genoa in the Coppa Italia (3 pm ET, GolTV).
Lastly, we leave you with a sobering story from Mexico. Read the Twitter feed of Puebla’s American winger DaMarcus Beasley in which he details getting extorted by Mexican police who threatened to take his license unless he paid them with cash. He’s already forked over nearly a $1,000 based on incidents he describes.
What’s more, he’s had to defend himself for making it public: “So wat CAN I write about in mexico if I can't write bout my experiences?”
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