Kick Off: Revs ship Joseph to Chivas USA for Gavin
It's the end of an era in New England.
An early Wednesday morning tweet from agent Ron Waxman broke the news that Shalrie Joseph is on his way out and headed to Chivas USA. The two clubs later confirmed the deal, which also sees Blair Gavin move to Gillette Stadium (along with a second-round pick in the 2013 SuperDraft and an undisclosed amount of allocation money), and officially ends one of the most impressive runs for any MLS player with one team in league history.
Joseph, 34, is currently in his 10th season with the Revs, is a four-time Best XI selection and was one of three finalists for the league MVP award in 2009. Oh, and there's a delicious twist of fate: Look who is featured on the tickets for the New England-Chivas USA match later this month.
The big news from Tuesday night, meanwhile, was the first CONCACAF Champions League match for Real Salt Lake since their dramatic loss in the 2010-11 finals to Monterrey. But the match surprisingly didn’t fall RSL’s way on the road against Costa Rican club CS Herediano, thanks in part to a red card to Nat Borchers in the 58th minute for a challenge on Herediano goalscorer Elias Aguilar.
"I took a bad touch, hit him hard on the tackle," Borchers said after the 1-0 loss. "I don’t know. Maybe in another place, another time, I’d say yellow card if anything. It’s really, really harsh to get sent off for that." Check out the play in question by watching the full match highlights here. (VIDEO)
Toronto FC open tournament play with an easier draw at home on Wednesday, when they will take on Salvadoran side Club Deportivo Águila (8 pm ET, FOX Soccer). Head coach Paul Mariner might be relatively new to the tournament — this is his first shot as TFC’s new head coach — but he gets the basics: win at home. “It’s a question of us imposing our power and our system on the opposition,” Mariner said. “We won’t change our style [on Wednesday].”
The Reds also added some backup for goalkeeper Milos Kocic on Tuesday, signing Bermudan netminder Freddy Hall.
The talk of the town in New York soccer circles these days inevitably revolves around recent Red Bulls signing Tim Cahill, who made his debut with the club during a 2-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly on Tuesday night. The Australian international impressed in his first go-around, drawing a penalty kick in the early going.
So what does the Cahill addition mean for the Red Bulls and the rest of MLS? NBC Sports’ Steve Davis thinks it’s pretty clear: The Red Bulls roster is now the most talented we’ve ever seen in MLS.
There’s other news in Red Bulls camp as well, including the notion that recent signing Bill Gaudette could supplant rookie Ryan Meara as the No. 1 goalkeeper, and the signing of a new defender who joins up three years after he was drafted by the club.
On to San Jose, where the "Goonies Never Say Die" spirit was alive and well on Tuesday, even though the Earthquakes weren’t even suiting up in a league game. It was Stephen Lenhart with the honors once again, this time pouncing on a late equalizer in a draw against Barclays Premier League side Swansea City.
Up in Seattle, the buzz is all about new Designated Player Christian Tiffert, who worked out with the club for the first time on Tuesday. Tiffert said that, jet lag aside, he’s basically fit, as he went through most of preseason with his former team FC Kaiserslautern before making the move.
“He adds that vision, that ability to cross balls,” head coach Sigi Schmid said of his newest player. “Our big thing where we want to get better is to maintain possession in the opponent’s end of the field and keep pressure on the opponent. Obviously, if we can get a little better at making those final passes it makes us more dangerous.”
Here’s a Q&A with Tiffert, and the Seattle Times also has a verbatim recount of reporters’ questions for Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer, who stopped by practice on Tuesday and said that he doesn’t see any “massive DP changes coming” to MLS.
In Chicago, meanwhile, former Sounders DP Álvaro Fernández donned a Fire practice kit for the first time on Tuesday after he was shipped to the Windy City. Here’s the report.
Chad Barrett’s days in Los Angeles are over, as the 27-year-old striker trained with the Galaxy for the last time on Tuesday. As expected, the team has loaned him to Norwegian side Vålerenga, where Barrett hopes to make personal strides after he was deemed expendable by a top-heavy Galaxy lineup with Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Edson Buddle.
“It was something I needed to do for me personally,” Barrett said. “The guys who are playing, they're on fire here, but we're real deep at forward, and I kind of wanted to see what else was out there.”
The Galaxy are back in action in the Herbalife World Football Challenge on Thursday, when they’ll take on reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid. Portuguese defender Pepe met the LA media on Tuesday and promptly put to rest any concerns that the club will be without Xabi Alonso, who took a knock in the morning training session.
“It is normal that these things happen in a training session,” Pepe said. "There has been a test and he is already with the doctor, but I believe he will be in the afternoon session.”
There’s another friendly on Wednesday night, this one involving Sporting Kansas City and Stoke City at Livestrong Sporting Park (8:30 pm ET). Here’s a look at a Kansas City-area fan who will be rooting for the visitors on Wednesday, especially the club’s unique striker, Peter Crouch.
How about a different kind of summer challenge, this one via D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid? He’s in the middle of his first fast for Ramadan, the Muslim holiday that runs July 20 to Aug. 19. Turns out Hamid’s father, who is a local youth soccer coach, was actually hesitant when his son told him the news: “I advised him not to fast. I’m coaching on the field all day and I almost pass out. It’s hard for a player, but he wanted to do it.”
Off to Portland, where GM and interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson spoke to the media about the recent arrest of young DP José Adolfo Valencia in the Portland suburb of Beaverton on Monday night. "Obviously it's a headline right now," Wilkinson said. "But I think people are jumping to conclusions without knowing the full story."
Here’s a look at the details of the arrest, which indicates that a second Timbers player was also on the scene.
Let’s switch it up to the Olympics, where the US women’s team continued their march to a medal with a 1-0 win over North Korea in the final match of group play at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday.
Here’s some reaction from ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle, and some historical perspective of what the match at one of England’s most storied stadiums meant to the team, courtesy of Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.
On to some odds and ends from around the league, starting with an odd social media story out of Columbus. Looks like a couple of Crew players took to Twitter in the aftermath of their win over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday and fired back at an SKC fan who called out Chad Marshall’s sportsmanship.
David Beckham has reached 20,000 fans on Facebook, now trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi among athletes on the social media site. How do we know Beckham has reached the milestone? He took a picture and thanked his many fans.
Vancouver’s Jay DeMerit earned major kudos for his 90-minute effort during last week’s MLS All-Star Game, but how tough is he, really? Probably not as bad as Walter White, the star character of the AMC hit Breaking Bad, which appears to be DeMerit’s go-to show, according to this detailed All-Star blog.
Not often do we hear news about soccer in Guam, but here’s a headline for you: New England’s Ryan Guy has declared his international intentions.
Remember last month when new D.C. United part owner Jason Levien told the media he was going to use a machete to carve a path to a new stadium? That apparently wasn’t just rhetoric. The D.C. fans are taking him to task, even providing him with his very own … well, you get it.
And last but not least, you might recall the name Harper Gruzins, the 11-year-old who sang the national anthem at last weekend’s FC Dallas home game. The video of her performance went viral (hello, Good Morning America!), and here’s her explanation of just exactly went wrong. All is forgiven, Harper.
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