Kick Off: With Eddie Johnson gone, what's next for the Seattle Sounders?
Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today
1. READY... STEADY... EDDIE
D.C. United completed the biggest move of the offseason so far when they acquired Eddie Johnson from the Seattle Sounders in exchange for allocation money on Tuesday. The US international striker, according to United GM Dave Kasper, will become a DP soon. “We’re committed to making Eddie a designated player. It will be a process.” While it seems Johnson has not parted company with the Seattle Sounders on good terms, with the loss of the striker the Sounders know they still have work to do on their squad.
2. PARTING IS SUCH SWEET MORROW
Toronto FC also made a move on Tuesday, picking up San Jose Earthquakes left back Justin Morrow. TFC GM Tim Bezbatchenko said, “Justin’s steady presence, versatility and MLS experience make him a great addition.” Meanwhile, TFC pulled out the big guns in their seemingly endless courting of England international Jermain Defoe: The rapper Drake reportedly called the player to give him a nudge.
3. MORE QUAKING IN SJ
For the Quakes, the Morrow trade was about the salary cap. But Quakes GM John Doyle has suggested that another player, one very closely linked to Morrow, is on his way out of Buck Shaw Stadium this offseason.
Wednesday will see the Stage 2 draft of the MLS Re-Entry Process and there are currently 48 players available for selection. The Stage 2 allows clubs to negotiate slightly more favorable terms with players and some of the notable players on the list include Dwayne De Rosario, David Ferreira, and Fabian Espindola.
5. FIRE PLAYERS
Two players who won’t be available in the second part of the Re-Entry Draft are the Chicago Fire’s Chris Rolfe and Logan Pause. The two players chose to opt out of the draft and have agreed tentative new deals with the Fire. Meanwhile, Fire boss Frank Yallop is enjoying having complete control at his new club but can’t wait to get out and do some coaching.
6. HORST TRADING
Another player who won’t be in the Re-Entry Draft is David Horst after the Portland Timbers traded the defender's rights to the Houston Dynamo. Horst, 28, spent the majority of 2013 out injured and the Timbers had announced that they would not be bringing the player back next season. However, with the Dynamo needing someone to replace Bobby Boswell, Horst could be in store for a much better 2014.
7. STADIUM NEWS
Down on South Beach, good news for David Beckham & Co. The Miami-Dade County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to start negotiations with the former LA Galaxy star over a site for a new soccer stadium. Up in DC, meanwhile, it seems that United will submit a stadium proposal to the DC council in time for Christmas. Meanwhile,
8. REACH FOR THE STARS
Despite Darren Mattocks's ill-advised comments on a Jamaican TV station, it seems the Vancouver Whitecaps have decided to let bygones be bygones. New Whitecaps boss Carl Robinson also seems keen to work with Mattocks and make him the player he believes he can be, stating “He wants to reach for the stars and I want to help him get to the stars.”
9. DALLAS, MONTREAL ON THE COACHING CAROUSEL
FC Dallas have apparently entered the final stages of their search for a new head coach and plan to make an announcement before the end of the week. FCD’s technical director Fernando Clavijo revealed: “We have interviewed all the people we wanted to and we have decided that there’s three finalists in this interview process.” Meanwhile, the uncertainty over Montreal's head coach continues.
10. MEN ON THE MOVE?
With the World Cup next summer, which US players should really start thinking about moves if they want to try and get on that plane? While the US and England have already committed to pre-tournament training camps in Miami, they could be joined by the reigning world champions as well.
11. BATTLING BACK
As Stuart Holden once again battles his way back from injury, the midfielder has returned to his club Bolton Wanderers. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing Holden on the pitch anytime soon as the player still has a long way to go. One player who can perhaps sympathise more than most is Canadian midfielder Josh Simpson, who continues his own rehabilitation.
12. BRADLEY’S LAST FAREWELL
Bob Bradley’s time in Egypt may be over now but before he left he did one final interview. Here, Bradley reflects on his experience in the country, one he overall describes as positive, but also talks about some of the things that went wrong.
13. CONTRACT LOCK DOWN
While few questioned Jurgen Klinsmann's receiving a four-year contract extension, there were some that questioned the timing. Yet when the Tottenham Hotspurs job became available and with Switzerland still looking for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s eventual replacement, the decision to tie Klinsmann down long term makes more and more sense. However, according to US Soccer President Sunil Gulati, warding off competitors was not the primary reason for the extension.
14. WILLIAMS’S WONDERS
Richie Williams has just guided his U-17 team to success in the international friendlies series, watching them secure impressive victories over Brazil and England. While the coach was full of praise for his side, what’s next for Williams? Despite being linked to MLS coaching roles, Williams says he'll “be here through the next cycle. my staff and I are enjoying it.” Williams also talks about learning from past failure and the necessity of the Bradenton residency program.
There were plenty of highlights in Brian Chings testimonial match, such as Landon Donovan playing in goal, but one of the best and most surreal moments had to be when Craig Waibel pulled a fan out of the crowd to take his place. Check out fake-Waibel’s one minute cameo.