Kick Off: MLS mulls Rivalry Week, Salgado's defense

The Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers took center stage at the 2011 SuperDraft on Thursday but they may very well be the focus of attention as part of a new schedule concept being investigated by MLS.

The Washington Post reports that Commissioner Don Garber discussed the possibility of Rivalry Week for the Pacific Northwest clubs, during which the head-to-head league matches between Portland, Vancouver and Seattle would be concentrated in a single week of the regular season schedule.

In the meantime the Northwest clubs still have fans talking about the picks they made in Thursday’s SuperDraft. The Whitecaps are convinced that No. 1 selection Omar Salgado is “the one guy that can be developed into a world-class striker.”

No. 2 pick Darlington Nagbe is expected to join Kenny Cooper in the Timbers’ attack and the wire agencies indicate that the Cooper move from 1860 Munich is definite.

Many believed that the Philadelphia Union would draft defenders but the club instead went with a goalkeeper at No. 5 and two attacking midfielders. The defender is likely coming from Colombia next week.

With their first pick of the SuperDraft, Toronto FC took Demetrius Omphroy, a skillful right back and a player with an inspiring story of his battle with multiple sclerosis.

The Seattle Sounders say their SuperDraft was a smashing success, with all five picks in their list of Top 25 players going into the event.

After the signings of Victor Estupiñan and Joao Plata from Liga de Quito in Ecuador, there could be more Ecuadorean names heading to MLS, including Edison Méndez. (SPANISH)

While Thursday’s SuperDraft was a big day for many college players, there was tragedy for another as Loyola Marymount mourns the loss of one of their defenders.

You wonder how Akron can continue to roll out the assembly line of talents? They have already locked up the captain of the USA Under-18 national team.

At the SuperDraft MLS Commissioner Don Garber addressed the league’s TV contract talks and also referred to Baltimore as a “very viable option” for a new DC United stadium.

The lead story in Argentina this morning is the return of former Columbus Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto to Gimnasia y Esgrima de la Plata, a club which he hopes to revive from tough times. His official presentation takes place today (SPANISH)

You can sense the frustration across the Atlantic at Tottenham, where Harry Redknapp says there has been no progress in the David Beckham saga.

One Spurs assistant is beginning to question the impact on the club’s locker room of Beckham’s potential signing.

Meanwhile, is another US national team player headed to the English Premier League? That’s according to a report regarding Jermaine Jones.

It should be no surprise that Robbie Findley ended up at Nottingham Forest in England. His coach there is the brother-in-law of Portland manager John Spencer.

While the SuperDraft unearthed its fair share of talented players, expect the same to occur with the start of the Copa Centroamericana – the Central American championship. The action begins today with a tripleheader on GolTV beginning at 5 p.m. ET: El Salvador vs. Nicaragua, Costa Rica vs. Honduras and Panama vs. Belize in matches that feature several MLS players.

In the lone German Bundesliga match of the day on ESPN Deportes, Bayer Leverkusen takes on leaders Borussia Dortmund (2:30 p.m. ET).

The international highlight from Thursday was Real Madrid’s 3-1 come from behind win over Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg. Watch the highlights here.

Back in the USA, the former World Cup ref caught carrying drugs at JFK airport in NYC has filed his plea in his court case.

Lastly, an idea for MLS clubs from Europe, where players are fined for being overweight after long layoffs. These weight guidelines have become part of the code of conduct for clubs in Germany, for example. (SPANISH).

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

The Dynamo claim that 2011 will go down as best draft in Houston history

Portland’s John Spencer calls Darlington Nagbe the best player in America

LA Galaxy’s Bruce Arena says his club will be patient with its SuperDraft players


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