Here are the top 15 soccer stories we’re following today..
1. TFC WHEELS KEEP TURNING
While we wait for official word on the potential Michael Bradley transfer, it seems AS Roma have all but confirmed the move. While we await an announcement on this side of the pond, Toronto FC did actually sign two players on Thursday. First there was the official signing which ensures Dwayne De Rosario’s return. That was followed by the announcement the club had signed academy product Jordan Hamilton to a Homegrown contract. Plus, has the Canadian side found its USL PRO affiliate?
2. CHIVAS USA FIND THEIR MAN
The coaching carousel got a little smaller on Thursday with the news that Wilmer Cabrera will be taking over as head coach of Chivas USA. Cabrera, who most recently worked as Oscar Pareja’s assistant at the Colorado Rapids, knows he has a challenge ahead of him, saying, “I hope that this year the team can show that mindset and motivation in each and every of the 34 games we are going to play during the regular season.”
3. RAPID REINFORCEMENT
With the Colorado Rapids technical staff looking increasingly diminished, the club has brought in John Metgod as a consultant to work directly underneath technical director Paul Bravo. Speaking about the move, Rapids president Tim Hinchey was effusive: “There are few people with as much soccer experience as John, whether as a player, coach, or in spotting and developing talent.”
4. RESOLVING THE ISSUE
What is happening with Camilo Sanvezzo? Well, in the latest twist, it seems the Brazilian has decided to just continue training with the Mexican side he has supposedly joined. However, considering that the Vancouver Whitecaps insist Camilo is still under contract, that led head coach Carl Robinson to label the striker's behavior unprofessional, adding, “We’re working 24 hours a day to find a solution to this.”
5. WON’T BE RUSHED
Mike Petke spoke to the press on Thursday and addressed a couple of key issues facing the Red Bulls at the moment. On the subject of Robin Fraser, Petke says there has been no contact from either Jamaica or Colorado while, when it comes to any new signings, the New York Red Bulls head coach says the club is still working on some additions but, “We’re not rushing to judgement, rushing to pick someone up.”
6. JOINING THE CREW
It seems the Columbus Crew have settled on who will be joining Gregg Berhalter in the Columbus Crew coaching ranks. Robert Maaskant, who played with Berhalter in the Netherlands, looks set to become assistant coach while Pat Onstad is in line to become the club's new goalkeeper coach.
7. REAL SALT LAKE'S NEW HIRES
With his coaching staff all in place, Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerway has been breaking down what each new man brings to the team. Lagerway can also now look ahead to the club's next challenge, such as next week’s MLS SuperDraft. The RSL GM admits that, despite all the preparation in the world, the process can be something of a lucky dip. Recent evidence? The club has just waived former Generation adidas draftee Enzo Martinez.
8. CLASS IS IN SESSION
As Major League Soccer continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, it seems to have caught the attention of Inc. magazine, who have taken the time to talk to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and find out what he can teach us about successful rapid growth. A part of that continued growth will be securing a new TV deal, and it seems some details are starting to emerge.
9. DALLAS WIN THE LOTTERY
FC Dallas have acquired 21-year-old midfielder Brian “Cobi” Span after the club won a weighted lottery for the striker. With a 41.1 percent chance of securing the player, Dallas were always favorites but beat the Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes, New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake to the former University of Virginia player’s rights.
10. DAVIES IN, AGUDELO OUT?
After joining the New England Revolution on loan for the second half of last season, it seems that Charlie Davies will now be staying with his hometown club for the foreseeable future after the MLS side completed the signing of Davies on a permanent basis. With Davies in, does that mean Agudelo is out? According to one source, Stoke City might loan him to Belgium.
11. THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
The Seattle Sounders have signed another two players to Homegrown player contracts. It takes the number of hometown players in the squad to five and it’s a clear sign that the club's academy is working, as midfielder Aaron Kovar and forward Sean Okoli will both now look to emulate the success of DeAndre Yedlin. The club also confirmed on Thursday that Chad Barrett has signed a contract with the Sounders.
12. MAKING THE JUMP
The Chicago Fire have signed rising star Harrison Shipp to a Homegrown player contract. The Illinois native, who recently led Notre Dame to their first NCAA title, knows that MLS will present a tougher challenge than college but, as Fire head coach Frank Yallop explains, “H’s trained with the first team over the summer and we expect a smooth transition from the college game to the professional ranks."
13. TRAINING CAMPS AND QUESTIONS
It seems that England and the USA will not be playing a pre-World Cup friendly after all. While England plan to set up a training camp in Miami, US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has deemed the area “too humid” for a base. Meanwhile, in the current USMNT Camp, Brad Evans seems to have found himself in a strange position. Finally, Amobi Okugo has a theory as to why there are no Philadelphia Union players in the USMNT mix right now.
14. RAMOS TAKING IT ALL IN
While the senior US national team get down to business in California, the U-20s are currently gathered in Florida for their own January training camp. However, as Tab Ramos explains, with World Cup qualifying more than a year away, this camp is a bit different from Jurgen Klinsmann’s: ”It’s really just trying to get a overall feel for the talent of this age group.”
15. GOING ON DISPLAY
After a series of fine performances for English club Aston Villa, Brad Guzan is set to be immortalized forever by the club. A cast of the US international goalkeeper’s hands has been made and will now be displayed on tours at the clubs ground.
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