It was fun while it lasted.
Although D.C. United kept hope alive in their public statements after declining to exercise a hefty transfer option on Charlie Davies’ contract, the forward’s representative has told The Washington Post that “more than likely Charlie will not return to MLS” in 2012.
Although Davies may not be in the league in 2012, high-profile German midfielder Michael Ballack is surely interested when his current contract with Bayer Leverkusen expires at the end of the current European season.
His agent confirmed as much, while also revealing that Ballack will play for two more years: “With his body type, he's like an American quarterback. He is something definitely different from [Landon] Donovan or even [David] Beckham. Something the MLS hasn't had yet.”
The league hasn’t had a Montreal Impact jersey until last night. Club VP Richard Legendre was adamant about where it ranks among the other 18 kits in the league: “I can honestly say, it's the best-looking jersey in the league.”
At the event Impact owner and president Joey Saputo may have revealed the first player set to don the captain’s armband in the club’s MLS expansion season: “I'm not scooping you, but I wouldn't be surprised if Davy [Arnaud] becomes the Montreal Impact's first captain. He's that type of character.”
Here’s one reason why Arnaud probably has the inside track: He speaks French. Listen to him during this interview in which he also reveals he’s from an area in Texas that borders Cajun country along the Louisiana border. His mom, brother, sister and stepdad live in France. (AUDIO)
This is all you need to know about the budding rivalry between the Impact and Toronto FC as conveyed by a reporter who was at Thursday night’s jersey unveiling: “Impact fans boo any and every sight of Toronto FC in slide and video presentation at jersey launch.”
One piece of news to emerge from the event is that the Impact have reached out to Alessandro Del Piero but Montreal sporting director Nick De Santis says “His interest seemed to lean more toward New York and Los Angeles." (FRENCH)
In other player news for the Impact: This report says Montreal are looking to acquire Canadian Patrice Bernier, who plays in Denmark and the club is also holding on to the rights of Carolina RailHawks players Etienne Barbara and Brad Rusin. (FRENCH)
For Montreal fans who still hope to land Quebec native Andre Hainault of the Houston Dynamo. Beat writer Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle has these words for you: “It’s not going to happen. The Dynamo aren’t going to be held up by Montreal just because the Impact picked Brian Ching.”
In other Dynamo news, the club is close to announcing a 10-year naming rights deal for its new stadium which opens next year.
The MLS Cup finalists also came to a final deal with defender Bobby Boswell, who removed his name from the Re-Entry Draft list and took less money to stay in Houston and close to his one-year-old son: “Taking a little less money to be able to come out and do what I love is not that big of a deal to me," the Florida native said.
The MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy are in the Philippines for Saturday’s match against the Azkals and David Beckham took some time out to visit a UNICEF children’s shelter in a Manila suburb, where he spoke to several of the kids. It impacted him to see many of them were forced to grow up without parents: "So sad to see so many children that don't have that support, don't have that love," he said.
In transfer rumors involving MLS, Anton Hysen, who plays in the Swedish second division says he has a contract proposal from the Vancouver Whitecaps and Sportsbladet says he’s also talked to Sporting Kansas City. Hysen, son of former Liverpool legend Glen Hysen, made news a few months back for publicly revealing that he was gay. (SWEDISH)
Bermudan media outlets say that Reggie Lambe is about to sign a contract with Toronto FC after recently partaking in a trial with the Canadian club.
Another South American midfielder is reportedly on the verge of signing with the club down the hall from the Galaxy. Chivas USA manager Robin Fraser seems to have lined up Ecuadorean midfielder Oswaldo Minda of Deportivo Quito. (SPANISH)
We’ll see if 39-year-old former Brazilian star Rivaldo lands another team, after revealing that he still wants to play one more year. He has reportedly participated in his final practice session with São Paulo. (SPANISH)
Another Brazilian star, the one and only Pelé, drew the ire of legend Diego Maradona by stating that up-and-comer Neymar was better than Argentine Lionel Messi. "It seems Pelé took the wrong medication,'' Maradona said from the United Arab Emirates. "Instead of taking his night pill, he took the morning pill. … Next time he take the right pills before making any suggestions and that he should change his doctor.''
But maybe Maradona was right. About the player comparison, that is. Look how Neymar gets outclassed by this young Peruvian fan in this duel of soccer tricks. (VIDEO)
Another soccer legend, Michel Platini, admits he voted for Qatar during voting to determine World Cup hosts a year ago and today he says he would also support moving UEFA Champions League dates and any other European fixtures in order that the 2022 World Cup to be held in winter instead of summer.
Platini is expected to be front and center during the UEFA 2012 draw that takes place at noon ET (ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). In other televised action, USMNT fans can watch Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams as TSG Hoffenheim travel to Bayer Leverkusen (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes). Genoa also host AC Milan in a Friday Serie A match (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer).
The US Under-17 national team continue their series of friendlies in Florida as they take on Turkey (5 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer).
There’s also an NCAA women’s College Cup semifinal doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. ET with Florida State vs. Stanford (ESPNU) followed by Wake Forest vs. Duke.
Finally, courtesy of Soccer America, we tell you the story of the college team that was burglarized in San Antonio, Tex. for the NCAA Division III men’s semifinals. Ohio Wesleyan University players will look to forget the robbery when they face Montclair State on Friday. They practiced in borrowed cleats and two players “were crying because all their projects and work for finals next week were on their computers that were stolen.”
Arlo White talks to ExtraTime Radio about his move to NBC Sports
The Throw-In: Arsenal chief dismisses US fans’ Euro envy
Three For Thursday: Best-looking MLS kits since 1996
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