Here are the latest happenings for Sunday, Jan. 24.
Drogba says he'll be back for 2016
Let's face it: This is one of the biggest stories of the season, regardless of club affiliation. The Montreal Impact with Didier Drogba were one of the best teams in the East, going 9-4-1 across all competitions, vanquishing rivals Toronto FC in the Knockout Round of the playoffs and then pushing Columbus Crew SC to the limit in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Imapct without Drogba? They were a middling team who struggled to stay above the red line for much of the season.
Well, it looks like Montreal fans can breathe easy. After an offseason rife with speculation that the superstar would retire to return to Chelsea in a coaching capacity, Drogba quashed those rumors by tweeting from his personal account that he's off to Qatar to do some preseason fitness work, while the Impact confirmed to several Canadian outlets that the forward would be joining the team in mid-February.
So... crisis averted in Quebec. Figuring out how to deal with King Didi is the new, weekly crisis for everybody else.
Shopping Spree Continues for FC Dallas
FCD have already had a busy winter, and it looks like that'll continue. Head coach Oscar Pareja both praised his team's raft of new signings and promised that at least one more will be on the way.
“We’re still looking for a forward,” Pareja said. “The message from ownership and the club and the technical direction and coaches is that we want to bring in the right one. We just want to be tactful on that, we want to make the right move, and the ownership is committed.”
Dallas brought in Maxi Urruti via the Re-Entry Draft in December, and also have Homegrown youngster and US U-20 international Coy Craft in the pipeline, while Canadian international and 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year Tesho Akindele is capable of making cameos at center forward.
But none of that group is able to do the type of hold-up work that made the departed Blas Perez so valuable.
Fire Announce Soccer Operations Staff
Nelson Rodriguez and Veljko Paunovic continue to staff up in Bridgeview, and on Sunday they named four coaches for 2016.
Two of them -- assistant Marko Mitrovic and goalkeeper coach Alexandar Saric -- were part of Paunovic's staff with the Serbian U-20 team that won the Youth World Cup last year, while strength & conditioning coach Jordan Webb is a former college soccer player who's worked with the Seattle Sounders, the USSF and Oklahoma City Thunder among others.
The lone holdover is Fire legend Logan Pause, who retains his place as a first-team assistant coach.
Man on a Mission
Charlie Davies earned himself a starting role for the New England Revolution for most of last season. He wants to build on that for 2016, and says he has a few new things motivating him.
“There are a lot of things fueling me, as always,” Davies said. “Mostly now it’s my twin boys that will be coming in the summer of 2016, and helping this team win an MLS Cup.”
Of course, there's also the prospect of a return to the US national team. Six years after a car accident that nearly claimed his life, Davies says he's better than ever and is waiting for the call.
“I would be lying if I said it’s something that doesn’t fuel me,” Davies said of a USMNT return. “Every camp that comes out you’re looking at the e-mails, hoping to get that one e-mail."