Forgive me for my tardiness today. I am still recovering from last night's assignment -- the worst performance by any team in any sport in any country since man and dinosaur roamed the plains together. How did two World Cup scribes, your grumpy Insider and the Post-Dispatch's Tom Timmermann, get stuck with this one? Stories here and here.
Let's move on. Please.
*After a seemingly endless process that included a rejection by Houston assistant John Spencer, Chicago appears set to finally name Denis Hamlett as its head coach. Hamlett has strong D.C. connections. As I recall, he played at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md. [CORRECTION: Einstein High in Kensington], and starred at George Mason University (Class of '92) in Fairfax.
*The MLS combine gets underway this weekend at Estadio Lockhart in Fort Lauderdale with dozens of players eager to show their skills in front of dozens of coaches, assistant coaches and GMs prior to the draft next Friday in Charm City. Ridge Mahoney at Soccer America has this to say about possible darkhorse candidates:
There's a sleeper of sorts in the 2008 adidas MLS Combine: forward Ricardo Pierre-Louis of Lee University, located in Cleveland, Tenn. He was named the 2007 NAIA National Player of the Year and played for Haiti last summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Our "player to watch" is a tricky forward out of Gonzaga: George Josten, a third-team NSCAA All-American named as the Men's National Scholar Athlete of the Year. With a 3.83 GPA in mechanical engineering, he probably doesn't need MLS, but he scored 34 goals at Gonzaga, which produced an all-time great late bloomer Brian Ching. Josten is not undersized, either, at 6-foot-1.
*I am hearing that the Colorado Rapids are close to bringing in an assistant coach with ties to English club Arsenal. As you know, the Rapids have a partnership with the Gunners and Colorado investor Stan Kroenke owns a portion of the Premiership club.
*I am still hearing rumblings that Carlos Ruiz is on his way out of Dallas and that a pre-draft trade might be in the works. The obvious destination is Los Angeles -- the Galaxy has cleared cap space with the Joe Cannon trade -- but perhaps he lands elsewhere. Just thinking out loud.....
*Remember this guy: Juergen Klinsmann? He and the USSF couldn't reach a deal, so he waited and waited and waited for the right opportunity...and apparently found it at Bayern Munich.
Lastly, a fun clip from the Independent Film Channel special (it will run again on Feb. 8 at 11 p.m.) on the incomparable Thierry Henry hosted by the incomparable Paz Vega:
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