Mayor Fenty is so enamored with D.C. United and its Poplar Point stadium proposal, he has declared today Marcelo Gallardo Day in the District of Columbia.
Admit it, you fell for it! Just for a second? No? Really? Okay, never mind.
In United's world, it is, indeed, Gallardo day as the club formally introduces the Argentine midfielder as its first designated player. True, his arrival to United had been anticipated for weeks and he's already trained with the club, but today he will be officially welcomed to MLS during an event at the National Press Club.
A few other items to share, some a day old but worth another look.....
*CONCACAF has outlined its plans for a 24-team Champions League and, as we suspected, two MLS clubs will play in the home-and-home preliminary round and two others advance directly to group play. No announcements from MLS yet, but we're guessing Chivas USA and New England will enter in the early stage, DCU and Houston at the later level. Of course, this means conflicts with the MLS regular season schedule and possibly the playoffs, with preliminary round matches in late August and early September and group matches between Sept. 16 and Oct. 30. Quarterfinals, semifinals and final are in early 2009.
*From the "I'm-Chris-Hanson-and-You're-on-Dateline-NBC" category, we have this troubling tale from the college soccer scene.
*Read all about DCU's imports in my print-edition story. At no extra charge, a brief slide show accompanies the story.
*Omid Namazi apparently won't join the Red Bulls as an assistant coach, after all.
*Kevin Payne and Bruce Arena are among the finalists for the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in the builder's category.
*Still no takers in MLS for Mexican midfielder Said Godinez (Tecos), who is prepared to sign with the league. ... I hear one MLS coach is currently in Honduras scouting the top clubs for a possible last-minute signing. Sorry, I do not know who it is. ... Keido Pour, 17, who escaped civil unrest in his native Liberia to become the top high school player in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, is on trial with Borussia Dortmund. His representative tells me in an e-mail that he has been called into the reserve team for a friendly against the German U-21 national team today and is scheduled to play with the U-19s in another friendly tomorrow. Pour showed his stuff at D.C. United's indoor combine a few weeks ago. Read about his incredible background here.
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