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Update From Baltimore

It's snowing. Hard.

Inside the warm confines of the MLS hotel headquarters, a few things to pass along:

*Wizards Coach Curt Onalfo, who has already made two significant trades and is finalizing a deal for a Colombian forward, said there is a possibility his club could trade the No. 1 overall pick acquired from San Jose this week for defender Nick Garcia. "We're keeping our options open," he said.

*Real Salt Lake has been approached by a couple clubs about a trade involving goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who is likely to start the season as Nick Rimando's back-up. However, with Seitz's huge upside and the financial implications if he is sold overseas, RSL would probably ask for a lot in exchange for the former under-20 starter.

*San Jose Coach Frank Yallop says he has set up a friendly with D.C. United in February in San Luis Obispo, which is halfway between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. He is also planning a game against Columbus at the same site.

*The Red Bulls have signed free agent goalkeeper Zach Thornton, an original member of MLS who had been waived by Colorado after making just one appearance last year. (Under the old MLS rules, New York would have had to trade for his rights even though he'd been waived.) Jon Conway is the presumed No. 1 keeper, with Thornton, 34, as the backup.

*Fox Soccer Channel announced that it will show a doubleheader on the MLS opening night March 29: New England-Houston and Los Angeles-Colorado.

*The new women's league has a name. Wait for it........
WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL SOCCER, or WPS. They'll get started in 2009. Washington, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Boston and St. Louis are in, San Jose is likely in. Click here to see their Mia Hamm-inspired logo and colors.

By Steve Goff  |  January 17, 2008; 1:23 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Late Night on the Insider

Comments

Is WPS pronounced Whoops?

Posted by: franz goffka | January 17, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

ESPN is reporting that Derby is rejecting a deal from Maccabi Tel Aviv for Benny Feilhaber and is expecting an offer from the US.

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=498958&cc=5901

Any idea what MLS team(s) might be interest in Feilhaber?

Posted by: ho | January 17, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Lots of news, thanks. A Women's Professional Soccer! First step in a wrong direction. If they intended to inspire women around the world they need to call it FOOTBALL. As long as they call it a soccer nobody cares and it turns people off.

Posted by: td | January 17, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Very dumb name. I mean, why use "P" and "S" in the name? You know people will end up calling it PMS instead.

Posted by: Hoost | January 17, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

They should have called it CKL - Chicks with Kicks League. Any news on the team names or ownership?

Posted by: CKW | January 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

What is Zach Thorton weighing in at these days? I amend an earlier post to this blog: Zach Thorton is the FATTEST soccer player I have ever seen.

Posted by: DJC | January 17, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

who was confident/foolish enough to invest in this league?

Posted by: mb | January 17, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Friendly in February huh? I hope they're training in Texas and not clear across the country in Bradenton when that happens.

Posted by: Chico | January 17, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

From other thread:
Bad name.

"WPS, I did it again."

Very bad name. I hope they take a mulligan.

Posted by: WNT fan | January 17, 2008 01:31 PM

"Bad name."

I wouldn't say that. WhiPS has a certain marketability to it.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 17, 2008 01:33 PM

Too bad the women's league isn't named:
Professional Ms's in Soccer (PMS).

Posted by: D'oh | January 17, 2008 01:34 PM

Well, I hope you're right I-270. I'm sure the target group is a lot younger than I am, but to me it recalls what at the time was the single largest municipal bond default in history, Washington Public Power Supply. Or the Britney Spears song. Either way it's not good.

But I'm sure they paid top dollar to some marketing whizzes who have tested it, so hopefully it will have legs, and be "Whips" not "Whoops". Either way it won't be W-P-S, too many syllables.

Posted by: WNT fan | January 17, 2008 01:50 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Where is Kahn? Shouldn't RBNY have traded Altiodore to th Fire for Zach. I mean, he wasn't with the Fire, but so what? Let's work to please Kahn!!!!

Posted by: Smith | January 17, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I can think of worse replacements for Gomez than Feilhaber. Plus, then we'd be halfway to an all-Benny midfield.

Posted by: Kenobi | January 17, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"If they intended to inspire women around the world they need to call it FOOTBALL."

That would only reach the English-speaking nations. Besides, the most populous English-speaking nation in the world calls it soccer. It's time that the Brits get with the program and use the "S" word that they coined.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 17, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

who was confident/foolish enough to invest in this league?

Posted by: mb | January 17, 2008 02:00 PM


The same people that brought you securitized mortgages.

Posted by: UVA-United | January 17, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

any update on EJ to Fulham? Talks seem to have stalled as Fulham has just complete a 5 million pound move for Watford's Marlon King.

Posted by: CommonSense | January 17, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I wish we had a higher draft pick...I want DC to get that midfielder- Luis Avilia (i think it was).

I know nothing about soccer stats or scouting but looking at his picture- he looks like he's straight outta Seire A.

Posted by: laur | January 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I saw Zach over the holiday period and believe me when I tell you...the man is not fat. He is solid and has bear claws for hands!!!

Posted by: D | January 17, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

You're thinking of Eric Avila, and there's no way in hell he falls to the second round.

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | January 17, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I just graduated from college in San Luis Obispo, CA. Last year I was starving for soccer and now the Earthquakes are gonna play there. Probably at Cal Poly's newly remodeled stadium that holds around 10k. Hopefully, its on a weekend so I can drive down for it.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | January 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Thats right, its Eric, my bad.

Thats why I wish we had a high pick...

Posted by: laur | January 17, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. I'm not sure that San Luis Obispo has a big soccer fan base. I was the only person who ever wore MLS jerseys around campus. I've see two other people with SJ Earthquakes shirts. There are more students from NorCal then SoCal at the school, so that might help. But overall, I saw more foreign jerseys (Real Madrid, Barcelona, River Plate, Portugal, USA, Liverpool, Argentina, and Chivas). And I saw exactly one of each, except Chivas, I think I saw at least 3 different people with Chivas jerseys. Anyways, my point is I don't see these being sellouts, but I hope to be wrong.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | January 17, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

When is the new kit (and sponsor?) supposed to be released? I'm dying to see what it's going to look like. And of course get the now old kit at a good discount!

Posted by: Rob | January 17, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

CACuzcatian: Don't get worked up over the attendance. If SJ and DC wanted to play the friendly in front of a large group of spectators, the would have found a bigger stadium. My guess is that they just want a reasonably competitive scrimmage. DC needs it before the CONCACAF Champions Cup and SJ needs it because they're a new team.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 17, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

It is probably smart for RSL to hold on to Chris Seitz until they can get top dollar for him, but on the other hand, they'll need to give him some playing time and a chance to shine if his stock is to continue to rise. Riding the bench won't help raise his transfer fee, nor will it let him improve. Can they loan him somewhere? ... give him a chance to play and get even more notice, and then sell him for even more money? Can MLS teams do that?

Posted by: David | January 17, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

from wikipedia

Chris Seitz is a goalkeeper, (Mayland, No. 4 pick in 2007) for Real Salt Lake of MLS, was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, CA

coincidence? i think not

Posted by: Anonymous | January 17, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Goff - DC doesn't have much play in the upcoming draft, so what have we heard about the international signings or Greg Vanney? It seems that Soehn et al are comfortable with the team. So, it doesn't seem that any draft day or pre-camp trades are in the offing. Is that true? (from where you sit)

Posted by: Crazy Al | January 17, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'd be willing to bet Monday is going to be a big news day for United with all 3 internationals flying into town this weekend. Call it an educated guess.

Posted by: Chico | January 17, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Goff:

So I guess DCU's MLS home opener is an FSC-mandated April 5, right...?

http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/schedule/season.jsp?team=t103

Reason I ask is because after that, there's nothing. Any news on when the rest of the schedule will be released?

Posted by: Juan-John | January 17, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

who was confident/foolish enough to invest in this league?

Posted by: mb | January 17, 2008 02:00 PM
------------------------------------------

I suspect that most of the investors regard it as a pro bono sort of thing. They will stick with it so long as it doesn't become too much of a financial albatross.

Posted by: 22201 | January 17, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the guy that started Discovery and funded Freedom and the Maryland Soccerplex one of the WPS investors? Or did I just make that up? I can't believe I can't remember his name right now.

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 17, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

MLSNet (is terrible, I know) but they are another site that has not had Reyering in the first two rounds. You mentioned the injury, but is he really in danger of not being selected in the first two rounds?

Posted by: jgildea | January 17, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

MLSNet (is terrible, I know) but they are another site that has not had Reyering in the first two rounds. You mentioned the injury, but is he really in danger of not being selected in the first two rounds?

Posted by: jgildea | January 17, 2008 04:02 PM

I think the problem is the injury and the fact he could go back and play in a lower league in his home country of Germany for probably double what MLS would pay a first year player ($30-$40K). They probably don't think an MLS team will blow a pick on a guy that may never step foot on the field for them. So he probably will get picked up after the first 20-25 picks.

Posted by: Guru | January 17, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Reason I ask is because after that, there's nothing. Any news on when the rest of the schedule will be released?

Posted by: Juan-John | January 17, 2008 03:38 PM

I believe that the plan is to release it in early February. I most likely read it here on the Soccer Insider, so I'm sure if you go back a few days, you'll see it.

Posted by: TCompton | January 17, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the guy that started Discovery and funded Freedom and the Maryland Soccerplex one of the WPS investors? Or did I just make that up? I can't believe I can't remember his name right now.

Posted by: Lost in BA | January 17, 2008 03:56 PM
-----------------------------------------

John Hendricks.

Posted by: 22201 | January 17, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the new angle Guru.

Posted by: jgildea | January 17, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I'd be shocked if the Fire weren't 1 of the teams that was interested in Seitz.

Posted by: kebzach | January 17, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

tonght's bedtime prayer:

Feilhaber to DCU...

lets get to it

Posted by: Huckabee | January 17, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Goff, I see Fulham signed King as a striker. Does this mean a deal for EJ fell through?

Posted by: RIP General | January 17, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

EJ to Fulham is apparently still on, Ives is reporting that they have a work permit hearing/appeal tomorrow.

Posted by: kebzach | January 17, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

EJ to Fulham is apparently still on, Ives is reporting that they have a work permit hearing/appeal tomorrow.

Posted by: kebzach | January 17, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

To anyone at United: Feilhaber would be a great great great signing. Please look into it. The guy should be hungry after such a depressing spell at Derby and he has the quality and class to be a large transfer down the road. DO IT!

Posted by: BENNY! | January 17, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Good article on the only MLS player on the Senegal African Nations Cup team, Rapids keeper, Bouna Coundoul.


http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/16/sports/soccer.php

Posted by: sbg | January 17, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"Feilhaber would be a great great great signing."

He would have to be a DP, I'm sure, and I doubt he would move on anything except a long-term deal where he was guaranteed for three or four years. And probably would have a release clause if there was a minimum transfer fee, and maybe even a no-trade clause. He could get the money, and the guarantees of control over his fate (the right to turn down a transfer) at a lot of clubs. It's not like he would be coming to MLS desperate to save his career-- and even if he did, there would be a bit of a bidding war to get him under contract, and that means a lot of money AND concessions.

While I think he could work for DC, he wouldn't just fit into the roster without significant work to build the team around him. No way is he a Gomez-style playmaker. He's like a healthy Reyna with better attacking instincts and slightly worse defensive ability, and he would probably need to be partnered with a very energetic destroyer and also a central attacking midfield option to get the best out of him. I think he would be a GREAT linking guy in a 3-5-2. Unfortunately, it might take significant, and possibly expensive, reworking of DC's roster to function.

Olsen and Fred MIGHT work in the center with Feilhaber, though Olsen is losing his speed and the defense could get exposed. But to prevent teams from clogging the middle, there would need to be fast wingers who can cross and also track back, and at least one speed demon forward to stretch the field (Kpene?). And then there would be a need for a center back who is big, decently fast, free of mistakes, and has enough skill not to make turnovers.

So for DC to get Feilhaber and still win, it would take a lot of roster work and also a basically airtight commitment to pay him well for several years. It could pay off enormously, but then again, you have to consider that Feilhaber has yet to make a mark as a consistent game-changer at the club level. It's not like he has a proven record of sustained excellence, just a couple of great performances and a lot of okay ones, and now he's a bench warmer for one of the worst-ever Premiership teams.

I'm sure there's a lot of romance to the idea that DC would have a potential superstar young American player, but there are serious downsides, not the least of which is making a long-term commitment to a young and unproven player who doesn't fit into the existing system.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | January 17, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

mj... you are always such a buzzkill. probably right, but still a buzzkill. i hope to never go drinking with you.

Posted by: gilbert | January 17, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

61 to 63 days to the next home match!

Posted by: Curious | January 17, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

61 to 63 days to the next home match!

Posted by: Curious | January 17, 2008 11:46 PM

OMG-can't be that long!

Posted by: towson | January 18, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Holy Schneikies!! The NYTimes blog is reporting that Fulham is close to a deal for Brad Guzan! The English side will pay a $2.8 million transfer fee.

Just call them the Fulham Yankees.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | January 18, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they'll adopt those hideous pinstriped US jerseys.

Posted by: AlecW81 | January 18, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

I LOVE the MNT's Pinstripe jersey!

Posted by: J-Mart | January 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

What is Zach Thorton weighing in at these days? I amend an earlier post to this blog: Zach Thorton is the FATTEST soccer player I have ever seen.

Posted by: DJC | January 17, 2008 01:59 PM

I dunno. How about Tony Meola?

Posted by: khan | January 18, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

60 to 62 days to the next home match!

Posted by: Curious | January 18, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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