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Donovan, Davino, Wizards, Olsen and City Stars

*On its official Web site, Bayern Munich addresses the Landon Donovan situation: A loan until March 15 is in the works.

*Defender Duilio Davino has left FC Dallas after one season to return to the Mexican league. He counted $400,000 against the salary cap, leaving FCD with some money to spend this winter.

*The Kansas City Wizards announce plans for open tryouts March 7-8.

The good news: A similar event last year resulted in the signing of midfielders Kevin Souter and Nelson Pizarro to developmental contracts.

The bad news: There is a $205 application charge, which consumes 1.6 percent of your $12,900 MLS salary.

*A Q&A with Ben Olsen. (A self-serving link, of course.)

*A few weeks after the demise of its Atlanta franchise, USL1 has welcomed the Cleveland City Stars, who have made the financial commitment to move up from USL2. It's the first such jump in seven years.

By Steve Goff  |  December 4, 2008; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Germany , MLS , USL  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Thursday Kickaround
Next: USA to the Final


I like the open tryout idea. Back when MLS first started, my brother participated in the local combine -- he made the final 22 (out of 350-plus) before being told "thanks but not this time." He said it was a great experience, and he did the same when Miami had a similar tryout.

Good players are out there. Seems like a good start on how to find them.

Posted by: joedoc | December 4, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

That's one funny cavemen!

Posted by: forpat | December 4, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

cavemAn, not cavemEn.

Posted by: forpat | December 4, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Can a Cleveland MLS bis be far behind? Let's hope so.

Posted by: fischy | December 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Bid. Not bis.


Posted by: fischy | December 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Goff needs a spell chack.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | December 4, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, it's now "Goffster".

Posted by: fischy | December 4, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Demise? Atlanta is only one hold for one year! ;)

Posted by: Reignking | December 4, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Cleveland's home stadium (at Cleveland State University) only sits 1,680. Kinda small for a USL D-1 club, wouldn't one think?

Posted by: Juan-John | December 4, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

on hold. Horrible editing today.

Posted by: Reignking | December 4, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

There won't be a Cleveland MLS bid unless the revive the Wolstein stadium proposal. The current stadium seats 1,680.

I'm curious as to what financial commitment the City Stars have made. By winning USL-2, I think they got free entrance into USL-1, a league needing a team to replace Atlanta. They'll probably need to bring in 4-5 players to be competitive and will have a few big road trips next year. Unless they find a bigger stadium, I don't see how it makes financial sense.

The best I can figure, the City Stars are owned by AIS (Ambassadors in Sport), fronted by Jon Ortlip. Seems mostly like a charity/ministry. Not the typical MLS tycoon.

Posted by: undrafted | December 4, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Duilio Davino, he's the other guy in the Dick's commercial, right? Does anyone know if four different commercials were made - each for a different geographic/language market?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 4, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, Goff.

That should drive my traffic by, oh, 1000 percent

Posted by: jonfhoffman | December 4, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"2008 saw the City Stars become the only USL-2 franchise with a local television contract and the fans responded with an average of over 25,000 viewers per match. The local contract with SportsTime Ohio has been renewed and the move to USL-1 guarantees that all matches will be broadcast live over the internet on and at least five national broadcasts will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel."

That's more people than watch the DC baseball franchise. Right, Mr. Angelos?

Posted by: OWNTF | December 4, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Another Real Madrid injury -- Mahamadou Diarra out for 3 months.

Posted by: Reignking | December 4, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Cleveland v Columbus USL v MLS Derby . ?!?! Sounds like it could be an oHIo rivalry in the making . .

Getting Ben back next year at even 90% capacity would be a HUGE boost to this club. Keeping my fingers crossed for a smooth transition this training camp for him . .

Posted by: delantero | December 4, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Apparently the City Stars have 3 choices for their stadium next year:

Case Western: 2500 (3 miles west of downtown)
John Carroll: 5500 (9 miles east of downtown)
Baldwin-Wallace: 8100 (south of the airport, 15 miles from downtown)

some of which might be expandable?

they currently play at Cleveland State, 1 mile east of downtown.

Posted by: undrafted | December 4, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Davino was a waste of money at that price. Dallas is better off this way. They don't really even need to go fishing for a replacement, since Pitchkolan has usually been pretty good when given the chance. They will probably want to put that money towards Cooper or finding Cooper's replacement. Dallas isn't too far from being a good team, but they also do things like renew Dario Sala's contract, so you never know how it'll turn out with them.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 4, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I was kidding. There's no way that Cleveland would be considered for MLS. It's not the city it was. You have to include a lot of areas to get up to major league numbers. Still, it is bigger than St. Louis. Lacks the tradition, though.

FSC reported Diarra was out for 6 months -- not 3. They also reported Klaas Jan Huntelaar is joining the Galacticos constellation, from Ajax.

Posted by: fischy | December 4, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Marca says at least 3 months for Diarra; Huntelaar was closed two days ago. That should be getting more traction...

Posted by: Reignking | December 4, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Cleveland City Stars have a motto which is "Serving the city and changing the world." They do a lot of outreach work in inner-city Cleveland and internationally, and even have an affiliate club in Nairobi. But behind the social-service sounding rhetoric is a missionary organization.

Look at the roster - especially the reserves - and count the # of guys from small religious colleges, and then look at the profiles. Not all of them are committed Christians, but more than one said that one of the three things they would take to a desert island would be a Bible.

And I think they might have to get more than 4-5 players for next year. They lost a couple guys last year to MLS, including Adam Moffat to Columbus. Looks like they're losing more players after their championship season, and their head coach for two years also went to the Carolina RailHawks. So the transition won't be easy.

And I hope they don't play at Baldwin Wallace. I remember watching the old ASL Cleveland Cobras play there (hell, they let me play at halftime with my youth team), and it was just a depressing place. Krenzler Field is MUCH nicer and is centrally located as well. I don't think they'll play at John Carroll cause it's too far on the East Side, but they might play at Case Western which isn't THAT far from downtown (and to not as far from the West Side population).

Posted by: Modibo | December 4, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

A pioneering club, Cleveland became the first North American side to see an affiliated team forged in their image with the recent announcement of the ownership change of a Kenyan First Division team that is adopting the name Nairobi City Stars and a matching logo to Cleveland’s shield featuring the cityscape sitting atop a row of stripes and the globe.

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Can Case Western's stadium be expanded easily? Are there seats on both sides?

By 4-5 players, I didn't mean Cleveland will be good, just that they might not be the league doormat. Of course that's just based on seeing the USL2 final. There seem to be some speedy attackers on the roster and a few guys with USL1/MLS experience - Tenoff, Schulte, Franks, Ruud. The bulk of USL1 is on one-year contracts anyways and they can always sign up Atlanta's players. The question is where does the money come from?

Posted by: undrafted | December 4, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Marca says at least 3 months for Diarra; Huntelaar was closed two days ago. That should be getting more traction...


Everything I've seen has Ajax saying the deal is not finalized

Posted by: teo_68 | December 4, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Case Western's stadium is only used for Reserve games?

Is John Carroll related to Brian, Jeff, and Pat?

I got a million of 'em.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 4, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Baldwin-Wallace? Now that's a thought-provoking, ironic juxtaposition of famous last names...

Posted by: fischy | December 4, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone got a good video link for the US women's match?
My usual source is no good...

Posted by: DadRyan | December 4, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Possible links for the match (haven't tried them)

Posted by: emanon1 | December 4, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Did LeRoux in fact score that goal? What did it deflect off of?

Posted by: sitruc | December 4, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Baldwin-Wallace, named for the original odd couple, black, homosexual, writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin and race-baiting, hate-mongering, virulent segregationist Governor George Wallace. Who would have thought they would be remembered this way?

Posted by: b18bolo | December 4, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

BTW, can we hope that Davino's departure will mean we never, ever, have to see that Dick's Sporting Goods television ad ever again?

Posted by: b18bolo | December 4, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to Cleveland. Hope they enjoy riding in their school bus all the way to Portland a few times a year....

Posted by: IamAM | December 4, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

During the brouhaha over the Akron-Northwestern game last weekend, we learned that Akron's football ground is called Lee Jackson Field, the sort of name one would normally associate with places much farther south.

Posted by: universityandpark | December 5, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I think the USL-2 Charlotte Eagles have a similar Christian missionary approach to soccer.

Posted by: Pedalada | December 6, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

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