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Posted at 11:53 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Thursday kickaround: FIFA scandal, MLS, Charlie Davies, NCAA tournament, USA meets Mandela

By Steve Goff

Greetings from Toronto, where, three days ahead of MLS Cup, the weather is cool and damp. The weekend outlook, however, isn't bad, considering it's November in Canada. For kickoff Sunday night, it should be clear with the temperature in the 30s.

MLS Cup is not big enough to grip a major city, but there are banners in the airport and on downtown utility poles. The league's hotel base on Front Street has more MLS logos (and even a sponsoring Volkswagen in the lobby) than the New York headquarters. FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids will arrive late today and hold their first workouts Friday. The MVP award will be announced Friday as well (FCD midfielder David Ferreira).

For now, you should know that.....

*FIFA has banned two executive committee members from voting in the World Cup bid competition because of corruption allegations.

*American forward Charlie Davies discussed his comeback with a Post correspondent, who filed this report from France.

*MLS isn't the only league with playoffs: Pachuca, with Americans Jose Torres, Herculez Gomez and Marco Vidal, hosts Monterrey in the Mexican quarterfinals tonight (7 p.m. ET, Telefutura).

*To coincide with their new stadium opening next season, the Kansas City Wizards are rebranding themselves as Sporting Kansas City. "This, to us, is not European whatsoever," CEO Robb Heineman told the Kansas City Star. "This is all about our connection to the community and us trying to be innovative in what we're trying to do. [It's not] a ripoff. ... We're not just calling ourselves Real Salt Lake or FC Dallas. We're going to go do and embody the name we're giving [ourselves]. That's not to say it won't fail. But I don't feel it's going to." Okay then. An odd change but we'll get used to it.

*Eleven MLS Generation Adidas players have graduated from the program and are no longer exempt from club salary guidelines.

*The NCAA men's tournament gets underway today with 16 first-round matches, including both Georgetown and Virginia at home. On Wednesday, I spent some quality time with Maryland's Doug Rodkey, a sixth-year midfielder. The story will probably appear Sunday, when the second-seeded Terrapins play their NCAA opener.

*Before departing South Africa following the 1-0 victory Wednesday, the U.S. national team met Nelson Mandela:
usamandela.jpg

By Steve Goff  | November 18, 2010; 11:53 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, College Soccer, FIFA, France, MLS, South Africa, U.S. men's national team, USA World Cup bid  | Tags:  FIFA, MLS  
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Next: Weekend soccer TV listings: MLS, Mexico, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, USA women

Comments

If, like me, you did not watch the Spain-Portugal friendly, then you missed a sublime piece of skill by Ronaldo spoiled by his mini-me. You must watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKhhLod-J5E

Posted by: glfrazier | November 18, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I want some of whatever Rob Heinemann is smoking.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Sporting Kansas City? That name is god awful. It just doesn't work. They should either go back to Wizards ASAP or come up with something else, anything else.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | November 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I love that the face of the organization has to hemm and haw and even leave open the possibility of abandoning the name moments after he's revealed it.

The name is awful. The crest is worse.

Posted by: Logan_Circle | November 18, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Mandela looks very good for 92!

Posted by: b18bolo | November 18, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

But where is the wizardly magic on the field going to come from now?

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | November 18, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Let's see....

- Read the Charlie Davies piece yesterday. Good article. Thanks, WaPo. Go, CD!!

- Not a fan of the KC choice. Wizards was a rotten name for a soccer team, but... How about Kansas City Soccer Club, or Soccer Club of Kansas City? KC SC or SC KC. Or even Athletic Club of Kansas City? For those about to rock, AC/KC !!!

Nice of Heinemann to diss RSL and FCD's names.

- About those Gen Adidas players -- Goff, can you check out my comment in the last thread about whether GA and Homegrown players are included in the 6 "24 and under" slots? I won't repeat it here, but I'm sure a lot of fans would be interested in the answer and the consequences. I think it's especially consequential for DC (which has 3 homegrown players and at least 5 other players who would qualify for the "24 and under" roster slots next season) (Also, Barklage, Hernandez, and King, who are 24 now -- not sure of their birthdays). Will DC have the homegrown slots + the other six slots, or are they all included in one six-slot package?


Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I should add that DC will probably end up with a Gen Adidas player in the draft -- maybe Salgsdo, or someone like Dillon Powers, if he decides to come out. Would Would a GA player count towards the 25-30 roster slots, or would that be in addition to those slots which would not count against the salary budget?

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

wow. The KC thing is pretty funny. Did that spokesman say all that with a straight face? If not for Euro clubs with similar names there is no way in a million years they would have come up with this.

Why not just change it to Kansas F'ing City with a built in sponsorship opportunity

Posted by: fedssocr | November 18, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

But where is the wizardly magic on the field going to come from now?
Posted by: TenoriosLaptop
==========

Hogwarts? OK, bad joke. And I guess next summer's viewing of Deathly Hallows II in KC's new stadium is now out of the question.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

From the article about the Wizards' name change in the KC Star:

"The decision to shed the Wizards moniker, which the team has used throughout its 15-year existence, has been in the works since OnGoal purchased the team from Hunt in 2005."

Not true: The Wizards were know as "The Wiz," (as in "Nobody beats The Wiz," or the Diana Ross musical vehicle - not sure) in 1996.

Also not true: that this isn't a rip-off. It is no different from all the previous moves - adopting a Euro/So. America-style name just for the sake of doing it. It is not about a connection to the area - that's bull. It's not innovative because it is, like so much in MLS, unoriginal.

It's just about changing the name as the team moves into a new stadium. Can't they just say that and be truly original by tell the truth?

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 18, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

From the article about the Wizards' name change in the KC Star:

"The decision to shed the Wizards moniker, which the team has used throughout its 15-year existence, has been in the works since OnGoal purchased the team from Hunt in 2005."

Not true: The Wizards were know as "The Wiz," (as in "Nobody beats The Wiz," or the Diana Ross musical vehicle - not sure) in 1996.

Also not true: that this isn't a rip-off. It is no different from all the previous moves - adopting a Euro/So. America-style name just for the sake of doing it. It is not about a connection to the area - that's bull. It's not innovative because it is, like so much in MLS, unoriginal.

It's just about changing the name as the team moves into a new stadium. Can't they just say that and be truly original by tell the truth?

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 18, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

thanks glf that is very good. So good I think Boomer should make an exception and slip in some futbol next week on Monday night.

"Nani, C'MON MAN!"

Posted by: OWNTF | November 18, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually for the name change for KC, and if they actually follow through on their premise, it could mean good things for Rugby and Lacrosse: http://www.rugbymag.com/news/clubs/mensclubs/groundbreaking-move-in-kansas-city.aspx

Posted by: alecw81 | November 18, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of opening another incessant debate (on offside v offsides), that ball looked to be across the line when Nani made contact.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I can't agree with blaming Nani, even though he should have been more careful with his line.

That goal should have counted. IMO, Nani doesn't interfere with or impact the play in any way, except for heading theball after the ball was already across the goal line. It can't be a goal for Nani, because he was in an offside position, but it shouldn't be his goal anyway. It was already in the goal, when he touched it. This should count as a goal for Ronaldo.

Normally, I think the refs are too generous in not calling offside, when the position and reactions of the defense or the goalie are clearly affected by the presence of the offending player. I don't see that in this play at all. There's no good reason to flag Nani.

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't going to re-post about the Slate article today about dumb#$%! MLS moves regarding logos and team names, but then Kansas City makes me do it.

Again, if I can explain NFL names/logos to my 1st-grade son instantly, but it takes me a 5-minute explanation to explain FC, Real, and now Sporting, I can't believe that's good for the fan base of the league.

I'm glad United is not "The Spies" but beyond that much of the MLS marketing is idiotic.

Call them The Bison or something, give them a picture of a bison and stick to it -- how hard is it? Who exactly are they trying to attract who did not like "Wizards" but will now come see Sporting??

Posted by: fallschurch1 | November 18, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I would argue that his presence influenced the play, and if you didn't buy that, I would argue that the call was deserved just because of the sheer idiocy of Nani being where he was. A big Nani Nani boo boo.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 18, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Nani did it on purpose just for the sport of watching CR lose his mind.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 18, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I think they should just be named Kansas in honor of Ray Hudson and Christian-influenced big hair rock bands.

The "Sporting" name isn't lame but it may not be any worse than Kansas City Athletics or something like that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City_A%27s

At least the MLS Wiz/Wizards has remained in that area longer than the A's did.

And they havn't reached the Point of Know Return.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 18, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@fallschurch1,

I still go back to that ESPN Mag article from WAY back. Where it said to just say, "Hey, we tried, we're just going to re-do this thing"

Denver was propsed to be Mile High Soccer Club - DC's was left alone, etc.

I have no problem with the name, it's just a name. The crest, coulda had more involved. But again, just my opinion, certainly better than the three previous incarnations.

However, given that this team has moved all over the KC area, they could have used Kansas City Wanderers.

Oh no, we've been too Euro again.

While we're talking about the Wizards, isn't there another Wizards team that everyone wants to "Get rid of the name" "Change the color scheme" "Make it meaningful to the area - like call them the Bullets".

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 18, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Dumb comment of the day, but looking at the logo does anyone else NOT see a "K" there? I see an "s" and "c"!...Sporting City?

Posted by: JPO2200 | November 18, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

DeMerrit to the 'Caps.

also, I always thought 1836 (or whatever year it was) was a cooler name than Dynamo.

Posted by: VTUnited | November 18, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Suprised they just didn't go with Kansas City, like Manchester City.

What a bunch of Rocky Mountain oysters...why try to make that crap up? And call out other teams?

Posted by: Reignking | November 18, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think it was a good move for DC United to pass on DeMerit. I'd hate to tie up that salary money when there could be another Gonzalo Peralta or Juan Manuel Pena out there waiting for us.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 18, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

How about something that makes sense, like Kansas City Sea Dogs?

Posted by: Ron16 | November 18, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

How about something that makes sense, like Kansas City Sea Dogs?

Posted by: Ron16 | November 18, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I think the more telling point of Citay changing their name is that 55% of the people voting in the Star's poll hate the name, but the sample size is only 750 people, which is probably all of their season ticket holders any way.

At least they could have been Atletico Kansas City so we could have the Kansas City A's back.

Posted by: IamAM | November 18, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I think they should just be named Kansas in honor of Ray Hudson and Christian-influenced big hair rock bands.
Posted by: Joel_M_Lane
==========

Aren't they in Missouri? Or are they in Kansas? I'm so confused.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

IamAM, last time I checked KC had sellouts of nearly all of their home games last year. I know, I know the baseball stadium held just a tick over 10k but I swear I could smell the smoke of the BBQ and the atmosphere in the stands and around the park never looked uninviting. The pitch looked like crap, and the camera angle was awful, but their "sell outs" in my opinion were still more legit than the Sounders tarping off the top half of their stadium and calling it as such.

All that being said, are you sure DCU even has 750 season ticket holders anymore? Plenty of them here have apparently not signed on for next year, and the crowds at Open Cup matches would lead me to believe that United's numbers may not be much different than what the Wiz had last year. Surely with the new stadium and it's charms, Sporting KC will have much better numbers than our poor club in 2011.

I think the name is silly, but the rebranding wasn't necessarily a bad idea. Hopefully KC will go the Sounders route and perhaps reconsider asking their supporters for their input.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

If I'm a ref I think I jump on any available opportunity to disallow any goal involving Ronaldo/Portugal.

Posted by: benonthehill | November 18, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

270 they are in Kansas now. Same vicinity as the Baseball Park they'd been playing in, adjacent to big NASCAR track, super mall with Hooters and the like.
Who's ready for a road trip!?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 18, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I think Sporting KC is fine, but I would have gone with Young Boys KC myself.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | November 18, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Sunshine Band KC

Posted by: Reignking | November 18, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

WAXTAP Kansas City. Now THERE is a name! :)

Seriously, I kinda like the "Sporting Kansas City" name. Judging from the comments on the article linkes, it would seem that the "Wizards" name may stick around, in the way that Manchester United are also called the "Red Devils."

Posted by: SportzNut21 | November 18, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Awesome Rain Man! I can already picture the Bootie Cam scanning the crowd at half time -- shake shake shake -- shake shake shake!

Posted by: OWNTF | November 18, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

It'g gotta be the Kansas City Barbeques!

Posted by: b18bolo | November 18, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of our favorite baseball stadium-residing MLS team, does anyone else find it amusing that other sports are falling over themselves to play games in baseball stadiums (Northwestern vs. Illinois college football at Wrigley / NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley and Fenway)? Now granted those two stadiums have way more cachet than CommunityAmerica Ballpark, but still...

Posted by: Pedalada | November 18, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

re: adding other sports (lax, rugby, quidditch) under the "Sporting KC" banner, this quote from Heineman stood out:

"we want to be all things to all people"

I am sure business gurus everywhere are groaning - this is exactly what they say not to do. But KC still got a new stadium built before us, so they deserve the benefit of the doubt for now.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 18, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I think ReignKing wins the naming contest in the "judged by people over 40" category.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 18, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I think it was a good move for DC United to pass on DeMerit. I'd hate to tie up that salary money when there could be another Gonzalo Peralta or Juan Manuel Pena out there waiting for us.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 18, 2010 2:51 PM |

-----------------------------------------------------------------


If you're going to be snide, man, you need to get your facts straight.

DC United did not pass on DeMerit. They never had a shot at him. He came to MLS as USA international He goes into the allocation lottery. Vancouver got the first allocation pick when Portland and Vancouver split up the first picks in the expansion draft, allocation, SuperDraft, etc.

Portland gets first dibs at the next returning USA international. If they pass, then it's DC United's turn. If they take the next guy, then DC United waits for a third guy to come on home.

Posted by: fischy | November 18, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Along the line of the KC Barbeques (I prefer Memphis BBQ myself), how about the KC Masterpiece. It comes with a built in sponsor and crest. My two cents, Sporting
KC does blow.

Posted by: croftonpost | November 19, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they should go with what most the fans in the league already chant "KC Sucks! KC Sucks!"

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 19, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

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