Good morning MLS fans! We are now mere weeks away from the season and, if you’re like me, the previews we have been running on the site have been getting you fired up for an exciting season. Amidst all the preseason matches and television/playoff drama, here are some stories that flew under the radar last week and this weekend:
- Over the weekend, the U.S. U-17 team won the U-17 title with an overtime 3-0 win against Canada. The match was scoreless during regulation but the Americans found their scoring touch in overtime. This is the U.S.’s first title at this level since 1983 (when it was U-16), although this was also the first championship held since 1996. The highlights are above.
- Welcome back Carlos Ruiz! The one-time Golden Boot winner has come back from Europe (specifically Aris) and signed an MLS contract with Philadelphia. A bit older at age 31, Ruiz can still give the Union some goals this season.
- For those who have missed the D.C. United drama over the past week, here is a recap: newly-acquired keeper Steve Cronin broke his wrist in training camp and, with Bill Hamid still recovering from shoulder surgery, goalkeeper coach Pat Onstad has come out of retirement to play for the club. This allows DCU to at least have someone with MLS experience in net but Hamid is still considered the starter when healthy.
- This story was referenced in our MLS Talk podcast, but terrible news out of New England training camp as Shalrie Joseph was arrested in Orlando for trespassing. He and Kevin Alston, who was also involved in the altercation at the party, have been dismissed from the team’s training camp and their status is still up in the air for the season. A bad situation that muddles the Revolution’s season, to say nothing of the legal situation.
- And finally, who says ESPN doesn’t care about MLS. The Worldwide Leader has released a fantasy MLS game called FC Manager, which can be found here. Basically you have to build a roster of 15 MLS players under the salary cap, and collect points every week. If anyone is interested in an MLS Talk league, sound off in the comments section.