Because of the number of games played during the week, this weekend’s schedule is evenly distributed between Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday evening spotlight match is DC United visiting BMO Field and Toronto FC, as seen on Fox Soccer Channel. The Sunday game on Telefutura is Chicago hosting the Beckham- and Donovan-less Los Angeles Galaxy. Although there isn’t that BIG match this weekend (that was Wednesday’s lineup) there are some intriguing match-ups that will make for some good matches.
Now for what else happened this week:
- The Washington Post broke the story that the New York Red Bulls have been invited to participate in the Emirates Cup, one of Europe’s best pre-season tournaments. The Emirates Cup is hosted by Arsenal and, last season, saw the Gunners participate with AC Milan, Lyon, and Celtic. Obviously the reason for the invitation is Thierry Henry, but not one wants to confirm the invitation. Still, if it is true and happens, this would be the first time a non-European team participated in the tournament and would pit the Red Bulls against some very good opponents.
- Speaking of international friendlies, Manchester City have been confirmed as the next participant in the World Football Challenge and will play Vancouver on July 18. More matches are soon to be announced.
- Portland signed their first designated player this week, nabbing Colombian midfielder Diego Chara. The twenty-five year old midfielder is a threat on offensive but can drop back and serve as a holding midfielder. He had played at Deportes Tolima in Columbia and was a teammate of current Timber Jorge Perlaza.
- More information has come out about Landon Donovan’s injury: it’s a knee. He is recovering from a knee inflammation and will likely miss this weekend’s match against Chicago. Meanwhile, his teammate David Beckham is going increasingly public in his complaints against MLS referees. In an interview, Beckham complained about the officials making themselves the center of the action and ruining the players’ preparation for games. “I’ll probably get in trouble, but it’s gone on too long,” he said. “We want that consistency to be there, and we want to keep our players on the field.” While the officials have been poor recently in MLS, and while Beckham has been the target of some aggressive fouls, he’s also been fortunate to have not been red carded a couple of times this season.
- For your entertainment and in honor of Portland’s first home game last night, the video above is the Portland promotional video for their season. It’s… different.