We haven’t left you there MLS fans. While Daniel has been busy with his podcast keeping things up to date audibly, the rest of us have had various other endeavors to distract us from the relatively quiet start to the MLS offseason.
With that being said, there has been some movement here in the last few days.
– First off, MLS has announced the matchups and broadcast networks for four of the First Kick 2012 contests (all times EST):
Sat March 10 – Vancouver v. Montreal – 6 PM, TSN/DirectKick/RDS
Sun March 11 – FC Dallas v. New York – 3 PM, NBC Sports Network
Chivas USA v. Houston – 7 PM, Galavision
Mon March 12 – Portland v. Philadelphia – 9:30 PM, ESPN2
If you’re American, you’ll need to have the DirectKick premium package to see the opening game in Vancouver. Those start times seem very reasonable, and we can hope that this is a sign that MLS is trying to bring the product into time slots more viewers can access.
– Two notable retirements occurred: Andy Williams will move into a technical role at Real Salt Lake, while former USMNT winger Santino Quaranta is getting involved in youth development after seeing limited action with DC United in 2011.
– The first stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft was held on Monday afternoon. Only three players made moves. Chivas USA plucked midfielder Arturo Alvarez from RSL, while Danleigh Borman and Carlos Mendes joined New England and Columbus, respectively. The second stage of the draft will take place on Monday, December 12.
– Say “Goodbye,” to the Jabulani. MLS and Adidas have unveiled the new match ball for the 2012 season, named the PRIME. If you want to add the official ball to your Christmas wish list, Santa will have to shell out $150 from the MLS Shop to get his hands on this orb.
– While the biggest names to be kicking up MLS transfer waves are currently stationed at Stamford Bridge, a couple of transfers have already been announced:
– Vancouver signed 34-year-old South Korean fullback Lee Young-Pyo to a contract.
– Seattle has likely acquired the heir to Kasey Keller’s kit. Austrian keeper Michael Gspurning signed with the Sounders after four years in Greece.
– Philadelphia continues to look for a replacement for Carlos Ruiz, and they have signed Josue Martinez from Deportivo Saprissa. At 21 years old, the Costa Rican will likely be the Union’s first official Young DP signing.
– Reports have it that Brazilian Marcelo Fazzio Sarvas will join Los Angeles.
– Lee Nguyen is returning to MLS, and as a former US international will go through the Allocation Lottery to determine his new team. His last stint was with Binh Duong FC in the Vietnamese League, and developed a strong reputation in his time in Southeast Asia.
– And finally, Charlie Davies may be on Everton’s short list to help with their striker woes. The striker, who had a turbulent loan stint with DC United, could join the Toffees who are stable in the midtable but could use some firepower up front.
There may be some other things we’ve missed, but hope this sates your need for information around the league. Until next time…