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MLS News and Notes: Jan. 26, 2009

  • Landon Donovan’s continues to tear through Bayern Munich’s winter break friendly opponents. Four goals and Five games which doesn’t include a penalty kick Donovan drew but did not take. Donovan is motivated like never before and comfortable with the coaching of Jurgen Klinsmann and Martin Vasquez. Agent Richard Motzkin is not addressing any speculation about Donovan’s future but the assumption on this end is that he does not want to come back to MLS.
  • Donovan’s LA Galaxy team mate David Beckham scored a spectacular goal in the run of play during Milan’s 4-1 victory over Bologna. Beckham is sounding less and less like someone ready to give up the lifestyle in the capitol of international fashion for a return to MLS. According to Soccer by Ives Beckham was quoted as saying: ” “Even if my contract says that I’ll be here until March. We’ll have to see.”At the moment I’m enjoying this experience. I’m at one of the biggest clubs in the world. And having won gives us confidence to continue.”
  • reports that DC United is closing in on Brazilian Defender Roger as a potential replacement for Gonzalo Martinez. The Washington Post’s Steve Goff spoke to Dave Kasper who more or less confirmed the story.  Roger would be the first MLS Brazilian since Denilson to actually have been capped for his national team, but more impressively he has been a starlet in the Copa Libertadoras much like Guille Barros Schelotto, the reigning league and MLS Cup MVP was.
  • USL-1 has decided to shelve its long standing championship game in favor of a two leg tie for the title. This is an interesting move.. Last year higher seeded Puerto Rico lost in the title game to Vancouver in British Columbia. But Puerto Rico who was suffering from fixture congestion related woes thanks to the CONCACAF Champions League may have been better off with the one game, because an additional league game may have made the Islanders advancement out of the group stage impossible.
  • DC United’s decision to not invite former US U-20 international Quavas Kirk back this season means that the one time star in the making has a long way to go just to get back to a decent level. Injuries derailed Kirk then with the LA Galaxy before the 2007 Under 20 World Cup.
  • Speaking of players who missed out on the 2007 U-20s due to injury, Johann Smith then of Bolton now based in MLS is on trial with NK Rijeka of the Croatian League. It’s no surprise a young player with the talent and ambition of Smith simply used MLS as a temporary stop after playing with three clubs in England and being caught by injuries.
  • Seattle made a terrible DP signing in Freddie Ljunberg. But the acquisition of Ljunberg’s namesake, Fredy Montero could ease the blow. I love this signing by the Sounders: Montero is exactly the type of cultured attacking player MLS clubs should be pursuing in Latin America. I am actually surprised given Juan Carlos Osorio’s connections to Columbia he did not pursue Montero the way the Sounders did.
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    1. undrafted

      January 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm

      Kirk is on trial i n Seattle.

      It's pretty common for young MLS players to train/”trial” in Europe during the long winter break. I doubt Johann Smith is going anywhere. It'll be interesting to see if Toronto would want a fee if an offer is made since he's not assured big minutes in 2009.

    2. Mark

      January 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

      Would Puerto Rico have preferred a USL-1 title or a quarterfinal birth in CONCACAF?

      Personally, I think it worked out for them. CONCACAF is more prestigious.

      I would stunned if either Beckham or Donovan were back with the Galaxy in March.

      July for Beckham, never for Landon. He's staying at Munich maybe for the rest of his career.

    3. IslanderFan

      January 26, 2009 at 10:59 am

      >>USL-1 has decided to shelve its long standing championship game in favor of a two
      >>leg tie for the title. This is an interesting move..

      It is interesting, but not because a single game may have benefited the Islanders due to the CONCACAF Champions congestion.

      Changing to a 2-leg format for the final addresses the injustice done to the Islanders by awarding the final to Vancouver due to pressure from Fox Soccer Channel who didn't want to transmit in the Island. (FSC didn't transmit a single game from the island last year)

      FSC is trying to look better this year by transmitting 1 regular season game (only one) from the island.

      At least FSC honoured the Islanders by scheduling 3 away games to them (to keep us quiet)

      The Montreal Impact (the 2nd USL team still in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions) only got 1 home game and 1 away game on FSC.

      What is wrong with those people at FSC?

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