With spring finally entrenched across most of the country, it’s time for a look at the MLS standings.
1) FC Dallas and Sporting KC are the Early Leaders
2013 MLS Cup winning SKC’s fast start is no surprise, but what about FCD? New coach Oscar Pareja has Dallas off and running to the league’s best start, with a 5-1-1 record from their first seven games.
Dallas fans won’t get too carried away just yet, however. They surely recall last season’s similar start that saw their boys rack up 8 wins and 4 ties from their first 14 matches. How did that turn out? FCD missed the playoffs and Schellas Hyndman was fired, and replaced by Pareja.
2) Donovan and Beckham- Reunited?
Now it’s time for our non-story of the week. TV sports host Dan Patrick asked LD if he might one day play for former teammate David Beckham and his Miami franchise.
Donovan’s answer? “Everyone has a price Dan,” followed by, “Potentially. Not for a few years. I’m in L.A. for a few more years.”
Going back to his famous sabbatical the, 31 year old Donovan has spoken often of retirement. And Beckham has a real battle on his hands, as far as building a stadium at the Port of Miami.
So, the timing makes this reunion highly unlikely.
3) Nick Rimando is Really Good.
You probably knew that already, or maybe you didn’t, either way the RSL number one and U.S. number three is about to make MLS history.
With his next shutout Rimando will catch Kevin Hartman at 112 for the most ever in Major League Soccer. Impressed? Consider that Rimando has played in 65 fewer matches than the man he is about to catch.
4) You Can Go Home Again?
Well, Shalrie Joseph sure hopes you can. The former Revolution star has labored quietly for Chivas USA and Seattle the last couple of seasons, after an All-Star career in New England.
Does the 35 year old midfielder have anything left in the tank? Returning to the scene of his greatest triumphs may be the best way to find out.
5) Stadium News
Both Atlanta and NYC FC let us in on their future homes in recent days. New York’s will be temporary, Yankee Stadium, while Atlanta announced their long term plans at their official welcome to the league.
Neither is a soccer specific stadium, once thought to be a prerequisite. Both are also sharing space. Atlanta will be rooming with the NFL Falcons, at a coming downtown stadium, which the owner of both clubs, Arthur Blank, assures will be downsized for soccer via high technology.
NYC FC, owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees, will be be staying on the Yankees couch until they can navigate the rigorous political/real estate minefield that is New York City to build a home of their own.
Neither situation is perfect. Atlanta, never thought of the greatest sports town, will be playing on some type of artificial turf. Another no, no for new stadiums not so long ago. And while the Yankee Stadium turf will be the real stuff, NYC FC will clearly be the junior partner in this arrangement. That means no home soccer games in October, presuming the Yankees make the playoffs. It brings to mind a quote from John McMullen, who once held a stake in the Yankees, before buying the Houston Astros.
“Nothing,” McMullen said, “is more limited than being a limited partner of George’s.” McMullen was referring to George Steinbrenner, the late Yankee owner. George has since passed away, leaving the running of the ballclub to his far less volatile son Hal, but when it comes to the House That Ruth Built, the number one priority will always be the New York Yankees.