1) Sporting KC – “We’re the Best!”
That was more or less what Sporting KC executive Robb Heineman crowed when the signings of Graham Zusi and Matt Besler were announced.
Is Heineman right? He may well be. By signing two U.S. MNT stars to Designated Player contracts Sporting demonstrated that MLS clubs can retain top talent, even when attractive foreign offers are out there.
And the fans are sure to appreciate KC’s move. Sporting average 20,007 fans per MLS match at Sporting Park, not bad considering that capacity is 18,467.
And, of course the fans are flocking to see a winner. SKC finally delivered on its promise by winning the 2013 MLS Cup, and the defenders are currently sitting pretty atop the Eastern Conference with 35 points.
The best? Sporting Kansas City are certainly in the conversation.
2) NYC FC Rumors
With Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer David Villa set as the clubs first player, NYC 2 recently signed a couple of solid players in Jeb Brovsky and Josh Saunders.
But those aren’t the type of moves that the love child of Manchester City and the New York Yankees intend to be known for, so that brings us to Frank Lampard and Xavi.
Neither has been announced yet, and it seems as if the Xavi deal won’t. After months of flirting with MLS, first New York Red Bulls and then NYC FC, the playmaking midfielder has decided to stay on at Barca. Although “Super Frank” Lampard, Chelsea’s number one goalscorer, still looks destined for New York City Football Club.
Any day now, Lampard is expected to put pen to paper. In March 2015, when NYC FC begin play Villa will be 33, and Lampard 36. So, not on the upside.
Still, if Claudio Reyna and Jason Kreis and their Manchester City overlords can surround this duo with some decent young players, NYC could bring an entertaining brand of soccer to Yankee Stadium and MLS in 2015.
3) DC United
How about a word or two of praise for DC United? After enduring an epically awful season in 2013, United have turned it around, all the way around. Coach Ben Olsen, who everyone wanted fired after last season, kept his head, and his job, and look at DC now.
Just one point behind SKC for the top spot in the East, United are in excellent position to get to the playoffs, after finishing 33 points behind the final Eastern Conference qualifier in 2013.
With 34 points from 19 games DC have already more than doubled last year’s season total of 16, collected in 34 miserable games.
So whatever happens the rest of the way, well done DC.
4) Run DMB Back to MLS?
DaMarcus Beasley appears to be in negotiations with Major League Soccer to return to the league that gave him his start so many years ago.
When Beasley debuted for the Chicago Fire in 2000 he was a speedy winger. Four World Cups later, Beasley is still speedy, but now he’s a fullback.
But is he a DP? If he is, he can skip the allocation process, giving the veteran more say over of his MLS destination. If he’s not, it’s into the pool for Beasley, where Toronto pick first.
TFC can trade Beasley’s rights if they want. If not, Columbus are up next followed by Dallas, DC, and then Chicago and on down the line.
5) Orlando Puts Some Manners on Their Own Fans
In March 2015 the Orlando City Lions SC will join NYC FC as Major League Soccer’s newest teams, but before they do club management wants their fans to behave.
Earlier in this USL-PRO season fan groups were told to tone down the language. That preceded the recent suspension of supporters group the, Ruckus, for fighting.
The group was later reinstated, with four brawlers TKO’d until December 2015. The club has also formed a fan advisory group.