Los Angeles Galaxy
I’m not necessarily a David Beckham fan, I’m more of a glad-you’re-bringing-some-money-to-the-MLS sort of guy. Don’t get me wrong, Becks is an absolute joy to watch and I feel somewhat giddy watching his kicks bend and twist. In addition, I feel deeply sorry for anyone who goes down with a painful and probably career ending injury. With his England career over, you’ll be hard pressed to find much about his MLS play anywhere in the media. He does still play for the Galaxy, world. His loss will be great and now makes the Landon Donovan situation crucial for a successful season in the mind of head coach Bruce Arena. Without LD and Becks patrolling the midfield, the Galaxy have few other options. Veterans Eddie Lewis, Chris Klein, and Clint Mathis, although able players, have a combined age of 102. For some youth, the team signed Juninho, a Brazilian midfielder on loan from São Paulo. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I watched this fellow secure a championship victory for his side over Chelsea at the 2007 Dallas Cup. Legit enough? Of course, it’s the Dallas Cup for crying out loud!
Leonardo DF Brazil
Alex Cazumba DF Brazil
New England Revolution
As mentioned yesterday, the Revs completed one of the biggest offseason swaps with Colorado. Once a member of the USMNT player pool, Cory Gibbs will hope to finally settle down in Foxborough as a central defender. Additionally, New England filled another of their international roster spots by inking Joseph Niouky, a versatile Senegalese midfielder. Sadly I’m not an avid follower of the domestic Senegal soccer league, but reports seem to agree that Niouky is an up and coming effective central midfielder. Steve Ralston played his heart out for eight consecutive with the Revs, and his presence in the center of the pitch could be a potential weakness.
Preston Burpo GK USA
New York Red Bulls
Oh if only preseason results mattered. The Red Bulls have been on a tear this spring, lighting up MLS colleagues and universities while at the same time reconstructing the majority of their line up. New additions of Roy Miller, Joel Lindpere, and Carl Robinson should flat out start. Miller should fit in nicely while Lindpere, an Estonian national and Robinson, a Welsh mate fresh from Toronto, manning the wings. The fans have noticed as well; individual tickets for their match against Santos FC on March 20 have sold out. Don’t expect the cakewalk New York team from last year.
Chris Albright DF USA
Greg Sutton GK Canada
I’m probably not the first person to tell you that the Union will be a pretty freaking good squad for an expansion team, but you still better believe it. In the weaker (in my opinion) Eastern Conference, the Union will definitely challenge for a post season spot. If the Sons of Ben were giddy after the expansion draft (Moreno, Le Toux,) and the SuperDraft (Mwnaga, Okugo), they will certainly be pleased with the further flourishes of Danny Califf, Michael Orozco, and Chris Seitz Good Lord, I can’t wait to watch this side. Every time I try to start analyzing their perfection good qualities, I end up rambling. So for now, just take my word for it.
Fred MF Brazil
Roger Torres MF Columbia
Real Salt Lake
Fresh off a championship season, Real Salt Lake elected to keeps things as is, making a few minor adjustments here and there. Seems simple enough but the signing of Álvaro Saborío may help spice up the offense a tad. He scored 95 goals in 149 appearances for Saprissa over a period of 5 years. For all you math geniuses out there, that’s a goal per every 1.56 cap. Not too shabby. His fiery scoring touch died off a bit in England and Real made no hesitation in scooping him up.
Luis Gil MF USA
Seattle Sounders FC
The Sounders didn’t sign anybody new. Head coach Sigi Schmid knows what he’s doing, right?
If I were writing this piece two weeks ago, the above comment would have stuck. Fortunately for Seattle supporters, and unfortunately for the rest of the MLS, the Sounders signed the most talented and prolific player of this seasons offseason in current FC Twente captain and Swiss international Blaise Nkufo. The striker won’t cross the pond until after this summers World Cup, the only downside of this remarkable signing. At least MLS defenses will be in the swing of things by then.
San Jose Earthquakes
The Quakes needed to make a splash in the offseason market and may have reeled in quite the Brazilian fish in Eduardo. The former Toulouse and Basel offensive threat has already found his scoring touch in preseason matches. Midfielder Joey Gjerstsen also joins San Jose for the 2010 season, still searching for his first MLS minutes.
Toronto kept things simple over the break by bringing on so-so players in Ty Harden and Jacob Peterson from the Rapids. I couldn’t find too much info on these guys except that apparently Toronto Head Coach Preki has “wanted Peterson for some time” and that Harden pulled a Michael Jordan, Brett Favre, and more appropriately a Pele and came out retirement to kick the ball around again. Try not to throw away yet another season, Toronto, your fans need some victories.
Tim Patterson is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at TPatters@tulane.edu.