MLS Cup Champions Houston Dynamo lost to Puntarenas of Costa Rica 1-0 in the away fixture of the CONCACAF Champions League yesterday. DC United defeated Olimpia of Honduras handily 4-1.
An update as to why Conor Casey has not been officially announced by Toronto FC can be found this morning in the Toronto Sun. http://torontosun.canoe.ca/Sports/OtherSports/2007/02/22/3654235-sun.html
UPDATE: Larry Millson from the Globe & Mail, is in Florida and provides an update on the Conor Casey situation. http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070222.wspttorontofc22/GSStory/GlobeSportsSoccer/home
Real Salt Lake Goalkeeper Scott Garlick is apparently set to announce his retirement from pro soccer. Garlick is best remembered for backstopping DC United several years ago. Garlick's departure will leave Real Salt Lake with a need for an experienced keeper with only First Round draft pick Chris Seitz as a viable option. Although Seitz is said to be the next top US keeper, he is bound to play for the USA in the World Youth Championships here in Canada in the summer, and will miss a good chunk of the season. RSL recently traded away another former DC United keeper, Nick Rimando to New York after acquiring him earlier in the off-season. The names floating around as possible replacements are Jon Conway of Red Bull, and former Chicago Fire and Benfica man Zach Thorton.
New England have two interesting Pre-Season guests at their training camp in Bermuda - Japanese players Takuda Yamada and Takashi Hirano. For Toronto FC's sake, I was hoping that New England would have experienced more turnover this off season. Moreover, in addition to losing Clint Dempsey to Fulham in the English Premier League, offers were apparently on the table for star midfielder Sharlie Joseph from Glasgow Celtic, Taylor Twellman from Odd Grenland of Norway, and Trinidadian Avery John from QPR. Although things are said to have been taken care of in New England, with new contracts issued to these players, one has to wonder how Joseph really feels about losing out on an opportunity to play for one of the world's premier teams. Joseph not only loses out on the earning potential from both the transfer fee and a European contract, but perhaps his last chance to experience top level European Soccer, the culture surrounding Glasgow Celtic, and Champions League. Perhaps resentment will again surface in the New England locker room this season, as it did when management prevented Clint Dempsey from moving to England last summer.
Red Bull New York are finally set to announce their second Designated Player according to Ives Galacerp. Augstin Delgado from Ecuador has been the most frequent name mentioned. Delgado has been rumored since early January. Aside from helping fill the need for a striker, the Delgado move will help target the huge Ecuadorian population in the New York area, and possibly help restore interest in the team from the Hispanic community in that market. During MLS's earlier years, the New York/New Jersey Metrostars made it a practice of including at least one Colombian on the roster in hope of capitalizing on another huge ethnic group in the area. http://njmg.typepad.com/sbi/2007/02/red_bulls_to_us.html
According to the San Diego Tribune, Citibank Corporation is set to offer the LA Galaxy $49 million dollars to become their jersey sponsor for the next five years.