Photo by Tim Heitman/ USA Today Sports
By TATE STEINLAGE
LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza has been named Major League Soccer’s 2014 WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, the league announced Tuesday.
Finalists for the 2014 WORKS Humanitarian of the Year included FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd and Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara. DeLaGarza took the honor with over four times as many votes as any other player.
DeLaGarza’s year has been filled with adversity. In April, his son Luca was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect known as “Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome” before being born. News spread and the soccer and sports world responded with an outpouring of love, highlighted by the “Luca Knows Heart” campaign where thousands joined the DeLaGarza family in support of his young son.
DeLaGarza responded admirably himself, helping raise over $25,000 for the Heart Center at CHLA in support of families affected by the condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome affects 1 out of every 4,344 babies born in the United States every year.
Photo by John Gellebter/USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
The search for a new starting goalkeeper is underway in Kansas City for the second consecutive year.
Sporting KC announced a number of roster moves on Tuesday afternoon, including parting ways with goalkeepers Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum after deciding not to pick up their options. Together with Sal Zizzo, who also had his contract option declined, the three will be eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft beginning on Dec.12.
Toni Dovale, Michael Kafari, and Victor Muñoz also had their contract options declined.
Sporting KC also confirmed that midfielder Lawrence Olum’s contract had been mutually terminated, and the club will keep him MLS rights should he return to the league. Olum was seen in pictures on social media joining Malaysian club Kedah FA earlier this week.
Finally, the club revealed that Aurelien Collin, Kevin Ellis, Jacob Peterson and Soony Saad are all out of contract, but that the club is attempting to re-sign all four players.
Here are some more of Tuesday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading
By DAN KARELL
The Washington D.C. soccer stadium saga has taken a new twist.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the D.C. City Council are set to change the parameters of their stadium proposal, mainly taking the Reeves Center off the table in the land-swap agreements and pursuing land the city needs for the stadium through the use of eminent domain.
The original proposal included the city completing a number of complicated land-swaps with the current land owners on the Buzzard Point property that D.C. United wants to build their $150 million stadium. The most contentious land swap was handing the Reeves Center at 14th and U Streets in the city to property developer Akridge. This specific swap was opposed by a number of people on City Council, including the mayor elect Muriel Bowser.
The report states that Bowser and fellow City Council member Kenyan McDuffie “have scheduled hearings on the reworked legislation for their committees” on Tuesday. City Council chairman Phil Mendelson told the Post he expected both committees to vote on the legislation on Tuesday as well.
Once Bowser takes office in January, she can use eminent domain to acquire land owned by Akridge at a court-negotiated price.
By RYAN TOLMICH
After making a name for himself internationally during his time at this summer’s World Cup, Mark Geiger has earned himself domestic recognition.
MLS announced Tuesday that Geiger has been named MLS Referee of the Year for the second time in his career. Geiger, who won the award previously in 2011, topped Jair Marrufo and Alan Kelly for this year’s award.
Geiger rose to prominence during this summer’s World Cup, where he became the first American referee to be assigned for a knockout match. In total, Geiger was the head official for three contests, while also playing a part in the highly-publicized matchup between Italy and Uruguay that saw Luis Suarez bite Giorgio Chiellini, as well as the semifinal meeting between Germany and Brazil.
In addition to Geiger’s award, MLS also announced that Paul Scott had been recognized as MLS Assistant Referee of the Year, beating out Peter Manikowski and Adam Wienckowski, who finished second and third, respectively.
How do you rate Geiger as a referee? Who do you think is the league’s best official?
Share your thoughts below.
Photo by John Geliebter/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Chad Marshall is set to add yet another MLS Defender of the Year award to his burgeoning trophy cabinet.
MLS announced Tuesday that the Seattle Sounders defender had been named MLS Defender of the Year for the third time, more than any other defender in league history.
The 30-year-old centerback, who previously won the award in 2008 and 2009, narrowly beat out second-place finisher Bobby Boswell, while Omar Gonzalez and Michael Parkhurst finished in third and fourth place, respectively, for this year’s award.
Marshall anchored a Seattle Sounders backline on the way to claiming the Supporters’ Shield, the first in club history. The 30 year-old-defender, who was traded to the Sounders by the Columbus Crew following the 2013 season, scored a goal and provided three assists in 31 starts for the Sounders this season.
What do you think of Marshall’s 2014 season? Who would you have voted for in the race for MLS Defender of the Year?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
With the team’s final friendly of 2014 in the books, Jurgen Klinsmann has turned his gaze toward a 2015 campaign that the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach insists will present a new set of challenges.
As the team heads into a busy 2015 season, Klinsmann is now looking forward to continuing the team’s learning process the began with the conclusion of this past summer’s World Cup. With new players, coaches and tournaments to look forward to, the U.S. head coach is looking forward to continuing to progress to start off the new World Cup cycle.
“2015 will be a year of developing talent on and off the field. The theme will be education. Education wherever we can,” Klinsmann said. “We want to educate more on the coaching side, we want to educate on the players side, we want to educate on the parents side about what it really takes to become a professional. What’s exciting for us is we’re building our own counseling office with Nelson Rodriguez leading it. This is a huge step. It’s something we copied a bit from the universities where we try to establish contact with the players and their parents early in order to help them understand what you need to know to become a pro. So there will be a lot of educational topics out there.
“We want to improve coaching education wherever we can because it’s crucial, and we want to challenge our players and not let them settle, not even for a second, for whatever they have achieved up to that point. We want to grow our program and one day compete with the best in the world, so it means a lot of hard work in 2015.” Continue reading