Jul 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; MLS All Stars midfielder Kaka (22) of Orlando City SC works the ball ahead of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb (42) during the first half of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

MLS members divided over best All-Star Game format

Following Wednesday’s victory over Tottenham, members of the MLS All-Star team remain divided on what the best format is for the league’s All-Star Game.

USATSI_8713082_168381069_lowres (1)

CONCACAF to review confederation’s refereeing department

In the aftermath of the Gold Cup, CONCACAF is set to review the organization’s refereeing department.

Jul 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; MLS All Star goalkeeper Nick Rimando (18) of Real Salt Lake in the goal during the first half of the 2015 MLS All Star Game against Tottenham Hotspur at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Rimando fights through injured knee to shine for MLS All-Stars

Nick Rimando turned in a strong performance in goal en route to helping the MLS All-Stars defeat Tottenham, 2-1, on Wednesday.

MLS members divided over best All-Star Game format

photo by Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Talk about a change of heart.

Two days after suggesting that the MLS All-Star game should go back to an East vs. West format, head coach Pablo Mastroeni felt differently on Wednesday night. He had led the MLS All-Stars to a 2-1 victory over Tottenham, and the result and performance against the talented Premiership club left him with a very gratifying feeling that made him change his mind about the annual game’s structure.

He was not alone either.

“We talked about the All-Star being conference against conference, but after today, I can say that it’s very good (the way it currently is), the sensation is very good,” said Kaka, the MLS All-Star Game MVP. “When you just met these kind of players and you have the new coach that put everything together and we beat a team like Tottenham, the feeling after the game is very good.”

While playing a European club has its benefits, including increased global exposure, there has been talk all week about whether MLS should go back to an East vs. West format. Fans and pundits have both argued that there is enough star power in the league now to fill two squads, especially with the likes of Giovani Dos Santos, Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo now in the league competing with American standouts like Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, and Jozy Altidore.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS All-Star Game, Uncategorized | 21 Comments

NASL Notes: Cosmos to hold playoff game in Brooklyn; Fury FC look for improvement; and more

Cosmos vs Ottawa0883

Photo by New York Cosmos

By RYAN TOLMICH

After playing in the borough earlier this year, the New York Cosmos are bringing even higher stakes to Brooklyn.

The Cosmos announced Thursday that the club will play a playoff game at Coney Island’s MCU Park on Nov. 7. In addition, the club will also hold a youth camp in the borough from Aug. 3-7 for kids ages 6-15.

“It’s exciting for us to be playing a second game in Brooklyn in what is a pivotal postseason game for our club,” said  New York Cosmos COO Erik Stover.  “Brooklyn is a place where we love to play, we trained here before we made our visit to Cuba back in June and we hope we can put on another good show for our fans in Brooklyn.”

“Brooklyn has a great history with soccer,” said head coach Giovanni Savarese, who played striker for the LIU Blackbirds in his college years. “I played here in college, so I know firsthand the passion and the culture of soccer that exists here and we also experienced that when we played at MCU Park earlier this year.”

The Cosmos previously featured at MCU Park on May 2, defeating Ottawa Fury FC, 1-0, on a Lucky Mkosana finish.

Here are some more of Thursday’s NASL news and notes: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL, New York Cosmos, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

CONCACAF to review confederation’s refereeing department

USATSI_8713082_168381069_lowres (1)

Photo by Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

In the aftermath of controversial Gold Cup refereeing decisions, CONCACAF is going to take a closer look at the confederation’s officiating crews.

CONCACAF announced Thursday that acting President Alfredo Hawit will oversee a review of the confederation’s refereeing department. The review, which the confederation states is already underway, includes “a detailed evaluation of refereeing standards throughout the region in addition to an assessment of processes for determining referee assignments for each match”.

Hawit, who took charge of CONCACAF this summer in the aftermath of the FIFA scandal that crippled the organization’s hierarchy, has 24 years of experience in referee administration.

“The foundation of our game is fair play, and we must take the required steps to reinforce the importance of this principle,” Hawit said in a statement. “This review will allow the Confederation to take the next step towards improving refereeing across the region.” Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Featured, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Nick Rimando fights through injured knee to shine for MLS All-Stars

photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Kaka may have won the MVP award for his contributions in the final third, but it was the player at the other end of the field who the Brazilian gave credit to for “saving” the team.

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando turned in the latest in an assembly line of strong performances on Wednesday, making three huge saves to help the MLS All-Stars defeat Tottenham, 2-1, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Rimando’s trio of stops all came against the same player, budding Spurs star Harry Kane, and what made the veteran’s 45-minute performance even more impressive was the fact that he did so well despite playing hurt.

“He was possibly not going to play tonight because he had a knee injury and he couldn’t really kick the ball,” said MLS All-Stars head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “I said to him, ‘Listen I’m not making any decision. You’e got a lot of experience I’m going to leave it on you to decide whether or not you play.’

“Yesterday after training he was kind of (like), ‘I don’t know,’ and by last night he said, ‘I’m feeling it. Even if I can’t hit the ball with the inside of my foot I want to play.'”

It turns out the injury that was hindering Rimando during this week was a contusion to his right MCL. He picked the knock up on the last day of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s campaign at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and might miss Real Salt Lake’s game on Friday against D.C. United because of it.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS All-Star Game, MLS- Real Salt Lake, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Orlando City trades Ricketts to Galaxy for second round pick

USATSI_8468350_168381069_lowres

Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

The LA Galaxy have officially acquired the team’s newest goalkeeper.

Following the departure of Jaime Penedo on Wednesday, the Galaxy have acquired goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from Orlando City in exchange for a second round pick in the 2016 MLS Draft.

The move reunites the Galaxy with a familiar face, as the Jamaican goalkeeper, a sven-year MLS veteran, made 70 appearances for the club between 2009-11. During his first stay with the club, Ricketts helped the Galaxy claim the 2011 MLS Cup while also earning recognition as MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2010.

“Donovan is one of the most experienced and successful goalkeepers in MLS,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “He is familiar with our team and has proven to be a player capable of winning championships. We are happy that he is once again a member of the LA Galaxy and look forward to his contributions to our club.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Orlando City | 18 Comments

Video: Impact fans welcome Didier Drogba upon Montreal arrival

DidierDrogbaChelsea1-Tottenham2014EPL (Getty)

Posted in MLS- Montreal Impact | 16 Comments

Landon Donovan open to continue coaching in future

photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Landon Donovan had his first coaching experience on Tuesday, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that he is considering doing it again.

Donovan led the MLS Homegrowns in their match vs. Club America’s U-20s on Tuesday night as part of MLS All-Star Week. His team lost on penalty kicks after surrendering its first-half lead, but not even the defeat could take away from how much fun Donovan had.

In fact, he had such a great time on the sidelines that you should not rule out seeing him there again in the near future.

“This was a week to sort of dip my toe in and see how it felt. I really had a great time,” said the 33-year-old Donovan. “I don’t know what the future holds. It depends, obviously, on a lot of things, but I really enjoyed it. If I get another opportunity, then maybe I’ll consider it, yeah.”

Donovan, wearing a polo shirt and some athletic pants after suggestions from his wife, admitted to have a little anxiety on the bench. A former player who was very determined to focus on the things he could control during his historic career, Donovan found it tough not being able to go out on the field to make an impact. He sat on the bench for much of the first half, but got up and became more animated as the match wore one.

Continue reading »

Posted in MLS All-Star Game | 60 Comments

Salgado joins Rowdies on loan from Tigres

Salgado-USAToday

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

After bringing in Freddy Adu earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have bolstered their attack yet again with the signing of a another former top-overall MLS Draft pick.

The Rowdies announced Wednesday that the club has signed Omar Salgado on loan from Mexican club Tigres UANL for the remainder of the NASL season. The move sees Salgado reunite with Rowdies head coach Thomas Rongen, who previously coached the 21-year-old with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team.

“I’m delighted to have a young talent like Omar join the Rowdies,” said Head Coach Thomas Rongen. “He’s a classic #9, who can also play in the #11 position, and he’ll add quality in the final third. I’m very familiar with him as a player, having coached him with the U-20’s and he’s someone who will work hard to bring success to this club.”

Prior to joining Tigres this past Winter, Salgado made 26 appearances for the Vancouver Whitecaps, the team that selected him with the first overall pick of the 2011 MLS Draft.  Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 13 Comments