Tommy’s Soccer Valentine

Tommy wants to date one of these men. No, the other one. No, the other one. No, the other one.

Bruce Arena

head coach, LA Galaxy

Why is he Tommy’s Soccer Valentine? If the man can turn around the dysfunctional side that was the 2007/2008 LA Galaxy into arguably the best side ever in the league, imagine what he could do with a fixer-upper relationship!

What would their Soccer Valentine date be? “Your ideas are stupid,” Bruce would say to me in his trademark bluntness and Brooklyn accent upon the introduction of my proposed evening itinerary.  “We will do what I want and you won’t know what I’m planning until we’ve already done it.  And even then, you’ll only know if I decide to tell you.”

On the plus side, our evening will be quite pricey by American standards.  Brucie – as he likes to be called, erm, by me – always seems to have ample cash on hand. “Allocation money,” he calls it. Whatever. You don’t have to tell me where you got it from or what you do on the side, Brucie.  It’s not like I’m going to stop you from spending it on me.

Our LA Galaxy writer Tommy is on Twitter at @grnrngr80

Portland Timbers: Overall Thoughts on the California Preseason Games

So after a couple of days of preseason down in California, Portland has wrapped up their last game against the Chicago Fire. The last game in California was a special 120 minute match that ended in a 2-0 win for the Timbers. T his week we had matchups with LA (4-1), Montreal (0-0), Houston (1-0), and Fire (2-0). 

I have to say the Timbers showed up everybody this preseason so far. They have only let in only 1 goal the entire time they were down in California. That is very impressive seeing that last year it was our defense that seemed to have some difficulty — now this year our back line has definitely improved. They also are undefeated while in preseason as the last time they ever lost was back in 2010 back in the USL days.

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Rachna’s Soccer Valentine

Zarek Valentin

defender, Montreal Impact

Why is he Rachna’s Soccer Valentine? He’s the perfect package! Funny, cute, great soccer player, style and swag. If you’ve seen his Generation Adidas video blogs or listened to his podcasts on U.S. Soccer, you’ll really see just how personable he is. How can you not want him as your VALENTIN?!

What would their Soccer Valentine date be? I’m not picky, but since Titanic is his favorite movie, maybe watching that whilst eating Oreos.

Our Chivas USA writer Rachna is on Twitter at @rachnakk

FC Dallas: Judging the Offseason Moves

Aside from preseason scrimmages, it has been quiet on the news front for fans of FC Dallas. While the team has made some moves and picked up some new players, the off-season has arguably been dominated by the George John transfer saga and to a lesser extent concerns about 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira’s recovery following a broken ankle suffered early on last season against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Despite the seeming lack of energy surrounding the Hoops things picked up a bit in early January, starting with the club picking up Panamanian striker Blas Pérez and Colombian defender Hernán Pertúz on the same day, followed by George John’s loan to West Ham soon after. Soon after that Maicon Santos had the 2012 option on his contract declined, Marvin Chavéz was traded to San Jose for allocation money, finishing up with Jackson going on loan to Brazilian side Cruzeiro. Other than their picks from the supplemental draft, the acquisition of Carlos Rodríguez from Tauro FC has thus far signalled the end of Dallas’ off-season action.

With no apparent moves on the horizon (at least that I see) now seems an appropriate time to judge just what kind of impact the offseason had on the Hoops. To do so, I will be utilizing the Castrol Index, the official Performance Index of the MLS. It is by no means a perfect system of analysis but, seeing as it is meant mostly for rating individual performances, for my purposes it will provide a better method of analysis for rating what the loss of individual players might mean to the team.

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Justin’s Soccer Valentine

Bobby Warshaw

defender, FC Dallas

Why is he Justin’s Soccer Valentine? He is an up and coming defender for FCD, and every time he gets minutes on the field he goes out there and plays his heart out. I feel like he’s going to become one of our better players in the near future and I’m excited to see where he goes. In addition, he’s adorable as hell.

What would their Soccer Valentine date be? I’m a sucker for movie dates (mostly because I have no money) so we’d probably go see a fun movie together — nothing too serious — then we could drive around downtown Dallas and just hit the town, trying to get to know each other. Nothing too complex though as I would rather just get to know someone instead of having an intricate schedule of events planned out.

Our FC Dallas writer Justin is on Twitter at @m0gar

Thursday Happy Hour: Homecoming Season

An awkward moment via mlssoccer.com

Today’s news was filled with homecomings in Major League Soccer:

The deal for Brian Ching to return to the Houston Dynamo from the Montreal Impact who picked him up in the Expansion Draft came to pass.

After a stint in Europe, former USMNT striker Eddie Johnson will be making a return to MLS. The league allocation process for Johnson will take place tomorrow.

Finally, it’s rumored that the Vancouver Whitecaps have an interest in bringing Soccer Ally and USMNT captain Carlos Bocanegra back to MLS. Bocanegra is one of several Americans playing for SPL’s financially struggling Rangers FC.

Jorge’s Soccer Valentine

Jake Gleeson

goalkeeper, Portland Timbers

Why is he Jorge’s Soccer Valentine? He is a great goalkeeper who did very well last year when Troy Perkins was out in the beginning of the season making some spectacular saves. Also I love his New Zealand accent, his sense of style with the skinny jeans and such, and is great at playing guitar. Who would not want somebody who is great in more than one area?

What would their Soccer Valentine date be? I would start with playing at Jeld-Wen Field and me taking a few shots at him. Then I would take him out to a bar and grille and finally I would then take him back to my place where there will be white rose pedals from the moment he enters into my condo!

Our Portland Timbers writer Jorge is on Twitter at @jrod2589

Eat Mor Fail

I am a Husky of Northeastern, as were both of my parents before me. I’ve held for several years now that attending Northeastern was one of the best decisions of my life thus far, as it was on Huntington Ave. and on co-op that I learned the skills that have made me what I am today.

It’s with this in mind that I recoil at the news that my beloved alma mater plans to install a Chick-Fil-A in the Curry Student Center. For those who might not follow the politics of this company closely, Chick-Fil-A has a history of donating significant sums to anti-gay organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (which decried the “impure lifestyle” of the LGBT community), Focus on the Family (which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), and Exodus International (a company that works to correct gay behavior).

This is my school, the place where I figured out what I was good at, where I discovered the power and flexibility of the written word, and, in fact, where I first came out of the closet. This is my school saying to me, “tuition money from the generations that follow you will go to a business that actively supports ‘correcting’ gay behavior.” This is my school saying to me, “your life and your lifestyle are less important to us than the money this company offers.”

I don’t accept that.

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John’s Soccer Valentine

Torsten Frings

midfielder, Toronto FC

Why is he John’s Soccer Valentine? Because the man is not only Toronto FC’s top designated player (sorry Danny Koevermans), but he’s deadly with the ball, and good lookin’ to boot for 34. I don’t usually go for long hair, but it just makes him sexier!

What would their Soccer Valentine date be? Why, it would be a day at BMO kicking about, then a walk down the shore of Lake Ontario, followed by a nice dinner at one of Toronto’s finest restaurants — followed by a night out on Church Street.

Our Toronto FC writer John is on Twitter at @JohannesLanger

Toronto FC Dream Job Contest

It’s been rumoured for a couple of days, but it’s finally been announced — TFC is looking for a new “face”: the person who will represent the team, and appear in all of its promotional and game day videos.

Naturally your correspondent, being a supporter, has entered (all you lovely readers can vote for me here) — but when I was entering, I was sort of thinking: while I am using my “outsider” status as a campaign platform, is it perhaps the place to campaign for inclusiveness?

While I ultimately decided against it, it did get me thinking: if your team held such a contest, would you base a part of your entry on diversity? And do you think it would be a vote winner?

I’d like to hear from you!

(P.S.: Have I mentioned you could vote for me here?)