Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Le Toux now a 'Cap

Union trade all-star Le Toux to Vancouver

In one of the most bizarre moves of the MLS off-season, the Philadelphia Union trade one of their franchise players, French striker Sebastian Le Toux, to the Vancouver Whitecaps for allocation money. Union head coach Peter Nowak explains to MLSSoccer.com that this move was related to the future of the franchise. This was just shortly after Number one goalkeeper and captain Faryd Mondragon left Philly to go back to Columbia.

Image courtesy of CBCSports.ca

As much as I understand the coach explaining how the team wants to move further with future stars, the team also lost their top scorer and the face of the franchise, and I certainly believe nothing hurts more than seeing your favourite player leave for another team for just plain ol' cash.

I will have to step on the fans' side on this one, mainly because I feel their pain. I have gone through the same experiences before with my favourite teams (Example: Oliver Neuville traded to Leverkusen in 1999 from Hansa), and I know how much fans hold onto their favourite players.

There's a great relationship between a player and a fan. A fan would buy their merchandise, hunts down their hero to sign it, and dream of the game-winning goal every night. I was like that when I was little, and I still am. Not that I'm obsessed with Jack Jewsbury or Philipp Lahm, but I do appreciate everything they do for their clubs.

Needless to say, this trade was probably a shocker for other MLS clubs as well. The Whitecaps will look very dangerous this season. Hassli and Le Toux sounds like a threat to me.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Angry Birds soccer

Something different this week. It combines two of my favourite things: Soccer and Angry Birds. Made by Goalkeepers Lassi Huskainen and Dan Jackson of UNC Asheville. Enjoy!

Next week will be back to normal. Promise!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Becks is back

Yupp, he's back. David Beckham signed a two-year deal with the Galaxy this afternoon, as announced in a press conference.

Image courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

I said two weeks ago that I didn't care if he'd stay or go somewhere else, but considering how much of importance "Becks" is to the Galaxy and MLS, I can say it was the right decision. Beckham's decision to stay means a lot to MLS, as it shows that he likes it in Los Angeles. The English soccer star still has a big reputation after so many years in his career, and his decision alone brought a boost of benefits to the league and the sport in North America. 

Becks just wants to play, according to an interview with MLSSoccer.com:

"At this stage of my career, at this moment of my life, my family and my children are the most important thing to me,” Beckham said.

“My family are happy here. We love living in America, we love living in LA. But … the reason I came to LA was to play soccer. The reason I came to play for the Galaxy was to win a trophy. I hadn’t done that for five years … and then last season we did it.” 

Good on ya, Becks. Looking forward to the next season already!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Thierry Henry's return to North London

It seems to develop into one of the feel-good stories of this new year.

Thierry Henry, French veteran striker, signed a loan contract for two months with Arsenal, one of the top English teams, and the club Henry became famous with. Henry is Arsenal's best striker of all-time, having scored 227 goals in all kinds of competitions for the "Gunners".

And he started his short stay with a bang, scoring the game-winning goal in Arsenal's FA Cup match against Leeds, placing the ball in the lower right corner, nice and accurate. Now he's focusing on getting Arsenal into the Top 4 spots of the Barclay's Premier League while he can. 

And what's even more interesting: Just before the game against Leeds, bronze statues of Arsenal legends were unveiled around the stadium, including Henry's. Talk about a sweet homecoming.

But this story got me thinking: Should he stay longer than two months or return to New York as the Red Bulls kick off their new MLS season in Dallas? It's very debatable if he's gonna stay or come back. I mean, he is of much importance to the Red Bulls and he is a legend and a significant impact for Arsenal, his former and current club.

But I think he should come back to the MLS once his loan is expired. I have nothing against Arsenal at all, but players, who come back to a club they've been to before, are usually not able to make as much of an impact as they used to when they started off. The FA Cup game was Henry's first game, and he scored the game winner, but that was ONE game. At this point, Gunners fans should not get their hopes up. Henry is competing against other great strikers, like Van Persie and Chu-Young.

He should enjoy his stay while it lasts, because he has a one-of-a-kind opportunity to stay fit and get ready for a new MLS season with New York. I'm sure he'll make the best of it.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Beckham: Where to?

One of the biggest MLS rumours going around right now is the possible departure of David Beckham out of Los Angeles. In the past month or so, there has been a stir-up regarding "Becks" going to France to play for Paris St. Germain, but that has just been denied by the PSG president. But we still have no idea whether he'll stay or go. Contract negotiations are still going on, and the Los Angeles Galaxy are still waiting for his decision.

If he does go, I don't think it'll be a huge loss for the MLS. Beckham and the Galaxy have won the 2011 MLS Championship after a dominant season, which is what he wanted.

But in the beginning, there certainly was a huge buzz about his arrival in North America, but it died down at a constant rate, so that he just became a well-known soccer player. So I don't care if he goes. There are plenty of great players in the league who have claimed stardom in the league, like Kenny Cooper, Eric Hassili, Fredy Montero and Omar Bravo. It's only a matter of time until they overshadow David Beckham.

I think the league will do just fine with or without Beckham. He isn't the face of the MLS, it's all the players and teams who make it a great sports league to watch. But I admit, he does bring in good cash for being...well, David Beckham!

So, "Becks", go anywhere you wish. You got what you wanted.