OK, so Bruce Arena, after telling reporters on Wednesday that a Red Bull DP signing is likely this or next week, decides today that "We're not ready yet." Now fans of any team know the challenges in finalizing player signings, and to date the RB front office has put up a strong unified message. So what happened this week? On Tuesday, Herr Red Bull noted that a second DP signing was unlikely this year. Then the Arena tap dance. Were the recent Zidane sightings in the city just a Frenchman's holiday, or were there significant talks with the retired World Cup champion? Was the club in talks with Liverpool's Robbie Fowler? Tin Delgado? Did Arena get a call from his boss reminding him that the truly big signing comes next year with the opening of Red Bull Park?
And what of the stadium site, which has been cleared and is awaiting vertical construction. A posting on Metrofanatic tells of a change in the construction company which will push the opening to 2009. Though there's less drama this off-season than last year with the ownership change, I can't wait for the season to begin, already.
The season did begin in earnest for DC and Houston this past week in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and both teams' showings (Olimpia 1-4 DCU, Puntarenas 1-0 HOU) offer hope that both MLS sides will move on to the tourney's semifinals, where Mexican powers Chivas and Pachuca will surely await. Two MLS-FMF matchups will certainly add spice to this summer's SuperLiga, in which DC, Houston, and Chivas will take part.
MLS rosters in February are filled with also-rans, but that doesn't mean the MLSNet should ignore the clubs' roster pages. Relying on fan and news sites for up-to-date roster changes is embarrassing. The official team sites should be the first place where fans go to learn of player additions and cuts. The same goes for MLSNet's "Competitions" page, where today one can find news of the Galaxy's loss to Saprissa in last season's CCC, and no mention of this year's tournament. Not good.
February is traditionally the sports doldrums, but there's plenty of soccer to watch this weekend. Enjoy.
All times ET:
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24th
9:25am: GER: Bayern Munich-Wolfsburg, GOL
10:00am: EPL: Charlton-West Ham, FSC
11:30am: GER: Hamburg-Eintracht Frankfurt, GOL
12noon: EPL: Watford-Everton, FSC
2:00pm: ESP: Real Sociedad-Dep. La Coruna, GOL
4:00pm: ITA: Atalanta-Palermo, GOL
6:00pm: MEX: San Luis-Jaguares, GALA
6:15pm: COL: Tolima-Dep. Cali, GOL
8:00pm: MEX: Necaxa-Chivas, TELEF
10:00pm: MEX: Atlas-Atlante, GALA
12mid: MEX: Tigres-Veracruz, GALA
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25th
9:00am: ITA: Catania-Inter, FSC
9:00am: ITA: Roma-Reggina, GOL
11:00am: ENG: Tottenham-Bolton, FSC
11:00am: ESP: Getafe, Sevilla, GOL
1:00pm: ENG: Blackburn-Portsmouth, FSC
1:00pm: GER: Schalke-Bayer Leverkusen, GOL
1:00pm: MEX: Pumas-Cruz Azul, UNI
3:00pm: ITA: Cagliari-Lazio, FSC
3:00pm: ITA: Milan-Sampdoria, GOL
5:00pm: ARG: River Plate-Racing, FSC
5:00pm: MEX: Club America-Santos, TELEF
9:00pm: U-20: Mexico-Costa Rica, GOL