My questions about St. Louis

Ives comes right out and endorses St. Louis as one of the next recipients of an MLS expansion franchise. He cites all the usual reasons people give when hyping up St. Louis like its history, heritage, youth teams, etc.

My question remains, if the market really cared about pro soccer that much, why does it not have a team above the PDL level? Heck, in Hermann Stadium, they even have a stadium that seems ideal for a USL-1 or USL-2 team. And yet, they haven’t had one. Continue reading

A guess and a potential mess

Goff starts the trade rumblings in earnest today.

*MLS draft fever: 10 days and counting. More on that later today. Lots of trade rumblings, including a potential three-way deal involving Dallas and Toronto and another club. I also hear Dallas is in the market for a veteran left-side midfielder.

I have no idea what Dallas, Toronto, and Team X are up to but I am willing to bet that the left-sided midfielder on the market is Eddie Lewis of LA. Continue reading

Who needs what entering the MLS draft?

We’re now t-minus two weeks to the 2009 MLS draft and I wanted to take some time to explore what teams need what as we enter the most busy part of MLS “silly season.” Of course, not all the needs I mention will be able to be filled by draftees, but it’s during the period before, during, and after the draft when many needs can get filled whether through the draft, or through deals. So I am trying to take all those into account here.

Today, I go over the Western Conference. On Monday, I’ll go through the East. Continue reading

CONTEST: Who’s the Ugliest Person in MLS?

Can anyone in MLS compete with former Bulgarian international Trifan Ivanov in the ugliness department?

Can anyone in MLS compete with former Bulgarian international Trifan Ivanov in the ugliness department?

We here at Fighting Talker are always up for a good contest. Audience participation is what makes blogs go round, and Ed and I think we have a good one here for you.

Quite simply, who is the ugliest person in Major League Soccer? Back in my old radio days, we used to have an Ugliest Guy in the Big 10 competition, which was soon retired because no one could compete with the immortally ugly IU big man Tom Coverdale.

Well folks, who is the Tom Coverdale of MLS. It can be a coach, a player, even a fan.  Please note, I am working on a prize for this contest, I’ll announce it later this week when I finalize it.

To “enter,” just leave your answer and preferably a link to an appropriate picture (as evidence) as a comment below this post. Feel free to leave a witty comment with your image, as cleverness will always help if we’re dealing between two equally “fugly” entries.

A quick victory lap

If Aaron ever did a victory dance, this might be what it would look like.

If Aaron ever did a victory dance, this might be what it would look like.

I’d like a brief moment to take a quick victory strut in celebration that Fighting Talker was first with any news of Chad Marshall’s re-signing with the Crew. I am the first person around here to admit that we don’t break a lot of news on this site. But, that said, when I do say that I’ve got a nugget, understand that it’s not a rumor. I don’t print rumors and call them news, I call them rumors.

So Bill, next time I print news that turns out to be absolutely and unequivocally correct, and you want to challenge me on it… you better come with something better than calling me “cheesy” and “disreputable.”

A taste of our 2008 Awards Show to come

Even Jamie Foxx is excited for the 2008 Fighting Talker Awards

Coming next week, Ed and I return on the Fighting Talk Podcast to give out some of the bests and worsts of the 2008 year in soccer. As a preview, let me now present my awards for the some of the best and worst in soccer journalism.

Rather like those “technical Oscars,” these were awarded last night at a separate ceremony. Continue reading

More than you ever wanted to know about the “Polish Rifle”

In case you missed it, the Crew introduced Robert “Polish Rifle” Warzycha today as their new coach. I haven’t had too much contact with him, but during the dark days of Andrulis, he was often seen as the bad cop to Andrulis’ good cop. I suspect he’ll be a good coach in the league, but that’s just a hunch.

If you want more than a hunch, take a look at Mateo319′s recent post on the man as he attempts to redefine the word exhaustive with his analysis of the move. Does this hire require 3,488 words? (Yes, I counted) No, but parts of it are quite informative.

The Appiah Situation

Well, assuming what Steve wrote is true, it’s beginning to look like those deals for Gallardo and Emilio are slowly strangling United’s ability to do much of anything.

I have always been slightly concerned that having two DPs ties up too much cash to allow for enough flexibility, and it looks like we might have some proof of that. Like many DC fans, I was slightly nauseated when I read this, but if I were a Dallas fan, I’d lose my mind when I read this.

At least United showed some ambition in attempting to sign him. Dallas meanwhile is attempting to emulate the “model” of “Deadly” Doug Ellis’ Aston Villa teams of the last 10 years, squandering a big market for no reason other than their own cheapness.

ACTUAL NEWS: Sources say Marshall signing to be announced soon

It’s very, very rare when Fighting Talker can actually break news, especially news that Steve apparently doesn’t know yet, but my sources close to the situation in Columbus are telling me that Chad Marshall is about to decline that offer from Mainz and accept an extension from the Crew. I don’t yet know the details on the extension, but I’ve been told it’s coming soon.

Crew fans should be able to exhale a bit as it appears their post-title talent stripping has come to an end.

The Worst Kept Secret is True …

When Sigi leaving Columbus, does he have to give back the scarf?

When Sigi leaving Columbus, does he have to give back the scarf?

Ed here. …

… Sigi Schmid will not return to the Columbus Crew, after leading the club to its first MLS Cup victory in 2008.

The news is being reported by ESPNNews, courtesy Allen Hopkins, and is available on Soccernet.

It’s not a surprise, I suppose, except that for some odd reason to me, it is. It has been long rumored and discussed that Sigi the Scarf (does he get to keep the scarf?) wouldn’t return in 2009, with Seattle his most likely destination. And if he wants to be on the west coast, then you can’t blame him. I guess in some ways it just doesn’t make sense to me.

But the questions left for me are, did the Crew make an attempt to keep him? Had they put enough money on the table, could they have made Sigi change his mind about wanting to stay (assuming his wanting to leave is the reason he’s leaving)? Continue reading