January 11, 2007
There are reports that David Beckham will turn down a two year extension with Real Madrid in favor of a move to the LA Galaxy of MLS.
This could end up being the day that either makes or breaks MLS. There will be huge expectations on what David Beckham would mean to MLS. And if the acquistion of perhaps the most famous soccer player on the planet doesn't lift MLS with regards to media attention, sponsorships, and ticket sales, then there will be serious questions about the Designated Player Rule and what the high end business potential of MLS will be.
Personally, I think it's a little early for MLS to make this move. But, I do believe that Beckham is one of a select few true world stars that would be a good fit for MLS.
Landon Donovan joins the US Men's National Team Camp
Landon Donovan joined the US Men's National Team Camp this week after returning from his honeymoon. US Soccer.com has a behind the scenes video on Donovan that, as usual, is fun to watch.
It's going to be interesting to see how Bradley uses Donovan. Many fans that were disappointed with Landon turning his back on Europe and felt like he didn't show up at the World Cup, want to see Donovan knocked down a few pegs. But, will Bradley go the other way and try and get more out of Donovan as he remains US Soccer's best central attacking midfielder.
My guess is that Bradley will work with Donovan as opposed to trying to use him to make a major statement.
Virginia Beach named Colin Clarke head coach
Former FC Dallas and Richmond Kickers head coach Colin Clarke has been hired as the new head man of the Virginia Beach Mariners of the USL 1st Division.
There were rumors that Virginia Beach's ownership may want to drop out of the USL 1st Division. However, with the naming of Clarke as the new head coach, you would expect the team to be serious about remaining in the league for at least the 2007 season and that they want to win.
2007 MLS SuperDraft getting the weak tag
You can throw out all the old sports cliches about asking me in 5 years if this is a good draft class and you can certainly say that the Class of 2007 has a tough act to follow after the 2006 Draft. I mean, Josmer Altidore was a 2nd round pick last year for goodness sake.
But, all that being said, many are saying that this year's class is a weak one at best.
It will be interesting to see how this affects the Rhinos and their hope to add 2 or 3 good young players this offseason. It may also affect the Rhinos by making players like Scott Palguta and Kenney Bertz even more attractive to MLS clubs.
Here's hoping that doesn't happen!
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.