Of all the Blanco signing with the Chicago Fire, my favorite has to be from Luis Bueno at SI.com. I'm definitely not sold on the Blanco signing being a good thing for the Fire or MLS in the long term. Sure, there will be plenty of Club America fans that will be excited about their hero signing with the Fire. However, will that be enough to warrent his salary and the club house issues that Blanco will inevitably cause Dave Sarachan and the rest of the Fire organization? I'd bet against it at this point.
Does one player make a difference?
This is a very interesting question.
MLS is banking on Blanco, Reyna, and most especially David Beckham being able to move the needle in a positive direction. But, what is more important, the one or two names that draw attention or an overall high level of play and team success?
DC United is going down the road of the team being more important than the stars. Although, with 2006 MLS MVP Christian Gomez, Jaime Moreno, and Brazilian newcomers Luciano Emilio and Fred, DC does have plenty of marketable players on the roster. But, they do lack that true "name brand" star type player. But the last time I checked, the DC United fanbase didn't care about that all too much.
USL 1st Division Player Moves
The Charleston Battery have signed Portland Timbers all-time leading scorer Byron Alvarez. Alvarez is the second front line producer that the Timbers have lost this offseason with Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar to the Seattle Sounders. Alvarez will join former-Rhino Ian Fuller and Lazo Alavanja up top for the Battery.
Speaking of former-Rhinos, forward Charles Gbeke is back with the Montreal Impact. Gbeke finished the 2005 season with the Impact and then signed with the Rhinos for the 2006 season. Gbeke has signed a three year deal with the club.
Also of note, Ansu Toure has not been offered a contract by the NY Red Bulls according to Ives Galarcep. It will be interesting to see if Toure goes back to the Minnesota Thunder now that things haven't worked out with the MLS club.
DC falls to Chivas in CONCACAF Champions Cup semis
Things were looking good for DC United when Jaime Moreno put them ahead in the 36th minute on a sweet no look shot on a feed from Luciano Emilio.
But alas, DC couldn't hold the lead and fell to the Mexican giants 2-1 in the match and 3-2 on aggregate.
Tomorrow eveing reigning MLS Cup champs Houston Dynamo will hope to advance to the Champions Cup final when they take on Pachuca. Houston enters the second leg in Mexico with a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Brian Ching and Chris Wondolowski.
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.