|1) Mo Johnston steps down as Toronto FC head coach.|
Such a good move for TFC, which will probably do more for their chances this season than any player acquisition.
2) Several good MLS players leave for Europe on free transfers.
Andy Dorman (St. Mirren)
Clarence Goodson (IK Start)
Nate Jaqua (SC Rheindorf Altach)
Clint Mathis (Ergotelis FC)
Joseph Ngwenya (SK Austria Karnten)
Pat Noonan (Aalesund FK)
I don't see this as something to worry about. The problem will correct itself in the future. As MLS teams become profitable and increase their revenues, the salary cap will increase and many players like these will have no need to leave for salary reasons. Until then, we'll just have to deal with a few good players leaving every year. It might affect the quality of play slightly, but these departures will have no affect on the future success of MLS. One Blanco means many times more to the league than all six combined.
3) Michael Bradley tearing it up in the Netherlands.
Certainly a lock for YA of the Year. Amazing to see an American playing so well offensively in one of the world's top leagues. And despite my reservations on his USMNT playing time a year ago, it turns out Bob was doing the right thing. Actually, Bob Bradley has exactly the right strategy in playing the young guys. While I still think he hands out caps undeservingly (Lee Nguyen, Jeremiah White), we need to use our young players because we can't win a World Cup with the old ones and that's the ultimate goal. Veterans are not going to magically turn into world class players, but young players have a chance.
4) ESPN announcers for 2008 will be JP Dellacamera and John Harkes.
You win some, you lose some. Dave O'Brien had improved, but he was still not good and was a stupid choice to begin with. Eric Wynalda, on the other hand, may not have been the greatest analyst but was fascinating to listen to. It was refreshing to hear someone actually say what they were thinking, and I'll miss that when I listen to the boring Harkes. Apparently some of you will miss him as well. Overall I'd say this is more positive than negative, though.
5) MLS continues march to major league status.
Just look at all the amazing things that have happened in the past month. Eddie Johnson and Brad Guzan were highly sought after and commanded multi-million dollar transfer fees. Bryan Arguez, who never played a minute in MLS, transferred to a Bundesliga team and made his debut today. Cities are actually fighting over who gets an MLS expansion team. Martin Vasquez is going to Bayern Munich. Just an amazing time to be a fan, and though we've got a ways to go, it seems closer than ever. It's like I said a year ago: You can't go back to being a child after you hit puberty. The David Beckham signing has given the league more attention, fans, revenue, and respect than ever before, and you have to build on that.