Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Johnnie O, Crap! - John O'Brien to Chivas

RSL have certainly improved their lineup from last season, but it looks as though their sophomore compadres down south seem to have done the same - and their lineup is about to get a bit more international experience.

According to SoccerAmerica.com, US International midfielder John O'Brien has been training in LA in preparations for an MLS team to allocate his rights. The team with the next allocation? Chivas.

I haven't been keeping tabs on all of Chivas' allocations and improvements, but adding O'Brien has gotten my attention of Chivas. Assuming the former Dutch League player is in form, and with a World Cup approaching and O'Brien no where to be found in the Nats camps or matches one would think he's going to be a little motivated, O'Brien will be a threat that the rest of the League will notice. He knows what needs to be done to get himself onto the World Cup roster.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Under my radar and off to Portland

So, it appears that way back in December assistant coach Chris Agnello parted ways with RSL to take the reigns as Head Coach and General Manager of the Portland Timbers of the USL First Division.

Before Agnello was an RSL assitant he virtually ran the Utah Blitzz (D3) as head coach and general manager. During his is time with the Blitzz they won two league championships in five seasons, including one in 2004 - their last year before pulling out of the USL to make way in the Salt Lake market for Real Salt Lake.

Although a Utah native, Agnello is familiar with Portland as he played college ball for Warner Pacific College located in that city.

Ironically, the Blitzz were knocked out of the Open Cup in 2004 by the Timbers. And the Blitzz also had a striker who would train frequently with the Timbers and then play his games with the Blitzz...but his name is escaping me.

As one who supportered the Blitzz for two seasons I can say that Agnello's teams always looked well coached and were entertaining to watch. Portland is getting one of the best of the D3 business, and it will be fun to watch how Agnello does at the second division level.

Hattip to TImbers Blog who mentioned Agnello in one of their latest posts that caught my attention and caused me to look up about Chris. Also, thanks to Soccer Blogs where I ran across the Timbers Blog.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Red Bull New York: Not entirely a bad thing

Lalas holding up a Red Bull New York shirt
Major League Soccer has been in the red since before the first ball was kicked in San Jose back in 1996. If the league sees this, selling teams off to companies, as a possible revenue stream to help slow the bleeding than so be it. Also, by having Red Bull in as investors it loosens AEGs grip on a league they essentially backed for a few years. That's another plus to the situation. Here poses a question I haven't seen someone point out. Which is worse for the league in the long run: 1.) selling teams to companies, or 2.) selling off any and all young talent to the highest foreign bidder?

Yes, the selling of talent will always happen. You can't stop our best players from going to Europe if they have the desire to prove themselves there. But, by getting the league more financial stable would be a step in getting more of that talent to stay put. Plus, some gems of foreign talent may be persuaded to come play here.

As much as it's hard to fathom sometimes, MLS is a business and they need to make desicions that are good for their bottom line. If the Red Bull investment is the largest single in the history of the league, that means it's bigger than adidas' $100 million (or was that $150?). In that sense, I applaud MLS for attracting the austrian drink company.

Plus, it's not like teams aren't named after companies through out the world. It's been mentioned that there is Red Bull Salzburg. But, there is PSV Eindhoven, where the PSV roughly stands for the Philips Sports Club. So it's not unheard of to have teams named after companies.

There is an idea by The Metrologist for Metros fans to continue to use the name. I say go for it, it's your team. Without you they couldn't exsist for very long.

All in all, a good business decision for the league. I appologize to the fans who've been there for 10 years and now have to take it. But, in the end it should all work out for the better.

P.S. Anyone else notice the Verizon logo in the picture above? When did they jump on?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Locals getting their shot with RSL

The most recent round of cuts, where Adolfo Gregorio and Diego Walsh were shaved from the roster, put RSL in compliance with the league's 28-man roster limit. As pointed out by James Edward, that means that Adam Acosta and Joey Worthen will be on the 2006 RSL roster.

Since the story only focused on who was cut I'll go ahead fill y'all in on our pair of locals who made the team. As I am not a "native" of the area my information came from googling. If you have anything to add please comment.

Worthen is a Cottonwood High School alum, graduating in 1998. He is said to be the best product out of the Utah youth soccer system. While at Cottonwood Worthen received Parade All-American honors which helped him get on at Division-I school South Carolina - the same school that Clint Mathis and Josh Wolff attended. During his time in South Carolina, Worthen tallied 25 goals and 15 assists. He was named to the NSCAA All-South First Team in 2001. Also during his college career Worthen gained some experience with the U-20 National Team and PDL side Cape Cod Crusaders.

His success in college led to being drafted up by then A-Leauge franchise Pittsburgh Riverhounds. During his rookie season he was the only player on the Riverhounds to appear in every game that season. Worthen also led the team in assists. Worthen then moved to the Richmond Kickers in 2004 where he spent two seasons playing on the left wing. He scored 8 goals, 3 assists in 46 appearances.

There is a funny story written about Joey while with the Hounds. While it's a bit of humerous fiction, it may shed a bit of light on Worthen's playing style. There were at least three instances where when searching for material on this post that I found a story about Worthen getting sent off. Is Worthen an enforcer?

There wasn't as much info on Adam Acosta, although those close to the team have seen him train with RSL and play in some reserve matches last year. Acosta is from Bountiful and later went to the University of Redlands to play Division-III soccer. While at Redlands Acosta received All-American honors in 2003.

Ellinger likes Acosta because he produces. His track record for scoring in reserve matches is quite good. Although he is a great local talent, I wouldn't expect him to receive signficant playing this year - barring anything unforseen.

When talking about Utahns on RSL some might point out Sergio Flores. Unfortunately, the Smithfield native fell victim to the first round of cuts at preseason camp. Flores is currently back in Cache Valley, working out and preparing to go back down to play in the Bolivian league where he was before joining RSL.