The first week of the off season is in the books, but it certainly wasn’t quiet. There were trades, retirements drafts and signings. Big players are on the move, new players are heading to MLS and the league’s expansion antennae is still raised. There was a testimonial match, a re-entry draft, combine announcements and a new team formed in the NWSL. Over the weekend there was the College Gup before 7,000 frigid fans at PPL Park. In short, the domestic off season is a busy time and soccer fans have plenty to look forward to over the next few weeks.
On Friday MLS announced its plans for the 2014 ASG in Portland. For the first time in ASG history, the opponent will be a German soccer club. World famous Bayern Munich will make the trip to the Rose City next Summer. This is another soccer power for the League’s warm weather classic. The prominent opponent combined with the cozy confines at Jeld-Wen should make for a hot ticket next year.
There was some expansion noise at the end of last week. Reports emerged that Sacramento had expressed an interest in moving up to MLS in the near term. There are already three teams from California in the league and MLS is already somewhat heavily weighted towards the west coast. It will be interesting to see if any Pacific Time Zone teams are added as the league moves to 24.
Finally, it was announced that US Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has signed a four year extension to remain as coach of the national team after the World Cup. While the move is curious, there is a sense that the move can be defended by saying “it is only money.” If the USSF wants to fire him after a terrible World Cup in Brazil, it will, contract notwithstanding.
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