Thursday, January 29, 2015

Back Again?

It’s been a long time and a lot has changed since I last posted (Sigi was trying to get Carlos Ruiz to Ohio!).

Alas, the legacy of this blog appears to haunt some, specifically Jeff Bradley who tweeted a declaration he was, in fact, not me - NotDougLogan.
Poor Jeff, we never meant this blog to push him out of writing and into leather goods & Jeep sales. 

Then someone replied with:
This compelled me to do two things: 1) clear Jeff’s name and 2) create a bangin’ Twitter account.

Maybe I can never really accomplish #1, without revealing who I am, but I can and have done #2 (@NotDougLogan)

Ok, maybe not bangin' either.  We’ll see where this goes…

How well connected am I five years later?

A Starbucks Barista?
Want fries with that?

Hold on, DG is calling.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Back with a Vengeance

Hey everyone. Yes, it's been awhile. So what?

Man, all of those pie-in-the-sky dreams of Chivas being a winning brand in the US in the form of a MLS team is not going exactly to plan. Only averaging 4500 tickets sold per game, how long before we should start worrying about the team folding? Actually, relocation is far more likely. Team owner Antonio Cue was approached by a potential buyer a while back (for relocation), but Cue didn't want to sell at the time. If ticket sales don't pick up soon, mounting financial losses may leave him no option next time an offer comes down the pike.

Next on the slate - Don't be surprised if new FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman not only moves up to a Technical Director position, but is also handed more important responsibilities within the Hunts Sports Group/FC Dallas/Pizza Hut Park cluster-fuh, er, ummm, "empire". It may take several months to come to fruition, but you heard it here first. Hyndman has already started making additions and moves inside the FCD structure to consolidate his power position that's based on having a direct line to the Hunts. I also can't help but wonder if former Fire GM Peter Wilt will be considered as a candidate to replace lame duck FC Dallas GM Michael Hitchcock? If there is anyone that could inject a "feel-good" vibe, which is much needed in sad sack Dallas, its Wilt.

And last but not least - Ruiz to the Crew? Yup. Sigi Schmid tried to pry his buddy Carlos out of Dallas before, but didn't offer enough to get Ruiz. Now with Ruiz firmly planted on the bench and LA openly shopping Ruiz, Sigi is again making a move to get the hefty salaried striker to Columbus. Only one question remains, has either Sigi upped his offer enough or has LA dropped the price enough so this deal can go down? Hey, Carlos and Sigi can have eating contests... Kidding, I make jokes! The truth is that one has to wonder why Sigi would want a player that is so clearly a former shell of himself. Ruiz has been on the decline for some time, and if he can't get his act together for a team like the Galaxy, it won't happen in Ohio.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Convention Tidbits

I struggled to decide to drive down to the coaches convention. Glad that I did. The adidas booth was a great site with all of the new MLS jerseys there for viewing, but it was when the MLS coaches began to show up that the stories and rumors started to flow.

Cities Racing To Become MLS Members

St Louis and Philly are battling it out for that next expansion slot. St Louis is farther along in terms of a stadium, but Philly is in a stronger ownership situation. There is also a stream of thought that either one of these teams would now wait until 2010 to join to ensure they have a stadium in place before beginning play. St Louis has signed with a sports marketing group to help land a naming rights deal if they get their stadium done.

The dark horse in the whole thing is the Don's pet project, a team in Queens.

Emilio Theft Thwarted

A Mexican 1st division team looked into filing a protest with FIFA in hopes of finding a loophole to sign DC United's Luciano Emilio. The story goes that they had the player's blessing for the protest which claims there is some sort of "problem with his contract" with DC United. The intent of the protest was to get the contract voided. Word is FIFA had decided they could rule in the player's favor. But the amount of time and red tape it was going to take would delay the signing so the Mexican team decided to pass.

Chicago Looks Backward

I'm sure you know by now Mike Jeffries is headed back to the windy city. His agent, Ron Waxman, and the team are still negotiating deal points. It seems like a done deal, but so did the hiring of Spencer as Head Coach until the Fire wouldn't budge on the low offer they made. Jeffries also interviewed with Chivas USA.

Jeffries will be first assistant and Daryl Shore will be another assistant, plus Chris Armas will also be part of the staff.

New Crew Director in Sights

After contract negotiations fell apart at the eleventh hour with Curt Johnson, the Hunt Sports Group have now targeted Brian Bliss for the Crew's technical director position.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Damn That Itchy Trigger Finger...

As you probably know by now, the "Veron to DC United" move is not happening. After all the drooling over the prospect, Veron himself called the whole thing off claiming that it was the request of his current team that pulled at his heart to stay.

Well, that isn't exactly the whole truth.

According to sources close to Veron, he felt a little smothered by DCU and was not pleased that they had jumped the gun on certain aspects of the proceedings. DCU had leaked that Veron had gotten a visa. That was true, but it wasn't to come stateside to announce his signing, but rather to first come check out the scene, the city, and the facilities.

Veron apparently was not happy that DCU had taken the leap from "his advisers like the deal" to, "so Veron must also like the deal". Just because his handlers were pleased, didn't mean that Veron himself had come to the same conclusion.

So, as DC was trotting out the idea of press conferences and the rumor mill was churning out "the deal is done" material, Veron was standing back and rethinking his situation.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rapids Flip (Flop?)

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the firing of Colorado Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo appeared to be imminent.

Shockers of all shockers, that will not be happening and no one is more surprised that Clavijo himself.

As mentioned, Clavijo had been given an ultimatum to make the playoffs or lose his gig. He had told close friends around the league as much. As we know, the Rapids failed to make the playoffs and Clavijo sat around waiting for an axe to fall that never did.

Apparently with a single year left on his contract, Kroenke doesn't want to pay out that last year.

This odd decision has left Kroenke and his club with a lame duck coach and a team going in the wrong direction, and everyone knows it. The 2008 season is not looking good for Rapids fans.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fish Getting a New Bowl

It appears the sweepstakes for Carlos Ruiz has begun in earnest.

While in DC at the MLS Cup the word was that if Eddie Johnson does leave KC, the Wizards might be very interested in Carlos' services. But KC likely has competing suitors. Ever since Ruiz left Los Angeles, the team has made inquiries about re-obtaining Carlos and now Lalas is asking again. A third player would be Sigi, who got the best out of Carlos, and he certainly could use him in Columbus.

Monday, November 19, 2007

General Manager Musical Charis

Thankfully that was a MLS Cup match that was "easy on the eye", and while the Revolution have every reason to feel cursed you have to give full credit to Houston. Semantics aside, that is a club that has won four Cups in seven seasons. DC United, long considered the "class of the league" took almost a decade to nab their four trophies. I think we have a new king.

While mingling amongst MLS suits there was a lot of information I heard a lot of info that has already come out, but one issue that I have not seen talked about is where some front office leaders might end up with potential expansion team GM titles.

Peter Wilt, the former Fire GM and current with the Chicago women's team start up is my pick for the St. Louis gig.

Mark Noonan, former MLS marketing fellow, in Queens.

Nick Sakiewicz, that Nick, Philly - since he is already leading the expansion efforts.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Clavijo Out and other Coaching Matters

It's only a matter of time before the first coaching head rolls. It probably will not be a shock, but Clavijo will almost certainly be ousted in Colorado. Over the last several weeks of the season Fernando was telling friends around the league that he would be fired if the Rapids missed the playoffs.

The worst kept secret in soccer finally went down and Frank Yallop is on his way to San Jose. Look for Landon Donovan to be shortly behind him as sharing the limelight with Beckham was not what he had in mind. And if you are a betting man, I wouldn't put any money on Alexi Lalas being around to start the 2008 season in LA.

Meanwhile in Columbus, Hunt Sports Groups has been telling everyone Sigi Schmid is going nowhere.

*UPDATE* - MLS has come to LA's rescue once again. First there was the "Beckham Rule", and now it appears there is a "Landon Rule" too. LA, Dallas and KC have been given exemptions for Landon, Ruiz and Johnson (respectively) that their contracts will not have to count as "Designated Players". Now LA doesn't have to find a way to get a 2nd DP slot. With this in mind it makes the idea of LD leaving a bit harder, but we all know how he feels about Yallop.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Adu Gone

So it's done. Freddy is heading to Benfica and has pulled out of Real Salt Lake's game tomorrow. There are several news sources out there that have already given you the transfer fee and basic terms as well as the story of Freddy heading to Benfica to finish the contract details. If you think there is a chance this deal might not happen you can forget about it.

What you won't hear is how Jason Kreis could care less about Freddy ever coming back to RSL in the first place and is quite happy to see the back of the young starlet. Officially RSL gave Freddy a few days off after the twenties to "rest" but the reality is Kreis wanted to give Adu every chance to find a deal and move on. MLS was happy to take the fee Benfica offered because RSL didn't fight it one bit and in fact encourage MLS to bite.

Mission accomplished, Freddy gets his big move and Kreis gets rid of his #1 headache.

Monday, July 23, 2007

If I Was a Betting Man...

San Jose's next, or first coach, will be Frank Yallop or Dominic Kinnear.

The fissures between Frank and Alexi are now more than just felt. Yallop would certainly love to return to the place he won two MLS Cups, and put LA behind him.

Kinnear is in a much better situation in Houston, but remember, his wife is from the Bay area. Hiring back the league's current best coach would be a coup for the San Jose owners. If the money and security were right, Kinnear would jump at it.

Last thought to tickle your MLS-loving grey matter: If Yallop returns to San Jose, does he talk Landon into joining him? Don't bet against it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Like I Mentioned...

...I would chime in when I had good stuff. For those of you that haven't deleted this bookmark and check in just to see if there is anything - well here's what I got from my time hanging at Gold Cup matches.

Many emails came in about rumors of Carlos Ruiz going back to LA. Both Galaxy and Chivas.

Well, it is true that the Galaxy were looking to trade, but it was not for Ruiz. From people I talked to it appears it was Kenny Cooper Jr they were after. With Beckham and Xavier on the way LAG is going to be over the cap. Albright looked to be the player going out, but now with both Cooper and Albright injured, all of this seems a bit moot and may have led to their persuit of Honduran striker Carlos Pavon.

I am hoping to have expansion news very soon. I have some tidbits, but don't want to post anything until I have a full report.

Hope you are enjoying the MLS season. There, more now than ever, are many reasons to be very upbeat and positive about the future of this league. Now, if we can only find a way to not play when it is so damned hot.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dear Readers

I am fully aware that I have been absent from posting here for some time and wanted to address it.

I'm not gone forever, but I have come to realize that shortly after I began this blog, that a few new ones popped up and some others that already existed, all have been doing a pretty good job of what I was trying to accomplish.

Plus, I only really want to post things that I feel are important, or interesting and haven't been already brought up by the rest of the soccer blogisphere. There are many times I know something of value that posting it would expose me and/or my sources so I have not been able to, and then the story gets out via another outlet it is too late for me to do anything with it. I am not a journalist and do have a full time job in the soccer community that absorbs the majority of my attention.

Anyway, my point is that when and if I come across something that I think is worthy, and not already talked about - I will post it.

Thanks for the kind emails asking what is the situation. -NDL

Friday, January 12, 2007

MLS/MFL Tourny Update

In the midst of everything else going on in MLS and US Soccer, this might be small potatoes, but the tournament we last mentioned will be explained in full at a MLS launch event in LA.

The teams have changed a bit.
The groups:
FC Dallas
LA Galaxy

DC United
Club America
UNAM Pumas Pachuca

UPDATE: My mistake. I accidently screwed up Pumas for Pachuca. My apologies.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The MLS-FMF Club Tournament

As you might have heard, there are plans in 2007 for a Cup tournament between four Major League Soccer teams and four teams from the Mexican league. What I have learned is that, while nothing is ever written in stone, from MLS it will be DC United, LA Galaxy, FC Dallas and Chicago Fire. Representing the Mexican league will be Chivas, Club America, Cruz Azul and Morelia.

The teams will be placed into two groups:
Group A: FCD, LA, Chivas, Cruz Azul
Group B: DC, Chicago, Morelia, Club America

For the debut of the tournament, organizers wanted to have eight teams they felt would draw crowds and interest. After the first year there will be a qualification process, but I do not have those rules at this time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

MLS' Big D Weekend

As I sit in my hotel this morning of the MLS Cup there is so much going on it is hard to keep up, but I wanted to comment briefly on a few things.

With yesterday's announcement of the "Designated Player Rule" (aka: "The Beckham Rule", which I have been mentioning here for some time was close to happening) it is important to consider its potential ramifications. First, do not get distracted by the glaring hype of David Beckham going to the Galaxy and forget about the other teams. Remember, all the other teams would love to have their own international star. While I have heard some of the names being mentioned, and a few of them are surprising, nothing right now is sure enough to pass along. Also, while several currently high priced MLS players are grandfathered into this rule, that lasts only one year. So, how will LA handle the "Landon Issue" if in fact they do get a shot at signing Beckham? This is where the concerns of multiple team ownership come to the forefront. Who's to say that a group that owns more than one team doesn't trade their DP within their family, therefore stacking a side? Something else that is not clear; if a team trades their DP, do they ever get another?

There is a great vibe here in Dallas/Frisco. The Dallas Morning News has a full page in its two sizable sports sections about the game and the sell out should make for fantastic atmosphere this afternoon.

Which leads me to Pizza Hut Park: Wow, how far this facility has come compared to last year. While it still seems like we are forever away from Dallas, the amount of growth in this northern suburb is shocking. With FCD's success in generating revenue thru tournaments (on the outstanding army of adjacent fields) and multiple sold out concerts, it's clear why MLS considers Pizza Hut Park a model for everyone else. It makes me wonder why I continue to hear that Hunt Sports Group is looking into selling the team.

Timing Is Everything

When it comes to this year's coaching changes in MLS, its all about the timing.

Currently, there are two vacancies, FC Dallas and Kansas City Wizards. DC United assistant Tom Soehn is a leading candidate for both clubs. On a side note, it is also known that former Kansas City Wizards coach Bob Gansler is going to Toronto as Mo Johnston's assistant - so take Bob out of the running for head coaching gigs.

The question of timing comes due to the uncertainty that Peter Nowak will be staying in DC. United would be Soehn's third option and, you'd think, his top choice.

Furthermore, Sigi Schmid and Bob Bradley are the two leading candidates to be first assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann when he takes the US job. So once Klinsmann gets the nod, either Chivas or Columbus will also have a coaching opening.

So which coach ends up where may all depend on the hiring order. Do KC and Dallas hire someone (Soehn) before Nowak leaves? If Nowak leaves first, then Soehn stays in DC and US assistant Curt Onalfo goes to the Wizards. FC Dallas, despite the search for a legitimate Mexican candidate, gets left with either current interim coach Steve Morrow or SMU's Schellas Hyndman. And if Sigi ends up going to the national team, who would then become the Crew's top candidate if both Onalfo and Soehn are both spoken for?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Two Words

Saint Louis.

Enough said.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mexican Hat Dance

FC Dallas is heating up their coaching search and don't be surprised if at the early stages a well-known Mexican candidate or two makes the list of top ten finalists. One of my Mexican-based sources has told me that Jorge Campos (yes, that Jorge Campos) has had preliminary discussions with the Hoops regarding the open head coach position. Campos is not speaking to them as a candidate, but rather as an agent. Jorge Campos currently represents several active players and coaches, including the Revolution's Jose Manuel Abundis. Campos will be in Frisco for MLS Cup and will take the opportunity to have further discussions with FCD officials. A name that may pop up is Paco Ramirez, LaVolpe's top assistant on the Mexican National team this past World Cup. Ramirez is currently available and is represented by Campos.

Another candidate that will surely surface publicly (as he does whenever there's a coaching change in Dallas) is Hugo Sanchez. But with Sanchez on the brink of landing the head coaching position with the Mexican National team, that possibility seems remote at best. Not that FCD could afford the approximate $1M salary he would command, anyway. In any case, no matter who (or how many) Mexican candidates make it to FCD's ten candidates list, I would be willing to bet that none of them, for a variety of reasons, actually get anywhere close to landing the Hoops coaching gig.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Toronto Seeing Red

I hammered on my jersey source again. He has yet to send me the entire set of jerseys for 2007. "They are all the same," he says. He did verify that the Toronto images floating around a couple locations on the internet are accurate.

I have previously described the Toronto uniforms to you before. The origional source of the images is Adam H, he sent them to me to post.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hunt Divesting and Beckham Rule

Lamar Hunt has done a great deal for soccer in this country and should be thanked for all his contributions. The most recent of which is the year long search for a local owner in Kansas City to keep the Wizards there instead of letting them go to Philadelphia.

Hunt has discreetly let it be known in the right power circles that he is looking to sell one of his two remaining teams: Columbus Crew and FC Dallas. Which one is unclear at this point and even Hunt may not know which one he will move.

So what does that have to do with the so called "Beckham rule?" Simple, Hunt (or HSG) is the one who vetoed the Beckham rule at last year's Board of Governors meetings.

Now there is renewed discussion that the Beckham rule may be close to implementation. If the Beckham rule gets passed by the Governors you can rest assured it was because of two things. One, the Governors agreed to a specific dollar limitation that Hunt could sign off on; and two, Hunt has reduced his power on the Board by selling Kansas City and will reduce it even more with the sale of one of his two remaining teams.