And what a week it was. Transfer rumors being put to bed all around, stadium drama, and the LA Galaxy are still old. Here come the takes!
Last Week: N/A
There's been plenty of takes on Didier Drogba and the news that he may or may not have been joining Chelsea's coaching staff. The Ivorian himself seemed to put those rumors to bed, as he broadcasted via Twitter this week that he was doing preseason training in the Middle East and gearing up for another season with Montreal.
This is big for a couple of reasons. Didier Drogba is one of the best strikers of the modern era, combining the size and power of a classic number 9 with the speed and ball skills of today's attacking superstars. He's fourth on Chelsea's all-time leading scorer list (the only non-Englishman in the top ten), and he made Montreal a serious threat in the playoffs last year. Losing him would be colossal for the Impact. At the same time, getting a prestigious coaching job with Chelsea, where he may or may not be groomed to eventually take on the managing role himself, must be incredibly tempting. Drogba spent over a decade at the club over two stints of duty. Not to mention that such a move, should it happen, would be historic. The Premier League has never had an African manager, and they finished last season with just one black manager, with only four black managers holding top positions in all of England's professional leagues. This is a big, big decision by Drogba (if it is the decision he's making), and it will fundamentally change the Eastern Conference in 2016.
2. Once a Sounder
Last Week: 1
Movement: down 1
Jordan Morris finally got his name down on the paper and the Sounders finally, officially, have their man. Last week saw Werder Bremen flip-flopping on how sure a signing Morris actually was, and after he rejected their contract offer, he made the expected move and officially signed on as a Seattle Sounders Homegrown Player.
One of the more interesting tidbits about Morris's signing was the actual value of his contract, rumored to be valued at around $225,000 a year. In terms of world football, that's a paltry sum, but it blows most other Homegrown contracts out of the water. It also give some interesting insight into Morris's own psyche. Werder undoubtedly could have afforded to pay him more, but the pull of home and most likely more steady playing time appealed to Morris more. What a wuss, amirite?!
3. Benny Releases the Kraken; Klinsmann Doesn't Care
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Well, this was a long time coming. Benny Feilhaber finally let loose with his opinions on Jurgen Klinsmann and his continued exile from the National Team despite a career year in MLS and third place in MVP voting, and the man did not hold back. While he said he was "at peace" with the fact that Klinsmann would not be calling him into the national team while he's still in charge, he did accuse him of playing favorites and being essentially unfair in his selection process, naming himself and several other MLS mainstays as people who cannot seem to buy a call-up despite consistently good showings.
Jurgen, in turn, proceeded to give zero effs about the opinions of Mr. Feilhaber, and told him quite plainly why he wasn't receiving a call-up: he wasn't good enough. Whether you agree with Klinsmann or not on this issue, you can't accuse the man of hiding his opinions.
4. The Rapids are Really, REAAAAALLY Bad at This
Last Week: 4
Fittingly coming in second to last place on this list, it's everyone's favorite pity parade, the Colorado Rapids. Last week, the Rapids traded away Clint Irwin and left their fans with the prospect of an aging Tim Howard as a DP signing. This week, the Rapids added former Timbers head man John Spencer as an "offensive assistant coach," and the revelation that the Rapids have made absolutely no move for Howard according to Everton manager Roberto Martinez.
The Rapids front office is just toying with its fans now. After being linked with Howard, Carlos Vela, Alejandro Bedoya, and Alan Pulido this offseason, the Rapids have signed approximately zero percent of any of these DP targets, with a little under a week left in the European transfer window. To put it lightly, little confidence is currently being inspired in Commerce City. The hiring of John Spencer may or may not be even worse. Spencer is still well-liked by several former Houston Dynamo players from his time as an assistant coach there, but his time as coach in Portland was middling at best, poor at worst. While the team managed to stay in playoff contention before narrowly missing out in 2011, they were an unmitigated disaster in 2012, inspiring precious little offense in the Rose City and next to none on the road. Portland's biggest achievement that year was becoming the only MLS team to lose an Open Cup game to an amateur side when they lost 1-0 to Cal FC, and their leading scorer (and Designated Player) was Kris Boyd. Spencer had a successful career in Colorado as a player after his playing time in England was done, but if he's the Rapids hero returning home, then the story is a Greek tragedy.
5. Running Through the East with My Stadium Woes
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News broke this week of stadium delays for both Orlando and Atlanta, leaving some United fans concerned about the playing future of the club. While Orlando has a suitable home in the interim, a three-month delay of Mercedes Benz Stadium would seriously change the MLS schedule and put AUFC at a distinct disadvantage to start the season. Simply put: it's really hard to succeed as a first year expansion club in MLS. The 2009 Seattle Sounders were the last expansion team to make the playoffs in their first season, with Portland, Vancouver, Philadelphia, NYCFC, and Orlando City all failing to match the feat. A three month run of away games could prove catastrophic to AUFC's campaign, and the club will need to explore all available options if they want to get off the ground running.
Honorable Mentions: The LA Galaxy's Retirement Community Is Growing