Chicago: Well, except for the fool who has decided to sign the Hunchback of Mexico City. As El Güero mentioned earlier, Blanco is on his way to Windy City, with the official announcement due on Tuesday. It won't hurt ticket sales, and it definitely won't hurt interest in MLS south of the border and among Mexicans in the US, but I think it will hurt the Fire on the field. He can still play, but I don't know how well he fits in MLS. I hope it's a good move all the way around, but I'm pretty skeptical.
Also, it appears he won't be with the Fire on Opening Day, but will finish the season in Mexico first.
New York: The Bulls still might not be done with adding to their roster after getting Cleetus. I would probably guess that Juan Pablo Angel won't be coming, but who knows in Energy Drink land. There are reports that New York has offered a contract to Marcelo Salas of Chile. El Matador is 32 years old and most recently played with Universidad de Chile. He has previously played and starred for River Plate, Lazio, and Juventus. He was released by Universidad due to the club going into bankruptcy in December. AEK Athens is also in the running for his signature.
In the shock of all shocks, Dema Kovalenko was red carded in the Bulls' 2-1 loss to Houston in South Carolina. Supposedly, Cleetus looked good in the second half when he came on. Also, judging from the lineup, New York played some sort of 4-4-2, or maybe even a 4-3-3, depending on if Dane Richards was in midfield or up front. Wolyniec and Altidore started up front.
The Bulls gave up a 4th round draft pick to Colorado for Mathis, with another pick possibly going west depending on performance. Salt Lake is still picking up a big part of Cleetus' contract, so there's little risk for New York on the move. It's worth a shot.
Chivas USA: The American Goats beat Chicago in a friendly 1-0 on an Ante Razov goal. Jesse Marsch received a red card against his former teammates midway through the second half. We've also learned that John Thorrington continues his tour through the MLS preseason, playing with Chivas in the second half.
Houston: Brian Ching and Alejandro Moreno scored in the second half to bring the Dynamo back to beat New York 2-1. The Dynamo retains the Carolina Challenge Cup with the win. The good thing for Houston is that every winner of the Carolina Challenge Cup has went on to either win MLS Cup or the Supporters' Shield.
I still think Moreno is a much better option for Houston than Dalglish, anyone else?
Toronto: First question, does Toronto FC have any sort of nickname yet? That would make things a lot easier in these parts. And now onto the news, Toronto ended their stay in South Carolina with a 3-0 win over the Charleston Battery. Esky, Abbe Ibrahim, and Edson Buddle were your goalscorers.
Carl Robinson will join the team in Toronto this week. Conor Casey still didn't see action, but did train with the team while they were in South Carolina.
The article also says that visa issues will not allow Ibrahim to join the team in Toronto, so he'll have to stay and train in the US. He'll meet up with the team for games. That can't be easy to deal with...
Dallas: Paranaense came to the Lone Star State and left with a 1-0 win over the Hoops. It appears that Dallas controlled much of the play, outshooting the Brazilians 17-9, but they just couldn't find the target. Coach Morrow gave special credit to Ramon Nunez, Marcelo Saragosa, and Juan Carlos Toja for their play. I wonder how long management will give Morrow to find his sea legs as a head coach.
Pablo Ricchetti made his Dallas debut, but visa issues will also keep him from officially joining the squad. They have agreed to a contract though.
Los Angeles: There's reports circulating that everyone's headbutting friend Zizou wants to follow Becks to LA. I don't even know how that would be possible, with the salary cap and DP situation for the Gals. Unless they want to trade Landon, how would they even do this? I think Zizou should go to enjoy the fine French cuisine in Columbus, Ohio and wear the proud yellow and black of the Village People.
ESPN: ESPN Classic will show the 2002 and 2006 MLS Cup finals on Thursay, April 12 at 11 am and 1 pm. Does somebody in programming hate the Revs? And, does somebody in programming love boring soccer matches? Show the '96 MLS Cup final in the rain and the LA-San Jose final with the De Rosario winner in extra time.
DC: El Presidente Goff mentioned in his blog that United will be parnering with Atletico Mineiro of Brazil.
Salt Lake: Great to see that Salt Lake has changed their formation about 87 times this preseason. They traded for Junior Captain America Freddy to play the attacking mid spot, and now it looks like he'll be a left forward in a 4-3-3 formation. It's true he won't have as much defensive responsibility in this formation, but I don't think it's his best role either. Poor kid.
Kansas City: The Wiz have entered into a partnership with Atlas of Guadalajara. They will trade friendlies, KC will train in Mexico next spring, and there's the usual "player exchanges" clause that hardly ever amounts to anything.
Thanks to MLS Underground, there's also rumors of a big KC player signing this week. It probably won't be DP type of money, it'd be allocation type of cash. That can have a big impact, look at Christian Gomez.