Philly Announcement Set for Next Thursday

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER is reporting this morning that the deal to bring MLS to the City of Brotherly Love has been finalized and will be presented to the public at a press conference on Feb. 28.

Just in passing: has MLS ever made one of their "Major Announcements" when everyone didn't know exactly what it was they were going to "announce" a week ahead of time?

Since world-renowned soccer observer Steven Cohen, with his extensive background playing pickup games in vacant lots, couldn't possibly be wrong, I'm trying to figure out how it is that Houston FC really laid a hurt on Sydney FC in Hawaii last night.

If it's true that the A-League has "100 players better than Landon Donovan" as he has said, then why didn't they bring a few of them to Hawaii ?

New York Red Bulls won this season's "First Team to Dump a Draftee" contest when they cut Laurent Manuel, a midfielder out of Brown who was their 4th round selection.

Normally teams will keep guys around longer than this, if for no other reason than as extra practice players, but cutting a kid early, when it's clear that he's not going to make the team, is something teams really ought to consider more often. It's still plenty early enough to try and catch on with a USL1 side or even another MLS team. Cutting a guy in April makes that sort of thing a lot tougher.

The Fire's Cuauhtemoc Blanco is ready for the season to start. He apparenly spent a good deal of time yesterday TRADING FRIENDLY GREETINGS with various members of Toronto FC.

Obviously nobody told him that veteran stars use the pre-season to work on their tans and sweat out the beer. He thinks he's supposed to be playing soccer out there. And he only knows one way to go about it.

I have no doubt that you'll be hearing more - possibly a LOT more - about the LA/ Osaka game last night from Dan, so I won't get into it much, except to say, as kindly as I can possibly phrase it, that the Galaxy has some kinks they need to work out.

On the plus side, David Beckham looked - well, like David Beckham. Unfortunately, Edson Buddle looked like Edson Buddle too. Gullit needs to work on that.

THE INDISPENSABLE IAN PLENDERLEITH, who you should be reading anyway, offers this observation:

"What he said: “Ten days into preseason and we are exactly where I want to be. I thought it was a really tough game against a side who’s just been knocked out of the UEFA Cup in Europe so it was a great test for us.” Toronto FC head coach John Carver, after his side lost 2-1 to Danish side Odense (Toronto FC press release, February 14, 2008).

What he meant to say: “We lost, and we lost to a side that was knocked out of the UEFA Cup in the first round last October, by Sparta Prague, without scoring a goal. But I’m from England and think you’re too stupid to check up on stuff like that.”