Landin Gone, Spencer to Portland? UPDATE: Blanco Spurns Fire, Some French Guy to RBNY

On the list of Designated Players Who Have Flopped Spectacularly, it's hard to think of a guy who deserves the coveted top spot more than the Dynamos' Mexican acquisition from less than a year ago.

In fairness, Luis Landin, as they say, "battled injuries" for much of his time in orange, but two goals in 800 minutes isn't what he was brought in for.

Since he was on loan (Cruz Azul) he's not currently unemployed, a good thing for a newlywed with a baby on the way.

Of more long term interest to MLS fans is the unexpected departure of John Spencer from the Dynamo coaching staff.

Over the past couple of years his name has been tossed around in connection with virtually every league coaching vacancy, and the upcoming Portland job has been no exception.

It's entirely speculation at the moment, as there's absolutely no proof I know of that the man has ever set foot in Oregon or even smoked weed, but he's one of those guys whose time has more than come for some job somewhere.

As we did with Paul Mariner, a man who was(inexplicably) passed over far too many times for much less qualified guys, Spencer has been left hanging too long.

Furthermore, as a former MLS player (Colorado Rapids) he's exactly the kind of guy we need more of on benches around the league.

The Timbers could do much, much worse.

OK, I'm now going to do something I have steadfastly refused to do in the past:

Endorse a book.

The reason I'm doing this isn't because I like Beau Dure a lot, although I do. It isn't even because he mentions (in passing) my name.

Rather, it's because this excellent piece of work, which he surely didn't write in a bid for international fame and/or fortune, is both long overdue and particularly relevant and of value to the denizens of BigSoccer:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Long-Range-Goals-Success-League-Soccer/dp/1597975095/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279111988&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Long-Range Goals: The Success Story of Major LeagueÂ…[/ame]

Relative newcomers to MLS fandom - not to mention this website - surely must get tired of all the long-in-the-tooth geezers who constantly trump their arguments with references to Ray Hudsons' Miami Fusion teams, the tiebreaker shootout and players like Mamadou Diallo and Digital Takawira.

This is your chance to be able to shoot back an observation about Giovanne Savarese, Eduardo Hurtado and/or DC Uniteds' 8-0 win over Joe Public. Amaze your friends.

It will also be of value to my great good friends up North, one of whom once blogged that people who want to pretend that MLS existed before 2005 are "pedants" (I personally think the definition of "pedant" ought to be "people who use the word "pedant" but that's another column).

Now they'll have a clue what they're talking about. Some of the time.

It's all there, from Alan Rothenberg (AKA The Dark Eminence Whose Name Must Not Be Uttered) through maybe the best summary of the Players' Association Lawsuit I've ever seen, the contraction crisis, the rebirth under Cohiba Don, right up to the present, it's all there and presented in Dures' typically lucid style.

Among the many ancillary requirements for any sports league to become recognized as serious and relevant is a body of literature. And Beau has contributed the first comprehensive overview of where the league has been and where it's likely headed.

Like the bigtime reviewers who get actual money and stuff for writing pieces like this one, I'll only say: go buy it.

Well worth your time.

According to GOAL.COM Cootiemac Blanco has turned down an offer from the Chicago Fire to return to their fair city and has instead signed with Irapuato, which plays in the Liga de Ascenso, the Mexican second division.

And please: try to sit down before reading the following news, as the shock may be harmful to your health.

OK, ready?

Are you sure?

OK then:

THIERRY HENRY HAS SIGNED WITH THE RED BULLS

I'd normally add a comment or two, but there's really not much that hasn't been said 80,000 times over the last six months.

Of course the real point here isn't that the energy drink folks passionately believe that Henry will vault their team into the stratosphere of this or any other league.

That's largely secondary to the main purpose here, which is to connect "Big Time Soccer Star" to "Red Bull in a Can".

The really scary part?

The rumor that says Rafa marquez is next.

Henry-Marquez. What else is there to say.

I mean, besides "meh"? Angel will still be their best player.