It's now official: Atlanta will be joining MLS. New owner Arthur Blank said all of the right things in the press conference, but let's see if he follows through. He said that no NFL lines will ever be visible during a game, the colors will be black and red with a little gold, the capacity will be limited to a little under 30,000 and he will commit the money to make the team successful. This team has already divided many opinions and should be interesting.
Now that Atlanta has a team, the race for the last expansion spot is heating up. There are two two groups in Minnesota. One is the Minnesota Twins combined with Minnesota United FC from the NASL. The other group is the owners of the Minnesota Vikings. The Twins/United group is promising with an established fan base, plans for a soccer stadium and have committed resources to team such as traveling to train at Newcastle. The Vikings group wants the team to play in the new Vikings stadium. I vote United/Twins but that's just me.
Damien Duff to MLS?
Fulham winger Damien Duff has stated that he is interested in joining MLS after his contract with Fulham runs out at the end of the year. Even though he is 35 years old, he could be valuable to a team at the right price. I can see this move happening.
Red Bulls defeat Union
New York has their first win of the season after defeating Philadelphia 2-1. Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips had the Red Bulls up 2-0 and then Ibrahim Sekagya got sent off in the 78th minute. The red card resulted in a penalty kick scored by Le Toux but the Red Bulls held on to win.
Landon talks World Cup
Donovan opened up to ESPN and discussed the upcoming World Cup. He sounds to be very positive, but seems to realize that at his age, he isn't a guaranteed starter anymore. If for some reason he doesn't start, I love the idea of Landon running at a tired defense at the end of a game.
Dallas Cup update
In one of the world's premier youth tournaments, the Chicago Fire Academy U13s have gone undefeated in group play. The wee Fire lads move on to the quarterfinals of the U13 tournament against Chivas USA, which will take place this evening at 6 p.m.
In group play, the Fire defeated Houstonians FC, 2-0, played to a scoreless draw with Tampa Bay Utd, and crushed Monterrey 5-0 to win the group. Of course, academy play at this level isn't about results, it's about player development - still, encouraging.
The USA U20s are in the 'Gordon Jago Super Group,' a collection of top-flight club academy teams. Coached by Tab Ramos, the USA won out in the group stage, beating Argentina's River Plate, Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt and Mexico's TIgres along the way. The USA returns to action Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Brazilian side Fluminense in the semifinals of the knockout stages.