Welcome to the start of a new weekly series, where we look at the big stories from the weekend in MLS and around the world.
The World Cup Is Expanding
The recent news of World Cup expansion is somewhat similar to the push that MLS is making in its pursuit of rapid expansion. While the two competitions cannot be directly compared, the idea that more is better is not always true. While the changes in the World Cup format will not be implemented for some time, the MLS will have two new clubs starting this year. Minnesota and Atlanta will take their first crack at MLS this year and more teams will follow.
MLS San Diego?
With the San Diego Chargers moving to Los Angeles, Don Garber said that San Diego would be consider for MLS expansion. I have been increasingly critical of the quick expansion MLS has undergone. There are upwards of 10 cities that could compete for next expansion projects. On one hand it does make it considerably harder to make the MLS Playoffs as more teams are added (if MLS does not change the playoff format again). But adding more and more clubs to the league increases the chance of many squads being watered down and thin on true quality. Expansion continues to roll on. Queue up the old Pro/Rel debate…
DeLaGarza -> Houston
From a Fire standpoint the deal that sent A.J. DeLaGarza to Houston was an interesting one. I strongly feel that we need to add an experienced and solid outside back to the roster as well as adding some depth across the entirety of the back line to make a strong push up the table this year. DeLaGarza would have checked off a few boxes on my wish list in regards to that vacancy. He is an MLS veteran (over 200 apps for LA) and MLS Cup winner. Despite being 29 he could have a few more solid seasons and is versatile enough to play anywhere in defense. Given the lack of defensive depth the Fire currently have ill be watching the news and scouring any rumors for potential signings. Playing Kappelhof at RB again this year does not feel right.
What does Schneiderlin's move to Everton mean for Schweinsteiger and the Fire?
Ever since the meeting between Pauno and Bastian was leaked the thought of Schweinsteiger joining the Fire has been discussed and debated. Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger had been receiving similar treatment from Jose Mourinho this season. Both are out of favor and neither have seen the field much. And now Schneiderlin has moved on to Everton. So what is in store for Schweinsteigger? A move still seems to be in play, but who knows where he will end up at this point. Maybe he won't leave Manchester. We are halfway through January, only time will tell.
Is Costa Leaving For China?
Just before the weekend, rumors of Diego Costa moving to China after being dropped by Antonio Conte were everywhere. These rumors are coming from numerous sources of which im skeptical. But either way I thought it was worth a brief mention. The list of stars moving to China continues to grow. Chinese clubs are spending silly money to sign players, not just old household names but current stars in their prime. What it means to MLS in the long run I am not exactly sure, but it appears their is no limit to their spending power for the time being.