Photos by ISIphotos.com
And then there were 13.
Sporting Kansas City, Chivas USA, D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union have all opted out of Wednesday afternoon's lottery for the rights to Generation adidas goalkeeper David Bingham, leaving 13 teams vying for his services.
The New England Revolution have the best odds (23.6 percent) to win the lottery, which will be conducted at 3 p.m. Toronto FC (17.9), the Chicago Fire (15.3) and Seattle Sounders (10.8) are the teams with the next-highest odds of landing the Cal standout.
Which teams would be solid fits for Bingham?
By AVI CREDITOR
Japan will be severely short-handed in Saturday's Asian Cup final against Australia after offensive catalyst Shinji Kagawa was ruled out of the match with a broken foot.
Kagawa, a star for Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund, was injured in the Samurai Blue's dramatic Asian Cup victory over South Korea. It is unclear how much time he will have to miss for Dortmund, which holds an 11-point lead over second-place Bayer Leverkusen through 19 matches.
Kagawa has scored two goals in the tournament so far for Japan, both of which came in the quarterfinal victory over host Qatar.
Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:
By AVI CREDITOR
After putting last season's historically bad campaign in the rear-view mirror, D.C. United is aiming for a fresh start with Ben Olsen at the helm of a team on a mission.
With a bevy of new faces in camp and a fresh attitude to boot, expectations of a vast improvement are abound in the nation's capital. Prior to the 2011 season's first kick against the Columbus Crew on March 19, though, United will look to repeat one thing from last year: success at the Carolina Challenge Cup.
The defending champions of the tournament, United will take part in the four-team exhibition hosted by the Charleston Battery for the sixth time. D.C. is scheduled to play the Chicago Fire, Toronto FC and the hosts the week of March 5-12. Between that tournament and trips to Florida and California, Olsen should be able to get a good feel for his roster and how to mold his starting XI.
Here's a closer look at D.C. United's preseason plans:
Jonathan Spector has had quite a run over the last couple months, and if he and West Ham turn in another winning performance on Wednesday, they'll book themselves a place at Wembley Stadium for a Carling Cup title bout with Arsenal on Feb. 27.
West Ham and Birmingham square off in the second leg of their cup semifinal tie (2:45 p.m., Fox Soccer.TV, Fox Soccer Plus) at St. Andrews Stadium. The Hammers own a 2-1 aggregate advantage after the first leg, in which Spector assisted on the matchwinner.
Spector isn't the only American in the United Kingdom with an important match on the slate, though. With a victory over Liverpool at Anfield (3 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), Clint Dempsey and Fulham can pull even with the Reds for 11th place in the Premier League and further distance itself from the drop zone. Dempsey, coming off a two-goal performance over the weekend, looks to maintain his stellar form.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, Maurice Edu and Rangers are in danger of slipping even further in the Premier League table, though a match against lowly Hibernian comes at the right time. With first-place Celtic and third-place Hearts of Midlothian also squaring off Wednesday, Rangers has a chance to improve its table position one way or another with a victory.
Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
By AVI CREDITOR
The Philadelphia Union's goalkeeping corps is down to a 39-year-old veteran and a 19-year-old rookie.
The team elected to waive Brad Knighton Tuesday, parting ways with the 25-year-old netminder who started eight games in the club's inaugural season.
With Colombian international Faryd Mondragon and United States U-20 starter Zac MacMath in tow, the Union evidently found the 25-year-old Knighton to be expendable.
The transaction means that both of the Union's goalkeepers from last season, Knighton and Chris Seitz, are no longer with the team. Seitz was selected by the Seattle Sounders in the Re-Entry Draft and then traded to FC Dallas.
Here are a few more stories to get your Wednesday going:
Brad Guzan's loan deal to Hull City has helped him earn valuable playing time.
He's about to get a bit more.
Aston Villa and Hull City have agreed to extend Guzan's loan for another month.
Guzan has been Hull's starter since coming over and is expected to remain the starter for another two weeks, when Vito Mannone is expected to return from a thigh injury. At that point, the two will do battle for the starting role.
What do you think of this news? Glad to hear Guzan will be getting more playing time? Wondering where he may move to this summer?
Share your thoughts below.
The Los Angeles Galaxy has signed the second Homegrown Player in team history, coming to terms with 16-year-old forward Jack McBean, sources told SBI on Tuesday.
The Newport Beach native is a 6-foot target striker who has spent time with the U.S. Under-17 national team, having joined the Under-17 national team Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.
The Galaxy traded away the club's first Homegrown Player, Tristan Bowen, earlier in the off-season, but add a highly-rated prospect considered one of the top talents to emerge from California in recent years.
One of the best young forwards in the current U.S. Under-17 set-up, McBean is expected to stay with the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program through the CONCACAF Under-17 Championships. He is expected to join the Galaxy after that, before taking part in the Under-17 World Cup in June (if the United States qualifies).
BY ADAM SERRANO
Changes are in the air for Chivas USA.
New Coach, new General Manager, a host of new players and now a new sponsor.
Chivas USA announced on Tuesday an agreement with Groupo Modelo, a Mexican beer conglomerate. The agreement will lead to the Corona Extra logo taking a prominent place on team apparel. It is the second time that a beer company has sponsored a Los Angeles team in a prominent way. Budweiser had a prominent place on the jersey sponsorship of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the past.
Chivas USA will unveil the sponsor officially at an event in Downtown Los Angeles on February 16th.
What do you think of the sponsorship? Hoping to see Corona girls at Chivas USA matches?
Share your thoughts below.
The list of foreign players expressing interest in signing with Major League Soccer is growing by the way, and now you can add another familiar name to the list.
Former Mexican international Francisco "Kikin" Fonseca is seeking an MLS contract, sources close to Fonseca told SBI on Tuesday.
The 31-year old forward/midfielder made 43 appearances with the Mexican national team, but his star faded after an inconsistent three-year stint with Tigres.
Good afternoon folks. It's time for an SBI Live Q&A.
Want to talk about USA-Chile? The upcoming MLS season? European soccer? if you want to discuss it, we can do so over the next few hours.
Send your questions my way.
Let's get started (Q&A is after the jump):
By JOSE M. ROMERO
PHOENIX — The Vancouver Whitecaps' first MLS preseason camp away from home figures to draw some interest from plenty of those following the expansion club.
Vancouver is no stranger to training in Arizona. The USSF Division 2 Whitecaps played three preseason games in Casa Grande and Tempe (Arizona State University) last February and are back for a total of three weeks in the winter sunshine of the desert this year.
The Whitecaps will be the second team to touch down in Arizona, and they'll hold practices at Empire Field in Vancouver in between Arizona tour stops. The highlight of their preseason figures to be the recently announced Cascadia Summit, which includes matches against Portland and Seattle in early March.
Here's a closer look at Vancouver's pre-season in Arizona: