The Daily Links- November 11, 2011 Edition

Sporting KC forward Omar Bravo vented his frustration with his playing time in the MLS Eastern Conference Final against the Houston Dynamo.(Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

"I am super happy [in Kansas City]," he told Univisión, "but I have to think about the professional aspect, and obviously situations like [Sunday] give a lot to think about and talk about with Peter, with Robb [Heineman, SKC owner] and everyone in Kansas City."

Bravo loves playing in KC, but has "a lot to think about" | MLSsoccer.com

David Beckham, Kasey Keller and Thierry Henry were all named to the Best XI team in an announcement by MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Thursday, highlighting a team that includes a mix of both newcomers and traditional faces to the league’s annual star-studded squad.

Beckham, Henry, Keller highlight MLS Best XI team | MLSsoccer.com

Sporting started the year with a complete re-brand that included a name change and much more.  The team’s front office effectively communicated the change and the reasons for the switch to its fans and to the media.  Team representatives made themselves available to explain the new brand and the website effectively supported the message.  Also this year, the team moved into  beautiful new Livestrong Sporting Park and effectively paired the move with intriguing video tours, ticket sales options and more.  

Team PR Award: Congratulations Sporting! " Footiebusiness

U.S. Soccer and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today that LIVESTRONG Sporting Park will host the 2012 Men’s Olympic qualifying tournament semifinals and final. The eight-nation tournament begins March 22, 2012 and will arrive in Kansas City with the decisive semifinals on March 31st before concluding with the championship match on April 2nd.

LSP to host 2012 men's Olympic qualifying semi's and final | Sporting Kansas City

In regards to the schedule, Garber said that the league will not expand the number of games played. There will be 34 games for each team next season, which means we've seen the end of the balanced schedule. The schedule will focus on regional rivalries instead. I understand the frustration of a lot of the people that don't like this. I understand what they say about more games reducing the importance of those rivalry games. But really I couldn't see the league expanding the number of games played. 

Down the Byline: Garber and the State of the League

His work ethic seems to be incredible and I think that his play showed on the field, so again it is no surprise that there was no contest when it came to final voting for who should be the MLS 2011 Rookie of the Year. He has definitely deserved and I personally have talked to him and he is a great person off the field as well and I am glad that he is on Sporting KC hopefully for several years to come, because it really is quite a unique experience to watch a player like C.J. He made it to this level pretty much training like 90+% of the MLS athletes get their start. He hasn't been on any youth national teams or was even a Adidas Generation player. He was just a player that came from a smaller school that worked and trained as hard as he could to succeed and I am so glad for him that it paid off.

Sporting KC C.J. Sapong wins MLS 2011 Rookie of the Year " The Oz Blog

Discussing expansion in his 2011 State of the League teleconference, Garber said MLS had hired a full-time staffer as well as consultants – attorneys, land-use advisers, stadium designers and architects – to explore the viability of stadium sites in the New York area and accelerate the expansion process. "The issue remains the soccer stadium," Garber said. "We do believe we have two or three sites that are viable, and we’re going to continue to work as hard as we can to move this [forward] as fast as we can."

Garber: League still focused on expansion team in NYC | MLSsoccer.com

I talked to Kansas City officials the other day, just after young striker C. J. Sapong put his name on Major League Soccer’s list of Rookie of the Year winners. (Congrats, C.J.! Love the Twitter handle, by the way, @BigAfrika88. It’s got panache.) Officials there say nothing is set, but that BigAfrika88  is looking at possible options for training abroad. Expect a lot more of this. Expect it, that is, if these young fellows hope to be in Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team plans.

The Klinsi compromise - Daily Soccer Fix

A new trialist is in Sporting Kc's camp. While there is no name linked with the player there has been a number of pictures "leaked" onto the internet of the trialist after Sporting Kc's reserves lost 5-3 against FC Dallas on Wednesday, here's the site for those pictures. It appears as if he actually scored on the stroke of halftime for the Rangers. Judging from the pictures I know he wore #44 and I would put the player at around 5'10 to 6'0. I would also say he's a midfielder, maybe a defensive minded one.

The Front Men: New Trialist For Sporting Kc

It's unfortunate for Brad Davis that Brek Shea plays his position, because his assist record is better than Beckham's. Tried shoehorning him in there, but Becks gets the 11th hour selection over the field so far due to his still-world class ability from free kicks and crosses. Through the trumpeting efforts of many (including my own) Osvaldo Alonso is no longer the best kept secret in the league. He can easily join the attack as well. Donovan plays in the hole on Shea's side in my XI because that's a terrifying vision for any RB/CB tandem. He's been better on the right than the left this year, but Arena apparently doesn't care. Todd Dunivant makes it on thanks to an extremely weak LB crop. USMNT fans are neither surprised nor amused.

No Short Corners: It's your MLS Best XI, now with more Keller

"I’m very confident we’ll have Rafa Márquez back next season; he’s an excellent athlete, a great player both ways," Solér said. "Anyone’s career has ups and downs. I'm happy to have him back. I really appreciated what he can bring to us, and I’m thrilled he’ll be here.’’ Solér said he was pleased with what Márquez can bring to the team in terms of his defending but also his vision.

Soler hopes to welcome back Red Bulls trio in 2012 | MLSsoccer.com

Arguably the strongest point for this team is at forward, which is a surprise considering the issues the U.S. has had at forward, but in a first team vs. second team match, is Gomez not the best striker on the field? Meanwhile, Bunbury has been called in by Klinsmann before, but until Klinsmann actually lets him dress for a match, let alone play him, he's on the outs and taking his ability to play both as a lone striker or with a partner to the second team.

America's Team, Part I: Assembling Those Who Jurgen Klinsmann Has Left Behind - SBNation.com

If that's the case, and Klinsmann really wants to test out new faces, then what opponent to give them experience against than France? In other words: Jurgen, if Beckerman and Orozco are really as good as you’ve suggested they are, then play them against France and let them prove it.

Galarcep: Expect Klinsmann to keep giving chances to new faces - News | FOX Sports on MSN

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