All the best, most fantastic stories from around Sporting Kansas City and Major League Soccer.
- Roger Espinoza was the first soccer player to appear on The Moonlight Graham Show. It goes into a lot more than just soccer, which is cool. It also follows the path to how he got where he is today. The interview is from just after Espinoza signed his extension but it just published this week. Check it out below.
- The most surprising news for SKC this week is the news that Khiry Shelton will depart to an overseas destination. Our own Thad Bell heard he was on his way to London in the last day or so. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s the final destination or if he’ll continue to travel from there to his ultimate destination.
- Peter Vermes is already making plans for the CONCACAF Champions League and he has concerns both about how good their opponents are and about playing in altitude. An interesting tidbit in that story is that the plans for preseason are “set.” We’ve reached out to the team to see if that includes another trip to Arizona. In the past, when teams like the Red Bulls were there, they left early for CCL and their USL Championship team finish preseason. That means the Rangers roster will need to be set earlier if that is happening.
- Speaking of the game against Toluca FC, there is already an early preview out.
Around the League
- The potential new owners of the Columbus Crew SC unveiled a stadium plan that includes a new stadium in the Arena District, just adjacent to downtown. It would be located in a better area and have a similar seating capacity as Mapfre Stadium (approx. 20,000). In addition, the old stadium will be turned into a sports complex with multiple MLS caliber fields for the Crew and others to practice on.
- The official MLS site has the inside story on the search for a new coach for the United States Men’s National Team. It’s even dumber than we all thought. US Soccer admits to not even starting the search until recently because they “were basically consumed by the World Cup bid.” Nevermind building an infrastructure that could ensure America’s success in said World Cup (thankfully they likely don’t have to qualify in 2026). They started with supposedly 33 candidates and in the end only interviewed two. A lot has been said about the process but in the end Greg Berhalter has been setup to fail. I hope he overcomes it, but if he doesn’t everyone will look back to this moment.
- Orlando City SC linked to right fullback/midfielder Yago Pikachu (yeah, like the little yellow Pokemon).
- After Mike reported that former Sporting KC player Josh Wolff was linked to the Columbus Crew job, now former LA Galaxy and US National Team coach Bruce Arena is in contention to be the teams General Manager (not the coach).
- The Philadelphia Union are still searching for a striker and may have found one in Sergio Santos from Chilean club Audax Italiano.
- The Montreal Impact signed French/Martinique winger Harry Novillo to help bolster their attack in 2019.
- The New York Red Bulls announced their roster moves finally. They picked up options on 11 players: Aaron Long, Evan Louro, Ryan Meara, Kyle Duncan, Michael Murillo, Vincent Bezecourt, Derrick Etienne, Jr., Alex Muyl, Florian Valot, Anatole Abang and Brian White. The declined options on four players, including former Sporting KC man Aurelien Collin. They also declined options for Ethan Kutler, Kevin Politz and Carlos Rivas as well as declining to purchase players who’s loans expired in Fidel Escobar and Marc Rzatkowski. The team announced center backs Tommy Redding and starter Tim Parker are out of contract. If Parker doesn’t get re-signed, he’s a talented player
- Atlanta United still have to play MLS Cup this weekend but their executives are in Argentina meeting potential head coaches in Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Gabriel Milito. Tata Martinez will leave the club to join the Mexican National Team, when this season ends.