A few of you had sent comments and emails asking me why the opening of the MLS summer transfer period seemed to have moved from June 15 to July 15, so I made a few phone calls and found your answer.
Turns out the league's pre-season literature contained a typo. Even though this year's official MLS Factbook says the transfer period starts in mid-June, opening day has always been July 15.
Last season FIFA mandated a 60-day summer transfer window, running from mid-June to mid-August. This year, according to my guy at the league, FIFA wanted a month-long transfer period, prompting the shift to July 15. Apparently this was all decided before the season, but not reflected in the Factbook.
So now we know.
ALL STARS I
TFC's head coach John Carver is still in the running to coach the MLS All-Stars against West Ham on July 24.
MLS awards the All-Star gig to the coach whose team has the highest points per game as of June 29 and right now TFC is one of four teams with a chance to top the league in that category. New England, Columbus and LA are the others.
So what will it take to put Carver in charge on July 24?
TFC would have to defeat New England at Gillette Stadium this weekend, Columbus would have to lose and the Galaxy would have to lose or tie.
The other possibilities are numerous, and the league outlined them in its weekly newsletter to the media. For clarity's sake, I'll paste them below.
* If the Revolution defeat Toronto FC, Steve Nicol is the All-Star Game coach.
* If the Revolution tie Toronto FC and Columbus loses or ties, then Steve Nicol is the ASG coach.
* If the Columbus Crew defeat the Colorado Rapids and New England ties or loses, then Sigi Schmid is the ASG coach.
* If Toronto FC defeat New England and the LA Galaxy win and Columbus loses there is a two-way tie with Carver and Gullit each having 1.714 points per game.
* If Toronto FC defeat New England and the LA Galaxy win, and Columbus ties there is a three-way tie with John Carver, Ruud Gullit and Sigi Schmid each having 1.714 points per game.
Tiebreakers work the same way they do in the playoffs. Head-to-head records first, then goal differential, then fewest goals against and so-on.
But somehow I don't think it'll come to that.
|TFC leading scorer and a good quote: Dichio is an all-round all-star.|
ALL STARS II
All-Star voting closes July 2 and I'm literally in the middle of filling out my ballot. Here's my team so far:
GK -- Jon Busch, Chicago
You guys who hate Landon Donovan (and I know there are PLENTY of you in Toronto) probably find it ironic that I've got him paired with Danny Dichio, but TFC's leading scorer was actually my third choice at forward. I would have selected Edson Buddle but he's not on the ballot.
(Sidebar on Donovan: I know local fans can't stand him but from a media standpoint he's one of the best players in the league to deal with. Always makes time for the press, always forthright with his quotes. You've got to respect that, fans, even if you don't like him.)
Now, you may have noticed that I've only chosen nine guys, but as I said, my All-Star ballot is still evolving.
They asked me to choose up to five midfielders and I could easily add Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Guillermo Barros Schelotto to this list. Stats certainly say they deserve it. But as much as I hate playing coach, I had to think tactically for a second:
If I add Blanco and Schelotto to the midfield, who's going to play defence?
So I'm still seeking two defensive midfielders. I'm keeping my ballot open until early evening and listening to any and all suggestions.
** Just before I posted I added Shalrie Joseph to my ballot. It's nice to actually see the first-place team represented. Anyway, still seeking one defensive-minded midfielder....
-- Morgan Campbell