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25 February 1:31 pm

NEW YORK / PARIS – Major League Soccer (MLS) and the French Football Federation (FFF) today announced a partnership that will provide MLS youth academy coaches with world class training through a 16-month youth development course and earn their Elite Formation Coaching License (EFCL).

The FFF will host the MLS delegation at its Clairefontaine national training facility and guide the youth directors through the same program as the one it provides its domestic coaches; however, the EFCL program will include customized features developed by MLS, the United States Soccer Federation and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA).
 
"We are incredibly excited about this new partnership with the French Football Federation.  As part of our vision to be among the top leagues in the world by 2022, we are committed to becoming leaders in the area of player development. This initiative will provide an important learning opportunity for MLS youth academies,” MLS Executive Vice President of Player Relations & Competition Todd Durbin said.
 
The program consists of three parts:
  • FFF Course – Eight weeks (320 hours) of field and classroom instruction
  • European Club Observations -- Two weeks of immersion at an international youth academy at two of the following clubs: Paris St. Germain, Olympique Lyonnais, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, VfB Stuttgart
  • Integration of the Program with MLS Academy – Creation and/or modification of the Club’s youth curriculum and evaluation system for the development of players
Each MLS club, along with U.S. Soccer and MLS, nominated one coach from their academy to participate in the program. Among the candidates are eight former MLS players, including: Danny Dichio, Luchi Gonzalez, Jovan Kirovski, Chris Leitch, Darren Sawatzky, Billy Thompson, Greg Vanney and John Wolyniec.
 
Fred Lipka, the former Director of the Paris Racing Academy and the Le Havre Athletic Club, will serve as the liaison between the FFF instructors and MLS, U.S. Soccer, and CSA. Lipka will travel to each MLS club to review its youth academy and help guide the candidates through the sessions to obtain their Formation Licenses.
 
“Through our partnership with MLS, The French Football Federation is proud and excited to be engaged in such a marvelous project. The expectations of MLS are very high and the FFF technical department is greatly honored to be selected in this area. Our commitment with MLS will be the foundation for concrete and great development between U.S. and French football, as it mirrors the long term friendship between France and the United States,” said FFF Technical Director François Blaquart.
 
The program timeline is as follows:
 
February 25 - March 1: Session 1 at Clairefontaine
March 2-8: European Club Observation #1
June 2013: Session 2 & Session 3 in the United States
September 2013: Session 4 & Session 5 at Clairefontaine
September 2013: European Club Observation #2
February / March 2014: Session 6 & 7 in the United States
May / June 2014: Session 8 at Clairefontaine
July 2014: Begin Integration of Program into MLS Academies
 
MLS CLUB CANDIDATES
 
 
Chicago Fire
Larry
Sunderland
Chivas USA
Sasha
van der Mos
Colorado Rapids
Steve
Cooke
Columbus Crew
Billy
Thompson
FC Dallas
Luchi
Gonzalez
D.C. United
Nolan
Sheldon
Houston Dynamo
James
Clarkson
Sporting Kansas City
Jon
Parry
LA Galaxy
Jovan
Kirovski
Montreal Impact
Wilfried
Nancy
New England Revolution
Bryan
Scales
New York Red Bulls
John
Wolyniec
Philadelphia Union
Peter
Fuller
Portland Timbers
Mike
Smith
Real Salt Lake
Freddy
Juarez
San Jose Earthquakes
Chris
Leitch
Seattle Sounders FC
Darren
Sawatzky
Toronto FC
Danny
Dichio
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Craig
Dalrymple
MLS
Greg
Vanney
U.S. Soccer
Marc
Nicholls

 

21 February 5:51 pm

Blas Perez is the best in the game at what he does - excelling as a traditional No. 9 on the pitch. So says the folks at MLSSoccer.com who ranked the top "traditional strikers" currently in the league. Read the whole story, but here's an excerpt on Blas:

The winner: FC Dallas big man Blas Pérez. There was no mystery surrounding the Panamanian international when he came to MLS last summer, and he’s made good on FCD’s investment. He scored nine goals and added four assists in 20 games last year on a Dallas team that never really found its rhythm, and there’s no reason to think that he won’t be just as effective this year with a fully healthy David Ferreira pulling the strings.

19 February 12:16 pm

 

Big news in international soccer this morning. FIFA announced they will have goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup. Our friends at the Associated Press provide the details:

 

ZURICH -- FIFA committed Tuesday to using goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and could have four systems competing for selection.

FIFA said it is now seeking tenders from companies that want their system to be used at the Confederations Cup in June and next year's World Cup.

"Interested GLT companies will be invited to join an inspection visit to the Confederations Cup venues, currently scheduled for mid-March, with a final decision due to be confirmed in early April," FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted on giving World Cup referees high-tech aids to make goal-line decisions after seeing England midfielder Frank Lampard have a clear goal denied against Germany at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

A key noncall in 2010 resulted when Frank Lampard's first-half shot crossed the line by several feet against Germany but was not ruled a goal. England lost 4-1.

Tuesday's decision was expected once FIFA's rule-making panel, known as IFAB, decided in July to approve goal-line technology at competitive matches after two systems passed extensive tests.

Read more about FIFA's announcement.

13 February 7:15 pm

FRISCO – FC Dallas held its first training session in Frisco on Wednesday after a weeklong trip to Cancun.

Head coach Schellas Hyndman said the team accomplished a lot and also had a good time.

“It went well. Our players really enjoyed it,” Hyndman said.

FC Dallas won all three of its scrimmages against Mexican teams, which Hyndman described as friendly matches.

The coach said the staff was able to evaluate trialists and draft picks, a process which will continue when the team departs for Portland on Friday.

Hyndman said he was happy to see a developing sense of camaraderie amongst the new and old players.

“The attitude is right,” Hyndman said. “People are working for each other.”

12 February 3:33 pm

The 2013 season is coming quickly and the star of TNT's Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe AKA Christopher Ewing, will be scarfing the Lamar Hunt statue before the season opener at FC Dallas Stadium. More details will be released soon about how you can help the North Texas Food Bank in connection with Metcalfe's scarfing.

11 February 4:17 pm

FC Dallas is on its way home Monday afternoon from Cancun after winning all three preseason matches against Mexican teams. The following are photos from the final training sessions of FC Dallas' weeklong stay in the sunny resort town.

11 February 12:44 pm

 

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer today announced its newest annual platform, “Jersey Week.” This concept, which will be implemented in MLS markets across the United States and Canada, celebrates the art, detail and nuance behind every club’s jersey and the passion that supporters have for their club.

Jersey Week will take place February 25-28, 2013, with a national launch event taking place in New York on February 25, in conjunction with the New York Red Bulls. Artist Curtis Kulig will be unveiling original pieces of art featuring the 19 MLS clubs at this event. In addition to the national event, there will be 11 local events where MLS clubs will unveil a new primary, secondary or third jersey.

Every year will see a new thematic. This year’s theme, “Jersey as Art,” will allow clubs to share the story behind the making of their new jersey with their supporters and will focus on the art and detail that went into the collaborative process with adidas, MLS’ official merchandise partner.

“Soccer supporters are extremely passionate about everything involving their club,” said Maribeth Towers, senior vice president of consumer products for MLS. “But the jersey might be first and foremost. It is the crest that is closest to their heart. Jersey Week will celebrate the soccer jersey. Every stitch, every minor detail, every shade is designed in collaboration between the club and our partner at adidas. We’re excited to unveil Jersey Week for our supporters.”

Twelve MLS clubs will unveil at least one new jersey in 2013. Starting in 2014, all 19 MLS clubs will unveil at least one new jersey (home, away or third kit) every single year.

In advance of Jersey Week, jerseys that will be unveiled will be available for pre-order on MLSgear.com and MLSGearCanada.ca -- using teaser images -- starting today. There will also be Jersey Week coverage on MLSsoccer.com and a social media campaign using the #JerseyWeek hashtag.

MLS will join efforts with the Futbol Artists Network (FAN) as they create the “True Colors” of MLS. Artists from across the United States and Canada will create canvas art, utilizing club marks, club colors and jersey teaser images. The “True Colors” artwork will be featured via MLS social media platforms in the two weeks leading up to Jersey Week using the #TrueColors hashtag. 

08 February 4:07 pm

FC Dallas defeated Atlante in a preseason scrimmage 3-2 on Thursday in Cancun. The following are some action photos from the match.

05 February 5:05 pm

The Hexagonal round of qualifying begins Wednesday afternoon in Honduras for the U.S. Men's National Team. It's the first in a year-long road that hopefully leads to the 2014 World Cup.

The match is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT on beIn Sport - not exactly the most convenient for most people stuck at work or in school.

Nevertheless, how do you see this match going for the USMNT? Vote below: