The season is finally here. I feel like I blinked a couple times between last December and now. The offseason was a wild one in MLS to say the very least with big name players like Michael Bradley coming back, expansion talk and the sale of Chivas USA.
But now we get to focus on what matters, the games themselves.
Entering the 2013 Major League Soccer season, some fans, experts and pundits pegged D.C. United as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference. Others saw them as legitimate contenders and some just saw them as a team that would be competitive.
A look at the West, for those of us from the East (image: logoinspirations.com)
New OTF contributor Cory Jensen brings you a detailed look at the teams we in Fireland only have the pleasure of meeting once a year...
In all reality, Major League Soccer's eastern conference has garnered all the preseason attention with Michael Bradley, Jermaine Defoe, DC United's reconstruction, and the impending introduction of NYCFC.
All Caleb Porter did in his first season as a professional head coach was earn Coach of the Year honors, while completely turning around the Portland Timbers, turning them into an attractive, creative team that was both visually appealing and successful on the field.
You just can't get enough of MLS savant Stephen Mangat's .gif parade, can you?
MLS First Kick is right around the corner, so let's do it West Coast stylee...
San Jose Earthquakes
The Earthquakes are like this year's Barcelona (first time anyone has ever said that, I'm betting) still capable of hitting the heights of prior years, but not with the same consistency when the team was at its peak.
Brad Knighton made a strong case for the starting goalkeeper's jobin a 0-0 draw between theNew England Revolution and RealSalt Lake in Wednesday's Desert Diamond Cupdebutat the Kino SportsComplex in Tucson, Ariz.
Knighton, who is battling incumbent Bobby Shuttleworth for the spot, went the full 90 and made a pair of game-saving stops in each half.
A new image of Real Salt Lake's home shirt for the 2014 MLS season has been leaked on the Internet.
This version looks different than the previously leaked image of the Real Salt Lake shirt. The red shirt still features the blue sleeves and yellow stripes down the sleeve, but the design featuring the yellow band that runs from the sleeves across the chest looks different.
There haven't been any official jersey releases since last week, so we've compiled an in-progress calendar of the upcoming reveal dates (who's next?). Also, a few teams are teasing (or leaking) their new jerseys.
Yes, we remain officially excited about the new 2014 Major League Soccer jerseys.
While a handful of players left Major League Soccer this offseason for warmer pastures in Liga MX, one player is heading north of the border in search of playing time.
Former U.S. Under-20 midfielder Benjamin "Benji" Joya has signed with MLS on loan from Santos Laguna and will enter a weighted lottery to determine which club he goes to, a league spokesperson told SBI.
New York City FC are sticking with their pledge to be a club of the people.
The 2015 Major League Soccer expansion team announced on Tuesday a contest for fans to design their own club badge, which will eventually be placed together with all the other submissions to form the team's official logo.
A photo of Real Salt Lake's home shirt for the 2014 season has been leaked on the Internet.
So far, it's the first MLS shirt that we've seen leaked for the upcoming season. The red Real Salt Lake home shirt features a thick yellow stripe across the upper chest, while the shirt sleeves appear to be navy blue with yellow stripes down the sleeves.
Despite being a reported target for multiple head coaching positions this offseason, New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke doesn't believe that assistant coach Robin Fraser is leaving the club any time soon.
Both the Jamaican Football Federation and the Colorado Rapids are reportedly currently considering the Jamaican-American to be their next head coach (with Real Salt Lake also previously showing interest before choosing Jeff Cassar).
This is your location for Black and Red United's on-going coverage of D.C. United's 2014 schedule. Check back all year long as we break down what the season's results mean for the hometown team and their MLS rivals.
Major League Soccer will open its 2014 season on March 8 with a full slate of games.
DC United had perhaps their worst ever season in 2013. With the exception of the US Open Cup win on theOctober 1, the Black-and-Reds recorded the joint worst record in MLS history with only 16 points to their name.
That was in the past though. For 2014, DC United can enter the season with the safe knowledge that they will be competing in the CONCACAF Champions League, with thanks to their remarkable U.
On a night full of outstanding saves, it was Nick Rimando who shined the brightest in the end.
Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, and RSL's Rimando, had quite the battle Saturday night with each goalkeeper making multiple highlight-worthy saves. The match seemed destined to be a draw until RSL forward Joao Plata decided to make his mark.
That size being 22, to be exact.G - Bill Hamid (DC United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)D - Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders)M - Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls),
Uniforms and jerseys are always a hot topic of conversation for supporters and the 2014 season is sure to provide more kit discussion as the Fire will hit the pitch with a new primary jersey this season. The new look will be unveiled on March 4 at the annual Season Kickoff Luncheon. The event is always one of the highlights of the early season as it's the first chance for most to meet the team for the upcoming campaign.
There are some expected names and some surprises, but my main question is about the sheer size of the group. A bit large for World Cup January, no? I'll take this as the final APB of the cycle.G - Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)D - Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy),
In part two of our 2014 season preview, we take a closer look at the eight teams that currently share the Western Conference with the Portland Timbers. Portland ended up finishing 2013 on top of the standings, but they'll have plenty of competition for the that level this season. Real Salt Lake advanced to MLS Cup but they'll need to adjust to a new coach, Los Angeles, FC Dallas and San Jose return their main core of players, while Seattle underwent a bit of an overhaul in their locker room while there still isn't a coach in charge of Colorado.
Lee Nguyen and newcomer Teal Bunbury staked the New England Revolution to a 2-0 lead, but defensive miscues allowed Chivas USA to come back and grab a 3-2 win on Saturday night in the Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament in Tucson, Ariz.
The loss – New England's first of the preseason – sees the Revolution's preseason record fall to 1-1-3.
One of the most standout players in NASL is making the move up to MLS.
Real Salt Lake announced on Tuesday morning that they have signed former Tampa Bay Rowdies midfielder Luke Mulholland. The 25-year-old Mulholland joins RSL after spending two successful seasons with the Rowdies, who he scored 17 goals and registered 13 assists for in 51 league appearances while also helping them win the 2012 NASL Soccer Bowl.
The new D.C. United jerseys are out, sans new sponsor.
Today, D.C. United released the 2014 version of their home jersey at an even for season ticket holders at Pinstripes in Georgetown. The leaks were spot-on, as the kit was released without a sponsor on the front of the jersey, nor with a stripe across the chest like Real Salt Lake's jerseys have.
CARSON, Calif. If the LA Galaxy hope to chase away the ghosts of their disappointing 2013 campaign, it appears that a retooled lineup will not alone solve that problem.
The inability to finish, and the willingness to surrender late goals, haunted them once again, as Kyle Beckerman sprung Joao Plata for a winning goal in the 81st minute to give RSL a hard fought 1-0 road victory at packed Stub Hub Center on a balmy Saturday night.