Sylvae MLS News

30Nov/120

Kaka Transfer Rumors: Why the Real Madrid Star Will Not Join the Galaxy

Tomorrow is David Beckham's final match with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Customarily, there are already rumors questioning who his replacement will be.Over the past several months, the player who was popularly considered to be Beckham's replacement was Chelsea's Frank Lampard.The Lampard speculation will probably diminish with the release of an interview by Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl with AEG President Tim Leiweke, who suggests that Real Madrid star Kaká would replace Beckham.In the interview, Leiweke said:"We're well aware of Kaká's interest in MLS, and we in turn have made it very clear to him that he's aware of our interest in him. We have a great relationship with Real Madrid, and just as we worked through a player with them six years ago [Beckham], I'm absolutely convinced we could find the right deal this time, too."Kaká, who was the winner of FIFA's player of the year in 2007, has struggled at the Bernabéu since his then-record breaking transfer from AC Milan in 2009.He never was able to score at least 10 goals in a season with Madrid, and did not put in one season with at least 30 appearances in La Liga.Granted, this has primarily happened because ...
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30Nov/120

LA Galaxy: 5 Players Who Could Replace David Beckham at Galaxy

David Beckham plays his last game for LA Galaxy Dec. 1 in the MLS Cup Final.Although this news sparked conversation and debates about who Becks will play for next, spare a thought for the team from Los Angeles.They will be losing a key member of their squad, an influential footballer, and potentially the most important MLS player ever, as commissioner Don Garber states:Without doubt, M.L.S. has more global awareness than at any other time in our history and has more legitimacy in the United States because of David. Every measure of our business has grown because of him. (via The New York Times)So who will be able to step into Beckham's highly polished shoes next season?Here are five possible suggestions.Begin Slideshow
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30Nov/120

MLS Cup 2012: David Beckham Will Lead LA Galaxy to Second Straight Title

David Beckham will lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to the their second consecutive MLS Cup title on Saturday in his final game with the team.The veteran midfielder has been an important part of the Galaxy's success over the last few years, and given his history of impressive performances in important matches, there's no reason to believe that Beckham will fail to play at a high level in the championship game.Along with star teammates Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, Beckham and the Galaxy will dominate the midfield and win the battle of possession.With so many talented playmakers in the midfield, the Galaxy forwards will receive plenty of quality passes in the final third that will lead to scoring opportunities.Even though many of these MLS Cups are not high-scoring games, the Galaxy are fully capable of dominating this match with their attacking play.Only the San Jose Earthquakes scored more goals than Los Angeles this season, and with Beckham in the starting XI, the Galaxy could easily score two or three goals in the first half.The Houston Dynamo will not be an easy opponent. The two-time champions are making their fourth MLS Cup appearance and will be highly motivated to defeat the Galaxy ...
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30Nov/120

2012 MLS Cup: Bold Predictions for LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo

The 2012 MLS Cup is 24 hours away. By now you have immersed yourself in previews, predictions and opinions from all angles. But not like this. Bold predictions are tricky (especially after the fact when you are embarrassingly wrong). But they are not solely based on a gut feeling. There is factual evidence that supports each claim. Accentuating these bold predictions is the false impression many have of this year's final: The Houston Dynamo stand no chance against the defending champion LA Galaxy.   The Las Vegas Hotel SuperBook has installed the Galaxy as a minus-240 favorite. For those who have never dabbled in gambling before, that paints the Dynamo as a significant underdog.  Twelve MLS pundits have shared their predictions with John Godfrey of Americansoccernow.com, and not a single one predicted a Dynamo victory. How does the general public feel? It is not the most scientific method, but a Twitter poll from Fox Soccer shows a resounding support for LA (92-8 percent in favor of the Galaxy). It is undeniable they side with the media and Vegas’ assessment.   With the coronation of the Galaxy underway, here are a few bold predictions for the 2012 MLS Cup.The LA Galaxy Will Come Out Flat ...
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30Nov/120

MLS Will Be Just Fine After David Beckham Hangs Up His American Soccer Boots

The MLS Cup is on Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN for you Americans looking for a footy fix, and the match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo has become a secondary storyline to the fact that David Beckham—one of the most famous athletes on the entire planet—is playing his last match in MLS. The script could not be better for MLS.The biggest star to play professional soccer on American soil since Pele is competing in his last match, at home, on national television, with a chance to win back-to-back cups for the league's top international brand.It doesn't hurt, of course, that Beckham isn't alone on the field, most notably lining up alongside American Landon Donovan, widely recognized over his career as the biggest American star in the world.  Notice an important distinction in the paragraph that preceded this: I didn't say Beckham was the best star to play in America since Pele. Heck, I didn't even say Donovan was the best American star in the world (more on that in a minute).Beckham has shown in his time in MLS that he didn't just come to the United States to go on some sort of world ...
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29Nov/120

MLS Cup 2012: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Starting Lineups, Predictions and More

Cue up the rematch.A year after the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the MLS Cup behind a Landon Donovan goal, the two teams will meet again to decide the championship for a second consecutive year.Neither team was necessarily expected to get here, and each had to battle through the Knockout Round after the Galaxy finished the regular season as the the fourth seed in the West and the Dynamo finished as the fifth seed in the East. Nevertheless, here we are. It's a game with no shortage of star power, experience and quality coaching.Let's break down this year's MLS Cup. Where: Home Depot Center, Carson, CaliforniaWhen: Saturday, December 1 at 4:30 p.m. ET Watch: ESPN; MLS LiveListen: SiriusXM FC 94 Starting Lineup Prediction For GalaxyJosh SaundersSean Franklin - Omar Gonzalez - A.J. DeLaGarza - Todd DunivantLandon Donovan - Victor Juninho - David Beckham - Mike MageeEdson Buddle - Robbie Keane Starting Lineup Prediction For DynamoTally HallKofi Sarkodie - Jermaine Taylor - Bobby Boswell - Corey AsheOscar Samir Garcia - Ricardo - Adam Moffat - Brad DavisCalen Carr - Brian Ching Most Important Player to Watch: Landon Donovan, GalaxyMr. Donovan has quite the MLS Cup history. He's going for his fifth MLS Cup title, he's already a two-time MVP and ...
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29Nov/120

5 Bold Predictions for David Beckham’s MLS Cup Swan Song

On Saturday afternoon, David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in the 2012 MLS Cup final in what will be Beckham’s last game in Major League Soccer. Beckham's arrival in Major League in 2007 was a watershed moment in the league's history.Now, six years later, Beckham is leaving the league much larger and much more popular than when he arrived.Here are five bold predictions for Beckham’s MLS swan song.Begin Slideshow
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28Nov/120

David Beckham’s MLS Balance Sheet in the Red After 6 Seasons with Galaxy

As David Beckham prepares to play his last game with the Los Angeles Galaxy, it is time to review the former England captain's balance sheet in the States with MLS.Black or red? No, that's not a reference to his AC Milan jersey. It's a question of whether that balance sheet shows net gains or losses for the U.S. league that changed its rules and its salary structure to accommodate Beckham's 2007 arrival.MLS commissioner Don Garber sees nothing but gains.Citing league attendance and expansion, as well as Galaxy competitiveness, Garber said Beckham achieved every goal and then some. "Overdelivered," was the commissioner's exact characterization.With all due respect to Garber, that statement is an overreach.As the blogosphere eagerly awaits word on Beckham's next adventure, whether on the playing field or in an owner's box, let's establish some ground rules for this slideshow.It is not about Beckham's quality of play or the degree to which his arrival in the States was over-hyped. Beckham was good enough to earn regular playing time for Manchester United and Real Madrid, but was not quite up to everything the 2007 hype machine was purporting. He was never as great or complete a player as the American non-soccer fan could have assumed ...
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27Nov/120

David Beckham: Tactical Evolution of Man Utd, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy Star

David Beckham took the route not many have in the past—he went from explosive winger to withdrawn deep-lying playmaker.Other notable occurrences of this are Ryan Giggs (to an extent) and Bastian Schweinsteiger, but the list remains incredibly short, as it's an odd transition to make.Let's break down his evolution as a player. As a pupBeckham entered the English football scene amid a class of high-hopers.Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Keith Gillespie, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt are just some of the top-tier names he graduated with from Manchester United's academy, making his debut a little later than some at 20 years of age.He excelled in a traditional winger's role—fully in vogue during the mid-to-late '90s—and made a name for himself rather quickly thanks to his tendency to put ferocious bend on the ball.His ability to beat his man and whip in an excellent cross made him a natural fit on the right wing for Sir Alex Ferguson, but it was change of pace and flat deliveries that allowed him to become an elite option for club and country.He won his only UEFA Champions League title with the Red Devils as a pure right winger. Los Galacticos!£25 million was the figure Real Madrid parted with to steal Becks ...
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27Nov/120

2012 MLS Cup: 5 Reasons Why the Houston Dynamo Deserve to Win

AEG conspiracy theorists of the world unite, for the 2012 MLS Cup will once again feature two of the more prominent franchises in league history. For the LA Galaxy, this is their eighth appearance in the MLS Cup. Considered by many to be the preeminent franchise in MLS, LA is in search of its fourth title—much to the chagrin of DC United president Kevin Payne. (Update: Kevin Payne has decided to step down as president, per the Washington Post).  Standing in the way are the disregarded Houston Dynamo—a playoff-savvy bunch that have taken on the identity of cerebral head coach Dom Kinnear.  Unlike the vast majority of pundits and expert analysts, I do not believe Saturday's match is a foregone conclusion. That sentiment is not out of sheer enjoyment from being a contrarian, or due to a belief in a standard team-of-destiny cliché. No, it is for more substantial and tactical reasons than that.  Here are the five reasons why the Houston Dynamo deserve to win the 2012 MLS Cup.Begin Slideshow
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