MLS: Yanks (Training) Abroad: Players Spending Their Offseasons in Europe

Every year, the complaints come pouring in that the MLS season needs to be longer. MLS players spend almost two months more idle than their European counterparts.However, a recent trend has seen more and more MLS-bsed Americans heading to Europe to train during the offseason.Some, like Landon Donovan and David Beckham in recent years, have gone out on loan, but these players are going for experience and to give European scouts a look at their skills.American fans should neither worry too much that all our best players are going to be scooped up, nor should we get our hopes up that these training stints will turn Brek Shea into Arsenal's new wunderkind.Instead, there is a more measured approach: MLS-based Yanks are only going to get better the broader and more intense their experiences are. Some might go on to more European pastures, but most will return with new eating habits and an extra step over.Here is a list of MLS-based Americans training in Europe during the offseason.Begin Slideshow
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Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy: 5 Terrible Things About the MLS Cup

The Beckham story ended in a fairytale. After five years of tribulation, David Beckham hoisted the MLS Cup high, and both MLS and LA Galaxy executives wiped their sweaty brows.Fans in LA will be rightfully celebrating their cup win.The LA Galaxy outclassed every other team in Major League Soccer this year, and it's about time that the best team won.The media will celebrate as well. The brilliant bit of passing play from David Beckham to Robbie Keane to Landon Donovan linked up the Galaxy's three designated players for the game-winning goal. That's a jackpot.ESPN might have just renamed the MLS Cup the Beckham Cup. Late in the game, their collective wish almost came true when Tally Hall stretched to deny Beckham's free kick. Had it gone in, commentators John Harkes and Ian Darke would have literally exploded.But not everything about the MLS Cup was kittens and gum drops. While we're all singing the praises of the MLS Cup (as we should), we might also take a moment to recognize the five most terrible things about the game.Begin Slideshow
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