NYCFC and TFC Grab the Soccer Spotlight

New signings, among other offseason news, for MLS clubs sure to attract fans in 2015
by Katherine Rupp   |   Thursday, January 15, 2015

Major League Soccer (MLS) 2012 Season Preview

There’s been quite a bit of news in the world of Major League Soccer in the past week or so, and as it’s still the offseason. The MLS Combine has given coaches insight on young players while the SuperDraft is also right around the corner. Additionally, a few major happenings in the league – from the Eastern conference – have been spicing up the offseason.

This year’s crop of impassioned young talent isn’t as in the forefront as past years – such as last year’s SuperDraft class of Steve Birnbaum, Christian Dean, Tesho Akindele, and Patrick Mullins – but there are always great diamonds in the rough that can wow supporters once they’re cleated up. Coming into MLS is a great step for those who have played college soccer, but with so many rounds to go through, don’t expect to see all the players who get picked up by MLS teams to actually play on those said MLS teams. Regardless, there is a handful of youthful talent who deserve a look in MLS. And not only have college seniors – who will be part of the SuperDraft – been signed to MLS, like Nick Besler, Andy Craven, and Saad Abdul-Salaam, but other – more well-known US men’s national team players, have now come into the league.

On Tuesday, January 13th, not only was Mix Diskerud revealed to the public as an NYCFC player, but Jozy Altidore was confirmed as coming to Toronto FC in exchange for Jermain Defoe going to Sunderland, plus some cash. So although the former Tottenham player was just at Toronto for a year, he goes back to England to play for a team thirsting for goals, while Altidore comes back to a league – and a team – that is holding its arms open to a tried and true USMNT player. Altidore comes to Toronto after his time – what could be called as a stint – at Sunderland to play alongside national team member, Michael Bradley. The move that was just announced via social media and confirmed through media members in Toronto and in England has yet to be seen as a shrewd move, in terms of player personnel, although the terms of the deal – or what is known – does sound to be a good business deal for most, if not all, parties involved.

As far as Altidore’s national teammate, Mix Diskerud, the most recent Rosenborg player will now be playing at Yankee Stadium. The Norwegian-born midfielder has been highly touted in the past by many MLS clubs, and yet finally, the playmaker has decided to settle – for at least the foreseeable future (as we all know it) – in New York City. Although it’s yet to be seen how Diskerud will play into the plans of coach Jason Kreis, thousands of US national team fans were inflamed with – possibly righteous – soccer anger because of Diskerud’s inclusion in the 2014 World Cup squad but did not play one single minute in Brazil, it should be noted that he is not a designated player but will certainly be an important aspect of NYCFC’s team goals (figuratively and literally) this year.

The news of Defoe leaving Toronto, Altidore coming to Toronto, Diskerud signing for New York City FC, and other younger players signing with MLS – and hopefully with teams come the SuperDraft – are just a handful of the news headlines that keep coming in fast and furious during the Major League Soccer offseason. With preseason in about two weeks, and then the 20th season of MLS kicking off in March, there will continue to be news and eyebrow raising decisions concerning teams and players.

Seems like the little brother of American sports leagues, MLS, is growing up and something to watch out for with excitement and plenty of narratives.

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.
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