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Blog - Soccer USA

Altidore back at home for January camp


2014 MLS midseason awards


D.C.'s turnaround led by Olsen

 By Jason Davis

MLS preseason headlined by potential player strike over free agency

The ESPN FC team examine the possibility of an MLS player strike over free agency, where Alejandro Moreno believes the league may be sending two completely different messages to the players.

The new MLS season doesn't start until March 6 (we hope -- more on this later), but the offseason has already taken on a different feeling.

With the players back on the training field for preseason camps and reporters lurking around looking for stories, the time has come for the focus on the current collective bargaining agreement talks to go into overdrive.

The MLS news ticker delivered a few interesting non-CBA items over the past week, including the signing of a handful of notable names like...

D.C. United's Bill Hamid aiming for breakout year in MLS' 20th season

Taylor Twellman joins the ESPN FC crew to question whether or not Jozy Altidore can spring his career back to life with his recent move back to MLS with Toronto FC.
The ESPN FC crew discuss Jozy Altidore's move to Toronto FC and what it will take for the forward to rediscover his goal scoring form.

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- Some of the biggest names in Major League Soccer made the rounds Tuesday at a media event put on by the league in advance of its 20th season.

Former Ballon d'Or winner Kaka was in the house. So was Bradley Wright-Phillips, who tied the single-season scoring record last year with 27 goals, as well as several starters from the U.S. team that captured the country's imagination during its run to the second round at last summer's World Cup in Brazil.

To a man, they were engaging....

Renewed focus on soccer is helping Robbie Rogers excel in Los Angeles

Robbie Rogers enjoyed football in 2014 thanks to his renewed focus on the L.A. Galaxy.

CARSON, Calif. -- From a distance, Robbie Rogers wears the mantle of role model with enviable ease. After coming out in 2013, Rogers remains the only active gay male athlete in North American team sports; his book "Coming Out To Play" has proven to be inspirational to readers, regardless of their sexual orientation.

But a closer vantage point reveals that for Rogers, wearing the role model cloak has been accompanied by periods of discomfort and distraction from his primary vocation, that of...

Jozy Altidore happy to be back at home for U.S. men's team camp

Taylor Twellman joins the ESPN FC crew to question whether or not Jozy Altidore can spring his career back to life with his recent move back to MLS with Toronto FC.

CARSON, Calif. - The jet lag appeared to weigh heavily on Jozy Altidore as he eased into a chair at StubHub Center. After all, it was just two days since he arrived in Southern California to join the U.S. national team for its annual January camp. A few days prior, he was still in England, ready to finalize his move to Toronto FC.

But looked at another way, Altidore had recently shed plenty -- though by no means all -- of his baggage. His nightmarish spell with Sunderland is over. He is now back...

The cautionary connection between Michael Owen and Gedion Zelalem

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop and Craig Burley respond to Gedion Zelalem's recent U.S. citizenship, where Burley explains the 17-year-old is miles away from making the grade as a professional footballer.

News this week that Gedion Zelalem has gained U.S. citizenship set fans certainly got fans of the national team talking. For Graham Parker, it triggered a walk down memory lane to the late 1990s.

I was in a hotel bar during a conference in Chicago in early 1997, when a Liverpudlian academic attending the same event began to regale me about a young kid who was just coming through the Liverpool reserves and was going to be "just amazing. Amazing. His speed, Graham ... and the finishing ... this kid...

 By Sid Lowe

Raul always relished a challenge, and the New York Cosmos are just that

According to ESPN FC reports, Real Madrid and Spain legend Raul has signed a multi-year deal with the New York Cosmos of the NASL.

He was just 17 and he was asleep on the top deck of the bus. The bus was heading up the A2 motorway towards Zaragoza, where Raul Gonzalez Blanco was about to make his debut. If the kid was nervous, a teenager about to play for the biggest club in the world, he didn't show it. "I couldn't have done that," admitted then-Madrid manager Jorge Valdano, but he already knew this kid was different. Valdano had told him that he was thinking of including him and wanted to know what he thought. "If you want...