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Future Blues

Latest Chelsea rumors and realities

After a slow start to the traditional summer transfer craziness due to the Euro 2012 tourney, things are about to heat up.  Now that the Euro 2012 Final is history (congrats to Spain!) clubs will be scrambling in July to assemble their rosters in time for the new season.

Here are some of the latest rumors involving current or potential Chelsea players.  These are solely rumors, approximately 99.9 % of which are planted by players’ agents, so all must be taken with a large grain of salt:

The LA Galaxy might offer Frank Lampard a two-year deal to go Hollywood.  Not sure how they would cram in another designated player when they’ve already got Keane, Beckham, and Donovan, but if any MLS team can finagle it, LA can.  Lampard is such a Chelsea stalwart that I can’t imagine him leaving.  If he had to go, it would be fun to see him in MLS, but I don’t want Lamps to leave Chelsea!

Chelsea has supposedly declined an offer from FC Copenhagen to acquire Romelu Lukaku on loan for the upcoming season.  Hope this means Chelsea is going to work Lukaku into the lineup more next season.  Looking forward to seeing what the Belgian has to offer.

I’ve read a couple rumors about Chelsea being interested in Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.  I file this one under “unexciting”.  Walcott hasn’t been a consistent starter for Arsenal and I feel like Chelsea already has a similar player in Daniel Sturridge.  I’d rather keep Sturridge.

Chelsea seems quite interested in Wigan striker Victor Moses, but their initial offer was apparently laughed off by Wigan.  Moses is semi-interesting, but I’d rather see Chelsea give Sturridge and Lukaku a chance to fulfill their potential.

Chelsea may try to get right back Maicon from Inter Milan.  Don’t know much about him, but it might be a good idea as Chelsea ended up defensively short-handed late last season due to injuries.

Paris St. Germain may try to pry John Terry away from Chelsea.  While Terry’s also a perennial Blue, I actually wouldn’t be too disappointed to see him go.  For all his defensive prowess and leadership, he sure has made some boneheaded moves over the years.  And there’s still the small matter of his pending racial abuse case involving his on-field clash with QPR’s Anton Ferdinand last season.  I seriously doubt Chelsea will let Terry go though.

Finally, Chelsea is not renewing contracts for Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa.  Both are players I won’t miss very much.  Their Chelsea seasons were a mixed bag of helpfulness and hurtfulness.  Still, they’ll always be a part of Chelsea nostalgia for their contributions to the club’s first Champions League title.

Which of these are good ideas?  Bad ideas?  Feel free to weigh in below…

MLS is a Dream Come True

Why watching a 0 – 0 tie between FC Dallas and DC United is a pleasure

I spent Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.  It was approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit and the game ended in a scoreless draw – with most of the players rendered as listless by the heat as the fans – yet I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I always enjoy trips to PHP (well, except for that life-threatening monsoon/mega-thunderstorm I got caught in when FCD hosted the Galaxy in May), because every time I go, I’m living the dream.

I moved to France in 1988.  I was eleven years old.  The year I spent living there with my family cemented soccer as my life-long sporting love.  How could it not?  Soccer saturated French culture.  It made the front page of major newspapers.  Often!  Surprisingly (considering I was from Arkansas, traditionally a statewide soccer ghost town), I was already a soccer enthusiast before moving to France, having played for three years in the Heber Springs Optimist Club league.  But living in France elevated my footballitis (soccer fever) to the highest level, a condition from which I’ve yet to recover.

After living in France, we moved to Dakar, Senegal where I spent the remainder of my adolescence playing as much soccer as possible.  I spent countless hours in our front yard juggling and pounding the ball against the concrete wall that surrounded our compound, daydreaming about a real professional soccer league in the U.S.  I picked cities, made up team names, designed uniforms, and selected the NFL stadiums we would surely use (the brilliant concept of “soccer-specific” stadia was beyond my imagination).  It was the early 90s, pre-World Cup ’94 even, and my American pro soccer league was a very distant, lofty dream.

Fast-forward twenty years or so.  I’m sitting in the second row, at midfield, watching my local professional club in a sparkling (if architecturally bland), soccer-specific stadium.  It’s Major League Soccer!  Okay, so the quality of play isn’t among the world’s elite leagues.  Yet.  But it’s getting much better (FC Dallas is one of the league’s best squads by the way).  And maybe there are only 10,802 fans in a stadium that can hold twice as many.  And maybe the refereeing is atrocious.  And there are cheesy cheerleaders.  And there are few shots and no goals.  But it’s pro soccer.  In America.  It’s my childhood dream come true!  Granted, I was supposed to be on the field rather than in the seats according to my dream, but that’s another story.

Perspective is important for American soccer fans.  Every time I go to an MLS game I soak in the atmosphere and smile contentedly, remembering that kid kicking the ball in the yard in West Africa who could only dream of such a thing.

Ugo, FC Dallas!

Club looks to the future with recent contract extensions

This blog’s primary focus is my favorite team, Chelsea FC.  However, I also support my local club – FC Dallas of MLS – and will endeavor to write about them periodically.  Things have been looking up at FC Dallas the past couple of seasons and two key recent contract extensions are evidence that the club is moving in the right direction.

This week FC Dallas extended defender Ugo Ihemelu’s contract through 2015, a wise decision that followed a similar extension for midfielder Brek Shea a few weeks ago.  Head coach Schellas Hyndman is apparently dedicated to firming up the roster he has carefully constructed the past three seasons.  MLS has complicated rules and regulations when it comes to signing/keeping players, so it is great news for FCD fans that the club has arranged to retain two of its best players for several more seasons.  Hopefully we’ll see some other extensions before season’s end – Zach Loyd, George John, or Fabian Castillo perhaps?

I was skeptical and unenthused about Hyndman becoming head coach back in 2008.  I stand corrected however, as his patient building and shrewd scouting is starting to pay off.  The team made their first trip to the MLS Cup final last season and currently sits in second place behind the Galaxy in the Western Conference.

Now if we could only expand the local fan base to pay some more top players.  It pains me every time I’m at Pizza Hut Park or watching on TV to see so many empty seats.  We have a great stadium and one of the very best teams in MLS.  What gives, Dallas?

Pizza Hut Park

Which other current FC Dallas players would you like to see remain at the club long-term?