Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Soccer News & Notes: 1/17/2007

Grant Wahl Article on CNN/SI
Grant Wahl has an article on CNN/ that covers the Beckham deal in length. The two biggest pieces of information I picked from the article is that the LA Galaxy will be rebranding themselves, sort of. The names will stay, but they will be going with a darker color, something Dark Blue.

"Why should fans hold off buying a green-and-gold Galaxy jersey with Beckham's name on the back?
Simple answer: because Becks will never wear green and gold with the Galaxy. The team is deep into the process of rebranding itself with new colors, a new shield and new uniforms. "We made a decision that it was time to start thinking through how we create a more worldly brand," Lewieke says. "We have a good name. Galaxy works. But we need a more legendary, traditional kind of look that's more of a soccer look."

Leiweke predicts the new jerseys will be available in the next two months. What color will they be? "The last time I checked, when you're looking at a Galaxy it's not green or yellow. It's either black or dark blue," Leiweke says. Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas is more specific: "When I think of the Galaxy I think of dark blue."

Then there's the issue of a shirt sponsor, which MLS rules are allowing for the first time this season. Leiweke had said two companies were in the running last Thursday, but he told me on Friday that a third company was now in the mix for what will surely be a multi-million-dollar sponsorship. A deal will be made in the next 30 days, he said, and probably sooner rather than later." - CNN/

So the Galaxy will be going dark blue? I will wait to see the logo and the uniforms when they release them.

The other interesting factoid from the article was that the Galaxy will be conducting an Asian pre-season tour of 2008.

"Does the Galaxy really plan to go on a preseason Asian tour in 2008 just like the big European clubs?
Yep. AEG just opened an Asia office and is seeking to get into the entertainment and facilities business there. "They have a lot of new stadiums coming on-line for the Olympics, so our timing's impeccable," Leiweke says. "We'll have an opportunity to do something in Asia before the beginning of the '08 season, and that's what we'll line up. We'll get David and Simon Fuller [his closest adviser] helping us think that through, and we hope to do a four- to six-game swing through Asia." - CNN/

So the galaxy will be trekking its way through China, Japan and some other Asian countries next February or March. Wonder if they intend to do this if they end up qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions Cup?

USA stays #31 in FIFA rankings.
The USA stayed #31 in the first FIFA rankings of 2007. Brazil remained #1 for yet another month. It is interesting to note that the first three opponents of 2007 for the USMNT are ranked #21 (Mexico), #23 (Denmark) & #29 (Ecuador, rumored). Guatemala is ranked #105, so this isn't that much of a help for the rankings. 10 of the countries the USMNT could face in the Gold Cup and the Copa America all rank in the top 50.


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