MLS Midweek: Jones, Alonso hurt, jersey leaks, and more

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

The Major League Soccer season is, in theory, a little more than three weeks away. That makes this a bad time for players to get injured. But two important players went under the knife in the past week and could miss opening day for their clubs. In less dour news, several clubs had their new jerseys revealed, a  couple notable signings were made, and CBA talks remain tense.

– Jermaine Jones underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a sports hernia. The surgery will keep Jones sidelined for 4-6 weeks, which means that if the MLS season starts on time, Jones probably won’t. It’s unclear when Jones suffered the injury, but he went 90 minutes in each of the USMNT’s two recent friendlies.

– Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso will miss two months after undergoing surgery to clear up scar tissue on Friday. Alonso, 29, started 33 games in the regular season last year, and finished most of them.

– During the preseason, the Professional Referee Organization will experiment with allowing 12-minute substitutions in cases of possible head injuries. The rule would allow players to undergo assessment for a concussion on the sideline without leaving their team shorthanded on the field.

If the player is cleared to re-enter the game, he can do so within 12 minutes. The temporary substitute will return to the bench and not count against the allotment of three substitutes per game.

– FC Dallas signed Fabian Castillo to a five-year contract extension. Castillo is 22, but has already made 107 appearances for Dallas, scoring 20 goals. Last season was his best year in MLS, with 10 goals and four assists. Dallas named him their team MVP at the end of the season.

-After a struggling year in Mexico, Michael Farfan is returning to MLS with DC United. Farfan played just 12 minutes for Cruz Azul’s senior team before being released six months into his contract. He did score a goal in those 12 minutes, though.

Farfan, 26, played for the Philadelphia Union from 2011 through 2013, making 82 appearances. He went to DC via the allocation order, because the Union received a transfer fee in sending Farfan to Cruz Azul.

– MLS traditionally unveils new jerseys during kit week shortly before the season. But a flood of new shirts were leaked online over the past week. Drawing the most attention were the chevrons on Portland’s shirt, Sporting Kansas City’s plaid-ish pattern, and New England’s red and green away jersey.

While most clubs ignored the leaks, Columbus Crew SC was proactive, tweeting out official pictures of their new home and away kits. These were hotly anticipated following last fall’s rebrand. The black away shirt features a subtle checkerboard pattern, echoing the new crest.

– There are 23 days until the MLS season is scheduled to begin. Doubts are increasing about whether the Chicago Fire will travel to play that Friday night game against the Galaxy.Free agency remains the biggest sticking point between the league and the union, with neither side publicly backing down from their positions just yet. The players continue to state publicly that without free agency, the season will not start on time. Tick tock.