Saudi Arabian sports conglomerate Sela Sports has begun the process of mending fences after a complete collapse in operations and community relations left the ownership group near the brink of disaster. The first move was restraining and thus eliminating the free wheeling actions of former head Paul Kemsley. The second has been an act of reparation and outreach.
Blau Weis Gottschee, one of the most respected youth soccer organizations in the country, became the platform for the rebuilding of the Cosmos resurgence – that is, until the Cosmos failed to pay the organization for it’s services to the tune of $210,000, leaving the future of families and children alike drifting in the wind. Motions for a lawsuit began to mount, but it seems Sela has righted the wrongs of their predecessors.
Big Apple Soccer reports that the conglomerate has paid – in full – the owed back pay and, in doing so, continues to aspire to be one of the teams vying for inclusion as the 20th MLS side. The reports also follow the positive talks coming out of Los Angeles last week, where Sela Sports representatives met league Commissioner Don Garber at the MLS Cup to discuss their future and intentions.
Though many ownership groups have expressed their potential interest in a New York City proper franchise, none have the recognition of the Cosmos name. These recent development’s will surely put them back in the conversation, but a long road lies ahead if they are to secure inclusion into the league.
Cosmos drama aside, Major League Soccer has entered the offseason, where dreams and aspirations go to grow and rumors reign supreme. Let’s take a look at what else is going on in the World of soccer in this weeks New York Minute:
TWO RED BULLS JOIN GENERATION ADIDAS EUROPEAN TOUR
Pack up your clogs! New York Red Bull players Matt Kassel and Corey Hertzog will be joining this years Generation Adidas offseason tour in the Netherlands. Going along for the ride are several notable youth stars including Danny Mwanga, Luis Gil, Zach MacMath and former Red Bull Tony Tchani.
THIS WEEKS 5 NAMES LINKED WITH MLS
DIDIER DROGBA - According to Soccernet, Didier Drogba is looking for one last pay day – and it could be in Major League Soccer. “At Didier’s age, he has nothing left to prove as a player,” Drogba’s agent Thierno Seydi told The Sun. “He will go where he is offered the most money. It could be the United States, Russia, Qatar or somewhere else in Asia.”
He went on to specifically name the LA Galaxy, who are in the market for a major name to join their ranks with the expected departure of superstar David Beckham.
ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO - A perennial favorite to the MLS rumor mill, Del Piero, 37, is once again being linked to a move Stateside, and yes, the Red Bulls are an apparent suitor.
RENNY VEGA – It is no secret the Red Bulls goalkeeping situation is in a state of flux. Reports out of Venezuela indicate long time keeper Renny Vega may be in New York’s plans to remedy the situation.
The news itself can be taken with a grain of salt; Futbol Report cites loose speculation over the potential move, stating that Red Bull have only inquired about the veteran backstop and that the site would be “tracking Red Bulls twitter account” to find verification. Either way, Vega has said he would address his future sometimes this month.
MARVIN AVILA - The Guatemalan international, 25, currently plying his trade with Municipal in his native country, has been linked to a move towards the Houston Dynamo. Avila is widely considered a rising star amongst the Guatemalan national ranks. Though his goal production has been minimal, the 6’2″ striker has been praised for his forward wing play and is likened to Brek Shea in his ability to use speed and size to break down defenders to create danger.
GEORGIE WELCOME – Remember that big Honduran Juan Carlos Osorio so desperately wanted to join the Red Bull ranks? Well, since that time Georgie Welcome, a top prospect in the Honduran national pool, has found himself on the wrong side of the bench with Mexico’s Atlas. With the comping Apertura tournament on the horizon, and no sign of playing time in his future, Welcome is said to be contemplating a move stateside.
DONOVAN RICKETTS: Unavailable
With the current state of the Red Bulls backline, a name like Donovan Ricketts would certainly be an enticing addition. Well, would have been is more like it. The Montreal Impact continue to make news in the transfer market, adding the Jamaican International to their side for the coming MLS season.
Ricketts, who’s goalkeeping spot was usurped by Josh Saunders of the LA Galaxy, has found a home with one of the more exciting stories of the coming 2012 season. He joins recent addition Davy Arnaud as the building blocks of this budding franchise continue to be put together.
Dr. Patrick Rishe of Forbes had a glowing review of his unexpected travels through Metlife Stadium and Red Bull Arena, proclaiming both venues “premier” American sport facilities. Personally, it reads like a travel blog chock full of stadia-facts and figures, but hey, publicity for the local soccer scene is tough to come by (especially in the offseason!). Check out his glowing review here.
KEVIN GOLDTHWAITE ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT
Portland Timber defender, and former New York Red Bull Kevin Goldthwaite has announced his retirement from professional soccer. Goldthwaite was a surprising pick up for New York, winning the Red Bulls 2008 defender of the year award while becoming key part in the franchise’s run towards their lone appearance in the MLS Cup.
His tenure with New York was cut short due to injuries that crippled his 2009 campaign. He was waived by New York in 2010 to make room for the addition of Rafa Marquez.
LOCAL LEGEND RETIRES
Manny Schellscheidt, 70, is retiring as head coach of Seton Hall after 24 seasons with the program. He compiled an impressive record, leading the Pirates to a 232-177-48 record during his tenure.
Schellscheidt has been a leader in youth soccer, serving as a technical director for U.S. Soccer’s U-14 boys program through the fall of this year.