After a brief absence due to the start of the various European leagues, as well as college football, Total 90 is back with more news and commentary than you can stomach.
First, we travel to Washington, where the Seattle Sounders captured the US Open Cup with a 2-1 victory over DC United. Fredy Montero and Roger Levesque tallied goals for Seattle as the Sounders took home the first trophy in club history. The best fans in MLS have been rewarded for selling out Qwest Field all season with a big, shiny trophy and some medals.
Moving on, we've got to tackle the standard American transfer rumors. Pint-sized Chicago Fire forward Chris Rolfe looks to be on his way out of MLS in January. He'll be hanging out on the shores of the Limfjord, playing in Denmark's fourth-largest city for Aalborg BK.
Rolfe, who is just over 5'6", figures to resemble a hobbit in a land filled with tall Scandinavians.
Freddy Adu is on the move once again, this time to Portuguese club Belenenses on a season-long loan. A proposed move to Odense BK fell through earlier in the summer when the Danes were unwilling to pay Adu's salary, so now he'll have the chance to perform in Portugal and possibly exact a measure of revenge on Benfica for not being able to include him in their plans.
My money is on Benfica to unload Adu permanently sooner rather than later. He's only appeared in 11 games for the club since his original move in 2007 and the current coaching staff doesn't seem to be that interested in his services.
A pair of American teenagers are moving to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. The Bundesliga club has secured the services of Joseph Gyau and Charles Renken. The pair of US U-17 standouts had offers from major European clubs, including Chelsea and Bayern Munich, but opted to move to Hoffenheim because the club offered an excellent plan for their development.
Gyau and Renken will begin their new careers first with a residency at the Vancouver Whitecaps academy, and then make the move to Germany starting in 2010. The teenagers are gifted attackers and could make a bigger impact abroad than any previous American.
American football fans may soon have a breakaway league to enjoy, a direct competitor to MLS. The United Soccer Leagues (USL), which were originally owned by Nike but sold to a new consortium last week, faces a dispute with some of their largest clubs. These clubs made a bid to purchase the league themselves but were turned down. The eight teams in this group released a statement that mentioned a "commitment to achieving a team-owner controlled league."
This is not necessarily a bad thing for the Beautiful Game in the U.S. If these breakaway clubs can mount a reasonable challenge to MLS, both leagues will be forced to step their game up and improve their product. In that situation, the fans will walk away as winners.
Be sure to tune into ESPN Classic this Wednesday night at 6 p.m. ET as the United States takes on Trinidad and Tobago in World Cup qualifying action.
Sources: Goal.com, ESPNSoccernet, Soccer365, Majorleaguesoccertalk.com.