We'll start this edition of the MLS News Roundup with some news that will have a positive effect on both the MLS and Team USA! USA! USA!
In a letter posted to mlsnet.com, MLS Commish Don Garber said that the league was exploring new scheduling options that would allow it to break for important internationals, such as World Cup Qualifiers. Currently, the league does not break for internationals, depriving teams of their best players and forcing fans to choose between club and country.
Garber said that the two most feasible options available to the league were cutting down on the number of competitions that MLS clubs compete in, or starting the season earlier.
Both options have some serious disadvantgaes. If the number of competitions is cut back, teams will lose revenue and players will lose valuable experience. The league, while on somewhat solid financial footing, can't really afford to say no to the money that international competitions can bring.
The other option, starting the season earlier, would mean that teams like Chicago, New York and New England would be starting the season in very cold weather, which could create lower attendance figures for those teams. Again, those teams can't and shouldn't have to say no to more revenue.
Garber said that the issue will be discussed in further detail at the MLS Board of Governors meeting at the end of the season, but is aware that some changes need to be made.
Bob Bradley named his squad for the two upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, against Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago. As usual, the squad is a mixture of MLS stars and European-based Americans.
Headlining the team are Tim Howard, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. The rest of the roster can be found here.
There are some notable omissions, including Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu. Adu had a very solid Olympics, and both players play for leagues in Europe that will be breaking for that round of international matches. The US figures to easily win the group, so it wouldn't hurt to call up some younger players to get them some experience.
The newest member of the LA Galaxy, Eddie Lewis, is expected to make his debut this weekend. Lewis is expected to bolster the league's worst defense for new coach Bruce Arena. The US International has plenty of experience overseas and will bring a good veteran presence to the locker room.
Lastly, both New England and Chivas USA lost their opening round matches in the new CONCACAF Champions League. New England lost to Joe Public FC of Trinidad, 2-1, while Chivas fell to Tauro of Panama, 2-0. Both MLS clubs have a lot of work to do in the return leg if they hope to advance to the group stages of the competition. New England has an easier job because they managed to snag an important away goal in their match.