Welcome to the RSL Cup blog

I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996. Lately however I've started to worry about the path MLS is taking and the poor decisions they are making that in my mind threaten the growth of soccer as a whole in the US. (see "Columbus conspiracy" section) Soccer in America will grow only when we have a vibrant and diverse minor league system, something that MLS seems to be smothering at the moment. (see "American soccer wars" section) Let's keep our eyes on the situation and hope for the best, a future where grass-roots soccer and the minor leagues can not only exist but flourish, as well as where the contributions and history of the league's early clubs are appreciated and preserved.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Landon Donovan comes out of retirement to play for LA Galaxy


(si.com 9-8-16)

Landon Donovan has decided to come out of retirement and sign a contract to play for the LA Galaxy for the remainder of the year, according to Blake Thomsen of The Cauldron.
                           
The Galaxy confirmed the report later Thursday, showing a video of Donovan going to his locker at StubHub Center and putting on a No. 26 jersey. The No. 10 jersey in which he starred for years is currently worn by Giovani dos Santos.
                           
According to SI's Grant Wahl, Donovan will not be a Designated Player and is signed for the remainder of the season. He could play as soon as Sunday against orlando City SC.
                           
Donovan released the following statement on his personal Facebook page upon confirming his return:

Landon Donovan September 8

I am very happy to announce that I have decided to rejoin my hometown team the LA Galaxy for the remainder of the MLS season. While this decision may come as a shock to many, I want to explain how and why it was made.

Two weeks ago, I was working as an analyst on the LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps match and during that game, the Galaxy suffered injuries to three players: Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and Gyasi Zardes. Over the next few days, Nigel De Jong was transferr...ed to Galatasaray and news broke that Gyasi would be out for the rest of the season. Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy. I spoke with some of them that week and they jokingly asked if I was ready to make a return to the field to help fill some of the void left by the injuries and departures. I reminded them that I haven’t played a meaningful soccer game in almost two years and I certainly couldn’t fill the holes left by those players.

Over the ensuing days, I began to think about their inquiries and it struck me that perhaps this is something I should consider. I care so deeply about the Galaxy organization, and I believe I could help in a small way to aid the team in its quest for a 6th MLS championship. Further, the opportunity to have my son Talon on the field with me after a game was a feeling that I would never be able to replicate.

I then had a candid conversation with Bruce Arena and we began down the path of deciding whether this made sense. We both agreed that if this was going to happen, the expectations would be minimal and he would use me in situations that made sense for the team. I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with my family and close friends over the past several days, and we all agreed that this would be a wonderful opportunity and a win-win situation for everyone.

I know this won’t be received well by everyone. That’s ok. I’ve always made decisions in life based on two guiding principles: my own happiness and the happiness of those I love and care about. Being on the field again, being able to help an organization that has meant so much to me and having my son in my arms after a game will undoubtedly make me and all my loved ones happy. That’s all that matters.

To my fans:

I thank you all for your unwavering support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each and every one of you. I’ve been fortunate to lead an incredible life, and I can’t wait to be on the field again and hear your cheers. Also, as all you parents know, having a child is truly a life-changing experience. Nothing would make me happier than standing on the field with Talon and the rest of my family celebrating the Galaxy’s 6th championship on December 10th. I will do everything in my power to make that happen, and I hope we are all there celebrating together!

Donovan initially retired at the end of the 2014 season with the LA Galaxy, the team he had played for since 2005. He previously took a break from the sport after 2012 as he cited that he was tired and missed time with the U.S. men's national team. He returned to the national team in the summer of 2013.
                           
Donovan remains the all-time leading scorer for U.S. Soccer (57 goals) and Major League Soccer (144 goals) and is also the MLS all-time leader in assists (136). He played in three World Cups but was left off the 2014 U.S. roster by manager Jurgen Klinsmann as the two men did not see eye-to-eye in their time together.

Since retiring, Donovan has remained close to the sport in a broadcasters role and most recently joined Swansea City in an advisory role. The Major League Soccer MVP Award was also renamed in his honor to the Landon Donovan MVP Award.

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http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2016/09/08/landon-donovan-out-retirement-la-galaxy                     
 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Tampa Bay away, New England home, 1999


Carlos Valderrama, John Harkes

I always liked this New England uniform, both their home and away. Sadly I think they only had this uniform for one year.