Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An update (it's been a while)

In case anyone is wondering "what's happened to the whole US soccer book idea?" i'm still ploughing on with it. Full time work commitments have managed to get in the way, as usual, but the book is still lurking in the background, and is slowly but steadily nearing its completion. Since I last wrote, there have been several interesting developments in Major League Soccer.

Minor changes have included a customary team name change; Kansas City Wizards are no more, replaced by a more Euro-friendly sounding Sporting Kansas City. Still the same team, of course, although they have moved to a flashy new stadium, the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. A more significant change has come in the shape of Montreal Impact, the latest addition to a League now containing 19 teams. One more and we might be looking at a switch to an English Premier League style set-up of playing every team twice, but with the play-off system as it is, we might have to wait a while for such a big format change.

 With the transfer window in Europe ready to step up a gear, and with the rumour mill in full flow, some big names have been linked to MLS in recent weeks. Forget Barry Robson (Vancouver) and Kris Boyd (Portland), we're talking about the likes of Shevchenko and Ronaldinho. Ageing, yes, but having seen first hand what the likes of Claudio Lopez and Guillermo Schillotto could do in MLS, I'd bank on those pair tearing up the MLS in the short-term, should they decide to make the move.

 I'll be keeping a closer eye on developments as I draw nearer to (finally) finishing the story of my own travels in the States, and my visits to Major League Soccer's finest. Despite the long, and sometimes arduous writing process, i've enjoyed recalling my exploits in the US & Canada, and still laugh out loud when I think about some of the characters I met along the way. From Daryll, the ex-Mormon / ex-marine / ex-convict I had the pleasure of sharing a hostel room with in Salt Lake, to the man whose arsenal of weapons I saw in a car boot in Kansas, to another ex-con on the bus to Dallas, I enjoyed it all.

Once it's finished, I hope you'll enjoy reading about them too.