Last week’s MLS Cup proved to be one of the best cups in recent memory, as the Portland Timbers defeated the Columbus Crew to capture their first every MLS championship finishing off one of the best playoff runs we have seen by far.
After a great ending to another successful season of major league soccer we head into a much-needed offseason, here is some of the top news to come out of the MLS this week.
Nagbe receives two trophies
What is your definition of a good year? Well if it involves anything that Darlington Nagbe experienced this season then it is safe to say he is having an excellent year.
The Portland Timbers forward is having the best season of his career; the twenty-five-year-old earned his first international appearance with the USMNT in August against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, coming on in the 65th minute.
USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann commented on Nagbe’s form,
“He’s very comfortable on the ball and knows when to accelerate, when to go through midfield and when to find his teammates in different positions.” Klinsmann went on to say “We want to see now over the next couple of months and years how he finds his spot on the team. Already in that half-hour on the field [Friday], he showed his skill set.”
Nagbe then went on to help his club, the Portland Timbers, rise against the odds and win their first MLS Cup. It is safe to say that all of Nagbe’s hard work is paying off, and the young American has a bright football career ahead of him.
But the ultimate trophy that Nagbe received this past week was not of the hardware variety. Instead, the twenty-five-year-old welcomed a new member to his family. Baby Kingston Nagbe was born on December 9 much to the delight of his father whose Christmas wish list seems to be shrinking. Looks like Santa is going to have to dig deep into his big red bag and find a suitable present for Nagbe this Christmas, but what could compete with an MLS Cup and a new born baby?
Sebastian Giovinco wins MVP of the season
If you want to talk about a monster of a season, then there is no one better to talk about than Toronto FC’s striker Sebastian Giovinco. The Italian international was just pure fire this season, scoring 22 goals, 7 of which were game-winning, and beating out Kei Kamara for the 2015 MLS Golden Boot award.
Not bad seeing as this is Giovinco’s first season in the MLS; he was purchased from Juventus for, at that time, a record-breaking five-year contract totaling $35 mil. So it came as no surprise that Giovinco was awarded the league’s highest distinguished player honor, the Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player award for his incredible debut year.
He becomes only the second person to win the MVP award in his first season of play, Luciano Emilion was the first back in 2007.
Despite rumors of a possible move to powerhouse La Liga club Barcelona, Giovinco is here to stay.
He was quoting as saying,
"I want to finish my career in [North] America, that is my dream," according to MLSsoccer.com. "I am very happy where I am, it's true that I miss matches like Juventus vs. Fiorentina, but I'm doing very well here."
Yes, Giovinco you are doing very well in the MLS. In a league that is rapidly growing, Sebastian Giovinco is an essential piece in MLS’s ability to attract new talent from around the world.
DC United unveils new logo
Some news comes out of the DC United club this week, as they revealed a brand new logo. Only the second time in the clubs history that the logo has changed; its first time altering the logo was in 1997.
The club gave a breakdown of its new logo:
The Lettering: Handcrafted and contemporary demonstrating the confidence in the evolved brand,
The Wings: Break the shields barriers representing DC's core brand value of freedom
The Eagle: Has not changed since 1996 and is still looking forward reinforcing the club's tradition
The Shield: Based off of George Washington’s family crest, it symbolizes the team’s connection to city
The Stars and Bars: Are taken from the city’s flag but also originate from Washington’s family crest.
It also launched a new hype video for the fans:
DC United is looking for ways to provide its club with some extra motivation as they finished this season losing to the NY Redbulls in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, for the second straight year, 2-0 on aggregate.
DC has not lifted the MLS Cup trophy since 2004 where they defeated the Sporting Kansas City (then named the Kansas City Wizards) 3-2. In that same year, DC United made huge news as they signed 14-year-old prodigy Freddy Adu, who debuted for the club as a substitute in their season opener against rivals NY Redbulls (then named MetroStars).
Will a new logo be enough to bring DC United back to MLS glory? Guess we will all have to wait for the 2016 season to find out the answer to that question.