Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Wrappings

Merry Christmas - Buon Natale!
Happy Hanukkah - Buona Hanukkah!

From the Houston Bureau of World Soccer Wrap!

Well, it maybe the holiday season but the news keeps coming.

This past week the Houston Dynamo tendered an offer to Morelia to obtain forward Luis Angel Landin on a 1 year loan deal. This is a move to help shore up an offense that has lost forward Nate Jaqua to Seattle and midfielder Dwayne DeRosario to Toronto. Chivas Guadalajara had been interested in acquiring Landin, but dropped its interest, paving the way for the Dynamo to tender its offer.

On Christmas Eve, Dynamo fans received an unexpected gift in the news that Harris County Commissioners Sylvia Garcia and El Franco Lee announced their tentative support for having Harris County contribute $10 million to a dowtown Dynamo stadium project. The overall expected cost of the stadium is $80 million, down from $100 million, and the Dynamo are expected to contribute $60 million. The remaining $10 million will come from the City of Houston. The public money will most likely go towards infastructure improvements and are linked to the East Downtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, a vehicle used to funnel existing property taxes back into an area of the city that is in need of economic development. The stadium will be located on the eastern edge of Downtown Houston in an area that has missed out on the development and revitalization that occurred west of Highway 59 through the late 90s and early 00s. The area that will benefit from this stadium deal falls into the regions that elected Lee and Garcia; therefore, their support is vital for obtaining the support of the County's Commissioners Court.

The team has yet to make a formal comment on this news, so they might be concerned about some of the strings it appears that Lee and Garcia want to add to the money. Such strings are not set in stone yet, so the team has time to quietly negotiate those issues.

Finally in Dynamo news, the team has signed assistant coach John Spencer to a 2 year extension. In seasons past, Spencer has been looked at for filling the gaffer position at other clubs, but has yet to find an acceptable deal. This extension is nice for Dynamo fans, but how much longer before Spencer finds a top spot he likes?

The Dynamo have also agreed on terms to a new 4 year contract with team captain Wade Barrett. The contract will likely be signed in January.

Now on to Italy.

I had been hoping that the SuperCoppa would be coming to the U.S. this summer, but it is headed to China instead.

Once again, Jose Mourinho is whining about the Italian press and the fact that he has to talk to the press for longer periods of time and in more detail then he had to in England. You wouldn't make it the U.S. Jose, especially in New York City.

Finally some bad news for Roma fans like myself. Francisco Totti might be sidelined for two months with a thigh muscle injury. This means he might miss the knock-out round of the UEFA Champions League, in which Roma faces Arsenal.,19528,11861_4688849,00.html

Well, until next time - enjoy your holiday season!

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