As they say, all good (and bad) things must come to an end.
Unfortunately for us it is over.
As of today we have been down a week.
We never thought it would end this way.
If you had asked us to imagine the final chapter of MLS-Rumors.net we would never have come up with the scenario which lead to our eventual demise.
As you may have noticed MLS-Rumors.net had a number of "brown outs" in the last month where the site was unreachable. This was due to traffic overloading our server.
Beginning last Friday, December 15, MLS-Rumors was taken offline by the company we rented our server from.
Within that week we worked feverishly to bring our site back up. Ultimately the story is that as our traffic increased due to the approaching January transfer window our ad revenue did not keep pace.
As a result we wound up owing our hosting company for two months in which we fell short.
We were locked out of our server and unable to download our site's design, nor its four and a half year historical archive of rumors and other vital data.
Our last backup was prior to our site's redesign this summer. Our next backup was planned for January.
As you see this couldn't have come at a worse time, right before the transfer window and the holidays, meaning people we normally could have turned to borrow finances to make up the funding gap were already overextended due to holiday spending.
Reconstructing the site from scratch on a new server remained a possibility and one we considered, but given the amount of time and effort that went into the over the past four and a half years (particularly during this summer's redesign) as well as the the loss of our archives it was all too much to bear.
Our archives was not just something nice to have but rather, a tool we constantly used to evaluate future rumors.
When you've put a lot of work into something for many years, to see that much hard work (put into both the site and the mobile site) wiped out is soul killing.
We would like to thank all who offered help or voiced concern during our 11th hour appeal on Twitter yesterday. It really means a lot.
We had a number of people offer server space or finances but unfortunately if we had combined them all we still would have fallen short of what was needed to continue.
We would like to thank everyone who ever read the site, or interacted with us on a regular basis on Twitter. We'd list you all but it would be a very long list and you know who you are.
We'd also like to thank our partners: Major League Soccer Talk, Glenn Davis, Daniel Feuerstein, Footiebuisness, TMZ Sports, MLS News France, MLS UK, MLS Blighty, Blog de MLS, MLS Brasil, Soccer Italia, MLS Russia, SSFC-Rumors, The Cup.us, The Unionist, The Brotherly Game, Glory, Glory Revolution, Prost America, The Mind of Scads, and others, as well as friends of MLSR - It's Called Football, Canadian Soccer News, Sounder at Heart, Joshua Mayers at the Seattle Times, The Oregonian, Champions Soccer Radio Network, Arlo White, North American Soccer News, Inside Minnesota Soccer, Soccer Made in Portland and Centerline Soccer.
We urge you to support them and follow them on Twitter.
And most of all we'd like to thank all past and present MLSR authors and contributors both known, such as Glenn Davis, Patrick Beatty, Loïc Moreau, David Gubala, Patrick Beatty, as well as anyone we did not mention or those whose identity will remain unknown by their own request.
Beyond that, paramount to much of what we did were the tipsters.
So a big thank you also goes out anyone who ever sent us a rumor or leak anonymously. And thanks to "Not Doug Logan" for inspiration.
You all stuck your neck out for no other reason than to help us generate more interest in the top flight of the USA and Canada.
We could not have done what we did without all of you.
Finally, we would also like to thank the league, MLS and their clubs front office people who often were very helpful to us on many occasions, particularly over the last three years whether it was confirming a rumor's validity or simply giving us swag to give away to our readers in various contests (thanks Adidas!).
Some have said to us that there is no replacing MLSR. We won't argue with them.
For some, we were like a daily habit (or guilty pleasure) and withdrawal is cruel.
However if you find yourself in the middle of a transfer window craving a fix there's the promising MLS Rumor Central at MLSSoccer.com.
Give 'em a chance, they're trying.
An idea like covering MLS related transfer rumors is not going to simply disappear.
There will be other sites that pop up, they just won't be operated by us (though we are willing to assist them if asked).
We leave an MLS blog scene that is quite different than when we began.
It's amazing to remember that when we started in 2007 there were no sites that specifically focused on just MLS related transfer rumors.
Additionally there was almost no "edgy" coverage of the league either.
MLSR was started to cover the league the way leagues around the world are covered. Headlines on other MLS specific sites were often dry, dour affairs and stories pretty plain.
There was little controversy. Indeed the league and those who covered it it seemed to shun and run as far away from controversial subjects as possible back then.
As the league strived for credibility. many back then mistook having nothing to talk about as being better than having something to talk about which someone might have a strong opinion on.
Supporters weren't really much of a focus back then but stats were.
On the field issues were thrust in front of often glaring, back office, behind the scenes issues.
And people wanted to know more so we threw our hat into the ring.
The alternative to that dry coverage we mentioned above was often well meaning but just as often cringe-worthy or cheesy.
We liked a bit of picante with our quesadilla and so it began.
All we ever wanted was to help to build and expand interest in the league, particularly during the time between games taking place (hence our motto). We always hoped that coverage would eventually grow up a little as the MLS fan from 1996 has grown up.
And it did.
There are choices now that simply did not exist or did not exist in their current form when we started.
Today MLSSoccer.com, the league's official website itself, crafts headlines which would not have been out of place on MLSR circa 2007.
Edgier aspects of the game are covered, and addressed. Wars of words are allowed. Debate is encouraged and passion is permitted to flow.
Podcasts have filled many listening hours with all of the above and have grown as to engage the committed MLS supporter.
Additionally today there are whole sections of many websites devoted to the MLS transfer rumors which we always strongly felt were a vital aspect of MLS football.fútbol.soccer fandom.
Where there is death there are the seeds of new life.
Ultimately the way forward might be for every MLS club to have a rumors site specific to that club. We stand ready to assist and provide content for anyone who decides to launch such a site for their club (as we've done with Antoine at SSFC-Rumors).
May dozens of local MLS rumors sites grow and prosper.
While we won't rule out a wholesale return of MLS-Rumors someday, it seems very unlikely so please do not hold your breath. We've just learned to "never say never".
Our domain names "MLS-Rumors.net", "MLSNews.net", "Soccer-Rumors.com" as well as our Twitter account @mlsrumors are available for sale.
For inquires regarding this please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Sale
It's been a great run, but like any sports team that has a great run, eventually that run, well.... runs out.
Like all teams whose streak ends we have our regrets. For instance we would have loved to cover the 2012 pre-season MLS transfer window (a window we believe will be the busiest ever) but feel at least we went out on top.
Thanks to all who went the full ninety minutes with us every game of four seasons.
MLS-Rumors is dead. Long live the MLS rumors.