April 16, 2014 |
Major League Soccer on Wednesday awarded an expansion team to Atlanta, which would begin play in 2017. It is the third expansion club announced by MLS, which currently has 19 teams, in the last year. The others are New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club, which are expected to start play next year. The Atlanta team will be owned by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and play in a stadium to be built in downtown Atlanta that also would be the Falcons' new home. "We are going to build a first-class organization on and off the field that will be a source of pride for the entire community," Blank said in a statement.
April 5, 2014 |
Juergen Klinsmann hasn't made many missteps in his 2 1/2 years of coach of the U.S. national team. Still it was hard not to question last week's decision to jettison Martin Vasquez, his longtime right-hand man, and replace him with Tab Ramos and former German national team coach Berti Vogts. Sacking your top assistant two months before the World Cup is a little like a presidential candidate dumping his running mate after the convention. So was it an act of panic or prescience? It's too early to tell.
April 2, 2014 |
David Beckham, whose oversized contract caused Major League Soccer to create exceptions to its salary cap in 2007, now says the ceiling for what teams can pay players should be thrown out altogether. This season the cap is set at $3.1 million per team or $387,500 per player, although teams can go over those figures to sign as many as three designated players. The league currently has three dozen players who were signed under what was long known as "The Beckham Rule" because it was created to allow the Galaxy to offer Beckham a five-year, $32.5-million deal eight seasons ago. That contract also gave Beckham the option of owning an MLS expansion franchise -- an option he has exercised by bringing a team to Miami.
March 10, 2014 |
Since becoming president of Chivas USA at the end of last month, Nelson Rodriguez has been busy trying to turn around an embattled Major League Soccer franchise. The league has affirmed that it wants the team to remain in Los Angeles, believing that there is enough room in the city for two MLS teams. For most of its history, Chivas USA has played second fiddle to the Galaxy in the Southern California market. At Sunday's season opener, which Chivas won 3-2 against the Chicago Fire, Rodriguez spoke with reporters at halftime about the team's situation and shared some glimpses into the future of the franchise.
March 8, 2014 |
Since taking over as coach of the U.S. national team 2 1/2 years ago, Juergen Klinsmann has repeatedly preached the superiority of European soccer. "When you watch Premier League, you watch the German Bundesliga or you watch Spanish football - Barcelona, Madrid - then you know the benchmark," he said. But with this summer's World Cup less than 100 days away, Klinsmann has softened his tone a bit. Not that he's had much of a choice. Because after the cream of Klinsmann's crop of European-based players was embarrassed during the U.S.'s 2-0 loss to Ukraine on Wednesday, it became apparent the team he will take to Brazil this summer will be dominated by players from Major League Soccer.
March 4, 2014 |
It's generally not a good sign when a team starts all its games with its best scorer on the sidelines. But unless Coach Juergen Klinsmann suddenly decides, at 49, to suit up and play, that's the situation his U.S. soccer team finds itself in less than 100 days before the World Cup. In the three world championships Klinsmann appeared in as a player, he scored 11 goals for his native Germany. But in the last three World Cups the U.S. appeared in as a team, it scored only 14 times. So Klinsmann will continue auditions for a starting striker Wednesday when the U.S. meets Ukraine in Cyprus, in the first of two tests before preliminary World Cup rosters are due in May. The friendly was originally scheduled for Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, but when deadly demonstrations in the capital of Kiev widened last week, the game was moved to Cyprus.