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Category: MLS

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Does MLS have a Texas problem?

Houston and Dallas, who meet in Sunday’s Texas Derby, are two of MLS’ best clubs this season from two of its biggest cities. So why aren’t they more popular?

Whoever coined the phrase “demographics are not destiny” could have been referring to Major League Soccer in Texas just as easily as talking about politics.

Simple population figures would imply that two of the league’s biggest clubs are facing off in the Texas Derby on Sunday, with the right to fire a cannon awarded to the team with the season’s best head-to-head record – provided they have secured the appropriate paperwork from safety-conscious city authorities, that is.

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MLS: where the standing fan is fast becoming king

Los Angeles FC are the latest team to announce standing areas for their fans, and it is a trend supporters on the other side of the Atlantic will note

Fan culture in Major League Soccer isn’t always considered to be the most authentic. That comes with the nature of the competition, in its franchised form, but that’s not to say fan culture doesn’t exist in North American soccer. This season, safe standing has become a part of that culture, with Orlando City leading the way (sometimes in very … expressive ways). Others, such as Atlanta and Minnesota United, are following their lead.

In what has quickly become typical fashion for Los Angeles FC, a much teased announcement on Saturday confirmed that MLS’s glitziest club without a team will also have a standing section of their own at their new stadium to help create “an electric and unified stadium atmosphere on match-days.” It was not an original part of the plan (although standing areas had been mooted), but LAFC presumably saw how a standing section has energised Orlando City and crowbarred it into their own blueprint.

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MLS: where the standing fan is fast becoming king

Los Angeles FC are the latest team to announce standing areas for their fans, and it is a trend supporters on the other side of the Atlantic will note

Fan culture in Major League Soccer isn’t always considered to be the most authentic. That comes with the nature of the competition, in its franchised form, but that’s not to say fan culture doesn’t exist in North American soccer. This season, safe standing has become a part of that culture, with Orlando City leading the way (sometimes in very … expressive ways). Others, such as Atlanta and Minnesota United, are following their lead.

In what has quickly become typical fashion for Los Angeles FC, a much teased announcement on Saturday confirmed that MLS’s glitziest club without a team will also have a standing section of their own at their new stadium to help create “an electric and unified stadium atmosphere on match-days.” It was not an original part of the plan (although standing areas had been mooted), but LAFC presumably saw how a standing section has energised Orlando City and crowbarred it into their own blueprint.

Continue reading…

0

MLS: where the standing fan is fast becoming king

Los Angeles FC are the latest team to announce standing areas for their fans, and it is a trend supporters on the other side of the Atlantic will note

Fan culture in Major League Soccer isn’t always considered to be the most authentic. That comes with the nature of the competition, in its franchised form, but that’s not to say fan culture doesn’t exist in North American soccer. This season, safe standing has become a part of that culture, with Orlando City leading the way (sometimes in very … expressive ways). Others, such as Atlanta and Minnesota United, are following their lead.

In what has quickly become typical fashion for Los Angeles FC, a much teased announcement on Saturday confirmed that MLS’s glitziest club without a team will also have a standing section of their own at their new stadium to help create “an electric and unified stadium atmosphere on match-days.” It was not an original part of the plan (although standing areas had been mooted), but LAFC presumably saw how a standing section has energised Orlando City and crowbarred it into their own blueprint.

Continue reading…

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Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS?

Despite some market similarities and familiar challenges there are stark differences in experience and strategy

Australian football has long been fascinated by Major League Soccer. A 2003 report by the National Soccer League Task Force – an “Australian Soccer Association” brains trust charged with figuring out just what the future A-League should be – featured several pages on the American version of club football.

Around the same time, player-turned-pundit Andy Harper was sent to the US by Football Federation Australia to discover what the Americans were up to first hand. In 2008, another FFA delegation flew across the Pacific to learn more about MLS while, more recently, Mark Falvo – FFA’s head of international affairs and government relations – spoke to the league’s New York City headquarters about how to approach proposed expansion.

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Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS?

Despite some market similarities and familiar challenges there are stark differences in experience and strategy

Australian football has long been fascinated by Major League Soccer. A 2003 report by the National Soccer League Task Force – an “Australian Soccer Association” brains trust charged with figuring out just what the future A-League should be – featured several pages on the American version of club football.

Around the same time, player-turned-pundit Andy Harper was sent to the US by Football Federation Australia to discover what the Americans were up to first hand. In 2008, another FFA delegation flew across the Pacific to learn more about MLS while, more recently, Mark Falvo – FFA’s head of international affairs and government relations – spoke to the league’s New York City headquarters about how to approach proposed expansion.

Continue reading…

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‘This is our last chance’ says Beckham group ahead of MLS Miami stadium vote

Former England skipper now has $500m investment in place, but still needs local approval on the stadium plot required to secure MLS franchise

David Beckham’s protracted bid to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami now rests on the fate of a small plot of disused, contaminated, county-owned land.

Tim Leiweke, Beckham’s top negotiator, this week told residents in the Overtown district where it plans to build a 25,000-seat arena “this is the last chance to get a stadium or soccer team”.

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247 days and counting: why Union’s winless streak threatens MLS record books

Philadelphia last won a league game when Barack Obama was president. But not so long ago they appeared destined for success

On 27 August 2016, the Philadelphia Union beat Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on a cloudy night in Chester, Pennsylvania. Roland Alberg and Tranquillo Barnetta scored the goals, and goalkeeper Andre Blake kept his sixth clean sheet of the year. The mood around the team was buoyant. The Union, after years of mediocrity, were starting to turn their fortunes around. They had just secured back-to-back victories, and also set a team record for home wins in a season. They were third place in the East, and looking certain to make their first playoff appearance since 2011. Coach Jim Curtin couldn’t stop singing his team’s praises. “This is a very good team,” he said. “We should be shooting for the top of the East … It’s only going to get better.”

In fact, it was only going to get worse. The victory over the Kansas City would be the Union’s last MLS victory in 2016. They were able to sneak into the playoffs on goal differential, where they were promptly eliminated by Toronto. Now, they are without a victory in 2017. Their winless streak stands at 15 regular-season games. The last time the Union got three points, the nation was still cringing over Ryan Lochte’s frat-boy chicancery in Rio, Sia’s Cheap Thrills was the top song on the radio, and Barack Obama was president. What a difference 247 days makes.

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Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni: ‘Something special is happening here’

The former US national coach is starting his second season in charge of the Pride – and believes the club, with its brand new stadium, is going places

At the new downtown stadium where Orlando Pride make their home debut this weekend, there are 49 seats that hold a special place in the team’s short history.

The 25,500-capacity arena, completed this year and shared with Orlando City of MLS, has included in its design a section of seats in purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red rows. It’s no random color scheme. The club plans for the seats to serve as a permanent tribute to the people murdered in the shooting at one of the city’s LGBT nightclubs on 12 June 2016.

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Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni: ‘Something special is happening here’

The former US national coach is starting his second season in charge of the Pride – and believes the club, with its brand new stadium, is going places

At the new downtown stadium where Orlando Pride make their home debut this weekend, there are 49 seats that hold a special place in the team’s short history.

The 25,500-capacity arena, completed this year and shared with Orlando City of MLS, has included in its design a section of seats in purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red rows. It’s no random color scheme. The club plans for the seats to serve as a permanent tribute to the people murdered in the shooting at one of the city’s LGBT nightclubs on 12 June 2016.

Continue reading…

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Didier Drogba joins US side Phoenix Rising as player and co-owner

• ‘To own a team and be a player is unusual but it’s going to be exciting’
• Phoenix play in second tier of the American league system

The former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has joined the United Soccer League side Phoenix Rising as a player and co-owner.

The 39-year-old has not played since leaving Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact in November but he has taken up the chance to join Phoenix’s “MLS expansion franchise ownership group”.

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Confusion reigns as Bastian Schweinsteiger asked if Chicago Fire can win World Cup – video

Bastian Schweinsteiger was flummoxed when asked at a press conference if his signing for the Chicago Fire could help the MLS club win a World Cup – a competition exclusively for international teams

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Schweinsteiger signing does little to dispel view of MLS as retirement home

The Fire’s splashy $4.5m move for the former German international seems to share many parallels with ill-fated veteran signings of the past

The notion that Major League Soccer is a retirement home is well established, if no longer factually correct. Once inhabited by the likes of, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane, the league is keen to highlight a changing landscape.

During the off-season the average age of foreign players signed was just 26 years old. Contained within that group was a number of young Designated Players, including: Albert Rusnak, Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez and Cristian Colman.

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Schweinsteiger signing does little to dispel view of MLS as retirement home

The Fire’s splashy $4.5m move for the former German international seems to share many parallels with ill-fated veteran signings of the past

The notion that Major League Soccer is a retirement home is well established, if no longer factually correct. Once inhabited by the likes of, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane, the league is keen to highlight a changing landscape.

During the off-season the average age of foreign players signed was just 26 years old. Contained within that group was a number of young Designated Players, including: Albert Rusnak, Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez and Cristian Colman.

Continue reading…

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Bastian Schweinsteiger leaves Manchester United for Chicago Fire – video report

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is leaving Manchester United to join Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire in a one-year deal reportedly worth £3.6m. United haven’t released a statement. But players at the club have used social media to send messages of support to the German international

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Bastian Schweinsteiger leaves Manchester United for Chicago Fire – video report

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is leaving Manchester United to join Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire in a one-year deal reportedly worth £3.6m. United haven’t released a statement. But players at the club have used social media to send messages of support to the German international

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Bastian Schweinsteiger joins Chicago Fire from Manchester United

• MLS club to pay former Germany midfielder £3.6m a year
• Bastian Schweinsteiger made only four appearances for United this season

Bastian Schweinsteiger has completed his move to the Chicago Fire from Manchester United.

The German World Cup winner will move to the Major League Soccer club on a one-year contract. The 32-year-old midfielder was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying: “Throughout my career, I’ve always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact and to help make something great. My move to Chicago Fire is no different.”

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Goals, goofs and gaiety: just another regular weekend in MLS

This was supposed to be a season of maturity for Major League Soccer, but as Portland’s 4-2 win over Houston showed, it still has some growing up to do

International breaks in the Major League Soccer season, like the over-emphasized punctuation marks in a Victor Borge stand-up routine, are interruptions that take on a comedic effect. One could lament the nascent season’s loss of important players so that Canada can play a friendly against Scotland, or so the US can continue muddling through World Cup qualification. Laughing, however, is more enjoyable. One might as well embrace the opportunity afforded by the strip-mining of rosters for international matches to ruminate on the state of the league. The three-week marker in a 34-week season that will end with most teams making the playoffs in an inopportune time for prognostications, but why should that stop anyone?

Related: Wilmer Cabrera, loyal lieutenant in Colombia’s dream team, thriving in MLS

Continue reading…

0

Goals, goofs and gaiety: just another regular weekend in MLS

This was supposed to be a season of maturity for Major League Soccer, but as Portland’s 4-2 win over Houston showed, it still has some growing up to do

International breaks in the Major League Soccer season, like the over-emphasized punctuation marks in a Victor Borge stand-up routine, are interruptions that take on a comedic effect. One could lament the nascent season’s loss of important players so that Canada can play a friendly against Scotland, or so the US can continue muddling through World Cup qualification. Laughing, however, is more enjoyable. One might as well embrace the opportunity afforded by the strip-mining of rosters for international matches to ruminate on the state of the league. The three-week marker in a 34-week season that will end with most teams making the playoffs in an inopportune time for prognostications, but why should that stop anyone?

Related: Wilmer Cabrera, loyal lieutenant in Colombia’s dream team, thriving in MLS

Continue reading…

0

Goals, goofs and gaiety: just another regular weekend in MLS

This was supposed to be a season of maturity for Major League Soccer, but as Portland’s 4-2 win over Houston showed, it still has some growing up to do

International breaks in the Major League Soccer season, like the over-emphasized punctuation marks in a Victor Borge stand-up routine, are interruptions that take on a comedic effect. One could lament the nascent season’s loss of important players so that Canada can play a friendly against Scotland, or so the US can continue muddling through World Cup qualification. Laughing, however, is more enjoyable. One might as well embrace the opportunity afforded by the strip-mining of rosters for international matches to ruminate on the state of the league. The three-week marker in a 34-week season that will end with most teams making the playoffs in an inopportune time for prognostications, but why should that stop anyone?

Related: Wilmer Cabrera, loyal lieutenant in Colombia’s dream team, thriving in MLS

Continue reading…