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ryanlammi

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And I'd love a Cincinnati team, but I doubt either will happen. I think we need to just support Columbus.

 

I wish the Crew (and Blue Jackets) did more outreach into other parts of the state.

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Smart money is probably on cities which don't have baseball teams, and/or growing markets which are generally lacking in pro sports.  Nashville, Charlotte, San Antonio, Orlando, OKC, Indianapolis, Richmond/Va Beach, Raleigh, etc.

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MLS releases rules for upcoming Expansion Draft

 

The draft, scheduled for Dec. 10 and consisting of 10 rounds, will be used to help stock the rosters of incoming teams Orlando City SC and New York City FC. It was last held in 2011 ahead of the Montreal Impact's first season in the league.

 

Among the most notable items in the rules, MLS clubs can protect 11 players on their roster, meaning those players will not be eligible for selection Orlando City or NYCFC. Even if a player's contract expires at the end of 2014, he is still considered part of his team's roster for the Expansion Draft, and teams will have to decide whether to protect him or not.

 

Teams are also limited in the number of international players they protect. They may make available a number of international players equal to their total number of international players minus three. The rules state that any non-domestic US players will count as international players for the Expansion Draft.

 

Teams can lose no more than two players in the Expansion Draft.

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MLS is reporting that D.C. United is getting closer to moving out of decrepit RFK Stadium.  D.C. United has plans to build a 20,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium in the same neighborhood as the Nationals ballpark:  http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2014/12/03/dc-united-move-one-step-closer-realizing-long-desired-soccer-specific-dream-

 

new%20DCU%20stadium%20rendering.jpg

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They should design their stadium to give sweeping views of DC. It doesn't look like you will even be able to see the Washington Monument from the stadium. This is one of the biggest mistakes of the Nationals' park. Create good views of the Capitol and the Monument.

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Landon Donovan ended his storied MLS career on high note yesterday.  His L.A. Galaxy team won the 2014 MLS Cup over the New England Revolution on Donovan's final game of his career.  The Galaxy scored first, then the Revs tied it up in the 79th minute.  Tied 1-1 at end of the second half, the game went into a 30-minute overtime - where LA's Robbie Keane scored the game-winning goal in the 111th minute to give the Galaxy the 2-1 win.

 

This title is a record fifth for LA (and a record sixth for Donovan) while New England is now 0-5 in the MLS title game:  http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2014/12/07/la-galaxy-new-england-revolution-mls-cup-robbie-keane-landon-donovan

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hmm, from the post:

 

 

Metro North leaves soccer fans kicking & screaming

 

By Lia Eustachewich

March 12, 2015 | 11:04pm

 

 

 

What a kick in the shins!

 

Metro-North isn’t offering Connecticut and West­chester fans direct service to the New York City Football Club’s home opener Sunday at Yankee Stadium — because soccer isn’t as popular as baseball.

 

More than 35,000 tickets — and counting — have been sold for the match against the New England Revolution, but the railroad says the demand isn’t enough to add the extra service.

 

Soccer fans traveling on the Harlem and New Haven lines will have to transfer at the 125th Street stop and pick up a shuttle to Yankee Stadium — a switch that will tack on as much as 22 minutes to their trip.

 

“We, at this point, don’t feel there would be enough ridership to justify running direct service from the New Haven and Harlem lines,” an MTA spokesman said, citing analysis of past soccer games played at the Stadium.

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Second L.A. team to join MLS in 2018.  Currently called Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), it was announced yesterday they will play in a new 22,000-seat soccer stadium to be built next to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum:

lafc-stadium-renderings.jpg?null&itok=InYaBN2Q

 

http://www.espnfc.us/major-league-soccer/story/2456174/mls-los-angeles-football-club-reveals-plans-for-stadium

 

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2015/05/18/lafc-announce-plan-new-soccer-specific-stadium-south-los-angeles

 

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2015/05/19/lafcs-henry-nguyen-our-stadium-will-be-one-cathedrals-soccer

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Sacramento Republic FC reveal renderings for proposed MLS stadium

 

USL club Sacramento Republic FC gave their fans an early holiday present on Tuesday, when the club released the first images of a proposed Major League Soccer stadium designed by architecture firm HNTB.

 

The release of the renderings, which were launched online at a new website, BuiltForSacremento.com, complete a months-long process in which Republic FC drew information from workshops, focus groups with fans, an online survey completed by nearly 3,500 people and tours of top MLS stadiums and internationally acclaimed venues in Europe and South America.

 

According to a statement released by the club, the proposed stadium would seat 25,000 and would feature the steepest grade of seats allowed by MLS, a continuous, closed bowl around all four sides of the field and a roof that would wrap around the entire stadium, without breaks.

 

Sac%20stadium.jpg?null&itok=p6YL24vc&c=a2291b5e87e9b5d3fd83f8e90ae5e8d6

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The start of the 2016 MLS season is today.  Currently, there are 20 teams.  While in Columbus for the MLS Cup in December, MLS Commissioner Don Garber restated the current MLS expansion plan to 24 teams by 2020.

 

Atlanta is set to join the league in 2017.  Los Angeles is set to join in 2018.  Minnesota is the next in line to join in either 2018 or 2019.  And the David Beckham-led expansion team in Miami could be added by 2020 (if they can acquire a stadium site). 

 

Commissioner Garber also mentioned that he sees Sacramento as a long-term expansion location, adding it was conceivable they could be placed higher on the expansion list if efforts in Miami fell through.  Beyond that, the commissioner said they would evaluate the possibility of growing MLS to 28 teams after 2020.

 

http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2015/12/05/mls-announces-possible-plans-expand-league-28-teams-scheduling-updates

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According to this article on the MLS website, it sounds like Cincinnati is in the mix for teams #25 thru 28 after 2020:

 

http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/02/16/fc-cincinnati-president-talks-mls-ambitions-turns-orlando-city-sc-model-success

 

The trouble for Cincinnati is that the competition for new MLS teams is really heating up.  The above article mentioned St. Louis, Sacramento, San Antonio, Detroit and San Diego as potential sites for future expansion after MLS meets their 24-team goal by 2020.  But even beyond those cities, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Louisville already have established lower-division teams that might also interest MLS in this region of the country.

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^Cincinnati's biggest selling point is the ownership of the new FC Cincinnati team. It's owned by the billionaire Lindner family who has connections with MLS higher-ups. According to people within the club, the Lindners were approached by MLS in the past to pursue an MLS club, and they declined because MLS wasn't fond of a team in Cincinnati due to the proximity of Columbus. That seems to have changed, which is one of the main reason FC Cincinnati exists today.

 

The biggest competition for Cincinnati (IMO) are cities without MLB teams. That's pretty much the only summer sport outside of MLB, and Indianapolis doesn't have a summer team currently (outside of racing, I guess). I don't see San Diego getting a team. I think Sacramento is a lock for an MLS club, and St. Louis is in a similar position to Cincinnati minus the billionaire owners. St. Louis gets good crowds at games. If FC Cincinnati can draw a good crowd (it looks like they will) I would say there's a decent chance we get an MLS club.

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http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/06/18/orlando-citys-emotional-tribute-shooting-victims-match-vs-san-jose

 

Orlando City SC tribute to the Orlando shooting victims during last night's MLS match in the above linked video:

 

- Both teams wearing #OrlandoUnited shirts during the pre-game ceremony and walking out to The Beatles "All You Need Is Love";

- The crowd singing the National Anthem a cappella;

- Match stopped in the 49th minute for a moment of silence.

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http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/07/26/seattle-sounders-and-head-coach-sigi-schmid-agree-mutually-part-ways

 

Seattle Sounders and Sigi Schmid parted ways yesterday.  Schmid had previously won the MLS Cup in 2002 with the L.A. Galaxy and in 2008 with the Columbus Crew.  After winning the 2008 MLS Cup with Columbus, Schmid left to join Seattle as a 2009 expansion team.  Schmid guided the Sounders to the playoffs in each of the club’s first seven MLS seasons, but was never able to return to the MLS Cup at Seattle.

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It was originally reported that Atlanta would be joining MLS for the 2017 season and a Minnesota team might join in 2018 or 2019.  Well, MLS announced last month that both Atlanta and Minnesota will enter the league together in 2017.

 

MLS further announced that Atlanta and Minnesota will be joining MLS in separate conferences.  Atlanta United FC will be in the Eastern Conference and Minnesota United FC will be in the Western Conference:  http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/08/19/atlanta-join-eastern-conference-2017-minnesota-compete-west

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More about the expansion Atlanta team:  http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/08/19/atlanta-united-fc-set-new-season-ticket-record-expansion-teams

 

As the above article reports, Atlanta has sold more than 22,000 season tickets for their inaugural 2017 season.  And they'll be playing it in a new retractable-roof stadium being built for the Falcons in downtown Atlanta.  Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank also owns the Atlanta United FC team.  The new stadium is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

 

This new stadium would be configured for MLS games by using retractable curtains to close off the upper-deck and reduce seating capacity to just under 30,000.  Below is a rendering of the stadium in its MLS configuration:

 

28920470784_2c90890d84_b_d.jpg

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More about the expansion Minnesota team:  http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/08/19/minnesota-united-fc-will-join-mls-2017-and-keep-their-name-mls-now

 

Minnesota's team was thought to be a year or two away from joining MLS since they don't have a completed stadium deal in place yet.  But apparently they're close enough to starting construction on a 25,000-seat stadium in Saint Paul that MLS is letting them play at the University of Minnesota's football stadium until their soccer specific stadium is ready.

 

MLS is also letting the Minnesota team keep the name of their current NASL team - Minnesota United FC.

 

29255762210_5ac7f736a1_o_d.png

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The Atlanta Falcons' Mercedes-Benz Stadium won't be ready for the beginning of the Atlanta United FC 2017 MLS season.  So until the new stadium is ready in the summer, Atlanta United FC will play their first MLS games at Georgia Tech's football stadium:

 

http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/10/05/atlanta-united-open-2017-season-georgia-techs-bobby-dodd-stadium

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Toronto and Montreal just finished up the first all-Canadian Eastern Conference Final in MLS history.  The two cities have a well-known long-time sports rivalry in the NHL - and that rivalry has translated over to soccer in MLS.  This two-game final turned out to be an instant classic:

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS:  http://matchcenter.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2016-11-30-toronto-fc-vs-montreal-impact/recap

 

The first game of this two-game final started in Montreal.  Playing indoors at venerable Olympic Stadium, Montreal jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime.  Toronto fought back with two second half goals to end this first game down 3-2.  The second game was last night, outdoors at newly expanded BMO Field in Toronto.

 

The temperature was tolerable for the last day of November, but as the match wore on a driving rain storm picked up steam.  Despite the heavy rain, it was an explosive final game.  Montreal scored first at 24' to go up 4-2 on the aggregate score.  But then Toronto fought back with two goals before halftime to even up the agg score 4-4.

 

Montreal retoke the agg lead with a goal early in the second half.  Toronto retied the agg score 5-5 with a goal at the 68' mark.  The agg score stayed tied through the remainder of the 90-minute regular time.  With the aggregate score tied 5-5, the Eastern Conference Final went to a 30-minute extra time period.

 

Early in extra time, Toronto's MVP Sebastian Giovinco cramped up and needed to be subbed out.  Then his replacement scored the go-ahead goal in the 98th minute and Toronto took a 6-5 lead!  Two minutes later at 100', USMNT player Jozy Altidore set up the final goal of this wild game and Toronto wins this epic series 7-5!!  ---  The Eastern Conference Champion Toronto FC will host the Western Conference Champion Seattle Sounders for the 2016 MLS Cup on Saturday, December 10.

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That was a great match. I was sort of rooting for Montreal, but didn't have strong feelings either way. Cincinnati native Nick Hagglund scored (assisted by Cleveland native Justin Morrow). Three Jozy Altidore points (goal and assist) pushed Toronto over Montreal as well, so it was good for the USMNT.

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Toronto and Montreal just finished up the first all-Canadian Eastern Conference Final in MLS history.  The two cities have a well-known long-time sports rivalry in the NHL - and that rivalry has translated over to soccer in MLS.

 

Found it interesting that the MLS uniforms for TOR (red) and MON (blue) are the exact opposite for the NHL teams.

 

p.s. I felt bad for the players, that cold rain looked absolutely brutal. 

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Found it interesting that the MLS uniforms for TOR (red) and MON (blue) are the exact opposite for the NHL teams.

 

 

That is an odd coincidence.  Unless it was intentional.

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Guess I should get this MLS Cup post in (since the MLS Expansion Draft is currently taking place).  Seattle won 5-4 on PK's after a frigid 120+ minutes at Toronto that saw a 0-0 regulation and overtime period.

 

This was Seattle first MLS Cup title.  But they did it without Sigi Schmid (their only head coach since joining MLS in 2009).  Schmid joined Seattle as their head coach in 2009 after winning the 2008 MLS Cup with Columbus.  Though he had some very good seasons, he couldn't bring them a title.  And with the Sounders in a mid-season slump, Schimd was replaced as Seattle's head coach.

 

Sigi Schmid breaks down Sounders' MLS Cup win:  http://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/12/11/stefan-frei-saves-day-leads-seattle-sounders-mls-cup-win-mls-now?autoplay=true

 

Sounders reflect on wild end to historic seasonhttp://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2016/12/11/seattle-sounders-react-winning-2016-mls-cup-mls-now?autoplay=true

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One more 2016 MLS Cup story.  A nice commentary from the Dispatch's Michael Arace about the huge role former Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid played in Seattle's MLS Cup quest.  And it is quite the story.  Schmid departed Columbus after the Crew won the 2008 MLS Cup to join Seattle, as Seattle was joining MLS in 2009.  He had much success with Seattle, until this season, when he was replaced mid-season.  Then his longtime assistant led the Sounders on an unexpected run into the playoffs and to the title match that Schmid had long sought in Seattle:

 


Sounders' title bittersweet for Sigi Schmid

 

To the chronicle of crazy stuff that went down in 2016, there has to be a story about Sigi Schmid in the sports section.  His picture should be under the Cubs winning the World Series, Leicester City winning the English Premier League and, of course, the Seattle Sounders’ surprising run to an MLS Cup championship.

 

About that picture: If Sigi grew out his thick, gray hair and quit shaving, he’d look something like the German Moses, which fits.  What happened to him is beyond old school — it’s Old Testament.  He led the Sounders over their first seven-plus years of existence and won just about everything but the big one.  He got them across the Sinai, within sight of the Promised Land.  He got fired on Mount Nebo.

( . . . )

The Big Man is 63 years old now.  He has coached more than 500 Major League Soccer games.  He won a league title with the Crew.  He has twice won the Supporters’ Shield.  He led the Sounders to seven consecutive playoff appearances and four U.S. Open Cup titles.  He went into the National Soccer Hall of Fame last year.  ---  What is next?  “I don’t know,” Schmid said. “The TV part was fun and I think MLS, unlike some other sports, doesn’t have any ex-coaches working as analysts. I think there’s a niche there. And GM is a possibility. Right now, though, the desire to coach is still very strong.” --- German Moses needs a new scarf.

 

MORE:  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2016/12/15/michael-arace-column--sounders-title-bittersweet-for-sigi-schmid.html

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