Sylvae MLS News

28Feb/100

Orlando Needs MLS, not MLB

I tweeted this last night while I was at the second night of the Pro Soccer Classic at Disney: Orlando needs MLS soccer, not MLB. I honestly believe that is the case. A few months ago, I posted about Armando Gutierrez and his attempt to bring Major League Baseball to Orlando. But thinking more deeply on the idea, I’ve come to the conclusion that MLB in Orlando just will not work. The reason: Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay relies on Orlando to help get more attendance for the Rays. Orlando would need to rely on Tampa Bay even more. The problem is, that just isn’t possible. If we stole the Rays, who have made no secret of their desire for a new stadium, away from Tampa Bay, it would undoubtedly alienate the market. Back in 1991, they boycotted Blockbuster Video when CEO and then-Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga vetoed the already-agreed-upon move of the San Francisco Giants to St. Petersburg. Don’t think for one moment they won’t act in anger against the Rays and Orlando if the Rays moved here. And if we moved a different team, like the Oakland Athletics, to Orlando, we still would not have the support of Tampa Bay. Only then, the Rays will ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
24Feb/100

It’s Official: Philadelphia Union’s New Stadium to be Named PPL Park

The MLS (Major League Soccer) Expansion Philadelphia Union has placed yet another set piece into the upper right hand corner. Today, Keystone Sports and Entertainment (KSE) and the Philadelphia Union officially announced their partnership with PPL (Pennsylvania Power and Light) Energy plus. The partnership gives the Allentown, Pa. based power company the 11 year naming rights to the team’s soccer specific stadium currently under construction in Chester, Pa. From this point forward we can now call the future home of the Philadelphia Union, PPL Park. This partnership, however, is more than just a name on the side of a building. For starters, PPL EnergyPlus also will become Philadelphia Union’s exclusive energy provider. Philadelphia Union will utilize energy at PPL Park supplied by PPL EnergyPlus, which will purchase and retire renewable energy credits equal to 100 percent of the park’s electricity use from renewable energy projects in Pennsylvania owned or contracted by PPL EnergyPlus. “Simply put, we have found the perfect partner,” said Nick Sakiewicz, CEO & Operating Partner of KSE and Philadelphia Union. “This is a very important moment in our club’s and stadium’s history. "To have a venerable, well-respected Pennsylvania company team up with a brand new world class facility is a profound statement. We ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
23Feb/100

MLS Could End Labor Dispute with One-Year “Recession Deal”

The fact that Major League soccer blatantly violates FIFA players regulations is crystal clear. FIFPro, the international organization working in conjunction with the MLS players’ union, accurately asserts that MLS refuses to abide by FIFA’s regulations on the status and transfer of players. FIFPro correctly points out that player contracts are routinely terminated by the MLS League Office during its term, almost 80 percent of players in MLS do not have guaranteed contracts. MLS operates as a cartel in that every player’s contract must be entered into with the league instead of his club; the contract of virtually every player in the league contains multiple, unilateral one-year options that may only be exercised by the league. Virtually any player in the league can be transferred to another club within the league without his consent even if such transfer is international; and there is no freedom of movement for any MLS player to any other MLS clubs when his contract expires. In fact, even if a player’s contract is unilaterally terminated by a club during its term, that club continues to hold such player’s rights and he is prohibited from signing with another club in the league. With such blatant disregard for FIFA players regulations, why has ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
22Feb/100

MLS Must Fix Labor Problems

The threat of a strike looms large over Major League Soccer and if the players strike, the blame must lie at the feet of MLS Commissioner Don Garber. For soccer in the U.S. to continue to grow, the league must fall in line with FIFA guidelines and regulations. I understand why the league wanted to own all the contracts but that time has passed. Use a salary cap and let players negotiate with the individual teams, like every other league in the U.S. Players must be allowed to move to other MLS clubs when their contract expires. Today even is a player’s contract is unilaterally terminated by a club, that club continues to hold such player’s rights and he is prohibited from signing with another club in the league. Europe has the Bosman Rule and in the U.S. we had the Curt Flood baseball ruling. A league cannot sign players to contracts that contain multiple unilateral one-year options that may only be exercised by the league. The salary cap needs to increased so that players are the bottom of the rung can make enough money to live on. Professional soccer players in ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
21Feb/100

US Soccer Needs More Air Time

Introduction and Disclaimer: I am writing this article not to criticize the other teams playing in the 2010 World Cup. My purpose is to promote a team that is participating in this historical sporting event but is ignored by the mainstream media. The team is the US Soccer Team.    The 2010 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to start in South Africa in 109 days. The countries that are participating have prepared their commercials to promote their teams. The only exception to the rule in my opinion is the USA. The USA is in Group C against England, Algeria, and Slovenia and the media in this country has not mentioned the US Soccer Team. The telephone giant AT&T has a commercial with the Spanish singer David Bisbal promoting his country with its uniform. In the same AT&T commercial, Thalia, who is a singer and actress from Mexico, dressed in the uniform of her team. Both are singing the praises of their countries. In the end, AT&T promotes itself as the official sponsor the Mexican National Soccer Team.  Home Depot has also promoted the Mexican National Soccer Team in another commercial. The commercial shows a game and then one of the players promoting Home Depot in a ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
21Feb/100

Philadelphia’s Missing Linc to World Class Soccer

Prior to the summer of 2003, Soccer fans in the Philadelphia tri-state area had to travel down to Washington D.C. or up to East Rutherford, NJ to watch World Class Soccer. That scenario however changed with the Aug. 23, 2003 opening of Lincoln Financial Field, an NFL (National Football League) style stadium with a real grass surface. Ironically the first ever event held at Lincoln Financial Field was a soccer friendly between European club powers Manchester United and FC Barcelona. I consider myself lucky to have been among the 68,000 plus in attendance that night as United beat Barca 3-1. The site lines at this stadium make Lincoln Financial Field a great venue to watch soccer, which probably explains why Philadelphia has been fortunate enough over the past seven years to host a hand full of International Matches. In 2003 several FIFA Women’s World Cup Games were played at the Linc. Then after winning the soccer gold-medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, the U.S. Women’s National Team conducted a “Fan Celebration Tour,” playing 10 games across the United States between September and December. On Nov. 6 of 2004 they dropped a 3-1 decision to Denmark. More recently Lincoln Financial Field was host to a pair ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
20Feb/100

Philadelphia Union: Taking Their Preseason Schedule By the Horns

After a leisurely 5-0 stroll through the University of North Carolina men’s team back on Feb. 13, Peter Nowak and his young expansion Philadelphia Union will get their first taste of Major League Soccer (MLS) Exhibition play. On Sunday, March 14, the Union will hit the preseason pitch against FC Dallas in a game scheduled to be played at the University of Tampa’s Pepin Stadium. Dallas is currently 3-0 in preseason play, following a 3-1 win over the University of Memphis, 4-0 win over Southern Methodist University, and a 7-1 thrashing against the Golden Hurricane of the University of Tulsa. Prior to meeting Philadelphia, FC Dallas will take part in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Dallas will join the Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, and Toronto FC and play two games each night on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 27. In addition to the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, Dallas also has scrimmages scheduled against the University of Central Florida, Florida International, and the New England Revolution. So by the time Dallas gets its horns into the Union, they will already have eight exhibition games worth of play to their credit. If ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
20Feb/100

2010 MLS Preview: The Western Conference

It's now less than five weeks until the start of the 2010 Major League Soccer season. Teams have been active in winter scrimmages and training camps, and SuperDraft pickups are integrating with their new clubs ahead of the upcoming campaign. Last season the Western Conference was as competitive as it has ever been before. L.A., Houston, and Chivas USA each proved why they deserved a shot for the game's top prize, and expansion team Seattle Sounders shocked a lot of people on their way to a memorable first season. But for every success story, there has to be the odd team that fails to live up to the rest. In 2009 it was the lowly San Jose Earthquake. Winners of just seven games, they quickly became the whipping boys of the conference, something they will be looking to change when they kick off next month. Real Salt Lake only just crept into the playoffs at the end of the year at the expense of Colorado and they will be fired up as they get set to defend their crown. Jeff Cunningham, Conor Casey, Zach Thornton, Landon Donovan, Geoff Cameron, and Freddie Ljungberg all shone in 2009. Who is going to step up this year? Her's my preview ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
14Feb/100

Philadelphia Union Wins Exhibition Opener 5-0 Over North Carolina Tarheels

Yes I fully understand that a professional soccer club should beat a team of college players every time out on the pitch, but forgive us here in Philadelphia for feeling exciting about the Union's 5-0 win over a very good University of North Carolina Squad this weekend. The game more than the win itself, simply means we are another step closer to the regular season and for soccer fans here in the tri-state area, it is a concept that at one time only existed in conversation. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunion! Union Head coach Peter Nowak and his club has been in North Carolina for almost two weeks and it’s clear that the team is starting to jell. Yesterday’s game was highlighted by the hat trick performance of Frenchman and former Seattle Sounder, Sebastien Le Toux. Philadelphia’s other two goals came off the boots of mid-fielder Shea Salinas and the youngest member of the roster, 17-year-old Jack McInerney, the seventh overall pick in this year’s MLS Super Draft. The Union are in North Carolina until Feb. 16 and are expected to return to the Philadelphia area to continue preparation for the March 25 season opener at Seattle against the Sounders. In other MLS Exhibition games this weekend:    Philadelphia    5 ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments
8Feb/100

Philadelphia Union: New Stadium Late but Worth the Wait

As a season ticket holder, I am not 100% thrilled to know that I have to wait until June 27 to watch my team play in its new soccer specific stadium, but then again ,that’s just me being a spoiled brat. No I take that back, it’s like me, having to wait four months to open a  birthday present I know I really want but can’t wait to open. Unfortunately, said stadium, Union Field in Chester, Pa. is a few months behind schedule and will not be completed in time for the start of the 2010 MLS (Major League Soccer) season. By the way, it looks like the team is also close to signing a naming rights deal with Allentown-based energy company Pennsylvania Power and Light; Hello PP & L Stadium. With that said, I am still very excited about the upcoming MLS  season, because my team, the expansion Philadelphia Union will make their League debut. Can’t wait. A quick look at the team's recently released schedule reveals that the Union will play 17 nationally televised games, which is pretty impressive for a 30 game regular season. So while I wait for the new stadium to open, I will use my season tickets to ...
Filed under: MLS News No Comments