Sylvae MLS News

31Jan/150

Is Sacramento Now the Favorite for MLS Expansion?

The Sacramento Republic received a big boost on Thursday night. The San Francisco 49ers owners announced that they will invest in the team as the USL Pro side vies for MLS expansion, per the club's official website. The Sacramento Kings are also involved with Republic FC, and these two owners as business partners will make the California city an attractive market for MLS expansion. Jed York, the 49ers' CEO, told The Sacramento Bee that the Republic's lead investors are "a great group of people" and that he's confident of the club gaining MLS status. York's confidence is understandable. Vivek Ranadive, the Kings owner, is worth $700 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com, and is close friends with Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer, per Marcos Breton and Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee. Meanwhile, York has an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion as of 2013, per ESPN The Magazine's Seth Wickersham, so there is certainly no shortage of available monetary resources for the Republic's MLS project. This project already includes a stadium (with renderings) if Sacramento is awarded an MLS franchise, and the demand is definitely there. Republic FC broke attendance records in its inaugural USL Pro season. The club finished the season by winning the league title ...
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28Jan/150

Are the Chicago Fire a Team to Fear in MLS After Offseason Acquisitions?

During the wild and crazy Major League Soccer offseason, the Chicago Fire have flown under the radar with their slew of acquisitions.  The Fire, who have missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, are once again looking for new designated players to bring them back to the promised land.  In the busy offseason, the Fire have brought in Kennedy Igboananike, David Accam and Shaun Maloney as their latest designated players. All three players are expected to improve the team's attack, which already features Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa and Harrison Shipp.  Given the history of designated players in Chicago, it is easy to doubt the talent the Fire will put out on the pitch in 2015. Only Cuauhtemoc Blanco experienced a good amount of success in a Fire shirt as a designated player from 2007 to 2009.  Despite the lack of trust in the club's eye for talent, there is plenty of hope surrounding the Fire heading into the new campaign.  On top of stockpiling talent in attack, Frank Yallop's side have attempted to secure the back line with the additions of Adailton, Joevin Jones and Eric Gehrig.  Unlike the depth in attack, Chicago only has a few returning players in the back four ...
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27Jan/150

Report: Toronto FC, LA Galaxy and New York City FC Want to Sign Iker Casillas

Updates from January 28, 2014 Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has attracted interest from three MLS teams since he told the Wall Street Journal that he'd like to play in MLS. According to Fichajes.net (h/t Spanish newspaper AS), the LA Galaxy, Toronto FC and New York City FC are keen on signing the World Cup winner.  In order to pry Casillas out of Madrid, then one of the clubs would have to pay a fee of €6 million. Inside Spanish Football claims that the shot-stopper would command annual wages of about €6 million as well. TFC has already forked out several million dollars to acquire Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco on designated-player deals. The Reds have two other DPs in Michael Bradley and Gilberto, so they would have to offload two of them in order to afford Casillas. The Galaxy would also need to either sell one of their three designated players, or pay down Casillas with allocation money in order to sign him. The club's current No. 1 goalkeeper, Jaime Penedo, has been solid, but he does take a few too many risks and is 33 years old. Surely if Casillas is interested in signing with LA, the Galaxy brass will jump at the opportunity. NYCFC has ...
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25Jan/150

MLS’ Single-Entity Structure Is the League’s Biggest Obstacle

MLS is on the rise. Average attendance was at an all-time high in 2014, and a new eight-year TV deal with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes will begin this season. This is all great news, but the league's single-entity structure is still restricting growth. MLS defines its system on the Press Box page as "a single, limited liability company (single-entity). In the single-entity business structure, club operators own a financial stake in the League, not just their individual team." It sounds, and actually is, very confusing. Commissioner Don Garber said that the league wanted to be more transparent beginning this year. However, Garber also indicated that the single-entity system wouldn’t change in order to accomplish that goal. Also, it appears that Garber will have a serious fight on his hands during the CBA negotiations. According to Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated, the players are willing to go through a work stoppage in order to gain free agency. It's understandable that the players are pushing for free agency. Their contracts are owned by MLS and they want to have freedom to choose their team. However, the league doesn't want to go down this road. This isn't the only issue in a single-entity league. The ridiculous and confusing player ...
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22Jan/150

The 9th Edition of Frank Lampard’s ‘Frankie’s Magic Football’ Is Poorly Timed

Just as New York City's wounds started to heal from the prolonged Frank Lampard contract saga, Lampard's latest children's book has been revealed.  Nope, the timing of it is not good.  Lampard, of course, signed with MLS' New York City FC (owned by Manchester City), was shipped on loan to Manchester and then extended his loan, delaying the start of his NYCFC career. The whole ordeal is broken down here.  NYCFC fans were not fond of the move.  So when the ninth edition of Lampard's children's book was revealed, "Frankie's New York Adventure," it's safe to assume it won't sell especially well in New York.  It will be released on Feb. 5. At least NYCFC fans will get to see Lampard in book form before they see him in human form.  [Who Ate All The Pies]Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com
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22Jan/150

10 MLS Players Who Could Be on the Move in 2015

The 2015 MLS season hasn't kicked off as of yet and there are already rumors surrounding many of the league's players. Among these are Jermaine Jones, who has indicated that he wants to go back to Europe, per Doug McIntyre of ESPN. MVP Robbie Keane has also hinted at leaving the LA Galaxy, as noted on MLS' official website. Players who are rumored to be leaving MLS will be highlighted in this slideshow. The likelihood of each departure will also be analyzed, whether it's a contractual issue or interest from other clubs.  Here are 10 MLS players who could be leaving the league in 2015.Begin Slideshow
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20Jan/150

Why American Players Returning to MLS Is Good for the League and USMNT

The U.S. men's national team now has 13 MLS-based players from its World Cup squad after Jozy Altidore signed with Toronto FC. Some fans are worried about the mass exodus of USMNT players from Europe, but it's a positive for both the league and the team. Mix Diskerud agreed to a deal with New York City FC three days before Altidore moved to Toronto. Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley (who's now retired from international duty) and Clint Dempsey have all signed with MLS teams over the last 17 months. All of these men are crucial players on their respective teams. Bradley and Dempsey are also two of the richest MLS-based contract holders, per ESPN FC. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann hasn't been shy in saying that he'd rather see his players in Europe. However, that doesn't have to be the case. When Klinsmann was asked by ESPN FC about Diskerud's decision to join NYCFC, the German tactician agreed with the midfielder's choice. "In [Diskerud's] case, there's no Champions League team in Europe on a higher level that asked him to join them, so the options he had were probably not as attractive to him as the option he chose." Diskerud has the potential to be ...
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20Jan/150

Picking a Best XI of Players from the 2015 MLS SuperDraft

Although we are less than a week removed from the 2015 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, we have a better idea of which players will succeed in their rookie seasons.  By looking at depth charts, styles of play and raw talent, we were able to analyze who the best 11 rookies will be during the 2015 season.  The team is set up in a 3-5-2 formation because of the wealth of attacking players set to thrive if all goes well during the preseason.  Here is a look at our best 11 players from the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Begin Slideshow
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19Jan/150

Sebastian Giovinco to Toronto FC: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Toronto FC have completed the signing of Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco, with the Italian set to join the MLS outfit in the summer after the completion of the 2014-15 Serie A season.    The Canadian club announced the move via Twitter on Monday but did not disclose any information about the financial terms of the deal: Kurtis Larson of the Toronto Sun reports that Giovinco could be set to earn $7 million (£4.6 million) a year across a five-year contract. This would potentially make the Italy international one of the highest-paid players in MLS with top-earner Kaka of Orlando City currently demanding a similar figure. Toronto general manager Tim Bezbatchenko hailed the signing of the 27-year-old Giovinco, per the club's website, which is something of a surprise move despite him being out of favour at Juve. He has started just twice in the league this season: Today marks a very special day for Toronto FC with the addition of Sebastian Giovinco. Seba is in the prime of his career and he has chosen to join Toronto FC and MLS at a time when many of the top clubs in the world were pursuing him. We are very pleased to bring a fantastic player to Toronto FC for our club and for our fans, especially ...
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19Jan/150

What Signings of Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco Reveal About Toronto and MLS

Over the last week, Toronto FC has made a massive statement in the transfer market with the acquisitions of Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco.  Altidore was officially announced as a TFC player Friday after the club finalized a swap with Sunderland that involved Jermain Defoe, who only lasted one season with the Reds.  Monday will mark another type of landmark announcement by Toronto, as Sebastian Giovinco will be announced as the club's latest designated player. The 27-year-old Italian will join the Canadian side in July after his contract at Juventus runs out, per Sportsnet's John Molinaro.  With Major League Soccer entering a new chapter of its history in 2015 following the retirements of Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry, Toronto has helped continue one league precedent and begin another with its two recent deals.  The Altidore signing continued the rapid trend of Americans returning to home soil to in the ever-evolving MLS.  Clint Dempsey and the Seattle Sounders started the movement in 2013, when the United States captain moved to the Pacific Northwest from Tottenham Hotspur.  Toronto helped continue the trend before the 2014 campaign, as it brought in Michael Bradley as one of its three new designated players alongside Gilberto and Defoe.  Bradley will be the lone man standing ...
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