Sylvae MLS News

26Feb/150

2015 MLS Season Preview: New England Revolution Push for Title

Devastation engulfed the New England Revolution in California last year when the LA Galaxy, formulating a storybook finish for retiring U.S. star Landon Donovan, defeated the Revs in the 2014 MLS Cup.Robbie Keane’s goal in extra time snagged a 2-1 advantage for LA that even Revolution midfielder Teal Bunbury could not draw level with his late-match chip that soared and dipped off the crossbar.New England, having now appeared in the MLS title game five times since the league’s inception, are still searching for their first crown. It will have the opportunity to begin another quest against the Seattle Sounders on Mar. 8—one of many regular-season openers.The roster’s offseason outlook provides good reason to believe the reigning Eastern Conference champs will advance deep into the 2015 playoffs.2014 MLS MVP candidate Lee Nguyen will return after anchoring the best statistical campaign of his entire career. He earned himself national team attention, getting his first call-up in seven years for November 2014 friendlies. He is ready to climb the ranks among the Stars and Stripes' best attacking.The former PSV Eindhoven youngster revealed his yearning to become a key contributor at the international level. “I want to keep pushing for better. I always feel like ...
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25Feb/150

Sky TV Deal Underlines Growing Stature of MLS in World Football

While major European nations begin to head into the final stretch in their 2014-15 seasons, Stateside things are ramping up toward the beginning of a new season. Sky Sports announced on Wednesday that they would be giving full coverage to Major League Soccer, having won the rights to broadcast the competition in the UK, starting in March for the 2015 season and running for four years. BREAKING: Sky Sports wins rights to show exclusively live @MLS on four-year deal from next month. #SSNHQ pic.twitter.com/9HLDlaExek — Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) February 25, 2015 It is another clear indication at the intended growth path for MLS by chiefs, a big boost to the sport in the USA and a measure of how much more importance is placed on the league around the world compared to even a decade ago.   Broadcast Growth Sky Sports covering MLS is, of course, very much a secondary achievement for the company after signing a new long-term deal to further cover the Premier League, its home-country competition, but it lends another branch to a growing portfolio, which includes Spanish Liga and Champions League games. On the flip side, for MLS itself, having Sky broadcast the competition opens up the league to a whole new ...
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25Feb/150

MLS Players Reportedly Threaten Boycott Ahead of 2015 Season

Major League Soccer players could be set to strike just two weeks before the 2015 season gets underway. Continue for updates. Work Stoppage Reportedly Appears Imminent Tuesday, March 3 Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported that the league appears heading for a work stoppage, and detailed the reasons behind the looming strike: Goff also noted a policy that MLS owners did approve: Goff provided an update at 10 P.M ET stating the two sides are "not making much progress", and provided a quote from a union source:  Jeff Carlisle of ESPN reported the sides have made progress on the free agency front:  For the past month, the two sides have staked out their positions on the issue, with the union threatening to strike if the new CBA does not contain at least some form of free agency, with MLS against any kind of free agency. But a source with knowledge of the negotiations told ESPN FC that the current offer on the table from the league provides players who are 28 years or older, and who have been in the league at least eight years -- and not necessarily with the same team -- will "have the right to choose their next market" when their contract runs out or when ...
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25Feb/150

Sky Sports Lands MLS Broadcast Rights: Reaction from David Beckham and More

Sky Sports has announced an exclusive four-year deal to show MLS matches in the United Kingdom, starting with the arrival of the new season in March. "Football in the U.S. and Canada has enormous potential for growth and we can't wait to bring this competition to our viewers for the first time," said Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis in the organisation's announcement article. Viewers will be able to witness Premier League legends Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard taking their first steps into the American soccer arena with New York City FC and Los Angeles Galaxy respectively. Currently representing Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, both will make the journey stateside at the conclusion of the current English season. Although it seemed Lampard would represent NYCFC during the last campaign, his decision to join the side's Manchester-based sister club put these plans on hold. He finally signed a two-year deal with the Big Apple team in January after having been reported to have committed in the previous summer, per Jack Lang and Liam Corless of the Mirror. Gerrard will join LA Galaxy when his Liverpool contract expires in the summer, calling an end to a career-long association with the Anfield club. Both stars follow in the ...
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24Feb/150

Kaka Named Captain of New MLS Franchise Orlando City

Brazilian legend Kaka will ply his trade in Major League Soccer this season with new franchise Orlando City.  The man who's starred and captained AC Milan and laced up for Real Madrid will fittingly lead the new club's inaugural MLS season wearing the captain's armband, the team has announced.  Manager Adrian Heath explained the decision to have the seasoned pro lead the side, per Copa America's official website: Kaka has demonstrated great leadership both on the filed and in the locker room since the start, and the other players have naturally looked to his guidance throughout pre-season, so he was the natural pick to skipper the club.  Ricky's role will extend off the pitch as well, serving as the team's liaison with the front office and coaching staff on all player-related concerns to ensure we provide the best possible environment for the players to train, develop and succeed personally and professionally.  The 32-year-old Kaka has already shown fans several glimpses of what exactly he's capable of in an Orlando shirt:  ¡CRACK! @KAKA con Orlando City. Caño tremendo. https://t.co/i18QhSpiL8” — eljugadordelidolo (@eljugadordepes) February 24, 2015   Kaká marcou pelo Orlando City https://t.co/88EOuU1yHa" — Dividida FC (@BlogDivididaFC) February 22, 2015   Kaka still knows where the goal is at Orlando City training https://t.co/NhQYivBe7g — 101 ...
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24Feb/150

MLS: Why the Canadian Teams Should Be Feared in 2015

MLS' Canadian teams are often overlooked by American supporters. The casual American fan rarely gets to watch the franchises north of their border unless they're on local TV or MLS Live. Now supporters should sign up for a subscription, because Canadian clubs are destined to make an impact this season. Toronto FC will have more interest from fans this season due to the American connection of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. There will also be a lot of pressure for TFC to make the playoffs considering the enormous amount of money ownership spent this winter. However, before Bradley and Altidore arrived, Toronto was known as the futile team who were an embarrassment year in and year out. Their humiliation reached a new high after Jermain Defoe wanted out of Toronto despite signing a multi-million-dollar contract just seven months earlier. TFC managed to swap an unhappy Defoe for a determined Altidore from Sunderland. The U.S. international's struggles in England were well-publicized. He only scored once in 42 Premier League games. However, during Altidore's tenure, Fabio Borini and Steven Fletcher were Sunderland's highest-scoring strikers with seven Premier League goals apiece. Sunderland is a team whose sole focus is to survive relegation. That means they'll defend a lot and rarely generate scoring chances. The Black Cats currently rank third-last in ...
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19Feb/150

Matt Besler Can Silence Jurgen Klinsmann’s Criticism with Strong 2015 MLS Season

Over the past few weeks, fitness has been discussed more than it should be in regard to the Major League Soccer contingent in the United States men's national team talent pool. One of the central figures of the situation has been Sporting Kansas City center-back Matt Besler, who suffered one of the biggest drops in form after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The controversy began after the USMNT's 3-2 loss to Chile in which the Yanks conceded late in the second half on two occasions. "After the World Cup, a lot of players dropped their levels 30, 40 percent when they came back from vacation,” United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann said after the match, per Dan Itel of MLSSoccer.com. “It doesn’t matter if they are in Europe or the US, you can’t do that at the international level," he continued. "You get exposed after minute 65 or 70 if you can’t go the speed anymore, and both ways, so there’s a lot of work ahead of us, ahead of the players first of all.” Because of the key role he is supposed to fill at the international level, Besler was one of the main targets of the criticism. Although he was not named ...
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17Feb/150

New York City FC Launching Youth Academy: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

New York City FC has taken another stride toward becoming a force of Major League Soccer by announcing the launch of a new youth academy.    The club revealed on Tuesday its intention to craft "one of the leading youth talent development centres in the United States," with sporting director Claudio Reyna quoted by the club's official website as saying: I couldn’t be happier to announce our new Academy. We have been building the foundations over the past months to get us ready to launch the Academy and everything has come together to ensure that sustainable youth development can be at the heart of our Club. It is particularly pleasing for me to be involved with our Academy. I am passionate about developing young players; something I was very proud to be involved with as Youth Technical Director of the US Soccer Federation. This is another critical step as we build New York City FC. This is a Club, not just a team and we want to develop a long and sustainable future, rooted in our community. We want to show the world how much young talent there is in and around New York and make sure we are playing an active and enthusiastic role ...
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16Feb/150

Bob Bradley’s Legacy Is Cemented with U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame Induction

Bob Bradley is one of the most successful American soccer coaches in history. He's been in charge of university teams, MLS sides such as the Chicago Fire and New York MetroStars, and the U.S. men's national team. Bradley's resume is impressive, but his National Soccer Hall of Fame induction confirms his status as a legend. Bradley's career began while he was still earning his Master's degree. He coached Ohio University's men's soccer team in 1981, and he guided his Alma mater, Princeton, to two Ivy League titles and the Final Four in 1993. Fellow American head coach Bruce Arena had a big influence on Bradley's career. When Arena was coaching the University of Virginia, Bob was an assistant. The 58-year-old was also a member of Bruce's staff with D.C. United. Those experiences with Arena helped Bradley gain valuable experience before joining Chicago, New York and Chivas USA. The Fire won MLS Cup in its expansion season in 1998 and finished as runner-up in 2000. The team also won two U.S. Open Cups in both of those seasons under Bradley. Before Bradley joined the MetroStars, they were struggling for consistency and failed to reach a major final. They also missed the MLS playoffs three times. Once he was ...
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15Feb/150

Examining Robbie Rogers’ Impact on the American Sports Culture

Two years ago, Robbie Rogers published a post on his personal blog in which he announced his coming out.  In the 24 months since his announcement, Rogers has left a profound impact on the American sporting culture, and he has turned himself into one of the more reliable players on one of the best sides in Major League Soccer.  By inspiring others to come out as gay and using the game of soccer as a positive platform, Rogers has become one of the most recognizable faces in the American game for all of the right reasons.  When he made his announcement, Rogers was a free agent after he spent time in the lower tiers of English football. He decided to retire from the game in his blog post following his release from Leeds United. "Now is my time to step away. It's time to discover myself away from football. It's 1 a.m. in London as I write this and I could not be happier with my decision. Life is so full of amazing things. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest. Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear. My secret is gone, I am ...
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