2018 mls season

Major League Soccer

Tommy Thompson wants to entertain

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 23, 2018) US Soccer Players - History shows that being a "next big thing" in American soccer can quickly turn into a millstone around young players' necks. So as he begins his fifth year as a professional, you could forgive Tommy Thompson for being tired of the tag.

Shining the spotlight on four MLS players in 2018

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Feb 23, 2018) US Soccer Players - The spotlight shines brightest for those carrying the highest expectations. As the 2018 MLS season dawns, a number of players across the league are facing the harsh glare of outsized attention exactly because they are expected to deliver high-quality play on the field.

The CONCACAF Champions League deserves our attention

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Feb 21, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's time to pay attention to the CONCACAF Champions League. The confederation's most important club competition is new again for 2018, keeping the top leagues out of the group stage which now operates as a separate feeder competition.

Paraguay’s new MLS influence

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Feb 19, 2018) US Soccer Players – When the USMNT takes on Paraguay next month, it won't be just another friendly. It will also highlight the growing relationship between MLS and the South American nation of just 6.8 million. While it's true that waves of foreigners have come to play in this country since the league began in 1996, it's the quality, age, and nationalities of those players that has changed over the decades.

MLS and young domestic players: Will anything change in 2018?

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 16, 2018) US Soccer Players - A war is quietly raging inside Major League Soccer. It's one that could have an enormous effect on the USMNT in both the short and long terms.

On one side stands a band of clubs and executives who remain cognizant of the league's founding principle of featuring and improving homegrown talent for the benefit of US soccer as a whole.

How FC Dallas changed the MLS offseason forever

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Feb 15, 2018) US Soccer Players - There's a well-worn assumption that the key to becoming a successful soccer team lies in spending months, even years, training together and forming a core starting lineup. Sometimes, this comes in the form of off-field team building, like Huddersfield Town's David Wagner leading the then-Championship side to a remote Swedish island for three nights without electricity.

Ashley Cole takes the armband for the LA Galaxy

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Feb 14, 2018) US Soccer Players - The LA Galaxy's long road to redemption has not yet commenced, but the team revealed some of what it has planned for the 2018 season. When the Galaxy played NYCFC at StubHub Center over the weekend, the team had its new captain on display.

Red Bulls 2 finds balance between development and winning

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Feb 8, 2018) US Soccer Players - Last month marked the five-year anniversary of the partnership between MLS and USL. The move integrated the MLS reserve teams into USL Pro, then a quaint 13-team operation, allowing for the reserve players to face better opposition on a regular basis.

Is Minnesota United better in 2018?

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Feb 7, 2018) US Soccer Players - To their credit, it doesn't seem as if Minnesota United is too bothered by being constantly compared to the other member of their 2017 expansion class, Atlanta United. While Arthur Blank's flashy exercise in stretching the meaning of "MLS budget" made waves in their initial year thanks to a big name coach, South American attackers, and record-breaking crowds, the Loons stayed true to their pragmatic approach to building out an MLS franchise over several seasons.

LAFC and YouTube TV

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Feb 7, 2018) US Soccer Players - Los Angeles Football Club has always seemed an interesting venture. With a slew of high-profile deep-pocketed owners, the club's operations and marketing pathways seemed exciting. Money and a means to gain exposure were always assets in LAFC's favor.

Chicago tries again

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By J Hutcherson (Feb 6, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's easy enough to point out the obvious when it comes to stalled MLS clubs. They're teams where the big announcements turn into yet another issue. Where whatever is the latest version of a tired fan base wait to be underwhelmed.

DC United wins in 2018 because of Audi Field

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Feb 2, 2018) US Soccer Players - There's really no way to frame the 2018 DC United season as anything else than a triumph. A triumph, before it even begins. A triumph no matter what the club's record is at the end of the regular season or whether they lift MLS Cup.

Is allocation money helping the MLS free agency problem?

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Feb 1, 2018) US Soccer Players - A month out from the start of the 2018 MLS regular season, the flurry of transactions hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. We've already seen some highs and lows across the league. Montreal swapped loanee Blerim Dzemaili for a permanent transfer of Bologna's Saphir Taider.

The LA Galaxy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Jan 31, 2018) US Soccer Players - The LA Galaxy has never been shy about moving the needle. From bringing in Mexican players like Luis Hernandez and Carlos Hermosillo in the league's early days to landing the biggest splash ever in David Beckham a decade-plus ago, the Galaxy has constantly blazed new trails.

NYCFC and Orlando City in season four

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jan 31, 2018) US Soccer Players - Two of the most active clubs during a busy MLS offseason happen to have come into the league together back in 2015. NYCFC and Orlando City have been on divergent paths since an inaugural year that saw both come up short of the MLS Cup playoffs.

MLS, Liga MX, and games that count

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Well, at least a game that might sort of count. The soccer news starts with MLS and Liga MX considering what we're going to go ahead and call a Super Cup between their champions. With the game proposed for September, that would mean the Liga MX Clausura champion and the previous season's MLS champion.

USMNT newcomers try to catch a cap

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jan 26, 2018) US Soccer Players - 29 players took part in this year's USMNT January camp, a call-up that's an honor and opportunity unto itself. For all of them, the goal over the past two weeks is clear. They want a place on the game day roster for Sunday's friendly vs Bosnia & Herzegovina at StubHub Center (9:30pm ET - FS1).

Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, Barca, and the MLS model

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jan 26, 2018) US Soccer Players - Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla is 18 years old. In 2017, he played 21 times for the Montreal Impact and scored twice. Tabla is a native of Cote d'Ivoire but moved to Quebec as a child and played in the Montreal Impact academy system.

Atlanta United plays up the Tata effect

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jan 24, 2018) US Soccer Players - As if they hadn't already done enough to show up the stingier clubs in MLS. Atlanta United charged out of the gate in their first season with massive crowds and a team built around a group of exciting young players from Latin America.

MLS players pushing for trades

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jan 19, 2018) US Soccer Players - The MLS offseason drips with intrigue over international signings in a manner previously unseen in its more than two decades of existence. Rumors abound, a function of a new influx of cash infiltrating the league through big money ownership and initiatives created to expand the power of the salary budget.

Who Your MLS Side Should Take in Tomorrow’s SuperDraft

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Jan 18, 2018) US Soccer Players - On Friday, all 23 MLS teams will convene in Philadelphia for the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. This marks the 19th iteration of the MLS SuperDraft, where a record 92 selections will be made. Don't be fooled by the increasing number of picks.

Orlando City and the option for Cyle Larin

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jan 17, 2018) US Soccer Players - Orlando City striker Cyle Larin is still Orlando City striker Cyle Larin, no matter what the Twitter account of Turkish champions Besiktas might say. Of that, at least Orlando City is certain. Whether Besiktas accepts Orlando City's version of the truth is still, as of yet, unknown.

The Dynamo, Lucatero, and MLS player development

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jan 12, 2018) US Soccer Players - Christian Lucatero was supposed to be the Houston Dynamo academy's proof-of-concept. By most accounts the best player to ever come out of the club's nascent developmental system, Lucatero was local, Hispanic, and talented, a trio of traits that would serve the reputation of the system well.

The LA Galaxy rebuild needs to focus on the attack

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Jan 10, 2018) US Soccer Players - With three signings at the start of the week, the LA Galaxy has seen its roster grow. A total of 20 players are now part of the squad with the start of the preseason not too far off. The team seems to be coming together.

New Year, New MLS Stars

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Jan 4, 2018) US Soccer Players - In many ways, 2017 was the most eventful year for Major League Soccer thus far. For the first time in nearly a decade, the East was the dominant conference of the two. Trade announcements included the amount of allocation money swapping hands, allowing for more detailed analysis of these moves.

The new MLS coaches in 2018

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jan 3, 2018) US Soccer Players - It's the start of 2018, and it might already be crunch time for the new coaching hires in MLS. There's no time like the present for pressure, with clubs already making major moves.

MLS teams turned over their sideline bosses at a greater rate than ever before in 2017.

Is the Red Bulls’ strategy the new normal for MLS?

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 29, 2017) US Soccer Players - By now, you've heard the somewhat surprising news that the New York Red Bulls are actively shopping playmaker Sacha Kljestan. By the time you read this, Kljestan could be a member of LAFC, Minnesota United, Orlando City, or some other MLS team.

News Update

Rubio Rubin gets a game for Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League

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The soccer news starts in the CONCACAF Champions League round of 16 with USMNT player Rubio Rubin making his debut for Tijuana in their 1-0 win at Motagua. Rubin subbed on in the 53rd minute, picking up a yellow card in stoppage time. Ignacio Rivero scored the game's only goal in the 71st minute with Manuel Lajud keeping the clean sheet.

SuperDraft, trades, and transfers in MLS

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Monday's soccer news starts with the completion of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. Two rounds went in the books on Friday with the draft finishing with two more rounds on Sunday. University of Akron defender Joao Moutinho went first overall to expansion club LAFC. The LA Galaxy took high school goalkeeper Jose Villalobos with the second pick.

MLS announces 2018 game ball, Beasley re-signs

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Look, it's far too easy to pick apart a press release announcing a new soccer ball. MLS opens Friday's soccer news with just that, debuting their new adidas NATIVO soccer ball for 2018. So we'll just let the press release do its magic.

"Soccer is a global sport that transcends beyond borders," senior director for adidas soccer Ernesto Bruce said.

USMNT 25th in January 2018 FIFA Rankings

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The soccer news starts with the January FIFA Rankings. The USMNT fell one spot to 25th in a month where there was no movement in the top 14. The USMNT played no games over the ranking period. Germany spends another month in the top spot in the FIFA Rankings, ahead of Brazil in 2nd and Portugal in 3rd-place.

Manchester City finally loses in the Premier League

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been saying for weeks that it's coming. Eventually, his version of an invincibles team would lose a Premier League game, and probably before setting a new English topflight record. Drawing with Crystal Palace on the last day of 2017 was an indication.

USMNT interim coach Dave Sarachan on January camp

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The soccer news starts with the USMNT in camp in Carson. In a mixed zone session distributed to the media, USMNT interim coach Dave Sarachan spoke about the focus for January camp. With a group of 29 players looking for an opportunity in the wake of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, the coaching staff called in players who haven't gotten a lot of look at senior level.

LAFC vs the MLS schedule

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The soccer news starts with Major League Soccer releasing the 2018 MLS schedule. That's big news for everybody in the league, but especially this season's expansion team. LAFC has a stadium to open, with Banc of California Stadium debuting on April 29. That means starting the season with six games on the road, a stretch that could have them well out of contention by the time the spotlight shines on their first home game.

Feilhaber to LAFC

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The soccer news starts with another USMNT player traded between MLS clubs. This time, it's Benny Feilhaber making the move from Sporting KC to LAFC. Feilhaber joins the MLS expansion team in exchange for $200,000 in general allocation money and $200,000 in targeted allocation money, once again putting a dollar figure on an MLS player.

Ray Gaddis

2017 Expansion Draft: Who the Union are protecting, and what that says about 2018

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Reading the tea leaves and trying to extrapolate that to what this team will look like next season.

Why do the Union need to wait for TAM numbers?

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Wanting to know their budget before going shopping sounds smart, but the Union need more than big-money players to succeed.

The Rest

LAFC and the ghost of Chivas USA

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Jan 24, 2018) US Soccer Players - Before the start of training camp, LAFC announced its first-ever coaching staff. Bob Bradley took the head coaching job last year, but the rest of the staff waited for January. Among his hires were Ante Razov and Zak Abdel, both formerly of Chivas USA.

What the USMNT can look forward to in 2018

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 29, 2017) US Soccer Players - Yes, this was a strange, vexing year for the USMNT and those who support them. Every turn of the calendar provides a chance for renewal, and none more than this one as both program and Federation enter an extended period of transition.

The offseason trend in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 27, 2017) US Soccer Players - The word "trend" in a modern context suggests something ephemeral. Even if the shift of direction eventually morphs into the status quo, the initial push towards establishing it can only happen once. Trends aren't fads, but they also aren't exactly accepted as permanent from the outset, either.