News Update

Soccer Business

The demise of the freebie TV soccer leagues

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Friday's soccer news starts with something basic. Depending on your cable system, some soccer leagues are freer than others. If your package includes most of the major sports channels, it's a reasonable assumption that so do a lot of other peoples. That may or may not be true. Some people are paying extra for things like FS1, much less beIN Sport, GolTV, or Univision Deportes.

The Premier League considers their own rules

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The transfer window isn't riding an all-time high in popularity anywhere in world soccer. FIFPro, the international players union, is challenging it under European labor law. Clubs across Europe are wondering if we're in the middle of an inflated period they'll regret sooner than later. Now, the Premier League is considering ending it early next season to match with the start of their league schedule.

Liverpool and Premier League money

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Friday's soccer TV has the start of the 2017-18 Premier League season and a willingness to once again consider the big picture. For the Premier League, that's spending a whole lot of the revenue they're generating in large part through TV rights deals all over the world.

What this is building is the expectation up and down the league that the Premier League's club have no choice to spend.

Soccer TV in America is changing

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The soccer news starts with Disney deciding how ESPN can monetize a reworked sports streaming site in the near future. As in, a reworked streaming site that may or may not care about your cable subscription. Whatever happens with ESPN, it's part of a larger trend that impacts how American soccer fans can watch games.

MLS plays its game against Real Madrid

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the MLS All-Stars taking Real Madrid to penalties on a rainy night in Chicago. The game ended 1-1 in regulation. Borja Mayoral scored for Real Madrid in the 59th with Dom Dwyer equalizing in the 87th. Dwyer and Gio Dos Santos had their penalties saved with Real Madrid converting all four of theirs to take the trophy.

Game day for the MLS All-Stars

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Wednesday's soccer news has the 2017 MLS All-Star Game on the schedule (8:30pm ET - FS1). If we didn't convince you yesterday that the All-Star Game might be worth your time, do us a favor and spare our precious feelings.

Meanwhile, on the field the MLS All-Stars face a Real Madrid squad that are likely as interested as the rest of us with what's happening with their favorite La Liga rivals.

A day away from the 2017 MLS All-Star Game

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with the run-up to MLS once again trying to give meaning to a friendly. It's a tough ask, if we're being honest. On one side of the ball is an All-Star team that by definition hasn't had enough time together to do more than the basics. On the other side of the ball is a Real Madrid squad that's had enough high profile preseason games already to find some form.

USMNT plays the schedule

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Tuesday's soccer news has the appropriate response from the USMNT after Jamaica knocked out Mexico. Though the Gold Cup is normally designed with the hopes that the two biggest teams in the region will meet in the final, that's far from a guarantee. For two editions running, it hasn't happened. The collective USMNT response is "so what.

Super clubs in super friendlies

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Friday's soccer news starts with the Manchester derby in Houston on Thursday night. Over 60k fans reported in the stands at NRG Stadium, a venue where Manchester United once played the MLS All-Star team. What this underlines is the point Luis Bueno made a couple of weeks ago. Do prestige friendlies need local involvement?

Another emerging soccer scandal

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with the standard disclaimer about the presumption of innocence. Royal Spanish Football Federation and FIFA VP Angel Maria Villar is currently in custody, arrested by Spanish authorities on corruption charges. Spanish authorities also raided the Federation's offices. AP's Aritz Parra and Joseph Wilson have the details.

The USMNT presses the offense

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the biggest takeaway from last night's USMNT win in the Gold Cup. This redone lineup tried to press the offense. They succeeded in creating chances, hitting the frame and forcing several strong saves from Martinique goalkeeper Kevin Olimpa.

The official US Soccer match report lists the shot totals as 8 to 7 USMNT with shots on goal 3 to 1.

Super clubs are different

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If one move can highlight he state of the super clubs in the summer of 2017, it's Jaime Rodriguez joining Bayern Munich. Well, sort of. Rodriguez's contract is still the property of Real Madrid, with Bayern announcing a two-year loan. In a tweet, AP writer Rob Harris made the obvious point about this kind of arrangement, calling on FIFA to end extended loans and require a transfer.

United, Chelsea, Everton, and the transfer season

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Monday's soccer news starts with the transfer season beginning to build momentum in Europe. Manchester United will spend big to add Romelo Lukaku from Everton. Lukaku talked to ESPN FC about heading to what he calls "the biggest club in the world."

Chelsea also made noise in the market, adding Antonio Rudiger.

It’s Gold Cup time

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Thursday's soccer news starts with MLS ending, at least in the short term. It's Gold Cup time, where even Major League Soccer takes a break for the group stage. As the constant reminders from CONCACAF over social media and the countdown billboards in cities hosting games will tell you, there's not much time left.

Danny Williams joins Huddersfield Town

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The soccer news starts with USMNT player Danny Williams making a move up to the Premier League. Williams joins Huddersfield Town from Reading in a two-year deal. The team is reloading for the Premier League after winning promotion at the expense of Reading. Huddersfield Town's manager is also a former USMNT player, with David Wagner set to become the second American to manage in the Premier League.

The power of the Premier League

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Friday's soccer news starts with another example of how much things have changed in the Premier League. Crystal Palace, far down the list of Premier League clubs in general and London Premier League clubs in particular, is closing in on a new manager. Frank de Boer left Ajax for Inter Milan last season, losing that Italian job after three months.

MLS expansion season has issues

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with MLS expansion. MLS might have interested parties in bringing a team to their cities, but that doesn't necessarily obligate local governments. That was the story a few months ago in St Louis, and it's a scenario playing out in San Diego and Charlotte.

San Diego's city council isn't interested in holding special elections for ballot measures this year, according to a report by The San Diego Union Tribune's David Garrick.

US Soccer

Mastroeni out at Colorado, Brooks out for three months

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the Colorado Rapids using that unfortunate MLS euphemism that means they've fired the coach. The Rapids "parted ways" with Pablo Mastroeni, drawing a line underneath a poor record this season and a previous regime no longer running the show in Commerce City.

"We would like to thank Pablo for his contributions to this organization, both as a player and as head coach," said Rapids Sporting Director and Interim General Manager, Pádraig Smith.

Game day for USMNT vs Jamaica

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It's a simple scenario for the USMNT in Wednesday's soccer news. Deny Jamaica width on the defensive end and break down the standard attempts to clog the direct routes on the offensive end. Do that, and the balance should tilt in the USMNT's favor. In other words, it's standard CONCACAF soccer for tonight's Gold Cup final (9:30pm ET - FS1).

The immediate future of MLS officiating

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Monday's soccer news starts with everybody responding to Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke's show and tell. Petke made an early exit from his team's 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City. The referee showed Petke the door in the 72nd minute for arguing a non-call, and we would later learn how much that non-call meant.

Officiating in CONCACAF

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Thursday's soccer news starts with referee Drew Fischer and his assistants not exactly having the best time of it in last night's USMNT vs El Salvador game. Hesitance to show cards caught up with the officiating, leading to odd moments even by CONCACAF standards. Namely, two incidents where USMNT players were bitten by their El Salvadoran counterparts.

Game day for USMNT vs El Salvador

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The consensus view of the previews for the USMNT v El Salvador Gold Cup quarterfinal later tonight (9pm ET - FS1) read oddly familiar. That's because the view is the same as it's been since the second group stage game. The USMNT is the heavy favorite for obvious reasons, especially with an experimental roster now made stronger through the six changes made by coach Bruce Arena.

The rest of the Gold Cup for the USMNT

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Monday's soccer news starts with the changes to the USMNT's Gold Cup roster. USMNT coach Bruce Arena surprised nobody by using all six of his changes, announcing them the day after the USMNT won group B. Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Jesse Gonzalez, and Darlington Nagbe.

USMNT players in Gold Cup camp

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We start the soccer news with the USMNT players joining up in Nashville in advance of the 2017 Gold Cup. Bruce Arena's roster has some interesting names, the result of his choice to give the regulars playing club soccer in Europe a break. That doesn't mean a squad without European-based talent, with several players trying to break in.

USMNT stays 3rd in the Hexagonal

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The rest of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers played out on Tuesday night, with the USMNT remaining in 3rd-place in the Hexagonal. World Cup qualifying resumes in September.

Panama and Honduras drew 2-2 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez. Romell Quioto put Honduras up on the road in the 6th minute with Blas Perez equalizing in the 41st.

Bruce Arena’s game plan

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The soccer news starts with USMNT coach Bruce Arena not keeping it a secret that he had his plan for Mexico worked out weeks ago. "We told the team on day one of this camp that we would play that way in this game," Arena said of a strategy that required shuffling the starting eleven and giving up a lot of possession.

Three points for the USMNT

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The soccer news starts with the USMNT shutting out Trinidad & Tobago for three points in the Hexagonal table. The USMNT had the early game, waiting on the two later results to learn what those three points would mean. Costa Rica did the USMNT no favors, playing out a scoreless draw at home to Panama.

Borussia Dortmund wants more under Peter Bosz

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the details on Peter Bosz's transfer from Ajax to Borussia Dortmund. It's always interesting when there's a transfer fee for a coach. Dortmund paid Ajax €5m euros for the pleasure of Bosz's company. Setting aside Ajax not doing a lot to shirk their reputation as a selling club by selling their coach, Borussia Dortmund comes complete with significant expectations.

Playing the youth World Cups

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Tuesday's soccer news wonders if it's really worth the trouble trying to draw overarching conclusions from the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. There's an argument that FIFA doesn't do the teams much of a favor by selling international broadcast rights to what used to be the youth championships. In terms of relative obscurity, it might be worthwhile to let these tournaments enjoy them.

Real Madrid adds another Champions League trophy

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Real Madrid did as expected in the Champions League final, though nobody could've predicted the one goal they allowed. Trailing 1-0, Juventus's Mario Mandzukic scored one of the best goals in the history of the final in the 27th minute. It was video game stuff, but that was it. Real Madrid took over, taking the title 4-1 to close out the 2016-17 European season.

2017 mls season

Chicago keeps it going

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Monday's soccer news starts with the Chicago Fire adding three more points near the top of the Eastern Conference table. Chicago won their ninth home game in a row, beating New England 4-1. They're 2nd in the East, three points behind Toronto with a game in hand.

"I think the team knows how to play and the team knows our identity," Chicago coach Veljko Paunovic said.

NYCFC wins at home

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Friday's soccer news starts with NYCFC coming back to beat Minnesota United 3-1 at Yankee Stadium. Christian Ramirez put United up in the 9th minute. Alexander Collins equalized in the 38th with Jack Harrison putting NYCFC up for good in the 52nd. Harrison assisted on David Villa's goal in the 63rd minute.

Cincinnati and Miami

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Thursday's soccer daily starts with Cincinnati and Miami getting through to the US Open Cup semifinals. More to the point, they'll play each other guaranteeing a lower division club makes the semifinals. That's important since normally there are multiple MLS roadblocks for lower division clubs to get anywhere in the later stages of the Open Cup.

What’s wrong with DC United?

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with games on the MLS schedule. DC United hosts Atlanta United with another chance to try to turn their season around. DC is bottom of the Eastern Conference, six points behind 7th-place Atlanta with both teams about to play their 16th game of the season.

With DC sitting on 10 goals scored, the worst in MLS.

David Villa’s goals

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Monday's soccer news starts with NYCFC's David Villa hitting his 50th and 51st MLS goals. Villa scored from the penalty spot and the run of play in the 2-1 win over Seattle. It's easy enough to point to that as proof that a designated player works in Major League Soccer. Villa joined MLS in a familiar situation.

FIFA

Questioning instant replay

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the growing complaints about how instant replay is working at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The quick take is that it isn't, at least not enough to convince that it's worth the effort.

Instant replay, which of course FIFA would prefer the soccer world refers to as "video assistant referee", has been a long time coming.

Getting excited about the Confederations Cup

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Friday's soccer news starts with the Confederations Cup. It's easy to dismiss an international tournament that doesn't involve the USMNT. Easier still if you want to jump on board with those who think it's a bit much for FIFA to run a mini-World Cup the year before the main event. Both are fair points, to some extent.

Germany in the Confederations Cup

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the Confederations Cup. FIFA's World Cup warmup starts on Saturday in Russia, and it's not a safe assumption that even the participating countries really care. Germany, for instance.

The defending World Cup champions are having issues filling stadiums for friendlies at home, partly because their results seem like a foregone conclusion.

The Rest

New York beats New England

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Friday's soccer news starts with the New York Red Bulls knocked the New England Revolution out of the US Open Cup at the quarterfinal stage. The Red Bulls won 1-0 at Jordan Field in Boston. New England went a man down in the 75th when Chris Tierney saw red for violent conduct. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the game's only goal in the 87th.

Toronto wins Canada

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with Toronto FC celebrating a trophy. Toronto beat Montreal 2-1 in the second-leg of the Canadian Championship final series. That means Toronto takes Canada's spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.

With the series tied 1-1 after the first-leg, Toronto needed a comeback at home to take the title.