Soccer Business

Major League Soccer

The move from player to pundit in US soccer

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Aug 21, 2017) US Soccer Players – There's an increasing number of former US players doing color commentary on TV these days. The move into punditry seems like a natural next step as more players seek to stay in the game they love, while lending their expertise to the growing number of coverage hours across all media outlets.

MLS plays by its ridiculous rules

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON DC (Aug 11, 2017) US Soccer Players - MLS closed its summer transfer window with a bang this week. Several current and former USMNT players found themselves at the center of the action. The process offered up a timely snapshot of the many and nuanced ways in which the domestic league both fosters and frustrates this country's players.

Garber stresses over the obvious

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By J Hutcherson (Aug 2, 2017) US Soccer Players - It's almost cheating to latch onto comments made in an open discussion that anybody with internet access and time on their hands could've watched. MLS commissioner Don Garber provided the talking points in a Tuesday fan forum, and one of them is worth serious consideration.

Who won the 2017 summer of soccer?

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (July 31, 2017) US Soccer Players – You would never think we were in the midst of any sort of a summer break with all the soccer played in July. Europe's major domestic competitions may be in the midst of preseason, but friendlies between top clubs kept interest going.

MLS promotes the Gold Cup by promoting itself

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 26, 2017) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer has always ALWAYS tied its identity to the United States Men's National Team. This goes back to the earliest days of the league. Much of its early star power came from the American heroes of 1994. MLS has made the most of the involvement of players from its ranks in the international fortunes of the USA.

Playing for one club in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 14, 2017) US Soccer Players - Francesco Totti, the legendary Italian striker, just retired after a 25-year career. Totti spent every one of those 25 years with the same club, Roma, where he will now serve as a director in his post-playing days. He is the epitome of that oft-romanticized idea, a player who never leaves the team he came up with as a professional.

The MLS response to soccer analytics

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By Clemente Lisi – PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 17, 2017) US Soccer Players – The Gold Cup break gives MLS teams a mid-season breather. For some, it couldn't come at a better time. The season still has enough left in it to turn things around. It's likely that trying to figure out how to win games will include the use of analytics and data to help the front office and coaches come to some conclusions.

Playing soccer games in Detroit

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 12, 2017) US Soccer Players - Detroit City FC's remarkable success at the amateur NPSL level has brought the club into high demand. With average attendances of 5,000 fans for matches that mostly feature college players, DCFC's potential as a professional club has naturally drawn attention from across the American soccer industry.

Kreis, Movsisyan, and telling the stories in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 7, 2017) US Soccer Players - The churn of the Major League Soccer season sometimes turns the business of a campaign into a fairly staid rinse-and-repeat cycle of quiet off-days and game days. Outside of the occasional injury update and the absences brought on by the international windows, the intrigue coming out of and leading into matches is thin and unsatisfying.

Covering the lower divisions

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 5, 2017) US Soccer Players - For all of the strides that American soccer has made over the past decade, it still struggles with a series of major issues. Some of those issues will resolve themselves just a little bit of time. Development, to name just one hot-button topic that never fails to drive calls to my daily radio show, is going to get better, simply through inertia.

Recalibrating our ideas about lower division American soccer

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jun 23, 2017) US Soccer Players - They arrived by the hundreds, some hours early even on a weeknight. Their vehicles backed up for miles down the small country roads and residential streets like the crowds flocking to the baseball diamond in "Field of Dreams.

The soccer game in Cincinnati

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Jun 14, 2017) US Soccer Players - The life of a second division soccer team in the United States is mostly about pushing limits. It's working out what it means to be a second division soccer club in the United States. While it would be easy to make the argument that striving to break through limits in the lower divisions here is a function of the lack of promotion and relegation, it's unlikely you'll hear too many of the clubs themselves moaning about that missing opportunity.

Playing the transfer game in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (May 19, 2017) US Soccer Players - The international transfer market is, ostensibly, a an exercise in economics. Buying a player means exchanging capital for talent you believe will help your team win more games. Selling a player brings about the opposite result. You may lose someone who could help you on the field, but the financial return strengthens the club.

News Update

Should MLS worry about entertaining?

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Monday's soccer news starts with an exciting weekend in MLS. Well, unless you're concerned that the MLS version of parity might be trending towards fluke runs and too much stoppage time. That's the latest version of the old entertainment value debate when it comes to Major League Soccer.

What was entertaining about MLS in week 24 was for the wrong reason.

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.

The focus is on the Champions League

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Thursday's soccer news starts with reports that UEFA and the European Professional Football Leagues. Inside World Football's Andrew Warshaw reports that the two groups may figure out a way to not botch the biggest moneymaker in club soccer.

That would be the Champions League, the competition that will crown another winner on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund makes a change

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The DFB Pokal celebrations didn't last long for Borussia Dortmund. The Bundesliga club made a coaching announcement in Tuesday's soccer news, parting ways with Thomas Tuchel.

"We would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his coaching staff for the sporting success they have brought to BVB...." read Borussia Dortmund's official statement.

The cost of the Championship

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with an item that isn't exactly a surprise. David Moyes is no longer the manager of Sunderland, one of the new members of the Championship. According to reports, Moyes had indicated a willingness to stay with the club a league down. He officially resigned on Monday.

Sunderland's relegation became official a couple of weeks ago, capping a tough season in the Premier League that began with only two points from ten games.

The Rest

Chicago home and away

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the Montreal Impact shutting out the Chicago Fire 3-0 at Saputo Stadium. Ignacio Piatti opened the scoring in the 6th minute. Matteo Mancosu doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 37th with Piatti scoring again a minute later. Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush kept the clean sheet with two saves.

The European transfer market after Neymar

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Tuesday's soccer news has plenty of people predicting gloom for European soccer. According to this view, PSG triggering Neymar's hefty buyout clause and completing his move from Barcelona might destabilize the transfer market as we know it. It's too much money in a top heavy system that has already allowed for inflation whenever it's a Premier League club doing the buying.

Worst Gold Cup ever?

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Jul 21, 2017) US Soccer Players - Like many readers, your correspondent has grown up in a sustained era of soccer's growth in North America. Every year the game grows bigger and more popular than the last, it seems, leading us to take for granted that the future will be brighter than the past.

Is soccer getting worse?

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By J Hutcherson (Jun 15, 2017) US Soccer Players - The NBA finals came to a close this week with many people feeling that the league blew an entire season of games and four rounds of playoffs to get to the obvious conclusion. We all knew who the best team was in October. There's more to this than what we now expect in the era of hot take sports coverage.

Soccer’s Super Bowl

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By J Hutcherson (Jun 6, 2017) US Soccer Players - The FIFA Club World Cup final isn't fooling anybody. The game that determines the best team in world soccer for a given season is the Champions League final. UEFA reigns supreme in world club soccer for a reason. They pay more and they do a better job of exploiting that commodity.