Major League Soccer

Updated MLS and USL SEBA projections through March 12

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* As I will be on vacation next week with limited access to my computer/programs, there will not be a new forecast next week. I will run it for over-time-graph purposes, but the next published forecast will be on the 29th. Below are the updated season forecasts using data [...]

USL club Phoenix Rising announces MLS expansion intentions

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Thedeadline for MLS expansion applications is fast approaching, and Phoenix has come out ofnowhere to thrust itself into the conversation.

USL club Phoenix Rising announced on Thursday that it plans to submit the necessary paperwork that MLS has requested fromowners looking to land afirst-divisionfranchise during the next round of expansion.

MLS Ticker: Herculez Gomez retires to join ESPN, and more

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Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Herculez Gomez just won an MLS Cup crown, and he is riding off into the sunset withit.

ESPN announced on Tuesday afternoon that Gomez has joined its team as a soccer analyst and has retired from professional soccer. The 34-year-old forward's decision to hang up his cleats in order to be in the studio for English and Spanish-language programscomes after he helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup last month.

What might stand in the way of Division 2 sanctioning for the USL?

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If the USL fails in its bid for Division 2 sanctioning, it is the stadium capacity of a significant number of MLS-owned teams that may have been the issue.

Report finds that U.S. is not 'immediately ready' for promotion/relegation

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Photo by Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of its release on Monday, Deloitte's Sports Business Group's analysis on promotion and relegation in the U.S. was hyped by supporters of the philosophy as groundbreaking. In reality, the release inspired much more mixed feelings.

While confirming the theory that promotion and relegation is economically viable in the U.

Taking Attendance 11/6/2016: The Big List at related • 0 views

Now that all the leagues of consequence on these shores have completed their regular seasons (and only two, MLS and the NASL, are still to crown champions), here's a combined list of the 83 North American outdoor soccer clubs for which I have any attendance data for the 2016 season.

Some information (especially at the very low levels) is incomplete.

Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

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Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports

Six MLS matches will take place on Wednesday night, while the Copa Libertadores will name its first finalist.

Western Conference leaders FC Dallas will travel to the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field as Oscar Pareja's side looks to win its fourth straight match.

U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round Preview (Day Two)

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Photo byAnthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports

After a few close calls for MLS teams entering the fray on Tuesday night, the rest of the top division teams are in action for the first time on Wednesday in the 2016 U.S. Open Cup.

The round's headlining match is the derby fixturebetween New York City FC and the New York Cosmos.

Taking Attendance 6/6/2016: Professional Grade at related • 1 view

Usually I present soccer attendance numbers by leagues, but, just for fun this time around, let's look at every professional team1 and see where they stack up against each other, one through seventy2.

CAVEAT: These are announced figures. If you find a discrepancy, let me know about it.

Romeo Parkes has contract terminated after attacking Karl Ouimette

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Romeo Parkes had been enjoying a dream run before the end of Saturday night's USL clash between the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and New York Red Bulls II. The Jamaican striker had scored in five straight matches, and was on Jamaica's preliminary roster for the 2016 Copa America. Everything was seemingly going right for him.

Oklahoma City Energy owners state desire for MLS

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Major League Soccer is set for more expansion in the next several years, and the group behind USL's Oklahoma City Energy is hoping to be a part of it.

Speaking to KOCO 5 News, Energy owner Bob Funk Jr. said the team's ultimate goal is to move into MLS. Funk said the first step towards that end goal would be the construction of a soccer-specific stadium while continuing to make inroads with the local community.

MLS Notes: Garber supports MLS Draft, talks replay in USL and more

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Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

The increasing number of Homegrown Player signings in MLS is dilutingthe pool of college players available, but leaguecommissioner Don Garber still is still a fan of the MLSDraft.

The 2016 installment of the drafttook place in Baltimore, Maryland, on Thursday, and one of the main subplots going into it was how much longer it would be a useful tool for clubs to discover players.

Charlotte Independence

Charlotte Independence 2017 adidas Home and Away Jerseys

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Now in their third year of existence, United Soccer Leagues (USL) outfitCharlotte Independence unveiled their 2017 adidas home and away kits earlier this week. The second division affiliate of MLS' Colorado Rapids, Charlotte will don a blue home jersey featuring gold and white stripes on its front for their 2017 league and US Open Cup [.

Swansea kicks off American tour with win against Charlotte Independence

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On a beautiful summer evening in Charlotte, Swansea City played its first preseason match Wednesday in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,116, which set an attendance record for the USL Club's Ramblewood Stadium.

Swansea began its preseason campaign in comfortable fashion with a 4-0 victory against the third-tier opposition.

Swansea kicks off American tour with win against Charlotte Independence

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On a beautiful summer evening in Charlotte, Swansea City played its first preseason match Wednesday in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,116, which set an attendance record for the USL Club's Ramblewood Stadium.

Swansea began its preseason campaign in comfortable fashion with a 4-0 victory against the third-tier opposition.

Harrisburg City Islanders

2017 USL takes shape

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What's new for the newly Division 2 USL in 2017?

Inaugural Bethlehem Steel schedule announced

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Bethlehem faces Harrisburg City Islanders, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, New York Red Bulls II, and FC Montreal three times, other Eastern Conference opponents twice.

North American Soccer League

USL and NASL both D2 for now, Union bits, more news

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USL and NASL to share Division 2 status in 2017. Union bits. League news. More.

SF Deltas hire Marc Dos Santos as first head coach

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The San Francisco Deltas are set to begin play in 2017, andthe man tasked with leading them into their first NASL campaign is one coming off one of the most impressive seasons in league history.

Former Ottawa Fury FC coach Marc DosSantos has been hired as the first head coach in SF Deltas history, the club announced on Wednesday.

Revs Headed to NC for Open Cup Play

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The Revolution will journey to North Carolina in June to face the Charlotte Independence (USL) or Carolina RailHawks (NASL) in the U.S. Open Cup after U.S. Soccer announced the fourth round pairings on Thursday.

New England's fourth-round matchup will take place on Jun.

SBI Spotlight: USL MVP Matthew Fondy takes long road to Armada

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Matthew Fondy's road has never been easy.Fromundrafted prospect to Golden Boot winner, Fondy is now set for yet another new beginning.

The 26-year-oldhad a career year in 2015 as a member of Louisville City's inaugural team. The strikerrapidly emerged as the USL's best player in a campaign that saw the forward net22goals in 28 games.

Silverbacks looking to continue in USL or NPSL

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The Atlanta Silverbacks' days as an NASL club are over, but the team's days as a professional soccer franchise appear set to continue.

Speaking to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Silverbacks name ownerBoris Jerkunica says that he and his group of partners are exploring the option of starting a team in either the USL or NPSL following the NASL club's demise.

Swope Park Rangers

Allen hat-trick leads Red Bulls II past Swope Park Rangers to win USL Cup

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Red Bulls II emerged as the USL's best team during the regular season, and on Sunday, they cemented their spot as USL champions.

Led by a Brandon Allen hat-trick, Red Bulls II toppled Swope Park Rangers, 5-1, at Red Bull Arena in Sunday's USL final. The win sees Red Bulls II end the season on a14-game unbeaten streak to secure the championship trophy in the club's secondseason.

Rangers Make Another Signing, Put in Western Conference

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The Swope Park Rangers season inches closer, and the club continues to make additions. Today the club announced that they had signed Canadian forward Mark Anthony Gonzalez. Gonzalez comes to Kansas City after a four year career at Evansville where he scored 27 goals and added six assists while appearing in 71 games while playing with Sporting KC fourth round draft pick Faik Hajderovic.

Rochester Rhinos

USL Playoff Rewind: Red Bulls II eliminate Rhinos; Swope Park Rangers edge Blues; and more

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The USL's final four is set, and the league will see a new champion crowned following the elimination of last year's winner.

Louisville City, New York Red Bulls II, Swope Park Rangers and Vancouver Whitecaps II booked spots inthe league's final four following the conclusion of the quarterfinal round.

Gamble Gets Short-Term Loan to Rhinos

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Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Revolution rookie midfielder Michael Gamble is the latest player to be sent to the USL for a short-term loan after the squad loaned him to the Rochester Rhinos on Friday.

The 2016 second-round pick, who hasn't made the gameday roster through the Revolution's first six games, will suit up for the Rhinos for their match at New YORK Red Bulls II on Sunday at Red Bull Arena.

McCrary Loaned to Rochester for Sunday USL Action

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Photo credit: New England Revolution

Revolution rookie fullback Jordan McCrary was sent to the club's USL affiliate in Rochester on Saturday ahead of the Rhinos' contest against the Richmond Kickers on Sunday.

The Revolution's first-round pick in the 2016 draft will suit up for the USL side before rejoining the Revolution for training next week.

USL: Rhinos Unveil New Logo

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The Revolution's USL affiliate, the Rochester Rhinos, unveiled an updated logo at an introductory press conference for its new ownership group on Thursday.

Two months after the USL terminated its franchise agreement with former owner Rob Clark, who previously told the league that he didn't plan on fielding a team for the 2016 season, the league officially welcomed Rochester-area real estate developers David and Wendy Dworkin as the club's new owners.

USL secures new ownership for Rochester Rhinos

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A little over two months after assuming ownership of the Rochester Rhinos, the USL has found a local group to take over the league's reigning champions.

The USL announced that David and Wendy Dworkin, minority owners of the Sacramento Kings, have taken ownership of the franchise on Thursday.


Taking Attendance 10/3/2016: USL Shows Small Growth Overall at related • 0 views

The United Soccer League is already a week into its playoffs, but I have just now been able to track down all the missing digits from the 2016 season to post the final totals.

Overall, the league showed a tiny 2.1 percent increase in average announced attendance from 2015 to 20161, even though 13 of the 23 returning teams actually saw average attendance decreases year-to-year.

Taking Attendance 5/30/2016: I Ain’t Missing You At All at related • 2 views

Your Faithful Attendance Tracker has been keeping crowd figures for MLS since 2000 and for the lower levels for the last several years1. This year has been the most challenging one to try and get attendance figures for the United Soccer League, our third division2 league.

First, they redesigned their website, so attendance figures (which I was told were being inputted) weren't displaying.

LA Galaxy

USL suspends Orange County Blues player for homophobic slurs targeting Robbie Rogers

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The United Soccer League has announced punishment stemming from an August 20th incident involving Robbie Rogers during his rehab match with the LA Galaxy II against the Orange County Blues.

Midfielder Richard Chaplow has been suspended two matches and fined an undisclosed amount for his use of abusive and offensive language towards Rogers in the last 15 minutes of the match between the two USL teams on August 20th.

Robbie Rogers says he was target of homophobic slurs during USL match

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Robbie Rogers' return from injury was marred by verbal abuse regarding the the LA Galaxy fullback'ssexual orientation.

The defendertook to Facebook on Sunday, saying that he was repeatedly called a homophobic slur by a member of the Orange County Blues during Saturday's appearance with LA Galaxy II.

U.S. U-20 defender Hugo Arellano signs with LA Galaxy II

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U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team defender Hugo Arellano has been a part of the LA Galaxy system at the academy level. Now, Arellano is set to officially make the jump to the professional level.

LA Galaxy II announced on Monday that Arellano has signed with the USL clubafter previously representing the LA Galaxy Academy.

The Rest

Rowdies sign Wolfsburg legend Schäfer

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Given the Tampa Bay Rowdies desire for an MLS expansion slot, a big-name signing could be just what the doctor ordered to boost their bid.

The Rowdies announced on Wednesday that they have acquired Wolfsburg legend Marcel Schäfer from his long-time club. The signing should prove as a massive boost to the Rowdies, as the veteran Bundesliga winger brings huge experience in a top European flight to south Florida.

Phoenix Rising FC 2017 Umbro Home and Away Jerseys

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Among the applicants to become Major League Soccer's 25th or 26th franchise, Phoenix Rising Football Club will campaign in the United Soccer League (USL) during the 2017 season. Rebranded from Arizona United SC to Phoenix Rising FC last November, the club has unveiled its 2017 home and away kits from Umbro USA.

Two And 2 at related • 0 views

The ever-chaotic world of lower-level American soccer took another ride on the roller coaster last night when the United States Soccer Federation provisionally sanctioned both the United Soccer League and the North American Soccer League as Division II leagues for 2017.

With both leagues aiming to meet the standards for DII and both falling short in a number of metrics, the compromise means the USL and NASL will spend the year ahead vying for USSF's affections, hoping to become the one and only second-flight league in the country1.

MLS loans Jeremy Ebobisse to Charleston Battery

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Jeremy Ebobisse won't learn of his first permanenthome until January's MLS Draft, but the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team forward has found a temporary landing spot to begin his professional career.

The Charleston Battery announced on Friday that the club has acquired Ebobisse on loan. The former Duke forward recently opted to forego his final two years of college to sign a professional contract with MLS, but is not eligible to play for an MLS team until he is selected in January's draft.

Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette injured after being intentionally kicked in the back during USL match

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Photo by Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Karl Ouimette's loan to New York Red Bulls II turned ugly as the Canadian defender was forced to leave the field on a stretcher after an ugly assault by an opponent.

Facing off with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Ouimette was kicked in the back by Pittsburgh forwardRomeo Parkes shortly after being shown a red card in what turned out to be a 3-1 win by Red Bulls II.

New USL San Antonio club reveals name, colors and crest

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Photo by USL

USL's latest expansion team has a name and crest.

Spurs Sports & Entertainment announced San Antonio FC as the official name of the new USL club, while the team also revealed its badge with black, silver and red as its colors.

"This is San Antonio's club," San Antonio FC managing director Tim Holt said during Thursday's revealing at the AT&T Center's Rock & Brews.