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Now that David Beckham has ended his playing career, attention has turned to his post-retirement plans. Beckham’s plans have become the MLS expansion story du jour.
What we know is that as part of his agreement with MLS when he signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he has the option to purchase an MLS expansion team for $25 million.
A $25 million fee was in the range of what an MLS team went for in 2007, but the value of MLS expansion rights have gone up since then so it is a good deal for Beckham.
The two conditions we know of are: (1) the option is to purchase an expansion team — not an existing team; (2) and it is for any market except for New York (where MLS could get $100 million for the new team it hopes to announce in the next month).
“There have been discussions with his advisers, his management, preliminary discussions,” MLS executive vice president of communications Dan Courtemanche told Reuters.
The market most often mentioned is Miami.
“It is one of many markets that has been mentioned,” Courtemanche added, “so have other markets. At some point in time he will exercise that option and we can go through the process of making sure it is the perfect fit for David and Major League Soccer but we are not there yet.”]]>
“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.“This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”
“New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base,” said Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City Football Club, who will oversee the process of filling top New York City FC leadership positions in the weeks to come. “We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of New York City Soccer. In the Yankees, we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organization and a winning team that will carry the New York City Football Club name with pride.”
Manchester City will be the majority owner of the new Club. As an investor, the Yankees will be an active member of the ownership group. The New York Yankees and Manchester City Football Club have an existing commercial relationship through Legends Hospitality, LLC, an international entertainment, hospitality and marketing organization. Yankee Stadium is pleased to be hosting Manchester City on Saturday, May 25 for a “friendly” match against Chelsea FC, giving New York area fans a rare opportunity to see two outstanding English Premier League clubs up close.
“We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its presence in the New York market and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city. We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York — and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy,” said Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the New York Yankees. “Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, will be the point person in leading the effort to launch and establish the team on behalf of the organization,” Mr. Steinbrenner added.
With millions of residents watching soccer every week and nearly two million people actively playing the game, the New York/New Jersey area is one of North America’s most vibrant and proud soccer communities. The region has filled stadiums for countless marquee soccer events including the 1994 FIFA Men’s World Cup, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, three MLS All-Star Games and numerous international exhibition matches. NYCFC becomes the first MLS club whose home will be located within the five boroughs, joining the Red Bulls as the second MLS club in the metropolitan area.
“Soccer is one of the world’s most exciting and popular sports, and it should be played on the world’s biggest stage — in New York City,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “New Yorkers are the greatest sports fans in the world, and they will welcome a Major League Soccer franchise with the full-throated and loyal support they are famous for. Manchester City has a great reputation for both winning teams and serious community investment, and that will help them fit in well with the excellent leadership of New York City’s other professional sports teams. Increasingly, sports events and activities — from the NHL playoffs to the MLB All-Star game to the SuperBowl — are spurring economic growth, as our investments in new arenas and infrastructure are paying off.”
Future: A Home Field for NYC’s Newest Team
New York City FC is committed to seeking a new permanent stadium in New York. Until that time, the new team is arranging to play in an interim home beginning in its inaugural MLS season in 2015. Over the past year, MLS began discussions with the City of New York and other stakeholders about the possibility of constructing a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP) in Queens. The Club’s new management will continue these discussions with local government officials, community residents and businesses, soccer leagues, and MLS. The Club will continue to review other potential sites as well.
“New York City FC will have a permanent home in the City in the great traditions of New York sports and world soccer — a home that must be a sports, commercial and civic success,” Soriano said. “But in considering any stadium site, we will listen first. This is what we have always done in Manchester and what we will do in New York. Only in this way, can the Club truly represent the City whose name it will carry.”
“City Soccer in the Community”: NYC FC’s Commitment to Youth Soccer in NYC
Manchester City is a leader among sports organizations in its charitable efforts, with one-sixth of its staff fully dedicated full-time to community outreach. Building on this tradition of community outreach, New York City FC will expand and enhance the grassroots youth soccer program “City Soccer in the Community,” which it has been running in New York since 2010. The program, now headquartered at PS 72 (Lexington Academy) in East Harlem, which boasts New York City’s only rooftop soccer field, provides quality soccer instruction and programming to thousands of children in 20 NYC public schools each year. New York City FC looks forward to expanding its community outreach to bring soccer to thousands of more kids throughout the five boroughs.
Manchester City has funded the construction of soccer facilities for youth in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. For more on City Soccer, click here. In addition, the “City in the Community,” foundation focuses on similar initiatives worldwide.]]>
Falcao has been the focus of numerous transfer rumours on the Betfair football website and finally has his chance to leave the Calderon for pastures new this summer.
“Before the start of the season we talked with the player and we promised him that if he kept the same performance and helped us to the UEFA Champions League, Atletico would help him [go],” Marin told Sky Sports.
Fans should not be concerned over Atletico’s future with Falcao, for their qualification next season means they should have no problem finding a little-known replacement for their star.
Even though they secured Champions League football themselves, it is only right they accept his transfer after 70 goals in two years for the club.
Having helped his side to Copa del Rey victory last Friday, Falcao has earned his keep and will likely leave for a huge transfer fee during preseason.
Chelsea and Manchester City are both interested – more out of obligation than anything else – while Manchester United have reportedly been linked as new boss, David Moyes, looks to fill a Wayne Rooney-shaped gap up front.
Atletico are unlikely to sell him to rivals, Real Madrid or Barcelona – unless either club put down an enormous offer – and so Germany may be his preferred destination, with Pep Guardiola set to further strengthen Bayern Munich this summer.
Wherever he goes, Champions League betting fans are likely to see a lot of Falcao next season and don’t be surprised if he pips Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the European golden boot award.]]>
“After two years of careful development, we’ve created a unique cleat that caters to the relentless energy of those players who are ‘The Engine’ of their teams,” said Ernesto Bruce, director of soccer for adidas. “adidas upholds a standard for developing innovative footwear based on athlete’s specific needs and Nitrocharge represents a unique extension of that meticulous process”.
Following the legacy and successes of the existing iconic Predator, F50 and 11Pro lines, the Nitrocharge cleat represents a range of new technologies that will innovate the way players perform on the field:
· The eye catching ENERGYSLING arches over the cleat and supports lateral movements to sharpen reactions on the field
· The sole plate of the cleat contains a zig-zagging ENERGYPULSE, inspired by spring technology, with high-elastic material at its heart, providing added energy during the toe off phase of sprinting
· A Protection mesh layer around the foot and Protection pads around the most sensitive tackle zones such as the Achilles tendon also feature in the boot
· Compatible with the adidas miCoach SPEED_CELL, players and coaches can measure on-field performance and focus on improvement over time
“Energy is so important in today’s game,” said Sporting KC midfielder Graham Zusi. “I’m running from box-to-box for the full 90 minutes and am constantly changing directions and sprinting. Wearing a cleat that gives me energy return throughout an entire match gives me a huge advantage.”
In addition to Zusi, MLS stars such as Dax McCarty of the New York Red Bulls, Osvaldo Alonso of Seattle Sounders FC, Juninho of LA Galaxy and Perry Kitchen of DC United will wear Nitrocharge along with international players Dani Alves of FC Barcelona, Daniele De Rossi of A.S. Roma, Ezequiel Lavezzi of Paris Saint Germain and Javi Martinez of FC Bayern Munich.
“The energy retention of Nitrocharge is tailored to benefit the player who covers every blade of grass; the one who powers a team, running and tackling more, relentlessly and ferociously seeking chances from end to end,” added Bruce.
For more Nitrocharge information and images, you can visit http://news.adidas.com/US, www.adidas.com/Soccer,www.Facebook.com/adidasSoccer and follow the conversation on Twitter via @adidasUS and #TheEngine.]]>
Seattle has now scored four goals in back-to-back games for the first time in club history, and the eight-goal output over a two-game span matches the franchise record.
Sounders FC scored in the 16th minute when Osvaldo Alonso headed a goal kick to Johnson behind the Dallas defense. Johnson held off two defenders and slotted a right-footed shot inside the far post.
Seattle doubled its lead in the 31st minute when Brad Evans played a through-ball between the defense to a streaking Neagle, who dribbled around the keeper and slotted it into the back of the empty net. It was the third goal of the season for Neagle-all in the last two games.
Seattle’s 2-0 lead marked the first time this season that Dallas trailed at halftime. However, the Western Conference leaders responded with two set-piece goals early in the second half to level the match.
In the 54th minute, Michel took a free kick outside the top right corner of the box that found Kenny Cooper for a flick header inside the far post. The goal ended a 272-minute shutout streak for Michael Gspurning, the fifth-longest in MLS this season.
Michel tied the game at 2-2 in the 61st minute when he bent a corner kick over the defense and into the far top corner of the net, just out of the reach of Gspurning.
Sounders FC responded just a minute later when Neagle slipped Johnson into the box, and the striker juked Raul Fernandez to created space, and pounded his shot into the top of the net. It marked the ninth-career multi-goal game for Johnson, and his first since September 8, 2012, against Chivas USA.
Johnson leads the team with four league goals and five goals across all competitions. With 59 career MLS goals, he is now 24th on the all-time list.
Seattle made it 4-2 in the 83rd minute following a Fernandez save on a powerful Johnson header. The rebound rolled to Evans, who found Obafemi Martins in the box who slipped it into the net for his third goal of the season.
It marked the first assist of the season for both Alonso and Evans, who have 12 and 18 in their careers, respectively. With two assists in the match, it was the first time in Evans’ career that he recorded multiple assists in one game.
Sounders FC is unbeaten in its last 36 matches (29-0-8) when scoring first, the longest active streak in MLS. Seattle has outscored their opponents 12-4 in the last five games.
Midfielder Servando Carrasco was included in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game, the longest streak of consecutive starts in his career.
Sounders FC was forced to use two of their subs on injuries. First, Osvaldo Alonso suffered a left groin injury and was replaced by Shalrie Joseph 31st minute, then Leo Gonzalez was bloodied by a Blas Perez elbow to the face and was replaced by Zach Scott in the 78th minute. Perez was issued a red card on the play.]]>
History will retain that Chicharrito was the last player to score under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Chicharito admitted he had never been involved in such a “crazy match” after Sir Alex’s last game in charge ended in a 5-5 draw with West Brom at The Hawthorns.
The Mexican striker netted United’s fifth goal and afterwards spoke of his gratitude for the boss and his respect for Paul Scholes who also retired on Sunday.
“The impact Sir Alex has had on me is massive. He gave me this big chance to play at the biggest club in the world. He has taught me a lot and I only have thankful words for him,” he told MUTV.
“It [Sir Alex's retirement] is not only a loss for the British fans but he has changed football across the world. He has been here for 26 years and made the impossible dream come true.
“And what can I say about Paul Scholes? All the players say the same thing about him – he’s an incredible player and team-mate, and the
class and talent he has is unbelievable.”
Chicharito’s second half strike was his 50th goal for the Reds. It’s a landmark he is proud of but he was keen to reiterate that team achievements come before personal ones.
“I’m very pleased to have 50 goals but the most important thing is I have won two league titles in three years and played in the Champions League final. Like I always say the most important thing is the team and to help the team win trophies,” he added.
The Rossoneri were down 1-0 with 7 minutes left when Balotelli (84′ pk) and Mexes (87′) gave AC Milan a must win to secure 3rd spot in Serie A and Champions League participation
Coach Allegri reaction:
In the 20-odd years of the Berlusconi presidency third place has always been the minimum objective set down for Milan but after a disastrous start to the season the team put in a marvelous second half to the season and only lost one match and that came from a penalty at Torino so I have to thank the players for what they have done.
“I am very pleased with them and they had to battle hard this evening. It was an important win which means we are in the preliminary round of the Champions League The club stuck by me in the difficult times so I have to thank them and I have to thank the fans who always got behind the team.”
Chief executive Adriano Galliani added: “It has been to hell and back and six minutes from time we were out of the Champions League. It looked all over when Ambrosini was sent off but no one takes a penalty like Balotelli.
“Over the last three years Allegri has made more points than Juventus. We are net on top and hopefully we will continue with him. We will sit down and talk.”
Coach Wenger reacts:
on feeling happy and relieved…
Yes I am. We knew before the game that we had to win and any other result could kick us out of the potential Champions League group stage. We were right because Tottenham and Chelsea won and we had the big disadvantage to play away from home. I’m happy as well because the exceptional attitude and determination of this group of players has been rewarded. They continued to believe when we were seven points behind Tottenham in mid-March. [They knew] that we had no room for error anymore and you could never see any sign of giving in. That’s why the exceptional mental attitude of the players has been rewarded. Today it was a bit of a game against the nerves [as well as] against Newcastle and I felt that sometimes the nerves player as big a part as Newcastle. We were in control. They had an initial chance with Cisse. After that, in the second half I don’t think they had a chance. We were in control but couldn’t kill the game off. That’s why it was nervy until the end.
on if the players have repaid his belief…
Yes. At least they’re rewarded. I’ve had many groups in my life and this is one who has been absolutely outstanding on that front. They’ve shown a combination of quality but attitude as well. In the modern day, I always admire the way they behaved and their focus every day in training. Sometimes as a manager you feel as well that when a group is so dedicated and face so many storms. We had some big lows with Bradford, with Blackburn and with Bayern at home. You could never see that the players could dismantle or that the group was not united. That’s not easy in the modern game.
on if the team have conquered a mental hurdle…
In the last three months, I believe we have been remarkably consistent. We won every away game so it’s a good springboard for next season, to transfer that belief into the start of next season. That means we need stability and to strengthen our group if possible. There are many clubs out there with a lot of money so the competition is very hard. There’s not as much talent as money today in football.
on what qualifying for the Champions League means for Arsenal…
It means for us to be capable to play with the top teams in Europe. That’s what you want. It means as well that it’s easier to bring in players when you have a chance to be in the Champions League. Let’s not forget we are not in yet. We have to qualify and that’s always a very tricky round for us. But at least we have the chance.
on if the team will be competitive next season…
Since February 1, we have taken more points than anybody else in the league. I don’t believe that’s just down to coincidence, just to the fact that the group has grown. This team has grown throughout the season. We lacked belief for a long period because we couldn’t win a big game. The Bayern game changed our season away from home.
It could be a sign on the future of Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo with Real Madrid as both got ejected during the Copa Del Rey final vs Atletico.
Coach Mourinho: “It is not a fair result, but that’s the way it is”
“When the score was 1-1 and you hit the post three times you do not need to be a footballing genius to realise that it is not normal. If at least one of those three shots had gone in we’d have won the match. I think we should have won the match inside 90 minutes, but we did not manage that and then they scored in extra time, we had two clear chances for Higuain and Ozil. It is not the result we deserved, but that’s the way it is. In football everything is forgotten about, refereeing, hitting the post … The history books will remember the winner and that is Atletico”.
“My career has been over many years, not just one. I don’t know anyone, however good they are, that always has fantastic seasons. This is the worst season of my career, with a title that is not enough for me or a club like Real Madrid. It is a bad season, with a final, a semi-final, a second place and a Super Cup. What for many would be a good season is my worst”.
“I have failed this season. In the first season to win the cup after many years, reach the semi-final for the first time for a long time and fight until the end in the league is not a failure. Neither is in the second season, having won the league against the best team in the world and to win it like we did. We lost in the Champions League on penalties in the semi-final and I cannot take penalties. The third season has been a disappointment, a failure or whatever you want to call it. When things are going well the credit goes to everyone and when things go badly it is the coach’s fault. We’ve been close … but that does not exist in football. It has been my worst season. For many it would be good, but it’s bad for me because I have never not won a big title. The Super Cup is little return and when responsibility falls to a single person, you can say that I have failed this season”.
The new evoSPEED 1.2 FG is designed to enable players reach top speed quickly without sacrificing stability or comfort. This is made possible through the use of light materials in combination with an internal midfoot support cage (EverFit cage) that maintains a good fit during all points of sprinting. The outsole is reconfigured with smaller conical studs that give the player a better grip on the ground and enhances manoeuvrability on the pitch. For optimal comfort, a minimised tongue and heel have been added, reducing pressure on the Achilles tendon whilst the sock liner distributes the foot’s pressure evenly.
Inspired by the shape of muscles, tendons and the smooth curves of a race car, the new boot features subtle black glossy graphics that round off the look of the more visible yellow prints. Finishing touches are the transparent dotted print on the vamp for better grip in wet conditions, and small details in fluorescent blue that complement the striking look.
Sergio Agüero commented after testing the finished boot, “I am always excited to wear a new boot. After the v1.11 and the first evoSPEED, this is the third SPEED boot that I have worn and it is definitely the best. PUMA’s boots are constantly improving and the innovations they create help me to perform better when I play. I appreciate the fact that they incorporate my feedback when they develop new boots and I am delighted with this latest result.”
The new PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 FG football boots will be on pitch from today and available in-store globally from the 1st of June 2013.
For more information, please visit www.puma.com/football]]>