By DAN KARELL
Washington D.C. wasn’t the only city on Wednesday that approved a proposal for a soccer-specific stadium.
After months of negotiations between Las Vegas and commercial partners Findlay Sports and Entertainment and the Cordish Companies, Las Vegas City Council voted 4-3 to approve a financial package that calls for a $200 million 24,000 seat soccer stadium to be built in Symphony Park, very close to the city’s downtown and just a ten minute drive from casino row.
“We applaud Mayor Goodman and the Las Vegas City Council for approving the measure to support a public-private partnership to build a new soccer-stadium in downtown Las Vegas,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. ”We look forward to continuing our discussions with the Cordish Company and Findlay Sports & Entertainment regarding a possible expansion team for Las Vegas.”
The stadium deal is contingent on Las Vegas being awarded an MLS franchise. If the city is not selected to fill one of the final two available spots in MLS’ planned expansion to 24 teams by 2020, then the stadium deal will not go into effect.
The proposal, which was amended to favor the city after an original term sheet, calls for the city to provide $25 million out of $50 million in bonds to help pay for the soccer stadium, and provide another $31.5 million for infrastructure around the stadium. In addition, the city will provide the developers 13 acres for the stadium for free, priced at $38-48 million by Las Vegas economic development chief Brent Arent.
By FRANCO PANIZO
It wasn’t pretty by any stretch, but it counted all the same.
Sacha Kljestan found the back of the net on Wednesday to cap the scoring in Anderlecht’s 3-0 win over Zulte-Waregem in the first leg of their Coupe de Belgique quarterfinals series. Kljestan struck two minutes after entering the game, bundling a cross over the goal line with his knee in the 86th minute before celebrating it modestly.
The goal was the 29-year-old midfielder’s first since scoring in a Pro League tilt back on Oct. 29, and his second across all competitions in a season that has seen him struggle for consistent playing time. It came on the same day that fellow American John Brooks scored in a German Bundesliga affair.
Kljestan and Anderlecht will attempt to close out the series and move onto the tournament semifinals when they host Zulte-Waregem in the decisive leg on Jan. 21.
You can see the goal here:
Photo by USA Today Photos
By DAN KARELL
Erick “Cubo” Torres might be staying Major League Soccer, but there’s a good chance that he leaves Southern California all together.
According to a report in Goal USA, the Houston Dynamo are out front in the race to sign the former Chivas USA forward. The report states that while both the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy passed on signing Torres, the Dynamo have stepped forward and are willing to trigger the $7.5 million purchase clause in Torres’ loan contract with MLS.
The reason for the delay on Torres’ decision, the report says, is that MLS was waiting for a “suitable buyer” to appear. The Chicago Fire were also at one point in the running, but decided to focus on other targets in their Designated Player search.
An interesting note is that the $7.5 million transfer fee could be lowered if Chivas de Guadalajara decide to bring Torres back for the Clausura season. Chivas just endured another miserable campaign and are in serious danger of being relegated, which would be a travesty for arguably Mexico’s most popular club.
Photo by Gary Rohman/USA TODAY Sports Images
By TATE STEINLAGE
Dom Dwyer’s aspirations are lofty. So much, in fact, that the 24-year-old Englishman was disappointed with only scoring 22 goals last season, despite the mark setting a new single-season record at Sporting Kansas City.
Fortunately for him, Sporting KC’s front office was more than pleased with his effort. The club confirmed Wednesday that Dwyer has signed a multiyear contract extension, which will earn Dwyer a “significant raise” from his roughly $92,500 salary in 2014, that according to the Kansas City Star.
“I’m very excited for my future with this club,” Dwyer said over a conference call Wednesday. “It’s a club who first believed in me and drafted me. It’s something I wanted to do, and I’m very excited for it. It’s nice to not be concerned about that stuff so I can focus on what really matters and that’s playing football, getting better and bringing more championships to Kansas City.”
By RYAN TOLMICH
Three days after earning the praise of his manager, John Brooks put an exclamation point on a spectacular week by finding the back of the net.
The Hertha Berlin centerback scored the opening goal in his side’s 4-4 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt Wednesday for the U.S. Men’s National Team defender’s first goal since his game-winner against Ghana at this summer’s World Cup. The finish was Brooks’ fourth goal of his club career.
Brook’s finish came via a set piece, as Hertha Berlin midfielder Ronny provided a long-distance free kick into the center of the box. A streaking Brooks finished with his left foot from just outside the six-yard box to open the scoring.
The 21-year-old defender was recently the subject of praise from manager Jos Luhukay, who has been impressed by Brooks’ defensive work in recent outings.
Despite Brooks’ heroics, Hertha Berlin were forced to settle for a draw after conceding a three goal lead, including a 4-2 lead in extra time.With the draw, Hertha Berlin move into 11th place, four points clear of the relegation zone.
Have a look at Brooks’ finish after the jump:
Photo by USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
Dom Dwyer has been handed a new contract on the heels of a breakout season in a Sporting Kansas City uniform.
Sporting KC announced on Wednesday afternoon that they’ve signed Dwyer to a contract extension. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I am ecstatic to commit my future to Kansas City,” Dwyer said in a statement. “I want to thank the coaches and ownership for having faith in me. Also, a special thanks to the fans for all of their continued support. I am excited to get going again. Last year was a starting point for what is to come in the future, which is scoring a lot more goals, driving to win championships and enjoying myself on and off the field in a city with supporters to which I have grown to love and embrace.”
The Englishman scored 23 goals and one assist in his first full year with Sporting KC. Dwyer made 32 starts in 34 games in MLS action. He also scored one goal in five appearances between the U.S. Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League.
Dwyer currently holds the Sporting KC franchise record for goals scored in a single season, beating Preki’s mark last September.
Here are some more notes from around MLS: