Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Talks are entering crunch time, and negotiations are continuing between MLS and the Players Union.
The two sides negotiated until late Tuesday night and talks have continued into Wednesday. The principle negotiations still revolve around free agency, with ESPN reporting that there has been some movement regarding the league’s latest proposal.
The league has reportedly offered limited free agency for players that are over 28 years of age and have spent at least eight years in the league. Under that agreement, players would only be able to earn a salary increase limited to 10 percent when moving to a new team.
Goal USA reported Wednesday morning that the Players Union did hold a vote to strike, although the result of the vote was unclear. Talks between the two sides were reportedly seen in a positive light in the afternoon before taking a negative turn in the evening.
The MLS season is set to kick off Friday with a matchup between the Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy. The Fire have traveled to Los Angeles despite the recent impasse in negotiations.
What are your thoughts on the recent developments? How do you see talks playing out?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Things are far from a foregone conclusion, but the Fort Lauderdale Strikers have registered some interest in a former World Cup winner.
The Strikers have recently been linked with a move for Brazilian centerback Lucio, and sources have told SBI that there have been “exploratory” talks between the two parties. While there has been contact between two sides, sources say that “nothing is imminent” at this point.
Lucio, who most recently has featured for Brazil’s Palmeiras, is most famous for his time with the Brazilian national team. The centerback was a part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning squad and played all 620 minutes in the tournament.
In addition, the 36-year-old has captured four league titles during his time with Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Juventus, while also leading Inter in the club’s 2010 Champions League triumph.
Here are some more of Wednesday’s NASL news and notes: Continue reading
By MICHAEL PENG
Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding the league’s upcoming season, MLS has signed a record-breaking sponsorship deal.
Sports Business Daily reported Wednesday that Audi has signed a four-year deal to become the league’s official auto sponsor and presenting sponsor of the playoffs. The report also stated that the deal is “one of the largest in MLS history and Audi’s largest U.S. sports marketing expenditure”.
With the deal, Audi replaces Volkswagen, who had been the league’s official auto sponsor since 2008. The new sponsorship will see Audi develop experiences around the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup, as well as national television and player appearances.
Here are some more of Wednesday’s MLS news and notes:
By MICHAEL PENG
A slew of Premier League matches are on tap for Wednesday and several European powerhouses are also in cup action for some exciting matchups to watch.
League leader Chelsea are visiting West Ham United at Boleyn Ground, while Manchester City and Manchester United will take on Leicester City and Newcastle United, respectively.
Other Premier League sides competing today include Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton.
Elsewhere, PSG will host Monaco in the Coupe de France, Villarreal will take on Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and Lazio will square off against Napoli in the Coppa Italia. Bayern Munich will also face Eintracht Braunschweig in the DFB Pokal.
The CONCACAF Champions League should not be lost in the shuffle either, as DC United look to make up a 5-2 deficit against Alajuelense.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s soccer TV schedule is after the jump): Continue reading
By CAITLIN MURRAY
A week after yanking their first proposal for a USL-specific stadium, Real Salt Lake’s owner Dell Loy Hansen has found a new solution.
Hansen and the Real Monarchs, RSL’s reserve team that will play in USL, have signed a letter of intent to build a new 8,000-seat stadium in West Valley City, a suburb just outside Salt Lake City.
The new venue would cost upwards of $20 million and an exact stadium site has not been selected yet. Hansen is seeking to lease land from West Valley City on a 40-year term with potential extensions, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
When the Monarchs were announced in September, RSL immediately unveiled a plan for an $18-million venue at the Utah state fair grounds. But last week Hansen rescinded the proposal, saying “the timing and process involved with this project no longer make the venue a viable option.”
By CAITLIN MURRAY
Ever since March of last year, if anyone mentioned the Algarve Cup and the U.S. Women’s National Team together, it was probably wasn’t much to do with the tournament itself. It was probably about the trajectory the team has taken since then: a coach fired, the first drop in FIFA rankings in six years and swirling doubts about whether the dominant U.S. team can live up to its high expectations.
As the Americans return to the site of a historically bad performance that set off alarm bells in 2014, all eyes will be on whether the USWNT can look like a team ready to compete in a Women’s World Cup, which is less than 100 days away.
The USWNT looked sorely out of sync at the last Algarve Cup and some in the USWNT circle blamed then-coach Tom Sermanni’s constant lineup changes. But replacement Jill Ellis has taken a different approach since taking the helm, and now, with the World Cup around the corner, a core group will lead the Americans through the Algarve Cup.
“We’re pretty close to a starting lineup,” Ellis told SBI from Portugal. “But I’ve said from day one that we need to have players that are comfortable starting so we have depth heading into a World Cup, where it takes seven games to win it. The Algarve Cup is a physically taxing tournament with four games in eight days, so there will be some slightly different lineups. But we’re really focusing on the partnership piece between the positions on the field.”