Everything you need to know about new soccer stadiums, about where they fit in the puzzle of pro soccer growth in this country, is right here. Dwayne De Rosario is talking about dedicated soccer stadiums, a place for clubs to dig in and call home.
That’s what helped the league more than anything else. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to have your own stadium. It creates a culture, an environment. You can build history around it.”
De Rosario was talking to Brian Straus from the Sporting News. It’s a good piece that helps explain how Houston’s new $95 million facility happened – and why Dynamo officials got the most important stuff right.
I’ve long said that stadiums are absolutely, positively and unarguably the most important growth element for Major League Soccer and, by extension, professional soccer in the United States. Anybody paying attention has said the same.
As succinctly as possible, here’s why:
- Clubs were always going to hemorrhage money as renters. Stadiums created revenue streams and opportunities that simply do not exist otherwise. Someone could teach on business class on the fiscal contrast of renting and owning.
- Logos and jerseys are nice. But nothing beats a physical structure for establishing club identity.
- In terms of establishing deeper community roots and being seen as an entity that will be around for a while, the stadium means everything. You know how you might treat a bunch of nice college kids who rent the house down the street? You are cordial, and hopefully vice versa. But at the end of the day, you figure they’ll be moving on. No need to invest much time in getting to know them, right?
- Related, big media treats a club quite differently once the concrete, steel and high-impact plastic goes up. As De Rosario said, they take you more seriously. In most markets, anyway.
It was the summer’s first transfer rumor-turned-real-story-turned-never-ending-saga that seemed to refuse to cross the finish line, but it’s finally come to pass: Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool player.
Salah’s move from Roma to Liverpool took so long to complete that the club’s poor social-media manager probably never wants to read the words “Announce Salah” for the rest of his/her life.
The deal will cost Liverpool something in the neighborhood of $50 million, and completes the utterly terrifying attacking quartet Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to unleash on the Premier League come August — Salah on one side, Sadio Mane opposite, Philippe Coutinho in the middle, and Roberto Firmino at striker. Salah, by the way, will take over Firmino’s no. 11 shirt, with the Brazilian switching to no. 9.
Alexis Sanchez became Chile’s all-time leading goalscorer (38) on Thursday, and La Roja inched ever closer to progression at the 2017 Confederations Cup with a 1-1 draw against Germany.
[ MORE: VAR steps in to help Aussies draw Cameroon, 1-1 ]
Sanchez moved past Marcelo Salas with his 6th-minute opener (above video) to capitalize on a poor turnover and complete a quick one-two atop Germany’s 18-yard box. Arturo Vidal put a foot in to disrupt Germany’s attempt to play out of the back, and the ball fell to Sanchez who quickly played it back to Vidal, who played Sanchez into the box for a left-footed finish inside the near post.
[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news ]
Chile’s lead wouldn’t quite last until halftime, though, as Lars Stindl got on the end of Jonas Hector’s cross in the 41st minute to bring the reigning World Cup champions back to level terms and all but secure their place in the next round.
With the result, Chile and Germany remain tied on top of Group B (4 points) with one game to play. Given the distance between themselves and Australia and Cameron (1 point each) in third and fourth, a draw in their final group games would be more than enough to go through to the semifinals. One-goal defeats would even do the trick.
Kenny Saief has been officially cleared by FIFA to make his one-time switch of international allegiance from Israel to the United States, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Thursday.
Saief, 23, was born in Panama City, Fla., to Druze-Israeli parents and began his youth career with Maccabi Haifa in 2005, at the age of 11. After a handful of first-team appearances for various Israeli clubs between 2010 and 2013, Saief earned a regular place in Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon’s first team during the 2013-14 season. In the summer of 2014, he moved to Belgian side Gent, where he’s played in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. U.S. men’s national team head coach Bruce Arena included Saief on his 40-man preliminary roster for next month’s 2017 Gold Cup.
[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]
He appeared for Israeli youth national teams at just about every level, but having grown frustrated at the lack of a call-up to the senior team, Saief made it known many months ago he would consider a switch to the USMNT if the omission continued.
Saief figures to serve as something of a utility-man for the USMNT, at least from the start. He’s a left-footed midfielder who’s played extensively on both the left and right wings, and even a bit at left back. It’s the latter that should most intrigued USMNT fans, considering the dearth of options available at the position.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Mark Geiger, who three years ago became the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup, is among 17 referees picked for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Americans Jair Marrufo and Armando Villarreal also were announced Thursday for the 12-nation tournament, which runs from July 7-26 in various U.S. cities.
[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news ]
Geiger, who is from New Jersey, was a referee for France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria in the round of 16.
Three each were picked from Mexico (Roberto Garcia, Fernando Guerrero and Cesar Ramos) and Honduras (Melvin Matamoros, Oscar Moncada and Hector Rodriguez).
Two will come from Costa Rica: Henry Bejarano and Ricardo Montero.
Others picked for the tournament are Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Drew Fischer (Canada), Walter Lopez (Guatemala), Yadel Martinez (Cuba), John Pitti (Panama) and Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts and Nevis).