MLS teams to compete in 2015 Copa Libertadores?


Reports from Brazil this morning suggest that MLS teams could be invited to participate in the Copa Libertadores in 2015.

Lancenet are suggesting that meetings are scheduled by South America’s CONMEBOL during the upcoming Confederations Cup in June, to see if MLS teams can be admitted into the prestigious club tournament.

It has been mused in the past that MLS teams could join the tournament, but this seems like the biggest indication yet that it could get the go ahead. However reportedly the biggest stumbling block would be with finances.

That said, would MLS gain much from competing in Libertadores and leaving the CONCACAF Champions League? In terms of quality, the former is undoubtedly superior and would push MLS’ elite to new limits on the international stage. So in terms of player development, MLS would be taken much more seriously if it could compete with powerhouses from Argentina and Brazil on a regular basis. And the level in MLS could rise and some of the best talent in South America would look at a move to MLS more favorably, if teams were competing in the Libertadores.

But on the flip side, the travel times would be a hindrance. Some trips to Uruguay, southern Argentina, Chile and Peru would be arduous and would demand plenty of rescheduling in MLS fixtures. But as we saw with the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders run to the CONCACAF semifinals this season, MLS officials are willing to reschedule games to give the leagues teams a better chance of winning on the international stage. So it might work.

MLS joining the Copa Libertadores would be a huge step up from CCL, but would it be worth it financially? I suspect once those numbers are crunched, we will hear a lot more about the possibility of the Galaxy and Seattle taking on the likes of Boca Juniors and Corinthians. That sounds pretty awesome. Club Tijuana has proven Liga MX sides can cut it in Libertadores, so why can’t the best teams in MLS follow their lead?

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.