- MLS officials thought they were preciously close in negotiations with New York City suits on league plan to develop a 25,000-seat facility in Queens, just east of Manhattan. The facility, at a price tag of around $350 million, would be attached to the park which is already home to the Mets’ Citi Field and to the National Tennis Center, where tennis’ U.S. Open plays out annually. It has recently bogged down and now … well, we’ll need time to see how today’s massive news impacts everything.
- We are all getting some social media driven whiff of how Manchester United fans will not support the new club due to its attachments with the Red Devils chief rival. You know, in a city of more than 8 million, that’s unlikely to make much of a dent.
- Major League Soccer has been quite careful to keep expenses in check, to keep from wandering down the destructive lanes the old North American Soccer League imprudently chose. So far, so good … although there has long been push from the AEG ownership corners to go bigger. Always bigger. Now, due to the involvement of free-spending Manchester City and the Yankees – who have always defined “free spending” in American sports – and due to David Beckham’s potential arrival into the MLS fray, you have to wonder if the lean to “go big” is becoming some kind of unstoppable force?
(MORE: Manchester City and Yankees will own new MLS expansion club)
- I cannot possibly imagine this is good for the Cosmos, a club working hard to make an impact in domestic soccer from its lower place on the totem pole, in the second tier of the U.S. pro soccer structure. The upstart club is scheduled to launch its inaugural season in the North American Soccer League later this year.
- As SI.com’s Grant Wahl points out in this piece, we’ve known for some time that Manchester City and owner Sheikh Mansour were interested in sinking some of their abundant oil money into MLS. The surprise today was the Yankees.
- Yes, having more high-profile franchises in MLS will add further pressure on existing franchises to get their messy houses in order, mostly as it relates to facility development but also to essential ownership structure. Yes, we are looking at you Chivas USA, D.C. United and New England Revolution.
- Clearly, some team in the 10-team Eastern Conference will need to move to the West, which currently has just nine teams. Which one?
(MORE: Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market)
(MORE: Implications of the ‘sister-club’ relationship between City and NYCFC)
Not a bad way to start the Premier League weekend…
12 minutes into the first game of Matchweek 9, Chelsea’s Pedro curled home a stunning effort into the far corner and off the far post after a corner was played short to him.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
A simply stunning goal from the Spaniard which you can watch in the video above.
Chelsea host Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as fifth and fourth clash.
WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE
Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea are without a win in three games in all competitions and some pressure is starting to build on the Blues as they’ve fallen further behind the two Manchester clubs atop the PL table.
As for Watford, Marco Silva‘s men are in fourth place and aiming to keep up their impressive away form in the PL this season with three of their four wins coming on the road.
In team news Chelsea’s injuries are piling up with Victor Moses and N'Golo Kante missing but Alvaro Morata does start after recovering from his hamstring injury, while Watford start Troy Deeney up top after his impressive cameo against Arsenal last week.
Chelsea: Courtois; Rudiger, David Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Musonda, Willian, Batshuayi
Watford: Gomes; Mariappa, Kabasele, Britos; Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas; Pereyra, Deeney, Richarlison. Subs:
CHICAGO (AP) Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr has been named the National Women’s Soccer League’s Most Valuable Player for this season.
Kerr, a standout on the Australian national team, had a league-record 17 goals and became the league’s fifth Golden Boot winner to also be named MVP.
[ MORE: MLS Decision Day preview ]
She became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game on Aug. 19 against the Seattle Reign. Kerr rallied Sky Blue from a 3-goal deficit to beat the Reign 5-4.
Kerr’s award was announced Friday. The league had earlier announced the season’s other award winners: North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper was named Defender of the Year, teammate Ashley Hatch was named Rookie of the Year, Portland’s Adrianna Franch was named Goalkeeper of the Year and the Thorns’ Mark Parsons was named Coach of the Year.
Full back Benjamin Mendy cost Pep Guardiola and Manchester City $68 million, but perhaps he’ll be just as valuable as a very expensive sports psychologist.
The “Shark Team” member was amusing on social media even before his ACL injury sent him to the sidelines until at least April, but he’s become a must-follow Twitter fixture with his in-game messages (See some of his work below).
[ MORE: MLS Decision Day preview ]
City faces Burnley at 10 a.m. ET Saturday (Watch live on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).
It’s fairly clear his act has translated in private, too, as apparently Mendy is just as good in group messages (Let us in, Pep. We won’t tell anyone). From ManCity.com:
“Usually, players who are out for a long time with injury are sad. They sometimes train apart and feel isolated.
“Mendy decided to be present. He is communicating on social media, WhatsApp and he calls his teammates and messages me. He is going to be so important outside the pitch because people like him make the atmosphere much better.”
It’s not surprising for anyone who’s been following the former Le Havre, Marseille and Monaco man.
Keep in mind, these Tweets below are from the last few days alone!