D.C. United announce plans for new stadium to be completed by 2016

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Washington mayor Vincent Gray announced Thursday a $300 million public-private agreement for a new soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point area of D.C.

This moment has been long-awaited by United fans, ever since the club was bought a year ago by the trio of Erick Thohir, Jason Levien, and William Chang.

The stadium will seat between 20-25,000 people depending on how much room for expansion they decide to leave, and the cost will be split evenly between the club and the city government.  The club will pay for the construction of the stadium itself, while the government will take care of land acquisition and infrastructure costs.  The stadium is scheduled to open for the 2016 season.

The deal also includes the option for the club to develop restaurants, shops, and even a hotel around the area of the stadium.

Currently housed in the dilapidated RFK Stadium, fans have been buzzing about the strong possibility of a new venue since the club’s purchase last year, with Chang announcing “we are much stronger financially to be able to find a permanent home for ourselves” at the time of the transaction.

“We are proud to say that D.C. United has achieved a major milestone towards establishing a permanent, state-of-the-art home in Washington, D.C.,” Levien said in a statement issued by the club. “This is a significant step forward, and we are going to continue to work diligently and collaboratively with the Mayor’s office and the D.C. Council to expedite this process and make this stadium a reality.”

For many United fans who remember the failed attempts by Victor MacFarlane to bring the club a venue of its own, this is welcome news indeed.

The mayor also said for the city, it’s not simply about D.C. United. The stadium is the final piece in the area’s Anacostia Waterfront puzzle that should bring new life to the region.

“The new soccer stadium is the final piece in the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative puzzle that, when complete will create the most vibrant and sustainable sports-and-retail district in America” said Gray.

There is no set design yet for the stadium, but the club did release some concept art, including the one pictured above.

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.