KANSAS CITY – Expansion will be high on the MLS board of directors agenda when they meet here tomorrow morning, ahead of Wednesday’s contest against AS Roma.
People in position to know around here seem to think owners will emerge with some clarity on the important expansion questions of “how many” and the “how fast.” Either way, MLS commissioner Don Garber will have something to say about it Wednesday evening from Sporting Park.
Orlando’s highly aggressive ownership group is here in Kansas City; in this case, “aggressive” is a very good thing as the group continues to lobby hard, pushing to be No. 21 in MLS.
The group isn’t just aggressive, either. Now backed by Brazilian education entrepreneur Flávio Augusto da Silva, the club has the kind of money to be a real player here – something that probably wasn’t true just a few months ago.
David Beckham, still linked heavily to Miami expansion efforts, is not in Kansas City from what I understand – for whatever that means to you. I am told that Orlando and Miami is not necessarily an “either / or” situation; A lot of options will apparently move around the table during the board of directors meeting.
Meanwhile, rains that cancelled Monday’s practices continued this morning, but forecasts called for clearing skies through the day. Officials, though protective of the Sporting Park field, were optimistic enough to keep the mornings workouts for Roma and the MLS All-Stars scheduled.
The United States national team contingent (Landon Donovan, Matt Besler, etc.) arrived into Kansas City on Monday afternoon, so the entire MLS All-Star bunch should be present for Tuesday’s light workout with coach Peter Vermes.
AT THE HALF: Manchester derby scoreless after 45 minutes
After 45 minutes, the final Manchester derby of the 2016-17 Premier League season — the one that’ll go a long, long way toward deciding which of the city’s sides will finish in the top-four — is scoreless, but not without incident.
The game’s best chances thus far fell Manchester City’s way, as Sergio Aguero missed a clear-cut chance after 10 minutes — Kevin De Bruyne whipped in the perfect ball to the back post, and Aguero put it wrong side of David De Gea‘s post.
Ander Herrera has, once again, be Manchester United’s danger man, combining well with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but Claudio Bravo made the one save he was forced into during the first half. One thing to keep an eye on during the final 45 minutes: Rashford picked up a knock very early on, and struggled to move around the field after that.
The third Manchester Derby of the season is the first away from Old Trafford, as Manchester United visits Manchester City (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
There’s much on the line, as the sides sit just two points apart in the race for the Top Four. Man City would leapfrog third-place Liverpool with a win, while United could join the Reds on 66 points with a match-in-hand.
Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).
The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…
“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”
We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.
Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.
Rog and Davo return to discuss Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Spurs, update their Top Four predictions (again), and dive into the depths of the relegation zone. Plus, the very important movement to change “Hudson Street” to “Ray Hudson Street.”
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