MLS Media Day: Landon Donovan talks MLS spending and 2014 in LA

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Landon Donovan sat down for a chat on MLS Media Day, happy to answer any and all questions pertaining to Major League Soccer. Questions relating to the World Cup, however, were off-limits.

No matter. The Galaxy forward still provided an enlightening discussion on MLS spending and what differences we’ll see in this year’s LA team.

What motivation do you have going into this season? 

Motivation is an interesting thing. I’ve learned you either have it or you don’t. I play the way I play and I’m motivated to do that. Last year wasn’t great for us in Los Angeles but it’s exciting to see the new additions come in.

How do you feel about the direction MLS is heading? 

It’s exciting for me. There’s this swell of momentum around our league that’s really special. It’s almost surreal to see Michael Bradley in the hallway for a guy who spent his whole career in Europe.

There’s a real feel around every game in MLS. You go to New York and it’s an experience, you go to Toronto and it’s fantastic, they fly to LA and it’s something different.  It’s vital. There are so many games during the year – now it seems like every one has a story line.

What happened to LA last year?

Simply enough, we weren’t good enough. We had a short list of players and the only options up front were myself and Robbie, which became too predictable. Now there’s a different feel, a different vibe around the time. Gyasi Zardes looks like a different player, more comfortable.

When I look at our team, our roster, our talent, we should be the best every year. With Bruce Arena, you go a game without winning and the sky is falling. He’s so competitive. But he seems more focused now than ever, more intent on us doing well.

Is the increased spending good for the league?

In the past I would’ve said ‘no’ but now they have the right people making those decisions. Toronto with Tim Leiweke doing the business, you know it’s real. He has a proven track record. You want people to care. Tim cares. The DC owners care. You want that to happen. I think before it was just a business decision. Now they care. What’s going on in Portland, Seattle and Kansas City, that’s all impressive. The more we do that as a league, the better it is.

People are excited about MLS. Now the product on the field has to match the excitement.

How important is the upcoming match with Tijuana? 

It’s fun for the fans and a really important match for our league. They’re a good team, no question. But we feel they’re a team we can beat. It’s going to take something special but we want to win.

NYCFC provides details of Belmont stadium proposal

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New details emerged Sunday of New York City FC’s stadium proposal at Belmont Park.

According to Newsday, NYCFC is proposing a 26,000-seat open-air stadium, a two-acre soccer facility, 400,000 square feet for retail and a 5.2 acre park. This proposal is going up against one from the New York Islanders, which calls for an ice hockey arena in addition to retail facilities.

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This same site was where the New York Cosmos made its bid for a stadium in 2013, but that bid went no where, with the proposal sitting under wraps in the New York State administration. Bids were re-opened recently and both NYCFC and the Islanders entered.

According to Front Row Soccer, the Belmont Park site, which is located on the Long Island-Queens, N.Y. border, is not the team’s dream stadium site. The team is still pursuing a site near its current home, Yankee Stadium, another site in the South Bronx, and a site in Flushing, Queens.

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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More midweek action is coming up in the Premier League. Let the festive fun continue.

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The full TV schedule for this weekend is below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

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You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” at for all the goals as they go in. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

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If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days. Enjoy.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Tuesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Burnley vs. Stoke City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM

Wednesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Manchester City – NBCSN [STREAM]
2:45.m. ET: Southampton vs. Leicester City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Newcastle United vs. Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Liverpool vs. West Brom – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Manchester United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Premier League notes: Wanyama, Bolasie return after long layoffs, Sakho injured

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Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.

Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.

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At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.

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Report: Sporting KC on verge of signing French midfielder Croizet

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Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.

According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.

Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.

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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.

It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.