Chivas USA v New York Red Bulls

What lies ahead for Chivas USA? Here’s a few more details

2 Comments

Following on from the stunning news that broke on Thursday evening, as Major League Soccer purchased Chivas USA and are now lining up buyers to take on the Los Angeles franchise, there are still plenty of questions floating in the air.

When will the club be rebranded? Who will build a new stadium and where? How long will all this take? Will the team stay in L.A.?

The list goes on and on.

With MLS Commissioner Don Garber citing “executional issues” as the main reason Chivas USA didn’t work out during his conference call with reporters on Thursday, and then former owner Jorge Vergara stating “the concept did not work out” when asked, it’s pretty clear everyone has held their hands up in defeat as Chivas USA will be no more.

But that won’t be until the 2015 MLS season.

Garber confirmed to reporters that there will not be a rebranding of the team at any point during the 2014 MLS season, so right now Chivas USA are here to stay. He also confirmed the club will remain in L.A., that Stan Kroenke won’t be buying the club and in an open letter to Chivas’ fans, Garber said the following.

“In the coming months, the league will work to find a new ownership group that will establish a new vision and plan for the team, and will be committed to building a new stadium in Los Angeles. We have already had initial discussions with a number of very qualified potential owners and it is our intention to transition the team to a new owner sometime this year. The club will play as Chivas USA and will still call the StubHub Center its home during the 2014 MLS season. It will then be rebranded with a new team name and logo in connection with the sale to a new owner.”

(MORE: MLS commish confirms Kroenke won’t buy Chivas USA, gives details on future plan)

That, along with head coach Wilmer Cabrera sticking around for the foreseeable future, gives the Goats some stability. Which seems crazy to say giving all of the uncertainty surrounding the current situation. But MLS has done what they needed to do, pull the plug on Chivas USA and start again.

As much as people wanted it to work, it just wasn’t going to happen, so a rebrand and rebuilding of L.A.’s second MLS franchise will be greeted with delight from soccer fans across the U.S. It also promises to be quite the season in 2015, as New York City FC, Orlando City and now a fresh new team in Los Angeles will add an extra dimension to the league.

I admire the time and effort the folks at MLS have put into Chivas and the former owners Vergara and Angelica Fuentes for trying to make it a success, but the right thing has been done, as a new lease of life for soccer in Southern California and the U.S. will benefit everyone.

(MORE: Instant reactions to news that MLS has purchased Chivas USA)

Should the franchise stay in L.A.? I have my reservations about it. But if the right person or ownership group comes in, and MLS will make sure that happens this time, then L.A. II could work. Intrigued, relieved and cautiously optimistic would sum up my feelings on Chivas USA’s future right now. I get the feeling most of the U.S. soccer community feel the same.

Andy King: If Leicester can win PL, Wales can win EURO 2016

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Andy King of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Andy King is still riding high from Leicester City’s Premier League title, and that confidence is carrying over into EURO 2016.

The Foxes midfielder and Welsh international sees no reason why Wales can’t win the tournament, despite having 80-1 odds to do so.

[ MORE: England’s EURO squad ]

Of course, Leicester began the Premier League season as 5,000-1 underdogs to lift the trophy.

We’ve got to win six or seven games compared to 38.

80-1 against 5000-1. You know which one you would rather back. We are a talented group and I believe we have the best player in the tournament.

Gareth [Bale] is probably the best player in the tournament in many people’s opinion, so why can’t we go there and do something? We are confident we can do that.

If Wales were to win the EURO this summer, the story truly would rival that of Leicester. The Dragons have never played in a European Championship before, and the nation’s only other appearance at a major tournament came back at the 1958 World Cup.

[ MORE: Payet, Milner make top-five of UEFA’s “player barometer” ]

You may not agree that Gareth Bale is the best player in the tournament, but he is surely near the top of the list. Bale’s play will likely determine how far Wales can go, drawn into Group B alongside England, Slovakia, and Russia.

Report: West Ham offer $22 million for AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca

MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 20:  Carlos Bacca of AC Milan celebrates his goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 20, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

West Ham’s search for an elite striker continues, with their newest target AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca.

According to Sky Sports, the Hammers have bid $22 million for the striker, who led Milan with 18 goals in Serie A play last season.

However, after paying $34 million to sign the striker last summer, it is believed Milan would be unwilling to sell their top scorer for less than $30 million.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

At 29-years-old, Bacca has been one of Europe’s most consistent forwards over the past few seasons. After bagging 49 goals in 108 appearances for Sevilla, he earned a move to Milan last July, finishing third in Serie A scoring in his first year with the club.

West Ham’s chairman David Gold has been open about his desire to sign a world-class striker, with Lyon confirming that they rejected a $45 million bid from the Hammers for Alexandre Lacazette.

VIDEO: Neymar takes batting practice before New York Mets game

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31:  Brazilian soccer player  Neymar Jr stands in the New York Mets dugout before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Citi Field on May 31, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

We all know Neymar’s skills with a soccer ball, but what about with a baseball bat?

Spoiler alert: He’s better with his feet.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Copa coverage ]

The Barcelona and Brazil superstar was in New York on Tuesday night and hit up the batting cages at Citi Field before the Mets game against the Chicago White Sox.

Taking swings lefty, Neymar made some contact but didn’t necessarily have the smoothest stroke…

He then hit the field and got back to his roots, showing off some footskills while juggling a baseball.

I’m not too sure if Neymar is a baseball fan, but this may make him the Mets’ newest, most famous supporter (sorry Jerry Seinfeld).

Neymar is in the United States as he has some time off after the long Barcelona season. He is not playing in the Copa America with Brazil, but will instead play in the Olympics in August.

Messi’s tax fraud case begins with player avoiding court

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 17:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on  during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou on April 17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

MADRID (AP) Lionel Messi’s tax trial began Tuesday with the player deciding not to appear in court for early proceedings.

Messi is facing a prison sentence of nearly two years on charges he failed to properly pay taxes for part of his earnings from Barcelona from 2007-09.

[ FOLLOW: All of PSTS’s Copa coverage ]

The Argentina playmaker is not obligated to appear in the Barcelona court until Thursday, when he is scheduled to testify before a judge. Sentencing is not expected until next week.

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud for allegedly defrauding Spain’s tax office of 4.1 million euros ($4.5 million).

Because of the trial, Messi is missing Argentina’s preparation for the Copa America Centenario, which begins Saturday in the United States. He is expected to fly straight to the U.S. to join his teammates after the trial ends. Argentina debuts in the tournament on Monday against defending champion Chile.

Even if found guilty, it is highly unlikely that Messi or his father will face any jail time. They have denied wrongdoing.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEWS: Group A | BC | D ]

“Everything is good. Everybody is calm,” said Messi’s lawyer, Enrique Bacigalupo, as he arrived at the Barcelona court on Tuesday.

The trial is centered on alleged unlawful activities of Messi’s father, but authorities said the player knew enough to also be named in the case. Officials said that although Messi was mostly unfamiliar with tax issues, there was sufficient evidence to believe he could have known and consented to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying taxes on income from his image rights.

In addition to each facing a prison sentence of 22 months and 15 days, Messi and his father could also be fined in the amount defrauded and ordered to pay all legal proceedings and the loss of any possible tax benefits for a year and a half.

Messi is just the latest high-profile player to have to deal with Spain’s tough tax system. Neymar, Javier Mascherano, Adriano and Xabi Alonso also were targeted by authorities recently.

[ MORE: Marcelo giving away UCL winners’ medal…on Facebook ]

Mascherano, Messi’s teammate with Argentina and Barcelona, earlier this year was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence for not paying nearly 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in taxes for 2011 and 2012. Brazil striker Neymar recently had to testify before a judge because of alleged irregularities involving his transfer to Barcelona. He and the club were accused of withholding the real amount of the transfer fee, in part to avoid paying the full amount of taxes.

Messi was also being investigated by Spanish tax authorities after his name was among those released in the probe of international offshore accounts, known as the Panama Papers, although he was not charged for those allegations.