Forbes

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Forbes ranks the top supporters in Major League Soccer

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Forbes claims the shared honor will give two Cascadia Cup rivals one less thing to argue about, but we completely disagree.

The celebrated magazine says their metrics show the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders tied for the honor of who has the best fans in Major League Soccer.

The post says the determination was made through four factors: attendance, local TV ratings, merchandise sales, and social media followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Attendance was weighted heaviest, which certainly gives Atlanta United hope to go charging up the rankings in the future. For now, the “Five Stripes” are not included in the list.

The Galaxy finish third in the rankings, while the sixth-place New York Red Bulls edge New York City FC by one spot.

For the report and full explanation, head here.

Ronaldo edges LeBron, Messi for top-earning honor

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s staying on top in just about everything.

The Portuguese superstar is the highest-earning athlete for the second-successive season, holding off LeBron James for the honor.

According to Forbes.com, Ronaldo made $93 million this year, edging out NBA star LeBron James and Lionel Messi (who swapped places).

[ MORE: How will Arena line ’em up? ]

Neymar is the next soccer player on the list, slotting 19th, while Gareth Bale and Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the Top 30.

Wayne Rooney is next, placing 70th with $23.6 million, with Luis Suarez one slot behind. Also in the Top 100: Sergio Aguero and James Rodriguez.

Forbes releases MLS value list: Seattle leads pack, NYC, Orlando high up

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As MLS expansion fees creep toward $200 million, Forbes Magazine claims that seven of the 20 Major League Soccer franchises are worth more than that figure.

Seattle leads the way with a $285 million figure, $20 million more than the LA Galaxy.

Also worth more than $200 mil? NYC (255), Toronto (245), Orlando City (240), Houston (215) and Portland (210).

[ MORE: NASL Golden Boot leader eyes USMNT ]

Kudos to the Galaxy, who are the only team on the list that was in MLS before 2006.

The bottom three are Real Salt Lake, Columbus, and Colorado, with the Rapids worth $110m.

The intriguing digits come in the final column, where low player costs and other factors make all operating incomes in the single digits (The players’ association will surely highlight and circle this).

Full list here.

Ronaldo, Messi top Forbes list of best-earning athletes

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made the most money in the sports world in 2015, and no other soccer player comes close to La Liga’s duo.

Ronaldo made about $128 million, while Messi hauled in more than $118 million. In both of their cases, salary is significantly higher than endorsements (See the list from Forbes.com).

[ MORE: Man Utd signs Bailly from Villarreal ]

Neymar comes next, tied for 21st with Rafael Nadal just in front of No. 23 Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Also in the Top 100: Gareth Bale (25), Wayne Rooney (t-49), Sergio Aguero (60), Luis Suarez (t-65), Bastian Schweinsteiger (81), Angel Di Maria and James Rodriguez (t-83) and Eden Hazard (85).

The second-youngest name on the list is Neymar, behind only Jordan Spieth in age.

World’s most valuable team is now Real Madrid, not Manchester United

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For the first time since Forbes began producing their list of soccer’s most valuable clubs, Manchester United is not at the top,a  small irony the day after Premier League chief Richard Scudamore touted having the world’s biggest club. If the measure is value, then that’s not longer the case, because with an estimated current value of $3.3 billion, Real Madrid has ascended to the list’s top spot. Manchester United ranks second, while Barcelona sit third, the world’s three kings sitting atop a $1.3 billion gap to team number four.

How does a team become a $3.3 billion franchise? Here are some of the points Forbes picked out about El Real:

  • Revenue of $650 million during 2011-12, most in the soccer world.
  • Operating income of $134 million, second in the sports world to only the Dallas Cowboys.
  • New kit deal with adidas worth $40 million/year.
  • $39 million/year kit sponsorship with Emirates Airlines.
  • A revenue increase of 62% over the last three years
  • An average operating margin of 28% over the same time.
  • Oh, and having massive on-field success thanks to various transcendent stars.

Forbes has been compiling these rankings since 2004, so it’s not exactly like Real Madrid is ending an epic run of dominance. And it’s not like the Red Devils have fallen on their collective faces, either. As the magazine puts it, “It is not that the Red Devils have faltered. It is just that Los Merengues are simply bigger, more profitable and growing faster than Manchester United.”

The full list, below, includes six English Premier League clubs in the top 11, the product of lucrative television deals, not the least of which is NBC’s new pact with the circuit, set to kick-in this fall. Elsewhere on the list, Europe’s other big leagues are still well represented. Though Spain only have the big two, Germany and Italy place four clubs on the list. France has two, and encouragingly, Brazil’s league has one: Sao Paulo titans Corinthians.

Also is the range, in dollars, from top to bottom. The gap from first to 20th is “only” about $3 billion. Between Real Madrid and Newcastle, you can slot in a Barcelona.

Be sure to check out the whole piece, which goes into how the rankings were compiled. It also includes an interesting video with Mike Ozanian, the man in the byline.

Forbes’ Most Valuable Soccer Clubs – Top 20

1. Real Madrid ($3.3 billion)
2. Manchester United ($3.165 billion)
3. Barcelona ($2.6 billion)
4. Arsenal ($1.326 billion)
5. Bayern Munich ($1.309 billion)
6. AC Milan ($945 million)
7. Chelsea ($901 million)
8. Juventus ($694 million)
9. Manchester City ($689 million)
10. Liverpool ($651 million)
11. Tottenham Hotspur ($520 million)
12. Schalke 04 ($498 million)
13. Borussia Dortmund ($456 million)
14. Inter Milan ($401 million)
15. Olympique Lyonnais ($368 million)
16. Corinthians Paulista ($358 million)
17. Napoli ($330 million)
18. Hamburg SV ($300 million)
19. Olympique Marseille ($285 million)
20. Newcastle ($263 million)