The path to Major League Soccer looks to have gotten a whole lot clearer for FC Cincinnati on Monday.
[ MORE: Who has improved the most under Pep Guardiola at Man City? ]
The Cincinnati budget and finance committee voted to pass a stadium plan for the current USL side by a margin of four to three, in the event that FC Cincy is granted a place in MLS.
Meanwhile, the City Council voted five to four in favor of the plan.
The vote results in a $34.8 million infrastructure package that will go towards the development of a future stadium for FC Cincy, who is currently aiming to become the 26th franchise granted entry into the top flight of American soccer.
The stadium would be in Cincinnati’s West End, and would be a $200 million project, all of which is privately funded.
Last week, the club agreed to a land-swap deal with the Cincinnati Public Schools in order to secure the land necessary for their stadium project.
CINCINNATI (AP) Cincinnati Public Schools have agreed to a land swap with the city’s professional soccer team so the club can build a new $200 million stadium on the site where a high school stadium now sits.
[ MORE: Toronto makes CCL Final ]
The school board approved the swap Tuesday. As part of the deal, FC Cincinnati agreed to build Taft High School a new $10 million stadium near the school’s current stadium in the city’s west end.
The deal is contingent on the minor league team getting an invitation to join Major League Soccer.
The school board initially rejected the offer because the team was seeking to make reduced property tax payments on the new stadium. The team later agreed to pay about $25 million over the life of the stadium.
Sporting KC prospect Gianluca Busio made his USL debut tonight, and it went pretty, pretty, pretty well for the North Carolina teenager.
Busio subbed off in the 77th minute of Swope Park Rangers-Colorado Springs Switchbacks match after picking up an assist on Tyler Blackwood’s goal just seven minutes into the game.
He also recorded 100 percent passing accuracy (30/30) with 2 key passes and 3 crosses in the first half, according to SKC’s Kurt Austin.
[ MORE: LFC-Man City recap | 3 things ]
Busio turns 16 on May 28, and became the second-youngest signing in MLS history — Freddy Adu — when he inked at 15 years and 89 days. Remember that for all the grief Adu’s well-traveled career has provided, the 28-year-old has earned 17 caps with two goals in his career.
Nashville SC may be heading to Major League Soccer, but they played in their first home game in the USL on Saturday in front of almost 19,000 fans in rainy conditions in Tennessee’s capital city.
18,922 fans turned up to watch Nashville play the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and to put this into context, second-tier side FC Cincinnati led the way in USL crowds last season with an average of 21,198 and Sacramento Republic FC were in second place with an average of 11,569 fans turning up.
With Nashville awarded an MLS franchise in December 2017 and expected to start play in MLS for the 2019 season (but that could be pushed to 2020), they will field a team in the second-tier of North American soccer in 2018 to get themselves ready for their inaugural season in MLS.
Head coach Gary Smith will usually coach his side at the 8,500 capacity First Tennessee Park this year but such was the interest in being at Nashville SC’s first game, they moved the game against the Riverhounds to Nissan Stadium.
Fans marched to the venue, the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, and were in great voice throughout the day as Nashville drew 0-0 with Pittsburgh as goalkeeper Matt Pickens was named Man of the Match.
Take a look at the videos below to get a flavor of what we can expect from having Nashville in MLS.
Las Vegas Lights FC is a team you will want to keep an eye on.
The newly-formed USL club are already getting crowds of close to 10,000 during their inaugural season, Freddy Adu on their roster, fiery Mexican coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola (“Chelis” to you and I) as their Technical Director, plus plenty of interesting initiatives off the pitch, LV Lights are having a lot of fun.
This proves it.
On Friday they unveiled their mascot “Cash the Soccer Rocket” and this was how they did it.
Bravo to the team behind-the-scenes in Sin City. Bravo.