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Reports: Chicago, Vancouver pull out of World Cup 2026 bid

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Two major North American cities with World Cup-ready stadiums have pulled out of being host cities in the 2026 World Cup bid.

According to two separate reports, both Chicago and Vancouver will not be hosting any World Cup matches should the joint-bid between the U.S., Canada and Mexico win the right to hold the 2026 World Cup in North America.

In both cases, city and state leaders argued that FIFA asked for major financial guarantees without promising a huge return on investment, making the elected officials nervous about moving forward with a bid.

[READ: Chivas too much for Seattle]

“FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk,” Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests.”

It’s a big loss for the bid to lose these cities, though. Vancouver, who’s BC Place seats 54,000, hosted group stage and knockout round games before hosting the final of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which the U.S. won in thrilling fashion over Japan. And Chicago, which had previously pulled itself out for the U.S. World Cup bids in 2010 and 2018-2022, hosted the opening match of the 1994 World Cup at Soldier Field and was assumed from the start that the third-largest city in the U.S. by population would be a host city.

As of now, Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton have agreed to move forward with the United 2026 bid, which should be more than enough for the current 10 games Canada will host. Mexico has proposed games played at Estadio Azteca, as well as in Nuevo Leon and Guadalajara.

Meanwhile, the U.S. still has 21 other venues to pick from, including major NFL stadiums such as MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and the under-construction Los Angeles Stadium in Hollywood Park. FIFA has required the opening-match stadium and final stadium to seat 80,000+, while venues must seat a minimum of 40,000, which would force stadium’s like Toronto’s BMO Field to expand further.

MLS: Mauro Rosales is returning to Vancouver, and Alvas Powell’s a full-time Timber

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This time around, Mauro Rosales will get to start the year with the Whitecaps.

Vancouver signed the veteran playmaker to a deal on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed, but the player said he wants to play another two or three years. The Argentinian midfielder turns 34 in February.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

Rosales began last season with Chivas USA before the Goats sent him to Vancouver in exchange for Nigel Reo-Coker. He picked up 11 assists between the two teams after three seasons in Seattle, where Rosales recorded 12 goals and 34 assists.


“I’m very excited to sign for the club again for next year,” Rosales told reporters in a conference call from Argentina on Tuesday afternoon. “I had other options but always knowing what I had here in Vancouver. I spent my last three months with them, and I know what I’m going to face.

“I don’t want to be in a place that I may have an uncertain future. I’m not going to know what’s going to happen at another club. Everything that Vancouver gave me in the last three months was more than I could expect from the other teams that I had offers.”

From a veteran to a youngster, as Portland secured the rights to Alvas Powell from Portmore. The Timbers defender made 15 appearances, 11 of those starts, on loan from the Jamaican club last season, but now is full-time Portland player. He scored two goals and added two assists last season, and turned 20 in July.

MLS: Looking at the next month on the fringe of the West’s playoff picture


You may have noticed at the end of our last post something that looked like a throwaway line:

“In fourth place now, Dallas could find themselves outside of the West’s top five by the time their biggest threat returns.”

Really, Mr. Author? (Oh, wait. That’s me.) You’re just going to say something like that without offering any proof?

Fair enough. Let’s go ahead and take deeper look, trying to assess:

1.) Where we stand right now, in terms of the edge of the Major League Soccer’s Western Conference playoff picture;
2.) What each team is looking at schedule-wise between now and Aug. 4; and finally,
3.) The difficulty of that schedule.

1. Where we are, right now?

4 FC Dallas 18 23 0 1.28
5 Vancouver Whitecaps 15 22 3 1.47
6 LA Galaxy 13 20 6 1.54
7 Portland Timbers 17 20 0 1.18


Fourth place … FC Dallas looks good, right? Not really. The important thing to note: The two teams with the best points-per-game rates and goal differences have the fewest games played, by a long shot. If you could choose to be one team out of this group, you’d pick Los Angeles, and ask Vancouver to be your backup.

Even if Castillo wasn’t suspended, Dallas should be worried.

2. What does each team’s schedule look like?

Games between now and Aug. 4:

Date FC Dallas Vancouver LA Galaxy Portland
July 5 vs. Philadelphia vs. Seattle vs. Portland at LA Galaxy
July 13 vs. Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake at Seattle
July 17 at Toronto vs. New England vs. Colorado
July 20 vs. New England at Real Salt Lake at Sporting KC
July 27 at Vancouver vs. FC Dallas at Seattle at Montréal
August 2 vs. Portland at LA Galaxy


While Dallas’s schedule isn’t particularly tough, it is particularly thin. The pack is playing five or six games over the next 32 days, while FCD takes the field three times. This is where that games played column begins to even out (and Dallas’s post-Mauro Diaz slump begins to hurt).

3. And how difficult is that schedule?

We’ll look at this a number of ways: Opponent’s average points-per-game; number of home games; number of opponents with average-average PPG rates:

FC Dallas Vancouver LA Galaxy Portland
Total Games 3 5 6 5
Avg. Opp PPG 1.35 1.54 1.53 1.55
Home Games 2 3 4 1
Above Average 2 3 4 4


Here’s the silver lining for Dallas: Their schedule is slightly easier, with two out of three games at home. Contrast that with the other end of the spectrum, Portland, who has only one home game in the next month and has the most difficult of the four schedules, both in terms of points-per-game and above average teams. Add an Open Cup match against Seattle (at Seattle) on July 9, and Portland’s schedule is as congested as LA’s.

It all comes back to the conclusion we made at the end of point one: “If you could choose to be one team out of this group, you’d pick Los Angeles and ask Vancouver to be your backup.”

Di Vaio, Gonzalez, and other reactions to Major League Soccer’s awards finalists

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Today’s reveal of Major League Soccer’s postseason awards finalists gives us some insight into how media, players and coaches saw the season, with each triad of ‘nominees’ of resulting from voting that concluded earlier this money. If a player’s in the final three, we know a decent numbers of voters thought that he was among the top two candidates for the award. Each ballot only had room for a first and second choice.

[MORE: Major League Soccer announces finalists for 2013 awards]

So when we see Omar Gonzalez as one of the Defender of the Year nominees, you know a lot of people not only had him among the top two but probably at the top of their ballots. Yet as opposed to 2011, when the latest LA Galaxy Designated Player won the award, this was not the best season for the U.S. international. He wasn’t bad by any means, but a dip in form around the time his new contract was announced was so noticeable Bruce Arena was left trumpeting his defender’s rebound by season’s end. This was not a Defender of the Year season from Omar, which makes you wonder how much reputation trumps performance when it comes to these ballots.

To a lesser extent, Matt Besler probably benefitted from the same effect. Last year’s best defender has also broken through for the U.S. Men’s National Team, future raising his profile. But he only played 23 games for Sporting Kansas City this year, and while he very well might be the best defender in Major League Soccer, he probably didn’t have the best season. It’s hard to made a strong case that 23 games of Besler is worth more than 29 from Aurélien Collin, 29 from Jámison Olave, or 34 from Jose Goncalves (who, in fairness, we the third nominee for the award). Being the best player seems to be the most important quality; not whether that player had the best season.

But amongst the finalists list released by MLS today, those type of curiosities are the exceptions. In fact, most won’t consider them curiosities at all. It’s only when you start digging that questions arise regarding Gonzalez and Besler, and the truth is most voters may not put in that kind of time. When a ballot has two slots for Defender of the Year, players, coach, and media might have reflex responses – responses that lead to Besler getting a nod despite missing almost one-third of the season.

Marco Di Vaio’s case is a bit different. In contention for the Golden Boot until the season’s last day, the Montréal Impact’s candidacy was much discussed throughout the year. As the only real goal scoring option in Marco Schällibaum’s attack, Di Vaio’s importance to the Impact is undeniable. Yet it is curious how much more attention he received than Camilo Sanvezzo, another attack-only guy on a borderline playoff team (Vancouver) whose candidacy’s almost entirely dependent on his goal totals. Sanvezzo finished with 22. Di Vaio finished with 20. Goals per 90 minutes: Sanvezzo 0.82; Di Vaio 0.66. If Sanvezzo had Di Vaio’s history in Serie A – his name recognition – would we be talking about his candidacy instead of Di Vaio’s?

They’re minor qualms, and until we see the final voting, we don’t know how close each player came to winning the award. Jose Goncalves may run away with Defender of the Year, rendering second and third meaningless. And maybe Di Vaio finishes closer to the unlisted Sanvezzo than he does Mike Magee or Robbie Keane. This may all be needless nitpicking.

Still, you can never underestimate the role reputation plays in these types of votes. Whenever there are doubts, it’s natural for voters to default to players with whom they’re most acquainted. Sometimes that manifests in voting for your teammate, player, or the guy you cover on a day-to-day basis. Other times, it means going with the names you hear most.

Hat trick allows Camilo to claim MLS’s Golden Boot


He started the weekend chasing Marco Di Vaio and Mike Magee, a detail that will be left out of the final scoring charts. But with three goals tonight in Vancouver, Camilo Sanvezzo passed his Golden Boot rivals to claim Major League Soccer’s 2013 scoring title, delivering on the season’s final day to push his goal total to 22, claiming the title by one goal.

Vancouver went on to win 3-0, relegating Colorado to the Western Conference’s fifth seed. Vancouver finishes three points out of a playoff spot.

Magee had taken the lead earlier in the day with the opening goal at Red Bull Arena. Although his Chicago Fire had their postseason hopes crushed in Harrison, the Most Valuable Player favorite was positioned to celebrate a different individual success, carrying a two-goal edge on Camilo into the Whitecaps’ game with Colorado.

The Brazilian attacker halved Magee’s edge just before half time, converting from the spot after Marvell Wynne conceded a penalty. In the second half, bolstered by a Vancouver team intent on supporting their teammate, Sanvezzo sewed up the Golden Boot in the 74th minute, scoring from the edge of the six-yard box. His right-footed poke past Clint Irwin left Camilo even with Magee on 21 goals, the scoring title assured by his superior assist total (the first tiebreaker).

Ten minutes later, Camilo made sure the tiebreaker was irrelevant, running onto a bouncing ball to the right of Irwin’s goal and beating the Rapids keeper with a first-timer that left him on 22 goals.

He may not got the MVP consideration Magee and Di Vaio have received, but Camilo won the trio’s season-long shootout. With a night to shine at BC Place, the 25-year-old Brazilian delivered, his hat trick securing the 2013 scoring title.

The final Top Five:

  • 22 – Camilo Sanvezzo, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • 21 – Mike Magee, Chicago Fire/LA Galaxy
  • 20 – Marco Di Vaio, Montréal Impact
  • 15 – Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
  • 13 – Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution