A bizarre story out of La Liga has seen former Valencia president Juan Bautista Soler arrested for plotting to kidnap his successor Vicente Soriano.
Having resigned from his position at the club in 2008 for health reasons, Soler now has been arrested in the city of Valencia.
According to Spanish media, police made the arrest after a two-week investigation involving the possibility that Soler hired an Eastern European specialist for between €50,000 to €100,000 ($69,000-$138,000) to abduct Soriano.
After Soler’s departure, he sold his share of the club to Soriano for €85.5 million ($118 million), which gave Soriano a majority stake.
Soriano only intended on purchasing the club as a middle man in order to sell to Uruguayan company Investment Dalport. But that deal fell through when it was discovered that the money Investment Dalport intended to purchase the club with never actually existed and the notes were false.
So Soriano was stuck with the club, and naturally had trouble making payments to Soler. You can see where this is going.
He tried to get out of the deal, but a court order ordered him to make his payments plus interest for being late. Formerly a majority share, Soriano’s cut today only represents a 5% ownership, and his shares have been siezed. Unfortunately, Soler apparently still has some bad blood towards Soriano likely caused by a loss on the deal, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.
According to Spanish media, the prosecution has not yet decided to ask for jail time and Soler has been released for the time being, but he is not allowed to leave the country and is barred from entering within 15 meters of Soriano. He will appear in court on a “regular basis” as the investigation continues and a trial commences.
The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.
My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.
2018 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)
Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Serie A lags behind other top European league in TV money, which has hindered its ability to recruit top end talent relative to its competitors.
Ricci says if American sports see value in bringing their top leagues to Europe, it holds that the reverse would be true. From the BBC:
“If we look at some other more developed leagues in terms of commercial strategy; the NBA and NFL, they are exporting one or two of their matches abroad, to the UK or elsewhere in Europe. I think it is a good strategy. It is a way to export something that is not an exhibition.”
Would a regular season match bring any more eyes or attention than the International Champions Cup, at least enough to offset the sacrifice of atmosphere? It seems doubtful, but the money is the key here. Italy wants to catch up with Spain, Germany, and England.
Sticking with the orange and blue color combination which has served them since inception, the shield has FC in the top left corner, Cincinnati running diagonally left-to-right in blue script on white, and a winged lion holding a sword as the primary icon.