The Major League Soccer expansion train continues to pick up steam while showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
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MLS commissioner Don Garber said at a public rally in the streets of Sacramento on Thursday that he “hopes and expects” the California capital to be next in line in being granted an expansion franchise, per ESPN FC’s Jeffrey Carlisle (below tweet).
With 20 teams currently in operation, plus two more — Atlanta United and Minnesota United (soon-to-be United no longer, though) — aiming to make their MLS debuts in 2017, followed by Los Angeles FC and David Beckham’s Miami franchise in 2018 and/or 2019, the league is a year ahead of its self-imposed schedule to field 24 teams by 2020.
Why stop there, though, with a handful of other major markets across North America impatiently waiting to fork over something in the neighborhood of $100 million for an expansion fee? (We’ll worry about the size and quality of the American and Canadian player pools at a later date, right?)
Same, Jeff. Same.
Sacramento Republic, who currently play in USL, even without having been officially awarded an expansion franchise to date, continue to push forward with plans, including the purchase of land, to build their very own, brand new soccer-specific stadium in downtown Sacramento with a new set of renderings released on Wednesday.
St. Louis, San Antonio, North Carolina, Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix and Nashville … there are three more expansion spots unofficially/officially unspoken for; you’re all on the clock.
In his first start since the U.S. Men’s National Team’s infamous defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, Jozy Altidore showcased his strength, speed and technical ability to help lead the U.S. to victory.
Altidore’s outstanding bicycle kick goal proved to be the difference in a sometimes dour game as the USMNT topped Panama, 1-0, Wednesday evening at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. The win kept the U.S. perfect through the Gold Cup group stage with no goals allowed, and it has somewhat erased the memory of the USMNT’s horrible run-up to the tournament, with defeats to Jamaica and Venezuela now firmly in the rear-view mirror.
[MUST-SEE GOAL: Jozy Altidore]
With the win, both teams head to Philadelphia for the quarterfinals this Sunday. Panama plays the undercard matchup against Jamaica while the USMNT faces Curacao.
Jozy Altidore put his stamp on the game and gave U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter more to speak about with one fell swing.
Altidore finished off a corner kick in spectacular fashion, executing a perfect bicycle kick to put the USMNT up 1-0 in the 66th minute. The goal came one minute after the entrance of Christian Pulisic, which perhaps was on the mind of the Panama defense.
It was Altidore’s second-straight game vs. Panama with a goal. His last two were in October 2017, when the U.S. pummeled Panama, 4-0. Of course, a few days later, a tired USMNT failed to win at Trinidad and Tobago.
It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.
[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]
Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.
In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.
[FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Panama]
Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.