Photo credit: Besiktas / Twitter: @Besiktas

Report: Larin’s strange saga ends with move from Orlando to Besiktas

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Following weeks of he-said-she-said back-and-forth over the immediate future of Cyle Larin, the details of the Canadian international’s move from Orlando City SC to Turkish giant Besiktas has reportedly been agreed by all parties, according to a report from Pro Soccer USA.

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Before delving into the details, a quick refresher: Larin began garnering interest from Europe around this time last year; interest ramped up during the summer, but Orlando City refused to sell before the end of the season due to service time with the team (their percentage of transfer fee retained would go up after three full seasons); Besiktas approached Orlando and Larin this winter; having believed a deal was done, Besiktas flew Larin to Turkey where he underwent a medical evaluation and photos, along with an announcement of sorts, were shared by the club; Orlando insisted that no deal had been finalized; Besiktas contended that Larin’s contract with MLS, which included unilateral option years, was invalid by FIFA standards.

Fast-forward to Monday, and the final piece of the messy puzzle has reportedly been resolved: Orlando and the MLS league office have agreed on an unprecedented percentage split of Larin’s transfer fee — Orlando will keep 100 percent, as opposed to the league’s stand two-thirds share (for non-Generation adidas players) — from Pro Soccer USA:

Orlando City will keep the full amount of the transfer fee because of the lengthy ordeal instead of giving 30 percent to the league and 10 percent to the player as is usual for a third-year Generation adidas player, per sources.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundupSunday | Friday ]

This, of course, leaves MLS in yet another confusing gray area: previously, only outgoing transfers of homegrown players (Larin was drafted first overall in the 2015 Super Draft) were to net a team 100 percent of a fee paid; the league’s single-entity structure would absorb the other one-third after two-thirds went to the team (a few examples: Kei Kamara, to Middlesbrough; Fabian Castillo, to Trabzonspor; Uri Rosell, to Sporting CP).

Now, for the first time, Orlando will keep the entire fee for a non-homegrown player, which will lead to every team wanting and expecting the same treatment upon future sales. Take, for instance, Jack Harrison, who’s widely expected to leave New York City FC for either Stoke City Middlesbrough, for anywhere between $5 million and $8.5 million, in the next 48 hours.

[ MORE: USMNT draws first friendly of 2018 | Player ratings ]

What’s the threshold for time and messiness that a transfer saga must meet in order for a team to maximize that transfer revenue? It’s an absurd question to consider, but because MLS continues to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to roster rules and regulations, here we are.

One day — soon, hopefully — a departing player caught up in a similar situation will follow through and contest MLS’s practice of unilateral option years, which is what this entire saga comes back to, in front of FIFA. That player will, hopefully, score a massive victory for every non-Designated Player in the league, many of whom live year-to-year without the financial security of a guaranteed contract. Within the current setup, power lies in the hands of the league, and the league only. It’s a toxic, but lucrative, way of doing business.

Predicting the rest of the Women’s World Cup

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The Women’s World Cup is into the final eight, with seven of the eight teams hailing from Europe.

[ MORE: Women’s World Cup Power Rankings ]

The lone outlier is some team from North America who may or may not have won the last World Cup and can become the first team to win four of the things.

Who thinks they will? Our staff weighs in on the matter below.


Joe Prince-Wright

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
England v. France
Netherlands v. Germany 

Final
France defeats Germany
Wendie Renard of France celebrates with teammates (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Nicholas Mendola

Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
USA defeats England
Germany defeats Italy 

Final
USA defeats Germany

Andy Edwards

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Italy defeats Netherlands
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
Germany defeats France

Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany  (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Dan Karell
Quarterfinals
England defeats Norway
USA defeats France
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden
Semifinals
USA defeats England
Netherlands defeats GermanyFinal
USA defeats Netherlands

Kyle Bonn

Quarterfinals
England
defeats Norway
France defeats USA
Netherlands defeats Italy
Germany defeats Sweden

Semifinals
France
defeats England
Germany defeats Italy

Final
France defeats Germany

WATCH: Stoppage time missile earns Curacao draw with Jamaica

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This Gold Cup isn’t short on drama.

A day after Haiti stunned Costa Rica to win Group B, it was Curacao’s turn to up the ante.

Needing a point to stay alive for a knockout round berth, Jurien Gaari ripped a stoppage time rocket into the back of the goal to defy Andre Blake and Jamaica a win and the Group C crown (at least for a couple of hours).

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

Shamar Nicholson had given the Reggae Boyz a 14th minute lead, but Jamaica couldn’t find a second goal.

If Honduras beats El Salvador in the business end of the doubleheader in Los Angeles, Curacao will finish second in the group and advance to face either the USMNT or Panama.

If El Salvador manages a draw or win, well, at least Curacao will have this wonder from RKC Waalwijk’s right back:

AFCON wrap: Pote’s beauty helps Benin draw Ghana; Cameroon wins

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All 24 teams at the Africa Cup of Nations have a match in the books as of Tuesday, and we’ve got another tournament surprise.

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

Having already seen Uganda upset the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar draw Guinea, this one came when Ghana met Benin.

It was aided by a red card to Ghana, but the 88th ranked Les Écureuils (Squirrels) of Benin managed a result.


Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau

Scoreless at halftime, Cameroon saw Yaya Banana and Stephane Bahoken score three minutes apart to give the Indomitable Lions the Group F lead on Day One of group play.

Ghana 2-2 Benin

Mickael Pote scored first and last, giving Benin a valuable point against 10-man Ghana.

The Black Stars went behind in the second minute on Pote’s first, only to get Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew goals on either side of halftime to build a lead of their own.

But John Boye took a 54th minute red card and Pote potted his second nine minutes later to give Benin an early Group F bonus.

How about this sweep behind the leg?

David Silva will make 10th season his last as Man City

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David Silva says his 10th season at Manchester City will be his last with the Etihad Stadium set.

“It completes the cycle,” he said in a press conference this week. “It’s a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years – that’s it.”

Silva turns 34 in January, and posted 10 goals and 14 assists in 50 appearances for Pep Guardiola‘s men last season.

[ MORE: Spurs set to add $82M mid ]

All told, he enters this one-year contract with 396 appearances for City, scoring 71 goals with 129 assists. He’s won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup twice, and the League Cup four times.

He was last capped by Spain at the 2018 World Cup, where he’s scored 37 times in 129 caps. He’s also played with Valencia and Celta Vigo in his native country.

The news comes less than a week after a fellow Spanish legend, Fernando Torres, announced his retirement.

But Silva seems like he’s got a bit more in the tank. Could he be one of the big names matched with Inter Miami for 2020? Or might he follow Xavi’s route to the Middle East?