Las Vegas closing in on MLS franchise; Aston Villa owners involved


Las Vegas has emerged as the front-runner for the 30th MLS franchise.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

The Nevada city has seen several ownership groups try to bring MLS to Sin City over the years but this seems like the closest they’ve ever been, as the co-owners of Aston Villa are involved in the bid.

Speaking at the 2021 State of the League address, MLS Commissioner Don Garber revealed that Las Vegas is at the front of the queue to be the next expansion franchise in MLS. When asked if that was the case he simply said: “Yes.”

That would take the league to 30 teams, and it would see Vegas jump ahead of Sacramento, Phoenix and San Diego to become the next MLS franchise.

What is the latest update?

Here is what Garber said when asked about Vegas and if Aston Villa’s co-owner Wes Edens (who is also the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA) is making progress about bringing MLS to Las Vegas.

“We’re making progress in Las Vegas,” Garber said. “As has been announced, or has been leaked, in Las Vegas. We’re excited about the market, as are all the other [sports] leagues here in North America… Wes is a guy we all have a long-standing relationships with. He has looked at other MLS clubs over the years. We will continue those discussions and continue to try get something done with our 30th team within the next 10 months. We have not yet determined when that 30th team will start playing, but the 30th team will not be in by 2023. We hope to have to be able to have some great news as it relates to our facility plans in Las Vegas.

“I want to point out that we are still in discussions with other markets, both Phoenix and San Diego. The interest in Major League Soccer continues to grow. The value investors look at when they’re determining how to engage with professional soccer, or even professional sports overall, it is at an all-time high. News to come out in the next 12 months but a lot of progress being made.”

Garber added on Vegas: “We are very bullish on the market and we will continue to plough forward. Hopefully some time in the next couple of months we will have more to talk about.”

Per a subsequent report from Sports Business said Edens and the co-owner of Aston Villa, Nassef Sawiris, are the leading players behind the proposed MLS team in Las Vegas and they would begin play in 2024, at the earliest and plan to build a soccer-specific stadium in Las Vegas as part of the deal.

And yes, the “Las Vegas Villains” name was trademarked back in June by a company owned by Edens, as the billionaire businessman is also the co-owner of an investment group hoping to build a high-speed railway line from Southern California to Las Vegas in the coming years.

What are the other options?

According to our NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, Edens and Sawiris are one of several ownership groups who have been bidding to bring MLS to Las Vegas.

Here’s a little more:

“Other groups that have shared interest in pursuing an MLS franchise include Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley and Renaissance Companies, which has proposed building a new stadium at Cashman Center.”

Of course, the Las Vegas Lights of the USL Championship are the current pro soccer team in Vegas but this MLS ownership group is in a whole other league.

Getting the correct ownership group to get behind an MLS franchise in Vegas was always issue for the league, and they were always high on our rankings for an MLS expansion franchise. It now appears the correct owners have been found.

A good fit?

This really would be the perfect fit for MLS moving forward.

Las Vegas has a huge tourist influx, it falls in line with new MLS teams being placed in destination cities such as Nashville and Austin, and the success of holding the Gold Cup final in Vegas in the summer showcased its growing reputation as a sports crazy city.

With the Las Vegas Golden Knights arriving in the NHL in recent years, plus the MLB’s Oakland Athletics potentially relocating to follow in the footsteps of the Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL, all signs point towards an MLS team heading to Vegas to further bolster its growing sports portfolio.

Financially, this is just too good of an opportunity to turn down for MLS.

Imagine this: the year is 2030. Jack Grealish leads out the Las Vegas Villains for their Western Conference final, as head coach Steven Gerrard stands on the sidelines. A sea of claret and blue jerseys can be seen everywhere amid the dazzling lights of the Las Vegas Strip.

Manchester City vs Inter Milan: How to watch Champions League Final, odds, predictions


Manchester City is on the chase for a historic treble and standing in the way is Inter Milan, one of Europe’s precious few clubs to claim such an honor.

[ LIVE: Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The Premier League winners three times running have an FA Cup under their belt after beating Manchester United on June 3 and the final jewel in their treble crown awaits with a win in Istanbul on June 10.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Pep Guardiola could lead a second club to a treble after he did it with Barcelona in 2008-09, and they would give heated rivals United domestic company on the treble stage right down the road.

Guardiola says it’s now okay to talk about the treble. We agree, and we’ve laid out why the achievement is so special after the jump.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City vs Inter Milan.

How to watch Manchester City vs Inter Milan live, stream link and start time

Dates: 3pm ET June 10, 2023
Online: Live updates via
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

What Premier League clubs have won the treble?

Manchester United won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in 1998-99.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils are the lone Premier League club to win it.

That’s it. For now.

How many times has the treble been won?

Nine times in history has a team won its domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Champions League Final odds (Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM )

BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links. 

Man City (-250) vs Inter Milan (+625) | Draw over 120 mins (+380)

Over 2.5 goals (-160). Under 2.5 goals (+110)

Champions League Final predictions

Joe Prince-Wright: Man City 2-1 Inter Milan
Andy Edwards: Man City 3-1 Inter Milan
Nick Mendola: Man City 2-0 Inter Milan

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options


Inter Milan team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joaquin Correa. OUT: Dalbert.

Lionel Messi rejects Saudi Arabia mega-offer, will sign with Inter Miami


Lionel Messi will sign with Inter Miami, opting to move to MLS this summer rather than return to Barcelona or join Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante in Saudi Arabia, according to multiple reports.

[ MORE: UEFA Champions League final, Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The deal will reportedly include profit sharing with two of MLS’s biggest commercial partners, Apple and Adidas, alongside his playing contract. According to reports, it could also include an option to purchase a minority stake in the club, which is partially owned (and operated) by David Beckham, who signed a similarly unique deal when he joined MLS in 2007. Beckham’s contract gave him a $25-million option to purchase an expansion franchise, which he exercised in 2018.

Messi’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain is set to expire on June 30 and the Ligue 1 club announced earlier this month that the Argentine superstar — widely considered the greatest player of all time — will leave the club this summer.

MORE: Five players to watch in the Premier League’s summer transfer window ]

Perhaps Inter Miami and MLS weren’t Messi’s first-choice option this summer, as his father previously stated his son’s desire to return to Barcelona, where he famously won 21 major trophies before an unceremonious exit amid financial troubles in the summer of 2021, but those issues still linger two years later. The offer from Saudi Arabia would have reportedly paid Messi, 35, $1.6 billion over three years.

Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who previously worked with Lionel Messi at Barcelona (2013-2014) and Argentina (2014-2016), is reportedly the leading candidate to replace the recently departed Phil Neville as head coach.

Inter Miami, who currently sit bottom (15th) of MLS’s Eastern Conference with 15 points from their first 16 games, parted ways with Neville last week. In his two full seasons in charge, Neville guided the club to regular-season finishes of 11th (of 14) and 6th (of 14) in the Eastern Conference and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2022.

Follow @AndyEdMLS

UEFA Champions League Final: Key battles for Inter Milan vs Manchester City


Manchester City’s quest for the treble hits its final obstacle when Inter Milan goes toe-to-toe with the Premier League and FA Cup champions in Istanbul at Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.

Pep Guardiola’s weren’t at their very best against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final and still walked away with its second trophy of the season.

But City’s final two Premier League matches saw dropped points. The stakes were non-existent and the team quite changed by Guardiola, who’s known to fancy a tactical wrinkle. How will things change this weekend?

[ MORE: Man City vs Inter Milan preview, watch info ]

It would be stunning if Inter boss Simone Inzaghi came out in anything but a 3-5-2, which has been his go-to formation for Inter Milan this season regardless of opponent.

But might Inzaghi have something up his sleeve?

Inter’s only losses in the Champions League came in the group stage versus Bayern Munich. Add in their setbacks in Serie A and there’s still been no standard recipe for beating Inter. There isn’t one for Man City, either, of course.

Kevin De Bruyne vs Marcelo Brozovic

If there’s a single player capable of messing with Pep Guardiola’s plan to control the game and get the ball to his creators in dangerous spots, it’s Croatian veteran Marcelo Brozovic. The 30-year-old is a force who can both be the club’s metronome and break up the opposition’s best attacks. There are few players in the world like De Bruyne, but he needs to be found in space and City needs the ball to do that. Brozovic can be a big part of limiting both of those things.

Erling Haaland vs Francesco Acerbi

Maybe the two names need to be switched in order, because Acerbi is going to have his hands full with Haaland. The question is whether the 35-year-old Acerbi, still very good but no longer in his prime, can use his nous and vast experience to limit Haaland’s chances to do the exceptional. Haaland, meanwhile, just has to be himself. Ask yourself who’s being asked more.

Andre Onana vs Man City’s attack

Picking one player, even Haaland or De Bruyne, for this battle is unfair to the exercise because let’s be real. There is no chance that Inter Milan wins this game without a supreme moment or two from its goalkeeper. Andre Onana has played every Champions League match for Inter and has had his fair share of outstanding performances. He’s outperformed expected goals on target by 6.7 goals over the course of the tournament.

How many times has a team won the treble? Man City goes for history


There’s been a lot of treble talk these days, talk that’s found a new level of buzz since Manchester City moved within one win of joining the club.

It’s an elite club, by the way, of teams that have won their domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Nine times in history has a team won the treble, and only once has it been done by a Premier League club.

[ MORE: Recalling Zlatan’s “unicorn” career ]

That’s why Man City’s defeat of Manchester United earlier this month in the FA Cup Final rings so true for the Citizens; The blue side of Manchester would join the red side as treble supporters, as United won the treble in 1998-99.

Man City goes for the third jewel of its treble crown on Saturday versus Inter Milan in Istanbul when it kicks off the UEFA Champions League Final.

For more treble trivia, head below the jump.

How many times has the treble been won?

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.