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Houston Dynamo

Gabriel Brener buys controlling stake in MLS’s Houston Dynamo

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Gabriel Brener, a Mexican businessman and formerly a minority owner of the Houston Dynamo, has purchased a controlling stake in the Major League Soccer franchise from Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the club announced on Tuesday.

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AEG, which was responsible for relocating the franchise to Houston in 2006, also owns and operates the LA Galaxy, which means that Tuesday’s announcement marks the first time in MLS history that no ownership group holds any ownership stake in multiple teams in the league.

Brener, alongside legendary boxer Oscar De La Hoya, bought a minority stake in the franchise back in 2008. Brener, De La Hoya and two additional investors, Jake Silverstein and Ben Guill, are now set to take full control of the franchise 10 years after having arrived in Houston.

“We are thrilled to have Gabriel Brener become the majority owner of the Houston Dynamo,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “Gabriel has been an important member of our Board of Governors for more than seven years, and is highly respected throughout the soccer community. Houston is one of Major League Soccer’s cornerstone markets, and we know that Gabriel, Oscar De La Hoya and their new partners—Jake Silverstein and Ben Guill—will continue to build upon the Dynamo’s rich heritage.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was AEG, led by Philip Anschutz, and fellow league investors Robert Kraft and Lamar Hunt who sunk tens of millions of dollars of their own money into the league, just to keep it afloat during much leaner years which featured the constant threat — and reality — of franchise relocation and contraction.

As MLS plows full-steam ahead into its third decade of existence (2015 marked its 20th season), the league will feature 24 teams at the start of the 2018 season, with plans to expand to 28 in the years following thereafter.

Mourinho thinks Kaka will stay at Real Madrid in January

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So what’s Plan B around Home Depot Center? Because if Kaka is Plan A to replace David Beckham’s retiring moving to ownership I don’t know what to put here departing star power, then LA Galaxy may need some evasive action.

That’s because the latest word out of Spain is that José Mourinho wants the 30-year-old Brazilian to stick around:

“I don’t think that Kaka will go anywhere,” Mourinho said. “He will stay. And as I’ve said all along, if he stays then it is good for us because he provides us with an extra option.”

Nothing earth-shattering here. Everything Mourinho says was just as applicable three years ago as it is now, even though aside from first season at the Santiago Bernabeu, Kaka has never been first choice. Now that Real Madrid has brought in Luka Modric to provide an alternative to Mesut Ozil, Kaka isn’t even likely to play his preferred position, the reason why he’s only made five Primers Division appearances this season.

So if these words don’t tell us anything about Kaka’s place in the squad, why are they noteworthy at all? In fairness, they may not be, though their timing is noteworthy. Having been openly discussed as a target by Tim Leiweke, anything that sheds some light on Kaka’s availability is relevant. Mourinho’s words don’t tell us why he thinks a player who almost never sees the field will stay in Madrid. They just say he likely will.

So what’s Plan B? Who knows. The Kaka link kind of came out of nowhere, and while we know the CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group is committed to getting a player that appeals to the market LA’s reaching with their new Time Warner broadcast deal, there aren’t a lot of Kaka-esque players that are viable options.

Do they make another run at Giovani Dos Santos? Do they oil Juan Roman Riquelme’s joints and lure him north? If it wasn’t for Carlo Cudicini’s potential signing, I’d suggest making a run at the marketing machine that is Memo Ochoa.

Back to Mourinho. “He will stay,” is pretty strong language, but the rest of Mourinho’s words aren’t complete door-closers. A man like Leiweke may not see a red light.