Major League Soccer

FIFA’s 2022 global transfer report reveals Premier League dominance, rise of MLS fees

0 Comments

FIFA have released their global transfer report for 2022 and there are some intriguing findings, especially when it comes to the Premier League and the domestic game in the United States of America.

We all love talking about, and dissecting, transfers and now FIFA have taken a deep dive to reveal the themes and patterns from every transfer around the globe in 2022.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

England once again came out on top in terms of the most money spent on transfers by a single country, with almost $2.2 billion spent. For the first time in history a single country, led by clubs across the Premier League, spent over $2 billion on new players.

Six of the top 10 player transfers of 2022 were conducted by Premier League clubs with Darwin Nunez, Antony, Casemiro, Erling Haaland, Alexander Isak and Luis Diaz the most expensive signings in terms of the fixed transfer fee. Also, 11 of the top 16 clubs in Europe (in terms of their transfer spending in 2022) were from the Premier League.

Looking elsewhere around the globe, Brazil and France continue to be the two countries who produce incredible amounts of money from selling players with over $843 million spent on players from Brazil alone in 2022. In terms of spending by association, the USA ranked at No. 8, ahead of both Brazil and Portugal in terms of transfer fees spent in 2022.

MLS clubs also dominated transfer fees spent in the CONCACAF region, with seven of the top 10 clubs in terms of spending hailing from the USA as Charlotte FC, Chicago Fire, Orlando City and Atlanta United led the way. Clubs from the CONCACAF region also received almost $142 million from UEFA clubs for their players, which ranked second behind South America in terms of the transfer funds received for players moving to UEFA from a different confederation.

Below are some big takeaways from the fascinating report, which you can read in full here.


Biggest player transfers of 2022


Top nationalities by total transfers, transfer fees


Top associations by transfer spending, transfer fees received


Number of transfers and transfer fees by confederation


Top spending clubs from UEFA


Top spending clubs from CONCACAF


Streams of transfers within and between confederations

USMNT roster: Squad announced for Serbia, Colombia friendlies

0 Comments

United States men’s national team interim coach Anthony Hudson has named his roster for January’s friendlies against Serbia and Colombia.

[ WATCH: Both games live in Spanish on Telemundo, Peacock Premium ]

Hudson has been an assistant to Gregg Berhalter and is at the helm as the program sorts out its direction at head coach, as Berhalter’s contract expired on Dec. 31.

The situation is murky, as it seemed Berhalter was set for a longer stay in the position if he wanted it but nasty allegations from Danielle Reyna provoked an investigation of a 31-year-old incident by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

[ MORE: Report: Zinedine Zidane offered, rejected USMNT head coach job ]

The USMNT plays Serbia on Jan. 25 at LAFC’s home stadium before meeting Colombia three days later in Carson, home of LA Galaxy.

Brandon Vazquez leads the list and will likely lead the line. The 24-year-old was a staple in the U-17 and U-19 set-ups but his professional career’s had a longer fuse that exploded with FC Cincinnati this season.

But there are other intriguing names, as Middlesbrough’s Matthew Hoppe has been released by the club and Jonathan Gomez of Real Sociedad will also join the fray. Chelsea’s Gaga SloninaWorld Cup veterans Gaga

Full USMNT roster after the jump:

USMNT roster for Serbia, Colombia friendlies

Goalkeepers: Roman Celentano (FC Cincinnati), Sean Johnson (unattached), Gaga Slonina (Chelsea)

Defenders: Jonathan Gómez (Real Sociedad), Julian Gressel (Vancouver Whitecaps), DeJuan Jones (New England Revolution), Aaron Long (LAFC), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy), Sam Rogers (Rosenborg), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Midfielders: Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Alan Soñora (Unattached), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Paul Arriola (FC Dallas), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Matthew Hoppe (Middlesbrough), Emmanuel Sabbi (Odense), Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)

England’s Jude Bellingham, USMNT’s Yunus Musah named most promising U21 players

0 Comments

The CIES Football Observatory has issued a new report ranking the Top 200 U-21 players in the world, and there’s plenty to discuss for both Premier League and United States men’s national team fans alike.

More than 26,500 players were observed for the study, including 567 players from the United States, meaning less than one percent of players made it into the top 200.

The study uses what it calls “experience capital” in official adult matches played in 2022 to rank the top 10 players in 20 different categories.

Eighteen-year-old Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina is ranked fourth on the table for goalkeepers, two slots behind Southampton’s Gavin Bazunu, and is the first USMNT player to forge his way into the discussion (by virtue of the CIES study listing ‘keepers first!).

[ MORE: Erling Haaland makes Premier League history ]

It comes as little surprise that RB Leipzig and Croatia star Josko Gvardiol is named the top ball-playing center back, while current Burnley and former Man City back Taylor Harwood-Bellis is also among the top ten in that category.

New York Red Bulls left back John Tolkin is 20 years old and is listed as the most promising “defensive left back” amongst U21 players, ahead of Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde. Mexico’s Emilio Lara makes the top ten promising “defensive right backs,” while Brentford’s Aaron Hickey is the third-rated two-way left back under 21.

Two-way right backs have two huge pats on the back for New York City FC’s academy, as Borussia Monchengladbach’s Joe Scally is ranked behind only Salzburg’s Amar Dedic and current NYCFC man Tayvon Gray is just two spots behind Scally (who made the USMNT’s World Cup roster but did not play). Colombian international Juan David Mosquera of Portland Timbers is fourth amongst attacking right backs.

Back to the USMNT, Valencia’s Yunus Musah is ranked fourth in attacking midfielders, behind Jude Bellingham, Jamal Musiala, and Gavi but ahead of Liverpool duo Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho.

Leeds’ Wilfried Gnonto is named as a top 10 promising shot-oriented right winger, while Man United’s Anthony Elanga is fourth amongst all-around left wingers. Another NYCFC talent, Talles Magno, makes the latter list.

Is there hope in the center forward pool for the USMNT? It seems so, as 18-year-old Jackson Hopkins of DC United is listed as the fifth-best all-around CF.

Top Twenty “experience capital” U21 players (via CIES Football Observatory)

  1. Jude Bellingham, CAM, Borussia Dortmund — 58.3
  2. Gavi, CAM, Barcelona — 51.2
  3. Pedri, CDM, Barcelona — 46.6
  4. Josko Gvardiol, CB, RB Leipzig — 45.2
  5. Jamal Musiala, CAM, Bayern Munich — 43.9
  6. Piero Hincapie, CB, Bayer Leverkusen — 42.0
  7. Marcos Leonardo, CF, Santos — 37.8
  8. Nuno Mendes, LB, Paris Saint-Germain — 35.1
  9. Quentin Merlin, LB, Nantes — 31.3
  10. Pablo Maia, CDM, Sao Paulo — 34.3
  11. Castello Lukeba, CB, Lyon — 34.4
  12. Yunus Musah, CAM, Valencia, 31.3
  13. Eduardo Camavinga, DM, Real Madrid — 31.0
  14. Adam Hlozek, LW, Bayer Leverkusen — 29.3
  15. Taylor Harwood-Bellis, CB, Burnley — 29.1
  16. Nicola Zalewski, CM, AS Roma — 28.4
  17. Ansgar Knauff, LW, Eintracht Frankfurt — 28.3
  18. Arsen Zakharyan, CAM, Dynamo Moscow — 28.3
  19. Valentin Gomez, CB, Velez Sarsfield — 27.6
  20. Nico Williams, LW, Athletic Bilbao– 27.3

Lionel Messi set for richest deal in MLS history, summer move to Beckham’s Miami

0 Comments

Lionel Messi is close to moving to Inter Miami next summer, where he’ll become the richest player in Major League Soccer history according to a sensational report in The Sunday Times.

Considered by many to be the greatest player of his generation, the 35-year-old Messi is still playing at an elite level with Paris Saint-Germain — and Argentina — and was expected to consider a return to Barcelona among several possible stops after his PSG contract expires this summer.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

A report in May said Messi would join Inter Miami and acquire 35% of the David Beckham’s club, as the Argentine already has a home in Miami as does close friend Luis Suarez. Speculation has linked Suarez and Cesc Fabregas to Inter Miami in moves that would be stratospheric for a league that has grown younger but also shown that world-class veterans can star late in their careers.

Messi to Miami: What it means for club, player, MLS

This is the rare deal that will make everyone with an MLS opinion nod at each other, whether defiant of the outdated “retirement league” criticism or those who think the league still needs big names to be relevant.

Messi is closing in on his 700th goal between Barca and PSG and has added 93 more for Argentina, with nearly 400 combined assists through club and country. He’s won seven Ballons d’Or and, according to FBRef.com, still ranks in the 99th percentile in net expected goals and assists, shot-creating actions, passes attempted, and progressive passes. He’d get some criticism from the diehard Cristiano Ronaldo and/or Real Madrid crowd and perhaps from those hoping he’d one day go home to Newell’s Old Boys, but Messi will be closer to Argentina and a closer event for South American and North American fans.

Inter Miami made its first playoff appearance in 2022, its third season in MLS. The club is coached by Phil Neville and boasted Messi pal Gonzalo Higuain until the player retired this summer. Alejandro Pozuelo is also out of contract and star Leonardo Campana was on loan from Wolves this season. Still on the roster are USMNT back DeAndre Yedlin, former Arsenal back Kieran Gibbs. Suffice it to say that if Pozuelo and Carlos Vela can affect a club the way they have in their 30s, Messi’s going to contend for every league honor a la Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Every single MLS club would sell out their dates against Inter Miami well in advance of the game. If you thought David Beckham was a box-office smash, get ready for something even bigger… if in fact this happens.

LAFC vs Philadelphia Union: How to watch MLS Cup Final, stream link

0 Comments

It doesn’t happen often, but the two best teams in Major League Soccer will meet in the MLS Cup Final when Philadelphia Union visits LAFC at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday.

Eastern Conference Final hosts Philadelphia came from behind to beat reigning MLS Cup champs NYCFC 3-1 on Sunday after LAFC blanked Austin FC 3-0 to set up the final.

Both Philadelphia and LAFC finished the regular season with 67 points, but LAFC won two more matches than the Union to claim its second Supporters Shield in four years.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Either LAFC or Philadelphia have won the Supporters Shield in three of the past four MLS regular seasons, and shield winners have not even made the MLS Cup Final during those campaigns.

Christian Arango and Kwadwo Opoku scored to join an Austin own goal in LAFC’s win over Austin, while Philly had more work to do after Maxi Moralez put NYCFC ahead after halftime.

The home crowd then got fireworks as Julian Carranza, Daniel Gazdag, and Cory Burke scored thrice in just over 10 minutes to seal a spot in the final.


How to watch MLS Cup Final: LAFC vs Philadelphia Union

Kickoff: 4pm ET Saturday, Nov. 5
TV Channel: FOX, UniMas
Stream: FoxSports.com