Archive for the ‘MLS’ Category

David Beckham is teaming up with LeBron James for a documentary series about his new MLS franchise.

Beckham’s newly formed media venture, Studio 99, has inked a development agreement with Uninterrupted – the company founded by James and Maverick Carter. The two will co-produce a series following the journey of Inter Miami from conception to their spring 2020 launch, according to Todd Spangler of Variety.

The series is one of several documentary projects in development by Studio 99 that will cover the worlds of sports, travel, and fashion.

“I have always enjoyed creating content of all kinds and working on set with creative people,” Beckham said. “It’s amazing to see what guys that I admire so much, like LeBron and Maverick, have achieved. It’s inspired me to see what’s possible in my world. It’s just very cool to be working with friends and meeting so many new people who are doing great things and want (to) create exciting new projects with us.”

Studio 99’s name is an homage to 1999, which was the year Beckham married Victoria Adams, welcomed his first child, and won the treble with Manchester United.

Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore didn’t pull any punches in assessing the quality – or lack thereof – of officiating in MLS.

Away on international duty, Altidore missed TFC’s 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Saturday night, though the U.S. international did catch an incident in which teammate Ayo Akinolawas denied what resembled a stonewall penalty.

“MLS refs are some of the worst in the world. Absolutely horrible,” Altidore noted in a tweet highlighting the foul.

VAR was not employed in this instance, but the embattled video review technology was used in added time when match official Robert Sibiga awarded D.C. a penalty for a foul on Frederic Brillant. Wayne Rooney scored the spot-kick to deny Toronto an unlikely away victory with a makeshift starting XI.

David Beckham’s tortuous quest to find a home for his Inter Miami Major League Soccer franchise received a boost on Friday after a Florida judge approved plans to build a new stadium in neighbouring Fort Lauderdale.

The former England captain’s ownership group was forced to go before a court in South Florida on Wednesday to obtain permission to demolish the crumbling Lockhart Stadium.

The stadium, home of the now-defunct Fort Lauderdale Strikers, is around 25 miles north of Miami. Beckham’s group plans to build a new 18,000-seat arena at the site in time for Inter Miami’s MLS debut in 2020.

Work on the new venue will begin immediately in the wake of Friday’s court ruling, which followed a legal battle with sports entertainment company FXE Futbol, which had sought an injunction against Beckham’s project.

FXE had been in talks with city officials for over a year about renovating rather than demolishing Lockhart Stadium before Beckham’s group swooped for the site.

But Judge Raag Singhal ruled Friday there were no grounds to block the Beckham group’s $60 million project.

Inter Miami plan to use Lockhart for two seasons following their entrance into MLS next year, while a planned $1 billion permanent home at Melreese Country Club near Miami airport is completed.

But FXE had been sharply critical of what they called a “rushed” decision over the proposals.

FXE accused city officials of failing to adhere to state guidelines while questioning Inter Miami’s claims that the site needed to be demolished because of an asbestos problem.

Friday’s ruling is the latest development in the Beckham MLS saga which has been embroiled in legal gridlock in the five years since his intention to own a franchise became official.

Lockhart is the sixth proposed site and despite the plans looking impressive, some fans are angry that the new team will be forced outside of Miami.

The future of Inter Miami’s planned permanent home at Melreese Country Club, meanwhile, remains shrouded in political uncertainty and doubts ahead of a crucial November vote by Miami commissioners.

Former star France striker Thierry Henry will not be rejoining the New York Red Bulls, the Major League Soccer club’s sporting director said in a statement Monday.

Denis Hamlett dismissed multiple reports linking the former Red Bulls standout and AS Monaco coach to a head coaching job with the Red Bulls, who are off to a slow MLS start this season under Chris Armas.

“Recent reports of Thierry Henry joining the New York Red Bulls are false,” Hamlett said in a statement on the MLS website.

Henry, 41, was dropped as coach at AS Monaco in January with the club 19th in the French league standings, having gone 4-11 with five drawn under the former France national team standout.

Henry scored 51 goals in 122 appearances for the Red Bulls in the later days of a playing career that saw him take the field for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal and Barcelona as well as help France to a 1998 World Cup title.

The Red Bulls are 1-4 with two drawn this season under Armas, who last season guided New York to a league-best record of 22-7 with five drawn.

Major League Soccer announced plans to expand to 30 teams following Thursday’s Board of Governors meetings in Los Angeles.

MLS is currently comprised of 24 teams but will increase to 27 by 2021 when Miami CF (2020), Nashville SC (2020) and Austin FC (2021) officially join the league.

Expansion fees for the next two clubs have been set at $200 million, but a fee for a 30th team to join MLS has yet to be decided.

“Professional soccer at all levels is thriving in the United States and Canada,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “And we believe there are many markets that could support a successful MLS club.

“Expansion during the last 15 years has been enormously successful and a key driver behind the league’s continued rise, and we are pleased that some of the top business and community leaders representing great markets in North America are aggressively pursuing MLS expansion clubs.”

Although a final decision over future expansion markets has yet to be made, ownership groups representing Sacramento, Calif., and St. Louis will be asked to make formal presentations to the MLS Expansion Committee regarding the details of their respective bids.

Those details will include “final stadium plan(s), corporate commitments, the composition of the respective ownership groups, detailed economics on funding, strategic plans for fan development, commitments on player development, and details on community programs.”

Successful expansion bids for the league’s two newest teams will be announced in the coming months. A date for the announcement of the 30th team has yet to be determined.

The Chicago Fire are considering revising the team name and moving back downtown to Soldier Field, sources told ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle.

Local attorney James Vlahakis claims there are plans afoot for the Eastern Conference side to drop Fire from its moniker and rebrand as Chicago City Football Club. One source told ESPN FC that no such decision has been made.

As for SeatGeek Stadium – formerly Toyota Park – the expected mass redevelopment of the area since the Fire took residence in 2006 hasn’t occurred, so the site has been a huge financial drain for the venue owner, the Village of Bridgeview. The ground’s location 15 miles southwest of downtown Chicago has also struggled to draw fans.

The Fire played at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, between 1998-2001 and 2003-2005. A move to the 61,500-seat stadium would place the Major League Soccer franchise in an easier-to-access location and hopefully make the club more relevant in a city with two MLB teams and one each in the NFL, NHL, and NBA.

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Former England star Wayne Rooney scored three goals on Saturday night to lead D.C. United to a crushing 5-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.

Rooney registered his first three goals of the new season and also his first hat trick since signing on with Major League Soccer in July 2018. He now has five multi-goal games.

Lucas Rodriguez and Ulises Segura also scored for host D.C. United, who peppered the Salt Lake goal with 22 shots.

Goalkeeper Bill Hamid made two stops to earn his third straight shutout as D.C. United is the lone team to have not allowed a goal this season.

Rooney scored on a penalty kick in the 34th minute and then added another with a chip shot over the goalkeeper in the 41st minute. He completed the hat trick with a perfectly-timed sliding score at the 65th minute of the second half.

Elsewhere, Uruguay international Nicolas Lodeiro set up one goal and scored an audacious penalty as the Seattle Sounders maintained their 100 percent start to the season with a 4-2 victory at Chicago Fire.

The Sounders made it three wins out of three after taking control of the game with two unanswered goals in the opening 15 minutes at Chicago’s SeatGeek Stadium.

Spanish winger Victor Rodriguez fired Seattle into the lead after eight minutes, tucking away a low finish at the far post after good work down the right by Jordan Morris.

Lodeiro then created Seattle’s second, splitting open Chicago’s defence with a sublime pass to Morris.

The US international striker still had plenty to do, but adjusted his body position brilliantly to steer a finish beyond Chicago goalkeeper David Ousted to make it 2-0.

Seattle extended their lead early in the second half when Rodriguez was bundled over in the area on 49 minutes, allowing Lodeiro to step up and chip a Panenka penalty in off the underside of the bar.

Chicago hit back with goals from Raheem Edwards and Fabian Herbers but Raul Ruidiaz’s late goal made the game safe for Seattle, who now lead the Western Conference standings with a maximum of nine points.

Minnesota, who have also taken maximum points from their opening two games, can draw level later Saturday with a win over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Los Angeles FC, the only other team to make a perfect start to the season, face New York City FC on Sunday.