April 19, 2007
It was announced yesterday that WSII now has commitments from 8 markets for the 2008 re-launch of a top professional women's soccer league in the US. Boston and NY/NJ will join LA, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, and a market to be named later (rumored to be San Jose) when the follow on to the defunct WUSA opens for business next summer.
There had been talks that both Rochester and Cary, North Carolina were two markets that were in the mix to join the new league. But, that appears to be on hold for the time being with this latest announcement.
US U-20 MNT vs Argentina's U-20s coming to PAETEC Park in May
It looks as if the big announcement the Rhinos have been hinting at recently is that on Monday tickets will go on sale for a friendly at PAETEC Park between the US U-20 National Team and Argentina's U-20 MNT ahead of this summer's U-20 World Cup in Canada. The match could feature Barcelona superstar and Argentina U-20 MNT member Lionel Messi, as well as Real Salt Lake midfielder Freddy Adu who is the captain of the US U-20 team.
The match is scheduled to take place at 8pm Tuesday, May 15th with tickets apparently going on sale this Monday morning at 10am.
Could the Rhinos work to host a SuperLiga match?
DC United is looking for a home away from RFK Stadium for a potential SuperLiga semifinal match on August 14th or 15th. The Rattlers play at home on August 11th and the Rhinos play at home on August 12th, so there wouldn't appear to be a scheduling conflict there. Although, I doubt that DC would want to have a "home game" that far away from home.
Montreal finally breaks ground on their new stadium
When the concept was originally put forth, the plan was to have the stadium up and running in time to host the U-20 World Cup starting in June. However, delays in finding a suitable site have pushed back construction such that the ceremonial groundbreaking didn't take place until yesterday. Montreal still hopes to be able to call Saputo Stadium home in 2008.
California announces four more signings
The California Victory now have 6 players and are over half way towards being able to officially field 11 players!
The latest signings are of 4 players that each have MLS and/or USL experience. Mike Muñoz (midfielder) formally with Chivas USA, Josh Hansen (forward) a member of the 2005 USL 1st Division champion Seattle Sounders, Chris Schwarze (defender/midfielder) formerly of the Virginia Beach Mariners, and José Retiz (midfielder) formerly of the Columbus Crew give the Victory some more pro experience than their first two collegiate draftee signings that were previously announced.
First off, a big thumbs up to the Houston Dynamo. The 2006 MLS Cup Champs are holding a big fundraiser for Virginia Tech in the wake of the tragic events of Monday. The team will wear special Virginia Tech colored jerseys to be auctioned off after their April 29th match against the Chicago Fire with 100% of the proceeds going to the Virginia Tech Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The Dynamo are also planning on donating $8 per ticket to the special event to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.
At SI.com, Ryan Hunt's MLS Free Kicks column focuses on what foreign additions will have the biggest impact in 2007. Amazingly, Beckham is third behind DC's Luciano Emilio and Juan Pablo Angel of the NY Red Bulls.
Real Salt Lake defeated the Kansas City Wizards in a US Open Cup qualifier yesterday. Andy Williams scored in the 109th minute to give the hosts a 2-1 win. Real Salt Lake will play the Colorado Rapids for a spot in this year's Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.
And speaking of Real Salt Lake, Sandy, Utah has released some official documents spelling out the deal for the new RSL stadium. It appears that $45 million in public funds will go towards the $110 million stadium project.
Toronto FC is still wheeling and dealing. This time they've sent disgruntled midfielder Richard Mulrooney to the Houston Dynamo. While it was initially believed that Mulrooney would be happy to team up with former FC Dallas teammate Ronnie O'Brien in Toronto, apparently that was never the case. And Toronto was able to give Mulrooney what he was asking for with this deal that returns him to Texas.
Will another American gain control of a major EPL club?
Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke has acquired almost a 12% stake in Arsenal and he may be poised to take a run at gaining control of the London club. If Kroenke is able to get control of Arsenal, that would mean that Americans control Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, as well as Arsenal.
The next logical question would be when will Phil Anschutz or another American billionaire sports owner buy Newcastle United or Chelsea?
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.