2 El Clásicos In 3 Days: Does It Get Better Than This?

Miami, Fla. (Wednesday, February 27, 2019) – Kenneth Russo

At the time of writing, we are two hours from the kickoff.  ¡A dos horas del arranque del partido!

We’ve reached ‘that’ time of the year. Leagues are heading into their final two months, and Tournaments are heading towards their conclusions. In Spain, both La Liga and the Copa del Rey have seen their share of exciting moments.

In La Liga, Fútbol Club Barcelona hold a seven point lead over second place Atlético de Madrid, today, all eyes around the world are on Spain for the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinal match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, where Real Madrid CF plays FC Barcelona. The result after the first leg at the Camp Nou is 1-1, meaning Los Merengues hold the important away goal advantage. Despite that, everyone is expecting this to be a memorable match.

If the excitement of the Copa del Rey isn’t enough, in just three days, Real Madrid and Barcelona will face each other again, this time in La Liga Matchday 26, also in Madrid. It will be the first time in the history of the rivalry that Barça has played two consecutive El Clásico’s in Madrid.

The Copa del Rey match has been receiving the type of media coverage that one would expect, with updates and news stories all day long on TVE in Spain.

The same can be said across the world of social media, with tens of thousands of posts:

Barcelona is the king of the Copa del Rey, having captured the trophy a total of 30 times in its history, seven more than the second-best performer Athletic Club Bilbao. The Blaugrana have also won four straight Copa del Rey Trophies, becoming last season the first team in 85 years to win four consecutive trophies.

The club is coming off a 4-2 win last weekend versus Sevilla Football Club, with Leo Messi scoring a hat trick, the 50th of his career. Messi has also scored the most goals in El Clásico matches, with 26. Ironically, he has never scored against Los Blancos in a Copa del Rey match.

Copa Del Rey Champions 1960-2018

For Barcelona to advance, appear in a sixth straight final and have the chance to win a fifth consecutive Copa, they will need to win tonight or tie with more than 1 goal. A 0-0 draw tonight sends Real Madrid through, while a 1-1 draw means extra time will be played.

Andres Iniesta holds up the Copa del Rey after FC Barcelona’s 2018 title.

Whatever the result when these two teams meet, it will be worth the time spent watching.

Photo Courtesy of Diario Sport, Barcelona.

NOTE: As mentioned, there will be another installment of El Clásico less than 72 hours after tonight’s match, on Saturday, March 2, 2019. For those of you watching in Miami, you are invited to view Saturday’s El Clásico at the M.I.A. Beer Company, 10400 NW 33rd Street, Doral, FL (Twitter @MIABrewing) beginning at 2 p.m. EST, with Inter Miami CF supporters’ group Southern Legion / Legión del Sur. For more information click the link here > Southern Legion

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Entrevista de Fútbol Miami TV con el Director Comercial de Inter Miami CF

Miami, Fla. (sábado, el 23 de febrero de 2019) ) por Kenneth Russo

Aquí les presentan una entrevista de Ricky Ricardo, reportero de Fútbol Miami TV, con Jurgen Mainka, Chief Business Officer del Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (“Inter Miami CF”). En este encuentro que tuvo lugar en las oficinas del Inter Miami, nos cuenta sobre el estadio, Miami Freedom Park, la camiseta, nueva mercancía y más. No se lo pierda.

Fútbol Miami TV está dedicada a presentar cobertura del fútbol en el sur de la Florida. Se puede mirar más produciones haciendo clic en este enlace:


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El Maestro Joins La Academia of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami Hires Javier Morales to Team’s Academy

Miami, FL (February 22, 2019) –

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (“Inter Miami CF”) has hired former Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas star Javier Morales to the team’s Academy coaching staff.

“We are thrilled to welcome Javier to our club. He has played at the highest level, both in MLS and internationally, and his experience will be invaluable for our Academy players as we build our foundation and begin play later this year. We are excited to work with him in the next phase of his career as a coach.”

Sporting Director Paul McDonough

Morales joins Miami after working as the U-13 Academy Coach with FC Dallas. In his one season in that role, he led the youth team to an international championship at the 2018 Copa Rayados Internacional tournament in Mexico.

He earned the nickname “El Maestro” as one of the best playmakers in MLS, Morales spent 10 seasons with Real Salt Lake, from 2007-16, where he was a star performer for head coach Jason Kreis (who is also on the Inter Miami CF coaching staff) and played on the 2009 MLS Cup Championship Team. He also appeared as a Finalist on numerous occasions including the 2011 Concacaf Champions League, 2013 MLS Cup and 2013 U.S. Open Cup.

Did You Know? Morales finished his career with FC Dallas in 2017, becoming a member of the elite “50-50 club” designated for those MLS players who have been credited with 50 goals and 50 assists, becoming the 17th player in MLS history to accomplish the feat.

During his MLS career, Morales played in 255 games, scoring 50 goals and adding 83 assists. Complete Career Statistics via Transfermarkt

A native of Lomas de Zamora, Argentina (b. Jan 10, 1980) Morales played for Lanús and Arsenal de Sarandí, as well as Newell’s Old Boys and Instituto de Cordoba, before making his move to MLS.

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami Anuncia Llegada de Javier Morales a la Academia del Equipo

Miami, FL. (viernes, 22 de febrero de 2019) –

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami anunció hoy la contratación de Javier Morales como entrenador de la Academia del equipo.

“Estamos emocionados al darle la bienvenida a Javier al club. Javier ha jugado en grandes clubes tanto en la MLS como a nivel internacional, y su experiencia será muy beneficiosa para los jugadores de la academia conforme vamos construyendo los cimientos de la misma, con vista a jugar este mismo año.”

Paul McDonough, Director Deportivo del Inter Miami CF.

Morales llega al Inter Miami del FC Dallas, donde el año pasado fue entrenador del equipo Sub-13. De la mano de Morales, el equipo se coronó campeón del torneo internacional 2018 Copa Rayados que se celebró en México.

Llegó al FC Dallas en 2017. Con Dallas acabó su carrera como un miembro del “club 50-50” que alberga a aquellos jugadores de MLS que han sido acreditados con 50 goles y 50 asistencias. Es el decimoséptimo jugador en la historia de la MLS en conseguir este logro.

Apodado “El Maestro” por ser uno de los mejores jugadores creativos la MLS, Morales jugó 10 temporadas con el Real Salt Lake (2007 al 2016) bajo la batuta de Jason Kreis ganando la Copa MLS en el 2009. También fue finalista en torneos como la Liga de Campeones de Concacaf en 2011, la Copa MLS en 2013 y el U.S Open Cup en 2011.

En su carrera en la MLS, Morales jugo un total de 255 partidos, anotando 50 goles y marcando 83 asistencias.

Antes de unirse al RSL, Morales jugó en su nativa Argentina para el Club Atlético Lanús, el Arsenal de Sarandí, así como de Newell´s Old Boys y el Instituto Córdoba.

Javi Morales, durante su tiempo con Arsenal de Sarandí
¡Que gol marcado por Javi Morales por medio de una bicicleta contra Portland en 2013!

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

MEDIAPRO signs groundbreaking deal with Canadian soccer

Grupo Mediapro will own the rights to every property within the CSB portfolio for the next ten years.

Miami, FL (Thursday, February 21, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

With the new Canadian Premier League (“CPL”) kicking off its first season across the True North this Spring, Canadians are about to have unprecedented access to soccer. It’s one of the bigger stories in the country’s soccer history.

Canadian Soccer Business (“CSB”) announced a 10-year Official Media Partnership with MEDIAPRO, a Spain-based media rights company. MEDIAPRO acquires a package that includes global and domestic media rights for Canada Soccer’s men’s and women’s national team home matches, the CPL, and League1 Ontario, the third-tier semi-pro division the league acquired last year.

The deal was negotiated by ThePostGame, a digital sports content and marketing agency, which is retained in August 2018 as the exclusive representative for CSB’s global media rights. CSB represents all corporate partnerships and broadcast rights related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including its national teams, along with all rights associated with the CPL.

Learn More: Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) -A-new-sports-enterprise in Canada

Oscar Lopez Garcia (left), CEO of Mediapro Canada, and Canadian Soccer Business CEO Scott Mitchell, right. courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Soccer Business

“It’s easy to define our plan in one sentence — we want to build a home for Canadian soccer.”

Oscar Lopez Garcia, CEO of Mediapro Canada.

It is customary for agreements such as this to be for three or perhaps four years, but, in this case, CSB had a longer term vision, which took into account where soccer is at the moment in Canada versus where it can be years from now. MEDIAPRO embraced that vision.

“Soccer is our cornerstone,” said Oscar Lopez, CEO of MEDIAPRO Canada. “For us, it’s part of our DNA. We breathe soccer. And, this is special, because this is a 10-year project. He added, “Usually in Europe, the period that you can have the rights is three years. It’s not enough time to develop a product or a story. But here, it’s 10 years, and for us, this fits perfectly with our philosophy and our ideas.”

The group’s vision? A prosperous, thriving CPL and Canada as an emerging soccer giant, culminating with the nation’s role as a co-host in the tri-nation 2026 FIFA World Cup.

“At the outset of this project, the owners of CSB felt it was hugely important to create a platform that was focused on anything and everything related to Canadian soccer,” said Scott Mitchell, CEO of Canadian Soccer Business. “The only way to do that is to find a world-class media partner who has experience doing just that and work with them on that platform. We’re not sure you can find a better example to emulate than what MEDIAPRO has done with La Liga.

“The reality of media consumption right now is that you can create a streaming platform that is ubiquitous for the consumers and easy to find in a variety of places and on a variety of devices. That is the primary focus before we turn our attention, with MEDIAPRO’s leadership, to other potential distribution partners.”

A leading global content producer, MEDIAPRO will be in charge of the production of thousands of matches and will launch a diverse and versatile channel that will be available for all platforms and devices entirely devoted to delivering world-class dedicated Canadian soccer coverage and content. This includes an OTT soccer streaming channel, complemented by unique soccer shoulder programming including magazine shows, documentaries and other Canadian soccer programming, focusing on a variety of topics, such as Canadian men’s and women’s national team performances in major tournaments, milestone moments in the CPL and the people who make it all happen. Content will also include telling the stories of soccer through daily programming across Desktop, Mobile and Smart TV platforms.

“For us, the match is only half the story we want to tell. The other half is the story of the players, the cities, the training and processes, everything around the match and about the teams. That’s how we built La Liga, which is on seven days per week.

Oscar Lopez Garcia, CEO of Mediapro Canada.

“We want to replicate that and bring that experience to the Canadian market. The good thing is that we start from scratch. We can create all this from the beginning.” Lopez added: “We know clearly that the agencies that only deal with buying and selling rights are coming to an end. We need to add more value to these rights.”

The agreement will also create infrastructure and career opportunities for Canadians, as Lopez affirmed that MEDIAPRO’s operation on this project will be Canadian-based, which was also an important mandate of the CSB to building this new soccer economy.

“We’re starting from scratch and we are really positive people,” Lopez offered. “We think that we have a lot of room to grow. Football – soccer in this case – is the people’s sport. It’s not expensive, it’s easy to play, and in the end, it’s the No. 1 sport in the world. “Soon, Canada will have a World Cup here – the event of all events in all of sport. We can try to piggyback this and create and build this philosophy of culture here in Canada.”

The ultimate goal of this partnership is to bring together like-minded individuals who share a common goal — growing the game of soccer across Canada. “I’m not sure you’ve ever seen this level of commitment to grow a sport in a developed country like this before, from an established company,” Mitchell told CanPL.ca.

Wanderers Grounds, Halifax, NS, home of Canadian Premier League side HFX Wanderers

“Getting a new technology and media company interested in the project wasn’t difficult, but landing a deal with a globally-respected company who wants to invest this seriously in soccer in Canada is certainly a first of its kind for Canadian soccer.”

The first season of the Canadian Premier League kicks off on April 27, 2019.

CSB has entered a ten-year Official Media Partnership with MEDIAPRO

Learn More about Grupo MEDIAPRO

— Link: MediaPro To Usher in New Era For Canadian Soccer

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Could This Be A Third Option For Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami?

Miami, FL (Wednesday February 20, 2019) – Kenneth Russo –

Another potential site for the temporary home of Inter Miami CF has emerged, according to information discovered via social media feeds. On February 12, 2019, officials from the MLS club, Dennis Sprenkle, the Vice-President of HR and Administration, and Jurgen Mainka, Director of Commercial, met with the President of Saint Thomas University, David A. Armstrong, J.D. at the team’s Miami offices.

Inter Miami CF is in need of securing a home for its inaugural season beginning in March 2020, and in all likelihood for the 2021 season as well. The Club had been in talks with MLB’s Miami Marlins to play at Marlins Park, but the two sides could not reach an accord. They also reportedly have talked to RSE Ventures about leasing Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, but again without an agreement being struck.

The third choice for a temporary home has usually focused on Riccardo Silva Stadium at Florida International University. Located in the western part of Miami-Dade County, that site also has its complications, the primary obstacle being that Inter Miami CF would be the third tenant, and would be required to adjust its home dates to fit in with FIU Football and the Miami Football Club, a non division team owned in part by Silva which played in the now defunct NASL. Also, the location is less-than-ideal, as it is far from the urban core of Miami.

At the meeting with St. Thomas on February 12, the two sides talked about potential partnerships with the University and with the St. Thomas University Sports Administration Program.

Founded in 1961 as Biscayne College by the order of Augustinian Friars, the private Catholic institution achieved university status in 1984, operates one of only two accredited Catholic law schools south of Washington, D.C., and offers multiple degrees at the bachelor and master level. It has an undergraduate enrollment of 4,280, and its current campus size is 140 acres, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report survey of colleges and universities. The university listed 28 acres of land for sale in August 2018. The sale of the land, located along the Palmetto Expressway, would be used to strengthen its endowment and finance strategic projects, according to President David A. Armstrong.


St. Thomas University has recently added men’s American Football to its university sports program, with games beginning in Fall 2019, but has yet to announce where it will play those home games. Presently, there is no football stadium on the campus. It is also entirely possible that St. Thomas is interested in using the eventual Miami Freedom Park Stadium. No one has ever mentioned Inter Miami CF sharing its home with other teams, but it wouldn’t be unprecedented either. Within MLS, Toronto FC has allowed the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts to use BMO Field; Los Angeles Galaxy’s Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson California is the temporary home of the relocated NFL Chargers; FC Dallas’ home is used for American Football.

Geographically, St. Thomas’ location in northern Miami-Dade County make it an ideal site for Inter Miami CF, as the location is easily accessible by car from both Miami and Broward County. The university also has experience in hosting a soccer club, having been the home grounds of the aforementioned Miami FC while the club dropped down to play in the NPSL. St. Thomas controls a large amount of land and has the room necessary to construct a football stadium for its newly launched university team.

If there is anything to the possibility of constructing a temporary home at St. Thomas, plans would have to occur quickly. The time factor gives rise to another potential: the use of a modular stadium. This has been a popular solution for USL teams. For example, Phoenix Rising FC have constructed a modular stadium for its home games, while building the club’s fanbase and developing plans for a permanent stadium as part of its very strong expansion bid to Major League Soccer. Phoenix’ modular stadium has 6,000 seats, and building one for Inter Miami CF would require at least 15,000 to be a viable option and to meet MLS standards.

Read more about InProduction modular stadiums:

LA Galaxy and their looming DP issue

The Los Angeles Galaxy are over-the-limit. The club went to training camp this season with four designated players [DPs], one over the league limit. They must solve the problem prior to the March 1, 2019 roster compliance date. In December, LA signed star player Zlatan Ibrahimović to a league-record $7.2-million contract, putting him into the category of a DP.

2018 – 2019 MLS Player Salaries (As of September 15th, 2018)

NamePosBase Salary Total Compensation

Romain Alessandrini




Jonathan dos Santos




Giovani dos Santos




Zlatan Ibrahimovic*




*Ibrahimović has since
signed a new contract
and is now a DP.

Various options exist to solve this problem. One option the team has is to restructure the contract of one of its other three DPs to squeeze the contract under the league’s salary cap. Or it could take the financially painful path and give Giovani dos Santos the $6-million-plus he’s owed in the final year of his deal, then transfer him to another club.

The latter option did not receive a warm welcome with Gio’s brother, Jonathan dos Santos. “Gio queda,” said Jonathan, insisting in Spanish. “The team needs him. He’s a good player. Not all teams have a player with the quality of Giovani and we need him this year and he’s going to stay. No doubt.” New coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto wouldn’t say if he agreed with that. But he didn’t disagree either.

The rumour of a trade of Gio has been the most persistent offseason speculation, either via a transfer, with LA likely picking up part of his salary, or the club buying out his contract – or a transfer sending Romain Alessandrini to Montreal, but Barros Schelotto would prefer to keep all four.

What will happen? If the club cannot transfer Gio, then the next most-likely scenario would be for Alessandrini, dos Santos, or his brother Jonathan dos Santos – to take a restructured deal or for the Galaxy to use Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”) to lessen his impact under the salary cap.

MLS rules allow teams to use TAM to convert a DP to a non-DP by buying down his contract at or below the maximum charge of $504,375

Barros Schelotto insists, “We don’t have any problem about the designated player. We are talking with the player about that, an no problem. I think maybe it can happen. I think we need to talk with him.” Who the manager means when he says “him” is not clear.

For his part, Alessandrini thinks he’s earned his DP stature: “If I have to choose, I stay there. I stay, like, as a DP,” the French winger said. “I don’t want to be too much confident, but we work I did the last two years, I think I have to stay like a DP. We’ll see what’s going to happen. “The club has to make a choice. Soccer is complicated sometimes, but it is what it is. We’ll see what [the club is] going to do, and we have to accept it.”

«Si je dois choisir, je reste là. Je reste comme un DP », a déclaré l’ailier français. «Je ne veux pas être trop confiant, mais nous travaillons comme je l’ai fait ces deux dernières années, je pense que je dois rester comme un DP. Nous verrons ce qui va se passer.

«Le club doit faire un choix. Le football est compliqué parfois, mais c’est ce que c’est. Nous verrons ce que le club va faire et nous devons l’accepter.»

Romain Alessandrini

Ibrahimovic says he hopes all three players will be on the Galaxy side this year “Hopefully, everybody gets satisfied and happy, and we can continue to work just like we’re doing.”

“Gio quiere quedarse aquí”, dijo Jonathan a periodistas en Los Ángeles en noviembre. “Sabe que este año fue complicado. Tuvo la desgracia y la mala suerte de no poder jugar muchos partidos”.

“Creo que Giovani tiene que estar aquí, es un gran jugador, es un jugador importante para nosotros”, dijo Jonathan. “Lo extrañé y todo el equipo lo extrañó mucho la temporada pasada. No dependería de esa decisión si el equipo ya no quiere a Giovani en el Galaxy, no creo que eso suceda”.

“Para mí, Giovani es un jugador que tiene que estar aquí. Tiene que ser el mejor jugador del equipo la próxima temporada y mostrar al gran jugador que es”.

Jonathan Dos Santos

Asked about the coming season, Barros Schelotto said, “I think we have a really good roster, but maybe we can get [additional players], more in defense. We are seeing our possibilities. We have important players like Ibra, Romain, both Dos Santos, so we will see what possibilities we have so that all our players have the freedom to feel comfortable on the field and give their best.”

MLS 2019 Primary Transfer Window – Feb 13 – May 7

Miami, FL (Friday, February 15, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

On Wednesday of this week, the 2019 MLS Primary Transfer Window, allowing clubs to now officially register their offseason additions. The 2019 window is open from February 13 until May 7 for transfers in to MLS Clubs.

Persuant to FIFA regulations, an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) is a requirement when completing an international transfer of a player. MLS teams are able to request International Transfer Certificates (ITC) from players’ former clubs to complete signings, loans and transfer deals.

With respect to outbound transfers, clubs may transfer or loan their players to non-MLS clubs at any time, subject to the transfer window of the recipient club’s national federation and subject to the consent of the player.

Major League Soccer maintains an official transactions page and transfer tracker; links are here:

official transactions page

transfer tracker

The Secondary Transfer Window will open on July 7 before closing on Aug. 7.

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer