With a background in law, I now focus my work on combining my passion for soccer with the business, communications and team operations side of the sport. I am a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, the University of Miami School of Law and the holder of a certificate in sports business from Columbia University.
Um advogado por formação, concentro meu trabalho nos negócios, comunicações e operações de equipes no futebol mundial. | Abogado con fundación avanzada en comunicaciones, enfocado en los negocios del fútbol y las comunicaciones.
The first American signed by Inter Miami CF, he has played on the United States Men’s National Teams at the Youth Level and has played in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Miami, Fla. (Friday, September 20, 2019) —
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami announced today the signing of their fifth player, George Acosta, a Miami native.
Acosta, a 19-year-old offensive midfielder, played on the U-14 and U-16 teams at Weston FC (Fla.) Academy and was well known to the Inter Miami Academy coaching staff. His still young playing career has an international flavour: In 2014, he moved from South Florida to Argentine club Estudiantes de La Plata. After Argentina, Acosta moved back to the United States to play and study at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. From there, he joined the U-23 team of North Carolina FC.
On July 1, 2018, he joined Club Atlético Boca Juniors’ U-20 team, an achievement that is very rare for a foreign player. He spent the 2018-2019 season on the U-20 and later the Second Team of Boca Juniors. Recently, in August, Acosta was transferred to Austin Bold of the USL Championship, where he has played two games. He will remain with Austin until January when he will join his Internacional teammates for preseason training.
The rising star also has experience as a member of several United States Youth National Teams. Acosta participated in the Montaigu Tournament in France with the US U-16 National Team. His six goals (most of the tournament) helped the United States win the tournament for the first time since 1992. He has played 12 matches on the United States U-17 team, and featured for the Stars and Stripes in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, scoring a goal against Colombia and making an assist versus India. (The US reached the quarterfinals of that tournament before bowing out to Brazil 4-1). This year, he was called up to the US U-23 team (currently coached by Inter Miami’s Jason Kreis) for a training camp in June. He also played on the US U-15 and U-19 sides.
“He’s someone that we know will play in the highest levels of soccer in the coming years. He has the opportunity of being one of the USMNT top stars in the near future,” said Austin Bold F.C. General Manager Roberto Silva at the time Acosta was signed.
“We are excited to sign a player of George’s potential and look forward to integrating him into our inaugural roster,” said Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Paul McDonough. Managing Owner Jorge Mas sent out this message this morning via Twitter:
Acosta has dual citizenship with the USA and Colombia (his father is Colombian), so he will not count towards Inter Miami’s current limit of eight (8) international players. The Rosanegro currently have three international players (Carranza, Pellegrini and Makoun) on the roster. Canadian David Norman, Jr. does not count against that limit per MLS rules.
Inter Miami CF and Nashville Soccer Club are the two teams beginning play in 2020.
Miami, Fla. (September 19, 2019) –
The two newcomers to Major League Soccer will soon have a few more players on their roster.
Major League Soccer announced today that the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft* will occur on November 19, 2019.
In order to decide which club will select first, as well as the order for the various means of acquiring players for their respective rosters, MLS has created an event called the “2019 MLS Expansion Priority Draft.” This will take place on October 6, prior to kick off of an intense final day of the regular season during MLSsoccer.com’s “Matchday Central: Decision Day presented by AT&T Pregame Show.” Streaming will be live on MLSsoccer.com, through the MLS app, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
The 2019 MLS Expansion Priority Draft will be broadcast live from New York City on October 6, at 3:00 p.m. EDT. At that time, Inter Miami CF Managing Owner & CEO Jorge Mas along with Sporting Director Paul McDonough, as well as Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre and General Manager Mike Jacobs, will flip a coin to determine which club receives the first pick in the five available player-acquisition methods. For example, the winner of tne first pick in the expansion draft will have the second overall pick in the MLS Superdraft in January 2020.
Take Home Points:
How Many Players Can Be Selected?
The Expansion Draft provides an opportunity for Miami and Nashville to strengthen their MLS rosters by selecting up to five (5) current players from other MLS teams.
How Many Players Can Each Club Protect?
Each current MLS team may protect up to twelve (12) rostered players (previously 11 in years past) from inclusion on the eligible players list.
When will the list of unprotected players (eligible players) Be Released?
The complete list of players eligible for selection in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft will be released on Saturday, November 16.
Are Any Teams Exempt From The Expansion Draft?
Yes, as reported earlier on Russo Soccer, certain clubs are exempt. Exempt clubs with players selected by FC Cincinnati in the 2018 Expansion Draft are D.C. United, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Dallas, the Houston Dynamo, and the New York Red Bulls.
Have Any Notable Players Been Acquired Via The Expansion Draft?
Yes, notable former Expansion Draft picks include two players chosen by Los Angeles Football Club in 2017: Latif Blessing and Tyler Miller. Blessing has six goals and five assists this season, alongside Miller’s nine clean sheets (shutouts) for the top-ranked club in the league standings. FC Cincinnati selected Darren Mattocks and Roland Lamah in 2018, and both became regular contributors for the club this season.
More Information on the expansion draft history and the rules is available on the MLs website:
Following the first pick, teams will alternate through subsequent selections until all roster-building mechanisms have been chosen.
MLS Expansion Priority Draft To Decide:
No.1 pick in 2019 MLS Expansion Draft
No.1 pick in 2020 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas
No.1 position in Allocation Ranking Order
Penultimate position in MLS Re-Entry and End-of-Year Waiver Order
Penultimate position in Discovery Player Ranking
* Readers outside of North America may be unfamiliar with the concept of an expansion draft. This is a common practice in North American sports when a new team comes into a league, and is one of the ways of stocking a new team with players.
LaLiga North America continues its expansion and promotion of Spain’s top soccer league in the United States and Canada by partnering with Sling TV.
Miami, Fla. (September 18, 2019) –
Sling TV has become the official sponsor of La Liga in North America. The agreement will result in additional programming dedicated to La Liga.
Sling TV curently broadcasts La Liga regular season matches via beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español. Subscribers are able to watch all matches on Sling TV’s Best of Spanish TV service and World Sports.
Additional content as part of the new partnership will include weekly La Liga segments: the Luis Garcia Show (in Spanish) and the Jimmy Conrad Show, (in English). Facebook users will be able to watch exclusive commentary ahead of the top four matches of the week on LaLiga’s Facebook page.
Sling TV will also show La Liga Ambassadors Club, which includes meet and greets with former players as well as player Q&As on Facebook Live throughout the season. Also encompassed in the partnership are La Liga experiences and merchandise which will include sweepstakes, giveaways and promotions across both partners’ platforms.
With increased coverage, Spain’s top soccer league is enjoying an increased following in North America, beyond traditional strongholds like Miami and Los Angeles. In the three meetings between rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF last season – two in LaLiga, one in the Copa del Rey – beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español reached a combined audience of more than 2.7 million viewers.
What The Parties Are Saying:
“When we started our venture here and created our plan to grow the brand while getting the clubs and players closer to fans, doing it alone was going to be tough, so having partners that can come in and help amplify what we’re doing and commit to our strategy is just proof of the success,” Gartner said. “Having Sling TV come in as the first commercial partner we have for the region on a deal that’s anchored primarily on the original content strategy we set out to do is a good validation of how we see the market and how we see the strategy to grow here.
That the content being developed is bilingual is important to LaLiga North America, says Gartner. It fits into their target market which consists of native Spanish speakers and a younger, bilingual audience. He also believes the additional content will allow partners of LaLiga to reach out to the target market in a more customized way.
“LaLiga’s rabid fan base has found a home at Sling TV,” said Alfredo Rodriguez, vice president of marketing at Sling TV. “As the Official North American sponsor, LaLiga fanatics can now get a premium experience through the partnership, gaining access to everything LaLiga through exclusive content and giveaways.”
About LaLiga North America
LaLiga North America is a joint venture between Spain’s domestic league and Relevent Sports Group, which also produces the International Champions Cup each summer, operating to support the league’s growth on the continent through content development, activations, marketing agreements, commercial partnerships, exhibition matches and youth academies.
About Sling TV
Sling TV provides over-the-top (“OTT”) TV services with more than 640 channels in 22 languages across multiple devices. As of July 29, 2019, Sling had 2.47 million subscribers.
Granada CF currently tied for 5th in La Liga table after 4 rounds.
Miami, Fla, 16 September 2019
It’s early in the season, but after four rounds of La Liga, fans of Granada CF are probably surprised by the club’s performance thus far: two wins, one draw and one loss. For a team which is one of the favourites to finish in the bottom three, these are good times in Andalucía.
The season has seen Granada open the campaign with a 4-4 goleado at the Cerámica against Villarreal, followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat at home against currently first-place Sevilla. Then came a surprising 3-0 win away at the RCD Espanyol stadium over the Péricos before the international break, and proving that was no fluke, winning over the weekend 2-0 at Celta de Vigo. The team has also scored 9 goals while conceding 5 (+4 differential).
Granada are coached by Diego Martinez who at 38 years old is young for a manager, but has a wealth of coaching experience having retired from playing at the age of just 20. He has steadily built his way up since, spending seven years on the coaching staff at Sevilla before getting his big break with Osasuna in 2017-18. His switch to Granada last summer ultimately worked out well for both clubs with Osasuna the other side to achieve direct promotion from the Segunda last season.
Sunday’s Result Versus Celta
Manager Diego Martínez said in the pre-game press conference that “we approach every game with maximum confidence and thinking that we can win.” And win they did, though the game didn’t go according to plan. Nonetheless, Granada’s win on Sunday came exactly 61 years after their last victory in Vigo. The game itself will likely be remembered more for the deployment of VAR than much else. Under unusually warm, sunny skies and dry conditions, something not that common in this part of Spain, the most influential person on the pitch was referee Prieto Iglesias, who issued not one but two red cards after consulting VAR that reduced Celta to nine men before 30 minutes had been played.
Granada found the back of the net in first half stoppage time on a nice header from Germán Sanchez and again shortly after the restart, when, in minute 53, Yangel Herrera unleashed a blast that nearly destroyed the crossbar on its way in. From that point on, it was game over.
At the post game press conference following the 2-0 victory, Manager Diego Martínez characterised it as a “marvellous victory,” adding that if someone had told him his club would have seven points after its first four matches it would have been beyond all imagination.
“Es una victoria maravillosa para un equipo recién ascendido como nosotros. Cuando salió el calendario, si nos dicen que vamos a tener siete puntos, no se lo hubiera imaginado ni el más optimista”.
One of the biggest tests of the season awaits the Nazarí side this weekend, as defending champions Barcelona make a visit to the Nuevo Estádio de Los Cármenes. Barcelona is playing well even in the absence of Lionel Messi, and has seen excellent performances turned in by young players such a Frenkie de Jong and 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati.
Discussing the upcoming game, Diego Martínez said he is hoping for a full stadium that supports Granada, and pledged that his team will approach every game as if it was the last.
La Liga Santander teams have rarely shown much appetite to spend in the summer market, yet as the fiscal gap between the Spanish top flight and Premier League has closed ever so slightly, teams have been prepared to gamble on new players.
Miami, Fla. (Monday September 9, 2019) – Photos: KE Russo
LA LIGA: Looking At The Summer Transfer Window
On September 2, 2019, the summer transfer window closed for Spanish club’s. This report highlights some facts and figures from the transfer ñwindow involving Spanish top flight clubs. Statistics about fees is sources from Transfermarkt. This is not always exact due to the fact that the reporting of transfers by the media is not consistent and even the clubs involved will quote different figures depending on how a deal is structured. Disclaimers aside, it is a good source of information.
Total Euros Spent by La Liga Clubs – €1,319,620,000
On the purchasing side, over one billion Euros was a new record for La Liga in one transfer window. Real Madrid were the highest spenders, and the amount spent was also aided by the Antoine Griezmann and João Félix deals.
The record spending would have been even higher, probably in excess of €1.5 billion, if a couple of rumoured transfers had actually been completed, such as Neymar returning to FC Barcelona, or Paul Pogba and/or Tottenham’s Danish forward Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid.
The Big Three’s Impact On The Numbers
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid disbursed a massive €806m in this transfer window. In third place was Atlético de Madrid, where the bulk of their spending, €126 million, was paid to Sport Lisboa e Benfica for João Félix, making the young Portuguese striker the most expensive Atlético signing of all time, and the most expensive Portuguese player signing ever. (You heard that right, Cristiano fans.) The big three clubs’ combined spending amounted to 61% of the money spent by La Liga clubs, with the other 17 sides spending just under €514m.
The fourth place spender was Sevilla Football Club, who accounted for a good portion of that €514m by spending almost €159m on new players.
Top Four Widen Their Margin
Including Sevilla FC along with the top three results in the combined percentage of the total spent being increased to 72.8 %, going back to an older theme of larger polarisation. All of the top spenders broke their respective club records.
Total Money Recouped by La Liga Clubs – €1,026,720,000
On the selling side of the market, Spanish top flight clubs also recouped over €1 billion during this transfer window, meaning that the total net spend is less than €300m, which averages out to under €15m per club. Take out Barcelona and Real Madrid and that total net spend for the league reduces to just €17m (less than €1m per club on average). Compared to the Premier League, where mid-table and bottom half sides are capable of spending large sums on individual players, the same cannot be said for mid-table La Liga clubs. Though the smaller clubs are packing a bit more of a finncial punch these days, it is at a lower spending level than the Premier League.
Biggest Spenders –
Rank (Spain) Club Rank in Europe
Real Madrid (€307.5m) 1st
Fútbol Club Barcelona (€255) 2nd
Atlético de Madrid (€243.5) 3rd
Sevilla Football Club (€158) 7th
Real Madrid were the biggest spenders in this transfer window with Barcelona (€255m) and Atletico Madrid (€243.5m) close behind. Los Blancos were quick to open their coffers with deals to obtain Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Éder Militão and Ferland Mendy, who combined for a bill of over €40m.
Lowest Spenders – Athletic Club Bilbao (€0m)
Athletic Club were the only club who didn’t spend any money this summer with the club’s famous ‘Basque only’ policy always affecting their dealings. Iñaki Williams signed a nine-year contract (practically unheard of anymore) which allowed Athletic to at least not lose their biggest player. The next lowest spenders were Real Valladolid who only signed one player on a permanent deal – Pablo Hervias for €1m from Eibar.
Most Money Received from Sales – Atletico Madrid (€313.1m)
The keys to Atlético de Madrid’s revenue from sales were the transfers of Antoine Griezman (€120) to Barcelona, Rodri (€70m) to Manchester City, Lucas Hernández (€80m) to Bayern München, and Portuguese winger Gelson Martins (€30) to Monaco. Combined these four sales generated €300m in cash to reinvest in the club. This helped to offset Atlético Madrid’s refusal to offer new longer term contracts to their ageing defenders, which resulted in Diego Godín, Filipe Luis and Juanfran all leaving for free.
Barcelona were next in this category with €156.4m coming in as Jasper Cillessen, Malcom Oliveira, Andre Gomes, Paco Alcacer and Denis Suárez all departed, while they also received an €8.5m loan fee from Bayern for Philippe Coutinho.
Most Expensive Signing – João Félix (€126m)
As mentioned, at €126m, João Félix was the most expensive signing by a La Liga club in this transfer window. However there were a couple of others that came close, with Antoine Griezmann moving to Barcelona for €120m and Eden Hazard arriving at the Bernabeu from Chelsea for €100m. Again, the exact figures may ultimately vary depending on add-ons and the success the players have at their new clubs. Those three deals were also the most expensive anywhere in Europe this summer, with Harry Maguire’s transfer to Manchester United the next highest.
Most Signings – Mallorca & Leganes (14)
Mallorca and Leganes top the list for most signings with 14. This does not include players who have been bought and then sold or bought and immediately loaned out. Thus the actual number of ‘new’ arrivals those is much lower given that both clubs have been very active re-signing players who they had on loan last season. In terms of the highest turnover of players, Sevilla come out clearly on top with 13 new signings, none of whom were at the club last season.
Biggest Net Spenders – Real Madrid (€177.5m)
Not surprisingly, Real Madrid were the biggest net spenders. While Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Llorente, Raul de Tomás, Theo Hernández and Keylor Navas all left for €15m+ fees, they failed to find a buyer for Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez, two of their biggest earners. As a result, it was difficult for the club to finance any move for Paul Pogba or Neymar. While writers may say it was a “so-so” window for Los Blancos, the proof will ultimately come with results on the pitch. Barcelona finished with a net spend of €98.6m while Sevilla also spent over €50m more than they recouped.
Biggest Net Profit – Atletico Madrid (€69.6
Surprisingly, given Atlético de Madrid smashed their transfer record on João Félix, the third most expensive player of all time, they still managed to end up with the largest overall transfer profit of any club in La Liga. Villarreal and Espanyol also clocked up net transfer profits of over €40m. In the case of the Yellow Submarine, there was perhaps some need to be profitable after a well below par season deprived them of the revenue the Europa or Champions League will bring. However Espanyol are in the Europa League for the first time in 13 year, although they suffered losses during the summer with Borja Iglesias following coach Rubi to Real Betis, and Mario Hermoso going to Atlético. On the incoming side, Argentine left winger Matías Vargas arrived from Vélez Sarsfield (€10.5m) and central defender Fernando Calero (€8.0m) from Valladolid were the main additions Given early results like a 3-0 drubbing at home by newcomers Granada CF on September 1, they could have used more help.
Club Net Transfer Spend (€m)
Real Madrid -177.5 Barcelona -98.6 Sevilla -57.6 Valencia -30 Real Betis -26.3 Leganes -19.5 Osasuna -13.5 Real Sociedad -11.8 Levante -8.8 Mallorca -7 Granada -7 Getafe -6.8 Celta Vigo -3.3 Athletic Club 0 Real Valladolid +7 Alaves +7.2 Eibar +9.9 Villarreal +40.2 Espanyol +40.5 Atletico Madrid +69.6
How do La Liga Figures compare to the Premier League & Serie A?
Speculation was that La Liga could possibly out spend the Premier League this summer. However, with European windows now shut, that ultimately was not the case. Premier League clubs total spent a total of €1.55bn, over €200m more than the equivalent figures in La Liga. Regarding net spending the gap is wider, with Premier League clubs spending €732m more than they recouped compared to a net spend of less than €300m in La Liga. Even if Real Madrid had pulled off a late mega-deal for Paul Pogba and Barcelona had signed Neymar, it still likely would not have been enough to catch the Premier League. A closer comparison is between that of La Liga and Serie A. Italian top flight clubs paid out €1.18bn on new signings, marginally less than Spanish clubs. However their net spend was in fact greater (€328m), due to Serie A clubs recouping less money from player sales. Thus, as was the case last season, La Liga’s net transfer spending this summer was only the third highest in Europe, again behind the Premier League and Serie A.
Here is an excellent graphic found in Transfermarkt that compares the transfer balances around the world’s leagues:
The European Transfer Market for this summer was also a topic discussed at SoccerEx Europe 2019, which took place last week in the Lisbon suburb of Oeiras. Further insights are included in a new release of the Football Transfer Review 2019 by Prime Time Sport. The report was presented by Esteve Calzada, CEO of Prime Time Sport.
Miami, Fla. (Thursday, September 5, 2019) – Russo Soccer –
Inter Miami Hoy: Today, we look back at the day a global brand was born.
One year ago today in the early morning hours of September 5, 2018, Miami’s Major League Soccer team, which had until then only been known as “Fútbol Miami,” finally revealed its official name and colours in an elaborate and unique way. After months of polls, debates and suggestions, a brand had been born, one which does Miami proud.
Read more about this historic milestone on how Fútbol Miami became Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami on the Russo Soccer webpage by clicking this link: The Day A Brand Was Born. Nameday.
Inter Miami CF, que empezará a competir en la MLS a partir del año que viene, estaba dispuesto a poner 20 millones de dólares pero el mediocampista prefiere irse a Europa.
Miami, Fla. (miercoles, 4 de septiembre de 2019) – Kenneth Russo
Al parecer, David Beckam parece tener una devoción por los jugadores argentinos. Esto lo está demostrando a partir de la búsqueda de jugadores jóvenes para su equipo de la MLS, el Inter Miami.
El equipo del exjugador inglés comenzará a participar de la MLS el próximo año y es por eso que se está armando para competir de la misma manera contra cualquiera de los equipos que están jugando en la actualidad.
En este caso, los dirigentes del club estaban dispuestos a desembolsar 20 millones de dólares por Exequiel Palacios, el juvenil de River Plate. El club se interesó mucho por la oferta debido a la importante suma que se ofreció. Sin embargo, el propio Palacios dijo que no estaba interesado en irse a jugar a Estados Unidos y dejó en claro que su futuro si no es en River será en el fútbol europeo.
El ascenso de Exequiel Palacios al estrellato ha sido excelente. El mediocampista se desplaza por todo el campo con sus carreras rápidas y su presión implacable. No es de extrañar que los clubes más grandes de Europa estén luchando para ficharlo. Los exploradores se refieren a él como una perspectiva increíble.
El Real Madrid es uno de los clubes que ya ha hablado con River sobre Palacios. Los Blancos han estado aprovechando el mercado sudamericano recientemente para atraer a algunas de las mejores estrellas jóvenes del continente.
Sin embargo, la plantilla actual lleva bien el nombre del equipo, con cuatro jugadores que llegarán de Argentina, Venezuela y Canadá. Pero por lo memento, Beckham no podrá sumar un tercer jugador argentino a los dos que ya forman parte del equipo: Matías Pellegrini, ex-Estudiantes de La Plata y Julián Carranza, ex-Club Atlético Banfield fueron los dos primeros refuerzos comprados por Internacional de la MLS. Sin duda, hay otros que decirán “sí”.
Exequiel Palacios Says “No” To Inter Miami. No Doubt, There Will Be Others Who Say “Yes.”
Inter Miami CF, which begins play in MLS next season, was prepared to spend $20 million USD, but the midfielder prefers to go to Europe.
It would seem that David Beckham has a devotion for Argentine players, as demonstrated by the search for young players for his club, Inter Miami. The former player’s team will begin to participate in MLS next season, and is arming itself to compete with any of the teams that play in the league at present.
In this case, the directors of the club were prepared to let go of $20 Million USD for Exequiel Palacios, the River Plate youth player. River was very interested in the offer due to the large sum that it would bring the club. Nevertheless, it was Palacios himself who was not interested in going to play in the United States. He made it very clear that if his future is not at River Plate then it will be in European football.
Exequiel Palacios’s rise to stardom has been excellent. The midfielder travels across the field with his fast runs and his relentless pressure. No wonder the biggest clubs in Europe are struggling to sign him. Scouts refer to him as an incredible prospect.
Real Madrid is one of the clubs that has spoken with River over Palacios. Los Blancos have been taking a long look at the South American market recently in order to attract some of the best young stars from the continent.
Nevertheless, the current roster of Inter Miami carries the name of the team well, with four players who will arrive from Argentina, Venezuela and Canada. However, at least for the moment, Beckham will not be able to add a third Argentine player to the two who already are on the roster: Matías Pellegrini, formerly of Estudiantes de La Plata and Julián Carranza, ex-Club Atlético Banfield were the first two players purchased by Internacional of MLS. Without a doubt, there will be others who say “yes.”