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

Inter Miami CF negocia com a FIU após recusa de Marlins

Depois de negociações mal sucedidas para jogar no Marlins Park e Hard Rock Stadium, O Clube Internacional de Futebol Miami recorrem ao plano “C” para ter um lugar para seus jogos da MLS.

Miami, FL (3a, 12 de fevereiro 2019) por Kenneth Russo –

Inter Miami CF, o clube de David Beckham, não tem estádio para jogar seus jogos em casa na MLS em 2020. Suas primeiras opções eram: Estádio Hard Rock, casa do NFL Dolphins e Marlins Park, casa dos Marlins MLB, mas devido aos calendários das competições, as diretrizes desses estádios recusaram-se a render um espaço.

Agora, o conselho da Inter Miami CF está negociando com a Universidade Internacional da Flórida (“FIU”), para poder jogar os jogos de 2020 no Estádio Riccardo Silva.

Embora o estádio apresente alguns problemas para a Inter Miami CF jogar lá.

O principal problema para Inter Miami desempenha na FIU, é que o estádio já abriga uma equipe profissional, Miami FC, clube onde os proprietários são Paolo Maldini e Riccardo Silva. Este último é o empresário para quem o estádio da FIU foi nomeado em sua homenagem.

O próximo problema é que, segundo Sean Flynn, CEO de Miami FC, a prioridade do estádio está definido para clube faculdade e suas atividades, a segunda prioridade é a programação para Miami FC, de modo Inter Miami teria que adaptar-se aos eventos das outras duas equipes.

O Estádio Riccardo Silva foi fundado em 1995, hospeda as reuniões do Miami FC e da equipe FIU Golden Panthers, no futebol americano universitário. O estádio custam de US $ 54 milhões e no ano 2007-2008 passou por umas atualizações, onde a sua capacidade tornou-se 20.000 espectadores.

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Jason Kreis joins Inter Miami CF technical staff

Miami, FL (Wednesday, January 31, 2019) – Kenneth Russo –

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami continues to add members to its soccer technical staff, as the club announced the hiring of former Real Salt Lake, NYCFC and Orlando City coach Jason Kreis to join its technical staff.

Inter Miami has yet to name a head coach (manager). Sporting Director Paul McDonough reaffirmed that whomever is hired for that role will create his own staff. However, he did not rule out that the possibility that Kreis could end up on the first-team coaching staff. “At this time, we’re not going to name coaching positions, but he will not be the head coach of Inter Miami,” McDonough stated. “Right now, Jason will be involved in everything we are doing on the technical side of the club, from scouting players for all levels of the club to training ground construction, and we’ll use his experiences to help us as we continue to grow.”

Inter Miami is interested in fielding a lower division team in USL, and is looking at various sites for its academy and training centre. Just a few days ago the team, through a lawfirm, sent a letter of interest to the City of Fort Lauderdale concerning a proposal to build a training ground at the site of the now shuttered Lockhart Stadium. The proposal contains a plan to build a smaller USL stadium as part of a training facility. Jason Kreis is immediately being mentioned as a coach of that eventual USL team.

Continue reading Jason Kreis joins Inter Miami CF technical staff

Inter Miami CF celebrates its 1st birthday! A year of firsts. ¡Inter Miami CF celebra su primer cumpleaños! Un año de novedades.

Miami, FL (Tuesday, January 29, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –

Happy Birthday Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami! January 29, 2018. It has been one year. One year since David Beckham took the stage at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center and delivered a famous speech in which he recounted how his academy coach once told him “You’ll never make it as a footballer.” “I never quit,” was Beckham’s reply. One year since Marcelo Claure also gave a speech recounting the story of the more than four years between the original announcement on February 5, 2014, during which he and David Beckham tried unsuccessfully to secure a stadium site and to find suitable investors in order to be able to launch the Miami Major League Soccer Club. About how he and David had concluded that the dream was “too big” and against their wishes, had decided to move on. One year since Jorge Mas gave an emotionally charged speech in which he told the story of how he had been contacted by MLS Commissioner Donald Garber, who asked him if he would be interested in co-investing and helping David Beckham get the Miami franchise off the ground, and what Miami has meant to his family and those of people who come here from other places to make a better life.

Between January 29, 2018 and September 5th, the club used the name “Fútbol Miami” as a placeholder while deciding on the actual name, colours and logo. We knew the owners were getting closer, and during the summer several potential team names appeared in trademark searches online at the USPTO. These names, trademarks by lawyers at the direction of companies connected to Miami Beckham United, LLC, included many outstanding names including Club Atlético Miami, Miami Mundial Club de Fútbol, and others. See USPTO Search. 

One of the biggest highlights of the year came before daybreak on Wednesday, September 5, 2018. In the predawn hours, a giant mural painted by local artist Alejandro Mijares was revealed on the walls of a building at the corner of SW 8th Street and SW 1st Avenue in the Brickell neighbourhood of downtown Miami, revealing the club’s name and badge.

The Wall of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami in Brickell.

At the same time, the team had the front and back covers of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald wrapped in pink with the team’s logo and explanations about the symbology. Mijares also painted the newly revealed logo on a wall in the Wynwood neighbourhood.

The morning papers on Sep. 5, 2018
Logo painted on a wall in Wynwood.

In the months since then, the club had many firsts. Soon after, plans were announced to redevelop Melreese Golf Course into the future home of Inter Miami CF and Miami Freedom Park. In July, we endured two full days of hearings before the City of Miami Commissioners, in a the effort by Miami Freedom Park, LLC to have a measure placed on the ballot to allow residents of the City of Miami to decide whether the City should negotiate to enter into a long-term lease of city-owned land at the Melreese Golf Course. In the end, three out of five commissioners approved.

On November 6, 2018, the club celebrated its biggest victory to date: the measure to transform Melreese Golf Course into a world-class stadium and Miami’s largest park, along with 23 acres of public soccer fields, an office/hotel complex with technology jobs and entertainment area passed with a strong majority of voters saying “Yes on 378.” “We won tonight!” are the now famous words of Jorge Mas.

It was also a year when the club made its initial moves on the soccer operations and business sides of the front office. Paul McDonough was the first staff member to be hired when he was appointed to the post of Sporting Director in August, just a few weeks before the unveiling of the club´s name and badge. A short time later, on September 20, 2019, Jurgen Mainka, who had previously worked at Concacaf and other MLS Clubs, was named as the club’s first Chief Business Officer. In October, the club named Dennis Sprenkle as the head of HR and Administration. At the beginning of January, 2019, Kurt Schmid joined as the first Technical Director, followed by Niki Budalic as the first Director of Soccer Operations. In the last couple of weeks prior to the one year anniversary, the club began laying the foundation of its Academy, adding Victor Pastora and Juan Carlos Michia, both of whom had been key figures in the famed Weston Football Club youth academy program.

Indeed, it was a year of many firsts. What lies ahead for Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami? A look at this video tells us: “Wait, that was just the beginning. We’re not done. Not by a long way.” It is going to be an exciting 2019.

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Vancouver Whitecaps FC acquire Lucas Venuto from FK Austria Wien

Miami, FL (Friday, January 25, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –


Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced the acquisition today of another Brazilian forward Lucas Venuto on a transfer from FK Austria Wien, through use of Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”).

ES: El futbolista de 24 años llega a la Major League Soccer tras pasar sus últimas cuatro temporadas en la Bundesliga austríaca. Su currículum incluye 26 goles en 151 partidos (115 como titular) en sus etapas con Red Bull Brasil, FC Liefering, SV Grödig, y Austria Wien.

Venuto, 24 years old, has spent the past five seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga. He will officially join the club’s roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (“ITC”), Canada work permit, visa, and completion of his medical examinations. 

He arrives with a resume that include 26 goals in 115 starts and 151 total appearances with Red Bull Brasil, FC Liefering, SV Grödig, and most recently Austria Wien. His contract with Austria Wien was set to expire this summer.

“Lucas is a very fast and dynamic winger who has a lot of energy in his game,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “He always looks to attack, take players on, and he has an incredible work ethic on both sides of the ball. This is player who left Brazil when he was young and was able to adapt quickly in Europe. We believe he’s a perfect fit for the way we want to play, and we are very happy to add him to our roster.”  

Venuto transferred to Austria Wien during the European winter transfer window in January 2016. In three years with Die Veilchen, he started in 66 matches, and 87 total appearances across the league, UEFA Europa League and Austrian Cup competitions. and scored 14 goals.

Venuto was discovered in Governador Valadares, a small town in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, by Red Bull Brasil, the Brazilian arm of the Red Bull club empire. He began his professional debut in 2012, playing two seasons in his native country with Red Bull Brasil, which play in the Campeonato Paulista Série A2, before moving to Germany to join the RB Leipzig U-19 side. He transferred to Austria to play for 2. Liga club FC Liefering in 2014, where he was then loaned out to top-flight club SV Grödig, a move that was made permanent in the following year. 

After leading SV Grödig in scoring with seven goals and two assists in 20 starts in the first half of the 2015-16 Bundesliga season, he transferred to the Viennese club.

Transfermarkt Player Profile:

Lucas Venuto  

  • 26 goals in 115 starts and 151 total appearances 
  • Five plus seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga 
  • Played with German club RB Leipzig U-19 and Austrian 2. Liga club FC Liefering  
  • Began pro career in native land with Campeonato Paulista Série A2 Red Bull Brasil 
Marc Dos Santos on new signing Lucas Venuto with Highlights

Anatomy of the Transaction

The Whitecaps had been looking to acquire Venuto. His MLS rights, however, were owned by New York City Football Club, who owned a right of first refusal for the young Brazilian.1

[1. This would indicate that the league had previously tried to sign Venuto on behalf of NYCFC and had been unable to do so. Under the MLS Roster Rules in that case NYCFC retained a “right of first refusal for four full transfer windows. According to a literal reading of the rules, Whitecaps FC should have paid $50,000 in GAM to acquire the rights to negotiate with Venuto. It is unclear why the amount paid is reported to be $150,000]

In order to obtain his MLS rights, Vancouver had to use General Allocation Money, sending $150,000 in GAM to NYCFC in exchange for the rights to the player.

Venuto has agreed to a three-year contract through 2021, with a club option for 2022. The club will use TAM towards his salary budget charge. He will occupy one of Vancouver’s international roster spots.

Whitecaps FC winger Lucas Venuto Career Chart

Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2012–2014Red Bull Brasil5(0)
2014–2015Liefering18(5)
2014–2015→ Grödig (loan)11(0)
2015–2016Grödig20(7)
2016–2019Austria Wien68(12)
2019–Vancouver Whitecaps FC0(0)
Lucas Venuto working on a comeback in Brazil in a May 2018 video for his club FK Austria Wien. He had suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament and missed six months.

© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

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Training Gear Sponsorships Working Out for MLS

Miami, FL (Thursday, January 24, 2019) Kenneth Russo –

Beginning in 2014, Major League Soccer began allowing clubs to sell a separate sponsorship for their training gear. Beginning with the Portland Timbers, followed by the New York Red Bulls, as of 2018, five MLS clubs out of the then 23 (Cincinnati is the 24th club and will enter the league in 2019) had negotiated and signed separate training gear sponsorship agreements.

Traditionally, teams in Major League Soccer and other football leagues around the world signed a kit sponsorship deal with one primary partner. Training kit sponsorships separate out the primary kit sponsor from apparel such as training and warm up gear. The practice has become widespread in European leagues, and the leagues executives noticed.

This separation of sponsorships represents a significant source of revenue for MLS clubs. Though financial details of such deals are not released by the league, it is estimated that a training gear sponsorship can fall into the high six-figure to low seven-figure of revenue annually.

The Portland Timbers were the first MLS club to sign a training kit sponsor, partnering with a local bank named Simple in December, 2014. In 2018, the club entered into a multiyear training kit sponsorship deal with Portland-based contact lens subscription service Sightbox. As part of the agreement, The Timbers and Sightbox will collaborate on a number of community outreach activities. Sightbox will also be prominently displayed at Providence Park, and serve as the presenting partner of the player, coach and staff game day entrance, the Providence Park box office and each individual MLS season.

The Timbers’ new training kit deal followed the club’s signing of a multiyear extension with kit sponsor Alaska Airlines, which has been with the team since it moved up to MLS in 2011. As part of the terms of the extension, Alaska Airlines agreed to permit the Timbers to carve out the training kit rights from its deal. Indeed, it is the ability to unbundle these assets that makes it attractive to clubs.

“Each team has their own situation. If a club is able to bundle everything together and maximize it that way and feels that’s the best approach — great,” said Mike Golub, Timbers President of Business. “For us, this gives us a way to maximize the value of the assets, but also extend our family of partners and increase activation.”

While Golub declined to comment on the financial value of the training kit deal, he did say that combined, they rank in the top tier of revenue deals across the league when compared to other teams. For a smaller market like Portland that matters. “It is material, and while I don’t think anyone will make the case they’re worth as much as the [game] kit sponsorship, there is a high level of value with the amount of exposure you’re able to get in practice every day,” he added.

The New York Red Bulls, who became the second team in MLS to sign a training kit sponsor in 2015, have already renewed the club’s deal with Japanese heavy equipment manufacturer Yanmar. The Japanese company is also a main partner company of J. League’s Cerezo Osaka Football Club. https://www.yanmar.com/global/about/sports/soccer/sponsored/redbull/

The new multiyear deal constitutes’s the Red Bulls largest sponsorship. Yanmar is provided with branding on both sleeves of the club’s training and warmup gear. It is estimated by industry sources that the previous deal stood at more than seven figures annually, and Red Bulls general manager Marc De Grandpre said the sponsorship renewal with Yanmar is an increase over the previous one.

For clubs like the Red Bulls who do not have a stadium naming-rights partner, gaining the most from all marketable assets is critical. In addition to not haveing a stadium naming rights deal in place, the club is owned by Red Bull, who has its corporate logo on the front of the game kits. De Grandpre added that “between coverage of training, the pregame and interviews that are done for national television, it might be our number one earned media driver — it’s a tremendous asset for the club to leverage.”

Their rival in the actual city, New York City Football Club, is among the teams with separate game-day jersey and training kit sponsors, having inked a multiyear deal with New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2015.

New York City Football Club training kit sponsor New York Presbyterian Hospital

In 2017, the Houston Dynamo carved out its training kit sponsorship from its deal with natural resource company BHP Billiton, and signed a multiyear deal with gasoline company 76. That sponsorship with BHP Billiton later ended, leaving Dynamo without a jersey sponsor during the 2018 season, up until this past November, when the club signed with MD Anderson Cancer Center in a multiyear partnership. Chief Revenue Officer Steven Powell said Houston intends to keep the sponsorships separate going forward. In addition to the training gear sponsorship, 76 is also the season presenting sponsor of the club and has entitlement of one of the stadium’s gates.

76 is also the presenting partner of the Houston Dynamo.

“The training kit sponsorship is a high-profile asset that has a really impactful brand integration and brand association,” Powell said. “With the right partner who builds a platform around the assets, I don’t think it dilutes the value of a jersey or naming-rights partner.”

Columbus Crew joined the list of teams with a training kit sponsor in 2018. The original club in MLS signed a deal with Ohio Health. https://www.massivereport.com/2018/1/24/16928038/columbus-crew-sc-reveal-new-training-kit-sponsor-mls-2018

What does the future hold for training gear sponsorships in MLS? The Red Bulls’ De Grandpre believes that in the next few years the bulk of MLS clubs will find a partner in the training kit category. “There’s tremendous value for all the clubs here, both in terms of activation and significant dollars where the sum of the parts can be greater if the club manages it properly,” he said.

Given the numbers involved, there’s certainly no reason to think that prognostication is incorrect. For more on these sponsorships, follow here: https://kennethrusso.com/training-gear-sponsorships/

See Also – https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2018/03/05/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/MLS-kit-deals.aspx


© 2019 Russo Law & Soccer

Major League Soccer Libera a Patrocínio De Manga Para A Temporada 2020

Miami, FL (4a feira, 23 do janeiro 2019) – Kenneth Russo –

Seguindo o modelo adotado do Premier League, a Major League Soccer anunciou em 23 de outubro de 2018 que irá liberar os times para fecharem patrocínios de manga para a temporada 2020. Essa medida visa incrementar as receitas das equipes que disputam a liga.

Os potenciais novos acordos deverão variar entre  US$ 500 mil e US$ 1 milhão por temporada. Para efeito comparativo, os gigantes da elite inglesa possuem acordos que variam de US$ 13 milhões e US$ 26 milhões (£ 10 milhões a £ 15 milhões).

“O patch de manga é uma excelente oportunidade para as marcas se conectarem à nossa Liga e aos clubes de formas mutuamente benéficas”, disse Gary Stevenson, Presidente e Diretor Administrativo da MLS Business Ventures. “À medida que a nossa Liga continua a se expandir e com mais fãs nos EUA e no Canadá assistindo a nossos jogos, participando de nossos jogos e interagindo com mídias sociais, a visibilidade os patrocinadores de mangas será substancial.”

Para mas detalhes (em inglês), clique o link:

Sleeve Sponsorships