MLS Decision Day 2019 – Here’s What Is At Stake

MIAMI, Fla. (October 5, 2019) —

The last day of the MLS season is upon us. It’s called “Decision Day.” For most fans of soccer around the world, that means a final chance for some clubs to survive relegation, or for a club to seal the championship. For MLS, which follows the model of North American sports leagues, the final round of the season is a chance for some clubs to secure a place in the postseason tournament, known as MLS Cup.

For this season, MLS made some changes which definitely gives more emphasis to the regular season and rewards teams for better performances. The post season was revised to a single elimination format which involves single games at the home of the higher seed, rather than two legs that flattened the odds. This means teams are vying to finish high enough in the table to secure a very important home matches in MLS Cup.

All games kickoff Sunday, October 6 at 4 p.m. EDT.

Fixtures For Round 34

What’s at Stake? Here are the main 2019 MLS Decision Day Storylines:

  • In the Eastern Conference, three teams – D.C. United (4th place / 49 points), New York Red Bulls (5th / 48 points) and Toronto FC (6th / 47 points) – will be playing for the final spot available to host a playoff game.
  • In the Western Conference, four teams – Portland Timbers (46 points), FC Dallas (45 points), San Jose Earthquakes (44) and Colorado Rapids (42 points) – are competing for two playoff spots.
  • The Seattle Sounders FC and Minnesota United are tied for second in the table on 53 points. They play each other in Seattle at CenturyLink Field; the winner secures the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference.
  • The Los Angeles Galaxy can assure themselves of having a home game in the playoffs with a win over Houston. Last year, Houston’s win at Carson cost the Galaxy a spot in the playoffs. Zlatan and company are hoping to set the record straight this time.
  • Chasing the Golden Boot Award: LAFC’s Carlos Vela is tied for MLS’s most goals in a season record, set last year by Atlanta’s Josef Martínez, at 31 goals. If Vela scores Sunday, he gets the record. Currently at 29 goals for the season, LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is chasing Vela for 2019 top scorer and the record.

Probing 2019 MLS Decision Day Questions:

Eastern Conference: Should Teams Watch out for the Revolution?

With the Eastern Conference qualifiers already set in stone, Atlanta versus New England looks to be the most interesting match of Round 34 on this side of the league.

Atlanta can lock up the number 2 seed in the East with a win against New England combined with a Philadelphia loss or draw.

Ironically, despite winning a lot of matches in their three-year history, the Five Stripes still have not won on decision day. In 2017, Atlanta drew 2-2 with Toronto FC at home. The following season, they were crushed 4-1 at BMO Field. On Sunday they’ll face a dangerous New England Revolution side that come into Mercedes-Benz Stadium on a high.

New England has been looking like a time on the rise under Bruce Arena, riding some serious momentum. New England clinched the seventh and final playoff spot in the east with a 2-0 win over top-seed New York City FC, a team that recently defeated Atlanta United 4-1 in the Bronx.

Toronto FC currently sit sixth in the table, just one point behind the Red Bulls from New Jersey.

Atlanta United has not done well versus the Reds, while the team from New Jersey has won in Atlanta before. It’s reason enough for Atlanta to want to avoid playing either of these sides right away in the first round of the playoffs.

New England comes into Atlanta with nothing to lose. They are in the playoffs, something that looked impossible until Arena took the helm. The pressure sits squarely on Atlanta United. This is Arena’s first visit to Atlanta with the Revolution. The way he sets up New England today could tell us how he may approach a potential playoff rematch. Expect New England to stay compact and look for the counterattack. Columbus Crew used this trategy in Atlanta on September 14th and came away with a win. Frank de Boer’s team failed to find the necessary attacking solutions, and were subsequently punished in transition. How will De Boer adjust? It should be a study in tactics.  

Western Conference: Can Los Angeles Football Club Finish With The Most Points In History?

LAFC has been the dominant team this season, with only a couple of blips on the radar. They will likely use the final game of the season to remain focused. As the top seed, after this game they will have a first-round bye that will give them two-and-a-half weeks’ rest. With a win, LAFC have a chance to finish with the most points in a single season. Will they do it?

Can Colorado actually sneak in to the playoffs?

The Rapids had been building up momentum for months. After starting the season 0-9-2, they rallied under interim coach Conor Casey toward something resembling respectability. Robin Fraser took over as the Colorado Rapid’s head coach in late August, with his only previous managerial gig having been with Club Deportivo Chivas USA.

“By the end of the first session, I thought that not only were they a good team, that they have a really good spirit, and a lot of belief in themselves,” Fraser said. “That’s when I felt like this could be a really fun project.”

Now, on the last round of the season the Rapids have a chance, though admittedly a slim one, of making the playoffs. Can they do it? To reiterate, despite having started the season winless through 11 games the Rapids are still alive heading into the final round.

If Colorado upsets LAFC — the best team in the league, already owning the Supporters’ Shield and with the top playoff seed already clinched — and Dallas loses to Kansas City and San Jose loses to Portland, the Rapids are in. Even if the ‘Quakes draw with the Timbers, Colorado can still qualify through tiebreakers if they win by two goals or more. This ‘perfect storm’ isn’t exactly likely. LAFC is the top team, Dallas is at home, and Kansas City is playing only for pride. But wouldn’t it be a great story of overcoming odds?

Colorado has been scoring goals. Kei Kamara and Diego Rubio are both in the double digits (13 and 11, respectively), while Andre Shinyashiki and Jonathan Lewis have come on stronger. Fraser wants to inject a possession style of play but joining so far into the season has made that difficult. Yet he’s optîistic.

“I really admire the character of the team. They care about each other, and I think you see that in how they play, adds Fraser.”

No matter what happens on Sunday, that’s something to build on and carry over. And if they can get into the playoffs they will definitely be a team to watch.

Which club, the Portland Timbers or San Jose Earthquakes, will stumble into the playoffs?

Their game at Providence Park in Portland is the only semi-do-or-die matchup on the schedule in Round 34. Despite going a combined 1-7-3 in September, at least one of them will drag themselves into the playoffs on Sunday afternoon. Portland has played its last three games to a draw. Portland can lose this game and still get into the postseason torunament if Dallas also loses. The Earthquakes, who need a win, won the first meeting between the teams, 3-0.

There is a sense that both teams might be approaching unhappy endings.

This could very well be Diego Valeri’s last game as a Timber. Negotiations over a new contract have not gone well, and the two sides have different demands. Valeri has been the face of the Timbers since his arrival in 2013. He’s gone above and beyond — not just on the pitch, but as an ambassador in the community as well. Yet neither side looks likely to budge at the moment. This might be it.

Moving past Valeri’s situation, the Timbers have had a strange and trying year, summed up by Brian Fernandez’s goal drought and red card that has him suspended for this all-important finale.

San Jose sits just below the playoff line on 44 points. But if you had offered them this position at the beginning of the season — win one, final game and you’re in — surely they would have taken it. The club has done much better under head coach Matías Almeyda in his first year with the team, who has imparted an exciting style of play.

San Jose has slumped late, however. They have lost eight out of 10 since early August. Either opponents have figured them out or Almeyda’s physically demanding high press has ground them down. There are also rumours out of Mexico that Club de Fútbol Monterey are looking for a new manager, and, you guessed it, his name is Matías Almeyda.

Almeyda is a bigger name that most people realise, having been successful in his native Argentina and leading Chivas Guadalajara to the CONCACAF Champions League title just last year Earlier this week, he admitted that links with Monterrey and a return to Liga MX made him “happy.” How quickly the sand can shift in the world of soccer.

Is Seattle or Minnesota a real contender?

The victor of the Sounders-Loons game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle will lock up the No. 2 seed in the west, and home-field advantage all the way to the conference final. However, If Real Salt Lake wins in Vancouver and the LA Galaxy win in Houston, whichever side loses the match at CenturyLink Field would drop to fifth.

Seattle seems to feel rightly disappointed by this year’s performance: “I think anytime we don’t compete for the Supporters’ Shield, with the talent that we have, is a fail,” midfielder Cristian Roldan said this week.

“Maybe it’s more of a redemption-type game for us,” goalkeeper Stefan Frei said. “We’ve had so many opportunities to make a statement game, and we’ve squandered quite a few of them. … We’ve been very, very fortunate. Let’s be honest. I think our season has been not the best. It was nice to finally start on top, but the remainder of the year has been a struggle. At some point, we have to make that statement.”

Minnesota has qualified for the playoffs for the first time. Their highlight moment of the season was a 2-0 away win at LAFC, which is also LAFC’s only loss since El Tráfico on July 19th. Carlos Vela was absent that match. But with the MVP favourite reinstated last weekend at Allianz Field, Minnesota still ground out a 1-1 draw. The Loons formula against Los Angeles was to stay compact, give LAFC possession in less dangerous areas, and have a ruthless mentality on the counter.

The Loons are playing with confidence, no matter the opponent.

Who Will Win The Golden Boot?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is second in the goal-scoring race with 29 goals. In fron is Carlos Vela of LAFC, who has 31 goals, a mark which places him in a tie with Atlanta United Josef Martínez for the most goals in a single MLS season. Zlatan had this to say:

“I am trying to score goals every game, that is part of my responsibility, part of what I have to do to help my teammates,” I have 29 goals in 28 games. If I would have the same amount [of] games like the other ones, it would be different. But now I’m chasing someone that has more games than me. If we score we score, we’ll have to see what the end number will be. If there still is a possibility, we’ll try.”

Still, the LA Galaxy star insists the ultimate aim is to achieve team glory.

“I prefer the collective win, when we win that game, that is more important,” he said. “With the collective success the individual success comes with it. If I can do good for my team, with my team, I know I’m doing good. I’m not focusing on the individual bonuses, I always say it’s like a bonus. Without my teammates those things would not be possible. If I win, it’s my team that wins. Whoever wins the Golden Boot has to think it’s not because of him, it’s because of his teammates.”


Credit to The Athletic for providing inspiration and perspective.

La Liga Sets A New Record In Summer Transfer Window

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.

The Numbers:

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.

Coverage of the transfer market in the media. Source: La Marca, September 7, 2019.

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

  1. Real Madrid (€307.5m) 1st
  2. Fútbol Club Barcelona (€255) 2nd
  3. Atlético de Madrid (€243.5) 3rd
  4. 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:

Transfermarkt.com – Transfer Balances – Season 2019

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.

Esteve Calzada, CEO, Prime Time Sports 📷 SoccerEx
Chart Showing Amounts Spent On Player Acquisitions In The Top 5 European Leagues.
Continue reading La Liga Sets A New Record In Summer Transfer Window

Exequiel Palacios Le Dijo “No” A Inter Miami. Sin Duda, Habrá Otros Que Digan “Sí”.

English version follows

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.

See Exequiel Palacios’ statistics from Transfermarkt

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.”


Highlights of Exequiel Palacios

Granada CF returns to La Liga

Nerja, Málaga, España (lunes 19 de agosto de 2019) – Kenneth Russo

Granada Club de Fútbol is back in La Liga Santander, and the primary mission this season will be to survive in the top flight of Spanish football. The beginning of a new season is always filled with anticipation, and the battle for la permanencia began with a goleado, a wild encounter Saturday night at the Estadio de la Cerámica in Villarreal, where the rojiblancos produced a 4-4 draw with Villarreal.

Antonio Puertas scored the goal that earned the away point. Manager Diego Martínez, who is the youngest head coach in La Liga, said, “We are a team that believes.” That belief will receive a second test at home this Friday as Sevilla FC come to Granada.

El Granada Club de Fútbol está de vuelta en La Liga Santander, y la misión principal de esta temporada será sobrevivir en la máxima categoría del fútbol español. El comienzo de una nueva temporada siempre está lleno de anticipación, y la batalla por la permanencia comenzó con un goleado, un encuentro salvaje el sábado por la noche en el Estadio de la Cerámica en Villarreal, donde los rojiblancos produjeron un empate 4-4 con Villarreal.

Antonio Puertas marcó el gol que le valió el punto como visitante. El gerente Diego Martínez, quien es el entrenador más joven en La Liga, dijo: “Somos un equipo que cree”. Esa creencia recibirá una segunda prueba en casa este viernes cuando el Sevilla FC visita al Granada.

Se Presentan La Canción De La Liga: Los Latidos Del Fútbol

LaLiga no tenía una música única, un sonido integrador y reconocible, una identidad sonora que hiciera que todos los fans del fútbol español se sintiesen identificados con ella. Hasta ahora

Granada, España (jueves, 15 de agosto del 2019) –

Vacationing in Spain seemed like a good time to highlight this story on La Liga’s new song.

Article is reprinted here:

Los latidos del futuro, compuesta por Lucas Vidal, ganador con solo 35 años de dos Goya (Palmeras en la nieve y Nadie quiere la noche) y un Emmy por la composición del tema musical de la cadena ESPN para los Juegos Olímpicos de Rio de Janeiro 2016, es la nueva banda sonora de LaLiga.

Una canción que une a los aficionados de todos los colores en las mismas notas musicales y un tema que demuestra que la pasión por el deporte rey está por encima de un equipo concreto. “Ha sido un sueño en mayúsculas. Recibí el encargo con gran emoción e inmediatamente supe que se trataba de una responsabilidad y que debía estar a la altura de la afición. Precisamente es el público el que me ha servido de inspiración, gracias a su latido al unísono, a su energía y a su entrega. Espero devolverles con esta identidad sonora la pasión que sienten al ver cada partido de LaLiga”, afirma Lucas Vidal.

— Read on

Los latidos del futuro

Inter Miami CF Announces First Two Players

Another Historic Day In The Life of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami.

Club Confirms Previous Reports Here And Elsewhere.

Miami, Fla. (Friday, July 26, 2019) by Kenneth Russo

Another day. Another first. Two of them, to be precise.

The team that for so long didn’t have a name; didn’t have colours; didn’t have a chance according to some; lacked this and didn’t have that; whose supporters were mocked for supporting a fictitious team. All this has changed over the past year and a half, of course.

And today, the dream is more tangible than ever. For today, the Rosanegra has announced the signing of its first two jugadores.

The club was expected to name its first players over the summer. Exactly when wasn’t known for sure. However, reports out of Argentina in recent days and weeks suggested that transfer deals were in place, and research revealed that the players whose names had been reported on had indeed visited Miami.

This morning, Inter Miami raised expectations that an announcement was forthcoming by posting several tweets on its Instagram account. It seemed to be a prelude to something big:

And big it was. “Matías Pellegrini. El Primero.” That was the caption on the first video announcement that was sent out on social media at 3:57 p.m. EDT. a video that was described with words such as “clean,” “more like a raggaeton singer intro,” “dope merch,” “dope marketing,” and “dripping in swag.” In other words, a very Miami-like production, right down to the essential Miami trait of mixing Spanish and English in the course of a single statement.. Shortly thereafter, the second announcement was pushed out, at 4:20 p.m.: “Seguimos. #LaFamilia is about to grow stronger.” | 4:30 p.m.: “Julián Carranza. Welcome to #LaFamilia.”

Matías Pellegrini

Pellegrini, 19, is a native of Magdalena, Argentina. His primary positions are as a left winger and centre forward. He was promoted to the first team in August 2018, having been part of the reserve squad of Estudiantes’ de La Plata (U20) prior to that. His first goal as a professional cane against Boca Juniors. He has made 15 appearances for Estudiantes this season, with three goals and one assist. He has logged 1,053 minutes across all competitions (903’ in Primera División and 150’ in the Copa Libertadores). Pellegrini joined the Estudiantes Academy at the age of 11.

Mati joins Inter Miami CF from Estudiantes via transfer and will be classified as a Young Designated Player. He will remain on loan with Estudiantes through January 2020. The value of the transfer is listed on Transfermarkt as being $9.23 million USD. (8.1 million EUR).

Pellegrini Profile On Transfermarkt

Julián Carranza

Carranza, from Oncativo, Argentina, also 19, is in his second season as a professional. He joined the senior squad of Club Atlético Banfield in 2017. Since then, he has made 29 career appearances for them, scoring 8 goals. He has logged 1,871 minutes across all competitions. Carranza featured in two matches for the Argentina U17 team at the 2017 South American Championship in Chile, and has also trained with the U20 team.

Prior to playing as a professional with El Taladro, Carranza came through Banfield’s academy system, having moved to Buenos Aires at the age of 13 to join their academy.

Like Pellegrini, Carranza will remain on loan with Banfield for the fall Superliga season, and will join his future teammates for training camp at the end of January, 2020, in advance of the inaugural season in MLS which begins next March. His transfer is listed on Transfermarkt as being for $6.16 million USD (5.5 million EUR).

“Julian is a very grounded player with an impressive work rate. He’s the player that strives to score goals and is very good in the box”

Paul McDonough, Sporting Director

Carranza Profile On Transfermarkt

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And it’s only the beginning. The secondary transfer window in MLS is open until August 7th (the last date for inbound transfers) so there is reason to believe fans of Inter Miami can expect more names to be announced. To stay on top of news from Inter Miami, look on this site or on the club’s official website at http://www.InterMiamiCF.com.

Continue reading Inter Miami CF Announces First Two Players

Real Madrid CF Will Not Seek Naming Rights For Estadio Bernabéu

Club will not seek naming rights partner for the revitalization of the Bernabéu Stadium; Has “great opportunities” in business without changing the name of the stadium.

Miami, Fla. (Thursday, July 25, 2019) – Kenneth Russo

What’s in a name? In the case of a famous one, a reason not to alter it.

One of the world’s most iconic football stadiums will not be adopting a corporate name. This news came from Real Madrid Club de Fútbol’s Global Head of Partnerships, David Hopkinson.

As reported in Spanish publication ReasonWby.Es, Hopkinson had been interviewed and asked about this ahead of the World Football Summit 2019. It was believed that Real Madrid would seek a stadium naming rights partner. He commented, “Anything is possible, but to put a corporate name on the stadium probably would be incorrect. There are places around the world that are iconic and must be respected.” (“Hay lugares en todo el mundo que son icónicos y deben respetarse”) He also added that Real Madrid enjoys an extraordinary assortment of income-generating opportunities that do not involve adopting a corporate name for the home of Los Blancos.

“Hay lugares en todo el mundo que son icónicos y deben respetarse”

While the stadium’s name is not changing, many aspects of the stadium will be. The club is planning a complete transformation of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, which is expected to take until 2023 to finish.

Madrid’s ambitious plans for a “digital stadium of the future,” were made possible after securing loans totalling €575 million (£497 million/$641 million USD) in April, 2018 from two US-based financial institutions: Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan. They will start repaying the loans in 2023 at a fixed 2.5 percent interest rate through 2049. The club will service an annual debt of €29.5 million per year on the project throughout the period.

Hopkinson, a Canadian, (and graduate of McGill University) was hired in summer of 2018, after having worked with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), where he was the Chief Commercial Officer. MLSE is the parent company of Toronto Football Club (MLS), the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Raptors (NBA). Explaining the overall business strategy of Real Madrid, Hopkinson said that Real Madrid believes the more it is able to internationalise its business, reputation, and fan base, in the process making the club a global enterprise, the more opportunities the club will have with sponsors around the world.

“Cuanto más podamos internacionalizar nuestro negocio, nuestra reputación, nuestra base de fans, para globalizar este negocio, más oportunidades tendremos con patrocinios en todo el mundo”, detalló.

La renovación incluirá un techo retráctil, nuevos servicios y experiencias diseñadas para los fanáticos, que aprovecharán las posibilidades de lo digital.

The renovation will include a retractable roof, new services and experiences designed for fans, taking advantage of the latest in digital stadium technology.

While a football club can expect millions of dollars to have a corporate name on its stadium, in the case of Real Madrid CF, Hopkinson believes the benefit of not changing outweighs the increased revenue. Reaching that conclusion was probably also made easier by the fact that Real Madrid was looking for a naming rights sponsor but actually had difficulty attracting one. Potential sponsors were cautious to invest given the status of the stadium as one of the most famous in the world. It was thought, and altogether realistic to believe, that people would still refer to the stadium as the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu no matter what corporation sponsored the venue.

Video: Real Madrid CF

ReasonWhy.es: El Real Madrid no busca un nombre comercial para el estadio Santiago Bernabéu

Sports Pro Media: Oct. 2018: Réal Madrid Struggle For Naming Rights Deal


Photo Gallery (credit: Real Madrid CF)