IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING! Major League Soccer has set up an “important announcement“ in Miami on Monday, featuring David Beckham and Don Garber. This all but confirms what we have been waiting for for years: Beckham’s Miami franchise will be announced as the 25th franchise in MLS. This goes all the way back to 2014, when Beckham exercised his option to launch an expansion club for a discount (which is now a bargain, because the expansion fees are around $150 million and rising). The hurdles that Beckham and his partners needed to jump through concerned the acquisition of land for a soccer-specific stadium. Now that Beckham and his group have the land and are in development of the stadium, MLS will have another expansion team alongside Nashville. MLS is also set to announce either Cincinnati, Sacramento, or Detroit as the 26th franchise in the next couple months.
After Cyle Larin did not report to Orlando City training, and, despite being under contract for the Lions, was photographed in training and in a medical for Besiktas, Orlando and the Turkish side have finally agreed on a transfer. According to some reports in Turkey, Besiktas will pay Orlando $2.3 million over three years for Larin to join their side before the end of January.
After requesting a trade from the New England Revolution, where he has spent the past six years of his career, Lee Nguyen has explained why he wants out of the team. He expressed frustration over his contract, saying he has paid his dues. He also said he has requested a trade three times.
“I’ve paid my dues and it gets harder and harder to watch so many players on the Revs and in MLS get rewarded year after year, despite not performing anywhere close to what I have done.”
The team, meanwhile, says it will not trade Nguyen, and has not engaged with any team that has inquired about him.
On Thursday, Philippe Coutinho made his long-awaited Barcelona debut, in a Copa Del Rey win over Espanyol. He came on in the second half for Andres Iniesta, wearing (formerly) Javier Mascherano’s number 14, when Barcelona were up 2-0, 2-1 on aggregate, with goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Coutinho, after sitting out a couple matches due to an injury after his transfer from Liverpool, earned praise from his manager, Ernesto Valverde.
“We have high hopes for him here at the club, in the sense that he will be good for our style of play. He’s a confident lad who can help us because he’s good in one-on-one situations, he can spot the free man. ... And when he gets close to the area, you can sense the danger.
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