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113 posts from February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

MLS: No bid announcement Friday

Regardless of the news that emerges from Marcelo Claure's late-hour talks with Barcelona FC, MLS will not make an announcement on Claure's bid to bring a franchise to Miami Friday, a league spokesman said via email Friday morning.

There had been increased buzz in the last 48 hours that a decision by the league could be made Friday, but that was apparently premature.

Still, there should be resolution by the end of the day on Claure's efforts to keep Barcelona FC on board with his $40 million bid after the Spanish club expressed doubts about the plan last week.

Stay with us for the latest.

Claure in Barcelona for final negotiations

Mo09 mlssoc spts EPF 

Today could be an historic day for Miami. It could be the day a fifth major-league professional moves one step closer to calling South Florida home. Or, it could be the day of crushing disappointment for Marcelo Claure, the billionaire behind a bid to bring Major League Soccer to Miami. Claure has been in Spain this week in last-minute negotiations with Barcelona FC, and according to Sport.es, he expects a final decision either way to come down Friday. Our sources have told us much of the same. As soon as we hear anything, we'll let you know.

Translation of the Sport.es story:

The latest messages from the MSL and its surroundings are not exactly optimistic news regarding the allocation of new licenses to participate in USA League soccer. The approximately $ 40 million needed to tackle the project and the harsh economic crisis the country was not invited to take on big adventures.

However, it appears that this somewhat pessimistic atmosphere does not affect the willingness of Marcelo Claure, a member of Barça in the landing in the United States. The Bolivian entrepreneur is convinced that the final response will be positive and, moreover, will be made public in a matter of hours.

The conviction of the Bolivian reaches point that since a few days ago is in Barcelona to finalize the details of the proposed Miami. Claure has held several meetings with members of Barcelona, as well as others who could be linked directly to project future club. You do not want to step back in this adventure. Last Sunday, in statements that reflected the Bolivian newspaper La Razón ', the employer claimed that the administrative process is in the final straight. "We're still in negotiations with the MSL and we will define the future of the franchise in Miami in the next seven days." It has been five days and Claure has moved to Barcelona in anticipation of a happy ending. Want to be part of the final decision together with his initiative.

In Barca prefer to remain silent after a few days ago showed some reluctance to the project and the corporate CEO, Joan Olive, said that the club is not willing to make financial contributions to this initiative. The prevailing wisdom waiting to hear officially if the license is awarded by the 2010 final and the dream is a reality and the club extends azulgrana borders in Florida.

Moreover, by the express order of the boat and Claure, the office in Miami continues its mission to search for different political and economic support to ensure the viability and profitability of the enormous challenge.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Will Miami FC's plan work?

Over on the mothership, we spell out Miami FC's last-ditch effort to salvage its 2009 season before Traffic Sports closes the doors for good.

The Blues' innovative idea: apply $25 of every season ticket order toward the 2010 season -- either for Miami FC or the not-yet-approved expansion MLS team.

Now it's your turn. What do you think? Would you be more willing to drop $200 for a season ticket? Will it attract enough fans?

MLS decision imminent?

We're hearing that Major Soccer is close to making a decision on Marcelo Claure's expansion bid, and an announcement could come as soon as Friday.

Claure had planned to partner with Barcelona FC in the $40 million plan, but the Spanish club indicated last week it had reservations about going through with the deal.

As soon we we hear anything, you'll be the first to know.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chelsea, Bayern, Liverpool surge in Day 2

Spain Soccer Champions Leag3 

An early goal -- and a demonstrative celebration -- by Didier Drogba holds up as Chelsea tops Juventus 1-0 in first leg action of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Meanwhile, Bayern Munich goes on the road and utterly dismantles Sporting 5-0.

Elsewhere, Liverpool edges Real Madrid 1-0 and Villareal and Panathinaikos play to a 1-1 tie.

Stories to come, but for now, enjoy another photo gallery.

Around Major League Soccer

The headlines:

Seattle embraces Sounders FC

FC Dallas acquires midfielder Ferreira

Toronto FC gets Serioux in Dallas deal

Quakes still have question marks at forward

Wednesday's Need To Know

So much soccer, so little time. Four games down in the first leg of the Champions League's Round of 16. Four more today.

The headlines

Gerrard still a doubt as Liverpool braces for Real

Hiddink meets Ranieri as Chelsea hosts Juventus

Pellegrini: Villarreal Not The Favorites vs. Panathinaikos

Bayern confident in Toni for Sporting clash

Milan Coach: Beckham Is Weak, But Super Fit

Dynamo blow late lead in 1-1 tie with Atlante

Wednesday's soccer schedule

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16

FIRST LEG

Liverpool at Real Madrid, 2:45 p.m.

Juventus at Chelsea, 2:45 p.m.

Panathinaikos at Villarreal, 2:45 p.m.

Bayern Munich at Sporting Lisbon, 2:45 p.m.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Champions League's first legs settle little

Spain Soccer Champions Leag3 

Lots of excitement as the UEFA Champions League resumed Tuesday, but not much clarity after the first four games. Only one team -- Arsenal, by a goal -- will head into the second leg with a lead.

Much more to come, but here's a photo gallery and scores:

FIRST LEG
 
FC Porto 2, Atletico Madrid 2

Barcelona 1, Lyon 1

Arsenal 1, Roma 0

Manchester United 0, Inter Milan 0

More on that Miami FC meeting

In today's print edition, I wrote about the emergency meeting among South Florida's soccer glitterati to save Miami FC, which is in real danger of folding weeks before the 2009 season is set to begin.

Due to space constraints, lots of interesting tidbits ended up on the cutting board.

1. Miami FC could end up playing at FIU Stadium. Miami FC has played at Tropical Park since coming to town in 2006. But with uncertainty surrounding the MLS bid, FIU might be inclined to lease its stadium to Miami FC. FIU men’s coach Munga Eketebi was among the soccer VIPs asked to attend Monday’s meeting.

2. Others attending the meeting included: Barry Witlin of South Florida United Youth Soccer Association, a representative from Soccer Locker and David Duckenfield of Balsera Communications Group.

3. The odds of Miami getting an MLS expansion team will take a significant hit if FC Barcelona backs out as Marcelo Claure's bid partner. Miami FC executives put the figure as high as 80 percent that Miami would not get a team if that is the case.

4. However, if MLS does award Miami a team, Traffic Sports would be open to having a partnership with the new franchise, much like is the case in Seattle, which kept the name Sounders, a team that played in USL-1 from 1994 through 2008.