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Blue Notes: MLS Can’t Stop Cheaters, SKC II Signing, EPB to Venezia Update, MLS Expansion, USWNT to KC

Erik Palmer-Brown may be teaming up with another former SKC player in Italy.

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SOCCER: AUG 19 MLS - FC Dallas at Sporting KC Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sometimes there are soccer stories so good, they just have to be highlighted. This edition of Blue Notes should probably be brought to you by Allocation Disorder and The Athletic. Don’t worry, if you don’t have a subscription, it’s free to listen to the podcast, but it’s well worth the subscription in my opinion.

MLS Cannot Stop Teams from Cheating

If you haven’t been following the Inter Miami CF scandal where the club had five (!) Designated Players instead of the allowable three during the 2020 season (not to mention other budget compliance issues for three additional players), more came out on it this week.

Paul Tenorio of The Athletic did a fantastic deep dive that you should absolutely go read. If you don’t have a subscription to The Athletic, you can listen to him and Sam Stejskal on their Allocation Disorder podcast hit the high points.

Essentially it boils down to this. One of Miami’s owners, Marcelo Claure, self-reported the violations of the rules that led to a $250,000 fine to another owner, Jorge Mas, former Sporting Director Paul McDonough being banned from MLS through the end of the 2022 season and more than $2 million in reductions of allocation money for this year and next which essentially cripples Miami.

The crazy thing is, if he doesn’t self-report, Miami probably get away with having five players being paid under the table. How many other MLS owners are doing that exact thing right now and will get away with it? Tenorio and Stejskal essentially confirmed it’s an open secret in MLS and that Miami just cheated too much. Insanity!

SKC II Add a Striker

The youth movement continues for Sporting KC II as they added striker Boubacar Traore on loan from Budapest Honved (Hungary) a week ago Friday. The 21-year-old joins a team that is struggling deeply to find success in 2021. They’ve been without healthy strikers for much of the season and have played wingers and midfielders in that role before adding SKC Academy product Zion Long earlier in August.

SKC II play again today, against Indy Eleven, as they try to claw their way out of the basement of the Central Division.

MLS Expansion Update: Las Vegas Villains

In another section of the Allocation Disorder podcast from this week, word is around MLS that Las Vegas is likely the next expansion team. They got themselves a billionaire (which we’ve long known is the key) and they filed a trademark for a team name, the Las Vegas Villains. I don’t hate it.

Bad news for Sacramento, who had and lost a team headed for MLS when their owner backed out. Also bad news for teams like Phoenix Rising and the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship who seemed poised to try and slide into that open slot.

Erik Palmer-Brown May Play with Gianluca Busio

As we’ve reportedly previously, former Sporting Kansas City center back EPB, could be on his way to Italy to play with Venezia FC. He is still under contract with Manchester City in the Premier League, but he’s bounced around on loan since signing on a free transfer from SKC. In yet another section of the Allocation Disorder podcast, Sam dropped a quick line that owner Duncan Niederauer told him.

“We love [Palmer-Brown]. I think he’s a really good player, but there’s a lot of moving parts right now so we have not finalized the deal for him yet.”

I’ve long held out hope that EPB would come back to Sporting KC on a free transfer and it could still happen. Obviously he’s still very young, but since he wasn’t sold, SKC hold his MLS rights. A young, athletic center back... yes please! But a stop at Venezia would give us a second reason to keep tabs on the newly promoted Serie A club after Busio transferred there for a record fee.

The United States Women are coming to Kansas City

It may be called the Carli Lloyd retirement tour but on October 21st, the USWNT will play Korea Republic at Children’s Mercy Park. Five days later they’ll play them again at Minnesota United’s home, Allianz Field.

This is Fun

Daniel Salloi and Johnny Russell did a joint appearance on the podcast the Call Up. Definitely worth a listen. Oh... the pranks.