Another day, another Blue Notes. Let’s get to that soccer coverage!
The LA Galaxy — Now Proven Cheaters
For years, the running ‘joke’ has been the Major League Soccer roster rules are a moving target that just change in ways to fit the LA Galaxy. Rules have literally changed during seasons to accommodate LA. It long felt like cheating. Now cheating has been confirmed, but it may not be one of the roster moves you’d have guessed.
Back in 2019, the Galaxy signed Cristian Pavon on loan from Boca Juniors. Initially the rumors had it being a Designated Player deal, but then later Pavon was listed as a Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) player. Apparently the Galaxy “entered into agreements that were not disclosed that included payments that were not accounted for in the calculation of Cristian Pavón’s salary budget and roster category.”
The punishments are extensive. The Galaxy are fined $1 million and, more importantly, lose $1 million in General Allocation Money (GAM) which is not insignificant. If all that GAM is from 2023, that’s more than half of the $1.9 million in GAM each team gets. Also, the Galaxy are prohibited to sign any player requiring an ITC in the 2023 secondary window (aka no outside of MLS signings next summer).
Additionally, Sporting Legend Chris Klein, is suspended from “any sporting-related responsibilities” through the primary transfer window (roughly early May). Former General Manager Dennis te Kloese has to go through the office of the commissioner if he wishes to apply for a job in MLS in the future due to his involvement.
This punishment isn’t nearly has harsh as the one imposed on Inter Miami CF. But it’s still significant. I do wonder if the Zlatan Ibrahimovic signing will receive similar scrutiny. He was a TAM player for a year becoming the league’s highest paid player. Then when he left LA, he got a 50 percent stake in his former club Hammarby. Maybe he paid fair market value, but I somehow doubt it.
KC Comets Owner Buys Soccer Complex
On Wednesday, the Kansas City Comets announced that their Managing Partner Brian Budzinski had purchased a 98-acre soccer complex and the Western Missouri Soccer League (WMSL).
“I look forward to enhancing the property while broadening services to provide an inclusive sports complex with opportunities for all residents of the community,” Budzinski said.
As a Northland resident, this is an exciting prospect for soccer in the area. Budzinski is also the owner of the Kansas City Soccer Dome.
The land is located on the corner of Highway 435 just south of Highway 152 right along Soccer Drive.
Chicago Red Stars for Sale
After the news that the defending NWSL Champions the Portland Thorns were going up for sale, another NWSL club is about to be for sale. Majority owner Arnim Whisler announced the Chicago Red Stars will be on the market soon too.
“Red Stars players released a collective statement on Oct. 10 requesting that Whisler sell the club, writing that they ‘look forward to finding a new majority owner who can help us realize the full potential that we as players always knew existed for this club.’”
Previously, free agents Morgan Gautrat (formerly Morgan Brian), Danny Colaprico and Rachel Hill had announced their intentions to leave the club. Similar to the sale of the Thorns, this is spurred on by misconduct from coaches and the subsequent handling from the ownership group.
More Pro Women’s Soccer
I’ve long thought the NWSL should be pushing hard to become the NBA, NFL, or MLB of women’s soccer in the United States. They have an opportunity to be the best league in the world by far and ownership groups like those that own the KC Current are pushing that forward at a greater clip than some of their compatriots.
It looks like there will be some competition from the Great White North as a Canadian Women’s pro league is on the verge of launching in 2025. The unnamed league would field eight teams and has two years to build towards their first kick. Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson made the announcement earlier this week.
Vancouver Whitecaps and Calgary Foothills Soccer Club will be two of the eight teams. Matheson “made the case that the buy-in, which is expected to be between $8-10 million, is a worthwhile investment, noting that National Women’s Soccer League clubs, which were bought for $150,000 US 10-years ago, are now valued at a minimum of $35 million US.”
Competition should be good for everyone, but I imagine a lot of the Canadian talent may head back to Canada to ply their trade.
- CF Montreal has had quite the offseason. Lots of big moves, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll be anywhere near as competitive next year.
CF Montreal had their best-ever season in 2022. Since it ended:— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) December 5, 2022
-Best player Djordje Mihailovic to AZ Alkmaar
-Lone DP Victor Wanyama contract expires
-Canada int'l defender Alistair Johnston to Celtic
-Wonderkid Ismael Kone to Watford
-Head coach Wilfried Nancy to Columbus https://t.co/FDuoCH1b7C
- Speaking of the Kone transfer, it’s a record for Montreal. And it’s just one of many huge fees coming into MLS teams for their young prospects. Montreal is on the below list three times. Two of those players (Mihailovic and Johnston) were acquired in intraleague trades. Let’s see how they re-invest going forward as they should have significant GAM and cash on hand for transfer fees.
Biggest outbound MLS transfers already this winter:— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) December 5, 2022
Gaga Slonina. Chicago ➡️ Chelsea, up to $15m
Ismael Kone. Montreal Watford, ~$8-10m
Djordje Mihailovic. Montreal ➡️AZ Alkmaar, $6m
Paxten Aaronson. Philadelphia ➡️ Frankfurt, $4m
Alistair Johnston. Montreal ➡️ Celtic, ~$3.5m pic.twitter.com/kf5cgl902k
- Brazilian midfielder Evander will join the Portland Timbers for a transfer fee of around $10 million.
BREAKING: The Timbers have signed Brazilian midfielder Evander in a club-record deal.— Ryan Clarke (@RyanTClarke) December 5, 2022
Evander, 24, joins the team for a roughly $10 million transfer fee. He’ll be one of two DPs for the Timbers next season, I’m told. #RCTID https://t.co/2LttTZ2DNh
- Charlotte FC are rumored to be adding forward Enzo Copetti from Racing as a Designated Player.
Enzo Copetti se va al Charlotte de la MLS.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) December 5, 2022
*️⃣Racing vende en u$s 6.300.000 el 80% del pase que tenía en su poder.
*️⃣Los clubes cruzan documentación y, en los próximos días, el futbolista viajará para hacerse la revisión médica y firmar por 3 años con uno opcional. #TratoHecho pic.twitter.com/UB6qpu5Rmm
- Bobby Wood signed a one-and-one with the New England Revolution after being picked in the Re-Entry Process (stage 2). Remember when Wood was proposed as a Sporting Kansas City target on this very site, then a rumor later emerged that it was a possibility?
- Kansas City (and St. Louis) were killing it once again in World Cup TV ratings. The KC/St. Louis rivalry is building already with St. Louis City SC set to debut in 2023.
Fox's early number on its #USMNT vs. Netherlands viewership is 12.966 million viewers.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) December 5, 2022
Top 5 ratings markets:
2. St. Louis
4. Kansas City
- And finally, Alexander Mattison of the Minnesota Vikings is showing some love to Lo’eau LaBonta for the inspiration of his touchdown celebration this past weekend.