Soccer America Daily
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
  • Atlanta United's Josef Martinez is runaway winner of MLS MVP award

    The Venezuelan, who set an MLS record with 31 goals in the 2018 regular season, earned nearly 48 percent of the votes. Read the whole story

  • What They're Saying: Arthur Blank

    "I'm as excited about this as I was the Super Bowl. I don't want to end up with the same feeling that we had [with the Falcons] in '16. But we're excited to be here in every way we can be. The city's excited -- you just have to come to the stadium to see and feel that. What I say is not unimportant, but what the fans say is most important, and the fans could not be more excited ... We have an opportunity to show the very best of soccer in North America."

    -- Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank, who also owns the NFL Falcons, on MLS Cup 2018, which the Five Stripes will host on Saturday. If they beat the Portland Timbers, they will be the first Atlanta team to win a championship since the baseball Braves in 1995. The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl 2016 and lost to the New England Patriots. Blank said Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was already making preparations for a parade in case of an Atlanta United victory. (MLSSoccer.com)

  • Watch: A dog become the goalkeeper's best friend

    Goalkeeper Brian Leandro Olivera of Argentine third division Belgrano blundered badly -- but was rescued by a hound's timely field invasion. Read the whole story

  • What's in the news ...

    1. The USA's first official match under new men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter is already a sell-out. It will open the 2019 Gold Cup on June 18 at Allianz Field, Minnesota United's new stadium that will open in 2019. The sell-out at the 19,200-seat stadium is the fastest in Gold Cup history. The USA will then play group matches in Cleveland on June 22 and Kansas City, Kansas, on June 26.

    2. Portland Timbers fans have been allocated 1,700 tickets for MLS Cup 2018 at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, reported the Oregonian. The Timbers fans were first allocated 1,300 tickets, which sold out in four minutes. MLS usually provides 900 tickets for away supporters at MLS Cup. A record sell-out crowd of over 70,000 is expected. This is the first year since the finalist with the most points during the regular season was given hosting rights that the final will be played in an NFL stadium.

    3. Luiz Muzzi is set to leave FC Dallas to run the soccer operations at Orlando City, a league source told ESPN's Jeffrey Carlisle. Orlando City, which failed to make the MLS playoffs for the fourth year in a row and set an MLS record for most goals allowed in 2018, recently fired general manager Niki Budalic. Muzzi joined FC Dallas from Traffic Sports in 2012 and was promoted to his current position this year when technical director Fernando Clavijo stepped aside because of an illness. FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja has left to become the head coach at Tijuana.