1. LAFC $1 billion (valuation) | $116 million (2022 revenue) | +$8 million
(2022 operating income)
2. LA Galaxy $925 million | $98 million | +$4 million
3. Atlanta United $850 million | $81 million | +$6 million
4. NYCFC $800 million | $55 million | -$12 million
5. D.C. United $700 million | $70 million | +$8 million
• SOURCE: Forbes: Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Clubs 2023 (ranked 1 to 28): LAFC Is The First Billion-Dollar Franchise Forbes By Justin Birnbaum.
NOTE: According to Forbes, more than half of MLS clubs lose money; their average annual revenue is $55 million.
Coach Brian Schmetzer's team arrived in Morocco for its historic Club World Cup debut after prepping in Spain. Read the whole story
• Cristian Arango, who helped LAFC win MLS Cup 2022, was transferred to Mexico's Pachuca on Wednesday, the final day of Liga MX's winter window. The Colombian is the third leading scorer in LAFC history (30 goals in 51 MLS regular-season matches) and scored the winner in the 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy in the 2022 Western Conference semifinals ... LAFC signed Spanish right back Sergi Palencia from French Ligue 2 team St. Etienne, the same French club Denis Bouanga, another of LAFC's 2022 heroes, played for before moving to MLS last summer ... Atlanta United got needed help for the middle of its backline with the acquisition of Peruvian international Luis Abram from Spain's Granada. Miles Robinson is returning after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2022 ... Real Salt Lake concluded a season-long loan, sending 18-year-old Homegrown defender Jaziel Orozco to Mexico's Santos Laguna in Liga MX.
Only perennial host USA and Mexico have won the Gold Cup besides Canada's sole triumph in 2000. Read the whole story
• THURSDAY in Spain: Valencia's U.S. midfielder Yunus Musah got video review attention when Karim Benzema retaliated to Musah's grabbing during a corner kick with an elbow and shove to the face. The VAR over-ruled Antonio Ruediger's goal and Benzema was yellow-carded. Musah was subbed in the 74th minute of the 2-0 loss at Real Madrid. It was Valencia's first game since the sacking of Coach Gennaro Gattuso and the loss leaves it 1 point above the relegation zone. (VIDEO). ... FRIDAY in England: Seventh-place Fulham, with Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson, faces 10th place Chelsea (USA Network, Universo 3 pm ET). ... Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, whose knee injury could keep him out until March, will learn whether Coach Graham Potter included him on the UEFA Champions League-eligible roster for the knockout stage that was due at midnight.
The Gulf kingdom's poor record on women's rights makes its sponsorship appear to be a case of sports washing. Read the whole story
"I just try to be a good person because if everyone had that mindset then, yeah, you'd have world peace."
- USMNT and Fulham left back Antonee Robinson on comforting distraught Iranian Ramin Rezaeian a few minutes after the USA had beat Iran, 1-0, to advance to the knockout round and eliminated Iran from of the 2022 World Cup. Images of Robinson consoling and hugging Rezaeian went viral and were seen around the world. The images of Robinson overcome by emotion in his chair in the U.S. locker room after the match came after he said his "phone just blew up with it" and the enormity of the situation and the team's achievement hit him. (Guardian)
The scorer of 25 goals in 26 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain this season, Mbappe is expected to be out for three weeks. Read the whole story
1. The polarizing consultancy that will help shape the 2026 USMNT By Henry Bushnell (Yahoo Sports)
2. Is Chelsea setting the market, or breaking it? By Tariq Panja and Rory Smith (New York Times)
3. U.S. Soccer: Judge cuts equal pay legal fees from $6.6M to $5.5M By Anne M. Peterson and Ronald Blum (Associated Press)