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‘MLS’ Articles

Pro Soccer

MLS suspends Revolution midfielder Nguyen

 

New England Revolution’s Lee Nguyen Suspended Following July 4 Incident

 

NEW YORK (July 11, 2014) – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen one game and fined the player an undisclosed amount for endangering the safety of an opponent and bringing the game into disrepute in the 57th minute of the match on July 4 against Real Salt Lake (VIDEO).

 

www.MLSsoccer.com

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

MLS, U.S. Soccer sign landmark TV and Media Rights deal with ESPN, FOX and Univision Deportes

 

· Eight-year Agreements Begin in 2015

· Nationally-televised Matches will be Anchored on Friday and Sunday

· Univision Becomes First Spanish-language Network to have Exclusive Night with U.S.-based Major Professional Sports League

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer have signed new television and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes, reaching eight-year agreements with the networks to televise MLS and U.S. Soccer matches in the United States through the end of 2022.  The announcement was made by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer CEO/General Secretary Dan Flynn, ESPN, Inc. President and Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman John Skipper, President, COO and Executive Producer for FOX Sports Eric Shanks and Univision Deportes President Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

 

For the first time in Major League Soccer’s history, all three television partners will feature an exclusive MLS Match of the Week, providing soccer fans throughout the country with a destination day and time for each network.  The Univision family of networks will televise a game of the week on Friday evenings — primarily on UniMás — and a wrap-up show on Sundays.  The Friday night match on the Univision family of networks will be the first time a Spanish-language television network will have its own exclusive night with a major professional sports league based in the United States.

Soccer fans will be able to enjoy a doubleheader of MLS action every Sunday, as ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will televise back-to-back MLS matches on Sundays at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, respectively.  More than 125 MLS matches will be televised annually on the three networks.

The new agreements also will include extensive marketing and promotional support from all network partners, including dedicated campaign support and cross-promotion across all three networks for upcoming MLS and U.S. Soccer matches. In addition, ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes will develop multi-platform initiatives to build the profile of MLS and U.S. Soccer players, including tune-in campaigns, digital content and shoulder programming, social media marketing and integration of MLS and U.S. Soccer stars in network programs such as the ESPYS and Premio Lo Nuestro.

ESPN has broadcast MLS matches since the league’s inception in 1996, and the new agreement will extend ESPN’s partnership with the league to 27 seasons.  Fox Sports returns to MLS after previously broadcasting the league’s games from 2003 to 2011.  Univision’s new agreement with MLS will extend the relationship between the nation’s top Spanish-language network and the league to 20 seasons.

“We are honored to partner with ESPN, FOX and Univision to form the most comprehensive U.S. media rights partnership in the history of soccer in our country,” said Commissioner Garber.  “The commitment from our television partners in terms of structure, length and magnitude is unprecedented, and these new partnerships are another strong indicator of the League’s continued growth and the overall fan interest in our sport.”

Major League Soccer’s out-of-market package, currently serviced through the MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick packages, will be available to a wider audience via ESPN3, ESPN’s live multiscreen sports network currently in more than 92 million homes, and WatchESPN, available to fans who receive their video or Internet subscription from an affiliated provider.  Featuring more than 200 MLS matches each year, the MLS out-of-market package will also be available via over-the-top services such as Google Play, iTunes Apple TV, Roku and others.

With national television broadcasts anchored on Fridays and Sundays, MLS clubs will have exclusivity on Saturdays, allowing for additional flexibility to schedule games.  All of the Saturday MLS matches will be available via the new out-of-market package on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

All three networks will televise both U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches.  ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will split the English-language Men’s National Team broadcast package of approximately 10 games per year, and will share the schedule of Women’s National Team games. Univision Deportes is the exclusive Spanish language home of U.S. Soccer, broadcasting all of the U.S. Men’s National Team games, and a minimum of four Women’s National Team matches each year during the term.

“We are extremely pleased to have extended our partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “The commitment made by our television partners to broadcast such a wide range and quantity of games demonstrates the growing demand for soccer in our country and provides a platform for our growing fan base to follow the game both for club and country.”

ESPN Networks

· Minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Sundays at 5 p.m. ET primarily on ESPN2.

· ESPN and FOX Sports will share MLS Cup Playoff matches outside of the two Univision games.

· MLS Cup will alternate each year between ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

· The AT&T MLS All-Star Game will alternate each year between ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

· ESPN and FOX Sports will split all U.S. Soccer matches.

· ESPN3 will carry the matches in MLS’ out-of-market package.

· ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio networks have the rights to broadcast MLS matches.

· ESPN obtains digital rights across all platforms and devices for the games it televises.

“ESPN remains firmly committed to world-class soccer and this agreement underscores our belief that this is an ascendant sports property,” said Skipper. “We are proud to continue our longstanding relationship with MLS and U.S. Soccer, and the broad media rights we have acquired, including enhanced digital rights, will benefit all our platforms.”

FOX Sports

· Minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Sundays at 7 p.m. ET primarily on FOX Sports 1.

· FOX Sports 1 and ESPN will split MLS Cup Playoff matches outside of the two Univision games.

· MLS Cup will alternate each year between FOX Sports 1 and ESPN.

· The AT&T MLS All-Star Game will alternate each year between FOX Sports 1 and ESPN.

· FOX Sports obtains digital rights across all platforms and devices for the games it televises, including its FOX Sports GO mobile app and FOXSportsGO.com for desktops.

· FOX Sports obtains digital highlight rights for MLS’s out-of-market package via FOX Sports digital platforms.

· ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will split all U.S. Soccer matches.

· FOX Sports Radio network has the opportunity to broadcast MLS matches.

“This groundbreaking deal represents a giant leap forward in the exposure for, and the commitment to, soccer in the U.S.,” said Eric Shanks, president, COO and executive producer for FOX Sports.  “Not only are we making a significant financial commitment, but we also plan to mobilize FOX’s substantial promotional resources to raise awareness and grow the fan base for our nation’s premier soccer league and its national teams.”

Univision

· Minimum of 34 regular season games, on an exclusive basis, on Friday evenings usually at 7 p.m. ET or 11 p.m. ET, primarily on UniMás.

· Two MLS Cup Playoff matches per season, on an exclusive basis, during the knockout round.

· The AT&T MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup, exclusively in Spanish on Univision.

· All U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team matches, including a minimum of four U.S. Women’s National Team matches each year over the term.

· Exclusive MLS matches on the Univision networks will include Second Audio Program (SAP), providing viewers the option of watching games in English.  English audio also will be available for matches televised on Univision’s digital platforms.

· Univision Deportes Network (UDN), Univision’s 24-hour sports network, will feature 5-7 consecutive Friday doubleheaders in May and June that will be surrounded by two hours of MLS ancillary programming.

· UDN will televise a weekly Sunday MLS wrap-up program and a condensed MLS match of the week.

· Univision obtains digital rights across all platforms and mobile devices for the games it televises.

“Soccer is the No. 1 sport for Hispanic Americans and we are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with both MLS and U.S. Soccer,” said Rodriguez. “We are excited to bring the Hispanic audience together around this passionate sport.  I am optimistic that our comprehensive partnership will accelerate the growth of soccer even further over the next decade.”

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Dan Courtemanche; COURTESY MLS COMMUNICATIONS

MLS explains decision to postpone Crew-Dallas FC Match


“Due to the inclement weather in Ohio and the unfortunate incident that occurred in the parking lot outside Columbus Crew Stadium last night, Major League Soccer made the decision to postpone the game between FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew,” said MLS Executive Vice President Dan Courtemanche. “The game has been rescheduled to 2 pm ET today.”

The health and safety of our fans is always our top priority, and we believe it was the right decision to postpone the match. The decision to reschedule the game to Sunday afternoon was made by the League. When matches are postponed, MLS’ standard policy is to reschedule the game to the next day if possible. This policy is similar to other professional sports leagues. We apologize for any inconvenience to the fans.”

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Dan Courtemanche; COURTESY MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

Major League Soccer welcomes Atlanta, Georgia for 2017

Downtown Atlanta Georgia skyline (photo by Mmann via wikipedia commons)

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced on Wednesday that Atlanta has been awarded the league’s 22nd team. The expansion team – which will begin play in the 2017 season – will be owned by Arthur Blank, the co-founder of The Home Depot and the owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

“We are thrilled to welcome Atlanta to Major League Soccer as our 22nd team,” Garber said in a statement. “Atlanta is one of the largest and most diverse markets in North America and has a rich tradition in sports and culture. And with Arthur Blank joining our ownership group, we are adding one of the most respected owners in professional sports. Arthur is deeply passionate about soccer and our quest to become one of the top professional soccer leagues in the world. We look forward to working with him and the entire Falcons organization on achieving this important goal.”

Arthur Blank is the owner of the new Atlanta soccer franchise. He also owns the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and The Home Depot (2009 photo by bsteve76 via wikipedia commons)

The Atlanta team’s name and logo, along with the coaching and administrative staff, will be announced at a later date. Fans will be asked to provide their suggestions for the team name.

Blank and his associates first contacted MLS about a potential franchise in Atlanta in 2008, and the group’s research brought them to six different MLS markets to discuss club business operations and tour stadiums. They also spoke with additional six MLS organizations about their intentions to bring big league soccer to Atlanta, already home to organizations in the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

Greater Atlanta has a metro population of 5.5 million residents, according to US Census data, making it the ninth-biggest metropolitan area in the United States.

During the last few years, crowds of more than 50,000 fans have regularly attended international soccer matches in Atlanta. An international friendly in March between Mexico and Nigeria drew over 70,000 fans.

The Atlanta appointment marks the third expansion announcement for MLS in the past year. New York City FC and Orlando City FC will compete in the league in 2015. A Miami franchise is expected to be added in the near future and join Atlanta for 2017.

The MLS is looking to add a 24th team for 2020.

PORTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

Major League Soccer passes new measures to protect gay players

(courtesy MLS)

Trying to stay on the same page as Major League Baseball and the National Football League, Major League Soccer has come up with new measures and rules to protect gay players from harassment and discrimination.

The efforts include expanding sensitivity training for players; a complaint system and locker-room postings of conduct code.

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