Major Link Soccer: TFC splashes the cash

Laurence Griffiths

Toronto is offering big money to a couple of strikers in top European leagues.

Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelson feels confident that his team is about to turn things around. TFC president Tim Leiweke has promised that the team will make the playoffs next year. At first, that sounds like crazy talk, based on the entire history of the team since joining MLS as an expansion team in 2007. Then, news of the players the team is targeting as DP signings for the 2014 season. First, TFC reportedly offered a 3 year deal to 31 year old Genoa striker Alberto Gilardino for a transfer fee of $8.24 million and wages of $9.6 million per annum. As if that wasn't crazy enough, TFC has also reportedly offered 31 year old Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe a deal worth $8 million per year. It looks like TFC is ready to join LA, New York, Seattle and perhaps Dallas as the league's big spending clubs.

DC United is doing its best to put the worst MLS season in the history of the league behind them. Yesterday, the team declined options on Marcelo Saragosa, Carlos Ruiz and Lionard Pajoy. They also parted ways with Dwayne De Rosario. They didn't even wait until he was gone to remove his banner from the stadium.

Remember when I said Vancouver was replacing Rennie with Yallop? That didn't happen. Rennie is still unemployed, but Chicago lured Yallop away before Vancouver could close the deal. Klopas isn't the only one gone in Chicago. It appears that the franchise is cleaning house.

Voting has begun for MLS Goal of the Year. There is only one Sounder in the first four groups. The Obafemi Martins goal against Real Salt Lake is nominated, but it's going up against Thierry Henry's bicycle kick goal, so it's going to take a lot of ballot stuffing for it to advance.

Beyond NYC FC and Orlando, possible expansion cities that could be ready by the end of the decade have included Atlanta, Miami (who already has a supporter group), San Antonio and Minneapolis. There are additional cities that probably won't be ready by then but would like to be considered for the next phase of expansion. One such city is Pittsburgh. The majority owner of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL Pro has acquired a majority share in Highmark Stadium, where the team plays its home games. This will allow the team to expand capacity in coming years as demand continues to grow, allowing the club to position itself for a possible move to MLS. Tuffy Shallenberger, the team's owner, has set a timeline of 7 to 10 years.

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