You have likely seen the announcement that MLS, SoccerUnitedMarketing and ESPN sold the international rights for MLS to MP & SILVA for "Eight Figures." I'm going to assume that they aren't counting pennies and that would mean that the league gets an extra 10 Million+ dollars. In essence the new deal is like adding a TFC at a minimum to the league coffers. Sounders FC might not get much of that money, but its still cash for the league and its teams. The deal stretches over four years, basically to the end of the ESPN tv contract that MLS already has.
MP & Silva has the EPL online and mobile rights, so they have handled the best, and are likely quite active in Asia (More people in Asia watch the EPL than any other league in any other sport). This should help the league continue to grow its support.
From the earlier link
"Major League Soccer has certainly come a long way since its founding in 1996, and we are equally excited and determined to bring MLS to the next level," added Carlo Pozzali, managing director, MPS America. "Through our broad partnership with MLS we aim to strengthen the league’s international profile, popularity and visibility, and help MLS extend its reach to new emerging markets, including Asia-Pacific."
That statement has lead many to believe that the Pan-Pacific Championship will continue, and I guess it should if it helps the league sell TV, online rights and kits in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, UAE (MPS has an office in Dubai), Qatar, etc.
But the statement that got me excited, and one that should excite all MLS fans, and not just Sounders FC fans, is this which Glenn Davis found
"We saw a potential in Major League Soccer and see a really good potential internationally because of the involvement of new players from outside, good players," Pozzali said.
"We will work together with MLS and SUM to bring top players to clubs to increase the quality of the league."
There are currently 8 DP slots filled, with TFC believed to be near certain to have one. That means there are 7 more slots that could be filled through this kind of deal, not to mention hopefully more talent like Huckerby with the Quakes. With offices in Dubai, Singapore, Milan and Miami MP & Silva is in the position to help the league track often overlooked leagues in North Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia.
Looks like major soccer media here in the states is noticing that Freddy Adu is not playing for Monaco. Bring 'em back home. Riding pine in 2nd or 3rd tier leagues does not make a player better.
And last but certainly not least, Seattle Sounders FC officially has announced that Brian Schmetzer will be the First Assistant Coach. Up the USL-Sounders! Now its time for a few of them to be signed. I hope have news about one player soonish.
I will update when I get more info, KJR-AM should have it any second.
Here's the story at SounderFC.com
"I’m excited to work with Brian," said Schmid, who became head coach Dec. 16. "He brings great knowledge of the Seattle area, the history of the USL-1 Sounders, and a wealth of coaching experience. That, coupled with his past playing experience, makes him the ideal assistant coach."
Schmetzer has nine years of experience coaching and 15 years of playing at the professional level. He was a member of six championship teams during that span.
"Having been born and raised in Seattle, and having lived most of my life here, I love this city and I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect career path," said Schmetzer. "I feel lucky, first to have been chosen to coach the USL Sounders, then to be considered along with Sigi and some other outstanding candidates for the MLS head coaching job. Now, I’m working with a great coach in Sigi, in my home city for what is rapidly becoming the best club in the business. It seems everything is falling into place."
I couldn't think of a better tandem than those two.
The big question now will be which USL Sounders are brought on-board and up to continue under the tutelage of Brian. I stand by my list of Graham, Jackson and Eylander. I feel that Roger should be up due to his flexibility of role having value on the short squads that MLS has to play. Sakuda, Treschuk and Scott are reasonable picks as well. Kante due to his youth makes sense because he can be a developmental player. Nik Besagno would also make sense as a developmental, if the club feels he can be taught, he has the talent.
There is still the Alonso rumor, which makes a lot of sense, because the team could use his skill set and he's young.
But there are only 4-6 Senior slots left, and I'm still hoping that Montero is one of those. The USL Sounders are running out of room. But they also just got better hopes of joining Le Toux and Sanna in Rave Green.