Major League Soccer:
Alvaro Saborio has retired from soccer, shortly after his move back to his first club, Costa Rica's Saprissa. He remains Real Salt Lake's al-time top goalscorer, and he'll certainly go down as a legend for RSL fans. Read his full statement in Spanish here.
David Beckham has a serious problem at this point, and it's not e-mail related. Not only has his attempt to find a stadium in Miami gone on for several years with many major setbacks, but at this point the league (and the state of expansion) has changed so much under his feet that "David Beckham's fancy Miami MLS team" is no longer really that interesting.
With Toronto FC's impressive performance in the 2016 Playoffs (better luck next time!), Canadian MLS viewership had some of it's best numbers ever. Accordingly, MLS has signed a new deal with Canadian broadcasters expanding coverage in our northerly neighbor.
NYCFC have found a USL partnership, joining up with San Antonio FC starting this year.
If you enjoyed that story from Empire of Soccer, you should know that the editor-in-chief, Dave Martinez, is moving on and being replaced by very capable hands. Jack Bell takes over after many years of leading soccer coverage at the New York Times, and a recent
escape from stint working for the NASL.
The Houston area has done a massive pooling of resources for youth soccer. The professional clubs and major youth organizations are partnering under the Dynamo/Dash umbrella, creating one of the largest youth clubs in Texas.
Newcastle look poised to return to the Premier League next season, so Coming Home Newcastle gets an early start pondering which players will easily make the jump from Championship and wouldn't need replacing. DeAndre Yedlin easily makes the "Premier League-ready" list.
Hope Solo has signed a deal to appear in and then host an unscripted TV series called The Cutting Edge, which has something to do with sports medicine. The show will air on Fox Sports 1.
More US Soccer
The USMNT are on the hunt again for dual nationals, and German-American Timothy Tillman looks like just the ticket. At 18 years old, he currently stars for Bayern's U19 squad. Tab Ramos is working on it.
College soccer still plays an important role in player development in the US, for better or for worse, but as MLS academies continue their growth that status quo is under threat. Legendary Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski has a plan to make it better and more compatible as a starting point for pro players.
Mexico legend Omar Bravo has joined USL's Phoenix Rising FC.
UEFA will request 16 of 48 World Cup spots for Europe in the expanded format, and will also request that each European club is in a different 3-nation group.