Friday, December 16, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: MLS expansion timeline revealed

Yesterday's Score
Serie A
Genoa 1-0 Fiorentina
(Lazovic 37')

This match was scheduled back in September, but had to be called off thanks to a massive hailstorm.

European League Tables

Club World Cup
Club America 0-2 Real Madrid
(Benzema 45+2', Ronaldo 90+3')

Real Madrid will move on to face Japan's Kashima Antlers for the Club World Cup title. The Club World Cup is an interesting event. It features the winners of the host nation's league, in this case Kashima Antlers, and the champions of each of the six confederations. In the previous 12 events, it has been won by the European representative 8 times and by CONMEBOL four. It's normally little more than a side note in the soccer calendar.

This edition is notable because it's the first top flight trail of instant replay in the game. It was used for the first time in the semi-final between Kashima and Atletico Nacional to help award Kshima with a penalty in the 31st minute. It was also used in this match to provide Ronaldo with his goal, which was initially disallowed for offside.

Replay is a technology that can be useful to improve the accuracy of officiating. It would have come in handy for Wednesday's Manchester United-Crystal Palace match in which the referee missed a couple handballs in the penalty area. It will eventually take hold throughout the world, but the kinks need to be ironed out before that can happen. Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane and Luka Modric echoed this statement by saying the process was a little confusing and that they didn't like the delays.

Don Garber laid out the plan to expand MLS to 28 teams in the future. He said that teams 25 and 26 will be official by the second or third quarter of 2017. It's expected that St. Louis and Sacramento will be those next two cities to gain teams since they are furthest along in the process. They will each pay $150 million for the privilege to join the league.

After that, there is no timetable or expansion fee laid out for teams 27 and 28, but they will need to officially apply by January 31 to be considered. Common wisdom says Detroit and Cincinnati are the favorites, but a couple cities in North Carolina, Tampa/St. Petersburg, San Diego, San Antonio, and Nashville have all expressed interest.

Today's Matches
TSG Hoffenheim v. Borussia Dortmund- 2:30pm- FS1

La Liga
Alaves v. Real Betis- 2:45pm

Ligue 1
Angers v. Nantes- 2:45pm

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