MLS Ticker: League plays down Miami expansion rumors, Zizzo sidelined after knee surgery, and more

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By MICHAEL KLINE

A Major League Soccer spokesperson has cleared the air, denying that the MLS have held discussions with RSE Ventures concerning an expansion team in Miami.

Recent reports have held that the MLS was “pushing hard for Miami expansion team,” but the MLS spokesperson has squashed those claims.

“We have not had any formal discussions with RSE Ventures,” the MLS spokesperson said. “We remain focused on securing a 20th team for Major League Soccer in New York, but we do believe we will have an MLS team in the Southeast at some point.”

Stephen Ross, chairman of RSE Ventures and Miami Dolphin owner, released a statement of his own through Twitter, further confirming the MLS spokesperson’s comments: ”While we’ve not taken part in formal discussions re ownership of a MLS team, we’d certainly keep an open mind (with respect to) any proposals that could bring an MLS franchise to Miami.”

Here are some other stories to catch you up on the latest news and notes in MLS:

SAL ZIZZO TO MISS 4 WEEKS AFTER SUCCESSFUL KNEE SURGERY

Portland Timber midfielder Sal Zizzo is expected to be sidelined for four weeks, after successful surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his left knee was completed.

Zizzo suffered the injury in training yesterday, just a day after being substituted into the Timbers’ season-opening match against the New York Red Bulls.

After being acquired from Chivas USA in 2010, Zizzo has notched 51 appearances in three seasons, recording one goal and eight assists.

PHILADELPHIA UNION SIGN MATT KASSEL

The Philadelphia Union have added New York Red Bulls academy product Matt Kassel to their squad.

Kassel was released from the Red Bulls academy in February of 2012, and has spent the preseason on an extended trial with the Union, making an appearance at fullback.

Last season the central midfielder scored six goals in 18 appearances for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the USL Professional Division, and was named to the USL Pro All-League second team.

TORONTO FC ADD THREE MORE TRIALISTS

Toronto FC have confirmed through an official tweet that Canadian international Jamie Peters, Charleston Battery forward Ryan Richter and former D.C. United midfielder Lance Rozeboom have joined the club on trial.

The three players will join Jake Hustedt and Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault on trial, with only three of Toronto’s 30 roster spots left remaining.

FC DALLAS SIGN GOALKEEPER

Despite already having three goalkeepers on their roster, FC Dallas has added a fourth by signing Kyle Zobeck, the team announced on Monday.

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What do you think of these developments? Think there’s something to the Miami MLS story, or just see a lot of posturing going on? See Zizzo’s injury hurting the Timbers or do you think they have the depth to cope?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Philadelphia Union, MLS- Portland Timbers. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to MLS Ticker: League plays down Miami expansion rumors, Zizzo sidelined after knee surgery, and more

  1. fischy says:

    As rough as DC United looked on Saturday, I take heart in the fact that at least two teams in the East think they might have a place for guys who didn’t make the DCU squad.

    On the other hand, United didn’t sign Jermaine Taylor years back, after having him in on trial…..

    • JAY NT says:

      i have little trust in DC’s ability to access player quality

      especially after what happened to salihi last year

      • Tyler K says:

        Salihi is a great poacher a la Kenny Cooper but his skill set didn’t for with what we were doing in terms of needing a strong hold up forward with a high work rate.

  2. Rusty Schakelford says:

    Orlando should be the first southeast team….then Miami if everything falls into place.

  3. Travis says:

    I am sorry but the entire state of Florida has shown time and again to be a poor professional sports city. Even with the Heat having a stacked roster I’ve seen plenty of times where the arena had empty seats. The SE region deserves a team, but don’t put it in Florida it will just fail….again.

    • Travis says:

      poor professional sports state*

    • vince says:

      attendance figures are different than tickets sold.

      As a Florida resident I can assure you ALL of the Heat’s games are sold out and those empty seats are just because people didn’t buy the jacked up resale price

    • anikan says:

      Orlando is drawing 8,000-9,000 in the third division. That’s better than Chivas USA and around what Dallas was getting just a couple years ago. Given recent history of expansion, (Montreal, Portland, Vancouver, Seattle) I think Orlando makes the most sense for the next team.

      • Alamo City Ultra says:

        They are averaging around 6,000. The San Antonio Scorpions are averaging around 8,000 and are debuting their new Soccer Specific Stadium in April. The Scorps should also be on MLS radar. Complete the Texas Triangle Garber!

  4. Tom says:

    Miami is to the southeast the way Honolulu is to the west coast. Neither geographically close nor culturally representative.

    • Roman Lewandowski says:

      Good post. Neither DC nor Florida (south of the panhandle) counts for the Southeast. That’s an entire region of the country that MLS is neglecting.

      Atlanta, Charlotte, and Nashville likely would be good cities. I especially think the latter two could support thriving teams. Successful MLS clubs often seem to be in cities that are large but unsaturated with other pro sports teams (think KC, Salt Lake, Columbus, Portland, Seattle).

      Any take on what is holding back these cities?

    • White Kix says:

      While Culturally, Miami does not represent the “Southeast”, geographically, it is as Southeast as you can get in the US. Miami has two big things going for it: 1) DP’s would want to play in Miami, 2) they have very high TV ratings for soccer. MLS has poor TV ratings. If putting a team in Miami can capitalize on those TV ratings over the next 10 years, that would be huge for the league financially. As far as everyone saying the Southeast team should be in Charlotte, Nashville, etc… I see no problem putting teams in those cities, and having a culturally “Southeast” team might also be a great way to get TV ratings, but someone from Charlotte or Nashville can currently get to an MLS game much easier than someone from Florida (I am not saying that it is convenient for them, just that a weekend roadtrip is much more doable). I would think that Ideally MLS would have a cultrually “Southeast” team and then two teams in Florida (Miami and Orlando or Tampa) to capitalize on regional rivalries, and the chance to make MLS relevant to a quarter of the country that it has ignored (Much like it ignored the Northwest for the first 13 years of existence) which should increase tv ratings, the biggest thing standing in the way of big TV money, leading to everyone’s dreamed of Increased Salary Cap.

  5. el paso tx says:

    Miami and Orlando should be good in MLS due to gthe growth of the game and soccer is a world sport, not like putting hockey in Peru or some country of taste. Miami is a south american city with a lot of soccer fans, from cubans to jamaicans and that would give a Miami team a south american taste. Orlando is a nice expansion market with a Lot of promise and once a Florida team gets in, tampa bay with VSI will try everything to jump to MLS so I see tampa bay vs miami, once orlando gets into MLS. But cmon, we all can picture lebron james, music and flim stars and many europeans chilling at the a Miami soccer game with many models. At the end of the day the east has a buffet of markets to select from and the west will have to make good moves. East will get orlando for sure, tampa bay or miami depending who gets a stadium first, atlanta and a northeastern city. For the west, a small market city will have to make it, like tucson-albuquerque, el paso and of course it could be phoenix, san diego, las vegas or sacramento or san antonio.

    • Northzax says:

      Or you move Kansas City, dallas or Houston to the west. Houston is closer to LA than Ew York.

      Or you go Pacific (LA, SJ, Pdx, Sea, Van, SD?) Midwest (Dallas, Houston, KC, StL, Chicago, Minneapolis? Toronto) Atlantic (Mtl, NER, NY, NJ, DC, Atl) or you do a South, (HOU, DAL, ATL, MIA, ORL, DC) with a NE (Mtl, tor, NER, NY, NJ) mid (KC, Chi, MPL, StL, Den, xxx?) and the pacific. Once you get to 24, two conferences becomes unwieldy,

    • Enrique says:

      Well said, plus MLS is looking at the television market, which Miami always does well for soccer and other sports. Miami makes sense for the league because it will bring big name dp’s which is why they want another franchise in NY. We may not deserve a team down here cause fans are bandwagons but it makes sense.

    • drew11 says:

      One thing that is clear is that MLS needs more warm weather teams. A base in FL would be great if the season starts in early March.

      Orlando is a good spot because it is central FL. They could draw from JAX to Tampa. That has to be 7-8 million people within a 2 hour drive. People that live in central florida are use to day trips to Orlando. Should be a well supported team in the city and region.

      I don’t know about Miami. South Florida seems pretty segregated. Folks from Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale don’t go to Miami and Miami peeps don’t head north. So where ever you put the stadium there would be attendance issues.

  6. ElMetrofan says:

    The south is too fricking hot and humid. Just look at Texas. Even at 8 pm it could feel like 100 degrees. Miami is just as worse or more.

    • Brian says:

      You are sooo stupid, i live in South Florida and you saying Texas is hotter!? You need a vaca!

  7. el paso tx says:

    Well I know I might sound like a eurosnob but MLS needs more southern cities, like phoenix or tucson, san diego but SD will never happen, las vegas,albuquerque or el paso, san antonio or austin, atlanta, orlando, miami or tampa bay, a NC city in order to go the international calendar. If MLS goes with the international calendar from august to may or september to april, MLS would actually make more money, get more fans, get more TV deals in a way and especially help MLS academies By having summer open for academy tournaments. Therefore if MLS adds 7 to 8 teams in the southwest and southeast which are warmer states in the winter, MLS can easily go for the international calendar with a winter break from mid december to coming back superbowl Sunday or after superbowl Sunday. For the winter break, have a tournament in hawaii or in warm nonMLS markets. As matter of fact MLS only has san jose,galaxy,chivas, dallas,houston with proper weather to match the fifa calendar and if MLS does it right, MLS would gain popularity and money from the fifa calendar.

  8. Caleb H. says:

    MLS team In Nashville is something that I believe could definitely thrive. Good centralized spot in the southeast. No one thought a hockey team would work there but it does, soccer could do better than that there. Atlanta could be good too

  9. Chance says:

    Love Zizzo, but for the Timbers he’s more heart than playmaker, so I don’t see his absence having that much of an effect.