By DAN KARELL
After 22 years with Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga, goalkeeper Oka Nikolov is on his way to play in the United States.
The 39-year-old German-born player, who joined Eintracht in 1991 and never left, terminated his contract with the club on Tuesday in order to continue his career in America. Reports in Germany state that he is heading for Major League Soccer, though a club hasn’t been chosen yet.
Nikolov, who played five times internationally for Macedonia, started the final eight league matches this season for Eintracht after starting goalkeeper Kevin Trapp went down with a season ending injury, helping the side go from promotion a year ago to a place in the Europa League next season.
The New York Red Bulls were rumored to be interested in Nikolov in 2010, though those rumors were put to rest when Nikolov signed a contract extension at the Commerzbank Arena.
Here are some more American soccer stories from around the nation:
MLS ANNOUNCES MLS+ AND NEW T.V. SHOW
In a new development, Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday the creation of MLS+, a content and distribution platform that would “create a broad range of soccer programming on multiple platforms.”
“Soccer in North America and MLS are soaring,” MLS Chief Marketing Officer Howard Handler said in a statement. “To build on this momentum and inspire the next wave of fans, MLS+ will create hundreds of hours of premium programming per year. MLS+ will also deliver new opportunities to leverage the relationship between our fans and the commercial community.”
MLS+ will display content in the form of T.V. shows, digital series’, mini-documentaries, viral video stunts, and more. The league plans on using MLS+ on any social media platforms as well, from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and terrestrial T.V.
In addition, MLS announced the creation of a show, MLS Insider, that will debut on Friday, June 21, on NBC Sports Network. The show will be led by excecutive producer Jonathan Hock, who made three of the acclaimed ESPN 30 for 30 documentary series.
The first episode includes a features on New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill, Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers, and the Philadelphia Union’s supporters group, the Sons of Ben.
ORLANDO CITY SC RECEIVE MORE STADIUM BACKING
Though Orlando City Soccer Club’s first attempt at gaining the funding to build a stadium failed to pass through the Florida State Legislature, it hasn’t stopped them from continuing to achieve their goal of entry to Major League Soccer.
Orlando City SC were given a boost early this week, as the Central Florida Sports Commission (CFSC) fulled backed the organization’s efforts to build a soccer-specific stadium.
“As the organization responsible for regional sports economic development, we believe the addition of a soccer-specific stadium, capable of hosting events that are not currently possible in Central Florida, will be a valuable and beneficial addition to the existing sports venues in our region” said Mike Millay, Chairman of the CFSC in a statement. “A stadium that will serve as home to a MLS team will allow us to further attract events that drive sports fans to our community leading to greater economic benefit,” Millay added.
What do you make of these reports? Where do you see Nikolov ending up? Interested in MLS+ and MLS Insider? Do you believe Orlando City is closer to building a new stadium?
Share your thoughts below.