MLS Ticker: QPR target loan move for Defoe; Vikings’ MLS expansion pursuit gets serious; and more

JermainDefoeTFC1-DCUnited2014 (USATodaySports)

By TIM FONTENAULT

With Queens Park Rangers back in the Premier League, Harry Redknapp wants to celebrate with a family reunion from his West Ham days. On the invitation list: Toronto FC forward Jermain Defoe.

The 31-year-old striker, who joined the Canadian MLS side in the winter, could join the Hoops on loan at the conclusion of the 2014 season.

Redknapp, who managed Defoe at West Ham from 1999 to 2004, would also like to bring in two other former Hammers: Manchester United center back Rio Ferdinand and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.

However, the report suggests that QPR owner Tony Fernandes has blocked the pursuit of Ferdinand, while Lampard has no less than 20 suitors, reportedly including 2015 MLS expansion side New York City FC.

Here are some more MLS notes from Tuesday:

VIKINGS’ OWNERS TAKE BIG STEP IN MLS APPROACH

The owners of  the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings are expected to announce an alliance with Relevant Sports and their pursuit of a Major League Soccer club on Wednesday.

Relevant Sports is the company that created the International Champions Cup, a summer competition that brings Europe’s biggest club teams, including Real Madrid, Chelsea and AC Milan, to the United States. They are also organizing a friendly between Manchester City and Olympiacos on Aug. 2 at TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the University of Minnesota’s football team.

News of the Vikings’ interest in Major League Soccer is nothing new, as the organization is looking to share their new, $1 billion stadium that is set to open in 2016. However, the news comes only days after Minnesota United FC won the NASL spring season. The Loons have teamed up with the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball in pursuit of MLS expansion.

VOTERS SPLIT OVER MIAMI WATERFONT STADIUM

David Beckham was in Miami over the weekend to campaign for a waterfront stadium for his MLS expansion franchise, but the English legend still has a lot a work to do if he hopes to make his ideal stadium a reality.

A poll of Miami-Dade County voters suggests that 45 percent of residents are against the stadium to 43 percent in favor, although this is generally considered a tie, given a 4.5 percent margin of error. Voters have generally expressed concern with the effect of the stadium on Museum Park and the surrounding area.

Results of the poll are “a little bit troubling”, according to poll conductor Fernand Amandi, but Beckham and company are planning on working more with the public in the coming weeks.

“Our plan will create a stadium and park that is compatible with Museum Park, protects public access to the waterfront, and further activates and expands Museum Park by 20 percent,” publicist Tadd Schwartz said in a statement. “We look forward to discussing our vision with the public over the coming months.”

ORLANDO CITY TEAMS UP WITH PORTUGUESE GIANTS BENFICA

Orlando City SC, which will begin play in MLS in 2015, has announced a partnership with SL Benfica of the Portuguese Liga.

Among the many benefits provided through the partnership, the two clubs will share evaluations of professional and youth players, set up friendlies against each other in Portugal and the United States and allow for players from either club to train with the other.

“This agreement represents a partnership with a new MLS club with large ambitions led by a widely respected entrepreneur in Flavio Agusto,” SL Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira said in the release. “It’s also important to note that the agreement is not limited only to football. It also involves a social and educational aspect by enabling high-performance athletes to access scholarships in the U.S. market and the reconciliation of competitive sports with a high quality education level.”

Should Defoe spend his offseason in England? Who would you like to see bring MLS to Minnesota? How do you feel about the Orlando City-Benfica partnership?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to MLS Ticker: QPR target loan move for Defoe; Vikings’ MLS expansion pursuit gets serious; and more

  1. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Defoe couldn’t play for QPR full time ? He didn’t want to play there, he chose Toronto.

    I can’t even imagine, going from the second winningest team, to a team playing for absolutely nothing….instead of taking a vaction. Toronto fan’s should offer ot pay him to bang his head against a wall instead.

  2. Pgloerse says:

    New Orlando City renderings out:

    link to orlandosentinel.com

    • BOFO for hire says:

      Always love seeing these. A few initial thoughts:

      1) The design looks like a classic English Championship stadium (not a bad thing). When saying “English Championship”, I’m referring to capacity (~20,000), open corners and covered seats. Love that.

      2) I love the short lower deck, longer upper deck design a-la BBVA Compass Stadium. As a fan, while being close to the action is cool, if you’re not in the first few rows I’d much prefer watching a game from a top-down vantage point. In part, you’re closer to the action, but mostly being higher gives a better angle for watching the entirety of team shape and movement. I’m also a hockey fan, and much prefer sitting in the first few rows of the upper deck than much of the lower deck.

      3) Sweet lion statue – any chance of a Michael Jackson replica? (I had to).

      • Alex H says:

        +10000 on the coolness of stadium drawings. Usually the finished product disappoints though.

  3. quozzel says:

    Miami had best watch themselves if they want MLS. Beckham isn’t going to put up with this forever – he doesn’t have to; Golden Balls has himself a Golden Franchise Ticket, something a lot of other moneymen would very much like to have.

    If Miami doesn’t start cooperating with Beckham, some other city that wants to is liable to come in and make him an offer – Charlotte or Tampa, for example.

    I honestly do not understand. Beckham isn’t asking for a handout. He isn’t asking for the public to fund his stadium with their tax dollars. He’s just asking for Miami’s cooperation in bringing Brand Beckham (which, love it or hate it, is one of the most-recognized names in world soccer and would bring instant Big Name recognition to a Miami MLS franchise) to Miami, and the city’s petty politicos are disinterestedly going “meh”.

    Idiots. You don’t want to totally roll over and get your taxpayers bilked on stuff like this, but if you’ve got any sort of vision, you DO NOT pass on something like this for your city, either.

    • solles says:

      having lived in miami, i can say categorically that the biggest hurdle to overcome for a new stadium is the marlins stadium ripoff that has turned that entire city against any more stadium projects. not saying it cant work there but now is a bad time to be proposing a new stadium in miami, in whatever sport.

  4. MrTuktoyaktuk says:

    Anything is possible but Defoe loan to QPR seems far fetched. But if Arry lets TFC keep Julio Cesar after the WC until the end of the MLS season, then I’ll give it more consideration.

    • solles says:

      i suspect QPR wants to sell Cesar very badly still, that situation wont be resolved until after the world cup. if cesar plays well and qpr can sell him, he’ll be off. if cesar has a bad cup or for whatever reason he doesnt generate interest, he may stay at Toronto for the rest of the season.

      • solles says:

        much also depens on rob green, who has been terrific for qpr this year but is out of contract. i wouldnt put it past qpr to let green go elsewhere and recall cesar.

  5. NASL TO EL PASO TX 915 says:

    Wow MLS keeps getting more interesting every freaking season but please, no Vikings ownership in MLS unless they make a soccer stadium or unite with Minnesota united owners to get a soccer stadium downtown.
    As for Beckham Miami, what do those Miami politicians want from Beckham and company. He is man of his word and he has the experience and brains to do it.
    Oh, I feel bad for Orlando city fans, their stadium looks worse than San Jose and MLS 1.0
    Why not make it like Houston dynamo or at least rapids style. Something is wrong there, no good Orlando.

  6. tom says:

    PLLLEEEEEEEEASE no Vikings MLS team. As a Minnesotan and a die-hard MLS fan I’d sadly almost rather not have a team than have a team owned by Zigi Wilf that plays in an indoor turf 70,000 seat stadium.

    • Alex H says:

      Here’s my thought on playing in a football stadium. If you think you can fill then lower bowl then go for it otherwise forget it. I don’t know the Minnesota fan base but if you can average around 30K like in Seattle then doubling up on a football stadium makes total sense.

  7. Robbie says:

    Where are people getting that Minnesota United has teamed up with the Twins to pursue an expansion slot? Mum has been the word with The Loons, so unless the media alone knows something no one else does… seems like hearsay or the garnishing of rumors.

    That said, I am hoping against all hope that MN United team up with the Twins and usurp the Vikings’ bid. The planned announcement tomorrow will likely force United’s hand, whatever that ends up being.