By TATE STEINLAGE
Zach Pfeffer is reportedly heading to Portland for this year’s All-Star festivities.
According to a report from Philly.com, Pfeffer is going to be added to the roster for the first MLS Homegrown Game on Aug. 4. Pfeffer was not on the original list of 20 players named last week, but appears set to be added to join the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and Harry Shipp as they face the Portland Timbers Under-23 team at Providence Park.
The 19-year-old Philadelphia Union midfielder has seen limited time with the senior squad since making his MLS debut in 2011, but has been an up-and-coming star with the Under-20 U.S. team. In a week-long tournament in Carson, Calif. with the U.S., Pfeffer has already tallied two goals and an assist in two matches against Chile and Bermuda.
The MLS Homegrown Game is set for Aug. 4 at 10:00 p.m at Providence Park.
Here are some more news and notes from around MLS:
RED BULLS VS. ARSENAL TO AIR NATIONALLY
The New York Red Bulls’ friendly against Arsenal will play host to more than the expected sellout crowd at Red Bull Arena.
On Thursday, the MLS side announced that the exhibition match on July 26 will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (5 p.m. ET).
The match will follow two games on July 23 featuring MLS teams and major European clubs. Sporting Kansas City will host English Premier League champions Manchester City at Sporting Park on ESPN2 (9 p.m. ET), while the LA Galaxy will take on Manchester United at the Rose Bowl on Fox Sports 1 (10:30 p.m. ET).
ORLANDO CITY BOOST 2015 MLS SEASON TICKET SALES DURING WORLD CUP
The buzz around Orlando City SC’s first season in MLS appears to be growing rapidly.
The club has sold “just shy” of 7,500 season tickets for the 2015 MLS season, according to Lions president Phil Rawlins, and 5,000 came in the first week of ticket availability. The team has capped season tickets at 14,000.
“We’re over 50 percent of the target within a month. To say it’s a tremendous start is an understatement,” Rawlins told the Orlando Sentinel. “It shows the tremendous interest soccer is generating in the community, and it shows the appetite for soccer in the community. Orlando has shown it’s the soccer capital of south with the World Cup television viewing numbers and the ticket sales.”
Orlando City’s month-long World Cup season-ticket promotion concluded Tuesday night as club representatives handled phone calls until midnight.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL STUDIES MLS STADIUM EXPERIENCE
Several of college football’s most notable conferences have turned to MLS to study issues relating to fan engagement.
Schools in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), PAC 12, and Big 12 have reportedly traveled to Kansas City, Kan., to analyze how Sporting Kansas City continually fills the seats of Sporting Park while the universities struggle to fill massive stadiums in some of college football’s best atmospheres.
“They’re all dealing with the same issues: ticket sales going down and a difficulty getting students to come early and stay late,” Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman told the Wall Street Journal.
Representatives from Florida and Oklahoma State University have made the trip to study Sporting Park and Sporting Innovations. The latter school joined officials from the Pac 12 as groups at the NCAA-D1 level to sign deals with Sporting Innovations to better fan experience.
Sporting KC currently holds a streak of 45 consecutive MLS sellouts, which will likely improve to 46 on Saturday when the team hosts the LA Galaxy in a match set to be aired on ESPN.
FORMER WHITECAPS MANAGER LANDS NEW DEAL
Martin Rennie has landed a new managerial position on the other side of the globe.
The former Vancouver Whitecaps manager has been announced as the first manager for Eland FC of the K-League in South Korea. The deal is set for three years for an undisclosed amount.
Rennie coached the Whitecaps during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In his first year in Vancouver, Rennie helped the Whitecaps reach the playoffs after a dismal 2011 season. The 39-year-old manager also helped Vancouver capture the 2013 Cascadia Cup.
What do you make of Pfeffer reportedly being added to the Homegrown roster? Will you be tuning in for Red Bulls vs. Arsenal? Is college football smart for looking into the MLS fan experience? Is South Korea a good fit for Rennie?
Share your thoughts below.