Tuesday Kicks: MLS Cup awarded to Toronto & More

Three Four for Tuesday:

*As expected, Toronto was selected as the site today of this year’s season finale, the MLS Cup, a reward for a market that has sold out the stadium since the MLS franchise began play there in 2007.

Other factors that undoubtedly played a major role in awarding the event to Toronto on Nov. 21: capacity at BMO Field will increase this year to 21,800 and the stadium now has a grass field.

A Canadian newspaper broke this news a week or two ago, but it was a fairly predictable choice anyway. In fact, let’s forecast who will get the game next year: name the world-class city with a spanking new stadium touted as perhaps the world’s best for its size. No prizes for guessing New York and no prizes for guessing that this team could be this year’s All-Star game opponent either.

*And this isn’t much of a surprise either: Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment group, owner of the Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Home Depot Center, etc., has joined the effort to bring the World Cup to the U.S. in 2018 or 2022.

“AEG has an unparalleled history with soccer in the United States and Tim has played an important role in developing the sport’s legacy in this country for many years,” said Sunil Gulati, the chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “He is a tireless worker whose international experience and industry connections will be invaluable assets to the USA Bid Committee moving forward.”

*FIFA has amended the rules regarding player selection for the World Cup.

From the U.S. Soccer press release:

“For this tournament, teams must submit a preliminary list of 30 players by May 11. The final list of 23 players must be delivered to FIFA by June 1, and those players must come from the 30-man preliminary roster. Once again, teams must include three goalkeepers. From June 1 on, a player may be replaced due to injury up to 24 hours prior to a team’s first match. In this case, the replacement player is not required to come from the 30-man preliminary list.”

*Almost forgot to mention (speaking of potential World Cup players) that U.S. international defender Oguchi Onyewu (seen sitting with club teammate David Beckham at Saturday’s Galaxy game, BTW) was busy running stairs Monday during the Chivas USA practice I was watching at Home Depot Center as he continues to rehab the injury suffered with AC Milan.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!