MLS All-Star Fan XI announced for upcoming All-Star Game

Major League Soccer announced the MLS All-Star Fan XI, Friday for the upcoming All-Star Game against Real Madrid, Aug. 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Soldier Field. 

The roster will consist of 24 players. The remaining players, consisting of two Commissioner picks and 11 players selected by coach Veljko Paunovic will be announced later this month.

Goalkeeper:Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)

Defenders:Greg Garza (Atlanta United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City),DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)

Midfielders:Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Michael Bradley(Toronto FC)

Forwards: David Villa (New York City FC), Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)

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Rumored LAFC target Andres Guardado heads to La Liga

Mexican international Andres Guardado was announced Friday as a new member of Real Betis after spending the last three seasons with PSV of the Eredivisie.

Guardado, 30, signed a three-year contract.

It was reported a few weeks ago that Guardado was nearing a deal with Los Angeles Football Club for the 2018 season. At the time, Guardado pushed back against the report while Mexico was playing in the Confederations Cup, saying that there have been offers from MLS clubs, but denied that any agreement had been set.

Guardado has already spent seven seasons in Spain, with Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia

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Could Galaxy defender Nathan Smith face a suspension for this tackle?

Galaxy defender Nathan Smith could be hearing from the MLS Disciplinary Committee next week.

Smith received a yellow card for the foul here on Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber had to be subbed off. Does this play warrant a suspension?

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Galaxy wrap: Another three points picked up on the road

For the third consecutive game, the Galaxy went on the road and scored another road victory.

Saturday night, thanks to a pair of goals from Giovani dos Santos the Galaxy took down in-state rivals San Jose, 4-2 in the latest edition of the Cali Clasico.

The Galaxy improved to 5-5-2, now with 17 points, moving them into sixth place in the Western Conference. The victory also gave the Galaxy their fourth on the road, tying their total of road victories from last year.

Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo: “Nothing phases us. We’ve dealt with a lot of adversity early on and that’s made us a better group and a better team. I like how we grew as the game progressed because obviously I was a little concerned that we conceded twice in the first half, I think we just locked it up and had a very good second half.”

What’s next: The Galaxy conclude a stretch of four consecutive road games, June 3 at D.C. United.

 

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Galaxy week ahead: Road trip continues to Minnesota

Fresh of their first victory on the East Coast since 2013, the Galaxy will look to carry that momentum into Sunday’s contest against expansion side Minnesota United.

The Galaxy (3-5-2) defeated the New York Red Bulls, 3-1, Sunday, thanks to two goals from Romain Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos’ penalty kick.

Sunday, the Galaxy is back on the road against Minnesota (3-6-2) at TCF Bank Stadium. Both teams are sitting on 11 points.

Christian Ramirez leads the club with six goals. Kevin Molino has five.

Minnesota lost three of their first four games, allowing a whopping 18 goals. Since then, things have stabilized a bit. Still, their propensity for allowing goals should brighten the eyes of the Galaxy attackers. Minnesota has allowed 28 goals so far this season.

“It is a tough venue,” Onalfo said of TCF Bank Stadium. “Turf field. It’s narrow and they haven’t conceded a lot of home, so we’re going to have to have that road mentality, push the game and do whatever we can to mimic what we did last week.”

 

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Orlando City SC’s Kaka tops MLS salary for 2017

Brazilian and Orlando City SC midfielder Kaka is the highest paid player in Major League Soccer this year, according to information released by the MLS Players Union.

KaKa is set to earn a base salary of $6.66 million with a guaranteed compensation of $7.16 million.

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco is the second highest paid, earning a base of $5.6 million and guaranteed of $7.12 million.

Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley ($6.5 million), New York City FC’s Andrea Pirlo ($5.9 million) and David Villa ($5.6 million) round out the top five

The Galaxy’s Giovani dos Santos is sixth with a guaranteed compensation of $5.5 million.

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MLS announces ownership groups vying for expansion franchises

A total of 12 groups haves ubmitted official applications for the next round of MLS expansion

After reviewing expansion applications and meeting with each ownership group, Major mls_logo-svgLeague Soccer will announce the four expansion teams in groups of two based on the following timeline:

**Two new expansion teams before the end of 2017. Teams 25 and 26 will begin play in MLS by the 2020 season.

**Two additional expansion teams will be announced at a later date. The timeline for selecting clubs 27 and 28 will be decided later this year.

Here are the 12 cities applying for expansion:

Charlotte

Cincinnati

Detroit

Indianapolis

Nashville

Phoenix

Raleigh/Durham

Sacramento

St. Louis

San Antonio

San Diego

Tampa/St. Petersburg

From MLS: With the addition of Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC, MLS will have 22 clubs playing during the 2017 season. In addition, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will join the League in 2018. Also, MLS is making progress with plans for an expansion team in Miami, which would bring MLS to 24 clubs. In December of 2015, MLS announced plans to grow to 28 teams.

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MLS commissioner Don Garber confirms expansion of Targeted Allocation Money

Targeted Allocation Money or TAM will increase to $1.2 million for each team, MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed at a press conference in Toronto, Friday.

Last year, teams were given $800,000. The increase will give teams a bit more flexib3ility on the league’s $3.6 million cap.

TAM is designed to help teams attract top talent outside of the three Designated Player spots.

 

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Start of MLS off-season calendar will keep teams extremely busy

It  has already been a busy off-season for the Galaxy and it will only get busier with the official start of the MLS off-season calendar.

Here is a quick primer of what’s ahead for MLS for the next 10 days.

Sunday, Dec. 11
  • Half-Day Trade Window from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
  • No trades involving players will be permitted after 12 p.m. ET up until the conclusion of the Expansion Draft
Monday, Dec. 12
  • Expansion Draft Protected Player List and eligible Free Agents made public
Tuesday, Dec. 13
  • Expansion Draft held at 2 p.m. ET
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. ET, Free Agents may engage in negotiations with all MLS clubs.
Wednesday, Dec. 14
  • List of players eligible for selection in the Waiver Draft made public
Thursday, Dec. 15
  • Waiver Draft held at 2 p.m. ET
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
  • List of players available in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft made public
Friday, Dec. 16
  • Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft held at 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Dec. 21
  • Starting at 11 a.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
  • List of available players in Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft made public
Thursday, Dec. 22
  • Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft held at 3 p.m. ET
January 7-12, 2017
  • 2017 adidas MLS Player Combine
Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
  • 2017 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
  • 2017 MLS preseason begins
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Galaxy approaching final weeks of regular season with new focus

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Galaxy returned to the practice field Monday with a clearer focus.

The Galaxy can’t finish in top 2 spots in the Western Conference, but could still host the knockout round game, if they’re able to finish either third or fourth.

“We got a lot of good work in,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said of last week. “I think we

Photo by Steve McCrank // Staff Photographer

Photo by Steve McCrank // Staff Photographer

made a lot of progress with our team. There were definitely some things we wanted to work on, just getting our team better and having a clearer understanding of what we want to be about as we close out the regular season.”

The road to either the third or fourth place spot will be interesting. The Galaxy will go in Sunday’s game at Houston with 48 points. Real Salt Lake has 45. Seattle (44) has a midweek against Houston, so if current form holds, the Sounders would be expected to win, giving them 47. Sporting Kansas City has 43.

“Our success has put us in a difficult position,” Arena said. “Every game we play is a big game for our opponents. The game in Houston is going to be a difficult game and we know that.”

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All of the Western Conference games on Sunday will start at 2 p.m. (PST).

Galaxy at Houston; Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake; Vancouver at San Jose; Colorado at Portland and Seattle at FC Dallas.

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There is a good chance that the Galaxy could have three consecutive home games to start the playoff run. They host FC Dallas (Oct. 23) in the final game of the regular season. If they finish third or fourth, the Galaxy will host the knockout round game (Oct. 26 or 27) and if they’re successful, they would host the first leg of the conference semifinal against Colorado or FC Dallas.

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