A NEW DAWN FOR MLS

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BY STEVE BRENNER

The temperatures plunged to freezing and the world recognized superstars were elsewhere.

Yet as MLS closed its 21st season in Toronto on Saturday night, commissioner Don Garber would have fought the arctic conditions with the warm glow of satisfaction.

When Seattle slotted in the winning sudden-death penalty after 120 minutes of pure statemate – the Sounders failed to muster a shot on target in normal or extra time – history was made in what was ultimately a disappointing, fractious finale.

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LAFC AREN’T JUST PLAYING THE FAME GAME

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BY STEVE BRENNER

A glitzy press conference and the shock appearance of a Hollywood superstar.

Yes, Los Angeles Football Club, the newly enabled 22nd MLS franchise, is unapologetically climbing the ladder towards their debut in the 2018 season in Tinsel Town-style.

The sight of funnyman Will Ferrell taking the stage to announce he’s joined the likes of Magic Johnson, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, and U.S. women’s soccer legend Mia Hamm in becoming part-owner of the newfangled franchise has raised awareness and immediately reached the global masses in an instant.

Wait. Someone didn’t get the message? No problem. Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, is also on the board.

Yet, delve further behind the scenes and this venture is anything but a transparent attempt to break into the thriving U.S. soccer scene, thanks to the appearance of a comedic sensation and his well-heeled friends.

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GOLOVKIN : THE INSIDE STORY

 

GGG TEAM

BY STEVE BRENNER

Abel Sanchez will never forget the day his life changed forever.

It was March 2010  and Sanchez, already a great if unheralded trainer, was just carrying on with life. 

The construction company he owned was ticking along nicely while his gym in Big Bear Lake , California was a hive of activity.

Then came a call out of the blue. One which gave him an opportunity of a lifetime.

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FSG’S BATTLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC

 

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BY STEVE BRENNER

When news of Brendan Rodgers’ sacking at Liverpool filtered across the Atlantic, Boston Red Sox fans with their eyes on the beautiful game simply shrugged their shoulders.

Both sets of supporters share the same ownership in the shape of the Fenway Sports Group .

Both are currently harboring similar feelings of fading grandeur while their management structures are chopped and changed.

While an English title was last paraded in front of the Kop in 1990, the second most famous baseball franchise on the planet last bagged the World Series two years go before slumping into a succession of mediocre campaigns.

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THE BATTLE FOR LA

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BY STEVE BRENNER

An NFL battle is raging off the pitch which could trump anything unleashed on it.

Ever since Los Angeles – the second biggest media market in the United States behind New York – lost the Rams and the Raiders to St Louis and Oakland respectively in 1995, there has been endless , and fruitless , chat about both returning.

Crumbling stadiums and dwindling support sent the franchises packing in the first place.

Yet, 20 years on and with the debate refusing to wilt, finally, there are tangible , realistic options which have enough weight to convince commissioner Roger Goodell , who wants League revenue up from $12 billion to $20 billion , now is the time.

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WELTER THROWS WEIGHT BEHIND GENDER BATTLE

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BY STEVE BRENNER

The NFL continues to inhabit a parallel universe which never fails to surprise.

While the news of Tom Brady and the incredible coincidence that his phone , the one with all those text messages on about deflating balls, was somehow destroyed, a development was underway in Arizona which could alter sport forever.

In a rare good news story for an organization which becomes more embattled by the week, Jen Welter, a former tennis prodigy with a PhD in psychology, became the first female to be appointed by an NFL team.

Forward thinking Cardinals coach Bruce Arians  had no hesitation about installing her as an assistant linebackers coach. After all, he has three assistant coaches who are 70 years-old. The pass rush specialist, Tom Pratt, turned 80 this summer. His mantra is simple : If a person, no matter of age or gender, can make one of his players better, they will get a chance.

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OH, A-ROD. YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN

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BY STEVE BRENNER

Alex Rodriguez has been called all sorts over the years.

Cheat, disgrace, liar, fraud, drug user.

He is an American sporting superstar who divides opinion like no other.

Yet there were new accusations being bandied around this week, ones which are never normally associated with a convicted steroid abuser whose disgraceful actions of the past will forever taint his legacy.

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