Soccer Buffet: Expansion, Defection & More

With my time in the ctsportslaw.com director’s chair coming to a close (and no new news on the Nate Miles front), I thought I would post a potpourri of soccer information for your review.  Major League Soccer announced its applicants for its next round of Expansion in 2011 (Seattle starts next year and Philly in 2010).  The league expects to select two teams from a list of hopeful candidates  (in my order of preference) they include: Montreal, St. Louis, Portland, Atlanta, Miami, Vancouver & Ottawa.  The expansion fee is set at $40 million.

St. Louis has long been on the radar thanks to an ownership group led by Jeffrey Cooper.  http://www.stlouissoccerunited.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/ Cooper is a local attorney who made his forturne on the plaintiff’s side of Asbestos litigation ( It is interesting that most of the other proposed ownership groups are from prominent spors owners: Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons is spearheading the Atlanta effort, the Gillete family, owners of the Montreal Canadians is running the Montreal entry, etc…).  He has worked hard to secure approvals to build an 18,500 person stadium 15 miles east of the city.  Failure to select the St. Louis group could put MLS in some legal hot water. Cooper has repeatedly suggested that promises were made to St. Louis that they were “next” in line for a team if he met certain conditions.  He believes that the promise included an opportunity to purchase the franchise for far less than 40 million.

A decision on expansion is expected in the coming months.  We will keep you posted.

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Not too long ago, we posted a feature on the defection of Cuban soccer players to the U.S. and the interesting immigration issues it presented.  https://ctsportslaw.com/2008/05/06/us-immigration-policy-encouraging-a-soccer-pipeline-from-cuba/.  Well last week, the pipeline continued as two more Cuban soccer players escaped to US while in DC for a World Cup Qualfier.   Check out Steve Goff’s outstanding piece on one player’s mad dash to freedom.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/12/AR2008101201859.html

As we discussed in our earlier post, the “Wet feet, dry feet” policy, established by the Clinton Administration, is unique to Cuba and permits any Cuban who makes it to U.S. shores to remain in the U.S. (See Cuban Adjustment Act). Thus, these two Cuban athletes will get a chance to make a go of it here in the States.

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World Cup qualifying continues around the globe (the U.S. has already made it to the last round), and Rio Tinto stadium https://ctsportslaw.com/2008/10/04/rio-tinto-stadium-set-to-open/ opened to rave reviews.

More to come…

Comments

  1. forza azzuri says:

    the Cuban players may want to head back with the decline of our economy. might be better in Cuba.
    Not much to take out of the US vs T&T game except that the US was clearly trying new things. but, good for T&T, I love their fans.
    Interesting to see more and more Canadian cities looking for MLS clubs. If they can garner the same following that they have in Toronto, then bring on Montreal.

  2. Speaking for myself and the other 2 fans around the country, “bring on the playoffs!”

  3. Zechariah says:

    cekMYYEWEnrzC

  4. It’s cool!

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