Written by Dennis Holowaty

KC

It all started back in 1999 when the Columbus Crew took a gamble and built the long awaited Columbus Crew Stadium. It was the first soccer specific stadium built for the MLS and was a milestone for American soccer.  This stadium led to a domino affect around the league as other teams started rolling out bigger and better stadiums that continue to impress fans.

The most recent additions include BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston and Livestrong Park in Kansas City.  These breathtaking stadiums are cornerstones for the league and provide fans with an unbelievable experience filled with top-notch game presentations, concessions, and amenities that rivals other major sports facilities.

The importance of the stadiums go far beyond the aesthetically pleasing look they possess.  These brand new stadiums showcase the MLS’s growth from its infancy to where it is today.  The transition from old football stadiums to world-class soccer-specific stadiums indicates that the MLS is slowly but surely etching itself a niche in the American market and is making a conscious effort to provide the best fan experience possible.

The American consumer tastes of sporting events are always evolving.  Every league in the United States finds itself trying to figure out the best ways possible to service its fans. The modern fan wants excitement on the field, but also wants a nice place to grab some food and socialize with friends.   In the newer MLS stadiums such as Livestrong Park, you are finding these amenities, concessions, and experiences present.  These upgrades to the atmosphere and presentation of the soccer brand are paying dividends for the franchise and the league.

Newer facilities also provide greater revenue streams that allow MLS franchises to monetize different assets not available before.  Sponsorship sales increase with the different and more prominent avenues in delivering their message. Increased suite and club level seating allow franchises to have a higher return on these more premium seats. New stadium designs allow for greater viewing angles and a better fan experience. More upscale concessions allow for a greater markup and make more money for teams.

Going forward, it is important for MLS franchises to continue to invest in themselves, their players, and the league.  A concerted effort on all fronts will pay great dividends for the leagues in terms of TV contracts, sponsorships, and expansions which will not only benefit the league but also the individual teams.  Soccer is on the rise in America and believe it or not more changes are coming. By making strategic steps forward the MLS will continue to position itself as a top league in the United States.

 

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Written by Zev Taublieb

Anton

Stefan Antonijevic is a former Valpairaso player whose professional career has taken many turns. He was drafted by Kansas City, bounced around Europe and the 6-foot-6 center back has now settled in Florida with the NASL’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers. We check in with the globetrotter in this exclusive interview.

 

Where are you from?
SA:
I am from Buffalo Grove Illinois.

 

Do you have dual citizenship? To what countries?

SA: Yes, American and Serbian

 

If soccer had not worked out what was you backup plan?

SA: Coaching

 

Why NASL?

SA: Great league that allows younger players to develop and pursue higher leagues.

 

One thing you find unique to the NASL compared to other leagues.

SA: The structure of the league and its schedule

 

What is your next professional goal?

SA: Next goal is to have a long and successful career without any regrets

 

 

If you could choose to go abroad or stay in the US where would you choose to go?

SA: Abroad

 

Any team in the MLS you hope to play against? Why?

SA: Definitely Sporting KC and Chicago Fire. Because I used to play with those teams, and there would be no sweeter revenge than to beat them.

 

What are some other teams you have tried out for or played on since your college career?

SA: Spartak Zlatibor Voda of the Serbian SuperLiga and HNK Rijeka of the Croatian first league.

 

Find out who Antonijevic models his game after following the jump.

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MLS Monday: Top 5 Goals

Written by Reshad Bahadori

Some great strikes this weekend in MLS, including former Notre Dame standout Dillon Powers (now of the Colorado Rapids) and Jose Villarreal from the U20 MNT.


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Written by Travis Clark

155020_10151305005162035_828741810_nWASHINGTON – The Landon Donovan saga is drawing to a close. This week, Donovan rejoined his Galaxy teammates for training and a trip to the White House, celebrating the team’s 2012 MLS Cup triumph.

The all-time leading scorer for the U.S. men’s national team, Donovan decided to take a break this offseason and has yet to play in 2013.

That time looks to be ending, and Donovan talked with reporters for the first time on Thursday morning, where the team was training ahead of a weekend matchup in Toronto.

Here’s what he had to say:

 

Q: Did you get what you wanted out of this little break?

LD: I did. I definitely needed a break, I was fortunate to have a lot of people both personally and professionally that also understood that. Now I’m excited to be back and to move forward and enjoy playing.

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Written by The 91st

Hoffman Donovan

We mentioned earlier that the Galaxy took their championship White House visit today, well look who decided to drop in? Yup, Mr. Landon Donovan, the 2013 answer to Where’s Waldo? Donovan’s been all over the map as of late, but he did make time for Obama.

David Beckham, on the other hand, couldn’t make it. He was too busy getting naked in China.

 

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Written by Zev Taublieb

Busch

He is famous, he is good looking; smart, talented, owns his own company and his initials are JB. No, it is not James Bond, Jason Bourne, or even Justin Bieber. It is none other than Jon Busch. We were able to catch up with the San Jose starting goalkeeper during this 1v1 interview for some interesting revelations.

 

Who was your soccer role model during your youth?

JB: (Former US Soccer GK) Tony Meola and (brother) Matt Busch.

 

What made you decide to become a keeper?

JB: My older brother was a forward and he needed someone to shoot on so he stuck me in goal and I liked it.

 

What 3 tips would you give an aspiring player or goalkeeper if their dream is to accomplish as much as you have?  

1. Don’t let anyone out work you.

2. Take each set back as just another challenge.

3. When your chance comes grab it with both hands and don’t let go.

 

Who is the best player you’ve ever played against?

JB: There have been so many. Peter Novak comes to mind, and Marco Etchevery.

 

What is the most memorable game you have played in? What team were you with? What team was it against?

JB: The two games that come to mind are when I played for the Crew and we beat LA for the Open Cup final and my US National Team debut vs Colombia, we won 3-0.

 

Busch previews life after soccer after the jump

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Written by The 91st

Seattle and Portland resumed their MLS rivalry last week with a 1-1 draw. One of the best matchups the league has to offer, take an inside look at the passion-filled showdown, from the locker room and huddle to the field.

 

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Written by Travis Clark

It’s rivalry week in MLS, meaning that nearly every game this weekend pairs off some of the biggest rivals against each other. In Texas, this means a meeting of the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas.

In advance of settling things on the field, the two sides have traded video barbs, with the Dynamo supplying the latest effort, a response to FCD’s video we posted earlier in the week.

 

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Written by Travis Clark

It was quite the weekend for MLS Canadian clubs.

All three teams north of the border picked up the full three points. Toronto FC took down Sporting KC 2-1 in what was one of the surprising results of the weekend, while new addition Daigo Kobayashi scored perhaps the goal of the weekend (see above) as the Vancouver Whitecaps defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1.

Not to be out done, the Montreal Impact spoiled new Portland coach Caleb Porter’s second game at home, winning by the same score line 2-1. The pick of the goals there was defender Hassoun Camera’s bicycle kick to open the scoring. Check that out after the jump.

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Written by Dill Pickle

Home Depot

So wait, now I have to log on to StubHub … in order to attend Stubhub?

The Home Depot Center, home to MLS teams LA Galaxy and Chivas USA (but mostly just the LA Galaxy considering their two-time champs and all) is undergoing a name change. Yup, it will now be called the Stubhub Center after the ticket service Stubhub! (Stubhub commercial voice).

Apparently, Stubhub wants to monopolize your entire sporting experience. So you’ll now purchase tickets from them to attend their stadium and eat their concessions (wait until you try the Stubway sandwich!).

The official change won’t be finalized until the Galaxy play the Portland Timbers on June 19. Get your Stubhub tickets today!

 

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