MLS- Sporting Kansas City

MLS Ticker: Qwest Field gets renamed, Fred returning to Australia and more


Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

So long, Qwest Field. Hello, CenturyLink Field.

The home stadium for the Seattle Sounders has undergone a name change, with CenturyLink replacing Qwest. A press conference will be held on Thursday during which the new logo will be unveiled.

According to the Seattle Times, Qwest had the naming rights to the stadium through 2014, but CenturyLink, a big telecommunications company, purchased Qwest back in April.

Here are a couple of more items from around MLS:


D.C. United midfielder Fred has reached an agreement to return to Australia and play for Melbourne Heart when the international transfer window opens next month.

Fred, who starred for Heart's rival Melbourne Victory upon signing there in 2006, is a former A-League Player of the Year. He has started five games for D.C. United this year but has mostly been used as a reserve after returning to the club following a one-year stint with the Philadelphia Union.

"When we re-acquired Fred earlier this year, we agreed in principle that we would let him go if he had an opportunity to sign abroad for a better contract," D.C. general manager Dave Kasper said in a team-issued release. "The move will also free up significant salary as we look to improve our team during the upcoming transfer window."

Fred, whose rights were re-acquired by D.C. from the New England Revolution after the Re-Entry Draft in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, has a 2011 base salary of $150,000 according to figures released by the MLS Players Union.


The second round of the U.S. Open Cup takes place Tuesday night, with the winners of the eight matches due to face MLS opposition in the Round of 16.

Here's who the MLS teams will face:

Chicago Fire – Winner of Rochester Rhinos vs. Harrisburg City Islanders

Columbus Crew – Winner of Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs. Richmond Kickers

FC Dallas – Winner of Orlando City SC vs. Charleston Battery

Los Angeles Galaxy – Winner of Los Angeles Blues vs. Ventura County Fusion

New York Red Bulls – Winner of FC New York vs. NY Pancyprian Freedoms

Real Salt Lake – Winner of Charlotte Eagles vs. Wilmington Hammerheads

Seattle Sounders – Winner of Colorado Foxes vs. Kitsap Pumas

Sporting Kansas City – Winner of Chicago Fire Premier vs. Madison 56ers


What do you think of the new stadium name in Seattle? Where do you hope D.C. directs its new-found cap relief? Which (if any) non-MLS team in the Open Cup field do you see making it to at least the quarterfinals?

Share your thoughts below.

  • NATO

    It must be really tough for the soccer league to grow in Australia as the salary cap is incredibly low.


  • JL

    Not a DC fan, but that’s pretty questionable management that they gave up a second round pick for him, only to let him leave a few months later on a free. Where exactly is the value in all this? It frees up cap space? If you need cap space, why sign the guy you were so ready to get rid of 2 yrs ago?


  • curmudgeon

    Well, I think the “this opens up valuable cap space” statement is definitely trying to put a positive spin on it all, no question. But as for “why pick him up, then let him leave on a free,” I think there are a couple of things going on.

    First based on his prior salaries (at DC, then at Philly), fred took a significant pay cut to come to DC this year; DC got him to agree to that pay cut only if they’d let him go if he got a better offer from Australia. He got that better offer, so DC couldn’t say no. The only way for DC to avoid this was to have not agreed to such a release in the first place, which would doubtless have necessitated paying Fred more than they wanted to.

    The second thing is that I think DC has some reputation to repair as far as player treatment goes. In the last several years, there’ve been a lot of trades of players who never saw it coming, surprise/unexpected releases of foreign players, etc. Letting a player go when he really wants to go may help to repair some of the damage the organization has done to its own image in the eyes of players over the last 3 1/2 years.

    I hope Fred does well in Australia. He’s been hit or miss in MLS, and I think has never equaled his performance in his first year here (2007); but he’s a really good guy who deserves success.


  • fischy

    I’m pulling for the Pancyprian Freedoms.

    Just so I know who I’m rooting for, does “Pancyprian” mean all of Cyprus?


  • Good Jeremy

    I had heard the average salary there is around 400K for the same general quality as MLS players, but I may be thinking of Korea.


  • fischy

    PIcking up Fred was fine — as is letting him go. The thing that remains highly suspect is that DC passed when they had a chance to get Fred on a free in the free agent draft. Then, they traded their 2nd round pick for him. That was utterly stupid and incompetent. No two ways about that. After that idiocy, everything this front office does becomes suspect.


  • fischy

    That’s Colonel Clink to you, sir.

    Next — prison jokes: Put ’em in the Clink


  • Seattle Coug

    The Dock. Because, you know, we all need somewhere to moor our yachts.


  • s-bah

    I would find that hard to believe. Maybe the J league or the Korean league has a median salary around that figure. I also don’t think the A league is at the level of play that the MLS is at.


  • Hopper

    Poser (n): 1. A soccer fan who loves their team so much that they actually go to said team’s home games and help sell the place out, every time. 2. A soccer fan who stands for the entire match, every match. 3. Something 80% of other MLS teams would kill to have.


  • ...

    The A-League’s cap is only a bit lower than MLS’s, and they can have two DPs, both of whom are cap-exempt (vs MLS’s DPs counting for what, 300,000 or 400,000 against the cap?). The A-League also has a higher minimum salary than MLS.


  • Annelid Gustator

    “2. A soccer fan who stands for the entire match, every match.”

    I don’t really know what the virtue of this one is. If there’s seats, I see no reason not to use ’em. All the work is done by #1 and the unmentioned “chant like your life depended on it”.


  • Clayton

    Any word on if Century Link is going to upgrade the playing surface?? I do not think that the fans are “posers”. I think they are awesome. I wish we had that many people at our FC Dallas games. The only thing I despise about Seattle is that god awful turf. I know they share with the Sea Hakws (who may not play there next season), but if you want to have the best product available to the league, you gotta play on real grass. That’s my thought. It would be the best environment in MLS if they could make that change.


  • JL

    Which was my point, you don’t give up a second round pick for a guy who you give an out in his contract. The suggestion that they are trying to repair their image is nice, but doesn’t really help the organization that much. I think both are just examples it’s probably time to move on to a new GM, one who doesn’t have a reputation for surprise moves, and one who gives away their assets for part time players.


  • partnerincrime

    The perils of stadium naming, noone know wtf to call the stadium anymore.


  • Charles

    The only reason I switched to QWest was it was so easy to say.

    Just call it what it is…Sounder’s Stadium

    (or if going to NFL game….Seahawks Stadium)


  • Dave

    What game is that picture from?

    Half of the upperdeck is open but the other half is not.


  • Tim M.

    You see a lot of Aussies and Kiwis that teams would love to have playing across East Asia’s biggest leagues.
    The A-league has to be having some serious financial problems.


  • joosetiger

    I have the same feelings about the turf in seattle. Come’on now, I know they can grow grass in that stadium. I read this article last night about this: http://www.sounderatheart.com/2011/6/17/2229694/playing-surface-to-qwest-field-2012-seattle-sounders
    It seems that growing the grass is not the problem but scheduling the swap out from turf to grass is a major headache; it’s supposed to take 8 months, which means displacing either the sounders or seahawks for a season. Seattle, for all its forsight, dropped the ball when choosing to go with Field Turf. Time for them to make up for it.


  • Ivan

    Football must not be played on artificial turf!

    Seattle must get real grass on that field. Otherwise, it is a beautiful venue, but the trend of more MLS teams playing on artificial surface is disturbing.

    Between conferences, no promotion/relegation, playoffs, the Jabulani monstrocity being used as a “ball” and a lot of stadiums with artificial turf, MLS is very difficult to watch.


  • Turgid Jacobian

    Oh, definitely, the conferences make the on-field quality worse.



  • Simt

    Now if they can put in removable grass for soccer, that field is virtually unplayable…


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