Major League Soccer

Wednesday Kickoff: MLS eyes Queens stadium site, Schweinsteiger fit and more

Garber (Getty Images)

MLS is reportedly closing in on a home for its coveted second New York franchise.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the league has zoned in on an area in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, where a 20,000-25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium would be built. A proposal for what would be a privately funded stadium has been shown to local politicians, and according to WSJ, since the stadium would be built on city-owned park land, the city council and state legislature would need to sign off on the plan, which is in its infancy.

Should the proposal pass through all the necessary steps and red tape, the league says that the stadium would be built in no more than two years, according to the WSJ report, and it would be located near the New York Mets' Citi Field and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The site selection is the culmination of a city-wide search that has been conducted for almost two years. Back in March, MLS commissioner Don Garber said that the league had looked at 19 different sites over an 18-month period, trying to narrow down a place in New York City for a 20th franchise, one that would have to enter the league by paying a $100 million expansion fee.

Here are a few more stories to get your Wednesday going:


After an injury scare, integral Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit for the Euro 2012 semifinals after all.

Schweinsteiger has played through an injured right ankle for months after tearing a ligament in February, but he was considered in doubt for Germany's match with Italy on Thursday. After training with the team and coming through OK, he has passed a fitness test and is ready for the bout with the Azzurri.

Schweinsteiger has started every game of the tournament for the Germans in central midfield, and according to coach Joachim Loew, "He is the team's emotional leader. He's very important for our team. We need him on the field."


As if opposing country's fans behavior was bad enough during Euro 2012, an Italian newspaper has gotten into hot water over a cartoon that depicted Italy striker Mario Balotelli as King Kong.

Reputable daily Gazzeta dello Sport published a cartoon of Balotelli climbing Big Ben after Italy's triumph over England in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals, something done in poor taste considering that Balotelli has been the subject of monkey chants from opposing fans throughout the tournament. Gazzeta dello Sport issued an apology for the cartoon.

"We can honestly say it was not among the best products of our talented cartoonist," the newspaper said in a statement. "At this time, a measure of prudence and good taste are necessary because everything, absolutely everything, can be misinterpreted. The newspaper is for those who read it and hence, if certain readers found the cartoon offensive, we apologize. But those that accuse Gazzetta of racism are going overboard. This newspaper has fought any form of racism in every stadium and has condemned the boos directed at Balotelli as an unacceptable form of incivility.''


Rangers' downward spiral has caused newly promoted Premier League side Southampton to rescind their invitation to the Scottish club for a preseason tournament. 

Rangers were set to participate in the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup on July 14, but "due to the well-publicized circumstances surrounding the Scottish side" Southampton has decided to replace Rangers with Sacha Kljestan's Anderlecht. Kljestan will get to face Southampton and Arsenal during the round-robin tournament as part of the Belgian champions' preparations for title defense and UEFA Champions League run.


What do you make of the MLS stadium headway in New York? Do you think that is a good location for a new stadium? Are you of the belief that the league does not need a second New York franchise? How crucial is Schweinsteiger to Germany's fortunes? Are you disgusted by the Balotelli cartoon in Italy? How long do you see it taking for Rangers to restore their reputation? 

Share your thoughts below.

  • The Imperative Voice

    How? They don’t even fully support the NYRB. I’m sure it will cost $$$$$$ to buy NYC land and set up a team but I’d be interested if they could sell tickets or if they’d just split/dilute NYRB support.

    I mean, people seem to be looking for the next NY Cosmos without admitting the Golden Era of Cosmos attendance was the Meadowlands (NJ) years.

    Now, I don’t necessarily but that there are ready-made minor league teams prepared to step up at #20 — I think we’ve picked all the obvious low hanging fruit with Montreal “promoted” — but I don’t have much higher hopes for the theorized NY2. I think the league should hold tight if not contract a little, not expand. But the magic number of 20 and the desire to imitate the EPL has its pull, as does the mythical beast of a NYC team attended better than the NJ version.


  • shao2007

    For the why NYC haters Shut up and read the WSJ article and learn why it’s so important to have a flagship team in NYC.
    You might actually learn something about the importance of being a respected league internationally.

    Either way I’ll soon be downing fancy craft beers and eating, organic free range caviar, all while watching Neymar and Gareth Bale play for my NY cosmos. Enjoy your stale countyfair


  • The Imperative Voice

    Within Texas Dallas likes to act like it’s the better soccer city with the superior soccer league, etc. But in terms of MLS that arrogance plays out as fans unwilling to travel to Frisco (or the Cotton Bowl before it) to watch their own soccer team, who’d rather watch some Mexican or European friendly that comes through town.

    Thus though Houston is considered a relative backwater we tend to have actual Dynamo fans aplenty, who can then be bolstered by the snobs.

    So are they soccer fans or are they American soccer fans? It’s an important difference. My impression of NY is they will pay to watch high level soccer or Beckham games all day but they don’t care about ordinary MLS soccer much.


  • The Imperative Voice

    People say the same thing about a potential NY F1 race ohhhhh the prestige and the fan base potential etc. and then they can’t get borough backing and groups protest and then magically the event ends up across the river in New Jersey hmmmmmmmmmmm


  • The Imperative Voice

    You really think there is a bigger sugar daddy out there for MLS than RB?


  • shao2007

    Actually, enjoy Wondolowski with stale county-fair popcorn.

    ” But landing a stadium in New York City—a media capital and an ethnically diverse urban center—would be a significant boost to the league’s international stature.”

    “This is exactly what this community needs. There’s a true natural fan base for Major League Soccer…in the most diverse borough in the entire country,” said Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who represents the area that includes the park.


  • Cavan

    Red Bull Arena has real grass.

    Do you have any other specious reasons not to support your local MLS team? Your, along with all the other non-Red Bull New York “fans,” demonstrate exactly why everyone else calls bs when you trumpet that 30,000 fans will show up to a stadium in the Flushing section of Queens, New York.

    People drive from Richmond to watch DC United. That’s two hours. Yet, you complain about a 45 minute subway ride from near Penn Station. It takes me about 45 minutes on the Metro yet I don’t complain.

    Most New York “fans” will simply always find another reason to complain and never show up. You don’t deserve another team and I greatly fear that a second team would be worse supported than the Red Bulls.

    Your city is simply a bad sports city. None of the people from your vaunted Carribbean Cup will ever show up to watch NY2 play.


  • Dane96

    I am dumber for having read this. Been to NY to talk among fans?

    How could possibly compare this to Dallas and the Dynamo? And I love Dallas people who talk about Houston as a backwater.



  • Cavan

    Did you notice his next quote?

    “Mr. Moya, who grew up playing soccer on the public fields in Flushing Meadows, said he would sponsor a bill in the Assembly, though the die-hard FC Barcelona fan said he wouldn’t cheer for the new team.”

    You don’t deserve another team. All you do is talk trash about how you’re the best so you deserve more more more but then when you get the opportunity you decide you’re too cool to show up at the game. Go support that team that’s just across the river but still in your metro region. They have a beautiful stadium and are currently tied for first place.


  • Dane96

    Driving an hour is much different than sitting in traffic for two.

    Again, unless y’all been to NY to experience the constant gridlock…you just can’t understand why someone would not travel to Jersey from the Long Island area (including NYC areas and Nassau/Suffolk)>


  • Dane96

    I have no idea where my full response said. But let me be clear.

    1. Metro North, and I should have been clearer, does not go to the site. You transfer to the No. 7…but what it opens up is an ease of transfer that the Path does not have.

    2. CT, last I checked, is serviced by Metro North.

    3. The bottom line is the transport system to the Flushing site is more advanced, quicker and easier for masses to get to. Irrespective, it doesn’t matter b/c the fan base will come from the key areas DIRECTLY supported by the Train: Bronx, Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

    As an executive for the company who is working as an integrator for the MTA’s 1.5 billion dollar expansion project, and the solutions provider for Metro North, the LIRR and PATH, I have a pretty good handle on the transit systems of the Tri-State corridor.

    I say that not to toot my horn but to impress upon you that I know the concepts like the back of my hand.

    And I lived in Manhattan for 18 years, as you stated…but NYC for 38.

    Here’s the thing…no one gives a hoot what our arguments are. The team is going in Queens and that’s the end of it. We don’t get a say…and we will see how it works out.


  • Dane96

    WTF are you talking about. NYC would never shut down for an F1 race. Are you insane?!?!?! It would paralyze the City.

    And NYC is not exactly a “racing” hotbed, unless you count the land my childhood home was located on, which in the early 1900’s was one of the biggest car racing and then converted horse tracks in the world at the time.

    Where do you people come from. Rhetorical.


  • Dane96

    And the funny thing, I don’t think there was a Formula 1 race in the US for nearly 4 years before the Weehawken nonsense.

    This is not an F1 country.


  • Dane96


    Bad sports fans in NYC.

    This…has completely gone off the rails. I am sure the fans of the Yankees, Mets, Islanders, Rangers, Knicks, soon to be Brooklyn Nets, Mets minor league baseball, Yankees minor league baseball, St. John’s basketball, Jets and Giants all beg to differ.

    Holy crap.


  • kevdflb

    I agree with your assessment of the site.
    Just not this statement:
    “It takes 16 minutes by train to get from Penn Station to Flushing on Metro North,”

    Metro north does not go to either of those places. After East Side Access is complete, it may serve Penn – but still not Flushing.
    I think you meant “LIRR” is all.

    And if you have such a good handle, you should know the difference between the LIRR and Metro-North :)
    I know, its a simple mistake. Just making fun of you a little is all.


  • kevdflb

    “Deserve” Ha!

    This has nothing to do with deserving, just where the money is.


  • bryan

    i still can’t believe that idiot Moya wouldn’t cheer for them. THAT is what is holding soccer in this country back. this guy is a NY politician and he won’t support the team in the part of town he REPRESENTS?!?! $20 says he is a Mets fan.

    unless he is a fan of another MLS team, the only good thing about this guy is that he supports getting a team there. elitist jerk. band wagon Barca fan. this guy was born and raised in Queens. pathetic.


  • shao2007

    Apologies in regard to the grass field. Still have Giants stadium visions in my head.

    True I am not as good a fan as I should be. I buy tickets, watch the games on tv, and talk up the team to friends. However, I have made the horrible fan move of wasting my tickets and skipping a game just because I didn’t feel like leaving NYC to go to Jersey.

    Just not fully invested or identify with the team like I am for the USMNT or fans of the Carribeam Cup are.


  • The Imperative Voice

    Laughable? They will fill Meadowlands to see Argentina, or partially fill it for Beckham; they will not even fill RB Park for an ordinary MLS game. FACT.

    How can I possibly compare it? Dallas is the same way. Hand them a high dollar international friendly and they will fill Cowboys Stadium. Have an ordinary MLS game and you will hear how it’s a long drive to Frisco, etc.

    Some cities are ripe for domestic soccer, some have a snob quotient that affects actual MLS interest.

    And I have looked at the historical Cosmos attendance where you can see the difference between NYC and NJ attendance. It is a MYTH that NJ is what dooms NY/NJ soccer. The Cosmos used to pull 30K + in NJ, better than their NYC years.


  • The Imperative Voice

    The event was theorized for Staten Island, not Manhattan, but carry on. Paralyze the city, etc.

    Not a racing hotbed, oh, ignore Watkins Glen, the desire to hold the race right across the river in NJ, etc.

    And my point is that it is simply easier to get things done in NJ. There will not be borough backs to scratch. There will not be $100 million-plus land prices — not even the stadium, land!

    I think NYC as an idea is great but the practical difficulties are why so few things end up there.


  • shao2007

    Driving 2 hours to go see your team hardly means more than you have 2 extra hours of free time in your day.

    Travel time is downtime that I could be getting paid for (I get paid at an hourly rate). The Rent is Too Damn High in NY.
    MLS needs to start winning the battle for attention and make itself more relevant in the sports landscape.

    We fans will come and MLS as a whole will prosper if the Cosmos/NY2 fully embraces the NYC glitz, glamour, and style.


  • The Imperative Voice

    There used to be F1 races at the Glen, and then Indy (which became a tire fiasco), and beginning this year in Austin. NY is the theoretical second US race, not just the first.

    The US may have a modest day to day F1 following but the Indy F1 race was well-attended while it existed, the Indy 500 itself gets massive crowds, and there is a latent NASCAR market of tons of people that both Indycar and F1 would like to tap.

    But my point is that if you know the NY F1 history of late, they wanted to race upstate on a private course, then in NYC in Staten Island, and eventually it became a NJ race looking across the river at NYC. The idea of something in NY is often easier than NY in practice.


  • Adam M,

    I am a Red Bulls season tix holder who lives in Queens. Anyone who suggests Queens is a bad site, or can’t support a team, flat doesnt know what in the world they are talking about. And it will help the Red Bulls to have city competition.


  • jya

    was it that much for the other clubs that joined did Vancouver and Montreal pay that much?


  • Dane96

    The more you write…the more you expose your stupidity. First, stop using Wikipedia. I would expect and adult to know that.

    Second, the “NYC” years were spent at Hofstra and their 4500 seat stadium (before it was expanded to the current configuration); Downing Stadium on Randalls Island, currently Ichan Stadium. They played two years in Yankee Stadium.

    Attendance rose dramatically when Pele arrived…they turned away tens of thousands of people at Downing Stadium, precipitating the move back to Yankee Stadium. The Meadowlands gave them a sweetheart deal…allowing the team to spend even more to bring in the Cosmos as we all knew it.

    Other than that one season at Downing and one at Yankee Stadium, the Pele’less years were filled with misfits on the team.

    So…you are making silly comparisons. Did I mention you are making comparisons of nearly 40 years ago.

    Lot’s changed.


  • Dane96

    Fair enough. I was typing quickly because I was sick of all the whiny bitching going on here.

    You are correct…and I did mean teh LIRR…not Metro North. Connecting service only on that.


  • Dane96

    Just shut up already. The Glen.

    Watkins F’in Glen? Do you have any idea how NOT NYC that is? It’s not even in striking distance. It’s fricken the finger lakes and the Western part of the state, along the boarder w/ PA.

    Plus Formula One has not been there in YEARS…maybe even decades…not sure if 2008 or 9 they had the race they were talking about having.

    I want to be a millionaire. F1 wanted to race in Staten Island. Big fricken deal…none are happening tomorrow or in the near future.

    WTF does any of this have to do with an MLS team in Queens. NOTHING.


  • Dane96

    Genius…I know where it was “talked about” going.

    Newsflash: THE CITY–as I referred to it–are the fiver boroughs, including Staten Island. New York County, or Manhattan, is one of those boroughs. It is not THE CITY. It is part of the CITY.

    Please just stop already, you are a troll.


  • Cavan

    I’ll admit it. That’s the best endorsement for an NY2 I’ve heard. I respect Red Bull fans (especially as a DC United fan) for being good fans after 17 years of futility.

    Most of the clamoring for an NY2 team have come from people who claim that they can’t support the Red Bulls for whatever bad reason. Hearing that such a rivalry would be good for the Red Bulls in addition to good for NY2 is more compelling.

    I hope you’re correct, Adam. We wish we had our stadium already but I can’t begrudge making money if there’s money to be made. I still worry that people from the eastern side of the New York region will still turn their collective nose up at NY2 but I acknowledge that you’re a New Yorker and I’m a Washingtonian so by definition you better understand your local market.


  • abc

    MLS teams don’t need as much “spending money” in the area to function as other leagues. NY and LA met areas have 1/7 the US population. They are actually extremely UNDERrepresented in the sports sphere because there is no “one or two per city” thing you have to look at it per capita. Look at how many EPL teams there are in London, 5-6 with another 2-3 potential ones (West Ham, etc.). And EPL teams need FAR more money than MLS teams to function. LA and NY could each support HALF A DOZEN MLS teams EACH without any problem.


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