MLS Ticker: Mata says Villa move could open door for more Spaniards; Sherrod undergoes ACL surgery; and more

Juan Mata of Spain


New York City FC made headlines Monday, officially announcing forward David Villa as the club’s first player. The move spurred dozens of comments, but perhaps none more interesting than what fellow Spanish international Juan Mata had to say.

Addressing the media in Washington, D.C. for Spain’s World Cup preparations, Mata applauded Villa’s move to New York and Major League Soccer, adding that it may “open the door” for other Spaniards.

“I’m very happy for him,” Mata told the local media. “This is a great new step for him and his career. New York City is a great city, and hopefully he’s opening the door for more players like him. Maybe he is the first of many to do so.”

Though Villa didn’t specifically mention his home country Monday during the NYCFC press conference, the 32-year-old was clear when he said he wants to see the league’s upward swing continue.

“I want to try and help MLS continue to grow, through playing, working hard, scoring goals and at the same time try to make New York City FC become the best team in the league.”

Here are some other stories from around MLS:


Mark Sherrod’s rookie season with the Houston Dynamo came to an abrupt end after tearing his ACL in the 12th minute of a match against D.C. United on May 21 when he collided with former Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell.

Tuesday, Sherrod underwent successful reconstructive surgery to fix the torn ACL in his left knee. Team physician Dr. Timothy Sitter performed the surgery, which will force Sherrod to miss the remainder of the 2014 season.

Sherrod, 23, appeared in nine games for the Dynamo in 2014 after being selected in the second round by Houston. The Tennessee native had tallied two goals and one assist in those nine appearances.


A day after announcing the transfer of midfielder Oriol Rosell to Sporting CP in Lisbon, Portugal, Sporting Kansas City has recalled midfielder Christian Duke from USL PRO affiliate Oklahoma City Energy FC.

A product of the Sporting KC youth system, Duke was loaned to Oklahoma City on March 17. The 22-year-old has made zero appearances for his MLS side, but joins the team on a high note after tallying a game-winning assist for Energy FC Saturday.

Sporting KC also announced Wednesday that midfielder Mikey Lopez has been loaned to Energy FC from Orlando City SC, the second of Sporting KC’s two USL PRO affiliates.

Like Duke, Lopez was loaned to Orlando City on March 17, where he tallied an assist in eight matches for the Lions.

The move means that Sporting KC now has zero loanees in Orlando City. Early terms between Sporting KC and its two affiliates stated that the MLS side had to have two players loaned to both Oklahoma and Orlando.


The final spot in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League will be decided Wednesday night when Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact go head-t0-head in the second leg of the Canadian Championship.

In addition to SportsNet One’s television rights in Canada, MLS announced Wednesday that the match will be live-streamed for those in the US on its website for free, though users will have to sign up for a free MLS Network account to access the stream.

The match (1-1 aggregate) kicks off at 7:30 ET.


Is Mata onto something with his statements about Villa’s move to MLS? How much will the Dynamo miss Sherrod this season? Will you tune in for tonight’s Canadian Championship?

Share your thoughts below.

  • CJ

    Neither in the quote given nor the article linked say that Mata referenced Spaniards. Or does “like him” automatically refer to nationality? Just sayin.


    • Nico C.

      I agree. The headline is VERY misleading. I don’t think he specifically means Spaniards at all – just players of their background and caliber.


    • KingGoogleyEye

      Juan probably meant more “Davids”: David Silva, David Alaba, David de Gea, plain old David, David Luiz, David Moyes—uh, scratch that last one.


      • MLSsnob

        Also, what else is he going to say? Your league is garbage and I hope David Villa fails?


  • Nico C.

    Cue all 22 current MLS teams to make a claim on a Spaniard. “We got Mata! We’ll take Iniesta! Gimme one of them Sergio Ramoses.”


  • Gary Page

    I think that Villa’s move and Mata’s comments show just how important Beckham’s move to MLS was. He made it respectable for European players to come here and really opened the door. Now if only they will raise the salary cap significantly.


    • Aaron

      Well, we can expect an increase in the salary cap. With the new deal the MLS signed with Fox/ESPN and the fact that the CBA is up after this year, we can expect there be some increase. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go to the 11th hour like the last labor deal.


    • KingGoogleyEye

      Villa’s seems so much more important though. When Beckham came, they had to sweeten the deal considerably with a promised franchise. He didn’t come as a normal player.

      Henry was also a huge signing, but he was semi-retired. Who else headlines the Big Transfer list? Keane, Cahill? Hence the “retirement league” accusations.

      It feels different with Villa. Is he at his best? No, of course not. But 15 goals for AM and a spot on Spain’s squad say he’s still one of the best.


      • KingGoogleyEye

        Just to be clear: I’m not trying to take anything away from Beckham—or Henry, Keane, et al. Each have made important contributions, expanding on the successes of those who preceded.


      • slowleftarm

        I think Henry was at a similar level and point in his career when he came over in 2010. He’s lost a step now (though he’s still very good) but he’s been here 4 years.


      • KingGoogleyEye

        Henry scored only 4 goals and started 21 games in all competitions for Barca his final year. I recall people talking about him retiring. That is quite different from Villa: 39 starts, 15 goals. (Diego Costa had 50 starts and 36 goals.)

        I’m not saying there are no similarities between Henry and Villa, just that the differences add up to a very different perception.


      • slowleftarm

        I think they’re pretty comparable. Close enough that Villa isn’t really a significant step above Henry.

        A real step up would be an elite player who’s maybe 28-29 instead of 32-33. Those couple of years make a big difference. I think we’re not too far away either. People talk about the UCL but if there’s enough money on offer, guys will still come here.


      • KingGoogleyEye

        Fair enough. I feel there’s a different perception about Villa than Henry, but I admit that it’s mostly a gut feeling, so I can’t expect everyone to agree.

        I agree with you that a slightly younger star will be the next Big Deal; i.e., MLS has now proven that it can attract over-30 superstars. The next 30+ year old star to come will not be a huge surprise—unless he’s Franck Ribery.


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