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Evening Ticker: Philly strikes stadium deal, Red Bulls win in Spain and more

Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union's new stadium is still months from completion, but Major League Soccer's newest team already has a sponsor ready to spend major money for stadium naming rights.

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that the Union is set to close a 10-year, $20 million stadium naming rights deal with energy company PPL Corp for rights to the team's new stadium, which will be named PPL Park.

The team's 18,500-seat stadium is expected to be completed by the summer, with the Union set to begin its home schedule at Lincoln Financial Field.

Here are some other stories from Monday that you may or may not have missed:


The New York Red Bulls finished their training camp stint in La Manga, Spain unbeaten after beating Norwegian side Stromsgodset IF, 2-1, in exhibition action on Monday. Finnish trialist Toni Kolehmainen scored the game winner off a feed from unsigned Red Bulls academy product Juan Agudelo.

the victory capped a trip to Spain that included matches against CSKA Moscow (1-1) and Lech Poznan (1-0). Midfielder Dane Richards capped a strong trip with another solid performance.

The Red Bulls return to the United States later this week, and will resume pre-season action on Feb. 25 against Houston in the Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, Florida.


D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno and Kansas City Wizards forard Kei Kamara signed new deals with their teams on Monday.

Moreno will look to add to his MLS career-record tally of 131 career goals as well as the league record for most minutes played for one team.

“Jaime is a very important player to our club in many ways and we are excited to have him back with us,” said United General Manager Dave Kasper. “When he is on the field, he makes us a better team, and he makes plays that can change a game.”

Kamara re-signed with the Wizards after spending time trialing in Europe. He will re-join a Wizards attack that struggled to score in 2009. Kamara scored one goal in six matches for KC after being acquired from Houston late in the season. He finished 2009 with six goals in 28 matches.


New Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez hasn't wasted much time rebuilding the Goats. On Monday, Chivas USA announced the signing of Salvadoran midfielder Osael Romero. A 23-year-old member of El Salvador's national team, Romero joins Chivas USA on loan from Salvadoran club Vista Hermosa.

Chivas USA acquired the rights to Romero from FC Dallas for an undisclosed allocation. FC Dallas held a discovery claim on Romero.


Defensive midfielder/Defender Jay Needham spent the past year and a half playing for Norwegian second-division club Alta, but is now returning to the United States. Needham ha signed a three-year deal with the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2.

A third-round pick of D.C. United in 2007, Needham was named USL-1 defender of the year in 2007 while with the Puerto Rico Islanders.


The 2009 Soccerlens Awards announced its winners on Monday and I'm proud to announce that readers voted me Best Football Writer. Thank you to all the SBI readers (and ESPN Soccernet readers) who cast votes. It is definitely an honor and a humbling award to win, especially considering the quality writers who do such a great job covering the sport both in North America and England. (And for those wondering, Matt Lawton and Henry Winter would share my vote for Best Football Writer of 2009 while Grant Wahl gets my USA vote in 2009 for all his great work, including 'The Beckham Experiment').

Other winners in the Soccerlens Awards included EPL Talk (Best Competition Website), Kickette (Best Community) and Dirty Tackle (Best Football Gossip site).


What do you think of these stories? Impressed with Philadelphia's stadium rights deal? Starting to believe the Red Bulls could turn things around in 2010? Glad to see Jaime Moreno coming back for another season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Pretty good tradition of nicknames being roads though, in a bunch of countries. Can only think of English ones offhand: Elland Road, White Hart Lane, Carrow Road, probably are more

  2. No, they’re not losing money, they simply shift the revenue streams into other parts of their business. Hunt Sports owns Crew Stadium, so they make the Crew pay rent to “Crew Stadium LLC” and they hold concerts and football games there and NONE of that money is on the Crew’s books. End of the year, whaddya know Crew JUST BARELY lost money. Meanwhile Crew Stadium makes a couple of mil. Every team with a stadium is doing this. Don’t buy it.

  3. I’m very opposed to calling soccer stadiums “arenas”, as “arena” has come to refer in this country to a closed structure for indoor sports, while a “stadium” is a larger structure for outdoor sports (this is why I actually still refer to the Red Bulls’ new home as Red Bull Park). Pedantic? Perhaps, but I did write my thesis at Princeton on sports stadium/arena subsidies, so I think I have acquired some expertise on the matter…

  4. Red Bull Arena is called an “Arena” because the naming conventions in German are different than in English. Many outdoor stadiums, like the Allianz Arena in Munich are named “Arena” when we’d normally use the word “stadium.”

  5. CJ,

    All but one or two teams are STILL LOSING MONEY!

    It’s not as if the owners are getting rich off this league.

    MLS exists because of the charity of their owners.

    For the past dozen years, the average team has lost something like $3 or $4 million per year. Count it up and we are talking about $30 to $60 million out of their pockets not to mention teh franchise fee they will never get back.

    The stadiums are just reducing the losses, not turning the teams into gold mines.

  6. Ives, what is the lastest on Agudelo? I really hope that MLS lets Soler do what ever it takes to sign him…. Red Bull NY need to start reaping the benefits of our great youth academy…. Dude Backe is legit

    Ives, Do you know what kind of style Backe likes to implement. What Formation?….

    P.S. Same as everyone above, congrats on another reward. I remember a while back you mentioned you had SBI t-shirts for sale, how do i go about getting one. Do you have anything in the works with ESPN for a TV Show… in the mold of Baseball tonight… cause you should, you are the effing man.

  7. Congratulations on the award, Ives. Your site is an hourly destination for me, which reminds me, can you work on tweaking the site so I can read comments from my blackberry? I know you’ve acknowledged this as a problem before, but I am often away from a computer on Saturdays and cannot follow the comments. Thanks!

    (SBI-Thanks Torpindy. Regarding the blackberry issue, I have a Storm and managed to fix the browser issue by switching the phone’s browser configuration to Internet Explorer instead of Blackberry. Not sure that works for all phones though. Since I did that I can see the comments on the site.)

  8. So essentialy it would be an upset for RBNY to tie CSKA’s youth team…or maybe we’re just underestimating MLS’s quality.

    Lech Poznan is one of Poland’s best teams too, so this is a really good tournament for RBNY and MLS.

  9. Not only are RBNY in their off-season and experimenting with lineups, they were also the basement dwellers of MLS last season.

  10. “CSKA is also in their off-season and they have Champions League in 3 weeks so their starters would need some work as well”

    Conveniently, so are the NYRB. And fielding a team with some completely new people, too. So that sounds okay.

  11. Also, the league makes far more money from selling a few players abroad than it does from keeping the other 98% that play in MLS.

  12. Yes, but if I had to guess, I’d say that the league’s most profitable revenue stream is SUM — with its promotion of the Mexican national team and visits by big European clubs. MLS players don’t have much to do with these — they’d probably happen even if there was only SUM with no MLS to support.

  13. I am in support of the players and would gladly help sign any petition but you do realize the original teams (at least) are tens of millions of dollars in debt and are only just seeing themselves a profit. All that money doesn’t go straight into the owners’ pockets. There’s also outside expenses i.e. paying for stadiums, setting up youth systems, hopefully bringing back the reserve league, etc.

  14. Congrats Ives! You’re a great educator of soccer, as evidenced by your story about MLS use of “allocation” for just about anything. Keep up the great work!


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