Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Robbie Keane is in the final year of his contract, but the reigning MLS MVP isn’t planning on leaving Los Angeles any time soon.
The LA Galaxy forward says that he is currently negotiating an extension with the club. Keane scored 21 goals and provided 11 assists for the Galaxy en route to an MVP award and MLS Cup trophy.
“I’ve still got a year left at the Galaxy and we’re negotiating another contract at the moment,” Keane said. “So that will keep me there for a few more years.”
Keane and the Galaxy are back in action Sunday on the road against the Portland Timbers.
Here are some more of Tuesday’s MLS news and notes:
OPENING WEEK SEES BUMP IN TV RATINGS
With new network deals in tow, MLS is already smashing last season’s TV viewership numbers.
Sunday’s match between Orlando City and New York City FC averaged 539,000 viewers on ESPN 2, more than twice the network average of the 15 regular-season broadcasts in 2014. In addition, UniMas’ broadcast of the season-opener between the LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire on Friday night drew 341,000 viewers, up 44 percent from last season’s opener.
The Fox Sports games that pitted Sporting KC against the New York Red Bulls and the Seattle Sounders against New England Revolution drew an average 278,500 viewers, more than double than the average of last season’s NBCSN broadcasts.
Take a closer look at the viewership for this weekend’s action below:
AVERAGE MATCH VIEWERSHIP
539,000 Orlando City-New York City (ESPN2)
341,000 LA Galaxy-Chicago (UniMas)
289,000 Seattle-New England (Fox Sports 1)
268,000 Sporting KC-NY Red Bulls (Fox Sports 1)
ORLANDO CITY CONSIDERING OPENING MORE SEATS IN CITRUS BOWL, FUTURE STADIUM
Orlando City succeeded in filling the bowl, and now the club is contemplating just how much it can continue to be filled.
President Phil Rawlins says that the club is considering expanding the Citrus Bowl after previously opting to cap attendance at 20,000. In addition, the club could add additional seats to their future home, set to open next season.
“Our evaluation is really important,” Rawlins said according to the Orlando Sentinel. “Over the course of the next few days let’s look at that, let’s figure out first of all, number one, what do we need to do, if anything, in this current season to help manage capacity, and then number two, let’s look at the stadium. Can the stadium be increased? Can we do that easily and quickly? If that’s the case, then we need to look at it. So we’ll take it step by step.
“I think what’s really important to us now is the next four or five games as a franchise,” Rawlins added. “Where are we, what kind of marketplace do we really have? Are we Seattle, are we a Seattle in the waiting? …The real question here is will that demand continue and what level will it continue at?”
RED BULLS’ LUYINDULA CONSIDERING PLAYING FUTURE
Reports have recently surfaced that New York Red Bulls midfielder Peguy Luyindula is contemplating retirement, but head coach Jesse Marsch says things aren’t quite so straight forward.
Luyindula, who scored five goals in 23 appearances last season, has been away from the team and was not with the Red Bulls for their 1-1 draw with Sporting KC. Despite retirement rumors, Marsch insists Luyindula is not yet done with the team and is still thinking over his options.
“There’s nothing to announce other than just to say Peguy is taking some time to think about what his future is going to be,” Marsch said according to NJ.com. “That’s really the only thing to talk about right now, out of respect for Peguy.”
How many more years do you expect to see Keane with the Galaxy? What do you think of the TV numbers? How many fans could Orlando City draw? What do you expect from Luyindula?
Share your thoughts below.
Keane, of course, is 34 now…which is the age Landon Donovan will be next year.
Dream scenario… They move into a nice 20-25k seat stadium down the street from the Citrus Bowl next year. They play in the new stadium for a decade while they and the league grow bigger and bigger. Eventually, they move to the Citrus Bowl as a permanent home, and make the smaller stadium their youth/reserve team stadium.
lol, don’t count on it. Those stadiums are pretty freaking expensive. they intend to stay there for a very long time.
I’m definitely not counting on it. But as long as I’m dreaming, they can have a bridge from one stadium to the other like at Camp Nou. However, I do believe that after years of stabilizing and building a foundation, this league is about to start growing exponentially from year to year over the next few years. Those viewing numbers are very promising compared to previous years, and this is just the beginning in terms of coverage.
The LA Clippers sold for $2 Billion and they play in an arena that seats right about 20k. Orlando will be fine if they sell a 20k stadium out every game and get a good solid fan base.
Well, the Clippers have 41 home games in the regular season, plus a bunch of playoff games, when that’s in the cards. OCSC can hope for maybe 20 home dates….which makes it more plausible that they could sell more tickets to each game. The stadiums being built now are all being built with the idea of expanding beyond 20k. OCSC should definitely look into that. Frankly, I think the teams have it a wee bit backward. The new stadiums are a big deal, and they should anticipate strong crowds early on. If anything, the stadiums should be flexible enough to be downsized in lean year, but the teams are missing out on the opportunity to seat more in the flush of excitement over the new teams and/or new stadiums.. DC United gets one or two sellouts of the lower bowl at RFK — a little over 20k. I think they could do better than that in the new stadium…at least, at first. Obviously, there are infrastructure costs in adding seats, You have to be sure the added revenue will cover those costs. I don’t have access to numbers like that, but I think some MLS teams are aiming too low.
This isn’t bleacher seating. This is fixed seating with the accompanying building infrastructure. You cannot downsize unless you want covered seating in a half empty stadium. MLS has already seen that is not a good environment. However, you could build a 30K seating stadium, that can be expanded to 45 n the future by adding levels.
Regarding Orlando expanding seating, I feel like they have to be conservative and not open more than they can sell.
I was 10 when MLS started so I don’t have the first hand experience, but I know a lot of people said the fact you didn’t have to buy tickets in advance hurt team tremendously. Seattle all along has seemed to open the stadium bit by bit to keep demand high.
I’d bet good money that Orlando is following the Seattle model very closely. Going from 20k to 23k seems like a reasonable step.
Can we get a comparison to opening week last year?
it’s in the link.
MLS needs to do a better job in advertising games. the opening weekend matches were truly entertaining but i had to really look for them to find out times, matches and channel. Plus what irritates me is that the so called “sports networks” didn’t even mentioned any of them! They’re too busy talking about garbage topics about baseball! “how are we going to speed up baseball?” Who cares!
I generally agree with you and I get just as frustrated about inane off field stories being covered instead of covering a major soccer story in depth. However, I have to say I saw a decent number of commercials for Soccer Sunday on ESPN which listed the date and time of the ESPN game as well as the two FS1 games. Was it blanket saturation like the NFL, NBA, and MBA get? No, but it was more than it was last year and I was happy to see improvement. In addition I love there is finally some go to time slots for games so you don’t need to see the advertising to know when and where to see a game.
I do. I care about how to speed up baseball. It’s too excruciatingly so. I can’t watch six innings let alone nine.
A lot more people here in the US care about baseball than soccer and that’s why it gets discussed along with NFL free agency and who should win the NBA MVP Award this year.
Maybe someday it will be that way for MLS.
The first 10 weeks of the season ESPN2 has a game at 5PM EST on Sunday night. They are trying to have games broadcast every Sunday night. Part of the new TV deal was to make coverage consistent. Pretty much every Sunday of the season matches will be on from 5PM to 9PM EST.
Long way to go on the TV ratings but nice to see them headed in the right direction. TV ratings are the real key to taking this league to the next level.
Depends what you want I guess though. Those numbers keep games on TV for sure and a lot of them.
We had 5 this weekend in Seattle, would have been 6 if we were not the national game.
I want MLS to continue to improve and eventually be one of the top leagues in the world. Improving TV ratings are essential to getting the money necessary to achieve that.
I am very interested in how the ratings turn out for the new TV deals that were setup for the UK and other European countries. That will give us a good idea of just how much our league is beginning to grow. I have been reading articles about how our league is moving up and that a lot of the big signings (Gerrard, Lampard, etc.) won’t have it easy due to the growth of the game here. It seems credibility is starting to be given to MLS. Can’t slow down now.
Slowleftarm is dead on with his sentiments.These numbers are a good sign, but we want numbers to break 1million. Put in perspective, (1) NHL averaged 1.227 million viewers on all games on NBC Sports Network alone,(forget those shown NBC national tv or any other network); (2) for the 2014-15 season on the premier league is averaging 420,000 viewers on NBCSN.
We have a ways to go, but MLS is moving in the right direction.
* accidentally hit return
– we get low NHL numbers and we can get real tv deal money to up the cap to 10million.
-Premier League average is higher than ours and it is their secondary or tertiary tv deal.