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2020-21 News Thread

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Might as well start this, the league seasons are complete.

League One and League Two in England are instituting a salary cap effective immediately. The caps are set at £2.5 million and £1.5 million, respectively. That’s going to cause a lot of salary shock for teams moving between the Championship and League One. Imagine a club like Sunderland, who endured consecutive relegations, still getting cushion payments, as they pare their wage bill way down to the League One cap. Or a club going the other way like Coventry City, back in the Championship after 2 promotions In the last 3 years. Coventry City have a groundshare agreement with Birmingham City. It should make those matches in the Championship I testing, when fans are allowed back.

 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I heard on a Villa podcast that Coventry have talked about leasing Villa Park for home dates with Birmingham City. Given the number of suitable venues in the area, they should be able to come up with an alternate venue if they want.

Oh ... FWIW I think the salary cap for the lower divisions makes sense in the short term. Times are fixing to be very tough indeed, since the lower you go down the tiers, the more dependent the clubs are on the gate. It's going to suck for teams in transition, as you noted ... but this is a survival move.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I heard on a Villa podcast that Coventry have talked about leasing Villa Park for home dates with Birmingham City. Given the number of suitable venues in the area, they should be able to come up with an alternate venue if they want.

Oh ... FWIW I think the salary cap for the lower divisions makes sense in the short term. Times are fixing to be very tough indeed, since the lower you go down the tiers, the more dependent the clubs are on the gate. It's going to suck for teams in transition, as you noted ... but this is a survival move.

Coventry has had a couple of disputes with the owners of Ricoh Arena. They also used Northampton Town for a season, but that’s not suitable for the Championship, it seats less than 7,800. Coventry is about halfway between Northampton and Birmingham, about a 35 minute drive in either direction, but neither arrangement has the supporters happy.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Juventus fired manager Maurizio Sarri after crashing out of the Champions League. He was replaced by Andrea Pirlo, who has no coaching experience. He had just been appointed coach of Juve’s U-23 team 9 days ago. Can an inexperienced manager, with the aging Cristiano Ronaldo as a millstone around his neck, win the Champions League? Clearly, the Scudetto isn’t enough anymore. At least Zinedine Zidane coached Real Madrid’s reserve team for 2-1/2 years before taking over the senior team. Frank Lampard spent a season at Derby County before getting the job at Chelsea.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
USWNT and NC Courage player is indeed off to Manchester City, made official today. If the NWSL had season plans beyond their tournament in Utah, she probably wouldn’t be leaving, but with no club matches on the horizon until next spring, the only way to get game time is overseas. Rose Lavelle was also rumored to be headed to Man City, but no word on if that will happen. She missed a match in the Challenge Cup with an ankle injury and was limited to 30 minutes by US Soccer in the quarterfinals.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
French International midfielder Blaise Matuidi is leaving Juventus for Inter Miami in MLS. He had 133 appearances for Juventus in his 3myears there, which followed 7 years and 295 appearances for PSG. He was also a starter on France’s 2018 World Cup winning team.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
French International midfielder Blaise Matuidi is leaving Juventus for Inter Miami in MLS. He had 133 appearances for Juventus in his 3myears there, which followed 7 years and 295 appearances for PSG. He was also a starter on France’s 2018 World Cup winning team.
I was expecting Miami to make a showboat signing and this news still blew me away a bit. Matuidi is on the downslope of his career, but not to the degree that the majority of name brand MLS European signings generally are. He was still a regular in a support role at Juve this past season, and since he can easily transition to a purely defensive midfield role, he could have a good 3-4 years at a pretty high level left in the tank. Plus, IMO it's smart to spend your allocation money on an influential midfield player instead of on a forward. It's a league that struggles to defend, and a guy who can help organize your defense and make smart linkup passes to boot ... big impact player.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Some unexpected and then expected NWSL/USWNT news. The Washington Spirit traded Rose Lavelle to OL Reign for a 2022 1st round draft pick and $100k in allocation money, which could rise pending her future NWSL playing status. Her long expected move to Man City is expected to be announced this week.

Steven Goff from the Washington Post says that the NWSL is expected to announce a return to play plan that would put the teams into pods with matches played in the home markets in September and October. Each team would have 2 or 3 match dates. The pods would be Washington, Sky Blue and Chicago; NC Courage, Houston and Orlando; Utah, OL Reign and Portland
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
One note on the USWNT regulars going to Europe ... under their current deal with US Soccer, they can do that in non-Olympic and non-WC years without impacting their stipends from the Federation. That's why the NWSL clubs have made such a big deal of valuing their domestic rights. If Rose ends up playing for Reign next summer, then they'll have picked up one of the best attacking midfielders in world for $100,000 ... which would be a pretty slick piece of business. If the stipend system changes in the meantime or Man City is willing to fork over enough cash to make it irrelevant, then ... not so much.

More weekend notes from NWSL ... NC Courage have apparently agreed to a 2 year contract extension for coach Paul Riley. Not sure there's been a formal announcement yet, but it was being reported on Twitter yesterday. Also, Utah is apparently wrapping up a deal to ship Kelley O'Hara to the Washington Spirit. Maybe that's where that $100,000 they got from Reign is going to be spent.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
One note on the USWNT regulars going to Europe ... under their current deal with US Soccer, they can do that in non-Olympic and non-WC years without impacting their stipends from the Federation. That's why the NWSL clubs have made such a big deal of valuing their domestic rights. If Rose ends up playing for Reign next summer, then they'll have picked up one of the best attacking midfielders in world for $100,000 ... which would be a pretty slick piece of business. If the stipend system changes in the meantime or Man City is willing to fork over enough cash to make it irrelevant, then ... not so much.

More weekend notes from NWSL ... NC Courage have apparently agreed to a 2 year contract extension for coach Paul Riley. Not sure there's been a formal announcement yet, but it was being reported on Twitter yesterday. Also, Utah is apparently wrapping up a deal to ship Kelley O'Hara to the Washington Spirit. Maybe that's where that $100,000 they got from Reign is going to be spent.

Since O’Hara is a USWNT player, the federation pays her salary, but the $100k could go toward any transfer fee. That amount will rise if Lavelle comes back to play for OL Reign too. O’Hara’s partner moved to Washington last year, so the move makes sense, like Alex Morgan forcing the Thorns to trade her to Orlando because her husband played there.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Joe Hart signs for Spurs on a free transfer. In 2 years at Burnley, he had 24 appearances but only 3 last season, all in Cup matches. The year before, he made 19 league appearances. He hasn’t appeared for the National Team since 2017 and was left off the 2018 World Cup squad.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Joe Hart signs for Spurs on a free transfer. In 2 years at Burnley, he had 24 appearances but only 3 last season, all in Cup matches. The year before, he made 19 league appearances. He hasn’t appeared for the National Team since 2017 and was left off the 2018 World Cup squad.
Good on him. I like Joe Hart as a human being even if he's a completely unreliable keeper at this point. It certainly won't hurt Spurs to have that guy around the club.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
O’Hara’s partner moved to Washington last year, so the move makes sense, like Alex Morgan forcing the Thorns to trade her to Orlando because her husband played there.

On that note, I'm already hearing rumblings about Morgan heading to LA once Angel City start building a roster. Most of the rumors seem to indicate that she's interested in moving into the ownership group after her playing career is done. As you know, she's out on maternity leave at the moment and has only resumed physical training in the last month or so. Her husband's career is well on the out-bound leg now, so that wouldn't be an issue. He's in his early 30s playing in USL League 1 at this point. Time to think about Plan B.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
On that note, I'm already hearing rumblings about Morgan heading to LA once Angel City start building a roster. Most of the rumors seem to indicate that she's interested in moving into the ownership group after her playing career is done. As you know, she's out on maternity leave at the moment and has only resumed physical training in the last month or so. Her husband's career is well on the out-bound leg now, so that wouldn't be an issue. He's in his early 30s playing in USL League 1 at this point. Time to think about Plan B.

It would shock me if she didn’t go. She’s from San Dimas, on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County. Carrasco’s last MLS club was the Galaxy last year, maybe he can get a coaching gig.

Another USWNT player is headed overseas too. Emily Sonnett is leaving Orlando City for Kopparsburgs in the Swedish League. Her deal only runs thrugh the end of November, when the European leagues take a winter break. These deals had to have all been in the works for a while. The NWSL announced over the weekend that they are starting back up in September in 3 team pods. The deals for Mewis and Lavelle were done weeks ago and even a short term international deal doesn’t come together overnight, it has probably been in the works for weeks, long before the league announced their restart plans.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Ronald Koeman is set to leave the Dutch National Team and take over at Barcelona. His contract in the Netherlands provided a release only for the Barcelona job. He made 264 appearances in 6 seasons as a player and assisted Louis van Gaal for 2 seasons.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Another USWNT player is headed overseas too. Emily Sonnett is leaving Orlando City for Kopparsburgs in the Swedish League. Her deal only runs thrugh the end of November, when the European leagues take a winter break. These deals had to have all been in the works for a while. The NWSL announced over the weekend that they are starting back up in September in 3 team pods.
Speaking of Sonnett ... anybody like her on the fringes of the National Team setup would be nuts not to go play somewhere. Literally anywhere. The NWSL pod plan is still unclear but it sounds like 9-10 games. That's just not enough for developing players.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Speaking of Sonnett ... anybody like her on the fringes of the National Team setup would be nuts not to go play somewhere. Literally anywhere. The NWSL pod plan is still unclear but it sounds like 9-10 games. That's just not enough for developing players.

Yep, she has 45 caps but is always on the fringes. Maybe she’s Becky Saurbrunn’s replacement long term; she’ll be 36 at the next Olympics. With the Olympics having been delayed, but qualifying complete, she needs games. Keep in mind that the Olympic roster is 20 players, not the 23 that Ellis brought into the World Cup. And she only played 8 minutes, as an 82nd minute sub in the Group stage match against Chile.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
A couple of NWSL-related tweets last night. First, from Dan Lauletta, it appears that Tobin Heath and Christen Press are headed to the red side of Manchester. Second, from Meg Linehan, the league is close to announcing their 12th team, with the Sacramento Republic ownership group. They’re shooting for a 2021 start, which is not a lot of time if the league starts on time in March. It may end up starting in 2022.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Steven Goff from the Washington Post says Crystal Dunn will be leaving the NC Courage for the Portland Thorns. Her husband is the head trainer for the Thorns and they’ve been living on opposite coasts for the last 2 years. Another big blow for the Courage depending on who they get back. I think Lindsay Horan is a fair trade. My youngest daughter, who is a Thorns season ticket holder, thinks otherwise.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I mean ... that would be star USWNT player for star USWNT, so by definition it's fair. Plus, from the Courage's point of view, Horan is one of the few midfielders in NWSL that's pretty much a like for like replacement for Sam Mewis. Honestly, it's the only one for one swap that makes sense.
 
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