Another week, another chance to catch up on any news you may have missed. The focus shifts away from KC Soccer a bit, but it always finds a way to fit in.
NWSL Expansion: Boston, San Francisco and SLC
The NWSL expansion was said to be down to three cities to choose from, but it seems the National Women’s Soccer League simply picked them all. Boston, San Francisco and Salt Lake City will all receive teams according to a Wall Street Journal report. San Fran and SLC in 2024 with Boston on the way.
Expansion expenses have also increased significantly this round. Boston and San Francisco will each pay $50 million while SLC will pay between two and five million based on a prior settlement. Utah is ready to bring back the Utah Royals, who were disbanded and folded into the KC Current two seasons ago.
Compared to MLS, 11 years into their existence, Toronto FC came in for $10 million and 12 years later, the San Jose Earthquakes (reunited) for $20 million. They didn’t cross the $50 million mark until they fell apart with New York City FC in 2015 ($100 million), 19 years into the league’s inception. The NWSL is ahead of the MLS, even when factoring in the time value of money.
By comparison, even the San Diego Wave and Angel City FC, the two most recent expansion teams, which just started play in 2022, had fees between two and five million.
The San Francisco expansion team is partially supported by former USWNT players Brandi Chastain, Aly Wagner, Leslie Osborne and Danielle Slaton. Boston is backed primarily by Jennifer Epstein, founder of Juno Equity and daughter of Boston Celtics co-owner Robert Epstein. Boston will return to the league, as the former Boston Breakers folded after the 2017 season. There are no words on the names/identities of each of these teams.
All of this is building towards the NWSL separating itself from other women’s leagues in the world. I stand by my theory that it will be a missed opportunity if the NWSL is not the ‘Premier League’ of women’s soccer.
Busio on the move again?
Gianluca Busio is the most expensive sale by a player in Sporting Kansas City history. For this reason, it is likely that we will always have an interest in knowing where he will end up. There are now rumors that he could move to Pisa, another Italian Serie B club.
Pisa sit in 8th place at the time of writing and will be looking to fight for promotion to the top flight. Venezia, on the other hand, are 19th and are looking to avoid a second consecutive relegation season that would send them to Serie C. Four teams are relegated to Serie B in C, so they have to do some climbing to avoid a disastrous second fall.
Busio Part II: KC and Charlotte were “really trying to sign him”.
Speaking of Busio, Tom Bogert was co-anchor on Extratime and dropped this little nugget about last summer when Sporting KC and Charlotte FC were linked to Busio in a discussion on dissolving the Allocation Order and what talented players were in it in that list.
“Busio over the summer, Charlotte and Kansas City were both really looking to sign him. Like it’s not just some kind of smoke. Busio is from North Carolina, went to a Charlotte FC game and at first I was like, ‘oh no, he’s just coming home to see a game.’ Then when things got more serious, okay, part of that was talking to Charlotte because they were interested.
This gives more insight into Busio almost returning to MLS on loan last season, which we’ve covered previously.
Copa America… Coming to the United States
To elaborate on another previous rumor, the Copa America looks very likely to come to the United States. CONCACAF will host, but technically the USMNT he needs to qualify as only the top six teams will go. If the US fails to finish in the top six, that’s another problem.
CONCACAF officially announces that it will host the 2024 Copa America. Six CONCACAF nations will qualify for the tournament via the 2023-24 CONCACAF Nations League.
The top four CONMEBOL women’s teams will play in the Gold Cup.
New club competition between two CONMEBOL teams and two CONCACAF teams.
— Paolo Tenorio (@PaoloTenorio) January 27, 2023
Additionally, four CONMEBOL women’s teams will play in the Gold Cup and there is a new club competition between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. It will only be four teams, so it will be an opportunity for MLS (and other CONCACAF teams) to potentially play some of the biggest clubs in South America.
That might be nice, but it might also just crowd the schedule further and be mostly useless unless there’s a quality prize for the winner.
Yesterday’s USMNT News Highlights…
– The sports director will appoint a head coach. So sporting director first, then coach – Anthony Hudson interim until then – Berhalter ‘still a candidate’ – No guarantee they hire a new GM, he could do away with the role@Extra time pic.twitter.com/eVSfQGx2tw
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) January 27, 2023
- Oh, and Reyna has resigned from his tenure with Austin FC. Lose your job, lose your job, EVERYONE LOSES YOUR JOB!
- About Tommy Scoop, has FC Cincinnati on the brink to sell Brenner to Nottingham Forrest in the Premier League.
- This is funny nonsense, but Minnesota United are not Sporting KC’s rivals, no matter how much MLS wants a thing to be.
- Speaking of KC’s fake rival, Minnesota apparently lost to South Korean international Cho Gue-sung.
Minnesota United’s pursuit against South Korea int’l Cho Gue-sung is stopped. The club had the biggest transfer offer for Jeonbuk on the table, but Cho will not join.
Cho was also linked to Celitc, Mainz and others, but could stay in South Korea until the summer. https://t.co/ilgu1xvX2m
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) January 30, 2023
- And we leave you with this. I think it’s fake, but it’s interesting. In the previous shots of Alan Pulido with the shirt sneaking out, the collar is dark blue and there’s a small button at the top. This has neither. We hope to bring you the real revelation of the kit for Sporting KC soon.