Matthew Hall

Author's details

Name: Matthew Hall
Date registered: September 13, 2016
URL: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/montreal-impact

Latest posts

  1. Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS? — May 19, 2017
  2. Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS? — May 19, 2017
  3. Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni: ‘Something special is happening here’ — April 19, 2017
  4. Why does the MLS season last so long? — March 2, 2017
  5. MLS expansion: why cities are deciding stadiums are ‘welfare for millionaires’ — January 31, 2017

Author's posts listings

May 19

Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS?

Despite some market similarities and familiar challenges there are stark differences in experience and strategy

Australian football has long been fascinated by Major League Soccer. A 2003 report by the National Soccer League Task Force – an “Australian Soccer Association” brains trust charged with figuring out just what the future A-League should be – featured several pages on the American version of club football.

Around the same time, player-turned-pundit Andy Harper was sent to the US by Football Federation Australia to discover what the Americans were up to first hand. In 2008, another FFA delegation flew across the Pacific to learn more about MLS while, more recently, Mark Falvo – FFA’s head of international affairs and government relations – spoke to the league’s New York City headquarters about how to approach proposed expansion.

Related: Asian benefits yet to transpire as Australian football struggles to cash in | Mike Ticher

Related: A decade on, did David Beckham’s move to MLS make a difference?

Having our own stadium is fundamental and a key component that our research has taken away from MLS.

Related: Why even $346m is not enough to prevent civil war in Australian football | Shaun Mooney

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/19/can-the-a-league-learn-anything-from-the-us-experience-with-mls

May 19

Can the A-League learn anything from the US experience with the MLS?

Despite some market similarities and familiar challenges there are stark differences in experience and strategy

Australian football has long been fascinated by Major League Soccer. A 2003 report by the National Soccer League Task Force – an “Australian Soccer Association” brains trust charged with figuring out just what the future A-League should be – featured several pages on the American version of club football.

Around the same time, player-turned-pundit Andy Harper was sent to the US by Football Federation Australia to discover what the Americans were up to first hand. In 2008, another FFA delegation flew across the Pacific to learn more about MLS while, more recently, Mark Falvo – FFA’s head of international affairs and government relations – spoke to the league’s New York City headquarters about how to approach proposed expansion.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/19/can-the-a-league-learn-anything-from-the-us-experience-with-mls

Apr 19

Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni: ‘Something special is happening here’

The former US national coach is starting his second season in charge of the Pride – and believes the club, with its brand new stadium, is going places

At the new downtown stadium where Orlando Pride make their home debut this weekend, there are 49 seats that hold a special place in the team’s short history.

The 25,500-capacity arena, completed this year and shared with Orlando City of MLS, has included in its design a section of seats in purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red rows. It’s no random color scheme. The club plans for the seats to serve as a permanent tribute to the people murdered in the shooting at one of the city’s LGBT nightclubs on 12 June 2016.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/19/orlando-pride-coach-tom-sermanni-nwsl

Mar 02

Why does the MLS season last so long?

The new season kicks off on Friday and doesn’t end until December. It’s partly down to travel, and partly to geography – but TV complicates matters too

Patrick Vieira, the New York City FC coach and former Arsenal star, likes to tell stories about travelling across the United States by plane with his team. Major League Soccer teams are allowed to charter private aircraft just four times per season, so players and staff usually travel to away games on commercial airlines with the rest of us.

One time, Vieira’s team was stuck at New York’s LaGuardia airport for eight hours when a flight to Kansas City was cancelled. Anyone who has ever flown from LaGuardia will know an hour at its overcrowded gates is almost enough to dissuade most people from ever flying again. After their long wait at the gate, Vieira’s team was told to come back the following morning. A replacement plane had been found – but there was no crew to fly it. Another time, for a game in Montreal, the NYC FC entourage spent 90 minutes getting through Canadian customs.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/02/mls-season-soccer-march-december

Jan 31

MLS expansion: why cities are deciding stadiums are ‘welfare for millionaires’

This week marks the deadline for the next round of MLS expansion bids. But many cities are questioning whether clubs should use public funds

Alderman Samuel Moore represents Ward Four in St Louis – one of the poorest areas of the city. During a committee meeting last Thursday he held up photographs of dilapidated housing in his local area and announced: “This is what I live every day”. Moore and other aldermen were considering a request by a group called SC STL that hopes to bring Major League Soccer to the Missouri city. The request? SC STL wants the city and its taxpayers to approve $60m of public funding (an initial request for $80m was rejected) for a new stadium that will eventually cost an estimated $200m. Moore, to put it politely, thinks that kind of cash should be spent elsewhere.

It turns out Alderman Moore is not alone. Similar debates are taking place in cities across America as MLS plans further expansion and other pro sports organizations plan upgrades or new facilities. Moore’s issue is simple. Why should a city – or state – facing major infrastructure and social challenges provide taxpayer money to help billionaires build a soccer stadium?

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/jan/31/mls-expansion-funding-stadiums-soccer