Messi to MLS!

ThePrideofShiner

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Agree with this. I wonder if Messi will have one of those clauses where he's exempt from playing on any pitch that isn't natural grass. After playing on artificial turf for years (and decent turf too, not the thin carpet crap), I can report that it's brutal on the joints.
That could be an option, but then again three of the league's most important franchises play on turf, so skipping those games might be frowned upon.

The teams with turf are: Atlanta, Charlotte, New England, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. Toronto and Cincinnati use hybrid grass, though not sure if that counts as turf.
 

67YAZ

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Toronto and Cincinnati use hybrid grass, though not sure if that counts as turf.
Almost all of the professional clubs in the major European leagues use hybrids, including Barcelona at Camp Nou. I actually think more MLS clubs should find hybrids that work in their climates, especially for the clubs up north where they start and end the season in cold weather.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Leaving in a bit to the studio :)
So when my younger son was interning at my brother's WPB law firm last year, he strongly advised them to buy season tickets, as the talk of Messi coming to Miami was really strong even back then.

The firm didn't.

He's working at the firm full time time, and was told to buy season tickets for the firm just after this week's Messi signing.

Easier said than done......
 

67YAZ

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In the UCL final thread, someone asked if Haaland was the best player in the world right now. It got me thinking that in the post Messi-Ronaldo duopoly, we’re kind of got a few guys floating around in a tiny top tier without a consensus #1. Haaland is the best pure goal scorer, Mbappe is the most terrifying attacker with the ball at his feet, Alison is the best keeper (if we can mix keepers in here), and Messi just led his nation to a World Cup.

I think we’re discounting how good Messi is today because he’s no longer MESSI! He’s clearly in his decline, but he’s also going to win another balon d’or in August. He’s still among the very tip top tier of players. Yes, you have to build a very distinct squad around him, but he walks into the best XI of any squad in the world right now.

And I missed my chance to flip tickets and pocket real cash when he comes to Chicago. Damn.
 

Kliq

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I don't think Alison is better than Courtois, let alone in the best player in the world category.
 

Titans Bastard

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After all the consternation, a report that there is no league subsidy for this deal after all.

View: https://twitter.com/the_bonnfire/status/1671144974824480768


There is no direct subsidy from Major League Soccer for his services, which was at one point widely reported, but he does have pending sponsorship deals with Apple, Adidas, and Fanatics which will add significant value to his time in the United States.
No direct MLS subsidy, I assume, means no cut from the Apple TV revenue.
 

InstaFace

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I would personally not read "no MLS subsidy" as "no subsidy from a sponsor / customer of MLS".

It's a distinction with an important difference to fairness. Other teams might fairly complain that the league would favor Miami or Messi in particular in various other decisions, if they were chipping in money from other league funds in order to make up the numbers for him. If it's just Apple and Adidas, that incentive is too attenuated to really create the appearance of a conflict of interest.
 

67YAZ

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Like any billion dollar business, Messi Inc. comes with a fleet of lawyers to negotiate the best possible deal for him that I don’t think any of us on the outside will ever understand the details. His team are looking at endorsement conflicts, image rights across the globe, tax implications…and then all the other stakeholders have their teams working angles, too.

MLS has an interest in not providing a direct subsidy - in showing it has moved past the Beckham era & its clubs can stand (more) on their own for these kinds of deals. Someone is getting paid handsomely to figure out how to do it.
 

rguilmar

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Mark your calendars. Messi debut is scheduled for July 21 against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.

Tangentially related, there was a hope that Luis Suarez would join Messi in Miami (along with Alba- the three are BFFs) but the Uruguayan looks likely to retire due to severe knee pain.
 

Zososoxfan

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Mark your calendars. Messi debut is scheduled for July 21 against Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup.

Tangentially related, there was a hope that Luis Suarez would join Messi in Miami (along with Alba- the three are BFFs) but the Uruguayan looks likely to retire due to severe knee orthodontic pain.
Fixed
 

67YAZ

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Just got this from the Fire. Without any of excitement about the club to promote, they lean all the way into Messi…and his rivalry with the Alpine Messi.

66510
 

InstaFace

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Shaqiri vs Messi history:

2013-04-13: Bayern vs Barca, Messi goes 90', Shaqiri comes on for 2' at the end, Bayern wins 4-0. Shaqiri didn't get off the bench in the 2nd leg, also won by Bayern en route to winning the UCL.
2014-07-01: Switzerland vs Argentina, R16 of the World Cup. While everyone else was focusing on USA vs Belgium that day, both guys played 120', scoreless until Messi popped the winning assist to Di Maria at 118'.
2019-05-07: Liverpool vs Barca, UCL Semifinals Leg 2. Messi had bagged 2 in a 3-0 first-leg win at home, with Shaqiri on the bench; Shaqiri helped the comeback by assisting Liverpool's 2nd in an eventual 4-0 win.
2021-09-21: PSG vs Lyon, both start, go 76' and 78', PSG gets a 90'+3' winner from Icardi. Shaqiri moves to Chicago before the reverse fixture is played.

I wouldn't exactly call it a storied rivalry, but Shaq has had quite a career to be on the field in those games.
 

67YAZ

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I dunno man - when your nickname is a derivative of the other guy’s name? That’s not a rivalry.
 

Patriot_Reign

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For anyone who uses the free app Pluto TV on their smart TV, under their "featured" section of channels they currently have the FC Cinncinati v Inter Milan game on. Thought MLS could only be found on Apple TV via special package or Univision but here it is (and in English)
 

nayrbrey

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For anyone who uses the free app Pluto TV on their smart TV, under their "featured" section of channels they currently have the FC Cinncinati v Inter Milan game on. Thought MLS could only be found on Apple TV via special package or Univision but here it is (and in English)
Yup it’s on Paramount Plus. The US Open cup was sold as a separate TV deal, and luckily enough Miami had qualified for the semis before getting Messi. Been a tough game so far, 105F at start time.
 

67YAZ

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It struck me how crazy it’s going to be when an MLS players win the Balln d’Or in October.
 

Patriot_Reign

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Yup it’s on Paramount Plus. The US Open cup was sold as a separate TV deal, and luckily enough Miami had qualified for the semis before getting Messi. Been a tough game so far, 105F at start time.
Ahh, cheers. Have heard a lot of whining on the radio about needing the bonus Apple TV sub to watch Messi so was quite surprised to find this game on a free TV app.
 

lars10

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The lead up to that set of passes was insane as well. The pass by Jordi Alba to Messi was fairly incredible as well.

That pass by Messi though... Reddit thread are trying to say that Messi is exposing MLS defenders as being less talented etc... That pass would work in any league IMO.. it's why I've always thought Messi was the GOAT... he's working on a different level at all times and also plays a beat off of what everyone else expects. If you ever watch his goal compilation videos he scores many times just by hitting the ball before or after the defender or goalie expects him to.
 

Patriot_Reign

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Reddit thread are trying to say that Messi is exposing MLS defenders as being less talented etc...
Yeah, I've heard the chatter that Messi's domination is more a reflection on the talent level of MLS players and less on him but I don't know. He's just so good.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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What’s crazy good about the play is that immediately after the pass he goes straight to goal. Maybe against a world class club one of those four defenders goes with him, but I don’t know. Everyone is leaning back foot and he already knows where he is going. I don’t think anyone follows. He is just crazy good at deception.
 

lars10

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What’s crazy good about the play is that immediately after the pass he goes straight to goal. Maybe against a world class club one of those four defenders goes with him, but I don’t know. Everyone is leaning back foot and he already knows where he is going. I don’t think anyone follows. He is just crazy good at deception.
Messi also just doesn't really stay still generally I think.. he's always moving to space or onto the shoulder of a defender etc. He has a ton of tap in goals.
 

InstaFace

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Yeah, I've heard the chatter that Messi's domination is more a reflection on the talent level of MLS players and less on him but I don't know. He's just so good.
There's something to the notion - as explored by Total Soccer Show this week on their Messi episode - that a statement has been made by Inter Miami starting as one of the worst teams in the league, adding Messi and Busquets and Alba, and immediately becoming one of the best teams in the league without meaningful other changes. But I think it says more about Messi than it does about MLS. With literally anyone other than Messi in that spot on their team, Miami loses vs Cruz Azul, vs Dallas, and perhaps Nashville too. "Magisterial" doesn't begin to cover it.

Edit: also, Tata has a lot of experience at boat racing the league after bringing in exceptional talent. Many other managers would be overawed and not know how to use him properly, but Tata clearly has got a strategy he's employing.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Miami adding Messi, replacing another 20% of their starting outfield lineup with players who played 3800 minutes last season for a title winning Barca, and upgrading to Tara Martino from Phil fucking Neville is enough midseason changes that “without meaningful other changes” is kind of a silly concept to me.

Anyone with a po-faced take of “actually, this makes MLS look bad” is just looking for an angle more exciting than “this is very cool and fun to watch”, and is probably IMO the kind of soccer fan who is still a bit embarrassed or annoyed that we play soccer here in America.

It does shine a bright light on some of the specific characteristics of the league though. The attacking being ahead of the defending on account of salary cap rules, the time on the ball players tend to get even against our pressing teams, and also the parity than means there’s a lot less distance from worst to first than in most global soccer leagues.
 

InstaFace

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I'd listen to the TSS episode before judging it based on my hacked-together quip from it. It was a very good episode, and those guys know and love MLS.

I'm not sure about the "distance from worst to first" there, in terms of your listed causes. Salary cap yes, the others I dunno. But by SPI, MLS has one of the lowest standard deviations of any league, which is statistical evidence of the parity, at least. The causes, less so.

What we can agree on is that whatever the state of MLS is, Messi making defenses look stupid is not a black mark on the league, because he'd do that anywhere.