San Jose Earthquakes

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Posted by bender 04/14/2009 @ 17:14

Tags : san jose earthquakes, major league soccer, soccer, sports

News headlines
Earthquake hits Crew after match - MLS - Major League Soccer
(Getty Images) COLUMBUS -- The schedule shows the Columbus Crew playing host to the San Jose Earthquakes in their next match on May 27 -- but the Crew have already had their first encounter with the real thing. It wasn't enough for the fit-to-be tied...
Cornell Glen Returns To MLS With San Jose - Goal.com
The San Jose Earthquakes have signed Cornell Glen. The T&T striker returns to MLS having last seen action Stateside in 2006. Trinidad & Tobago striker Cornell Glen has returned to Major League Soccer with the San Jose Earthquakes....
Glen signs with MLS' San Jose Earthquakes - Trinidad & Tobago Express
Trinidad and Tobago striker Cornell Glen will be making a return to United States Major League Soccer (MLS) after signing with San Jose Earthquakes on Thursday. Glen, on trial with the club since the week before, did enough to impress head coach Frank...
Earthquakes Weekly Update - OurSports Central (press release)
The San Jose Earthquakes return to action this week after having last weekend off. The Quakes travel to Texas to take on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, May 23 at 5:30 PT at Robertson Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Comcast sportsnet Plus...
Red Bulls dominate in 4-1 victory over San Jose Earthquakes - NJ.com
by Frank Giase/The Star-Ledger Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesJuan Pablo Angel of the Red Bulls celebrates his goal in the 22nd minute against the San Jose Earthquakes. Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio likes to mix and match lineups and formations based on...
Why can't soccer coaches be happy? - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
This only seems relevant now after listening to Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio following the team's recent 4-1 dismantling of the San Jose Earthquakes. While not expecting Osorio to heap glowing praise on his players after beating a bad team,...
Red Bulls ready to battle San Jose Earthquakes - New York Daily News
That's when the Red Bulls visit the San Jose Earthquakes in a Lamar Hunt/US Open Cup qualifier (no TV or radio). The winner next month gets DC United, which rallied for two late goals to stun the Red Bulls, 3-2, in an MLS match on Sunday....
New York Red Bulls 2:1 San Jose Earthquakes - USOpenCup.com
Both New York and San Jose have struggled in the opening weeks of the MLS season. They are residing at the low end of the table in their respective conferences. The Red Bulls have lost their last two, including a devestating 3-2 loss to DC United last...
Earthquakes brace for changes after bye week - MLS - Major League Soccer
San Jose Earthquakes general manager John Doyle and head coach Frank Yallop threw down the gauntlet earlier this week, insisting that changes would be made to a side that has garnered just five points from their first eight league matches....
Recap: San Jose vs. Chivas USA - MiamiHerald.com
By Sports Network Chivas USA extended its lead atop Major League Soccer's overall table to six points with a 1-0 road victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night. Justin Braun's 53rd minute goal was the difference in...

San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes on the field at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2008

The San Jose Earthquakes professional soccer team is located in San Jose, California and participates in the top level soccer league in the United States and Canada, Major League Soccer (MLS). The Earthquakes participated in MLS from 1995 to 2005, and resumed operations in 2007. It is one of the original ten teams in the league, known as the San Jose Clash from 1995 to 1999. The Earthquakes defeated D.C. United 1–0 in the first game in MLS history. It is one of three teams from California to play in the league.

The team won the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003, and the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2005.

Following the conclusion of the 2005 MLS season, the franchise was officially put on hiatus in December of that year while the players, head coach Dominic Kinnear and some of his coaching staff were moved to Houston, Texas where they now play as the Houston Dynamo. After a two-year absence, the San Jose Earthquakes resumed play for the 2008 season and currently plays most home games at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The franchise's roots trace back to 1974, when the North American Soccer League (NASL) awarded an expansion franchise to San Jose, named the Earthquakes. The NASL folded after the 1984 season, and the Earthquakes played in the Western Soccer League (WSL) from 1985–88, under the ownership of Peter Bridgwater.

In 1988, Bridgwater sold the team. When the team folded later that year, the WSL awarded a franchise to Dan Van Voorhis, a local real estate lawyer. Van Voorhis named his new team the Blackhawks, after a real estate development of his. The San Francisco Bay Blackhawks entered the WSL for the 1989 season. In 1991, Van Voorhis hired a former Earthquakes' player, Laurie Calloway, as coach. Calloway coached a team full of players that would later play for San Jose in MLS, including John Doyle, Troy Dayak, Paul Bravo and Eric Wynalda. In a preview of what was to come later in MLS, bitter disagreements between Calloway and Wynalda led to Calloway kicking Wynalda off the team in 1992. Blackhawks owner Dan Van Voorhis later pulled his team out of the WSL's successor league, the American Professional Soccer League, after which they played as the San Jose Hawks in the USISL in 1993. The team folded at the end of the 1993 season.

In 1994, Van Voorhis successfully led a San Jose bidding group which was awarded one of Major League Soccer's inaugural teams. At that time, he handed over all existing Hawks player contracts, front-office resources and the rights to play in Spartan Stadium to MLS in exchange for Type C stock in the league. He also became the franchise's investor/operator until outside concerns forced him to divest himself of these positions prior to the league's launch and accept a buyout from the league, leaving the franchise league-owned for several years. Meanwhile, a direct connection to the earlier Earthquakes came in the person of Peter Bridgwater, named as General Manager of the MLS team. Although Bridgwater, at the time, still owned the rights to the Earthquakes' name and logo, the team became known as the Clash at the urging of Nike, a major investor in MLS.

On December 7, 1995, Bridgwater hired Calloway as the team's first coach, providing a second direct connection with the NASL Earthquakes, as well as a connection with the Blackhawks. Ignoring the past history between Calloway and Wynalda with the Blackhawks, the team acquired Wynalda just over a month later, on January 23, 1996. The Clash's connections to the Blackhawks continued when the Clash made the first trade in MLS history, sending Rhett Harty to the MetroStars for Troy Dayak, both players having spent several years with the team. Despite the presence of Calloway and much of his former team, the Clash failed to achieve the dominance achieved by the Blackhawks.

Wynalda scored the first goal in MLS history. However, he and Calloway were soon at each other's throats. The tensions on the team led eventually led to a locker room brawl between Wynalda and John Doyle. On top of that was an infamous incident in which Wynalda hired an aircraft towing a banner demanding the Clash fire Calloway.

Although the Clash made the postseason in the inaugural 1996 MLS season, and Doyle earned recognition as the best MLS defender, the team floundered in 1997. By the middle of the 1997 season, the team was sinking fast and Bridgwater fired Calloway, to be replaced by Brian Quinn. The Clash finished 1997 with a 12–20 and at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. In 1998 things got no better as the team finished 13–19 and well out of playoff contention. During the 1999 pre-season, the saga of player-coach antagonism continued when Richard Gough left the team after an argument with Quinn. By the end of 1999, Quinn was done and the team released him to hire Lothar Osiander.

The franchise's official name changed from Clash to Earthquakes on October 27, 1999.

After missing four consecutive post-seasons with three different coaches, the Earthquakes hired head coach Frank Yallop days before the 2001 MLS SuperDraft. Yallop's personnel changes and deft coaching with the help of assistant coach Dominic Kinnear and goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley, along with the allocation of star forward Landon Donovan on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, quickly turned around the Earthquakes' on-field fortunes, spurring the biggest regular season turnaround in league history (from 29 points in 2000 to 45 points in 2001) and leading the team to a 2–1 MLS Cup 2001 overtime victory over the arch rival Los Angeles Galaxy.

The Quakes followed with two consecutive runners-up finishes for the MLS Supporters' Shield and a 4–2 MLS Cup 2003 win over the Chicago Fire. Prior to reaching the 2003 final, the Earthquakes had rallied from four goals down to beat the Galaxy, 5–4 on aggregate, in a first-round playoff that many MLS observers described as the greatest in MLS history. Following the season, Yallop returned to his native Canada to coach the Canadian men's national soccer team. Assistant coach Kinnear was then promoted as the team's next head coach, and former San Jose player John Doyle was named as his assistant.

Having won two MLS Cup titles in three years, the Earthquakes were poised for greater success both on and off the field. However, in January 2004, General Manager Johnny Moore, whose roots with the club dated back to his days as a player for the NASL Earthquakes, resigned after AEG and MLS considered allowing the team to be rebranded as "San Jose America" (with ownership to transfer to the owners of Mexico's Club America). Earthquake fans were similarly outraged at the proposed rebranding, coming just months after the MLS Cup. Former Los Angeles Galaxy defender Alexi Lalas was named as his replacement. Under Lalas' management, the club planned a move to Houston. Meanwhile, when the Quakes' star player, Landon Donovan, played briefly in Germany while Lalas traded away his rights, thus allowing Lalas' former team, the Galaxy, to acquire him.

On the field, Kinnear led the team to two more playoff appearances, including a MLS Supporters' Shield win in 2005.

The owner of the San Jose Earthquakes, Anschutz Entertainment Group, announced on December 15, 2005 that the team was moving to Houston for the 2006 season due to the failure of securing a new soccer-specific stadium for the team in San Jose. The franchise was renamed to Houston 1836, then to Houston Dynamo. However, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said that the Earthquakes' name, colors, logo, wordmark, history and competitive records would not be transferred, similarly to the Cleveland Browns deal in the National Football League. The Houston Dynamo is technically considered an expansion team by MLS just as the Baltimore Ravens were by the NFL during their early years.

On May 24, 2006, an agreement was reached between Major League Soccer and the principal owners of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Lewis Wolff and John Fisher have a three year exclusive option to develop a soccer-specific stadium and bring an expansion franchise to the San Francisco Bay Area.

In September 2006, after nearly nine months of inactivity (displaying only Commissioner Garber's December 2005 letter of condolence to Earthquakes fans over the team's relocation), the team's website was revived to display updates on the progress of starting up the expansion San Jose Earthquakes franchise and to allow fans to sign up for the Earthquakes Soccer, LLC e-newsletter.

On July 18, 2007, Commissioner Don Garber announced, at his annual state of the league address, that the San Jose Earthquakes will resume play starting in the 2008 season after Lew Wolff exercised his option to purchase the new expansion team. The expansion team however retains all records, logos, colors and titles of the 1996–2005 franchise and is in essence a continuation of that franchise, while functionally being the 14th franchise to join MLS.

In October 2007 the Earthquakes announced they would be moving their offices from the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose to an office park across the street from their temporary home, Buck Shaw Stadium, and across the Caltrain tracks from the location of the former FMC site.

On November 6, 2007, the team announced that former Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop was returning to the team as head coach. According to ESPN.com, the Earthquakes compensated Yallop's previous employer, the Los Angeles Galaxy, with a third-round pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft.

On January 27, 2009, the team announced that Amway Global would be the primary shirt sponsor in a three-year deal. Amway Global is also a sponsor of AC Milan.

At a joint press conference on October 9, 2008, the Earthquakes and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. announced a strategic partnership between the two clubs. The partnership involves both business and soccer interests including, but not limited to, sharing marketing ideas, training facilities and playing friendlies against each other. The deal aims to grow each team's soccer interests and respective brands on both sides of the Atlantic.

On January 13, 2007, the San Jose Mercury News reported that the city of San Jose, San Jose State University and the Earthquakes owners were in negotiations to build a 22,000 permanent seat (with the option to increase the total capacity to 30,000 seats for any given game) soccer/football stadium just east of the Earthquakes' previous home of Spartan Stadium. The new facility would be privately built by Lewis Wolff and John Fisher, the primary owners of the Earthquakes, with San Jose State providing the needed land. Additionally, the team and the university would build community soccer fields across Senter Road in Kelley Park using still-unspent San Jose municipal bond money approved years earlier for such community soccer fields. The plan was for the new version of the San Jose Earthquakes to play in Spartan Stadium during the 2008 MLS season, then to move into the new stadium in 2009. Plans for the stadium collapsed on April 19 of that year after the Earthquakes and SJSU could not come to an agreement on revenue sharing for the stadium.

On May 8, the city of San Jose and Earthquakes Soccer, LLC confirmed that their new primary focus was on a site near San Jose International Airport on the site of the former FMC plant. The new site is owned by the city, which is exploring either leasing it to Earthquakes Soccer, LLC or selling it outright. The 75-acre site is adjacent to not only the airport but the planned BART extension to Santa Clara and the existing Santa Clara Caltrain station in addition to being in proximity to both Interstate 880 and U.S. Route 101. On June 12, 2007, the San Jose City Council voted unanimously to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to explore construction of a new stadium to bring MLS back to San Jose and adopted a resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into an Exclusive Right to Negotiate agreement with Wolff and his partners regarding the potential development of the former FMC site. The preliminary designs have yet to be released to the public. The first payment on the new stadium land of $3 million dollars was made the last week of June 2008.

The team currently plays its smaller attendance games at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara and its larger attendance games at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, and will continue to do so until the completion of a new soccer specific stadium in San Jose which is scheduled to open between 2010 and 2011.

Earthquakes games are televised locally on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Comcast SportsNet California, with John Shrader providing the play-by-play, Troy Dayak providing the color analysis and Christine Nubla providing reports from the sideline.

A number of games are instead televised nationally on ESPN2/ESPN2HD/ESPN Deportes, Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Español and TeleFutura.

On radio, all Earthquakes games are broadcast in English on KDOW-AM while all home games are also broadcast in Spanish on the team's website. A weekly five-minute English-language Earthquakes news report airs on Fridays at 7 p.m. PT on KNBR 1050 AM throughout the season.

The San Jose Earthquakes Anthem is performed by Bay Area rapper E-40.

As of March 25, 2009.

This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.

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All-time San Jose Earthquakes roster

This list comprises all players who have participated in at least one league match for San Jose Earthquakes (formerly known as San Jose Clash) since the team's first Major League Soccer season in 1996. Players who were on the roster but never played a first team game are not listed; players who appeared for the team in other competitions (US Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, etc.) but never actually made an MLS appearance are noted at the bottom of the page.

A "†" denotes players who only appeared in a single match.

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Major League Soccer

MLS Logo.svg

Major League Soccer, or MLS, is the top-flight professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. The league is comprised of 15 teams, 14 in the U.S. and one in Canada. MLS represents the top tier of the American and Canadian soccer pyramids.

MLS was founded in 1993 as part of the bid for the United States to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The first season took place in 1996 beginning with 10 teams. Seasons run from late March or early April to November, with teams playing 30 regular season games each. Eight teams from the league compete in the post-season MLS Cup Playoffs, which culminate in MLS Cup.

The 2009 Major League Soccer season runs from March 19 to November. The 15 teams in the league are divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences — seven in the Eastern Conference, eight in the Western Conference. Each team plays 30 games, evenly divided between home and away matches. Each team competes against every other team twice, home and away, for a total of 28 games. The remaining two games are intra-conference matches, often highlighting geographic and conference rivalries.

MLS has four berths in the CONCACAF Champions League. For CONCACAF Champions League 2009–10, qualifying teams include MLS Cup 2008 and Supporters' Shield winner the Columbus Crew, Supporters' Shield runner-up the Houston Dynamo, MLS Cup runner-up the New York Red Bulls, and 2008 U.S. Open Cup winner D.C. United. Columbus and Houston are automatically seeded into the Group Stage, while New York and D.C. are required to play in the Preliminary Round.

MLS also has four berths in SuperLiga, a competition jointly organized by MLS and Mexico's national football governing body, the FMF. The top four overall teams from the 2008 season, excluding those participating in the Champions League, qualify for SuperLiga 2009. This includes the Chicago Fire, the New England Revolution, the Kansas City Wizards, and Chivas USA.

In 1996, Major League Soccer's original ten teams, the Columbus Crew, D.C. United, the New England Revolution, the NY/NJ MetroStars, the Tampa Bay Mutiny, the Colorado Rapids, the Dallas Burn, the Kansas City Wiz, the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Clash, began play. The early years of the league gave rise to the Bruce Arena-led dynasty of D.C. United, which won MLS Cups in three of the league's first four seasons. It took the expansion Chicago Fire in 1998 to end United's stranglehold on MLS Cup. Also joining the league in 1998 was the Miami Fusion.

After its first season, MLS suffered from a decline in attendance. The league's quality was cast into doubt when the U.S. men's national team, made up largely of MLS players, was eliminated in the first round of the 1998 World Cup and finished in last place.

The league began to market itself on the talents of American players, both experienced veterans and fresh talents. Breakout stars like DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan began making names for themselves in MLS before breaking into and starring for the U.S. national team, while established players such as Brian McBride, Eddie Pope, and Clint Mathis continued to prove their value to both their MLS clubs and the U.S. national team.

The league's ongoing financial problems led to the departure of Commissioner Doug Logan after the end of the 1998 season. Don Garber, a former NFL International chief, was hired in his place and his leadership became instrumental to shoring up the league's future. Construction of "soccer-specific" stadiums for the league's teams, largely funded by financiers such as Lamar Hunt and Phil Anschutz, became a point of emphasis to bring fiscal health and ensure the league's survival. Hunt's Columbus Crew Stadium, built in 1999, is often cited as a league model.

On the field, the early wave of international players who had joined MLS at its inception drifted into retirement or moved on to clubs elsewhere in the world. The run-up to the 2002 World Cup saw a gradual shift in the league's philosophy toward the development of American talent, a move that would eventually lead to success for U.S. Soccer.

Despite this movement, declining attendances forced MLS to stop the bleeding by contracting the two Florida franchises, the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion, just a few years after their establishment. This left the league with 10 teams, the same number as when the league began.

The 2002 World Cup, in which the United States unexpectedly made the quarterfinals through wins against Portugal and Mexico, triggered a resurgence in American soccer and MLS. At MLS Cup 2002, held four months after the 2002 World Cup final, set an attendance record as a sellout crowd at Gillette Stadium saw the Los Angeles Galaxy win their first title.

MLS drew international attention in 2004 with the debut of 14-year-old Freddy Adu for D.C. United, who entered the league with much fanfare and was heralded as one of the top prospects in American soccer history.

MLS underwent a significant transition in the years leading up to the 2006 World Cup. After marketing itself on the talents of American players, the league saw some of its homegrown stars depart for more prominent leagues in Europe. Tim Howard, goalkeeper for the MetroStars, was sold to Manchester United in one of the most lucrative contract deals in league history. DaMarcus Beasley of the Chicago Fire left for PSV, while Landon Donovan, on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, was recalled to Germany. Donovan's stint in Germany was brief; before the start of the 2005 MLS season he was sold back to MLS to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Many more American players, though they factored little in the U.S. national team picture, did make an impact in MLS. In 2005, Jason Kreis of expansion club Real Salt Lake became the first player to score at least 100 career MLS goals. In 2005, the now defunct MLS Reserve Division was created, with each reserve squad playing 12 games, providing valuable playing time to develop non-starters on team rosters.

It was also in this era that MLS expanded for the first time since the contraction of 2001. Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA began play in 2004, with Chivas USA becoming the second club in Los Angeles, sharing The Home Depot Center with the Galaxy. Chivas USA also became the first team in MLS to be directly connected to a foreign club, as they are the sister club of Guadalajara. A year later the San Jose Earthquakes were moved to Texas, becoming the Houston Dynamo, after funding for a soccer-specific stadium could not be found in San Jose. The Dynamo were treated as an expansion franchise, leaving their history behind for the new ownership group that would materialize a few years after the move, in 2008.

Since 2006, Major League Soccer's leadership has taken steps to "internationalize" the league in an effort to raise the level of play. Among the first moves in this regard was the Designated Player Rule, which helped MLS bring international stars into the league, despite the relatively meager MLS salary cap, and the creation of the SuperLiga, which pits the best of MLS against top Mexican clubs in an effort to provide more meaningful competition for both leagues. MLS changed the rules regarding foreign players in the league to allow more of them. However, despite the increasing number of foreign players in MLS, the Houston Dynamo were able to establish a domestic dynasty, winning both the 2006 and 2007 titles with mostly American and Canadian talent.

The 2006 season confirmed Major League Soccer as a stable entity within both American and international soccer. Bob Bradley, whose reputation was scarred by disappointing results when coaching the MetroStars, turned around second-year Chivas USA, who in their inaugural season had finished last among all teams in the league.

The 2007 season saw the MLS debut of David Beckham, whose signing has been seen as a coup for American soccer. Beckham's signing by the Los Angeles Galaxy was made possible by the Designated Player Rule. Marcelo Gallardo of Paris Saint-Germain transferred to D.C. United, Cuauhtémoc Blanco of Club América signed for the Chicago Fire, and Juan Pablo Ángel, who moved from Aston Villa to the New York Red Bulls, are just some of the Designated Players who have made major contributions to their clubs.

The departures of Clint Dempsey to Fulham and Jozy Altidore to Villarreal, coupled with the return of former U.S. national team stars Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride to New York and Chicago, respectively, highlight the exchange of top prospects to Europe for experienced veterans for MLS. Several other well-known foreign players have followed Beckham and Blanco to MLS, including Guillermo Barros Schelotto to Columbus and Freddie Ljungberg to Seattle.

Toronto FC, who joined the league for the 2007 season, were the league's first entrant from Canada.

In the inaugural SuperLiga 2007, which was the product of the league's marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing, the Los Angeles Galaxy lost on penalty kicks to Pachuca, as the league attempted to translate the traditional rivalry between the U.S. and Mexican national teams to the club level. Though it has only two seasons of existence, the tournament has been declared a success for both leagues. Due to the success of SuperLiga and the expansion of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup into the CONCACAF Champions League it was decided that clubs would no longer be permitted to enter both competitions. This helped solve the problem of fixture congestion during the 2007 and 2008 MLS seasons and gives half the league the opportunity to compete in international competition each season.

At the beginning of the 2009 MLS season, the newest expansion franchise to join the league began play as Seattle Sounders FC. Opening to a 30,000+ capacity crowd at Qwest Field (home of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks), the franchise debuted with a 3-0 win over 2008 MLS Cup finalist New York Redbull. The result was sure to please its owners, incuding minority owner, the new host of The Price is Right, comedian Drew Carey. At halftime, League Commisioner Don Garber announced that the league would be expanding to 16 teams at the start of the 2010 season with the inception of a Philadelphia franchise. Garber also added that the league would jump to 18 teams by the start of the 2011 MLS season, announcing that both Vancouver and Portland had earned the rights to the league's sixth and seventh expansion franchises since 2005.

While the announcement of the leagues expansion has excited the American soccer community, the elimination of the league's reserve system due to the country's barren economy, has limited each teams roster as well as forced the countries elite college players to seek international opportunities abroad.

Recently "expansion," "contraction," and "rebranding" have become buzzwords for the league and its fans. The league has renewed its emphasis on improving the quality of play by its teams via initiatives such as the Designated Player Rule and the creation of a league-wide youth development system.

MLS operates under a single-entity structure in which teams are centrally controlled by the league. In order to keep costs under control, revenues are shared throughout the league, player contracts are negotiated by the league, and ultimately players are contracted not with individual teams but with the league itself. The league fought a bitter legal battle with its players over its economic system, but this was eventually resolved with the players gaining some improved benefits in return for accepting the single entity structure. A court had also ruled that even absent their collective bargaining agreement, players could opt to play in other leagues if they were unsatisfied.

Commissioner Garber has stated that having multiple clubs owned by a single owner was a necessity in the first 10 years of MLS, but now that the league appears to be on the brink of overall profitability and has significant expansion plans, he wants each club to have a distinct owner. In order to help bring this about, the league is now giving more incentive to be an individual club owner, with all owners now having the rights to a certain number of players they develop through their club's academy system each year, sharing the profits of Soccer United Marketing, and being able to sell individual club jersey sponsorships.

At one time AEG owned six teams in MLS, and have since sold the Colorado Rapids, the MetroStars, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire to new owners. AEG's remaining teams are the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. The other major owner-investor in MLS has been Hunt Sports, which owns the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas, having sold the Kansas City Wizards in to a local ownership group in 2006. The league now has 16 owners for their 18 clubs (including the 2010 Philadelphia club and the 2011 Vancouver and Portland teams).

The 2006-2007 MLS offseason has been considered by some to be the most productive in the history of the league, and there were a number of changes made to the league, which have brought about an increase in the league's ability to compete financially as well as on the field. The league announced a youth development initiative, which will require youth development programs for all of the league's teams. The hope is that by being able to sign up to two of its own youth players to the senior team each year that the league's teams will have an incentive to improve the quality of the league's talent in an organic way that will also benefit the league through transfer fees for outgoing players. Perhaps the first example of a success in "home-grown" talent development was New York's Jozy Altidore, who rose to prominence as one of the league's most skilled young strikers before fetching the league's record transfer fee in his move to Villarreal in 2008.

Furthering the development of the league was the decision to create the Designated Player Rule, which allows for clubs to pay up to two players a salary beyond that covered in the salary cap at their own expense. A host of veteran players including Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Juan Pablo Ángel, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, and David Beckham joined MLS and improved the league's level of play and the game's overall profile in the U.S. and the league's profile abroad.

The league also announced "Game First", a series of initiatives aimed at improving the league in several ways. One of the most immediate changes is that U.S. Soccer hired the first full-time professional referees in league history. Another part of "Game First" was the creation of an official league anthem similar to other competitions from around the world. There are two versions of the MLS Anthem, an orchestral version that is performed before every regular season game and an orchestral chorus version with a chorus that is played before the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup.

Since 1999, the league has overseen the construction and completion of seven venues specifically designed for soccer. Lamar Hunt broke new ground in this endeavor by financing the construction of Columbus Crew Stadium. The Los Angeles Galaxy followed four years later with the opening of The Home Depot Center in 2003. Chivas USA has shared this venue with the Galaxy since their expansion season in 2004. It also played host to two consecutive MLS Cups, until FC Dallas opened Pizza Hut Park in 2005 and hosted the next two championships. The Chicago Fire began playing their home games in Toyota Park in 2006. 2007 saw the opening of Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the Colorado Rapids and BMO Field for the expansion Toronto FC. Near the end of the 2008 season, Rio Tinto Stadium became the new home of Real Salt Lake.

Other stadiums are currently under construction. Red Bull Arena, the new home of Red Bull New York, began construction in December 2007 with the goal of beginning play there at some point in 2009. D.C. United, the Kansas City Wizards, the Houston Dynamo, the New England Revolution, and the San Jose Earthquakes are actively searching for ways to finance and build their respective stadiums.

Seattle Sounders FC play at Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, and the owners have pledged that only the lower portion of the stadium will be used in order to create a better atmosphere for soccer. The Philadelphia team plans to play in the new Chester Stadium when they enter the league in 2010. In 2011 the Portland Timbers will begin play in a newly-renovated PGE Park, a multisport stadium that will be converted into a soccer-specific stadium before the Timbers begin play. Also starting in 2011, the Vancouver team will begin play in a refurbished BC Place, and they will remain there until at least 2016, by which time the team hopes to complete construction on a planned soccer-specific stadium.

The move to soccer-specific stadiums has been seen by many as essential to building up attendance and fan support for MLS. So far, every club that has built its own stadium has not only seen its game attendance rise, but also has helped MLS achieve profitability. Thanks to their new stadium, the Los Angeles Galaxy became the first club to make a profit, followed in 2006 by FC Dallas.

At the outset, MLS signed deals for coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, while Univision, Galavision, and Telemundo broadcasted matches in Spanish. The original Univision deal lapsed after a few years, leaving only the ABC/ESPN family of networks as the league's national broadcasters. Fox Sports World (later rebranded as Fox Soccer Channel in 2005), Fox Sports en Español and HDNet began airing matches in 2003. The 2007 MLS season was the first season, however, for which television rights were sold to networks at a profit. Previously, MLS paid networks to broadcast its games. It is estimated MLS will receive about $30 million from TV revenue alone within the next eight years.

With the addition of Toronto FC, coverage of MLS expanded into Canada in 2007. The CBC, The Score and Rogers Sportsnet all broadcast Toronto matches nationwide.

The league's MLS Direct Kick package, which broadcasts out-of-market matches, has been expanded to ensure that every league match is broadcast. Univision and its family of networks resumed MLS broadcasts in 2007 as well, with most matches airing on TeleFutura and Galavision on Sunday afternoons and evenings.

The 2007 season was the first in the league's history in which every regular season match was telecast live, and many games were shown on national television. MLS Primetime Thursday on ESPN networks featured a live match for the first time on Thursdays each week, and Fox Soccer Channel's MLS Saturday expanded to a 3-hour format, with both a pregame and postgame show wrapped around the featured match each week. Additionally, Fox Soccer Channel produces their own news on MLS and special original programs on players, such as Beckham Unwrapped, a biographical update for summer 2007 on the Galaxy's David Beckham.

Major League Soccer also offers streaming live video of some matches via its website.

Sports Business Journal reported on December 23, 2008 that MLS and Soccer United Marketing had signed an international television broadcast contract with sports media company MP & Silva through 2013. The figure is reportedly an "eight-figure deal" that covers the "rights to all MLS games, tournaments and events, including MLS regular season, MLS Cup Playoffs, MLS Cup, and the international competitions SuperLiga, InterLiga, and Pan-Pacific Championship." InterLiga is the only non-MLS competition included in the deal. MP & Silva CEO Carlo Pozzali acknowledged that high profile, international players who were lured to MLS by the designated player rule have raised the international awareness and potential for popularity of MLS in international markets.

Major League Soccer has lost more than $350 million since its founding, according to a report by BusinessWeek in 2004. However, there are positive signs for profitability in the near future. As soccer-specific stadiums are built, ownership expands and television coverage increases, MLS has managed to see their revenues increase while costs are kept to a minimum. The 2003 season saw the Los Angeles Galaxy make a profit in their first season at The Home Depot Center, while FC Dallas turned a profit in similar fashion after moving into Pizza Hut Park in 2005.

Television coverage has consistently expanded throughout the league's history, as MLS brokered a deal with ESPN in 2006 for rights fees and a greater presence across its networks. The 2007 season saw the return of MLS to Univision and its Spanish-language networks. They joined Fox Soccer Channel and HDNet as the U.S. national outlets, and the league has mandated that every league game receive television coverage either nationally or locally in one or both teams' cities for broadcast on its Direct Kick package.

In 2007, MLS teams started selling ad space on the front of jerseys to go along with the league-wide sponsorship partners who had already been advertising on the back of club jerseys, following the practice of international sport, specifically soccer. The league has established a floor of $500,000 per shirt sponsorship, with the league receiving a flat fee of $200,000 per deal. Online gambling and hard liquor sponsorships are prohibited. As of January 2009, eleven of the league's fifteen teams have signed sponsorship deals to have company logos placed on the front of their team jerseys.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said on May 11, 2006 that he expects the league's clubs to be profitable by 2010 overall. He reported that FC Dallas and the L.A. Galaxy are already profitable, with several other clubs nearing profitability. A year later, he revealed that the Chicago Fire, the Colorado Rapids, and Toronto FC were on track for profitability by 2008.. However in 2008 there were only three profitable MLS franchises; LA Galaxy, Toronto FC and FC Dallas .

MLS experimented with deviations from IFAB rules and standards in its early years, some of which had been used in the NASL and continue to be used in college soccer and many high school associations.

Among them was the use of a countdown clock, rather than a standard progressive clock, with time paused for dead ball situations at a referee's discretion. Halves ended when the clock reached 0:00, rather than at the whistle of the referee as was customary elsewhere.

Also implemented was the use of shootouts to resolve tie games. These best-of-five contests placed a player 35 yards from goal with five seconds to put the ball past the opposing goalkeeper; if needed the shootout progressed into extra frames. A winning team received one standings point (as opposed to three for the regulation win).

While IFAB rules allow teams to substitute three players during games, MLS allowed a fourth, goalkeeper-only substitute. MLS discarded the rule after 2003 and adopted the IFAB standard, prompted in part by a match in which then MetroStars coach and current U.S. national team manager Bob Bradley used a loophole to insert an outfield player as a fourth substitute.

MLS eventually conceded that the rules changes, particularly the shootout, had alienated some traditional soccer fans while failing to draw new American sports fans as hoped. The shootout and countdown clock were eliminated after the 1999 season.

MLS continued to experiment with the settling of tie games in regular season play. In 2000, a 10-minute golden goal period replaced the shootout for tied games. It was abandoned after 2003. The golden-goal overtime remained through 2004 for playoff matches, where it had been used since the league's inception.

In 2005 the league adopted a playoff extra time structure that followed new IFAB standards for such situations: two full 15-minute periods, followed by penalty kicks if necessary. The away goals rule is not used in any playoff round.

There are 15 MLS teams divided between the Eastern and Western Conferences. Each club is allowed 24 players on their full roster.

Before its maiden season and inaugural draft, MLS allocated four marquee players across the initial ten teams. These inaugural allocations consisted of key U.S. national team and international players such as Eric Wynalda and Hugo Sánchez.

The league added its first two expansion teams for the 1998 season: Miami Fusion and Chicago Fire. However, following the 2001 season, Miami and the Tampa Bay Mutiny were disbanded and MLS returned to ten teams. Since the 2004 season, the league has expanded with six new clubs: Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA in 2005, the Houston Dynamo in 2006, and Toronto FC in 2007. After relocating as an expansion team to Houston in 2006, the San Jose Earthquakes returned from hiatus in 2008. Seattle Sounders FC joined MLS for the 2009 season.

As of 2009, MLS has had seventeen different clubs over the years, but only seven have won the MLS Cup.

MLS will expand to 16 teams in 2010, will expand to 18 teams in 2011, and plans to expand to 20 teams in 2012. A Philadelphia club is in place for 2010 with Vancouver and Portland joining the following season, and two yet to be determined franchises would begin play a year after that. The Philadelphia club will play in a 20,000-seat stadium to be built just west of the Commodore Barry Bridge in Chester, Pennsylvania. No name for the team has been announced.

On March 18, 2009 a press conference announced that a new MLS team in Vancouver will replace the existing USL-1 club in that city, and that it would keep some form of the "Whitecaps" name. Vancouver will join the league in 2011. For at least its first season the Vancouver MLS club will play in BC Place stadium, which by then will have been renovated to include a soccer-specific configuration. However, the Vancouver ownership group is still hopeful that a new, completely soccer specific stadium will be approved for construction on the waterfront in downtown Vancouver.

On March 20, 2009 a press conference announced that a new MLS team in Portland will replace the existing USL-1 club in that city, and would keep the Portland Timbers name. Portland will join the league in 2011.

Originally, in the style of other U.S. sports, teams were given nicknames at their creation such as the Columbus Crew, San Jose Clash, or Tampa Bay Mutiny. D.C. United and Miami Fusion F.C. were the two exceptions that adopted more traditional names. However, new teams such as Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC have adopted names similar to European clubs, and FC Dallas changed its name from the Dallas Burn. Some of club names have their origins in defunct American professional soccer leagues like the NASL, such as the original San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders.

Chivas USA is the only MLS team whose name does not specify a specific city, state or region. The club is named after the Mexican side Guadalajara, who are often known by their nickname "Chivas," which translates to "Goats". The Mexican club (based in Guadalajara, Mexico) and Chivas USA share the same ownership. Though Real Salt Lake was not originally affiliated with Real Madrid, in 2006 the two clubs signed an agreement to play friendly matches every two years, and to co-sponsor a soccer academy and training facility in Utah. The beverage company Red Bull owns Red Bull New York, the Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg, and the lower-level Brazilian club Red Bull Brasil.

Bold indicates active MLS players.

There are 10 awards given out by the Major League Soccer each year.

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Source : Wikipedia