On Friday, when word started spreading that USSF would have a decision that day on D2 and D3 sanctioning, you could hardly blame people for not holding their breath. But at the close of the longest 7-10 days any of us have ever experienced, there was an announcement. The NASL and the USL were both given provisional D2 status for 2017. Both leagues will be required to meet additional criteria. Exactly what those requirements will be and the timeline weren’t announced.
Following the announcement was a flurry of statements. Moving from D3 to D2, the USL statement was understandably more celebratory than the statement from the NASL, who had barely escaped a collapse. NASL’s statement included the eight teams who would be playing 2017 (most with a statement of their own): FC Edmonton, Indy Eleven, Jacksonville Armada FC (who snuck in news of a prospective buyer), Miami FC, New York Cosmos, North Carolina FC, Puerto Rico FC, and San Francisco Deltas. Absent from the list were the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, but they hinted that we should stay tuned.
— Strikers (@FTLStrikers) January 7, 2017
According to Sports Illustrated, former Gopher Kyndra de St. Aubin will be doing the color commentator for team broadcasts.
“The fledgling MLS franchise coming to Minnesota has hired Kyndra de St. Aubin to do color commentary. St. Aubin, who has done games for Fox Sports, is a former University of Minnesota soccer player.”
She was a Fox Sports color commentator for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. You can hear some excellent commentary on her highlight reel from that tournament.
This is a great hire for Minnesota United FC, as she is clearly talented and has an excellent soccer IQ, having played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
There are many fans that she will have to win over, as she will be replacing the beloved Minnesota soccer icon Alan Wiley. He spoke to the Pioneer Press’ Andy Greder shortly after the news broke of the de St. Austin hire and sounded ok with the change.
With this signing, could this be a signal that Minnesota United FC might end up with a tv deal with Fox Sports North?
No word yet on Chris Lidholm, who has been doing Minnesota play-by-play with few interruptions for 24 years.
Neil Morris asked some burning questions about NASL and the USSF decision, and North Carolina FC owner Steve Malik answered. Definitely worth a read.
— Neil Morris (@ByNeilMorris) January 8, 2017
The first two games of the 2017 adidas MLS Player Combine were played Sunday afternoon. American Soccer Analysis compiled profiles of the invited players. Presumed first pick Jeremy Ebobisse wasn’t present for Sunday’s games and is expected to arrive Monday. Minnesotan Jackson Yueill, another top pick for the SuperDraft, had a good showing on the first day, scoring a goal for Team Control. Daniel Johnson also drew some attention for his performance.
Buzz about the combine and the top players started well before the play did. Minnesota United is most certainly in an enviable position with the first pick in the SuperDraft on Friday.
Just landed & combine buzz already heating up. Per sources multiple teams have contacted MIN, ATL and CHI about getting into top 3 in draft.
— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) January 7, 2017
Here’s a little fuel for the Rambarra hype machine:
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) January 7, 2017
Ian Harkes of Wake Forest University is taking home the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy, the top individual honor in college soccer. Ian’s dad, John Harkes, knows exactly how he feels. He won the prestigious award himself in 1987. They are the first father/son pair to earn the award.
MAC Players of the Year
1987: John Harkes
2016: Ian Harkes
— NSCAA College (@NSCAACollege) January 7, 2017
Rob Harris Interviewed FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
FIFA set to confirm on Tues the WC to be 48 teams from 2026. Asked Infantino last wk how much bigger can get. Video:pic.twitter.com/PHQltevh2W
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) January 8, 2017