Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2019

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Well, Crew fans, here's the latest long form on how Jimmy and Dee Haslem operate their other sports franchise, the Cleveland Browns.

 

Excerpt:

Quote

The same day that he fired Farmer and Pettine, Haslam promoted Brown to executive vice president of football operations and indeed pledged not to blow things up. Brown had spent years behind the scenes and now was a public face of one of the most fascinating experiments in sports, the envy of all of the NFL's young capologists who had dreamed of implementing football's version of Moneyball, many of whom were impressed that Browns executives had pulled off one of the toughest sells in football: convincing the owner of the plan. Brown was calm, eloquent and handsome and had graduated from Harvard Law School, which led Haslam to nickname him Obama. Haslam laughed at the nickname, but it offended many in the building as racial stereotyping -- a sentiment that became even more amplified in 2018 after a secret recording of Mark Hazelwood, a person close to Haslam and a former president at Pilot, was made public. On the recording, Hazelwood used a racial slur to describe football fans in a meeting of Pilot executives at which Haslam said he wasn't present. According to co-workers, Brown -- who declined comment -- didn't think Haslam was being disrespectful with the Obama nickname, even if it caused others to cringe. Haslam has hired many minorities in senior leadership positions and often holds long conversations with staffers about race, expressing curiosity about different backgrounds and upbringings as a member of the league's social justice committee. In a 2017 speech to the NAACP, Haslam admitted his upbringing was "as white as you can get" and said the NFL was his "first experience in diversity."

 

A few days after promoting Brown, the team set out to find a new coach. They had spent hours trying to identify the ideal traits of successful coaches, whiteboarding, crunching statistics and debating candidate strengths and weaknesses. Many executives later described the meetings to associates as among the most inspiring and memorable of their Browns careers. Haslam would eat hard-boiled eggs and leave shell shards on the floor while firing off incisive questions and offering thoughtful opinions. He was known to occasionally doze off in long group meetings, but in these gatherings he was energized and engaged, stewarding the plan, leading discussions and then telling everyone to sleep on it before diving back in the next day. 

2

 

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3 hours ago, Gothamite said:

And yet, they’re a step up from Precourt.  That’s what Austin is getting. 


If we limit ourselves to just sports ownership, sure.

However, if we look beyond the parameters of sports ownership, Precourt is little more than an entitled trust-fund brat.

By comparison, Jimmy Haslam is the CEO of Pilot Travel Centers LLC (aka Pilot Flying J), a company which paid a $92 million penalty to the federal government as part of a criminal enforcement agreement following an investigation that uncovered the fact that said company had fraudulently withheld $56 million in fuel rebates and discounts from customers.     

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Landon Donovan has signed a contract with the San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League.

Landon Donovan Signs with the San Diego Sockers

Recharged Landon Donovan joins San Diego Sockers, 'passionate' about new challenge

Source: Donovan to make $250,000 by joining arena league side

According to varying reports, Donovan will earn a salary of $250,000 to finish the season with the Sockers. That figure represents the highest in the 11-year history of the league. Donovan will first suit-up for the Sockers' February 15th home match against the Tacoma Stars. At that point on the schedule, the Sockers will have just 11 regular season games left, 6 of them at home.   

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In a perfect world Crew fans would rather not have the Browns owners, but they're essentially faced with choosing a single punch in the stomach over multiple baseball bat uppercuts to the nuts. Even with his criminal activity that he skirted because money talks in this country, he's committed to keeping the team in the city and will build a nice stadium. The other guy lied so he could move their team in his preferred city. It's pretty clear why Crew fans don't really care about the Flying J stuff. 

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11 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

In a perfect world Crew fans would rather not have the Browns owners, but they're essentially faced with choosing a single punch in the stomach over multiple baseball bat uppercuts to the nuts. Even with his criminal activity that he skirted because money talks in this country, he's committed to keeping the team in the city and will build a nice stadium. The other guy lied so he could move their team in his preferred city. It's pretty clear why Crew fans don't really care about the Flying J stuff. 

 

The lesser of two evils principle so to speak. 

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1 hour ago, Brian in Boston said:

Landon Donovan has signed a contract with the San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League.

Landon Donovan Signs with the San Diego Sockers

Recharged Landon Donovan joins San Diego Sockers, 'passionate' about new challenge

Source: Donovan to make $250,000 by joining arena league side

According to varying reports, Donovan will earn a salary of $250,000 to finish the season with the Sockers. That figure represents the highest in the 11-year history of the league. Donovan will first suit-up for the Sockers' February 15th home match against the Tacoma Stars. At that point on the schedule, the Sockers will have just 11 regular season games left, 6 of them at home.   

Hopefully he brings the league some much needed attention. The product is solid, especially in person. If you have a team in your area, I suggest going to see it. It’s much closer to hockey than soccer and tickets are usually reasonable... because they’re not selling hardly any. 

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I will say this about Precourt: the Crew have been pretty decently competitive while he was in charge, even at the point where he was otherwise sandbagging everything. With any luck, the three or four dozen passionate fans in Austin who are excited for MLS will have another squad of good value players, and maybe even another future USMNT manager.

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The thing you have to realize about Haslam is that the Browns are his 'baby'. The Crew were a business opportunity to make him look good. He doesn't know anything about soccer. He'll just have someone with a notable reputation in the sport run things and he'll leave it at that.

 

The Browns are his billion dollar play thing. HE WILL play with his billion dollar toy. It's not just going to sit on a shelf while he collects the checks.

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19 minutes ago, Sykotyk said:

The thing you have to realize about Haslam is that the Browns are his 'baby'. The Crew were a business opportunity to make him look good. He doesn't know anything about soccer. He'll just have someone with a notable reputation in the sport run things and he'll leave it at that.

 

The Browns are his billion dollar play thing. HE WILL play with his billion dollar toy. It's not just going to sit on a shelf while he collects the checks.

 

Plus there is hope in the air after the Browns had a 7 win season, giving their long suffering fan base a lot of optimism for the next season. 

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So, who’s hairbrained idea was it to have a friendly in Glendale at the same time Royal Rumble is going on downtown? 

 

That’s either the worst scheduling luck ever or amazingly stupid. Or it’s both. 

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Oh, I hadn't even thought of that. I feel like that's just a relatively small factor in the many reasons it was stupid to hold that friendly there. Hard to believe the USSF is making any money with attendances like that.

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2 hours ago, Digby said:

Oh, I hadn't even thought of that. I feel like that's just a relatively small factor in the many reasons it was stupid to hold that friendly there. Hard to believe the USSF is making any money with attendances like that.

Playing Panama in Arizona instead of Florida or Nashville will probably get you smaller crowds too. I'm pretty sure the cheap seats probably still cost $55 at the lowest prices. That's another factor as well. They charge prices for friendlies like they're tournament games and tournament games like they're World Cup matches.  

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I saw the crowd at last night's friendly and thought they'd would have been better off hosting at an MLS stadium. Most of them are sitting empty this time of year anyway.

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The Carolina Panthers will be hosting a pair of focus groups designed to give attendees the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions on the possibility of a Major League Soccer team setting up shop at a renovated Bank of America Stadium. Apparently, the Panthers partnered with the Charlotte Soccer Academy to target potential participants.

Carolina Panthers to host focus group session gauging interest and discussing logistics of MLS team in Bank of America Stadium

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Today, USSF is due to announce the format of the 2019 US Open Cup. They're pushing "a record number of pro teams"; I'd rather they push "a record number of teams."

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https://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/toronto-fc-sell-sebastian-giovinco-saudi-club-al-hilal/

 

I'm not surprised. I've always thought this would be his last year I'm confident that TFC wouldn't be able to sell him for more had they been able to sign him to a new contract and waited a few years to make the sale. No way TFC was going to pay him $11 mil a year either. 

 

So Bez leaves and the roster is just emptying. Ricketts, Hagglund, Giovinco, Van Der Wiel, Vazquez......and apparently there are LigaMX teams asking for Altidore. So....that was fun for a couple years. 

 

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