Front Office

28 May 11:30 am

L’émission de cette semaine (à écouter ici) ne pouvait pas passer à côté des deux sujets ultra brûlants du moment : l’arrivée de New York City en MLS et la finale retour du Championnat canadien Amway. Pour en parler, retrouvez Frédéric Lord, Matthias Van Halst, Olivier Tremblay, Olivier Brett et Patrick Leduc.

New York City se joindra donc à la MLS en 2015. Si on est loin d’avoir une équipe sur le terrain, les questions se bousculent déjà. Parmi les principaux thèmes de notre débat :

  • L’effet de cette arrivée pour la MLS
  • Les risques du mariage à trois Manchester City - New York Yankees - MLS
  • Le stade de New York City, clef de son succès ?
  • Marketing, un mot qui revient souvent dans les discussions
  • Les conséquences pour les New York Red Bulls
  • Et le Cosmos là-dedans ?

Ce mercredi, Vancouver reçoit Montréal pour le match qui décidera du représentant canadien en Ligue des champions. Qu’en attendre après le 0-0 à l’aller ?

  • Qui est favori ?
  • Avec quel état d’esprit Vancouver se présentera-t-il sur le terrain ?
  • L’effet du décalage horaire pour les joueurs montréalais
  • Di Vaio pourra-t-il autant peser sur la rencontre que face à Philadelphie ?
  • Le gazon artificiel et les vétérans italiens

On se penche aussi sur le match amical Canada - Costa Rica, sur son importance et son influence, ainsi que sur le feuilleton du sélectionneur national canadien (voir l’article de la CBC à ce sujet) et – n’y voyez aucun lien – sur le retour de Marc Dos Santos au Canada.

L'émission Coup Franc est disponible sur Stitcher et iTunes. Vous pouvez nous joindre par courriel (, sur Facebook ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

20 March 12:35 pm

Two of the brightest, boldest executives in MLS have earned places on Sports Business Journal's annual “Forty Under 40” list of top young personalities in the sports business world.


Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson and Sporting Kansas City part-owner Robb Heineman (right) have received the honor, a repeat feat for both men.

In fact, it's the third straight year Paulson has made the list, elevating him to the “Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame,” while Heineman (at right, with MLS Commissioner Don Garber) can savor a second consecutive nomination.

As part of the honor, SBJ profiled both executives, hailing Heineman's role in his club's renaissance over the past two years and his forward-leaning approach to technology and fan relations.

“Through social media, we’re trying to give fans a sense of ownership,” Heineman said. “They’re not just fans, but they help shape some of the decisions that we make.”

Meanwhile, Paulson spoke to the publication about his outspoken public profile and use of Twitter to connect with the public – and occasionally even share his opinions of refereeing decisions and the like.


“I’m trying to be a little bit less of the face of the team this season,” Paulson (right) told SBJ. “I don’t mind being out there, but if the owner is too much a part of the story of the team, that’s ultimately a negative thing.”

LA Galaxy and Chivas USA fans may be interested to note that Ray Elias, chief marketing officer for StubHub, who will assume naming rights for the Home Depot Center later this year, is also on the list

23 January 5:27 pm

La Major League Soccer et l’USL PRO (division professionnelle des United Soccer Leagues) ont annoncé aujourd’hui un partenariat qui, pour 2013, comprendra des matchs entre les équipes réserves des clubs de MLS et les formations d’USL PRO ainsi que la mise en place de plusieurs affiliations exclusives entre équipes. D’autres initiatives techniques et commerciales entre les deux entités seront annoncées lorsqu’elles seront finalisées au cours des prochains mois.

Chaque affiliation entre clubs sera adaptée afin de répondre aux besoins des équipes respectives, mais toutes comprendront au moins quatre prêts à long terme de joueurs du club de MLS à sa filiale en USL PRO. Les clubs de MLS ayant une filiale officielle en USL PRO n’auront pas de représentant au championnat 2013 de la Division réserves de la MLS. Aucun club de MLS ni d’USL PRO n’est obligé de conclure un accord d’affiliation. Certaines affiliations déjà entérinées seront annoncées au cours des prochains jours.

Sur le terrain, chacune des 13 équipes d’USL PRO disputera deux matchs contre des équipes réserves de clubs de MLS. À l’exception d’Antigua, qui jouera deux fois sur le terrain des équipes réserves de MLS, les équipes d’USL PRO ont été couplées avec un seul club de MLS pour un double duel comprenant un match sur le terrain de chaque équipe. Ces rencontres seront officielles, leur résultat comptant donc aussi bien pour le classement en USL PRO qu’en Division réserves de la MLS (chacun des deux championnats étant bel et bien organisé cette année). Les détails de ces matchs seront annoncés lors de la communication prochaine du calendrier officiel 2013 de l’USL PRO.

17 December 8:20 pm

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson isn't exactly a shy guy. Especially on Twitter. He's apologized one more than one occasion for being a little too, well, a little too honest on the social-networking site.

But you can often read between the lines as to what's going on even when Paulson's being less than forthcoming. So please take the following with the appropriate grain of salt.

On Sunday, Mix Diskerud's father and agent told that Timbers head coach Caleb Porter had contacted his former US Under-23 midfielder and discussed the possibility of the Norwegian-American joining his building project in Portland.

Then on Monday the news broke from the league office that Mobi Fehr — another foreign-raised US youth international — had signed with the league and that the Timbers have an 83.1 percent chance of landing the Tokyo-based central defender in a weighted lottery on Tuesday.

Call me crazy, but it seems like Paulson, in a tweet earlier on Monday, seemed to suggest the latter possibility being a lot more likely. Or maybe there's something else going on entirely.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Portland.

08 December 2:46 pm

The Canadian press is all abuzz over this one. As first reported on the Twitter feed of RDS' Patrick Friolet, apparently former Impact head coach Jesse Marsch has an offer to become the boss at Toronto FC:

In case you don't speak French, here's the translation via Nick Sabetti, who covers the Impact and the Canadian national team for

And if that's not enough, contributor Ben Raycroft says that Marsch has also had talks with his old club, Chivas USA:

Our take? Well, it's worth noting that Marsch and new TFC president Kevin Payne go back all the way to 1996, when Payne helped launch D.C. United and Marsch was one of the top midfield subs. They've reportedly been tight ever since.

Payne, however, said in his introductory press conference that current TFC head coach Paul Mariner would stay on for the 2013 season.

“He is a person I have a lot of respect for, competed against for a number of years in the East when he was a key member of the success in New England,” Payne said.

You can watch the entire press conference below:

12 June 4:16 pm

2012 hasn't been particularly kind of FC Dallas on the field, but it seems the return of El Capitán, the cannon awarded to the winner of the Dallas-Houston rivalry, could go a long way toward increasing morale.

At least that's the message I'm getting from the club's most recent video offering, an immensely enjoyable dub over featuring many of the squad ahead of Saturday's match on ESPN2.

Although there is some debate around MLS Digital HQ about FC Dallas' dance moves – the feelings range from envy to embarrassment – I've got to give Schellas Hyndman's side credit ... they really embraced the concept.

My favorite moment from FC Dallas' ode to El Capitán? The scene from 1:35 until 1:59 with David Ferreira waltzing in from left to right to start things off and Jair Benítez flashing a megawatt smile throughout.