Insider Notes: MLS won't ban David Villa for NYCFC's playoff second leg vs. Toronto FC
MLS has confirmed that David Villa will be available to play in Sunday's MLS Eastern Conference semifinal second leg between NYCFC and Toronto FC.
The MLS Disciplinary Committee did review the incident between Villa and Toronto's Armando Cooper on Sunday in which Villa kicked out at Cooper but was not sanctioned by the referee. According to the committee parameters, if a referee sees the play but does not give a red card, a suspension will come only if the five-member Disciplinary Committee is unanimous on two things: One, that the offense is a clear red card, and two, that the play is of an egregious or reckless nature so that they need to protect player safety.
The Disciplinary Committee was unanimous that Villa's kick deserved a red card, but it was not unanimous that it was of an egregious nature with the need to protect player safety.
So David Villa, who was confirmed as one of three finalists for MLS's MVP award on Tuesday, will play.
NYCFC faces a 2-0 deficit after Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Ricketts scored late at BMO Field to tilt the balance in favor of the Reds in last Sunday's first leg.
Here are a couple of more insider notes from around the soccer world:
After 1,000 days, where do things stand with David Beckham, MLS in Miami?
This week, David Beckham’s planned Miami MLS team marked 1,000 days since the announcement that Beckham planned to put his team in South Florida, yet there is still no team in place. So what’s the latest?
Well, even though MLS says officially that Beckham’s Miami team could start play in 2018, a source in Beckham’s camp says it would be much smarter to start in 2019. They’re still trying to acquire more land in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood for the stadium site, in addition to nailing down a flagship investor in the team. Even though MLS would prefer to have two teams come into the league in 2018, it now looks almost certain that only one will come in that year: LAFC.
A league source says there is zero chance that Sacramento–tabbed by MLS commissioner Don Garber in January on the Planet Fútbol Podcast as one of the leaders of the pack along with St. Louis for teams 25-28–would come into MLS in 2018.
Minnesota United and Atlanta United FC will enter MLS in 2017.
Inter Milan prepared to spend big money for Diego Simeone
Mired in 12th place in Serie A, Inter Milan fired manager Frank De Boer on Tuesday before he could even reach 100 days with the club.
Stefano Vecchi will take charge on an interim basis, but a source close to the club says the coach Inter really wants is Atlético Madrid’s Diego Simeone, a former Inter player who has said that he wants to coach in Italy at some point. Simeone played at Inter from 1997-1999 and followed that with a Serie A stint at Lazio until 2003.
Simeone won’t be available until the summer of 2018, when his Atleti contract expires. It was initially slated to go until 2020, as had been agreed upon in March, but it was reduced by two years to 2018 last month.
I’m told that Inter’s owner, the Chinese company Suning, is prepared to pay Simeone €15 million ($16.5 million) a year after taxes to bring him in at that point.
In the meantime, I'm also told that former Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin is set to interview for the Inter job on Thursday.