Survey: Ronaldo, Messi, Ibrahimovic among top five highest paid athletes in the world

Originally posted on ProSoccerTalk:

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are three of the world’s five highest paid athletes, according to a survey from ESPN The Magazine and SportingIntelligence, with boxer Floyd Mayweather and Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers claiming the other spots at the top of the annual list. With Wayne Rooney slotting in at 15th, four soccer players claim spots in the survey’s top 25, a ranking dominated by Major League Baseball and National Football League players.

Two Formula One drivers (Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton) and boxer Wladimir Klitschko join Mayweather ($73.5 million), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant ($30.5 million), and the four soccer stars among the highest earners from football and baseball. Led by Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Zach Grienke ($28 million per year), nine Major League Baseball players make the list, while the $40 million Aaron Rodgers made in 2013 leads the NFL’s eight representatives in the magazine’s ranking.

According to the…

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New England Force Join ASL

ASL Press Release:

The American Soccer League (ASL) is delighted to announce that the New England Force have joined the league.

“We are extremely excited to be adding another strong team to the League. The New England Force has taken its time over the past couple of years to build upon its exhibition season by adding several new and exciting prospects to their squad. This will make them a commendable force in our inaugural season. With high-level games already under their belt (having played against MLS, USL and foreign competition) the NE Force, in my opinion, will be an early front runner for the regular season championship!” ASL Founder/CEO Matt Driver, stated.

NEForceFounded in 2012 and playing out of Stamford Connecticut in a Stadium that holds over 5,200 fans, the New England Force has been operating for the past two years. In its 2013 exhibition season the team had several strong showings and they will be looking to build on their success in the inaugural season ahead.

The Force’s General Manager, Bob Levin, who is equalled excited about the prosepct of competing in the ASL, explained: “Joining the ASL presents a great opportunity for the Force as we hope to make this a long term relationship that will eventually benefit the league, our team, and above all else Stamford and the surrounding Connecticut communities. Whilst our goal is to put together a quality team that can compete for the League Title, we also hope to bring a high level of entertaining professional soccer to the ASL and to Connecticut. Furthermore, being the ONLY Professional soccer team in Connecticut we hope to grab any and all of the talented local Players that we can that come out of this great State!”

The club can be found at www.newenglandforce.us and also on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

American Professional Soccer (APS) is the parent company of American Soccer League (ASL). The APS founders’ vision is to have APS as a sanctioned professional league under USSF when the proper protocols and procedures have been established to fit under the Division 3 USSF guidelines. In the meantime, ASL is the subsidiary of the APS and will play as a sanctioned league in the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The ASL will be the premier league in the U.S. to develop the next level of young Americans and promote these players to the highest levels of the professional game whether in North America or throughout the world. The league structure and rules have been established to encourage proactive movement of players to the next level whenever the players have garnered outside interest.

Evergreen Diplomats Join ASL

ASL Press Release:

The American Soccer League (ASL) is proud to announce that the Evergreen Diplomats have joined the league.

“I strongly believe that the Diplomats will be a great addition,” ASL Founder/CEO Matt Driver, who will own and operate two teams in the ASL, stated. “The ownership and management group have been amazing to partner with and I know that they are the right group to bring professional soccer to Northern Virginia.”

The group that owns the team is the United Paradigm Group LLC. They are presently working on the front office staff and will make those announcements at a later date.

The coaching staff is already in place and the group believes that they have found a staff with the correct credentials and experience, which includes coaching at the highest levels in the U.S. and Europe. The entire coaching staff will also be announced in the near future.

“We are ecstatic about the opportunity,” a representative from the United Paradigm Group LLC stated. “Anytime you can be on the ground floor of something new that has the potential to show the country how to build the platform for a player’s success, then we knew as a group we had to get on board.”

The team hopes to contend for the inaugural championship, while transforming players through a developmental and pro pyramid model. They are committed to turning today’s young aspiring footballers into elite professionals, both on the field and in the community.

“We will bring a unique look and approach to building the total Paradigm,” the representative added.

The team will play out of the Northern Virginia area, a region known for great soccer talent and strong support for the game. The stadium is a soccer-only facility with FIFA approved turf. The team will strive to provide fans and supporters with a high-intensity gameday atmosphere.

The club can be found at www.evergreendiplomats.us and on Twitter @diplomatsoccer.

American Professional Soccer (APS) is the parent company of American Soccer League (ASL). The APS founders’ vision is to have APS as a sanctioned professional league under USSF when the proper protocols and procedures have been established to fit under the Division 3 USSF guidelines. In the meantime, ASL is the subsidiary of the APS and will play as a sanctioned league in the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The ASL will be the premier league in the U.S. to develop the next level of young Americans and promote these players to the highest levels of the professional game whether in North America or throughout the world. The league structure and rules have been established to encourage proactive movement of players to the next level whenever the players have garnered outside interest.

Minnesota United Return Home After England Tour

MN United FC

A 10-day trip to England came to a conclusion on Monday for Minnesota United FC as the team played four friendlies against English-based clubs. The final match was a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Derby County FC, currently third in the Championship table.

Minnesota fared better on the scoreboard earlier in the tour, including a 3-0 victory against Matlock Town FC, a member of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League (seventh-tier).

Results:

vs Derby County FC, L, 2-0

vs Matlock Town FC, W, 3-0

vs Pro Player Academy, W, 6-0

vs Nike Academy, D, 1-1

TPSL Expands To Austin, Uvalde

Two new clubs have recently been announced as expansion franchises to compete in the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL). Austin Real Cuahutemoc and Twin Cities FC will join the fourth-division league beginning with the 2014-15 season. They join current members: BCS BearKatz FC, Galveston Pirates SC, Houston Dutch Lions, Houston Hurricanes FC, Houston Leones FC, and Houston Regals SCA.

The TPSL is sanctioned by U.S. Club Soccer, a division of U.S. Soccer.

About the TPSL

The Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL) is a professionally run soccer program for men. The league will run from September to March with Texas Cup games also added. An opportunity to qualify for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will also be available to teams.

The Texas Premier Soccer League was originally formed back in 1997 and lasted 10 years. In 2013, the league was brought back by Current Owner/President Brendan Keyes, a former pro player and current Head Coach of the Houston Hurricanes FC.

NASL Announces “The Championship”

The North American Soccer League (NASL) announced this week a new playoff format for the 2014 season. Labeled “The Championship,” this new playoff will replace the earlier Soccer Bowl formats of recent years. NASL took much criticism last season after the New York Cosmos only competed during the Fall Season and went on to win the Soccer Bowl over Atlanta, who played an entire full season.

The new format will still have a split season, with a Spring champion and Fall champion each hosting a semifinal. The two teams with the best overall record at the end of the entire season will advance to play in the semifinals on the weekend of November 8-9. Winners will advance to “The Championship” the following week, with the highest seeded club hosting the final.

OPINION: Changing formats every year or two does not look good. If NASL truly wants to become a league more like other world football leagues then why not eliminate the entire “playoff” altogether?