Reports: Sacramento set to announce MLS expansion team early next week


Reports: Sacramento set to announce MLS expansion team early next week

Major League Soccer's 29th team reportedly will be in Sacramento. 

MLS will announce Monday that it is awarding its next expansion team to Sacramento in a downtown press conference, The Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday citing "sources with direct knowledge of the deal." KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV later confirmed The Bee's reporting.

The Bee reported the club will play as Sacramento Republic FC, and KOVR-TV reported that they officially will join the league in 2022. Republic FC, which has played in the second tier of American soccer in the United Soccer League, tweeted a pair of statements Tuesday and said the team will share "more information in the days ahead."

The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved a non-binding term sheet in April that calls for Republic FC to build a $252 million stadium on undeveloped land in the downtown railyards and for the city to provide a $33 million incentive package. The package included $2.4 million in tax rebates and waived building permit fees, as well as $27 million from a future increased property tax to reimburse Republic FC for building infrastructure near the stadium.

Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg, according to The Bee, will propose the City Council modify the agreement to make the $27 million a loan to be paid back with interest by the Sacramento investor group, which is now led by Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle after he agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Republic FC in January. 

The MLS board of governors voted unanimously in April to expand the league from 27 to 30 teams, inviting investor groups in St. Louis and Sacramento to submit bids. MLS awarded St. Louis its 28th franchise in August, and The Bee reported Sacramento's investor group has been in negotiations with MLS since late April. 

Sacramento will join three other teams -- and potential rivals -- in California: the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy and top-of-the-table LAFC. Republic FC would become the fifth team ever to play in the state, as C.D. Guadalajara-associated Chivas USA folded in 2014. 

Watch Chris Wondolowski go wild in stands after Earthquakes score goal

Watch Chris Wondolowski go wild in stands after Earthquakes score goal

Chris Wondolowski couldn't suit up in one of the Earthquakes' biggest matches of the season, but he still could celebrate in the stands. 

Wondolowski sat out Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union at Avaya Stadium after picking up a red card in last week's defeat to Atlanta United. The Quakes star promised Tuesday on Twitter to sit with the San Jose Ultras supporters group during the match, and more than made good on that promise when the Quakes took a 1-0 lead in Wednesday's first half. 

MLS' all-time goal-scoring leader fit right in, ripping off his shirt after Jackson Yueill gave San Jose the lead in the 35th minute.

The Earthquakes entered Wednesday in possession of the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but the fourth consecutive loss dropped them to eighth, one point behind FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers, with two games to play. 

Getting back to the playoffs and setting an MLS record would make Wondolowski's 15th season in the league plenty memorable. But Wednesday's epic celebration is the stuff of legend. 

Chris Wondolowski breaks Landon Donovan's MLS record for career goals


Chris Wondolowski breaks Landon Donovan's MLS record for career goals

There's a new MLS goals king, and his name is Chris Wondolowski.

The San Jose Earthquakes star scored his 146th career goal Saturday, passing Landon Donovan for the league's all-time record, in a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire.

Wondolowski reached the mark in 338 MLS appearances, two fewer than Donovan's 340.

Wondolowski tapped in the record-breaking goal with his left foot as the Fire's goalie dropped the ball, and the Earthquakes took a 2-0 lead in the 48th minute.

The record came on Wondolowski's second goal of the day and also his second of the season, but he wasn't done. He added goals in the 74th and 76th minutes, giving him four in the game and extending the record to 148.

Donovan sent his congratulations to Wondolowski shortly after the game.

Wondolowski tied Donovan's mark of 145 career goals in the 21st minute to give the Earthquakes a 1-0 lead over the Fire.

Wondolowski, a Danville, Calif., native, starred at Chico State before San Jose selected him No. 41 overall in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft. He was named MLS MVP in 2012, and is a four-time All-Star. 

Wondolowski also has appeared in 35 games for Team USA and scored 11 goals.