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Around MLS: Balotelli and van der Vaart linked to MLS, Yankee Stadium, and more

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Will Balotelli and van der Vaart make their way to MLS? Plus entire Yankee Stadium to be opened, more.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Well, week one is over. Take a breather. That was a lot of soccer. I'm digging the whole Soccer Sunday thing. FC Dallas scored in added time to get three points at home against San Jose. Let's take a look at what else is going on around MLS.

Transfer rumors

Two big names have been linked to a move stateside the past few days. Those names would be Mario Balotelli (Liverpool and Rafa van der Vaart (Hamburger SV).

Mario Balotelli hasn't been the player Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have hoped he would be so far this season. There will always be transfer rumors about a player who isn't performing. In this case, Balotelli is linked with a move to new MLS franchise Orlando City SC and former AC Milan teammate Kaka. Do I think there is any truth to these rumors? Is Balotelli really considering a move to MLS? I doubt it. This just sounds like a case of his agent using MLS as a negotiation tactic. The only thing that makes this rumor seem like it might not be rumor, is the fact that Kaka is here and could lure Balotelli to the US.

According to multiple reports, Sporting Kansas City have offered Rafa van der Vaart a $4.8 million annual contract. Is there any truth to this rumor? Could van der Vaart make his way to MLS like other aging European stars? I think so. The 32-year-old Dutch international would be a great signing for MLS and Sporting KC. He will be out of contract at the end of the Bundesliga season and free to sign with whatever club he wants. This move seems way more likely than Balotelli to Orlando.

Yankee Stadium

New York City FC is opening the entire Yankee Stadium for their home debut against New England this weekend. And why not? With the success Orlando City had this past weekend, NYCFC are hoping for a similar atmosphere.

There has been a lot of hype over these two expansion clubs. It's deserved with guys like Kaka and David Villa. But, did the game this past weekend didn't live up to expectation in my eyes. I know they're new clubs and need to adjust, but still. The crowd was amazing. Orlando truly did fill the bowl. Hopefully NYC can fill Yankee Stadium. With more than 30,000 tickets sold, it should be a great atmosphere at a great stadium.

As a soccer player, it will be hard for me to watch NYC play on such a narrow field all year. I want to get your thoughts on the subject. How much will it affect play?

Team of the Week (Wk 1)

totw1

The MLS Player of the Week is Jozy Altidore.

Mauro Diaz makes the list for FC Dallas.

VOTE

Vote for the Goal of the Week here.