Donovan Mitchell Slams MLS Team Owner Over Protest Comment ... 'Sell The Team'

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Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell is going OFF on MLS team owner Dell Loy Hansen for comments he made about player protests ... demanding he sell the team if he doesn't approve.

Of course, several MLS games were postponed following the Jacob Blake shooting ... including Hansen-owned Real Salt Lake's match-up with LAFC.

Hansen appeared on a radio show Thursday morning to express his frustrations with the game being postponed ... comparing the feeling to being stabbed.

"It’s a moment of sadness," Hansen told X96’s Radio From Hell. "It’s like somebody stabbed you and you’re trying to figure out a way to pull the knife out and move forward. That’s what it feels like."

"The disrespect is profound to me personally."

Hansen also claimed the players do not care about local issues, the city or the organization ... and hinted at losing interest in improving the team.

"It’s taken a lot of wind out of my sails, what effort I want to put into recruiting players and building a great team," Hansen said. "It just seems that’s not a very good path to take."

Enter Mitchell -- who got wind of Hansen's comments and came up with a simple solution for his frustrations.

"WOW... if it’s taken 'the wind' out then sell the team... I stand with (Real Salt Lake) players,'" Mitchell tweeted.

Soccer star Jozy Altidore agrees with Spida ... and says he's even in the process of forming a group to buy the team.

"He needs to sell the team then," Jozy tweeted. "I’m involved in a group that’s ready to purchase it. Time for change."

Story developing ...

Major League Soccer Players Take Knee, Raise Fists ... In Pre-Game Tribute

TAKING A KNEE
ESPN

Powerful moment on the field at the Chicago Fire vs. Seattle Sounders FC game in Orlando where ALL of the players took a knee in a powerful moment of silence right before kickoff.

Even the ref got down on a knee.

Some players raised a clenched fist -- including Chicago Fire striker C.J. Sapong.

As the camera panned around the field, we didn't see one person -- players, coaches, linesmen, etc -- who didn't participate in the tribute.

After roughly 30 seconds, the ref blew the whistle, people stood and clapped -- and play began.

Obviously, the kneeling is to put a spotlight on police brutality and racial injustice ... clearly inspired by Colin Kaepernick.

Interesting to note, the national anthem was NOT playing during the kneeling demonstration.

The game is part of the MLS is Back tournament -- currently taking place inside of a bubble environment in Orlando, Florida.

Just last week, players from Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF held a similar tribute before they kicked off ... only that one lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds as a way to put a spotlight on George Floyd.

MLS 'Fyre Fest' Sando Pics Are BS ... Not From Inside Disney Bubble!

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Major League Soccer says its players are NOT getting the Fyre Festival treatment inside the Disney bubble -- claiming the players who posted sad sandwich pics are NOT inside the restricted area.

Toronto FC defender Omar Gonzalez posted a pic Tuesday showing an "MLS Is Back" In-Room dining menu which describes some delicious-looking, expensive food options ($65 for lunch!) ... cut next to an unimpressive sando in a brown box.

He tweeted out, "Yummm" ... leading people to believe the widely-touted Disney bubble was looking more like a sham than a glamorous experience.

Omar's teammate Eriq Zavaleta added fuel to the fire by posting another unappetizing sandwich pic. Not a great look.

But, our MLS sources tell us ... those two players are not yet in Orlando -- they're still in Toronto.

The league is unsure who shot the photos -- but reps say the food was served at a quarantine site OUTSIDE the official bubble where players are required to stay for 10 to 12 hours until they are cleared to enter.

There is basic food service at the quarantine site -- like sandwiches, etc -- but since it's essentially a layover spot, the food service isn't as robust.

Once players are allowed into the Walt Disney World bubble environment, it's a completely different story.

We're told players will get "banquet meal" service served in their club meal rooms -- and so far, the feedback on the food has been super positive.

Also, all players will have access to 4 restaurants in the bubble -- including Shula’s Steak House, Todd English Bluezoo, Il Mulino, and Kimonos sushi restaurant.

We're also told, "Players do not pay for meals."

So, yeah ... the travel meal might not be the fanciest food in the world, but MLS insists they're not pulling a Billy McFarland.

Kevin Durant Buys Ownership In MLS Team ... Philadelphia Union!!!

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Add "team owner" to Kevin Durant's massive resume ... 'cause the NBA champ just bought a stake in the Philadelphia Union of the MLS!!

The Union announced the partnership on Monday ... saying KD bought 5% of the team ... with the option to take on another 5% down the road.

Durant's official title will be "investor and community partner" ... and the team will work with his Thirty Five Ventures on marketing and community outreach.

"I’m excited to partner with the Philadelphia Union for years to come," KD said in a statement. "My team and I connected instantly with the Union coaching staff and leadership, as well as the team’s story."

Durant says the team will work with his Kevin Durant Charity Foundation to make an impact in the communities surrounding Philadelphia as well.

Principal owner of the Union Jay Sugarman spoke about the new partnership, saying "The partnership between Kevin and the Philadelphia Union is based on a set of shared values and philosophies."

"We want to be known as an innovator in our league and a team that is never satisfied with the status quo. Kevin brings us unique perspectives as a person, as a champion, and as a sports icon."

"Combined with his competitive drive and forward-thinking mentality, we believe Kevin adds a key piece in reaching our ambitions for the club."

KD joins fellow NBA superstar LeBron James into the soccer world -- 'Bron bought a stake in Liverpool F.C. in 2011.

Major League Soccer Returns in July ... Tournament at Disney World

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MLS is taking a page from the NBA -- returning to play in July with a tournament at Disney World in Orlando ... and all 26 teams will participate.

Major League Soccer announced the plan Wednesday morning -- the Welcome Back Tournament -- a World Cup-style competition consisting of a group stage followed by knockout rounds.

After the tourney, the teams will play the rest of the 2020 MLS regular season ... but tourney games WILL count toward regular-season standings.

And, get this ... the winning team will earn a spot in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League tournament!

FYI, the CCL tourney is made up of the top teams in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

The Welcome Back tourney kicks off on July 8 -- with the Final set for August 11.

All games will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber issued a statement saying, "The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play."

"We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality and violence against black men and women."

"Together with our owners, players and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Fires Crotch Grab At LAFC Fan ... After Postgame Taunts

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Z'S NUTS
MLS

Zlatan Ibrahimovic grabbed a huge handful of his junk and aimed it right at an LAFC fan who was taunting him ... and the whole scene was captured on video!!!

The soccer star and his LA Galaxy squad had just taken a crushing loss to LAFC on Thursday night ... when a fan decided to showboat toward Zlatan on his way to the locker room.

You can see in the video ... the LAFC ride-or-die makes some throat-slashing signs and appears to make a groin choppin' gesture toward the 38-year-old as well.

That's when Ibrahimovic responded by getting a grip of his franks and beans ... and giving a head nod to the fan!!!

Zlatan was asked about the incident after the game, and he downplayed it, making a joke by saying, "How many fans came? 30,000?"

"That was like a training for me. This stadium is too small for me ... I'm used to playing in front of 80,000 people. Come to Inter Milan where 85,000 are whistling at you."

As for if he was irritated by the fans, Zlatan said, "No, no, no. I enjoy it! They give me adrenaline."

Zlatan also took a shot at the MLS -- saying if he doesn't come back to the league next year, NOBODY will watch the games.

"[If I stay], then MLS is good, because the whole world will watch it. If I don't stay, nobody will remember what MLS is."

Zlatan only has 2 months left on his contract, so the playoff exit this might have been his last MLS game ever.

If it was ... hell of a way to go out!!!

U.S. Women's Soccer Team Teammates Engaged ... We're Going Public!

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Two members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team are more than teammates -- they're engaged to be married!!

Defender Ali Krieger and goalie Ashlyn Harris just revealed they've not only been dating for the last 9 years, but Ashlyn actually proposed in September ... and Ali said, "Yes!"

It all went down in Clearwater Beach, Florida -- where Ashlyn busted out a pretty impressive rock.

The two are now planning to tie the knot at the end of 2019, according to People.com.

Ali and Ashlyn met on the USWNT in 2010 -- with Harris explaining, "We always sat next to each other on the bus and on flights, and we kind of just talked about our dreams and our hopes and what we wanted to do one day when we grew up. Because at the time, we were kids."

The couple wasn't exactly hiding their relationship, but they didn't flash it around either because they didn't want to be a distraction.

"We wanted to be professional and make sure that we showed up every day and did our job and it wasn’t just because we were together, it was because we love what we do, and we’re really good at what we do,” Krieger told People.

"We became more and more confident within and ourselves and then clearly within our relationship," Harris said ... adding, "Finally, after all these years, I just feel like I don’t have to hide anything or feel like I’m not living up to the community I’m in."

Congrats!

MLS Champs Trophy Goes to Booty Club ... It's Twerk Time!!

EXCLUSIVE
TWERK, TWERK, TWERK ...
TMZSports.com

Ever seen a championship trophy get a lap dance before?!!

Well, the guys from the ATL United soccer team made it happen Monday night -- taking the MLS Cup to the legendary Magic City booty club just days after winning the title.

Cup got lit -- getting pulled onstage where it got an up-close and personal twerk session from one of the dancers while people in the crowd made it rain.

Some of the players who accompanied the trophy to the club included Chris McCann, Miles Robinson and Jeff Larentowicz.

The team had a championship parade in Atlanta on Monday -- after beating the Portland Timbers in the MLS championship game on Saturday.

It's ATL's first MLS cup -- in just their 2nd season in the league -- so, why not go big?!

Magic City is probably the most famous strip club in America -- having hosted huge stars like Jermaine Dupri, T.I., Usher, Drake, Future and more.

Wayne Rooney Visits Trump's White House ... Christmas Party!

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Wayne Rooney was happy to spread a little Christmas cheer with Donald Trump ... 'cause the soccer legend was 45's guest of honor at the White House over the weekend!!

It all went down at Trump's Christmas party Sunday ... where Rooney and his wife, Coleen, and their kids hit up 1600 Pennsylvania Ave to enjoy some holiday fun.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Of course ... Barron Trump is a HUGE soccer fan and an even bigger Rooney supporter -- so the D.C. United superstar's presence was a big-time gift from Papa Trump.

It's interesting ... many high-profile athletes -- from Steph Curry to LeBron James -- have turned down trips to Trump's White House 'cause of their political beliefs.

But ... doesn't seem Wayne minded too much -- the forward was reportedly more than happy to check out Trump's digs for the special holiday!!

Alexi Lalas Pulisic to Chelsea Would Be Huge for USA

EXCLUSIVE
A TRUE TALENT
TMZSports.com

If Christian Pulisic ends up with Chelsea ... it'll be a monumental moment for U.S. Soccer ... so says Alexi Lalas, who tells TMZ Sports whoever lands the superstar will have to whip out the checkbook.

Depending on who you ask, 20-year-old Pulisic could land with big-time Premier League giants like Chelsea or Liverpool ... but Pulisic himself has been mum on his future come January.

Of course, other stars like Landon Donovan have played for teams like Bayern Munich and Clint Dempsey suited up for Tottenham ... so it's not uncharted territory for a Team USA player.

But, the big difference here is with the transfer fee involved ... as reports are saying it could cost clubs up to $80 MILLION to land C.P., who was just named the youngest captain in USMNT history.

We also asked Lalas who has a better chance of landing with the MLS -- Ronaldo or Messi -- and you'll wanna hear his take.

Ex-Soccer Star Eric Wynalda Loses House In Fire 'Watched It Burn On Live TV'

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Eric Wynalda -- the former soccer star who was once the all-time leading scorer for the USMNT -- says his home just burned down in the California wildfires ... and he had to watch it on live TV.

Flames have ravaged Southern California since Thursday afternoon ... and Wynalda says his house was one of the casualties of the destruction.

In fact ... the former MLS star tells the San Diego Union-Tribune he had to watch it burn down on a local news station after he evacuated early Friday morning.

"We lost our home but we are safe," Wynalda confirmed on his Twitter page ... "You can rebuild homes, replace belongings, you can’t replace life. We cannot forget that now more than ever."

"Please support the ones who need it the most and continue to honor those who serve to keep us safe. Count your blessings folks- I am."

Wynalda retired from the USMNT as the all-time leading scorer (34 goals in 106 appearances) ... and held the record until Landon Donovan caught it back in 2007.

Eric also tallied 34 career goals in 98 games in the MLS.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Hits Perfect Floss ... I Can Do Anything!!

Zlatan can run ... Zlatan can score ... Zlatan CAN DANCE!!!

The soccer legend went on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" and proved there's a lot of walk behind all his talk -- nailing a perfect floss dance right on cue.

In fact ... Corden was so impressed -- he wanted some lessons!!!

So, what was the reason for the night-time dance party?? James needed to figure out if Zlatan really CAN do anything.

The first test? Name three Kardashians.

The second test? Open a jar of pickles.

The third test? Hit the floss.

Done, done and BIG-TIME done.

Then, for good measure, he pronounced his full name with a mouth full of marshmallows. Impressive.

Ibrahimovic and the L.A. Galaxy next take the field Sunday for their regular-season finale with the Houston Dynamo ... and pretty sure we just found Z's new goal celebration.

Will Ferrell Leads Thunderous Stadium Chant ... Jump For LA Football Club!!

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ANCHORING THE CHEER
LAFC

Will Ferrell turned 22,000 soccer fans into RAGING LUNATICS on Sunday ... and the video is pretty great.

The comedy legend -- who's part owner of LAFC -- got hands-on with his futbol team's crowd in a game against Vancouver ... leading an epic chant that turned Banc of California Stadium into a zoo.

"Jump for LA Football Club, OLE! OLE!" Ferrell roared.

The stadium loved it ... and other angles of the chant revealed a DOPE scene.

Bad news for Will ... LAFC ended up tying the Whitecaps, 2-2, and is now in jeopardy of losing out on a top-two seed in the MLS' Western Conference.

Good news for Will ... L.A.'s still going to the playoffs, baby!!

OLE! OLE!

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