Soccer Business Bits: Portland Expansion Moves Forward, Fox Soccer Doubles Up & More

The Daily Journal of Commerce in Oregon is reporting that a final deal for the Timbers to move forward in the renovation of PGE Park could be in place by Thursday.   Construction has already begun on the PGE renovation despite the absence of a development deal thanks to a 3-2 vote last week.  That could all change Thursday if the proposal clears a final hurdle.  Apparently, Commissioner Amanda Fritz had been one of the folks not yet sold on the deal between owner Merritt Paulson and the City.  However, according to the cited report, Commissioner Fritz has had many of her concerns alleviated and the project may be set to move forward. A final vote is due at the end of the month that would clear the project to move forward in earnest and meet the 2011 opening date.

In media news, Fox Soccer Channel is reportedly set to add a second network devoted to the beautiful game.  The channel will be devoted to English and European soccer.  The channel is set to debut in March and will be called Fox Soccer Plus.  Some of the content will be derived from the staggering Setanta USA.  Not yet determined, is how the channel will be offered on American cable systems.  The network will reportedly carry games in HD.

Finally, there are multiple reports that Columbus has re-signed former League MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto.  Although terms of the deal have not been released, it has been announced that Columbus will not be  using its DP slot to retain the Argentininan midfielder’s services.  This continues a trend of MLS teams finding a way to keep high priced talent will using the allocatino funds or by simply reducing salary for former DPs.  Claudio Lopez agreed to a similar arrangment last season with Kansas City.