How do you start an MLS expansion team? For Nashville, the answer is, go big.

The Nashville side announced Monday that it had named former Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre as its CEO. The move comes five months after Nashville was granted an expansion club for the next wave of MLS growth. His hire was first reported by The Tennessean Monday morning.

“The opportunity to put Nashville on the national and international soccer map is a truly outstanding challenge, and I literally cannot wait to get started,” Ayre said in a statement. “Becoming chief executive officer of the Nashville MLS club is a unique opportunity in the global soccer community. To take what is essentially a blank sheet of paper and build an entire club is an amazing challenge, and one I am hugely excited about.”

Ayre spent a decade with Liverpool, first as commercial director, then managing director, and he assumed the role of CEO in 2014. Since Ayre’s departure in 2017, the year he was voted Premier League Chief Executive of the Year, Ayre told the Tennessean he received calls from several “big clubs,” but none was as alluring as the prospect of building a club from scratch.

NYCFC rumors surge

NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira has yet again been linked to a European club, this time Ligue 1 side Nice. Conflicting reports disagree on whether or not the deal to line Vieira up to replace Lucien Favre has been finalized.

Earlier this month, Vieira was pegged as a candidate to manage his former club Arsenal.

Reports have also linked NYCFC to English goalkeeper Joe Hart, as he looks to rejuvenate his his career. He was left off England’s 23-man World Cup squad after underperforming on the club stage. According to The Sun, several MLS clubs are interested in Hart.

Orlando City SC suspends 38 fans

Orlando City SC has suspended 38 fans for throwing trash on the field in the Lions’ 2-1 loss to Atlanta on May 13, the club announced Monday.

Orlando City also announced changes to stadium operations to limit such incidents, including an immediate announcement of the consequences when an object is thrown on the field, the withdrawal of beer bottles and cans in the stadium excluding suites, and the creation of a fan code of conduct video.

Only two players make latest USMNT roster

U.S. men’s national team head coach Dave Sarachan named just two MLS players to the 22-man roster Sunday for the United States’ Memorial Day friendly against Bolivia.

He stuck with the youth theme from January camp. However unlike that MLS-heavy squad, this most recent round of call-ups leaves Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono and LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman alone to represent MLS.

Power Rankings

1. New York Red Bulls (Last week: 2) • Bradley Wright-Phillips’ brace propelled RBNY to a win over Atlanta United.

2. Atlanta United (1) • Atlanta was unable to bounce back from a controversial call as the RBNY shone at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

3. Portland Timbers (9) • The Timbers grabbed their fifth straight win.

4. New York City FC (5) • NYCFC used home field advantage to absolutely dominate Colorado.

5. Sporting Kansas City (3) • SKC missed an opportunity at three points after out-shooting Minnesota 24-6 in a 1-1 draw.

6. Los Angeles FC (4) • A late formation change couldn’t save LAFC against Portland.

7. Columbus Crew SC (6) • The Crew grabbed the win over a New England team missing key players.

8. Orlando City SC (7) • Lions have dropped two straight since beating RSL on May 6.

9. FC Dallas (8) • Dallas watched three points slip through its fingers late in a 2-2 draw with Vancouver.

10. Toronto FC (10) • Ryan Telfer, who signed in April, scored the game-winner against Orlando.