Juventus makes its moves

Juventus logo By J Hutcherson (Jul 17, 2018) US Soccer Players - When Juventus arrives in the United States later this month, they're not going to be the team anybody expected. That includes their fellow European teams on their International Champions Cup schedule as well as the MLS All-Stars they'll play in Atlanta on August 1. Nobody saw Juventus deciding to reinstate their super club status by successfully putting in a transfer bid for Cristiano Ronaldo. Nobody saw Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo's former coach at European champions Real Madrid, following in a few months as a "special advisor". Juventus has reset the stage domestically and in Europe, and they've done it in time to raise their profile on tour in the United States this summer. Obviously, none of the teams or personalities involved are new to a live US audience. Ronaldo wasn't in the squad when Real Madrid played the MLS All-Stars last Continue reading "Juventus makes its moves"

Will Jesse Marsch’s move to Europe stop the jokes about US coaches?

Coaches who start their careers in MLS have often been treated as walking punchlines in Europe. But that perception may be changing Minutes before kick off, Domènec Torrent and Chris Armas shook hands on the touchline. This, a derby match between New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls, was a new experience for both of them. Torrent had only been in his job a month, while Armas had been appointed just days before. Following the exits of Patrick Vieira and Jesse Marsch, this was the start of a new era for Major League Soccer in New York. There was also a wider significance. Vieira was appointed Nice manager at the start of June, with Marsch following the Frenchman across the Atlantic a few weeks later, landing a job as RB Leipzig’s assistant manager. Next season, there will be two former MLS coaches in prominent jobs at Continue reading "Will Jesse Marsch’s move to Europe stop the jokes about US coaches?"

Wayne Rooney shines as he makes MLS debut at a club in need of a boost

If the former England captain was thinking about what could have been at the World Cup, he didn’t show it as he took to his new life in MLS with relish For the first two weeks of his new life in America, Wayne Rooney lumbered sheepishly though his DC United press events, mumbling the usual banalities. But then came Saturday night, and his MLS debut, which was also United’s first game in their new stadium. He stepped on the pitch in the 59th minute and suddenly it was obvious to everyone that he was anything but ordinary. Rooney is nearing the end of his career and came to the United States straight off a vacation, yet he was the best player in DC’s 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. He sprayed passes to his teammates with such precision and velocity that they sometimes seemed surprised to see the ball coming. Continue reading "Wayne Rooney shines as he makes MLS debut at a club in need of a boost"

Nothing set midway through the MLS season

LAFC coach Bob Bradley By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Jul 13, 2018) US Soccer Players - Cresting the hill that is the halfway point of the MLS season doesn’t generally reveal much. There’s still so much left to play for, and the secondary transfer window has only just opened. Even as clubs scramble to reinforce their squads during the signing period, they also must navigate crucial games in the heat of the summer. By the time August rolls around, the league could look very different. What is nominally a new beginning, if only because the human brain likes to split things like long soccer seasons into more manageable chunks, gets underway on Saturday with a slate of fascinating matchups. Four of them stand out.

New York Red Bulls vs Sporting Kansas City

The Red Bulls threw Chris Armas directly into the fire last week. Quickly promoted to take over for Jesse Marsch, Armas Continue reading "Nothing set midway through the MLS season"

Wins for NYCFC and Philadelphia

Toyota Park The soccer news starts with MLS action. NYCFC shutout Montreal 3-0 at Yankee Stadium. Jesus Medina put NYCFC up in the 60th minute and assisted on Ronald Matarrita's goal in the 65th. Matarrita assisted on Jonathan Lewis's goal in the 76th. Sean Johnson didn't need to make a save for the clean sheet with NYCFC outshooting Montreal 23 to 3 and putting 7 on goal to Montreal's 0. In the other MLS game, Philadelphia beat Chicago 4-3 at Toyota Park. Haris MEdunjanin scored for the Union in the 31st with Nemanja Nikolic equalizing from the penalty spot in the 39th. Cory Burke scored for Philadelphia three minutes into first-half stoppage time. Aleksandar Katai leveled the score in the 69th, with Burke returning the Union lead in the 73rd. Bastian Schweinsteiger got a late equalizer for the Fire four minutes into stoppage time, but David Accam scored Philadelphia's winner a minute Continue reading "Wins for NYCFC and Philadelphia"

DC United moves forward

The scoreboard at Audi Field. DC United held their ribbon-cutting event to officially let everybody know that Audi Field is ready for its first MLS game. United's nice new home opens on Saturday when they host Vancouver, and with it the club sets new expectations. Those start immediately, with DC United needing to turn their back-loaded home schedule into points. Once again, the unbalanced schedule creates a slight opening for the team with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. DC might have only won twice this season, but they've also only played 14 games. The teams between them and the final playoff spot have played 18 or 19. If DC can quickly turn Audi Field into a fortress, things change for them this season. No doubt that this could all end in tears and recriminations this season. DC is now opening a new stadium and debuting new designated player Wayne Rooney. That combo either Continue reading "DC United moves forward"

‘I’m a retired MC’: Bradley Wright-Phillips on grime, goals and fashion

The 33-year-old was a journeyman in English football until he became a lethal striker for the New York Red Bulls in MLS If you scan YouTube looking for Bradley Wright-Phillips, you’ll find numerous goal compilations, a few interviews and, eventually, an excerpt from the grime mixtape series Lord of the Mics, in which he battles fellow footballer Yannick Bolasie. “I’m a retired MC” says the New York Red Bulls striker, laughing at the mention of the tape. “As an inner-city kid, it’s part of the culture. I grew up listening to it ... It’s great to see people making money off it today. When I was growing up, people were bootlegging out the backs of cars. I love it as much as I love football.” Continue reading...

Q&A with Sean Johnson: “We live to play games”

NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson. By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Jul 9, 2018) US Soccer Players – Look closely at how much New York City FC’s defense has improved in recent years and you’ll discover that one of the reasons involves goalkeeper Sean Johnson. In just his second season with NYCFC, Johnson has helped push the team to new heights. The 29-year-old shot-stopper had spent his entire career for the Chicago Fire, the team that drafted him in 2010. In 2016, he ended up at NYCFC. That’s when his and the team’s fortunes took on a dramatic improvement. Good with both his feet and hands, Johnson has been able to make those around him better. He’s often called upon to make an amazing save to preserve a result. Former NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira, who aggressively pursued Johnson before recently leaving the club for a job with French club Nice, liked to play Continue reading "Q&A with Sean Johnson: “We live to play games”"

MLS watchability rankings: which teams are the best (and worst) to watch?

Los Angeles Galaxy have Zlatan, while Vancouver have arguably the league’s most exciting youngster. But which team is the best to sit back and watch? It’s important to preface this highly subjective, lightly scientific list by asserting that MLS is in a very good place right now. Each of the 23 clubs provide ample reason to tune in. But, like any other league, there is a disparity between the top and bottom. Below we present the teams most attractive to neutrals. One important reminder: this is not comprised exclusively on quality. The teams are sorted based on the elusive, nebulous “watchability” factor. Continue reading...

Farewell Wayne Rooney, who heads to Washington as a true England great | Andy Hunter

The former Everton and Manchester United striker is joining DC United with Everton’s blessing and encouragementWayne Rooney, without the fanfare that greeted his arrival as the most gifted English player in a generation or the acrimony of his first Everton exit, has brought his 16-year Premier League career to a close. Even so, and even with all eyes on Gareth Southgate’s new breed in Russia, it is a career that does not slip away unheralded. Rooney, with Everton’s blessing and encouragement, flew on Thursday to Washington to finalise a three-and-a-half-year contract with DC United. The deal will be formally completed when the MLS transfer window opens on 10 July – Everton will not receive a fee – and the 32-year-old is expected to make his debut for the Eastern Conference’s bottom club when they open their £300m Audi Field stadium against Vancouver Whitecaps four days later. His basic wage Continue reading "Farewell Wayne Rooney, who heads to Washington as a true England great | Andy Hunter"

‘I have the hunger’: Wayne Rooney completes move to DC United

  • Club reaches agreement with Everton for permanent transfer
  • Rooney says US move ‘fulfills another career ambition for me’
Wayne Rooney’s dream return to boyhood club Everton is over after one season following the 32-year-old’s move to Major League Soccer side DC United. England’s record goalscorer rejoined the Toffees after 13 years at Manchester United, where he is also the all-time leading scorer, last summer but has left just 12 months later for a new challenge in the United States. Continue reading...

Wayne Rooney at DC United

dc-united-audi-field-groundbreaking-ceremony-major-league-soccer-mls The soccer news starts with Wayne Rooney tweeting from the plane on his way to DC to join United. The safe assumption was that Rooney wasn't traveling to enjoy the National Mall or revisit some of his favorite places from the last time he was in the nation's capital. DC United made the move official on Thursday, signing him through the 2021 MLS season. Rooney turns 33 on October 24. "It is fantastic to be joining DC United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium opening in just a few weeks," Rooney said. "Moving to America and MLS fulfills another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give DC 100 percent - as I have always done for every team I have ever played for. When I visited earlier this summer I was really impressed with Continue reading "Wayne Rooney at DC United"