If Luke Rodgers has his way, he will soon be back playing in MLS with the New York Red Bulls.
In an interview with Soccer by Ives posted on Monday, Rodgers said that he would like to return MLS, preferrably with the Red Bulls, now that has been released by League One club Shrewsbury Town and is a free agent. Rodgers (above, with Portsmouth in 2012) also stated that the US embassy recently told him that getting his work visa – which proved quite problematic in 2012 – would not be an issue.
While the 31-year-old forward would love to be back with New York, that ship may have already sailed. Under new management, the Red Bulls decided against signing the diminutive Englishman back in December and they recently acquired French forward Péguy Luyindula.
Rodgers, however, could still prove servicable to other MLS teams in need of bolstering their front lines. Rodgers scored nine times and assisted on three others in 23 games in his only season in MLS in 2011.
Surprenant deuxième du classement avec six points, Philadelphie compte en ses rangs le seul joueur de la compétition directement impliqué dans un but (en le marquant ou en donnant la dernière passe) lors de chacune des trois premières semaines de championnat : Sébastien Le Toux.
Malgré la défaite initiale contre Kansas City, l’attaquant français avait réussi son retour à PPL Park en inscrivant le premier but de la saison 2013. Depuis, il n’a plus trouvé le fond des filets mais a permis à Okugo d’ouvrir la marque à Colorado (vidéo ci-dessous) avant d’offrir ce week-end à McInerney le seul but du match contre New England.
Ses deux passes décisives sont venues de la même manière : un corner botté côté gauche vers le buteur posté au petit rectangle. Au cours des deux dernières saisons, il n’avait offert qu’un seul but sur corner, à Danny Mwanga lors de la plantureuse victoire 2-6 de Philadelphie à Toronto le 28 mai 2011 (source Vision du Jeu). Encore de la gauche, encore au petit rectangle… Pas étonnant que pour le moment, Philadelphie soit avec Columbus l’équipe la plus efficace sur corner.
L’an dernier au même stade de la compétition, on ne comptait également qu’un seul joueur impliqué dans au moins un but lors de chacune des trois premières semaines : Graham Zusi, qui entamait ainsi la meilleure saison de sa carrière. Tout Philadelphie espère évidemment que l’année 2013 de Sébastien Le Toux sera du même acabit.
Kei Kamara breaks out a St. Patrick's Day jig for the second year in a row – this time with Norwich CIty
Kei Kamara scored against for Norwich City on Sunday. Well, almost.
Kamara would have scored against Sunderland, powering a soaring header into an open net, if it weren't for Wes Hoolahan's predatory instincts on the goal line. As it stands, it's a spectacular assist that gives the Sierre Leone international another special moment on loan from Sporting KC.
Will he be going back to Sporting Park? That remains to be seen, but it's clear Kamara hasn't forgotten what he perfected in front of the Kansas City faithful. That jig remind you of anything?
CORRECTION: D.C. United has not yet clinched Carolina Challenge Cup championship. I apologize for the confusion. #MLS
— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) March 3, 2012
L’accord entre la Major League Soccer et la Fédération Française de Football se matérialise concrètement puisque les formateurs de MLS ont déjà suivi leur première session de cours à Clairefontaine. L’émission Coup Franc de la semaine (à écouter ici) s’y intéresse de près :
- Fred Lipka, qui fait le lien entre les deux entités, nous explique son rôle, la genèse de cet accord, la manière dont la MLS a évalué ses besoins, les demandes spécifiques qu’elle a formulées et les caractéristiques du programme développées exprès pour elle.
- Le représentant de l’Impact de Montréal qui suit cette formation, Wilfried Nancy, nous parle de sa première session de cours en France, de l’approche pédagogique auprès des jeunes joueurs ou encore du décalage entre l’Europe et la MLS.
On parle évidemment aussi de l’actualité, et notamment des faits suivants :
- Le but de Kobayashi ou celui de Camara : lequel est le plus beau ?
- La faute de main de Roy Miller qui a mené au penalty pour San José
- Les déclarations de Thierry Henry sur « le besoin d’enseigner à ses coéquipiers »
- Faut-il déjà remettre en question le rendement de Marco Di Vaio ?
- L’arrivée d’Obafemi Martins à Seattle
- La Semaine des rivalités
N’oubliez pas non plus ce soir (22h00 HE) le match Seattle - Tigres UANL, quart de finale retour de Ligue des champions (victoire 1-0 des Mexicains à l’aller).
Based on this tweet, we know two things about Chicago Fire striker Quincy Amarikwa.
First, he's a multitab iPhone browser. Second, he's probably better than you at MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager.
If you're in public League 3005 or 2975, it looks like you'll be fighting for table position with a current MLS player – and probably ending up on the wrong end of that deal.
As soon as we heard that D.C. United's Chris Pontius was going to do the weather report on FOX5 in Washington -- tune in at 8:15 am to find out if it's going to rain or shine on United's home opener vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday -- we culdn't help but recall the words of the immortal Dave Spritz:
"I remember once imagining what my life would be like, what I'd be like. I pictured having all these qualities, strong positive qualities that people could pick up on from across the room. But as time passed, few ever became any qualities that I actually had. And all the possibilities I faced and the sorts of people I could be, all of them got reduced every year to fewer and fewer. Until finally they got reduced to one, to who I am. And that's who I am, the weatherman."
As with most interviews, not everything makes it into print. That's why we've got this blog: to pass on all the fascinating tidbits that might get overlooked or swept under the rug.
With that in mind, here are some of Herculez Gomez's quotes that didn't make it into my preview of tonight's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal (8 pm ET, Fox Soccer).
On whether his teammates respect MLS...
“Let’s not mistake respect with fear. I think guys on our team respect MLS. They don’t fear MLS. Every time they play an MLS team, they definitely want to beat them and beat them bad – but not because they’re MLS. I think it has more to do with USA-Mexico and all that. But they know it’s growing. They know these players are getting better. Nobody likes to lose. At this level, we don’t play for fun. It is a job, you do get paid for this. But at the end of the day, it’s all about pride. It’s about what you want to leave behind. None of these players – the professionalism they have is off the charts – want to be known as second best.”
His reaction when told Sanots Laguna manager Pedro Caixinha favorably compared the Dynamo to a British side...
“I love that he says that and not something else. It shows the kind of respect that MLS is finding. He’s a smart guy. He’s been around the block and seen plenty of European football. And to compare MLS to European football – some might think maybe talk about the nature [of the game], the physicality – I think has a lot of merit to it. He talks about how quick paced, how exciting it is – two different styles of football kind of clashing. It will be fun for us. Fun for the fans hopefully.”
On MLS' stated goal of becoming one of the best league's in the world by 2022...
“Obviously, [MLS has] a long way to go to get to that 2022 projection. But you’ve got to start somewhere. I think they’re doing that. Today the soccer sense, the soccer IQ is definitely growing, tactically speaking.”
How MLS has improved since he left for Puebla in 2010...
“I think tactically the understanding is a lot better. You’re bringing in coaches who understand the American athlete and understand it’s a special kind of athlete. The American player is a player who will die for you. They’re willing to run through that wall for you. They just want to know why you want them to run through that wall.”
On the differences between the Dynamo's playing style and that of the majority of the teams in the Liga MX...
“It’s night and day. I think the Dynamo are a straight 4-4-2 team. Very forward, direct, physical. Set pieces are crucial for them. I don’t necessarily see them being such a possession team, but that doesn’t mean they don’t control the ball at times. It’s very different. The type of teams we play in Mexico, the majority are possession oriented. We’ve got definitely four or five teams that play direct. Very direct and very physical as well because that’s kind of what they have to do.”
Last Friday, the US posted an efficient, if tentative, 1-0 win over Costa Rica to secure top spot in Group A of the U-20 CONCACAF Championship. Jose Villarreal headed home the winner in the 63rd minute to secure the three points.
The LA Galaxy youngster is increasingly showing that the hype is warranted -- provided he plays in the center rather than on the wing. "Center forward is kind of my spot," he told MLSsoccer.com after the win.
The Americans now move on to face Canada in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 6 pm ET. The match will be broadcast on Fox Soccer. The winner will earn a spot in the U-20 world cup
There's been a bit of a hullabaloo about Landon Donovan's Wednesday night talk with a USC sports journalism class, which based on the transcripts from some intrepid student journalists, sound like some of his most candid public comments since, well, The Beckham Experiment.
Now, there is some video to go along with some of the quotes floating around, recently posted by Donovan's agent, Richard Motzkin, on his Twitter account. Take a look for yourself:
Yes, he actually said it. But if/when Jurgen Klinsmann will call him in is another matter entirely, but we know Donovan, when on form, should be a shoo-in for the USMNT.
When do you think Klinsmann will call the USA's all-time leading scorer back in? Will Donovan make the difference in World Cup qualifying? Have any other burning Landon-related thoughts? Chime in below!
How can the LA Galaxy persuade Frank Lampard to make the leap across the pond? Let him head back to Europe for an offseason loan, according to The Mirror.
The British tabloid claims the Galaxy are willing to let Lampard join a European club for up to three months next winter (sound familiar, LA fans?). The goal is for him to enter 2014 with the best chances of making England's squad for the summer trip to the World Cup in Brazil.
And that's not the only perk Lampard would get from this rumored offer, said to be for $4.5 million annually over two-and-a-half years. According to the report, Lampard would get benefits such as a free house and free flights to the UK.
The 34-year-old midfielder is rumored to want to stay at Chelsea, but his contract with the reigning European champions expires in June and the Blues have yet to make a new offer, leading to plenty of questions around his future.
A Galaxy spokesperson declined to comment on the report.
And bear in mind... it's The Mirror.