Update: Juninho has returned to LA on loan.
Just as Galaxy fans had come to terms to life without Juninho, reports in Brazil suggest the former LA defensive midfielder could already be on his way back.
Juninho signed a three-year deal with Sao Paulo after his loan stint with LA ended following the 2012 season. He even bid farewell to Galaxy fans via Twitter.
Now, though, a report in Gazeta Esportiva suggests that Juninho is not going to factor into Sao Paulo's plans after all, leaving him open to a return to MLS as long as the details can be worked out between the two clubs.
The dream is still alive for Chicago Fire winger Patrick Nyarko, and we’re not talking about his designs on playing for the USMNT, which he has indicated previously.
He’s hoping to see his native Ghana advance to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, and they’re still on track after their weekend quarterfinal victory over Tunisia.
“It’s going to be tough, but I’m hoping for Ivory Coast vs. Ghana final,” Nyarko told MLSsoccer.com last week. “Before the tournament started, I picked Ivory Coast to win it but I want Ghana to win it. I think Ivory Coast has the better team, but Ghana is playing very well. I still think we have the hope we might sneak up on them and win it.
“I’m looking forward to a Ghana vs. Ivory Coast final, but there are so many new teams that are emerging. Look at the Nations Cup and you ask where are Nigeria and Cameroon? Where did those big teams go? They didn’t qualify because other teams have emerged.”
Ivory Coast and Ghana are, in fact, on a collision course for a final and they face Mali and Zambia respectively in the semis on Wednesday. Nyarko argues that the rise of new contenders outside the traditional powers is what is making African soccer an up-and-coming force.
“No disrespect to CONCACAF,” says Nyarko, “but I think the Cup of Nations is the second best tournament after the European UEFA championships.”
In honor of Paul Bravo’s new contract signing last week, I thought to dig up this gem from the archives. Back in the day, I started as a PA that had to comb through Beta tapes logging highlights… and low lights. This was one of my all-time favorites. Enjoy!
(Note the classic MLS "Shot Clock" for the old school shoot outs in the background)
This is the first post for the Out of Focus blog here on MLSsoccer. Many MLS fans know I spend a good deal of time arguing with my ExtraTime Radio cohort Simon Borg, but the rest of the time is spent working with a great group of videographers and editors who produce content for the site. (You’ll eventually meet them all on here.)
This blog is now our outlet… our way of taking you behind the camera and telling our stories as we journey around the continent covering the game we love. But it wouldn’t be a video department's blog without a play button, so you should expect to see videos on here more often than not. At times we may ask for feedback on content ideas or players/teams/events you’d like to see featured, but we’ll also entertain you with clips that may not be the right fit for the main site.
Bloopers, outtakes, off-the-cuff debates, classic video that we turn up and anything else we think will amuse you will be found in Out of Focus. I hope you all enjoy it. For now, I’ll leave you with some outtakes from last week’s Daily…
Skrifaði undir samning til tveggja ára í morgun, mjög ánægður með það. Nú bíð ég eftir atvinnuleyfi.
— G. Victor Palsson (@VictorPalsson) February 5, 2012
To most of us the Tweet above means about as much as the Latin script on the back of a coin. But send it through Google translate with the knowledge that it's coming from former Hibs midfielder Victor Palsson, who is in Cancun with the Red Bulls, and it becomes a lot more menaingful to non-Icelanders.
"Signed a contract for two years this morning, very pleased with it. Now I am waiting for permits."
There's no word from New York yet but if you read between the tweets --the digital age equivalent of tea leaves-- it certainly seems like more there could be a new addition to Hans Backe's Nordic All Star team.
Chris Birchall wasn't a household name like some of the other internationals acquired by the LA Galaxy a few years ago. But he has been a stalwart of the Trinidad & Tobago national team since 2005, and he put in three more-than-serviceable years for Bruce Arena & Co.
From the looks of this tweet on Monday morning, his time at the HDC is done.
Disappointed to say that I will not be returning to LA Galaxy,I would like to thank everyone for a Superb 3years,fans exceptional!!Thankyou!
— Chris Birchall (@chrisbirchall7) February 6, 2012
A few weeks ago, Arena had this to say about Birchall: “There hasn’t been a decision made on him. Originally he wanted to go back to England, so we obviously agreed to that and didn’t renew his option. He was looking to explore opportunities in England. Perhaps he’ll want to come back.”
Not sure at this point if anything happened in England, but it seems like the manager's final question has been answered.
On Thursday's edition of ExtraTime Radio, we all got into a discussion about the best songs by Thin Lizzy, the 1970s rock band led by the incomparable Phil Lynott. (Look 'em up, kids.)
We bandied about "The Boys Are Back in Town," "Cowboy Song," "Jailbreak," and my personal favorite, "Fighting My Way Back." Suffice to say, it was a rocking show, one that I'm sure Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear -- a diehard Thin Lizzy fan -- would appreciate.
In the aftermath, an @ExtraTimeRadio fan on Twitter sent this tweet:
@Gaetjens Glad you guys brought up "Cowboy Song," but "Emerald" is Thin Lizzy's captain and midfield engine.
— Jason (@chestrockwell14) February 3, 2012
That, naturally, set off a back and forth about Thin Lizzy songs and where they would play on the field. Naturally.
So here's the Thin Lizzy Starting XI, according to me and @chestrockwell14.
I'm sure there are plenty of music snobs (don't we all fall into that category, really?) that have a beef or two with this. Fine. What musical Starting XI would you come up with?
En Nueva York, cuando toma el ‘Subway’, uno espera que en algún momento en el camino el tren se detenga y deje de correr. ¿Por qué? Porque ya estamos acostumbrados.
Sin embargo, en el caso del José Adolfo ‘El Trencito’ Valencia, todos quedamos sorprendidos de que este nunca saliera de la estación. Y es que el joven colombiano de 20 años se quedará estancado luego de que se diera a conocer estará fuera de las canchas entre 6 y 12 meses.
Sorprendidos quedamos todos, y cuando digo todos, es TODOS.
Sorprendidos en Colombia, donde ni el médico del Independiente Santa Fe (ex equipo de Valencia) sabía de la condición del jugador, según nos comentó Fabián Rozo del diario El Tiempo en el podcast Tiro Libre.
Sorprendidos los Portland Timbers, que anunciaron con bombos y platillos la llegada de su Jugador Franquicia Juvenil. Cuando el jugador ya había llegado al club, el club lo presentó a la afición y lo tuvieron en varios eventos, sin saber que horas después conocerían la verdad detrás de los problemas en los cartílagos de su rodilla derecha. Este video con la afición salió al aire después del primer día de entrenamientos del equipo:
Por último, ¿debería estar sorprendido el mismo Trencito? Puede que si. Siempre activo en Twitter, el joven delantero documentó varias entradas en la red social, y saltan a la vista unas en particular:
Un jugador dudoso de su estado físico no gritaría a los cuatro vientos (¿eso es lo que Twitter hace verdad?) que se hará exámenes médicos.
Lo único que queda es desearle al Trencito Valencia mucha suerte con la cirugía y una pronta recuperación y aplaudir a los Timbers por no rendirse y velar por su rehabilitación.
For many American soccer fans who watched Wednesday's soccer tragedy unfold in Egypt's Port Said, Bob Bradley immediately came to mind.
The American is the head coach of the Egyptian national team and he chose to live in Egypt with his wife as part of the job. A day after the stadium riots that claimed 74 lives and injured a few hundred others following the match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly, Bradley took to the streets.
Along with thousands of other Egyptians, Bradley and his wife were photographed at the protest march held Thursday in Central Cairo to commemorate the victims and condemn the violence. The ex-US national team coach spoke to Steven Goff of The Washington Post regarding his thoughts on the events and their impact on the national team.
“When a tragedy like this occurs, it’s important to show respect,” Bradley told The Washington Post.
Below is a video of comments made by Bradley to Egyptian TV.