Kick Off: Rumors swirl around transfer deadline moves
hey may not have been involved in the slate of weekend MLS matches but they were still making headlines.
The league-leading LA Galaxy are in the middle of the biggest news story of the weekend, with potential developments that could come down today, according to manager Bruce Arena who spoke at Sunday’s Galaxy practice: “We're hoping to have some stuff to announce in the next 24 to 48 hours.”
With the manager revealing very little, here’s what can be pieced together: Reports from Sky Sports in England say Tottenham Hotspur and the Galaxy have agreed a transfer fee for striker Robbie Keane.
Then there is current LA Designated Player and forward Juan Pablo Ángel, who didn’t show up at LA’s practice on Sunday. Rumors surfaced on Sunday that he could be traded to the Philadelphia Union. Who started them? Philadelphia Union captain Faryd Mondragón.
But what about the fact that the MLS international transfer window closed Sunday night and there is still no news? That’s not a hang-up, according to this tweet from the Galaxy’s president.
Is it possible that the Union might be shuffling its attacking lineup even more with the addition of a Bundesliga forward? This report claims that Augsburg striker Michael Turk is on the verge of a move to the Union after a falling out with his current team. (GERMAN)
Reports say the San Jose Earthquakes could yet announce the acquisition of a Brazilian goalscorer. They will appreciate the help after Saturday night’s 2-1 home loss to Colorado in which manager Frank Yallop lamented, “We’re just getting screwed.”
The Seattle Sounders conceded defeat in the pursuit of two international transfer targets they were after before the close of the transfer window. On one of the deals, GM Adrian Hanauer confesses the team “got to the one-yard line.”
While all this transfer news fell like a bombshell for some, Houston Dynamo midfielder Adam Moffat was dropping bombs of his own, against his former club no less. “That was kind of a Goal of the Year,” Dynamo forward Brian Ching said about Moffat’s long-distance blast which opened the scoring against the Portland Timbers in a 2-1 Dynamo win on Sunday. (VIDEO)
Frustration is growing in New York, where the Red Bulls failed to win again, settling for a 2-2 home draw against the Chicago Fire. French star Thierry Henry, who claims he has never endured a spell like the one that RBNY are experiencing, was practical in his assessment: “We are where we deserve to be.”
While Henry evoked Bill Parcells and his famous line, “You are what your record says it is,” here’s a more direct link between MLS and the NFL: ex-running back Curtis Martin, the No. 4 all-time leading rusher in American pro football history, potentially becoming involved as an owner with the New York Cosmos.
Getting back to the action, one of the most disputed plays of the MLS weekend was a late penalty kick appeal in Seattle in which Chivas USA’s David Júnior Lopes appeared to have taken down the Sounders’ Lamar Neagle. Referee Kevin Stott looked like he was pointing to the penalty kick spot. “The way he called it, I was definitely scared,” said Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
Neagle insists he was clipped: “I took a touch by him and I think I got clipped. … I haven't been known to dive in my life. I haven't practiced it or anything.”
The D.C. United coaching staff says that third-string goalkeeper Joe Willis made the most of his opportunity with some key saves in a 4-0 shutout of the Vancouver Whitecaps. But will it be enough for him to keep the No. 1 job with Bill Hamid returning from suspension?
Meanwhile, the postseason is slowly becoming a mirage for the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps. But, “There’s always the Cascadia Cup,” says one report from Vancouver on the club’s blanking at RFK Stadium. The Whitecaps take on the Portland Timbers this weekend.
After another loss of their own, 3-1 in Columbus, the New England Revolution are also forced to search for a bright side. How about the craze that has been building around 16-year-old phenom Diego Fagundez, who confesses that he is driven to and from practice by his parents?
Former LA Galaxy star Edson Buddle is not worried about his wheels in Germany, where he has a custom-made vehicle courtesy of the owners of his second-division club Ingolstadt. He repaid them with a goal this weekend and he wasn’t the only American to score abroad. Ex-Chicago Fire striker Chris Rolfe also got in on the act. (VIDEO)
More highlights. Here’s the best from Sunday’s action-packed 2-2 draw between Real Madrid and Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa from the Santiago Bernabéu. Meanwhile, Barcelona are expected to officially present Cesc Fàbregas today. (VIDEO)
There’s drama this morning surrounding English Premier League player Jon Obi Mikel as it is discovered that the Chelsea midfielder’s father has been abducted in Nigeria.
Staying in the EPL, on TV later this afternoon will be Swansea City’s debut in the English Premier League against a much more famous “city” — Manchester City (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes).
In case you missed it, they’re commemorating Uruguay’s victory in the Copa América by publishing stamps that have each player’s likeness. Get a glimpse of the stamp booklet here. (PHOTO)
Lastly, if you haven’t heard about the “John Big Smile,” it’s the soccer celebration that’s all the rave in Brazil. Maicon Santos and his Brazilian teammates on FC Dallas flashed some John Big Smile after his goal in Philadelphia and it got noticed in Brazil. (VIDEO)
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