FutbolMLS.com is the go-to source for Spanish-language coverage of MLS and the World Cup, and every Friday we bring you an English-language digest of the best stuff on the site. Oh, and don't miss everything you need to know about the weekend in American soccer in the Starting XI.
1. BAYERN REV THE ENGINE: All-Star buzz is building, with the 2014 festivities in Portland now less than three weeks away, and just as the MLS roster is coming together, Bayern Munich have started their preparations for a US tour that not only will see them face the All-Stars on August 6, but famed Mexican side Chivas de Guadalajara.
Many of Germany’s World Cup winners are still taking a much-deserved break, but the rest of the squad has gathered for training, including star winger Franck Ribery, who missed the World Cup for France through injury.
“I’m good, I still have to train a lot to be able to have a good preseason with the team,” he told FCBayern.de. “I feel good, I’m happy to be back.”
Bayern have also made some changes to their squad, as any team does in the transfer window, and new additions Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund), midfielder Sebastian Rode (Eintracht Frankfurt) and defender Juan Bernat (Valencia) were all present at the beginning of preseason.
2. CUBO FOR EL TRI? One player who is certainly in the mix to face Bayern is Erick "Cubo" Torres.
The young Mexican forward is on a tear for Chivas USA, with five goals in their last five games, four of them wins. He joined the Tiro Libre crew to discuss his recent success, and revealed a key motivating factor for him as he continues to impress – a spot on the Mexican national team.
He’ll have plenty of opportunities for a call-up between now and Russia 2018 if he keeps impressing, with two Gold Cups and the Copa América Centenario on the horizon in addition to qualifying. He also could get a crack at defending Mexico’s Olympic title, as he slides in just under the age limit for that tournament.
Also on the show, the cast breaks down one of the most thrilling World Cups in memory, so pull up a chair and have a listen!
- The latest Chivas USA headlines from CDChivasUSA.com
3. WORLD CUP STATS & FACTS: If you’re like us and having some World Cup withdrawals, FutbolMLS.com may have just the thing to hold you over for an afternoon.
In the link above, you’ll not only find the FutbolMLS.com Best XI from this year’s World Cup, but a fine array of records and statistics to help you pick up on those little things you may have missed after a month of non-stop international soccer.
Whether you’re curious about the overenthusiastic player who committed the most fouls, or the unlucky duo who hit the post not once, but twice in the World Cup, or something else entirely, you’re covered here.
4. HERRERA RETURNS: We don’t need to immerse ourselves in stats to recognize that CONCACAF enjoyed a great World Cup, and perhaps the most recognizable coach among the teams has gotten a reward for his efforts.
Earlier this week, Mexican owners agreed to keep head coach Miguel Herrera in charge of El Tri through the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“It’s obvious that we have always supported continuity, and the results are what guarantees continuity,” said Mexican federation president Justino Compeán, referring to Herrera’s work in turning around a dismal qualifying campaign and earning seven points in their World Cup group before a narrow knockout round loss to the Netherlands.
“We are already in Russia,” Compean added, referring to the idea that the tournament in Brazil is, well, history.
5. BUT PINTO MAY NOT: One CONCACAF coach whose future is not so certain is Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto. The Colombian manager lead the Ticos to dizzying heights at the World Cup, only falling to the Dutch in the quarterfinals on penalties.
It’s gotten him plenty of attention from abroad, and the speculation in Costa Rica is that Pinto will not renew his contract and stay through 2018. The first rumored suitor is the Peruvian national team, and while he’s not rushing into any decision, Pinto’s words seem to indicate he is far from certain of his future.
“I’m a soccer coach, and I like to be where the best are and where I can work, and I will always have that present in any decision I make in my professional career,” he told Peru’s Canal N.
Pinto has made it clear that his future in Costa Rica is not tied to money, but many media and others in the game have already expressed their doubts that Pinto will return. The Peruvian federation, for its part, issued a statement saying it would comply with the contract of its current coach, Uruguayan Pablo Bengoechea.