For U.S. soccer supporters awaiting a reckoning on U.S. under-23 manager Caleb Porter, standing by for a dismissal from the position or for some official thumbs-up, here’s some useful news:
Nothing like that was ever going to happen.
Porter’s position as U.S. under-23 coach was never a “permanent” post, per se. There isn’t a permanent under-23 program, so his was always a cyclical position for a team created once every four years, attached to the quadrennial summer Olympic games.
Porter’s contract expires on April 30, according to U.S. Soccer. That expiration date was always in the contract in the event the United States failed to qualify for London 2012.
Had the United States earned a berth for this summer, regardless of whether things went “famine” or “feast” in London, his contract would have expired shortly thereafter, most likely at the end of August.That’s standard in these contracts. (Peter Nowak’s deal was structured slightly differently four years ago because he was a full-time assistant on Bob Bradley’s national team staff at the time, “moonlighting” as Olympic coach.)
U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said Porter will meet soon with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer secretary general Dan Flynn and national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann in a standard performance review. Porter, who remains coach of the University of Akron’s highly successful program, could still fill any number of roles within U.S. Soccer’s integrated national team system (under-17s, under-20s, full men’s team assistant, etc.). Or all parties could simply move on.
“I would think that meeting will happen sooner rather than later,” Buethe told me a few minutes ago from his U.S. Soccer office in Chicago. “They obviously want to review things face to face, so it’s just a matter of figuring out everybody’s schedule.”
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.