Man of the Match: Hard to imagine that Kenny Cooper may have been fourth on the Red Bulls preseason depth chart at striker, behind Thierry Henry, Luke Rodgers and Juan Agudelo. After two early goals Saturday, Cooper is just behind Henry for MLS scoring leadership (going into Saturday night, that is.) It’s worth noting that Cooper had eight goals in 34 games last year. He has six so far in five games with the Red Bulls.
Packaged for take-away:
- The home team was never in this one. Cooper opened the scoring inside three minutes, and it was pretty much a downhill spiral from there for Robert Warzycha’s team. New York took five of the game’s first six shots, stroking the ball around confidently.
- The Crew sails caught some wind for about 10 minutes late in the first half. But Thierry Henry was left free to find the far post for New York’s third and, well, so much for the budding rally. (Columbus’ goal came way too late to matter.)
- Columbus’ defense has a lot to answer for on this one. The back line and midfield were absolutely on holiday. Cooper was given too much room on the opener, wasn’t challenged sufficiently on No. 2 and Henry looked like he was taking shooting practice on No. 3, completely unopposed as he drifted with glee into the penalty area. In between, Dane Richards, Rafa Marquez, Cooper and Henry were free to operate and serve in the final third with near-impunity. It could have been worse than 3-0 at halftime.
- Chances for the Crew before the halftime break? A couple of free kicks, maybe, and Milovan Mirosevic and Bernardo Anor whacked a couple of hopeful fliers from distance, but neither gave Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara any trouble.
- Three relatively trouble free matches have provided Meara with some breathing room as he settles into the pro game. (Not that he was poor at all in the side’s opening pair.)
- Pride presumably (hopefully) wounded, Columbus looked better in the second half. Dilly Duka’s introduction after 56 minutes pepped up the Crew attack, but a 3-0 deficit is a lot to overcome. (And in fairness, the Red Bulls had probably switched on the cruise control by then.)
- Mehdi Ballouchy replaced Joel Lindpere on the left for New York; the Estonian has struggled in 2012 to make any impact.
NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.
Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.
If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.
The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.
Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.
Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.
Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.
Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.
Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.
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The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.
Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.
The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.
Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.
The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.
In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.