Two quick notes on Major League Soccer’s ongoing efforts at greater discipline, since all things the league’s busy disciplinary committee are important and relevant. And we like to work in “important and relevant” around here.
A) Just because MLS handed out one suspension Tuesday (Dallas’ Blas Perez), that doesn’t mean their work is finished. Hardly, in fact.
Dallas plays tonight, so that one needed overnight delivery, so to speak, rather than standard two or three-day shipping. There are definitely more crimes and punishments to be pondered in Round 7. Which brings us to …
B) Coaches actions fall under disciplinary committee purview. I checked with MLS spokesman Will Kuhns on this, and he confirmed as much. (I wondered if perhaps disciplinary matters of coaches and sideline personnel fell under the commissioner’s watch or some other MLS official?)
This is important after events of last weekend – specifically, what happened at the Home Depot Center late in Philadelphia’s win over Chivas USA. First, Gabriel Farfan might be tagged with an extra game for his brainless challenge, unnecessarily dangerous.
But everything that happened afterward will be subject to scrutiny – especially what Union coach Peter Nowak did in entering the field of play. That’s a major no-no. If you haven’t seen it …
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
[ MORE: Ultimate guide to USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.