More notes on the United States roster

Leave a comment

A few more roster notes on the 23 men available for selection to U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann, courtesy of U.S. Soccer:

(More can be found  here, from U.S. Soccer’s communications staff.)

  • Fourteen players have World Cup qualifying experience.
  • Steve Cherundolo and Landon Donovan are beginning their fourth qualifying cycle; Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu commence their third.
  • Bocanegra is one of five players on the roster to captain their club teams. The others are Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Cherundolo (Hannover), Donovan (LA Galaxy) and Clarence Goodson (Brondby).
  • Tim Howard is second in all-time for victories for U.S. goalkeepers. Further, he has eight clean sheets in 16 World Cup qualifying appearances.
  • Donovan returns to the national team for the first time since September of 2011. The USA’s all-time leading scorer also has the most appearances for any U.S. player in World Cup qualifying (35) and goals (12).
  • Jozy Altidore has six goals in 13 career qualifiers; Michael Bradley and Dempsey have five each.
  • Dempsey is coming off a record-setting season for a U.S. international in England, recording his 50th career English Premier League goal while setting a single-season mark for league goals scored (17) and goals in all competitions (23). He also tallied the USA’s lone goal in the 1-0 win against Italy on Feb. 29 in Genoa.
  • Altidore finished his first season at AZ Alkmaar with 19 goals in all competitions, including 15 in league play and four in the Europa League. Jermaine Jones helped Schalke 04 to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga and a spot in next year’s UEFA Champions League.
  • With 19 goals in all competitions in the last year, Herculez Gomez became the first U.S. player to win both an MLS Cup title and Mexican League title as Santos defeated Monterrey in the two-leg final.
  • Terrence Boyd finished with 20 goals for Borussia Dortmund’s second team, scoring a goal in the final that helped the team gain promotion to the Third Division.
  • Bradley played in a career-high 34 league games in his first season at Chievo Verona in Italy’s Serie A, the Flying Donkeys finishing in 10th in the league table.
  • Joe Corona is the only player looking for his first U.S. cap.  The midfielder and Development Academy product scored four goals for the U-23 MNT in the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament.
  • Michael Parkhurst comes to camp as a newly crowned champion, as FC Nordsjaelland captured the Danish Superligaen title after finishing two points ahead of FC Copenhagen.
  • Geoff Cameron started the USA’s first two matches of 2012, consecutive 1-0 victories against Venezuela and Panama.
  • Bocanegra and Maurice Edu play for Scottish Premier League side Rangers alongside Scotland defenders Lee Wallace and Steven Whittaker and goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Man United announces $787 million record revenue for 2016/17

Dan Istitene/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Whoa, that’s a lot of dough.

With the record television deals in place for the Premier League, there’s no wonder top clubs are doing so well financially.

[ MORE: Chelsea sells Diego Costa to Atleti, will re-join club in January ]

Manchester United is right at the front of that, with the club posting a record revenue figure for the 2016/17 year.

The Old Trafford side has announced that it generated over $787 million during last season, after signing the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Red Devils also won three trophies — UEFA Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield — which certainly helped boost the club’s morale as well.

“We concluded a successful 2016-17 season with a total of three trophies [including the Community Shield] and a return to Champions League football,” said United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

“The year saw us set record revenues of over £581m and achieve a record EBITDA [Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization] of £199.8m. We are pleased with the investment in our squad and look forward to an exciting season.”

Overall, United has reportedly netted a profit of roughly $53 million, before taxes, and the club’s net debt has been reduced to around $288 million.

Woodward has estimated that United will generate in the range of $770 to $790 million for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Report: Chelsea, Everton target disgruntled PSG striker Cavani

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
Leave a comment

Sunday’s 2-0 victory was anything but conventional for Paris Saint-Germain, and now, it’s become quite clear that one of its stars isn’t happy at the Parc des Princes.

[ MORE: Spurs meet Hammers, Chelsea takes on Everton in League Cup ]

Edinson Cavani’s on-field disagreements with Neymar were documented over the weekend, with the Uruguayan forward clearly disgruntled over the fact that he had a free kick taken away from him and a separate occasion where the Brazilian wanted to take a penalty kick as well.

The Daily Mail is reporting that Chelsea and Everton have expressed their interest in the 30-year-old striker following the incidents that occurred against Lyon.

Everton is certainly in the market for a striker at this point, after heavily struggling in the attacking third during the opening month-plus of the Premier League season, while Chelsea would likely want someone to provide depth for them up front in support of summer signing Alvaro Morata.

However, the big concern over Cavani is not only his age, but his salary as well. For the sort of money that he’d likely command, a team like Chelsea would surely only play the Uruguayan on rare occasions given Morata and Michy Batshuayi‘s presence.

War of egos weakens Cavani at Paris Saint-Germain

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) With eight wins in as many matches this season, Paris Saint-Germain should be bursting with confidence ahead of Bayern Munich’s visit next week in the Champions League.

[ MORE: Pulisic stars with a goal in another BVB win ]

A war of egos between the club’s biggest stars, however, is tarnishing PSG’s perfect start to the season, as well as the club’s slick image that the Qatari owners want to promote in their ambition to build a great club in the French capital.

[ MORE: Atletico Madrid to host 2018/19 Champions League final ]

When Qatar Sports Investments splashed 222 million euros ($262 million) – double the previous world-record transfer of 105 million euros (then $116 million) – to acquire Neymar, the general mood at the club and in the French media was upbeat.

To sum it up, the Brazil striker was the player PSG needed in its quest for Champions League glory.

But some voices immediately rose, noting that Neymar’s technical relationship with forward Edinson Cavani could be problematic, especially if the former Barcelona player was used in a central position. PSG coach Unai Emery, however, made the clever choice of keeping Cavani in a center-forward role, with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe deployed on the wings.

PSG’s new attacking trident was clinical in its first two matches, scoring 10 goals, but proved less efficient in a 2-0 win over Lyon last weekend at the Parc des Princes, where tensions between Cavani and Neymar were obvious.

The two argued over who should take a penalty kick that Cavani finally missed. The dispute happened just minutes after the Uruguay international had tried to take a free kick, but Neymar’s good friend and Brazil teammate Dani Alves took the ball and gave it to the former Barcelona star.

Visibly angered, Cavani went back to the dressing room straight after the final whistle while his teammates celebrated on the field.

According to L’Equipe newspaper, a dressing room bust-up followed and the duo had to be separated by teammates.

For now, PSG seems to be willing to ease tensions between its stars.

“There needs to be a gentlemen’s agreement between them when it comes to taking spot kicks,” Emery said. “Apart from that, we will have to arrange things internally for when we get penalties because I believe that both are capable of converting them.”

The altercation, however, spoke volumes about how fast Cavani is losing his influence in the team. After years in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the long-haired forward finally got the chance to impose himself as a true leader last season. He did it in style, finishing as the French league’s top scorer and netting 49 goals in 50 games across all competitions.

Neymar’s arrival has taken the spotlight away from him, and the good relationship between the Brazil captain and Mbappe is making things ever more difficult for Cavani. In a team where five Brazilians are now playing together, Neymar is clearly the new boss and Cavani’s days at the club might be numbered.

[ MORE: Mourinho questions worth of the League Cup ]

Speaking to an Uruguayan radio program, Cavani has nonetheless denied tensions exist between the pair.

“These things are created. The truth is that these are normal things, things that happen in football,” he said. “The truth is that there’s no problem.”

L’Equipe reported that Dani Alves invited all his teammates to a reconciliation dinner on Wednesday, but it remains to be seen how long the new “MCN” trident of Mbappe, Cavani and Neymar will stay in place at PSG.

Breaking: Chelsea sells Diego Costa to Atleti, will re-join club in January

Leave a comment

We all suspected this would happen, and it finally occurred on Thursday.

[ MORE: Tammy Abraham expected to call Nigeria his national team ]

Chelsea has announced the transfer of Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid for roughly $77 million after spending  seasons with the Premier League side.

The 28-year-old will re-join Atleti in January during the winter transfer window. Atletico was banned from making transfers over the summer, which kept the move on hold.

Costa played for the La Liga side on two separate stints, first from 2007-2009 and then 2010-2014 after a brief move to Real Valladolid in between.

In his time with the Blues, the Spanish international scored 59 goals in all competitions for the Londoners, and helped the club to two Premier League titles.

The sale of Costa isn’t unexpected after the striker’s falling out with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte towards the latter half of the 2016/17 PL season.

The Italian boss revealed to Costa via text at the conclusion of the team’s PL-winning campaign that the goalscorer would no longer be needed at Stamford Bridge, prior to Chelsea acquiring striker Alvaro Morata over the summer.