(FILES) In this photo taken on November

Who is leaving Galaxy to accommodate Frank Lampard? Best guess: nobody


The site of Frank Lampard at an L.A. Galaxy match Wednesday had the supporter speculation meter cranked up to 11.

It is interesting, admittedly, that at the very moment Lampard’s longtime place at Stamford Bridge looks so shaky, the man shows up in a seat next to David Beckham, inside the AEG suite at the Home Depot Center during Wednesday’s match against Philadelphia.

So the natural assumption was that Lampard was in town to an up-close look-see, to kick the MLS tires and stare in the mirror at himself in a Galaxy shirt to assess the fit, look and general appeal.

If it happened, Lampard’s arrival into MLS and the Galaxy would be a major story. He’s an England international and a high-quality midfielder, still with enough tread on the tires to qualify as “big ol’ honkin’ deal.”

But that would only be half the tale, since the Galaxy would have to clear one of its current Designated Players; either Beckham, Landon Donovan or Robbie Keane would have to be jettisoned. Donovan’s recent decision to sell his Manhattan Beach house (don’t get excited; you’d need to dig through a ton of sofa cushions to scrape together the $4.3 million needed to grab that bad boy) had people putting two and two together. And sometimes when you do that, you get “five.”

I made some phone rounds this morning, talking to people at MLS and with the Galaxy. Conclusion: I don’t think there’s much to the Lampard story. The guy was just doing what many of us do – and wish we could do more often: spending some vacation time in sunny SoCal.

Call it a hunch. Those pasty-white England types love them some L.A., after all. Wayne Rooney spent time there recently, not long after Gary Cahill made the scene.

Besides, if the Galaxy were into top-secret negotiations with the England man, and if they wanted to keep it on the down-low, they probably could have. Safe to say, they wouldn’t have put the man in an AEG suite with spotlights practically pointed in his direction.

I could be wrong; it has happened before. (“Face-what? A site where you tell people what you’re doing? That’ll never catch on!”)  But if I’m guessing, Lampard will not be a new denizen of L.A. Galaxy Valley.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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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.

Agent: Liverpool contacted Klopp only after Rodgers firing

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Jurgen Klopp arrives to be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC at a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.

However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.

“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”

Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”

It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.