Birthdays of Note: Given the health scare Antonio Cassano survived at the end of 2011, today’s birthday has to have special meaning. The Milan attacker, coming off a strong European Championships, turns 30 on Thursday. Yeah, only 30. Seems like he’s been around a lot longer. At Euro 2012, Cassano started all six matches for Italy, registering the 10th goal of his international career as the Azzurri defeated Ireland 2-0 in group stage.
Big Important Story of the Day: As was noted in the comments to yesterday’s re-set, the John Terry trial persists in London. Is the story big? I guess. It probably should be bigger. Seems most people just can’t get into it, which is understandable. This incident has already been played out in the court of public opinion. Who wants to jump back in? Not me. Nonetheless, the proceedings persist, one day after teammate Ashley Cole took the stand, recounted events, and said he didn’t think the case should be in court.
Real Big Important Story of the Day: We haven’t touched on it here, because how many times can you retell the same story? But FIFA reporting that former president Joao Havelange “received millions in bribes” is big, it is important, but it’s also accepted knowledge, at this point. Reading that will incense those who think the world should rise up against FIFA and get an organization in place that will be free of such corruptions. There certainly were sentiments leaning in that direction on Twitter.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Rick Davis
Twitter daps: Reactions from the victors after yesterday’s U.S. Open Cup semifinals:
PST background noise while blogging today: I’m playing this game with Spotify called “how many songs `til Tom Waits.” Did you know Spotify can get you from Natalie Merchant to Tom in six songs? I would have bet the under on that one.
We’ll leave you with this: Italy expert James Horncastle tweeted this in the wee U.S. hours on Thursday:
Who you do it? Would ya’?
Since arriving on the New York City scene two years ago it’s fair to summarize Mix Diskerud’s tenure with New York City FC as a disappointment.
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While the expectations of a quick transition from life in Europe to MLS were surely massive, the 26-year-old midfielder has failed to live up to the billing of not only being one of the NYCFC’s highest-paid players but also as a potential U.S. Men’s National Team candidate.
Diskerud saw his playing time dwindle down from 23 starts in 2015 to nine this past season under new manager Patrick Vieira, and it doesn’t appear that the Norwegian-American will see an influx of opportunities during the upcoming 2017 season.
Rumors have surfaced throughout the offseason about NYCFC potentially buying out Diskerud’s contract, however, the midfielder’s cryptic post to social media on Sunday afternoon suggests that he may not be in New York for much longer.
It has been suggested that Diskerud would possibly consider a return to Europe in the event that his contract was in fact bought out, however, the difference in salaries would likely be drastic.
According to figures released by the MLS Players’ Union, Diskerud made $761,250 in 2016, which was the fourth-highest salary on NYCFC books behind only David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, each of whom were classified as Designated Players.
Gabriel Jesus was a revelation for Manchester City before suffering an injury, but even with a spot in the lineup for the time being Sergio Aguero may not be coming back to Manchester City next season.
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According to the Sun, Spanish giants Real Madrid are eyeing up a move for Aguero in the hopes that the Argentine striker will join the club at the conclusion of the Premier League season.
Prior to joining City back in 2011, Aguero played five seasons in La Liga with Atletico Madrid, where he scored 101 goals in all competitions for the Rojiblancos.
While Aguero is likely to hold his starting spot for some time due to Jesus’ injured metatarsal, manager Pep Guardiola had heavily favored the young forward over Aguero since officially joining the club in January.
Tab Ramos’ side completed their first task, but now the U.S. Under-20 national team has its next challenge lying in front of them.
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The U.S. U-20s finished second in Group B at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship after winning two of its three group stage matches.
Now, Mexico and El Salvador await the U-20s in the classification stage with a spot at May’s Under-20 World Cup in South Korea on the line.
During the classification round there will be two groups of three teams, with the top two teams advancing to the World Cup. Each group winner will meet in the CONCACAF Championship final.
Classification stage schedule
Feb. 27 — U.S. U-20s vs. Mexico
Mar. 1 — Mexico vs. El Salvador
Mar. 3 — U.S. U-20s vs. El Salvador
Feb. 27 — Panama vs. Honduras
Mar. 1 — Honduras vs. Costa Rica
Mar. 3 — Panama vs. Costa Rica
Manolo Gabbiadini performed brilliantly in Sunday’s EFL Cup final, but was the Southampton striker unfairly gipped of a hat-trick?
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Saints manager Claude Puel certainly believes so.
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While the back-and-forth final between Southampton and Manchester United presented a tremendous matchup, the Saints had every right to be furious with the officiating in the early going after Gabbiadini’s 11th minute finish was called off for offsides.
“I would like, of course, video in the future for these situations,” said Puel. “It’s very hard when we see this game to lose. It was cruel.”
Gabbiadini went on to score a pair of goals at the tail end of the first half and early in the second stanza, but Puel was pleased with his side’s resilience after going down 2-0 inside the opening 38 minutes.
“We kept the good attitude and spirit to stay in the game after going 2-0 down,” said the Southampton boss. “We played since the beginning of the season every two or three days. We played to a strong and fantastic level. It’s important now to continue this work, to put away this disappointment and come back in the Premier League with this strength and this quality.”
Video replay has been a common discussion for some time now, but more leagues are beginning to examine the possibility. FIFA is prepared to introduce new experimental trials over the coming months and could present a form of replay at next summer’s World Cup in Russia.