D.C. United hosted the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night. Each side earned a point after Wilman Conde’s late goal leveled the score at dos a dos. So much to discuss. Seriously, this was a barnburner.
- Dwayne De Rosario as “Mr. 100.” Goals, that is. He joins the exclusive club and darn well he should. The man can ball.
- The Andy Najar as right back experiment continues with another successful outing.
- Time to start the Ben Olsen job watch? A bit too early, methinks, but what if the Red and Black fall out of the playoff picture? Then you have to think some discussion will bubble to the surface. (That said, firing Olsen would be ludicrous.)
- The first struggles of Bill Gaudette. If you’re going to come for the ball, you gotta get to the ball, my dude.
- Conde’s game-tying blast. See ball. Run to ball. Hit ball. It’s a simple game, folks. And who knew the defender even had a right foot?
But if you want to talk about the one most important takeaway from the match, you gotta go with Conde at left back.
“Not only at the end of the game, he was probably one of our best players at left back,” Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe told MLSSoccer.com’s Franco Panizo. “It’s great to see he adapts so quick from being a center back his whole life to play left back. He played overall, over 90 minutes, very good.”
Conde’s ability to handle the left back duties gives Backe the flexibility to move Heath Pearce into the middle, which is good because that’s where he should be playing regardless of the health of one Mr. Rafa Marquez.
The Red Bulls look primed for the stretch run. Or, in other words, boom goes the dynamite.
Super agent Mino Raiola has injected a ray of light into the hopes of both Juventus and Real Madrid fans when it comes to Paul Pogba.
The terrific midfielder has been widely reported as an imminent arrival at Manchester United, but Raiola has taken to Twitter to blast journalists who’ve reported the move and medical as done.
[ RANIERI: Mahrez will stay at LCFC ]
Pogba was photographed in Los Angeles amid claims he was undergoing a physical at United. Multiple reports have said he passed the medical and that Juventus has agreed to sell Pogba to United for a world record fee.
Raiola says different, though taken with the grain of salt that he’s set to make as much as $30 million on the deal and his job is to squeeze every possibly penny from suitors.
Claudio Ranieri seems to be genuine and honest in his evaluations, as we’ve seen in his dealings with Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante amongst others.
And the manager is making no bones about what he thinks is best for another Leicester City star in Riyad Mahrez.
[ MORE: Gameiro joins new club ]
Ranieri says the Algerian will face far more pressure at a new club then he will face still competing in the UEFA Champions League with the Foxes.
In other words, the 25-year-old should stick around. From Sky Sports:
“I speak often with him and say stay with us, it’s much better for your future, I think he is an intelligent man and he will stay,” Ranieri told Sky Sports News HQ.
“We support him very well, this is important, when you change teams maybe you don’t find team-mates who help you at the same level.
“He improves more if he stays with us for another year, maybe next year he can think about another solution. If he goes for a lot of money, everybody will be expecting something special. He can do something special, but with us.”
We tend to agree. Whereas N’Golo Kante was prepared to use Leicester as a stepping stone — and it seems Ranieri knew it — Mahrez has been with the Foxes since 2014 and seen his stature skyrocket.
Let’s see what happens, Riyad. Cool?
MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid says it has acquired French striker Kevin Gameiro from rival Spanish club Sevilla.
In exchange, Atletico has agreed to loan Argentine striker Luciano Vietto to Sevilla for one season.
Atletico says Gameiro will sign a four-year contract after undergoing a standard medical exam.
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The 29-year-old Gameiro scored 67 goals during three seasons with Sevilla, helping it win three Europa League titles.
Gameiro will join countryman Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres to form the attack of an Atletico side that reached the final of the Champions League last season.
Atletico did not reveal the financial details of Gameiro’s transfer.
NEW YORK (AP) A former Guatemalan soccer federation president has pleaded guilty in New York to charges related to a sprawling corruption investigation of world soccer.
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Brayan Jimenez pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when he’ll be sentenced.
The 62-year-old Jimenez is among 40 people from around the world charged in a FIFA bribery scandal over lucrative broadcasting rights.
Prosecutors say Jimenez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based sports marketing company. They say in exchange for the money Jimenez awarded the company media marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2018 and 2022.
Jimenez’s attorneys haven’t returned a message seeking comment on his guilty plea.