It’s now seven goals in six league games, five in his last four overall for Jozy Altidore, though the young American may need a little help with his celebrations. After his 24th minute goal today against RKC Waalwijk, Altidore took what can be generously described as a coordinated tumble. Not that he hadn’t earned it. Not even a full face plant would he detracted from the quality of his goal in Alkmaar.
With the match tied 1-1, Altidore came back for a ball played in from the center line, turned, and beat three defenders before finishing inside the left post.
This is one of the better Altidore goals you’ve seen:
Even though the Eredivisie is not the most difficult scoring environment, it’s nice to see a young star regaining his confidence. We all know the troubles Altidore’s gone through since leaving Major League Soccer for Europe. That goal is something you wouldn’t have seen Altidore try during more challenging times. You probably wouldn’t see him try to do that for the U.S. national team, either.
A full year of this type of production could go a long way for the 22-year-old, even if his current goalscoring rate (and the ease of that goal) hint Altidore may be quickly outgrowing the Dutch league. But let’s worry about that in May. For now, it looks like it’s going to be a highlight-filled season for Altidore.
Pep Guardiola says he benched Samir Nasri because he’s “a little bit overweight”
Samir Nasri‘s soccer career has taken a nosedive since his seven-goal, nine-assist season in 2012/13, both internationally and domestically.
The 29-year-old winger has retired from the French national team after to being frozen out by Didier Deschamps, and has seen a decline in playing time for Manchester City two seasons in a row. Now with a new manager and a fresh start at the Etihad, things aren’t exactly off with flying colors out of the gates.
Nasri hasn’t featured thus far in Manchester City’s preseason, and manager Pep Guardiola said it’s because of his fitness. “Samir arrived a little bit overweight,” Guardiola said following the team’s win over Borrusia Dortmund in International Champions Cup play from China. “He’s much better now, but still there is a little bit of weight. Last season he was injured and we want to avoid that.”
City took down Dortmund on penalties following a 1-1 draw. The squad fell 1-0 to Bayern Munich last week in the team’s first pre-season match. Nasri did not appear in either, and defender Gael Clichy – without naming names – said that Guardiola has forced those with fitness issues to train on their own.
“We have a few players who are not training with the team yet,” Clichy, a former teammate of Nasri’s at Arsenal, said on Wednesday. “If your weight is too high, you’re not training with the team. You have to know that if your weight is 60 kilos and you are on 70 kilos, then you cannot play football.”
Guardiola backed up his policy on Wednesday following Clichy’s comments. “The weight is so important. When you are not fit, danger is coming. You’re not fast enough or quick enough in the head. That’s why you need to be fit.”
Liverpool wanted to get younger at the back, but they’ll have to look elsewhere.
Despite reportedly heavy interest from Anfield, 19-year-old defender Ben Chilwell has signed a new five-year deal with Leicester City, tying him down through the summer of 2021.
The Leicester City defense desperately needs Chilwell’s youth as it ages yet another year following their run to the Premier League title. Robert Huth is 31 years old, Wes Morgan – also on a new deal this summer – is 32, and backup Marcin Wasilewski is 36. On the left edge, where Chilwell is most proficient, first-choice left-back Christian Fuchs is 30, while Jeffrey Schlupp provides the only other true bit of youth at 23. On the right, Danny Simpson is 29 and Richie De Laet is 27.
“Ever since I arrived in Leicester, Ben has been a young player that has shown a lot of promise,” Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieritold the club’s official website. “He has all the attributes you would want in a defender and shows a lot of maturity for a player of just 19. He has come back for pre-season in very good condition and is already showing that he is ready to push for a place in the team.”
Chilwell, a Leicester City academy product, has yet to make a Premier League appearance, but has featured for the England youth teams at multiple levels.
Pogba, 23, has been chased by United all summer and it finally appears that Jose Mourinho has his man.
The report goes on to state that Pogba could have a medical in Miami on Friday (where he is currently on vacation) as United aim to tie up the deal by the weekend.
This week it had been reported that a major snag in the deal had arrived due to Raiola demanding over $22 million for brokering the deal. However it seems as though any talk of an impasse has now passed and United are now close to sealing the huge deal for the French international midfielder.
Pogba left United for a $1.2 million compensation fee in 2012 after he failed to break into Sir Alex Ferguson‘s team. Now, just four years later, he will return to Old Trafford with four Serie A titles in his trophy cabinet plus he was named as the best young player at the 2014 World Cup.
Real Madrid and Barcelona were previously linked with Pogba but United’s riches, despite the Red Devils not being in the UEFA Champions League next season, seem to have prevailed.
Mourinho said in his first press conference as United’s manager that he wanted four key players to arrive as part of his rebuild.