Rationale, motive and intent: Four saves helped keep his team in the game (and perhaps in the playoff race) until the Dynamo finally got the late breakthrough goal in the driving rain at BBVA Compass Stadium.
- Vanvouver’s Jay DeMerit
- Portland’s David Horst
- Colorado’s Hunter Freeman
Rationale, motive and intent: Sometimes I actually feel for Jay DeMerit. Becaues no matter how much Martin Rennie tries to tidy up the defensive organization around BC Place, the Whitecaps’ veteran center back always seems to have so very much to do. He certainly did Saturday in the 0-0 draw with Seattle.
Horst? Yeah, I know about the penalty kick. But it was pretty weak salsa in my book. I’m looking at all the great and gritty that went on defensively around Jeld-Wen in his team’s 1-1 draw with D.C. United.
Freeman was up and down the right side in his team’s 1-1 draw with the Galaxy.
- Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi
- Houston’s Ricardo Clark (pictured)
- Sporting Kansas City’s Julio Cesar
Rationale, motive and intent: Zusi scored twice in the big win, during the weekend’s most significant matchup. His defensive-minded teammate Cesar was always in the right place to keep Chris Rolfe contained and to tamp down those Fire counter-attack opportunities. Clark was full of hustle and bustle in midfield, as usual, but and then led the late offensive charge that ultimately sealed up the night.
- New York’s Thierry Henry
- Real Salt Lake’s Alvaro Saborio
- Real Salt Lake’s Fabian Espindola
- Columbus’ Jairo Arrieta
Rationale, motive and intent: Yep, it’s the old 3-3-4 formation. What can I say? I’m a journalist, not the second coming of Rinus Michels.
Henry? We’ve stomped the grapes on that French ground.
It’s simply impossible to pick between Saborio and Espindoloa when one is scoring most of the goals (three for “Sabo”) and the other is setting them up (three assists for “Espy”). So, we picked ‘em both.
Arrieta scored a couple of quality goals before the break for a club that absolutely, positively had to have all three points to keep pace in the playoff chase.
FIFA announced on Monday its three-man list of finalists for the 2015 Puskas Award, handed out each year to the player who scored the “most beautiful” goal of the past calendar year.
[ MORE: 2015 Ballon d’Or finalists ]
The three men up for this year’s honor are Alessandro Florenzi (WATCH HERE), Lionel Messi (WATCH HERE) and Wendell Lira (WATCH HERE) — all scorers of fantastically beautiful goals this year.
That means Carli Lloyd, who made the original list of nominees before being whittled down to just three, is
shockingly tragically scandalously criminally not a finalist for this year’s award. Reminder: This is the goal we’re talking about.
[ MORE: Timbers reach first MLS Cup | Crew SC to host MLS Cup 2015 ]
So, here’s the case for Lloyd:
- She scored from midfield
- She scored the winner from midfield in a World Cup final
- She scored the winner from midfield in a World Cup final to complete a hat trick
- She scored the winner from midfield in a World Cup final to complete a hat trick in the 16th minute
How in the world is Carli Lloyd’s midfield goal to complete a 16-minute hat trick and win a World Cup final not a top-three goal of the year? You got some (more) explaining to do, FIFA.
All signs seemed to point toward an all-too-familiar outcome for the David Beckham-led investment group hoping to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to the city of Miami: another failed plan in their bid to build a brand new stadium.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
Earlier this month, newly-joined all-world sports executive Tim Leiweke warned that groups or individuals currently owning the various parcels of land surrounding the Miami Marlins’ baseball stadium, the latest site Miami Beckham United (MBU) had chosen, were making “unrealistic” demands and threatened to derail the project at that location.
Today, it’s been reported across South Florida that the group has altogether abandoned plans to build their stadium at that particular site. Miami city commissioner Francis Suarez confirmed that MBU were “moving in a different direction” — quotes from Local 10 News:
“It’s going to be withdrawn from the next agenda because the Beckham group has not acquired the private properties that are needed to construct the stadium on that site.”
“The residents expect us to hold these teams to the fire,” Suarez said. “A lot of times they’re financed by wealthy people and they want some sort of a public subsidy, which is very controversial as well, which is why we were going to take it to referendum.”
[ MORE: Timbers reach first MLS Cup | Crew SC to host MLS Cup 2015 ]
On Sunday, during halftime of the league’s Eastern Conference final, MLS commissioner Don Garber was asked about the Miami stadium situation, to which he responded, “We think Miami will be a great market. We found a reasonably good site. I’m confident that we’ll get something done there.”
MBU is reportedly being held to something of a deadline by the MLS board of governors, which meets every year ahead of MLS Cup, with this weekend’s sit-down thought of as a target date to have something concrete going forward. Meanwhile, Sacramento Republic FC, an MLS expansion hopeful currently playing in the USL (third division), announced last week they would be moving forward with building their brand new MLS-sized stadium, expansion bid or not.
There are certainly already some comparisons between new Premier League record holder Jamie Vardy and fictional Santiago Munez from the “Goal!” movies.
But that isn’t going to stop “Goal” screenwriter Adrian Butchart from heading to Tinseltown and pitching the Vardy story as a basis for a new film, according to The Sun.
[ PL PLAYBACK: Vardy Party, and Costa out at Chelsea? ]
And he’s got a who’s who of young actors in mind for the role of Vardy.
From The Sun:
Butchart believes Hollywood A-listers Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and Zac Efron all have potential to fill Vardy’s boots in a film version of his life.
Unfortunately, they don’t ask Butchart who should play Claudio Ranieri, or Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Fortunately, we’re here with our cast (The first one is easy):
Aaron Paul as Vardy.
Robert Downey, Jr. as Van Nistelrooy.
James Franco as Riyad Mahrez.
Tommy Lee Jones as Ranieri.
Ryan Gosling as Kaspar Schmeichel.
Liam Neeson as Nigel Pearson.
And Danny Drinkwater as himself.
The Eastern Conference’s second-stingiest team is looking to enhance its already-strong back line.
Joining MLS Best XI defender Laurent Ciman could be Siaka Tiene, a longtime international teammate of Didier Drogba on the Ivory Coast squad.
[ MORE: Timbers hold off Dallas | Crew advances past RBNY ]
The 96-times capped Tiene will be 34 when next season starts, but will have fresh legs having not played since last season ended for Montpellier.
MLSSoccer.com does the translation work for us:
A report from RDS.ca states that the Impact have signed 33-year-old left back Siaka Tiéné, an Ivory Coast international who boasts World Cup and African Cup of Nations experience.
Aside from Ciman, Ambroise Oyongo is the only Impact back currently under contract.
Tiene played relatively well last season, but was limited to just 17 appearances in Ligue 1.