All eyes and ears around the rave green crowd will be focused on Eddie Johnson’s hamstring today.
The Seattle Sounders leading scorer (14 goals) came off the field in the first half last night with a strained hamstring. Team officials will have a better diagnosis and prognosis following an MRI today. (Whether they will share it with us with 100 percent transparency, who knows?)
Here’s what Johnson said about it last night via the Seattle Times:
I made a couple long runs early in the game and my hammy kind of tightened up on me. My game is (made up) of making hard runs behind the back four, and there was a play where I tried to set the defender up like I was going to come for the ball and check away, and I felt a big cramp in my hamstring.
“I know what that feeling feels like. I was smart. I came out. I didn’t try to force it, but there’s definitely something there. If I had played, I’d have been restricted. The smart thing was for me to do what’s best for the team and come out. We’ll get an MRI on Monday and see what’s going on.”
This will not be devastating news for Seattle, but it’s certainly bad news. The West field is tough. Real Salt Lake is up first, and then a date with the Galaxy in all likelihood.
Fredy Montero is playing well, so the goal-scoring cupboard is hardly bare. But no one who would replace Johnson as the Sounders most advanced striker comes close to offering what the U.S. international and MLS All-Star does, solidly-timed runs into the penalty area and the athletic ability to deliver once he accesses those areas.
There is also concern about center back Jeff Parke, who also left last night’s match, although there is more cover there.
SANDY, Utah (AP) Real Salt Lake has re-signed forward Joao Plata to a multi-year contract and he will continue to hold a designated-player spot.
The 24-year-old was acquired from Toronto FC before the 2013 season and he has 30 goals and 30 assists in regular-season play with RSL.
[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]
Plata ranks No. 3 on the team’s all-time assists list and No. 5 in goals. He has 33 goals and 35 assists during his MLS career.
Real Salt Lake begins the season Saturday when it hosts Toronto FC.
Mario Gotze’s last few seasons have not fulfilled the expectations thrust about the World Cup-winning attacker.
Gotze, 24, scored the 113rd minute goal that lifted Germany past Argentina in the 2014 World Cup, but has endured successive disappointing seasons between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
[ MORE: Liverpool hires new CEO ]
With just two goals this season, Gotze has played just 24 minutes since BVB came back from winter break. On Monday, the club revealed why: a metabolism disorder that will keep him out for an indefinite period of time. From Sky Sports:
“We are glad to know the reasons for Mario’s complaints and we are convinced that after recovering he will give us extra quality with his exceptional abilities,” said Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc.
“Mario gets the full backing and maximum support from all of us at Borussia Dortmund on his way back.”
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Gotze at his best, and here’s hoping this problem is both curable and the reason for his struggles.
Liverpool has named Peter Moore as the successor to chief executive office Ian Ayre.
Ayre, 53, is off to 1860 Munich this summer, and has stepped down early to allow Moore to take over.
[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]
A Liverpool-born executive, Moore was the chief operating officer at EA Sports and has also worked with Microsoft and SEGA.
The move “completes a transitional phase” which saw several new names join the fray. From The Liverpool Echo:
The appointment completes a transition plan by FSG which included appointing Michael Edwards as sporting director while Billy Hogan was promoted to the role of managing director and chief commercial officer.
The United States U-20 men are on the precipice of the U-20 World Cup after beating Mexico 1-0 on Monday, scooping their first win against El Tri in 31 years.
Brooks Lennon continues to look the part for the U.S. ahead of his loan season from Liverpool to Real Salt Lake.
[ MORE: Liverpool flops again ]
The youngster sent in this free kick that Erik Palmer-Brown, himself a loan man at Porto from Sporting KC this year, headed into the Mexico goal courtesy of a back post defender who opted for his right leg over a decent clearing attempt.
The U.S. took that lead into halftime.
Things got chippy as the second half unfolded, with referee Melvin Matamoros turning a blind eye to a few clattering tackles.
Tab Ramos subbed NYCFC prospect Jonathan Lewis into the match, and he sprung a counterattack that should have put the match to bed. But Lewis’ through ball missed FC Dallas’ Coy Craft and the latter took too much time, frittering away the chance.