In tonight’s important MLS playoff in New York, who benefits from the impending nasty weather?

Leave a comment

The East Coast weather has gone all rouge and nasty on us again.

About the deteriorating conditions for tonight’s Eastern Conference semifinal second leg at Red Bull Arena: Let’s go with “far less than ideal.”

When D.C. United kicks off against the New York Red Bulls in New Jersey, with the high-profile total goals series all level, forecasts call for a rain/snow mix – no weather news is ever really welcome when the word “mix” is part of the text – along with high winds and temperatures in the 30s.

Yuk.

So, who benefits?

Always tough to say because there is such a factor of the unknown in these things. But let’s give it a try: Best guess is this will assist D.C. United.

Why? New York is a talented side, no question. But the success usually emanates from the technically gifted silkiness of fellows like Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez, Heath Pearce and others. There is certainly some toughness and bite (Joel Lindpere and Tim Cahill, for instance.) But mostly, manager Hans Backe built the roster around skillful types.

(MORE: PST preview of tonight’s match)

D.C. United has a couple more “mudders,” men like Marcelo Saragosa, Chris Pontius and Brandon McDonald. That’s not to impugn the skill of anyone (especially Pontius, who has ample technical craft in his personal tool belt).

Point is, in a match that might be more about fortitude and want-to, United has an edge. New York’s most prominent missing ingredient, as I’ve said before, is a bit more desire and urgency. If the conditions turn out as awful as it seems, dogged determination could rule the night.

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
2 Comments

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Leave a comment

A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.