Erik Stover — not to be confused with Erik Soler — joins the New York Cosmos as chief operating officer.
The man on his new appointment: “I’m excited to be part of the rebirth of the New York Cosmos. Seamus O’Brien and the rest of the board have a vision to build a proper soccer club in New York. We have a great legacy to live up to and I’m eager to get started right away.”
Why Stover? And why now?
Well, he specializes in making things happen. You know, like getting massive stadiums built and recruiting superstars to young leagues.
While working for the Red Bulls, Stover oversaw the construction and operation of Red Bull Arena, a $200 million state-of-the-art soccer stadium in Harrison, N.J. He also successfully recruited international soccer superstar Thierry Henry to come to MLS in July of 2010. When Stover left the Red Bulls in August of 2011, they had risen from the bottom of MLS in attendance to No. 4, which included a 150 percent increase in season ticket holders. For his accomplishments, he was honored with the 2010 MLS Executive of the Year Award.
Yeah, I can see how the Cosmos — a team desperate to get into MLS and (potentially, probably) working with the league on its fancy new Queens stadium — could use someone with exactly Stover’s skillset.
International roundup: Schweinsteiger, Keane say goodbye; Denmark bags five
Max Meyer picked up from his remarkable Olympics by firing home, and Mesut Ozil also scored for the Germans in a match that was not about the winner. Bastian Schweinsteiger called it a day on his international career in the win, his 121st cap. The Manchester United man finishes his career with 24 goals, a World Cup title and a EURO runner-up finish. Not too shabby.
ROI all-time leading scorer Robbie Keane fittingly ended his tenure as an international player with yet another goal, bringing his career tally to 68 goals in 146 caps. Stoke City’s Jon Walters scored twice for the Boys in Green, and Robbie Brady (Norwich) also netted in the win.
It took the hosts a half-hour to break down the visitors, but a pair from Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen opened the floodgates and Andreas Cornelius, Viktor Fischer and Jens Stryger Larsen finished the scoring in a blowout at the CASA Arena in Horsens. It was Larsen’s first cap.
Elsewhere Turkey 0-0 Russia
Albania 0-0 Morocco
Estonia 1-1 Malta
Norway 0-1 Belarus
Lebanon 1-1 Jordan
3. Dieumerci Mbokani, loan from Dynamo Kyiv to Hull — While Robbie Brady, Timm Klose, and Nathan Redmond got a lot of the headlines, Mbokani was a powerful part of the Canaries’ attack in an ill-fated campaign. At 30 he’s far from a long-term fix, but Mbokani should provide strength and skill to a Hull City side facing a very challenging campaign. Per 90 minutes, no one on Norwich touched him last year (courtesy advanced stats site Squawka):
2. Jack Wilshere, loan from Arsenal to Bournemouth — We want so badly to make this our No. 1 for many reasons, but can’t take that risk thanks to the risk presented by Wilshere’s injury history. For Jeff Mostyn, Eddie Howe, and the Cherries to win the rights to bring Wilshere to town is big for a lot of reasons. That Arsene Wenger allowed him to go is another. Frankly, this could be a game changer for two clubs’ PL fortunes.
— Honorable mention — Wilfried Bony is a nice pick-up for Stoke, but Bruno Martins Indi gives the club freedom to use Geoff Cameron in other ways. … Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is another good piece for Spurs’ attacking depth ahead of the UEFA Champions League.
Islam Slimani, permanent from Lisbon to Leicester — The Algerian striker was sold on King Power Stadium by fellow Desert Warriors attacker Riyad Mahrez, and now gives the Foxes even more danger whether counterattacking or taking their talents to the opposition. With Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, and Ahmed Musa joining Slimani, Leicester has the depth to dance in Europe.