Vancouver Whitecaps center back Jay DeMerit, one of the really outstanding dudes of MLS, turns 33. Celebrate by making a movie about your life. (Wait a minute … Don’t do that. Most of us just do not have as a great a story to tell as DeMerit.)
Fine Irish center back Paul McGrath, long of Manchester United, longer of Aston Villa, turns 53. McGrath played 83 times for the Republic of Ireland.
Big Important Stories of the Day:
If Monday was any indication, there will be more player movement and news about options declined and such in Major League Soccer. By the way, we are just over 90 days away from the start of Major League Soccer’s 18th season. This is easily the shortest off-season in major U.S. pro sports.
It’s UEFA Champions League day, as well.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Mario Machado
*Ahead on the blog today:
The first in a series of conversations based on Friday’s conversation withU.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann. (Yes, you read the same thing yesterday in this space. Today … promise. No take backs. No re-application of that asterisk.)
What you should watch on TV today:
Featured Fox Soccer Channel matches in UEFA Champions League: Dortmund-Manchester City at 2:30 p.m. ET and Real Madrid-Ajax (5 p.m. ET on delay).
We’ll leave you with this: If the Mayan calendar is right, you only have a couple weeks left to re-watch Victory and all the other great soccer movies. So, ya know … get going.
* Always subject to change; you know how it is
LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.
Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.
He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.
Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.
While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.
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The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.
Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.
NAPLES, Italy (AP) Napoli eased to a 3-0 win over Inter Milan in Serie A on Friday, with two goals in the opening five minutes.
[ MORE: Top 5 PL storylines heading into weekend ]
The home side got off to a lightning start as, following a wonderful team move, Jose Callejon headed back Marek Hamsik’s chipped pass for Piotr Zielinski to volley into the bottom left corner.
[ MORE: Ronaldo, Mourinho involved in massive tax evasion system ]
Zielinski turned provider moments later as Hamsik beat the offside trap to run onto his pass and fire into the bottom right corner.
It was Hamsik’s 104th goal for Napoli, moving him level with Edinson Cavani in third in the clubs’ goalscoring charts. The Slovakia forward needs 11 more to equal Diego Maradona’s record.
Inter started the second half aggressively but hopes of getting back into the match were scuppered six minutes after the restart when Lorenzo Insigne netted his fourth goal in three league matches after visiting goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only flapped at a corner.
Napoli moved level on points with Atalanta, which visits league leader Juventus on Saturday, and fourth-placed Lazio, which hosts Roma in the capital derby on Sunday.
Inter, which beat Fiorentina 4-2 on Monday for its first win under coach Stefano Pioli, remained eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
On a day where Atlanta United added another young talent, the 2017 MLS expansion side could be preparing to make a major splash for a South American playmaker.
According to numerous Argentine media outlets, Atlanta is closing in on signing Paraguay international Miguel Almiron for an MLS-record fee of $13 million from Lanus at the end of 2016.
Almiron, 22, has scored three goals in 34 appearances for Lanus since joining the Argentine club in 2015. The young winger began his professional career back in 2013 with Cerro Porteno, where Almiron also played for the club’s youth academy.
On the international stage, Almiron has already earned seven caps for Paraguay after previously representing the nation’s Under-17 and U-20 national teams.