The Red Bulls sure are working hard to ensure that this year’s team looks very, very little like last year’s team. It’s a bold play, considering last year’s healthy 16-9-9 record.
The latest departure is Joel Lindpere, who is now property of the Chicago Fire.
Just two years ago Lindpere may have been the most valuable Red Bulls man, setting a club record for minutes played, finishing tied for tops in assists and reliably manufacturing important goals out of the midfield.
Something happened in 2012, when he started slowly and seemed to lose the confidence of then-manager Hans Backe. So it was not wholly surprising when the Red Bulls traded their industrious Estonian on Saturday – although the return for Lindpere seems mighty sparse.
In exchange for the 31-year-old worker bee of a midfielder, the Red Bulls get an international roster spot.
That’s it. And that’s not a lot – even if the Red Bulls’ ongoing roster makeover seems a shoe-in to have a heavy European influence, which means they’ll be needing that international slot around the Harrison grounds.
For Chicago, this is a steal. While losing very little they get a man relentless, emotional, versatile midfielder. He can spell Alvaro Fernandez on the left. Or Lindpere can line up centrally, where he will offer more forward thrust from the center of the park than either Pavel Pardo or Logan Pause.
He’s easily more of a box-to-box type than either of those guys.
Multiple reports claim Crystal Palace has offered its managerial position to Dutch boss Frank De Boer.
Palace has been without a manager since Sam Allardyce retired after the season. The Eagles finished 15th in the Premier League, five points behind eighth place Southampton and seven points clear of the drop zone.
[ MORE: Latest on Ronaldo ]
An accomplished defender at Ajax and Barcelona, the 47-year-old De Boer led Ajax in his first managerial stint before spending less than three months at Inter Milan last season.
De Boer twice won the Rinus Michels Award as the top manager in Dutch football, and would become just the second Palace manager from outside the British Isles.
He would inherit a very good group of attackers with Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, and Andros Townsend. Palace also has a talented midfielders Luka Milivojevic and Yohan Cabaye to go with marauding Dutch back Patrick Van Aanholt.
Mexico should be counting their Confederations Cup blessings in congested Group A after a prolonged shoving match at the end of its 2-1 win over New Zealand on Thursday somehow ended with a single red card.
New Zealand is fortunate, too, but the All-Whites have already seen their hopes of the knockout round extinguished by a pair of losses in Russia.
With New Zealand counterattacking in hopes of a late equalizer, Mexico’s Diego Reyes pulled back charging Niko Boxall. It was the second pull back in minutes after Rafa Marquez went uncarded at the other end, and Boxall reacted poorly by lunging cleat-first into Hector Herrera’s calf.
Referee Bakary Gassama should’ve easily pulled two red cards there, but lost his focus in an ensuing melee that saw Herrera charge back to knock down Boxall, headbutts between Diego Reyes and Andrew Durante, and an absurd hand-throwing performance from Javier Aquino. Perhaps this lapse was understandable, which is why he had Video Assistant Referee available.
Even video couldn’t get it right, as a long and sloppy review was seemingly bungled by the referees saw a trio of yellow cards given to Boxall, Reyes, and Herrera.
All three should’ve been sent off, and otherwise Man of the Match contender Aquino and his teammate Marco Fabian should not have escaped discipline by any stretch of the imagination. If Gassama needed it to be level, Michael McGlinchey, Ryan Thomas and Durante could’ve left the match as well.
Instead, a terrific match has been left in the lurch. Will FIFA have the guts to issue supplemental discipline ahead of the important final matches of the group stage?
Oscar‘s antics aren’t missed in the Premier League, and they won’t be missed over the next two months in China.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has been banned for eight matches after igniting a brawl between Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou (video here) by lashing a pair of shots at defenders and then hitting the ground in comical fashion.
[ MORE: Latest on Ronaldo ]
It’s amazing Oscar lived through the vicious shove (at least this dive didn’t influence a UEFA Champions League match).
While his antics won’t be missed, his playmaking will; It comes as no surprise that Oscar has thrived in the nascent Chinese Super League, posting nine assists and a goal in 13 league matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo will meet with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez at the conclusion of the Confederations Cup, according to reports, at which point a pair of cut-and-dried options could be on the table.
Paris, or the status quo.
Marca reports that Ronaldo will bring a “money no object” offer from Paris Saint-Germain into the meeting, although the same outlet says Perez will know exactly what’s coming due to an understanding between the two big money clubs.
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The 32-year-old Ronaldo remains in fine form at the Confederations Cup, with Portugal’s unbeaten run continuing in Russia. If Portugal is upset by New Zealand in its group stage finale on June 24, it would still stand a good chance of proceeding to the knockout rounds depending on the Mexico-Russia result.
That means the Perez-Ronaldo meeting wouldn’t occur until after July 2, which is when the Final and third-place playoff are scheduled in Russia.
In the meantime, Real manager Zinedine Zidane is said to be cutting his vacation short to meet with Perez regarding not just Ronaldo’s future but the club’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe (which is a bit over-dramatic given the above news. Feels like a phone call could get the job done).