So, let’s just make sure we have our facts and our timeline straight regarding the bizarre situation that has
developed unraveled at Toronto FC.
Because it’s important to be sure we have everything sorted out just so before launching into the proper scolding, chiding, yukking-it-up and the general comeuppance.
(MORE: Much snarkiness flies as the Twitter world piles on)
- Kevin Payne was recently hired away from D.C. United to turn around the soccer operation at Toronto FC, where long-suffering fans have watched the organization stumble comically in competitive matters since first kick back in 2007. (Seriously, those fans deserve one really great video box set each, or some kick-ass Groupons … something!)
- Payne, with a spotted history of coaching hires at D.C. United, leaning on a trusting relationship with Ryan Nelsen that goes back more than a decade, talks the highly respected QPR defender into retiring as a player to take over as TFC manager.
- Payne dismisses Paul Mariner, who held the coaching post.
- This is where it gets weird.
- At the press conference today to introduce Nelsen as the new man in charge, the bottom falls out of this one. Completely.
- We learn that Nelsen will apparently remain in England, holding his spot along Queens Park Rangers back line until further notice.
- Uh, what!?
- Meanwhile, Bowdoin College coach (Yes, that Bowdoin College) Fran O’Leary will run the team. And will oversee the team’s selections in the Jan. 17 MLS Draft, apparently.
- And the MLS player combine down in Florida, where every other coach, GM, technical director, etc. will find themselves next week? Nah. Nelsen will be in London, dealing with the QPR mess rather than begin to sort out the TFC mess.
- Head scratching on a grand scale ensues.
- The obvious question for Payne, regarding Nelsen’s status at QPR, is this: “What did Payne know, and when did he know it?” Yes, it’s very Washington scandal-ish, isn’t it? Which is ironic, considering all of Payne’s years in Washington.
- I find myself feeling a little silly for writing this, applauding TFC’s coaching hire.
- At this point, I decide that my head hurts, and that I need a sandwich before dealing with this for another second.
Stay tuned for more … Because there certainly will be more to talk about here.
Arsenal lead Chelsea 1-0 at half time of the 2016-17 FA Cup final, but they should be so much further ahead.
[ LIVE: Follow the FA Cup final here ]
Alexis Sanchez put Arsenal ahead in controversial fashion as Aaron Ramsey was clearly in an offside position and flagged for offside, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman to allow the goal to stand.
Ramsey didn’t touch the ball but was remarkably close to it when Sanchez raced through to score.
Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and Ramsey had further chances to score with Gary Cahill twice clearing off the line, while Chelsea had two chances through Diego Costa but he couldn’t convert.
Click on the link above to follow all the action from Wembley live.
What a first 45 minutes!
At the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley there was a moving tribute to the people killed in the Manchester bombing attack earlier this week.
On Monday a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured a further 67 after detonating a bomb outside Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.
Ahead of the FA Cup final, Arsenal and Chelsea came together to salute everyone impacted by the atrocity.
Watch the moving video below as 90,000 stood in silence to show their solidarity.
Alexis Sanchez’s goal put Arsenal 1-0 up early on in the FA Cup final against Chelsea in hugely controversial fashion.
[ LIVE: Follow the FA Cup final here ]
Initially the goal was called out for offside on Aaron Ramsey who didn’t touch the ball but was mightily close to the action, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman and gave the goal.
There was also a hint of a handball on Sanchez’s part as the ball ricocheted off him in a tackle.
Watch the video below as Chelsea were left fuming but Arsenal didn’t care…
The U-20 World Cup in South Korea continues to provide plenty of drama.
[ MORE: U-20 World Cup latest ]
In Group C already-qualified Portugal fought back from 1-0 down against Iran to win 2-1 and sealed their spot in the last 16, while Costa Rica join both Portugal and Zambia in the knockout rounds after they beat Zambia 1-0.
Italy led Japan 2-0 in Group D but Japan fought back to make it 2-2 as they made it through to the last 16 alongside Italy and Uruguay. Elsewhere in Group D Uruguay and South Africa played out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay already through to the knockout rounds (they have yet to concede a goal) and South Africa heading home.
The final set of group games take place on Sunday with Groups E and F coming to a close, including the U.S. facing Saudi Arabia as Tab Ramos’ men aim to seal a spot in the last 16.
Three of the eight last 16 matches have now been confirmed with England facing Costa Rica, Venezuela taking on Japan and hosts South Korea will play Portugal.
Click on the link above for all the latest news from the U-20 World Cup, while below are video highlights from Saturday’s four games in Groups C and D.
Group C – Portugal 2-1 Iran
Group C – Costa Rica 1-0 Zambia
Group D – Japan 2-2 Italy
Group D – Uruguay 0-0 South Africa