As everybody left Los Angeles last month after the Galaxy claimed their second-straight MLS Cup, it seemed like the realities of the shortest offseason in MLS history was upon us. No matter how much you love Major League Soccer, odds are you need a break, but a seven-week offseason before training camps started left little time for a reprieve.
Yet here we are, still more than a week out from when players will start reporting, and the itch is starting to return. You get a schedule, you start seeing some rumors come to fruition, and you want to see your teams in action.
Welcome to MLS withdrawals, a condition that leads most of us to spend excessive time on Twitter debating hypothetical scenarios that will prove inconsequential when we get our real life soccer back.
In Chicago, they have a very specific strain of the disease: #CF97Withdrawals. The symptoms are the same, but as attacker Chris Rolfe shows us (below), the treatments are much different.
Putting himself into a state of hibernation (dressed to resume play at a moment’s notice), Rolfe has got his withdrawals regimen down to the science:l
1. Go to sleep
2. Wake up.
3. Ask: Has the season started?
If YES, you’re ready to go. Great wardrobe choice!
If NO, return to step 1.
First kick’s less than two months away. Something tells me Chris Rolfe will be well-rested:
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.