Barcelona's coach Guardiola gestures during their Champions League soccer semi-final against Chelsea in Barcelona

Pep Guardiola speaks, says England’s in his future, doesn’t use the word ‘next’


The Philosopher is spending some of his sabbatical time in England attending a coaching seminar at St. George’s Park, a visit that gives former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola ample time to tease flounder too farsighted to see the hook. Had they learned their lessons they’d know this is the same morsel they’ve been teased with since Guardiola’s first coaching successes.

The 41-year-old has always spoke highly of the prospect of coaching in England. Some have even called him a bit of an Anglophile. News of him reinforcing those feelings while in England and speaking to English press isn’t worth the imaginary ink with which it’s printed.

MORE: Guardiola to return with Bayern Munich

Here’s a good rule of thumb, one I used to enforce on staff while running sites: When considering whether a story is news, think about the exact opposite report. If that story would be bigger news, then you probably don’t have anything worth writing up. (Of course, the contradiction here is that I’m writing about this).

Alas, here is what Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s life partner had to say yesterday:

“As a player, I couldn’t realise my dream to play there [in England]. But I hope in the future I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there and feel the experience of all the coaches and players that have been there. It is unique, to play in that league. I want to feel the supporters, the environment, the media and the style of the players and everything.

Oh my God! He’s totally going to Chelsea!

Maybe. In reality, there really isn’t much here. Even if we didn’t already know Guardiola’s Anglophilic leanings, this would read as a polite man speaking well of his hosts but with the biases of somebody trying to avoid offense. That we know these comments reflect his actual feelings makes them more than lip service. But it doesn’t make them news.

And he never uses the word ‘next’ (in fact, as I edit this, news out of German threatens to make all of this irrelevant). He doesn’t say ‘England will be my next stop’ or ‘I hope to come here next.’ He just says he likes the place. Calm down.

So consider this more commentary on media than an update on Guardiola, which means I still have work to do. Later today, we’ll circle back and talk about where the two-time Champions League-winning coach is likely to land this summer.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)