With Major League Soccer’s draft from Indianapolis just a few hours away, everyone still has Louisville defender Andrew Farrell with top odds of being selected first. Now, however, that first spot no longer belongs to Toronto FC.
New England traded yesterday to slide into the top spot. So Revs manager Jay Heaps and GM Mike Burns are on the clock for today’s noon (ET) first pick, which can be seen on ESPN SportsCenter.
The Revolution aren’t saying who they’ll take with the top pick, but if it’s not Farrell or U.S. under-20 Walker Zimmerman from Furman, we’ll all be quite surprised.
Chivas USA already has their man at No. 2, set to select UConn playmaker Carlos Alvarez, whose performance in the just-completed MLS combine helped validate the Goats’ desire to bring him aboard. (LOVED the comment from MLSSoccer.com analyst Matt Doyle on his group’s final mock draft. “If I get this one wrong, I quit.”)
That leaves Toronto FC with a lot to say about today’s draft, even after moving away from the King’s thrown. The new regime still has selections No. 3 and 4.
Real Salt Lake (picking 12th) might see today’s draft from a slightly adjusted viewpoint. That’s because manger Jason Kreis and GM Garth Lagerwey have just signed midfield creator Javier Morales to a new deal. Details aren’t out, but it looks like that goes through 2015. That’s on top of yesterday’s conclusion of the deal to bring striker Robbie Findley back to Rio Tinto Stadium.
Remember, by the way, only the first pick can be seen on SportsCenter. The rest of the draft will be streamed at MLSSoccer.com and elsewhere. It’s innovative, you know.
The entire draft order for today’s two-round process is here. More trades may be on the way in the coming hours, but for the time being the top 10 picks look like this:
- 1. New England Revolution
- 2. Chivas USA
- 3. Toronto FC
- 4. Toronto FC
- 5. Vancouver Whitecaps
- 6. Colorado Rapids
- 7. FC Dallas
- 8. Montreal Impact
- 9. Columbus Crew
- 10. Vancouver Whitecaps
Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini thought it was the right thing to do; His club was reportedly looking for his successor, so why not let them do it in the open.
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What followed Pellegrini’s announcement that he would leave at the end of season were three straight losses and, arguably, City’s chances at a Premier League title.
From Sky Sports:
“After Guardiola said he was coming to England it was my decision [to go public] because all the media was talking about Guardiola here, Guardiola in Arsenal, Guardiola in Manchester United,” he told The Guardian.
“It was not fair for all managers – when everyone knew he was coming here. If I ask if I would do that again… I have some doubts.”
Pellegrini said the announcement didn’t make it difficult for him, but for his players.
The Argentine also said he’ll wait for an interesting job to come calling, and that he could be done managing forever if such an opportunity doesn’t present itself. That said, we think he’ll find a job that’s to his liking given this comment:
“Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive.”
Life is a good motivator.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup hits the third round on Wednesday, with NASL teams entering the fray and at least one fourth-tier or lower side guaranteed to advance to face MLS competition.
The USASA had three teams win second round matches, and two will face each other on Wednesday. The L.A. Wolves knocked off the USL’s Orange County Blues, while L Maquina FC handed the NPSL’s Sacramento Gold an ouster. They will tangle for the right to a high-profile match-up with the L.A. Galaxy.
[ MORE: USMNT’s Gonzalez wins Liga MX with Pachuca ]
We’ll also see NASL vs. USL geographical rivalries when Carolina faces Charlotte and Rayo OKC meets Oklahoma City.
Wednesday’s third round matches
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL)
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL)
New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL)
Miami FC (NASL) vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) vs FC Cincinnati (USL)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (USASA)
Indy Eleven (NASL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)
Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Minnesota United (NASL)
Rayo OKC (NASL) vs Oklahoma City Energy (USL)
Des Moines Menace (PD) vs. San Antonio FC (USL)
Arizona United (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)
La Maquina (USASA) vs. L.A. Wolves (USASA)
Kitsap Pumas (PDL) vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)
An Iranian woman wanted to see her favorite team play badly, but knew well the unspoken rule: no females at the stadium.
The Independent has the story of a woman who dressed in layers and filmed herself in case trouble came from her attendance.
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Persepolis FC is the name of the club, and they play in the Persian Gulf Pro League.
From The Independent:
There is no official ban on women attending sports events in Iran, but they are often refused entry so it is rare for women to attend.
In a third video, the woman explains that she layered five T-shirts and five pairs of trousers to hide her figure and covered her face with face paint.
I recognize that this is the norm over there, but it’s still a striking story.
It’s a $40 million question for Manchester United: Will Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho work well together?
Their time at Chelsea was fractured when Mourinho deemed Mata surplus to requirement and shipped the Spaniard to Old Trafford.
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Mata, 28, has been a consistent performer for United, but will his reunion with Mourinho be short-lived? It’s easy to imagine both as ready to move on and Barcelona could be an option if that happens.
Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona could make a bid of close to $40 million in order to help the midfield continue to tick. Mata was a key part of United’s possession-based approach under Louis Van Gaal, and as a player really does fit the bill of a Mourinho-minded mid.
We’re just hoping that if Mata moves, he doesn’t switch anywhere that would change his English language blog posts.