As we approach Black History Month in February, it’s worth mentioning that Major League Soccer just lost its only black manager.
Highly respected Robin Fraser (pictured), recently dismissed from Chivas USA, held the distinction previously of being the only black head coach in MLS. (There are only two Latino managers in MLS, which seems even more surprising considering the player makeup, but that’s another topic.)
But what might stand out even more about Hughton’s progress is that he is currently the Premier League’s only black manager, and one of only four black head coaches – along with Charlton’s Chris Powell, Notts County’s Keith Curle and Barnet’s Edgar Davids – in England’s top-four divisions (that’s out of 92 possible positions). Considering that over 30 percent of players in England’s top four divisions are minorities, the fact that just over four percent of their coaches are not white is a growing concern for the country.
Sky Blue’s Sam Kerr named NWSL league MVP for 2017
She became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game on Aug. 19 against the Seattle Reign. Kerr rallied Sky Blue from a 3-goal deficit to beat the Reign 5-4.
Kerr’s award was announced Friday. The league had earlier announced the season’s other award winners: North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper was named Defender of the Year, teammate Ashley Hatch was named Rookie of the Year, Portland’s Adrianna Franch was named Goalkeeper of the Year and the Thorns’ Mark Parsons was named Coach of the Year.
It’s fairly clear his act has translated in private, too, as apparently Mendy is just as good in group messages (Let us in, Pep. We won’t tell anyone). From ManCity.com:
“Usually, players who are out for a long time with injury are sad. They sometimes train apart and feel isolated.
“Mendy decided to be present. He is communicating on social media, WhatsApp and he calls his teammates and messages me. He is going to be so important outside the pitch because people like him make the atmosphere much better.”
It’s not surprising for anyone who’s been following the former Le Havre, Marseille and Monaco man.
Keep in mind, these Tweets below are from the last few days alone!
I dont if we will make it on cold rainy night in stoke, but we are making it home for now 🤷🏾♂️ #SharkTeam 🦈🦈🦈
Sometimes, even the biggest Arsene Wenger detractors have to feel for the guy.
Coming off a thrilling late win in Serbia, one that saw Olivier Giroud cap off a team goal straight out of the creative Wenger playbook, the manager should’ve been discussing how to stretch those good vibes into this weekend’s visit to Goodison Park.
Yet no. Instead of talking about how the Gunners would respect the struggling Toffees, Wenger had to address speculation from several outlets claiming Mesut Ozil would move to Manchester United, perhaps as soon as January.
“We have to deal with all kinds of speculation when the players are at the end of their contracts. On the other hand, to be professional is to give 100 per cent as long as you are somewhere. For the rest, we came out many times and said that’s the situation. It [the media] can come out tomorrow and say that he extends his contract here. It will be exactly the same, it will not change anything. When you play the next game, commit 100 per cent. … When a player plays for Arsenal Football Club, his commitment cannot be linked with the length of his contract, it has just to be linked with the responsibility and the ambition he has to win the football game.”
Of course most big clubs have to deal with such drama on a year-to-year basis and, yes, having Ozil and Alexis Sanchez still in town was completely avoidable. But the idea that Ozil could leave, for free, to Manchester United? We’re sure Gooners the world over will be thrilled with the gossip.
— Vancouver finishes first with a win or draw at Portland. The ‘Caps could finish as low as third with a loss to Portland and a Seattle win versus Colorado.
— Portland finishes first — and wins the Cascadia Cup — with a win over visiting Vancouver.
— Seattle can claim a first round bye with a win over visiting Colorado and a Vancouver win over Portland.
— Sporting KC can finish second with a win at Real Salt Lake and non-wins for Portland and Seattle.
Final playoff spot
— San Jose claims the sixth seed with a home win over Minnesota. They can also finish sixth with a draw joined by non-wins for FC Dallas at home to LA and Real Salt Lake at home versus SKC.
— FC Dallas claims the sixth seed with a win over LA and a San Jose draw or loss versus Minnesota. FCD gets sixth with a draw, and a San Jose loss coupled with a RSL loss or draw versus SKC.
— Real Salt Lake gets sixth with a win over SKC, and non-wins from San Jose and Dallas. RSL could also get sixth with a draw and losses for San Jose and Dallas.
Schedule FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy
DC United vs. New York Red Bulls
San Jose vs. Minnesota United
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting KC
Houston vs. Chicago
Seattle vs. Colorado
Philadelphia vs. Orlando City
Portland vs. Vancouver
Montreal vs. New England
New York City vs. Columbus
Atlanta vs. Toronto
— NYCFC hangs on for a draw against Columbus, earning a bye, leaving Chicago to host New York Red Bulls and Atlanta off to Columbus for the first round of the playoffs (We have Toronto beating Atlanta on Sunday).
— Vancouver and Portland draw, while Seattle beats Colorado. The ‘Caps and Sounders get byes, while Seattle takes back the Cascadia Cup.
— San Jose beats Minnesota, gaining the West’s sixth seed. The Quakes head to Portland for the first round, while SKC hosts Houston.