We told you earlier about an opportunity in front of D.C. United’s Nick DeLeon, and why the decision was important for the young man’s international exhibitions. He had a chance to play for Trinidad and Tobago’s national team. Still does, in fact.
Courtesy of The Washington Post’s Steven Goff, now we know which way the 22-year-old attacker is leaning for now: He’s not ready to set aside an opportunity to play for the United States, where he grew up.
What he told Goff for this piece in the Soccer Insider blog:
I grew up here and it’s always been my dream to play here. It felt pretty good to get invited, to be honest. It’s a big honor. But I don’t think it’s the right time.”
This does not mean DeLeon is on the fast track for U.S. national team stardom. Far from it.
We don’t know how many stand in his way on the big depth chart of wide and / or attacking midfielders in Jurgen Klinsmann’s head, but we can assume it includes Landon Donovan, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea, Brad Davis, Sacha Kljestan, Josh Gatt, Alejandro Bedoya, Chris Pontius, Joe Corona, Jose Torres, Mix Diskerud, Benny Feilhaber and probably a couple of others that aren’t coming immediately to mind.
But DeLeon is 22 and talented, so he’s a little more in the game this way than if he had begun leaning toward T&T.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.
Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:
“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”
It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.
But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.
Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.
Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.
United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.
Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.
Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.
Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.
The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.
Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.
[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]
The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.
Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following: