Chin up, Timmy Howard. You’ll get ‘em next time

2 Comments

There’s no sugar coating it, this was one stinky fish of a week for United States’ No. 1 Tim Howard.

The mid-week international was one to forget for every man in U.S. colors, including manager Jurgen Klinsmann. (Well, let’s not misplace those lessons learned, but … well, you know what we mean.)

There was ample blame for spreading around on the Honduran game-winner – including some lack of midfield pressure that we probably aren’t talking enough about – but Howard must share culpability. An backstopper of Howard’s experience knows he must hold his spot and be a shot-stopper there, or else be quicker to the spot and claim the doggone ball, no question about it.

Let’s move on.

Sunday during Everton’s biggie at Old Trafford, Howard looked something less than super as Manchester United striker supreme Robin van Persie rounded him twice before halftime. A rare moment of lesser from the Dutchman bailed out Howard the first time as van Persie’s shot into the near-empty Everton goal banged off the post.

(MORE: Drilling Down On Manchester United 2, Everton 0)

But a clever ball later in the half put van Persie clean through. Facing one of the globe’s top strikers one-on-one is surely a 911 moment, a time when odds are mounting that something is about to go very wrong from a goalkeeping point of view.

It’s not just that Howard got beat, he didn’t look particularly nimble, stumbling to his left as van Persie left no doubt about his second time around Everton’s highly regarded ‘keeper.

Fox Soccer Channel and former U.S. international Eric Wynalda was especially critical of Howard here. He knows the man was in a tough spot, but wanted to see Howard put up a little more resistance on that goal:

Is that what we’re used to seeing from Tim Howard? No. That’s a guy who is getting up there in years and a little slow on the turn. It is what it is. He made some bad decisions in mid-week for the US national team and we talked a little [about Howard] before the game. I’m not happy with him right now.”

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

Twitter/@naslofficial
Leave a comment

While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

Twitter
Leave a comment

City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
1 Comment

The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

Twitter/@WallofSport
Leave a comment

Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.