Over/under on Carlos Ruiz time at D.C. United? Let’s go with “six months”

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Yes, Carlos Ruiz will continue to be a little bundle of frustration for opposition defenses; truly, he is one of the most confounding men ever to wear an MLS kit.

And, yes, Ruiz’s historic striking proficiency is impressive. His raw numbers speak volumes, as Ruiz owns one of the best goals-to-games ratio Major League Soccer has yet seen.

But I’m calling it right here: the hook-up with D.C. United will not work.

United signed the Guatemalan striker Wednesday, turning over the hour glass on a fifth MLS team for Ruiz.

First, Ruiz is 33. And it’s a hard 33. He was never a player ultimately interested in fitness and taking care of himself as a professional should. He’s the anti-Dwayne De Rosario that way. “De Ro” has always gone to great lengths to professionally look after his body.

Second, United manager Ben Olsen isn’t going to put up with Ruiz’s shenanigans. He won’t if he’s smart, at least. First time Ruiz turns up AWOL – it happened a lot in his days in Dallas – Olsen should personally clean out the man’s locker, leave the contents in a box and set it outside RFK Stadium for collection whenever Ruiz gets back into the city.

Nor will Olsen put up with Ruiz’s lack of attention to defensive detail and duty. He can’t just drag himself around the field awaiting his next chance to post up as a target. Especially not when fellow United striker Lionard Pajoy is around, a guy who doesn’t have Ruiz’s finishing skill or instincts but who is definitely willing to put in the work.

Ruiz is done with the Guatemalan national team, so that potential distraction is no longer in play. (Ruiz’s previous episodes of going AWOL were frequently attached to trips back home, when his return was mysteriously delayed on several occasions.)

And since he is 33, and since this is his eighth club since 2007 – indicating that Ruiz wears out his welcome quite quickly – perhaps the combative striker will get it. Perhaps he’ll get in line, recognizing that his window of collecting a paycheck in pro soccer is closing.

I rather doubt it, and history is on my side here.

Good luck to him. Despite it all, Ruiz has always been a likeable sort.

Still, I put the over/under on his RFK stay at six months. Which side are you taking?

UCL, LIVE: Tottenham vs. Real Madrid; Man City, Liverpool in action

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Three Premier League teams are in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday and they are involved in some huge matches across Europe.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Tottenham Hotspur head to reigning European champions Real Madrid in Group H with both teams winning their opening two group games. Can Harry Kane and Co. stun the Santiago Bernabeu?

Manchester City host Napoli in Group F in what looks like a very tasty game in Group F and Liverpool head to Maribr in a must-win game in Group E after they drew their opening two matches.

Elsewhere, FC Porto’s trip to RB Leipzig looks set to be an intriguing clash in Group G.

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, which all kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET and you can follow all the action live by clicking on the link above.

[ MORE: Champions League standings


Tuesday’s UCL games

Group E
Spartak Moscow vs. Sevilla
Maribor vs. Liverpool

Group F
Man City vs. Napoli
Feyenoord vs. Shakthar Donetsk

Group G
RB Leipzig vs. FC Porto
Monaco vs. Besiktas

Group H
APOEL vs. Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Top 25 moments in Premier League history: 6-4

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Premier League we thought it would be great to count down our top 25 moments from a quarter of a century of action.

[ VIDEO: Top 25 moments in PL history ]

Each week we will release our best moments and you can keep track of the full list here.

Below are numbers 6-4 as we enter the top five moments in PL history.


6 – Wayne Rooney‘s score a stunning first PL goal for Everton vs. Arsenal in 2002

5 – Man United fight back from 3-0 down v Tottenham in 2001

4 – Liverpool vs. Newcastle United battles in the mid 1990s

Heath, Smith sidelined with injuries for USWNT

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CHICAGO (AP) Forward Tobin Heath and defender Taylor Smith are sidelined with injuries that will keep them out of the U.S. women’s national team training camp in Louisiana ahead of two upcoming matches against South Korea.

Heath is nursing an ankle injury and Smith her shoulder. Both women were hurt in the NWSL championship match last Saturday, the U.S. Soccer Federation said Monday.

The Americans play Thursday at New Orleans and Sunday in Cary, North Carolina.

Neither player will be replaced on the roster and coach Jill Ellis will have 18 players dressed for each game.

Report: Sam Allardyce, Laurent Blanc want to be next USMNT boss

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Yep, this is true.

Sam Allardyce has thrown his hat into the ring with the U.S. national team searching for a new manager, and so has former Paris Saint-Germain and France boss Laurent Blanc.

[ MORE: Latest USMNT news ]

According to ESPN, sources close to Allardyce say he is up for the USMNT challenge which would “enable him to impose a long-term strategy and secure a legacy in a nation regarded as a growing force.”

A report from France Football states that Blanc is also interested in replacing Bruce Arena, who resigned last week following the USA’s shock defeat at Trinidad and Tobago which saw them miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Hmmm. After Jurgen Klinsmann’s time in charge of the USMNT, are the days of big name foreign managers over?

These are two relatively high-profile names with experience of managing national teams (in Allardyce’s case one game with England before The Telegraph sting scandal) but neither have experience of Major League Soccer or the unique challenges of CONCACAF.

Allardyce often talks fondly about his year spent with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the NASL during his playing days and has used many techniques he picked up from the U.S. sporting realm in his lengthy coaching career which has spanned Premier League clubs Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham United, Sunderland and Crystal Palace.

Yet the scandal which cut his ill-fated time in charge of England short will likely raise eyebrows if he is to be considered for the U.S. job and his direct style of play is not to the taste of many purists out there.

When it comes to Blanc, his ultra-defensive style of play may turn off those in charge of U.S. Soccer too but there’s no doubting his record with a title win at Bordeaux in 2009 before he took France to the last eight of EURO 2012, and then led PSG to three-straight French titles from 2012-13, is impressive.

The fact that these two managers have reportedly thrown their hats into the ring suggests just how highly the job is regarded worldwide, even if U.S. Soccer fans believe the program is currently at an all-time low after the embarrassment of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

In his conference call with reporters last week U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati refused to rule out anybody for the USMNT job, stating that no specific profile (American, non-American coaches etc.) is preferred in their search for a new manager.

Many U.S. fans are hoping for a domestic manager to take charge with Peter Vermes, Ben Olsen and Jesse Marsch all mentioned with their vast knowledge of the U.S. national team and MLS setup.

Let’s wait and see what happens but after the Klinsmann era, one would suggest that USSF would be slightly hesitant to go overseas in their search for a new U.S. national team manager.