If you don’t know that first kick in MLS is just five days away, then you have not been spending enough time with ProSoccerTalk. Please get that sorted out quickly.
Now, in the event that awareness is not the issue, but you just haven’t revved up the ol’ motor of enthusiasm, perhaps this will help. It’s NBC Sports Network’s promo ad for the upcoming 18th season.
I like it. It’s edgy. My pal Arlo White, NBC’s lead soccer voice and a fellow who paints the pictures in wonderful context as well as anybody you’ll ever know, seems excited about it. We know because he said so on Twitter.
But if I’m being totally honest, I liked out network’s playoff promo from just a few short months ago. This one really gets my keys to jingling.
Ex-Guatemalan soccer chief pleads guilty in FIFA bribe case
Brayan Jimenez pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when he’ll be sentenced.
The 62-year-old Jimenez is among 40 people from around the world charged in a FIFA bribery scandal over lucrative broadcasting rights.
Prosecutors say Jimenez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based sports marketing company. They say in exchange for the money Jimenez awarded the company media marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2018 and 2022.
Jimenez’s attorneys haven’t returned a message seeking comment on his guilty plea.
D.C. United acquires Igboananike from Fire in trade
After recently trading for New York City FC forward Patrick Mullins and New York Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam, D.C. has completed a trade for Chicago Fire attacker Kennedy Igboananike in exchange for target allocation money and a third-round draft selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
In over a season-and-a-half in MLS with the Fire, Igboananike notched 11 goals and four assists in 49 matches. The Nigerian forward is a Designated Player, and is due to make over $900,000, according to the MLS Players’ Union website.
While the Blues have maintained their position that Costa isn’t for sale, Atletico looks to boost its already strong offense with the 27-year-old Spaniard. Diego Simeone’s group already features talented attacking duo Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres.
During his previous stint in La Liga, Costa netted 56 goals across all competitions in two seasons with the Rojiblancos.
Chelsea is reportedly pursuing former striker Romelu Lukaku after signing Belgian Michy Batshuayi this summer. Antonio Conte’s side also features young forward Bertrand Traore, who has made a strong impression during the preseason.
Manchester City has made a final push for Everton defender John Stones, and has set its last offer at $52 million. Last month, the Citizens made the same exact bid for the 22-year-old, which was rejected by Everton.