D.C. United’s visit to Houston Saturday is the best among a set of six that will launch Major League Soccer’s 18th season.
But one of the best players on either team, Dwayne De Rosario, appears set to miss the match. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff reported today that “De Ro” is likely to be suspended for Saturday’s contest at BBVA Compass Stadium in South Texas due to last week’s incident in a preseason contest against Philadelphia.
He could also miss United’s home opener March 9 against Real Salt Lake, another contest with the look of another serious off-season cooker.
While not necessarily advocating a suspension for United’s playmaker and leader (and Major League Soccer’s 2011 MVP), I shared thoughts the other day on why greater preseason enforcement is probably a prudent play for Major League Soccer.
The irony here is that De Rosario would be making his first start for United since last August. He missed United’s final seven regular season matches and all but a half hour of the club’s four post-season contests.
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.