Real Salt Lake management knew these days were ahead, when a younger roster would inevitably lead to losses.
The visitors from Utah were in a fairly even, and very tactical, match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium. With both clubs missing their top playmakers – Dwayne De Rosario for United and Javier Morales for RSL – that was hardly surprising.
It may have been a scoreless draw but for a mistake by young Sebastian Velasquez. Velasquez, generally not on the field last year with veteran Will Johnson around, was late pulling forward in the 60th minute, trailing dangerous behind his teammates as RSL cleared a ball initially.
Sure enough, the ball comes stinging back in, goalkeeper Nick Rimando makes a big save, but Lionard Pajoy was there to put home the game-winner. He would have been well offside … but Velasquez clearly kept United’s striker onside.
These are the things young players do – like not understanding that every little detail matters, that even the briefest most of “switching off” can cost a match.
More on D.C. United and what the match looked like from the home team’s side later.
Full highlights are here:
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.
As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.
However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.
“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”
Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”
It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.