Crewe Alexandra v Bolton Wanderers - Pre Season Friendly

Davies close to Toronto FC move?


Rumors began to circle at the start of this week about EPL veteran Kevin Davies moving to Toronto FC. Now it almost seems like a done deal.

Today the Bolton News revealed that Davies has been allowed to leave his contract early, as a good will gesture, to get his move to MLS signed and sealed as quickly as possible.

In recent months, the 36-year-old striker has seen himself out of contention for the Trotters Championship playoff push, after not making the 18-man squad for the past few games. It is rumored that Davies’ contract with Toronto would be for the rest of the season.

Davies has scored 144 goals in 714 career appearances for the likes of Chesterfield, Blackburn and Southampton and he has one England cap to his name. The target man has spent over a decade helping Wanderers survive and then flourish in the EPL.

However with the drop down to the Championship after relegation last year, new manager Dougie Freedman has decided Davies is surplus to requirements and had not offered the bruising Englishman a new deal at the Reebok Stadium.

Davies would certainly fit in with Ryan Nelsen’s plans at TFC. As the ex-Blackburn, Tottenham and QPR defender has used his extensive links in the English game to recruit plenty of players with EPL experience to Toronto already.

If I was a Toronto FC fan, I’d be extremely happy with the addition of Davies. Partnering Robert Earnshaw up front, Davies would win all kinds of knockdowns for Earnshaw to latch onto and the duo could become one of the most feared strike partnerships in MLS.

The deal obviously isn’t official yet. But it does seem to be gathering steam. With Davies out of contract and a few more years left in his legs, a move to TFC would be a tremendous fit as Nelsen continues to turn the fortunes of the Canadian club around.

Davies has been granted a testimonial with Bolton, so his move across the pond may not be as imminent as some hope. But the fact that they’re allowing him to leave before his contract runs out in June, suggests that willing suitors are already lined up. Toronto FC, its over to you.

By pairing a battering ram forward and a small, nippy striker who knows how to finish…it takes me back to the glory days of Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips at Sunderland! TFC fans, you could be in for a treat with Davies and Earnshaw.

Klinsmann blames Costa Rica loss on Mexico hangover

Jurgen Klinsmann

The United States lost their third straight match on home soil tonight, the first such losing streak since 1997.

Following an extra-time loss to Mexico on Saturday, the U.S. failed to compete in a friendly against Costa Rica, putting in another poor performance as the side continues to struggle.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

In his post match press conference, Jurgen Klinsmann said his team was still shaking off the loss against Mexico, and couldn’t recover in time for tonight’s game.

Yes, the United States’ match against Mexico went 120 minutes. Yes, it was a very tough game both physically and mentally. However, it’s time for Klinsmann to stop making excuses.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from the USMNT’s loss to Costa Rica ]

Of the starting XI against Costa Rica, only four started against Mexico. Of the six substitutes Klinsmann brought in today, only Bobby Wood played in the Mexico match, and for less than 25 minutes.

The problem isn’t that the U.S. lost tonight; it’s that they didn’t even show up. What Klinsmann needed to do was walk into his press conference and say, “We didn’t come to play tonight. We stunk. That can’t happen and we need to be better. It starts with me.”

[ PLAYER RATINGS: Howard’s return highlights poor performances from USMNT ]

Top teams don’t dwell on past results. Top teams rebound quickly and back up poor performances with strong performances. When a top team would have bounced back, the United States fell flat.

Clearly the argument is, well, the United States isn’t a top team. But isn’t that what Klinsmann was brought in to do? To help develop the USMNT into a top team? The least they could do is act like one, and that starts with the manager.

College Soccer Update: Tragedy strikes USC Upstate with horrible car accident

USC Upstate
USC Upstate
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No interviews today. No star players and programs. Just mourning.

USC Upstate lost four students earlier this week, two of them men’s soccer players, in an early morning car accident this weekend. A fifth was injured when the car they were driving in ran off the road, hit a tree, and caught fire.

James Campbell and Mills Sproul are the soccer players who’ve left the pitch for the final time.

[ MORE: College soccer news ]

USC Upstate’s athletic department held a candelight vigil on Monday, and honored both players with online memorials.

From Campbell’s, entitled “James Campbell Was an Intense Player Whose Competitiveness Made Those Around Him Play Harder”:

While Kyle Juell and James attended different high schools, they played club soccer together. “James was intense and passionate on the field,” Juell said. “He was the kind of aggressive player you wanted as a teammate. He was fun and warm and full of life and he cared so much about his teammates.”

From Sproul’s, entitled “Mills Sproul Put the Needs of Others Before His Own and Was Accepting of All”:

Mills’ teammate Deon Rose said that Mills was like the brother he never had.

“The first time I met him, I knew that he was special,” Rose said. “Not because he asked me if we had beaches in Canada or how Canadians survived without Chick-fil-A, but because he had an unconditional love for everyone and everything.”

Our thoughts are with the USC Upstate team, and entire community. Rest in peace.

Three stars of the week

1. University of California Santa Barbara — The Gauchos leapt from “receiving votes” to No. 14 in the nation. The Gauchos have won five-straight, all in-state, by a combined score of 13-3.

2. Joey Piatczyc, West Virginia — The midfielder leads the nation in assists with 12, one coming in Tuesday’s upset of Penn State, a match in which he also scored his first of the year. The Mountaineers shocked PSU with a 3-0 home win in Morgantown.

3. Francis Atuahene and Colin McAtee, Michigan — The Ghanaian freshman is a lightning bolt, and keeps producing goals along with the redshirt senior McAtee, who hails from San Diego. The Wolverines beat Duquesne 3-0 on Tuesday.

Other notes

— Creighton dropped two of its 24 first place votes, one each to North Carolina and Stanford, but remains the No.1 men’s team in the nation.

— Wake Forest hasn’t allowed a goal in three matches, against quality competition in NC State, South Carolina and Boston College. There were stretches in the 2-0 win over South Carolina where they looked unbeatable.

— Speaking of the Demon Deacons, they’ll face dangerous UNC on Saturday in what will be a cracker.

— Also No. 1:Florida State (Women’s D-1), Gannon (Women’s D-2), Trinity of Texas (Women’s D-3), Pfeiffer (Men’s D-2), Franklin & Marshall (Men’s D-3).