Just when Landon Donovan was getting into the groove, “feeling it,” as they say, an injury concern may derail the momentum.
Bummer. Especially ahead of a match that looks like one of the weekend’s best.
The Galaxy attacker, who had a goal and an assist in the Galaxy’s big Round 8 achievement, a dominant 2-0 victory over Sporting KC, is dealing with some vaguely disclosed issue in his right leg. The injury happened at some point in Saturday’s win, and the 31-year-old midfielder has been limited to work in the gym this week.
Donovan told reporters on Thursday that he hopes to be ready for the weekend trip into Utah to meet Real Salt Lake. “We’re definitely going to be cautious and always hopeful that I’ll be ready Saturday, but we’ll see,” he said.
Meanwhile, teammate Robbie Keane (pictured) is still dealing with the ankle injury picked up almost three weeks ago in Mexico during CONCACAF Champions League play. Keane didn’t stop to chat with reporters, but Donovan called the Irish international a “tough guy” and sounded optimistic that his teammate could help out against RSL.
Across the country, no one gets to be as optimistic about New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty, who will apparently miss two weeks with quadriceps strain. He is definitely out for this week’s trip in Toronto.
This is an interesting one because McCarty frequently inspires debate. I pitch my tent in the camp that says all his midfield energy (but energy applied skillfully, which is important) means a lot to the club. McCarty’s ability to cover ground becomes even more important when 38-year-old Juninho works the midfield alongside him.
Others aren’t as sure about McCarty’s influence. We may know a little more after he isn’t around for a couple of matches.
AFCON wrap: Ghana books place in quarterfinals, Egypt edges Uganda
League leaders Chelsea weren’t in action on Saturday, but things couldn’t have possibly gone any better for the Blues.
With Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United all dropping points in their respective matches, Antonio Conte‘s men have the opportunity to widen the gap atop the Premier League on Sunday as Chelsea faces Hull City.
The Citizens will surely feel disappointed in referee Andre Mariner’s lack of a penalty decision, and more so both sides are feeling the affects after finishing level at the Etihad Stadium. Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris had a rough go of it early in the second stanza after two goals to Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne just four minutes apart. Luckily for the visitors, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son each netted for Tottenham to give Mauricio Pochettino‘s side a share of the points.
It was bound to end some time but Liverpool certainly wasn’t expecting a fight from the Swans on Saturday. Unfortunately for them, that’s exactly what they got. And more. Swansea picked up its first ever top-flight win at Anfield, and the victory couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Fernando Llorente netted twice for the visitors, while Gylfi Sigurdsson played hero on the day for the Swans. The loss for the Reds snapped a 25-match unbeaten streak at home, while also opening the door for Chelsea to extend its lead at the top of the PL.
Wayne Rooney was the star of the show, but the veteran attacker’s moment of achievement was overshadowed by his side’s failure to pick up three points. Rooney’s 250th goal was surely the day’s biggest talking point, but Juan Mata‘s earlier own goal ensured United that a draw was their fate on the day. The Red Devils currently sit 11 points out of the top spot in the PL, while the draw keeps Stoke in ninth.
The Toffees have found new life a recent string of victories but it’s Palace that has become the bigger story on Saturday after falling into the depths of the relegation zone. Seamus Coleman sealed the victory for Everton after Tom Davies picked out the veteran Toffee for the match’s lone finish. Outside of Crystal Palace’s FA Cup victory over Bolton, the Eagles have lost eight consecutive PL fixtures, prompting the team’s fall into 18th place.
Goals from Darren Fletcher and Chris Brunt kept the Baggies on the top half of the table as Sunderland continues its relegation woes. The Black Cats now sit three points buried at the bottom of the PL following Saturday’s defeat.
The Hammers moved into the top half of the PL courtesy of goals from Andy Carroll and Jonathan Calleri, while the Boro couldn’t keep up with Slaven Bilic‘s surging side. West Ham has now moved up to 10th place after winning five of its last seven league matches. Christian Stuani managed Middlesbrough’s lone tally on the day, however, the club now sits just four points above the bottom three.
Four straight draws between the two sides have left very little between the mid table clubs but Saturday’s encounter surely had its share of entertaining moments. The Hornets led twice on the day with goals from Christian Kabasele and Troy Deeney, however, Bournemouth managed to fight back on both occasions to record the draw. The Cherries currently have a two-point advantage over Watford in the table, with the two clubs sitting 11th and 14th, respectively.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola was furious, and went off on the fourth official. Walker, it seems, knows he was guilty.
“I wasn’t going to get him otherwise,” Walker said. “You just have to try to put him off as much as possible.”
Then there’s Pep, who tried to avoid speaking about the penalty.
“We made an outstanding performance. It’s a pity what happened. … We’re upset, sad at what happened, but I am so, so proud of what we did.”
Later he was told that Walker admitting to pushing Sterling, and said with a smirk, “In this country you appreciate honesty. Thank you to Walker for being honest.”
Finally, Pochettino seems to think there wasn’t a problem at all, except when City was allowed to score when Hugo Lloris headed a ball off Leroy Sane’s hand before Sane scored.
“The first goal we conceded was handball. We can’t start to see every single detail, in England it’s different. It wasn’t a penalty. From my side, there’s no complaint about from me about the referee.”