DC United v New York Red Bulls

Thierry Henry likely out for New England match


(UPDATE, 4:10 p.m. ET: This story says Dax McCarty may return for the Red Bulls, but that  Henry, Jamison Olave and Juninho are all likely to miss out.)

At least Thierry Henry is being right up front about his availability for Saturday’s match in New England; We’ll call his status “iffy.”

Henry doesn’t like to play on artificial turf. He’s hardly the first big star to show outright disdain for the fake stuff; David Beckham had a famous ill regard, as well. It’s a bit of an issue in MLS because four teams play their home matches on artificial turf. It’s not quite as much of a sticky wicket for teams in the East (like New York), because three-quarters of the faux field brigade is in the West.

Still, it’s an issue.

Previously this season, Henry bowed out of a match in Montreal, where early-season matches are held indoors. (The team’s usual home ground, Stade Saputo, is outdoors and anchored with a natural grass field.) How much was the turf, and how much was an ongoing knee ailment at that time, only Henry and perhaps the team’s medical staff could truly say.

This time around, Henry has just said, in effect, “it’s turf, so I don’t know.”

I’ve got to speak with Mike [Petke, the Red Bulls manager]. I’ve never played there, so we’ll see how it is.”

Henry is among the league’s goal scoring leaders, one off the pace-setters. He has five goals in 11 games in 2013.

Saturday’s contest from Gillette Stadium kicks off at 7:30 E.T.; it’s free this weekend on MLS Live.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
AP Photo/Martin Rickett/PA
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.