It’s time for the U.S. internationals to show they have that extra gear needed for ongoing inclusion in Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team. Eddie Johnson did it Saturday.
Now if he can just knock off the silly stuff.
While Lamar Neagle’s pair of goals jumps off the score sheet in the Sounders’ impressive 4-0 win, Johnson’s body of work was quite critical in occupying defenders, making solid runs, holding up balls, etc.
And he did have the assist on Neagle’s opening goal. What Sounders managaer Sigi Schmid said about the U.S. international:
Sometimes how you play doesn’t really show up on the score sheet, but I thought Eddie Johnson worked really hard up front for us and created a lot of things. The combination play up front was good.”
Obviously a lot of people will find themselves covered in praise when their team finds the correct side of a 4-0 result. But Johnson’s role is important, especially as Obafemi Martins – who got in and scored his second goal as a Sounder – gets fit. That will present a lot of problems for opposition defenders.
Johnson probably should have been suspended for a game recently for that silly business with Philadelphia Union forward Antione Hoppenot.
Saturday in Seattle, he got into a little deal with Chris Wondolowski, a fellow U.S. international. There’s no question that Wondolowski was the initiator, clipping Johnson’s heel well after the ball was away late in Saturday’s contest.
But Johnson could have gotten himself in real trouble in responding and challenging Wondolowski rather than just being a pro about it and just walking away.
Johnson has worked too hard to get his career back on track; remember, he is just 18 months removed from pretty much running himself out of professional soccer. He’s in a great place – but his ability to stay above the unceccesary stuff will help determine whether he stays there.
LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.
Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.
He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.
Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.
While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.
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The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.
Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.
NAPLES, Italy (AP) Napoli eased to a 3-0 win over Inter Milan in Serie A on Friday, with two goals in the opening five minutes.
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The home side got off to a lightning start as, following a wonderful team move, Jose Callejon headed back Marek Hamsik’s chipped pass for Piotr Zielinski to volley into the bottom left corner.
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Zielinski turned provider moments later as Hamsik beat the offside trap to run onto his pass and fire into the bottom right corner.
It was Hamsik’s 104th goal for Napoli, moving him level with Edinson Cavani in third in the clubs’ goalscoring charts. The Slovakia forward needs 11 more to equal Diego Maradona’s record.
Inter started the second half aggressively but hopes of getting back into the match were scuppered six minutes after the restart when Lorenzo Insigne netted his fourth goal in three league matches after visiting goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only flapped at a corner.
Napoli moved level on points with Atalanta, which visits league leader Juventus on Saturday, and fourth-placed Lazio, which hosts Roma in the capital derby on Sunday.
Inter, which beat Fiorentina 4-2 on Monday for its first win under coach Stefano Pioli, remained eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
On a day where Atlanta United added another young talent, the 2017 MLS expansion side could be preparing to make a major splash for a South American playmaker.
According to numerous Argentine media outlets, Atlanta is closing in on signing Paraguay international Miguel Almiron for an MLS-record fee of $13 million from Lanus at the end of 2016.
Almiron, 22, has scored three goals in 34 appearances for Lanus since joining the Argentine club in 2015. The young winger began his professional career back in 2013 with Cerro Porteno, where Almiron also played for the club’s youth academy.
On the international stage, Almiron has already earned seven caps for Paraguay after previously representing the nation’s Under-17 and U-20 national teams.