D.C. creeping up on league losing streak records

1 Comment

We don’t want to oversell this point, so allow me to state straight away: D.C. United has a significant distance to travel to match the league’s all-time worst losing streak.

That said, Ben Olsen and crew are beginning to creep uncomfortably close to even more dubious standards of woe. United has lost seven in a row, which is already a club record. That puts the club just one wee loss away from establishing the 7th longest streak of loss-related woe over 18 years in Major League Soccer.

I know that’s not what anyone around RFK Stadium wants to hear, least of all Olsen, but them’s the facts. And here is another one:

United’s schedule over the next two weeks leans toward the difficult side.

At first glance, you might like the team’s chances of arresting this slide with two matches at home. But those two matches at RFK would be officially certified as “real buggers” if such official designation existed.

(MORE: Is there an “age” issue on United’s roster?)

First up is Sporting Kansas City, statistically the best road team in 2013 with a 3-2-1 mark away from Sporting Park.  And those of you keeping up with current events know Peter Vermes’ team just upended the Houston Dynamo’s flashy 36-game unbeaten streak in South Texas.

Well done, sirs. Clearly, Vermes’ team can win on the road, which is lousy news for a United team trying everything possible to push through the mire here.

After that comes Portland, the only team in MLS that remains unbeaten on the road (a 1-0-4 record). That one victory came at Sporting Kansas City, a darn tough place to go find a point or three. So, clearly Caleb Porter’s team has packs extra bags of confidence as the they board the planes out of Oregon.

If United were to lose those two – again, not getting ahead of ourselves here, but just sayin’ – they would be tied for the fourth-longest losing streak in MLS history.

Here are the league’s longest losing streaks:

  • New York MetroStars, 12 games in 1999
  • Kansas City Wizards, 10 games in 1998
  • Real Salt Lake, 10 games in 2005
  • New England Revolution, 9 games in 1997
  • New England Revolution, 9 games in 1998
  • Toronto FC, 9 games in 2012
  • Six teams (including United) tied at 7 games

Stam after Reading playoff final loss: “Tough to take”

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jaap Stam has won silverware in three different leagues for five different teams, and has a Champions League title from his time at Manchester United.

He’s used to winning, and that includes his first stop as a full-time manager. And that makes Reading’s loss in Monday’s playoff final sting a bit more.

[ MORE: Wenger would pay Sanchez, Ozil ]

Reading lost in penalty kicks and it’s not like the Royals were thoroughly outclassed by Huddersfield Town. But it still burns. From Sky Sports:

“You don’t want to play football to be in the grey areas, you want to get the max out of your career, win trophies and play at the highest level.

“It’s tough to take, but it has to be difficult. It’s not good to lose a game like this, you need to feel it and experience it and then take that forward if you get into the same moment again. The good players do that.”

Reading loses a trio of loan players — Lewis Grabban, Reece Oxford, and Jordon Mutch — as well as American midfielder Danny Williams. It won’t be easy for Reading to get back into the playoffs without an injection of money, but Stam’s first rodeo as a manager was a good ride that came up just short.

Wenger, Kroenke meet; Board to learn decision Tues.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wenger watch is entering its final hours.

The BBC is reporting that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke met with longtime manager Arsene Wenger on Monday to discuss the Frenchman’s future, and that the decision was going to be made together.

[ MORE: Wenger would pay Sanchez, Ozil ]

It seems almost certain that Wenger is going to come back to the Emirates Stadium. From the BBC:

The outcome is unclear but the decision rests solely with Wenger and Kroenke and will be relayed to directors at a Tuesday board meeting.

Fresh terms were agreed in principle some months ago, but nothing is signed.

There have been questions about whether Wenger would accept a sporting director being placed above him, and if Kroenke believes the repercussions of keeping the boss would negatively impact the business.

Barcelona to keep goalkeeper Ter Stegen until 2022

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says it has reached a deal to extend the contract of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen until June 2022.

The club said the new agreement, which has a buyout clause of 180 million euros ($201 million), will be signed on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

Ter Stegen has been with the club since 2014, helping it win nine titles in three seasons.

The German goalkeeper has played 93 matches with Barcelona, conceding 90 goals in 71 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses.

Barcelona has already renewed the contracts of Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. It is still working on new deals for Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

Report: Wenger ready to pay Ozil, Sanchez club record deals

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Leave a comment

Arsenal knows its departure from the UEFA Champions League has to be a short one, and that keeping its two best attackers around is imperative.

That’s why Arsene Wenger is preparing to make Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the top paid players in Arsenal history, according to a report from The Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson.

The contract status of both players has been a touchy one this season, and Sanchez especially has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe (including London neighbors Chelsea).

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

But perhaps the Gunners’ FA Cup triumph over Chelsea has Ozil and Sanchez feeling good vibes about the Emirates Stadium set, and Arsenal is ready to pounce. According to the report:

Wenger has told the board that he thinks he can win the Premier League if this group stays together and is supplemented by no more than two or three key additions. Ozil is understood already to have been offered more than £250,000 a week and the club are ready to go to around £280,000 for both him and Sanchez.

The Gunners need both players healthy and happy heading into next season, and appropriate additions as well (A top striker is a must. Again). Wage structure is important, but Arsenal will have a blessing in disguise if another player can make a legit case he deserves to be paid like Ozil and Sanchez any time soon.