De Laurentiis hoping Cavani decides future by July 20

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His comments were flippant, but there’s still a decent amount of information we can infer from Aurelio De Laurentiis’s quotes. Published in Marca today, the Napoli owner implied a deadline for Edinson Cavani’s potential move from Naples, though given the language of his quotes (“I’ll rip his head off,” he said laughing), it’s hard to see the film mogul’s words as actual policy.

The 26-year-old Uruguayan, who has scored 78 league goals since moving to Napoli three years ago, is currently on national team duty in Brazil, where La Celeste will face Brazil on Wednesday in the Confederations Cup semifinals. Though he’s not scheduled to rejoin his club until late next month, Cavani’s owner is hoping a there’ll be a resolution to his transfer saga before he’s due back in Italy.

De Laurentiis, as told to Radio Rai and distributed by Marca:

“I trust in Cavani, I think that he’s a good man and he has the opportunity to prove it by staying at Napoli.”

“I think that the Cavani ‘soap opera’ will come to an end on 20th July, which is when he returns from the Confederations Cup. If it doesn’t, I’ll rip his head off,” Aurelio De Laurentiis said laughing.

“Does anyone think that I’ll let Cavani leave on 10th August, with the league campaign about to kick off?”

Nice, fun banter, but between the lines, we can discern a few things. First, Cavani is not only for sale (or, buyout) but he has sufficient interest to necessitate a decision. Second, the decision is his, with De Laurentiis implying the club will have to abide by the Uruguayan’s choice. Third, with his “good man” comment, De Laurentiis isn’t above a little gamesmanship, perhaps resorting to some new tactics as he loses traction in the ‘soap opera.’

Cavani’s been linked most prominently with Real Madrid, but Chelsea and Manchester City are also in the picture. Paris Saint-Germain’s link has gotten some ink, and it’s surprising the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Monaco haven’t also commandeered a few more electrons. Cavani’s a world-class striker with a work rate that would allow him to meld into any team.

Over the next four weeks, Cavani will likely get to choose between Madrid, London, and Manchester. And if he doesn’t, an old Italian movie producer’s going to try to tear his head off.

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 1-1 Los Angeles Galaxy

Robbie Keane
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Los Angeles Galaxy became the second team in the Western Conference to clinch a berth in the playoffs following a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders. A terrible mistake from Seattle defender Zach Scott led to an easy goal for Robbie Keane, and it looked like that would be the winner until deep into stoppage time. In the 93rd minute, Chad Barrett got his knee on a corner kick to save a draw for Seattle, although the point was enough for LA. The Galaxy join FC Dallas as the two Western Conference teams headed to the postseason.

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Three moments that mattered

36′ — Robbie Keane capitalizes on Seattle’s mistake — Zach Scott misplayed a ball across the Sounders’ back line, as Robbie Keane intercepted the pass and finished one of the easiest goals he’s going to score. A true striker’s goal, Keane doesn’t miss ones like this.

64′ — Steven Gerrard denied by the woodwork — Los Angeles nearly made it 2-0 right after the hour mark, but Steven Gerrard was just inches off. Gerrard rose up to meet a corner kick from Juninho, but his header took a deflection and hit the crossbar before being cleared out of the box by Seattle.

90’+3′ — Chad Barrett finds a late, late equalizer — Just when it looked like LA was going to leave Seattle with a win, Chad Barrett stole a point for the Sounders. Marco Pappa whipped in a corner kick to the near post, which was flicked on by Brad Evans. Barrett surged into the box and got a knee on the ball as the match ended in a draw.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Steven Gerrard

Goalscorers: Keane (36′), Barrett (90’+3′)

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)