Tottenham Hotspur v  New York Red Bulls

Tim Cahill contemplating EPL loan move?


If it is good enough for Thierry Henry, David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, then New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill might as well jump on the bandwagon.

Cahill revealed to the Australian media that he may seek a loan move back to England during the MLS offseason, as he prepares for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“My first option would be to go on loan to the Premier League or somewhere in Europe,” Cahill said. “It all depends on the scenario – how my body is, where I’m at and whether I need it. Maybe my body might not need it and maybe it will, so we’ll assess in due course.”

So what do you think of that, RBNY fans? My guess is that you’re probably not too happy about it.

Does Cahill, at the ripe old age of 33, really need more soccer under his belt during his downtime? Perhaps. Like he said, he knows his own body and leading up to the last World Cup the Socceroos legend played a full EPL season and feel great going into South Africa 2010.

(MORE: Cahill’s Australia qualify for 2014 World Cup in Brazil)

But with the extensive travel in MLS and plenty of other factors leading into continuous soccer for 12 months, will Cahill still be able to produce the goods when he returns to MLS from the World Cup? Or will he need to take a five or six week break then?

Either way he really is putting country before club in this scenario, if he does decide to make a loan move abroad.

That being said, which English Premier League team would take Cahill for a loan spell during the MLS offseason? Perhaps a return to Everton could be on the cards, and maybe David Moyes will use Cahill off the bench at Manchester United for a few months. That would be pretty special.

Now were are just flat out speculating and I’m sure Cahill probably has a few clubs lined up already as possible destinations. But if an EPL move doesn’t materialize one way or another, I can’t see him heading to any teams elsewhere in Europe for a short stint.

But the big question for me is, will Cahill be mocked and taunted like Beckham was for joining AC Milan on loan during the 2010 MLS offseason and then extending it? Or will fans of the New York Red Bulls rally around Cahill’s efforts to be in top shape for the World Cup, just as they supported Henry’s return to Arsenal on loan?

Only time will tell as this story unfolds. Expect Cahill to be chatting more about this in the coming weeks as he returns to the USA.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia