Andre Villas-Boas, Clint Dempsey

Where should Clint Dempsey go? Everton, Liverpool, Sunderland…


Where will he go? Nobody knows.

After Clint Dempsey was reportedly transfer listed by Tottenham Hotspur yesterday evening, plenty of possible destinations for the US national team captain have already cropped up.

Whether or not Dempsey is for sale, that’s another matter.

But it does seem as though a move away from White Hart Lane would help get his career in the English Premier League back on track. Deuce scored just seven EPL goals in the 2012-13 campaign, compared to 17 at Fulham the season before.

Due to injury, lack of form and squad rotation, a solid run in the Spurs team has alluded him since he arrived for $10 million last summer. Dempsey and his agent have previously refuted any claims of a summer move, but he may not have a say in this switch.

But which EPL club would suit Dempsey best? That, my friends, is the hard bit.

Tottenham weren’t the only club interested in Deuce when he left Fulham on transfer deadline day last August. Liverpool and Everton were keeping close tabs on the situation right up until the window slammed shut.

Could the two Merseyside clubs be an option now? Everton seems more likely.

With Roberto Martinez molding a new look squad and aiming to play attacking soccer, Dempsey would fit the bill as an experienced attacker who has scored more than five EPL goals in each of his last six seasons. Coupled with assists and tireless work rate, Dempsey would get on well at Goodison Park. Plus Martinez has been said to admire US players in the past after his various stints on US soccer broadcasts as a pundit. Intriguing.

(MORE: Dempsey reportedly transfer listed by Spurs)

Liverpool could be a non-starter. Yes they were heavily linked with a move for the US forward last year, but Brendan Rodgers and his staff are looking for young talent to supplement the experience of Steve Gerrard et al., with their transfer policy altering significantly since Dempsey was on the radar.

Where else, you ask. Well, what about Sunderland? Dempsey could team up with his pal Jozy Altidore and American owner Ellis Short would rake in the money in shirt sales and other merchandise spin offs. It’s a win-win. But would manager Paolo Di Canio take kindly to it? I’m not sure. His abrasive attitude coupled with Dempsey’s confident swagger is a ticking time bomb. If the duo clash, a move to Sunderland could be a short lived experience for Dempsey.

Has anyone considered this. After not settling at Spurs, despite demanding a move away from Fulham, should Dempsey have stayed at Craven Cottage?

What’s that old saying? Something about the grass not always being greener… well, it could ring true here. Yes, Dempsey got to play for a club with a bigger profile but did it get him Champions League soccer? No. He played in the Europe League last season but he did that with Fulham during the 2009-10 season.

(MORE: Are Spurs putting the “For Sale” sign on Clint Dempsey?)

I’m not saying a move back to Fulham is the answer, and heck, the move to Spurs hasn’t been a disaster. Look at how well Dempsey has performed for the USA and he’s now their shining light and set to captain the Yanks at next summer’s World Cup.

Between now and then he needs to be at a club who value his attacking impetus and use him the right way. At Spurs he’s often playing in deeper roles and hasn’t really fit in with their counter-attacking style.

Wherever Deuce lands, if he does leave Spurs, I’m sure he will be firing on all cylinders for the US at the World Cup. But having a settled season in the EPL, for a club he’s happy at, is key.

Clearly his time at Spurs is coming to an end. But where next? That’s the $10 million question.

Reports link Guardiola with Manchester City summer move

Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga
Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images
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There are claims out of Spain that Manchester City has a verbal agreement to bring Pep Guardiola to town when his Bayern Munich contract expires in June.

Don’t expect comment from Guardiola, who bristles when discussing his future. In the past he’s hinted he might not be the right man for the Bavarian side, but has lamented any questions about clubs other than Bayern.

Now Mundo Deportivo writer Francesc Aguilar says there’s a secret agreement between Guardiola and Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain to reunite at the Etihad Stadium this summer.

[ MORE: Three big battles between U.S. and Mexico ]

Both Barcelona buffs and former Spanish internationals, Begiristain was Barca’s director of football when Guardiola took over for Frank Rjikaard in 2008.

Manuel Pellegrini signed a contract extension this summer and has led the club to a Premier League title, though the club has struggled in European competition. For what it’s worth, the Manchester Evening News got rumor reaction from Sergio Aguero:

On the latest Guardiola rumour, Kun said: “It has been talked about a lot. I don’t know him, but he’s a great manager and it’s wonderful to have the best managers train you.”

But he also added: “I’m very good with Manuel Pellegrini, we talk a lot. I’m happy in the team and with him, but the club will be the one who chooses who comes in.”

In other words, “I’m really good, and they pay me well enough that I’m prepared to play for any big name that arrives.”

It’s a story to keep up with, even as it intrudes on the seasons of two big, rich European clubs.

MLS to the death: Taking stock of playoff scenarios

Portland Timbers' Diego Valeri, right, challenges Montreal Impact's Laurent Ciman during the first half of a soccer game, Saturday, May 9, 2015 in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP
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Five MLS teams have made the playoffs, but in the world of probability that number is a lot closer to 10.

Red Bulls, DC, L.A., Vancouver and Dallas are in the postseason, while Toronto, Columbus, New England and Sporting KC are on the verge. Seattle is just behind that group.

[ MORE: Three big battles between U.S. and Mexico ]

So how about those final two slots?

Eastern Conference

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
x – New York 31 16 6 9 55 39 16 11-2-3 5-4-6 54
x – D.C. 32 14 6 12 39 40 -1 10-3-3 4-3-9 48
New England 32 13 8 11 45 45 0 9-6-1 4-2-10 47
Columbus 32 13 8 11 51 53 -2 8-4-4 5-4-7 47
Toronto FC 31 14 4 13 55 53 2 10-1-4 4-3-9 46
Montreal 31 12 6 13 44 43 1 10-2-4 2-4-9 42
Orlando City SC 32 11 8 13 44 54 -10 6-5-5 5-3-8 41
New York City FC 32 10 7 15 47 53 -6 6-4-6 4-3-9 37
Philadelphia 32 9 7 16 40 51 -11 6-3-7 3-4-9 34
Chicago 32 8 6 18 42 52 -10 8-1-7 0-5-11 30

Matches remaning
at Colorado, vs. New England, at Toronto 
vs. NYC, at Philadelphia
New York City: at Orlando, vs. New England

Obviously, the Impact have the wheel here, though a pair of road tests — one across the continent — aren’t easy. If it comes down to a match against their rivals at BMO Field, all bets will be off. NYC can do Montreal a huge favor by getting a result in Orlando, but Jason Kreis’ side need all three points (Well, all six points… and a load of help). No one is playing better than Orlando right now.

Western Conference

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
x – FC Dallas 31 15 6 10 47 38 9 11-2-2 4-4-8 51
x – Los Angeles 32 14 9 9 53 39 14 12-3-1 2-6-8 51
x – Vancouver 32 15 5 12 42 34 8 8-2-6 7-3-6 50
Sporting KC 31 13 9 9 46 41 5 9-5-1 4-4-8 48
Seattle 32 14 5 13 40 34 6 10-2-4 4-3-9 47
San Jose 32 12 8 12 39 37 2 7-6-3 5-2-9 44
Portland 31 12 8 11 31 36 -5 7-6-3 5-2-8 44
Houston 32 11 8 13 41 45 -4 9-3-4 2-5-9 41
Real Salt Lake 31 11 8 12 37 43 -6 7-6-2 4-2-10 41
Colorado 31 8 10 13 30 38 -8 5-5-6 3-5-7 34

Matches remaning
San Jose:
vs Sporting KC, at Dallas
at RSL, at LA, vs. Colorado
Houston: vs. Seattle, at Vancouver
Real Salt Lake: 
vs. Portland, vs. Dallas, at Seattle

Quite literally anything can happen here in terms of these four. Pressure’s surely on Caleb Porter and the Timbers to finally give their supporters a side worth their passion. RSL is the only other side with three matches left, and the two pair up next. Houston has a harrowing pair of matches, one without Cubo Torres, while San Jose also has two tough efforts.