Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani joins Paris Saint-Germain for $82.5 million, how will he fit in?

Leave a comment

Neither of Edinson Cavani’s parents predicted this move.

But, finally, one of the longest transfer saga’s of the summer has come to a close as French champions Paris Saint-Germain signed Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani for a whopping $82.5 million.

Cavani’s new club have splashed a huge amount of cash to get their man, with his parents previously stating he was on his way to Real Madrid. However that didn’t materialize and now Paris is Cavani’s new home.

The ex-Napoli man has signed a five-year deal and the 26-year-old known as “El Matador” will look to bring European success to the Parc des Princes.

Yet, do I get the feeling that Cavani isn’t exactly what PSG need this season?

Laurent Blanc’s men could do with strengthening in other areas first, as their attack already boasts Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cavani’s ex-Napoli teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi, Javier Pastore and plenty of others.

Maybe a central midfielder or another central defender would be better? That’s just me.

Or, does Cavani’s arrival spark the end of Zlatan’s Parisian adventure? The 31-year-old fell out with some people behind the scenes during last seasons title celebrations (namely outgoing Sporting Director Leonardo) and isn’t against joining Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.

(MORE: Edinson Cavani has “heart set on move to England”)

Cavani and Zlatan are two of a kind. They’re huge bulking forwards, who are quick and can score goals. I don’t think there is room for both of them in PSG’s team. If there is, then my goodness, central defenders across France and Europe will be crying themselves to sleep this evening.

But that extremely physical approach may not be what Blanc is looking for. They’re pretty set at the back, with Thiago Silva marshaling the defense and Salvatore Sirigu doing a fine job in goal.

Strangely, despite all their attacking talent, PSG couldn’t score many goals last season. They averaged less than 2 goals per game, 1.81 to be exact, and that’s not good enough for a side boasting top international forwards by the barrel full. They huffed and puffed and won several games 1-0 or 2-1 last term, they got the job done and won the title. But their Qatari owners will be expecting some more swashbuckling displays in Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League this season.

(MORE: As transfer window opens, Cavani mum on potential move)

At the back they had the best defense in the league by far, letting in just 23 goals. Blanc is an astute tactician and being a former French international defender he always sets his teams up to be difficult to beat.

But does the signing of Cavani mean they will play two up front and go for it, big time, next season? With Blanc’s defensive principles I doubt it, but you never know.

Cavani has scored 104 goals in 138 games over his last three seasons with Napoli. If that doesn’t help PSG score more this season, whether Ibrahimovic is around or not, I don’t know what will.

Pellegrini says announcing departure was mistake; Won’t jump into job

Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini, right, and Bayern Munich's manager Pep Guardiola during the Champions League group D soccer match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Clint Hughes)
AP Photo/Clint Hughes
Leave a comment

Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini thought it was the right thing to do; His club was reportedly looking for his successor, so why not let them do it in the open.

[ MORE: Barcelona could chase Mata ]

What followed Pellegrini’s announcement that he would leave at the end of season were three straight losses and, arguably, City’s chances at a Premier League title.

From Sky Sports:

“After Guardiola said he was coming to England it was my decision [to go public] because all the media was talking about Guardiola here, Guardiola in Arsenal, Guardiola in Manchester United,” he told The Guardian.

“It was not fair for all managers – when everyone knew he was coming here. If I ask if I would do that again… I have some doubts.”

Pellegrini said the announcement didn’t make it difficult for him, but for his players.

The Argentine also said he’ll wait for an interesting job to come calling, and that he could be done managing forever if such an opportunity doesn’t present itself. That said, we think he’ll find a job that’s to his liking given this comment:

“Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive.”

Life is a good motivator.

Will upsets continue in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round?

SANDY, UT - OCTOBER 1: The U.S. Soccer Championship trophy sits on display before the game between DC United and Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium October 1, 2013 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup hits the third round on Wednesday, with NASL teams entering the fray and at least one fourth-tier or lower side guaranteed to advance to face MLS competition.

The USASA had three teams win second round matches, and two will face each other on Wednesday. The L.A. Wolves knocked off the USL’s Orange County Blues, while L Maquina FC handed the NPSL’s Sacramento Gold an ouster. They will tangle for the right to a high-profile match-up with the L.A. Galaxy.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Gonzalez wins Liga MX with Pachuca ]

We’ll also see NASL vs. USL geographical rivalries when Carolina faces Charlotte and Rayo OKC meets Oklahoma City.

Wednesday’s third round matches
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL)
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL)
New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL)
Miami FC (NASL) vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) vs FC Cincinnati (USL)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (USASA)
Indy Eleven (NASL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)
Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Minnesota United (NASL)
Rayo OKC (NASL) vs Oklahoma City Energy (USL)
Des Moines Menace (PD) vs. San Antonio FC (USL)
Arizona United (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)
La Maquina (USASA) vs. L.A. Wolves (USASA)
Kitsap Pumas (PDL) vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)

Iranian woman “sneaks” into Persian League match dressed as a man

Persepolis FC
@PersepolisFC
1 Comment

An Iranian woman wanted to see her favorite team play badly, but knew well the unspoken rule: no females at the stadium.

The Independent has the story of a woman who dressed in layers and filmed herself in case trouble came from her attendance.

[ MORE: Police free kidnapped Mexico striker ]

Persepolis FC is the name of the club, and they play in the Persian Gulf Pro League.

From The Independent:

There is no official ban on women attending sports events in Iran, but they are often refused entry so it is rare for women to attend.

In a third video, the woman explains that she layered five T-shirts and five pairs of trousers to hide her figure and covered her face with face paint.

I recognize that this is the norm over there, but it’s still a striking story.

Report: Barcelona ready to swoop if Mourinho deems Mata surplus at Manchester United

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - OCTOBER 01: Juan Mata (L) of Chelsea shakes hands with manager Jose Mourinho (R) after being substituted during the UEFA Champions League Group E Match between FC Steaua Bucuresti and Chelsea at the National Arena Stadium on October 1, 2013 in Bucharest, Romania.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
1 Comment

It’s a $40 million question for Manchester United: Will Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho work well together?

Their time at Chelsea was fractured when Mourinho deemed Mata surplus to requirement and shipped the Spaniard to Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Rashford signs new 4-year deal ]

Mata, 28, has been a consistent performer for United, but will his reunion with Mourinho be short-lived? It’s easy to imagine both as ready to move on and Barcelona could be an option if that happens.

Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona could make a bid of close to $40 million in order to help the midfield continue to tick. Mata was a key part of United’s possession-based approach under Louis Van Gaal, and as a player really does fit the bill of a Mourinho-minded mid.

We’re just hoping that if Mata moves, he doesn’t switch anywhere that would change his English language blog posts.