Wayne Rooney’s isolation: A picture is not always worth a thousand words

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There’s a photo making the rounds of social media, showing Wayne Rooney apparently isolated in the center of the pitch at Liberty Stadium, while the rest of his teammates celebrate Robin Van Persie’s second goal against Swansea. Of course, much is being made of this one snap, captured at exactly the wrong (or right) moment.

The view of Rooney not participating in his side’s joyful celebration is a clear indicator that he’s unhappy at Manchester United and ready to leave the club. It shows that, despite David Moyes insisting that the star is not for sale, he’ll be gone by the end of the transfer window. This split second in time reveals that Robin Van Persie has taken over command of United and Rooney refuses to accept his new role in the side.

At least, that’s what some people are saying. But is there another side to this brief moment of time?

Think about the lead up to Van Persie’s second goal. As the Dutchman raced toward goal, cutting through the Swansea defense, Rooney made a run toward the right, pulling away Swans defenders. This opened up space to allow Van Persie to send in a sharp, left footed strike. Just let yourself imagine, here, that this movement also prompted a tackle on Rooney — one that meant that, as his team gathered around the goalscorer to celebrate, Rooney was just lifting himself up off the pitch.

So the photo very well may have been showing Wayne Rooney’s unhappiness at Manchester United, or his dissatisfaction with David Moyes. There’s certainly more to this saga than has been released to the general public. But perhaps it’s more reasonable to actually put the scene within the context of the match, and to realize that maybe Rooney just hadn’t had the chance to participate in the celebration?

But that sort of rationality doesn’t sell newspapers. It doesn’t get you retweets on Twitter or likes on Facebook. So expect to see further dissemination of this photograph, and its apparent “meaning,” throughout the weekend.

 

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.