Erick Torres 2

Red Bulls drop valuable points to last-place Chivas USA


No offense to hard-trying Chivas USA, but there is no other way to see this: dropping points against the Goats represents a big opportunity lost.

So, congratulations, New York Red Bulls. Not only did Chivas USA, still a distant 9th in the 9-team West, win for just the fifth time this year, Jose Luis Real’s club managed to score three goals for the first time since March.

So, good on the Goats for a little joy in a 2013 campaign brought low in so very many ways this year. But when the final playoff positioning is set, the high-profile Red Bulls will surely rue a 3-2 loss Sunday night at the StubHub Center. Chivas USA’s 20-year-old loanee Erick Torres (pictured) had two goals for  the Rojiblancos.

This is the same venue and the same team that just days ago handed Dallas it’s first win since June, 11 matches back. The win improved Dallas’ playoff positioning while arresting a long summer slide.

But back to the Red Bulls, who sorely missed star center back Jamison Olave, and will continue to do so. Not that replacement Ibrahim Sekagya is so dreadful (although he did give up a obvious penalty kick at a terrible time, just seconds before the halftime whistle). Rather, it’s that Olave isn’t there to take charge and, more importantly, clean up mistakes from outside backs that can be prone to them.

Still, injured defensive leader or no, there is no justification for losing to Chivas USA. Draws on the road are OK, though not ideal, even against teams that won’t sniff the post-season. But to lose?

And it was no fluke. Both teams created quality chances, Chivas just did a little better at putting theirs away. New York’s top, blown opportunity, by the way, was from none other than Thierry Henry. The All-Star Frenchman pushed his uncontested right-footed shot from 12 yards wide in the second half.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.