Vancouver’s Camilo for league MVP? The argument may die before it really gets started

1 Comment

If anyone remembers the predominant argument for and against Chicago’s Mike Magee as a potential league MVP (or, for that matter, if anyone wants to click on it here), then making the case for and against Vancouver Whitecaps talented Brazilian attacker Camilo is a cut-and-paste job.

It’s the same doggone thing.

Unfortunately for Camilo, that doesn’t say good things about the chances of adding his name to the distinguished list of Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Players.

Camilo is certainly doing his part. He is just one off the pace for MLS Golden Boot, a mere goal behind Montreal sniper Marco Di Vaio (and dead even with Magee, both on 18 goals).

Beyond that, Camilo is delivering important goals (like last night’s pair, and like the important insurance goal in a big road win two weeks ago at Montreal). And beyond even that, he is providing some sensational strikes; last night scissors kick for the late, critical equalizer was a genuine YouTube-worthy stunner.

Heck, we are not even talking about Vancouver as even a playoff longshot today if Camilo doesn’t nail that one. But therein lies the problem.

The Whitecaps remain a longshot.

Martin Rennie’s team plays at Seattle and at Colorado over the next two weeks, and probably need to win both just for a shot at post-season soccer going into the regular season’s final weekend. (Vancouver hosts Colorado on the last round of MLS regular season play.) The Whitecaps badly needed all three points last night; that would have pulled the Caps’ level with San Jose, both still one spot below the playoff red line.

As it is now, Colorado will have to collapse spectacularly and San Jose will need a mini-collapse of its own for the Whitecaps just to have a chance.

Now back to the “Magee argument.” Remember, only once in league history has the star man of a non-playoff team earned league MVP. That was Dwayne De Rosario back in 2011, when the trio of finalists could be called “high quality, but not overwhelmingly spectacular.” (The other finalists were Houston assist king Brad Davis and young Dallas winger Brek Shea.)

This year, the likes of Robbie Keane, Di Vaio and Magee (if Chicago can make the playoffs, that is) will be too strong, and a player who can’t push his team into the post-season will fall aside before the argument ever really gets going.

Camilo would have a strong MVP case to make – but his team probably isn’t going to make the playoffs, and that’s going to be a real buzz kill on his chances.

Barcelona’s Twitter hacked to claim Di Maria signing

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Leave a comment

FC Barcelona had eyeballs popping across the Twitterverse for a solid 90 seconds there.

La Liga’s giants Tweeted out a welcome to Angel Di Maria, the current PSG and former Real Madrid star, with the hashtag #DiMariaFCB.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

It was an odd Tweet for 4 a.m. local time, as humourously pointed out by our Andy Edwards, and the hackers were quick to claim credit before any Tweets could be deleted.

So if someone tells you Angel Di Maria is the latest member of Barcelona, be sure to stop the spread of fake news.

On a day where Barca’s reportedly ready to up their bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, something tells us someone at the Camp Nou is turning over their keys to the club’s social media.

Rescheduled Yankees game moves NYCFC-Houston to Connecticut

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images
1 Comment

A rescheduled New York Yankees game is moving New York City FC to Connecticut.

Relax, it’s only for a day.

NYCFC will entertain the Houston Dynamo at Rentschler Field at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 instead of their regular home of Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

The club will offer tickets to another match to current ticket holders, and will also discount tickets to the game in East Hartford for fans who hold tickets to the Yankee Stadium game and want to travel for the Dynamo match (More info here, if you are in either of those camps).

This is the third of three scheduled seasons NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, and it doesn’t look like it’ll find a new home any time soon.

Given the everyday nature of Major League Baseball, it’s surprising there have not been more conflicts for NYCFC. We just remain hopeful for the day we can watch NYC’s star-studded roster play on a bigger home field.

“Injustice.” “Incomprehensible.” Ronaldo again protests suspension

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
3 Comments

The five-game suspension Cristiano Ronaldo received for making contact with an official is not sitting well with the forward.

Better put: it’s still not sitting well.

Six days ago, Ronaldo took to Instagram to say he was being persecuted after his red card in the Spanish Super Cup.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Tuesday afternoon, he kept up the strong words by saying the suspension is “incomprehensible” and “an injustice.”

Roughly translated, Ronaldo posted, “One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustive, they will never overcome me. And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me.”

We’ll say this: He’s a really good soccer player.

Barca to offer Liverpool $176M for Coutinho

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
1 Comment

Barcelona is insane.

Desperate following a rough two-legged loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, the Blaugranas are reportedly ready to offer $176 million to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.

Read it again: $176 million for Philippe Coutinho. It’s about $126 million with $12 million more when Barca clinches a UCL spot over the next four seasons (which they have done every year since finishing sixth in 2002-03).

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Even in this transfer market, that’s nuts. Crazy to offer, and maybe even crazier not to accept.

That’s pretty much two-thirds of the Neymar money. Two-thirds (I keep repeating myself with this story)

It’s even a convenient out for Jurgen Klopp, who’s said Liverpool is not a selling club. Here, he can say with a straight face that the club can improve with this money by selling a player who has — and I recognize it’s not all about goals and assists — one double-digit goal season in his career and a career single-season high of seven PL assists (done thrice).

Almost anyone who’s had the audacity to say the Reds should accept the bid has often been shot down by the Anfield faithful online. “It’ll ruin our season” and “How do we replace him this late?” are the common cries.

To the first question: No, it won’t. To the second: Easy?

It’s not like-for-like, but nearly every player in the world is available for $176 million. It’s not like-for-like, but here’s a short list: Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Paulo Dybala, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus… Shoot! Klopp could sign 2-3 of his favorite BVB alums.

With this fee, Coutinho would become the second-highest transfer fee of all-time, behind only Neymar. There are makeweights Barcelona could offer that would make the deal even more intriguing to the Reds: Arda Turan, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez.

Look at it from a neutral’s eyes — which I know is hard from the number of times I’ve read @ Tweets that say, “The only people who would like this deal are fans of Chelsea or United!” — at some point, it becomes unreasonable to not take advantage of Barcelona’s desperation. Maybe Coutinho is worth the “fit” for Barca, but rejecting this fee is more illogical than the offer itself.

At the risk of inflaming every more Liverpool supporters, Ross Barkley is probably going to cost someone $35 million and he’s a year and a half younger (Coutinho is a superior player right now, but we’re talking about the market here).

And, lastly, at some point you’re telling your entire team room that you’re willing to turn down near record money — it would be the highest non-buyout clause transfer ever — to keep a player from his dream club.

Take the money. Use it. Move on.