Samuel Eto’o becomes latest big name striker linked with Toronto FC

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The list of world class forwards linked with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC keeps on growing.

But, sorry to be the party pooper here, that doesn’t mean anything’s going to happen.

Numerous reports suggest Chelsea’s Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o is the next in a long line of top strikers to be joining TFC, as Jermain Defore, Alessandro Del Piero and Alberto Gilardino to name a few.

Eto’o, 32, signed with Chelsea on a one-year deal when he joined from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala this summer. He’s been sporadically starting for the Blues and in the last week he scored three times in two starts as Chelsea beat Schalke and drew with West Bromwich Albion. The former Real Mallorca, Barcelona and Inter Milan striker comes with an incredible pedigree and still has a lot to give, as he’s shown for Chelsea this year.

We all known Tim Leiweke is desperate to turn Toronto FC into a success story, but is Eto’o really the go to man? Perhaps, but I believe he’s just one of a number of DPs the Canadian side are looking to add as Ryan Nelsen’s overhaul continues. They need two or three DPs, desperately.

The plus point for TFC is that if they wait until May the Cameroon legend will actually be available on a free transfer. So this may sway Eto’o in the direction of Southern Ontario but I can’t help but be skeptical about this rumor. If he’s paid massive amounts with a DP salary, yes I can see it happening. As we all well know, Toronto are well supported and their long suffering fans fill the stands no matter whats going on but a successful team will bring sellouts.

Eto’o has scored 295 goals in 586 games in his career and is Cameroon’s all-time leading appearance holder and goalscorer with 55 goals from 112 games. He is a poacher who can provide much needed goals. Think Robert Earnshaw but 10 times better. (Sorry, Earny)

His pedigree is undoubted and a top goalscorer is exactly what goal-shy Toronto have been lacking for several seasons.

That said, I’ll believe Eto’o leading the Reds to MLS Cup glory when I see it.

CCL: Toronto wins; Wild Herediano comeback

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On a single-digit Tuesday that severely limited the attendance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC dueled in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Jonathan Osorio’s second half goal put the Reds in front and Sebastian Giovinco had a goal and an assist and the visitors take a 2-0 decision back to Ontario.

The best chance of a preseason quality first half saw Dominique Badji flub the best chance of the stage into the feet of Alex Bono.

Toronto took the lead, nabbing the away goal through Osorio’s header of a Sebastian Giovinco cross. And the Atomic Ant got on the board with a goal of his own off an Auro assist with 17 minutes to play.

[ MORE: Georgia teen heading to Schalke ]

Tuesday’s other first leg saw Herediano and Tigres play to a 2-2 draw in Costa Rica, with the Liga MX visitors taking a pair of away goals but shocked by a pair of stoppage time concessions.

Francisco Meza scored in the 15th minute and Lucas Zelarayan seemingly put it to bed with 15 minutes to play.

But Yendrick Ruiz converted a 90th minute penalty kick before ex-DC United forward Jairo Arrieta did this ahead of the Feb. 22 second leg in Mexico.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

Champions League Weds. preview: Sevilla-Man Utd, Shakhtar-Roma

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United is one round away from having legitimate hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

That makes the Round of 16 tie against Sevilla — beginning Wednesday in Spain — a bit of a dream qualifier for the Red Devils.

“I normally say that Champions League dreams start around the quarter-finals and not yet in the last 16,” Mourinho said on ManUtd.com. “Last 16 still looks a long way to go. When a team reaches the quarter-finals, I think it’s the moment where even the teams that are not favourites – which is our case – they start realising that anything is possible.

The injury-hit side got a bit of a boost on Tuesday in Sevilla, where Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera all trained ahead of the first leg.

As for the hosts, manager Vincenzo Montella admitted that he hopes Pogba won’t play, and joked that he’d prefer to tie up and “padlock” Alexis Sanchez in a bid to defend against the Chilean star.

The final Round of 16 tie to start will be Roma’s pairing with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the first leg taking place in Ukraine.

Shakhtar hasn’t played in some time, but the great equalizer is the bitter cold at Donbass Arena, where the temperature is set to be between 21 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit come kickoff.

Don’t worry, Roma fans, Daniele De Rossi is busy breathing fire into any teammates angling for excuses:

“The cold weather could affect things a little because we’re not used to it but at the end of the day it comes down to how well you perform out there. We must be mentally ready from the get-go because the cold might hit us in the opening minutes.

“If it was that much of a factor, these teams would win the Champions League every year. You don’t go through because of the weather.”