Leo Messi’s injury misfortune is also a real downer for St Louis soccer community, which misses out this week on its chance to see the world’s most gifted soccer player — almost certainly one off the all-time bests.
Messi was set to join Argentina on Monday in St. Louis for a match that looked like the latest in a series of highly successful exhibitions in the city in 2013. Only now, the star power of this one is diminished measurably due to Messi’s absence.
He was set to appear as Argentina faced Bosnia & Herzegovina at Busch Stadium. But earlier this week, the peerless striker was ruled out for six weeks due to an ankle injury suffered while playing for Barcelona FC. That mostly affects Barcelona and not Messi’s homeland; Argentina was already safely qualified for the World Cup and won’t be impacted in any meaningful way, since he is due back on the in January.
(MORE: What Messi will miss for Barcelona FC)
It won’t be meaningful, that is, unless you consider missing an exhibition in the American Midwest against a European middleweight as ‘meaningful.’ And, I suppose, if you are the promoter of a certain match in the American Midwest. In that case, it’s probably fairly meaningful.
Argentina, one of the world’s top nations will hardly be short on talent. Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuain have been named to the roster. Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko tops the Bosnian roster.
(MORE: Gonzalo Higuain criticizes state of field for New Jersey exhibition)
City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.
[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]
The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.
CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.
Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.
MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.
The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.
[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]
Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.
Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.
Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.
[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]
ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.
The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.
Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.
Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.
According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.
Scott Parker has announced his retirement from soccer after a stellar 20-plus year career in England.
[ MORE: Chile bests Portugal on PKs to reach Confed Cup final ]
The 36-year-old spent almost the entirety of his career in the Premier League, and played with seven teams during his time on the pitch.
“I believe now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career,” Parker said in a statement.
“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.”
Parker began playing with Charlton after coming up through the team’s youth academy, before completing a move to Chelsea in 2004.
Throughout his career, Parker also spent time at Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham, before finishing up at Fulham this past season.