We don’t know who is making the personnel decisions around Toyota Stadium, but someone certainly just made a big one.
The club announced late Monday that it has declined David Ferreira’s option, meaning the league’s 2010 MVP will go through the league’s re-entry process. Midfielders Ramon Nunez and Erick also had their options declined as the rebuilding goes on around the formerly named FC Dallas Stadium, but Ferreira is the big DP name.
Ferreira, Daniel Hernandez and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman formed the spine of Dallas’ 2010 MLS Cup runner-up side. That same year the team’s Colombian playmaker won the Major League Soccer’s top individual award.
But Ferreira, 34, has been mostly injured and in decline since. His numbers remained adequate this year, with 3 goals and a team-leading 9 assists.
But “adequate” isn’t good enough for a figure that the club builds around, which was the case with Ferreira. He became increasingly immobile as the season went on, unable or unwilling to do the tracking, and demanding of the ball when he wasn’t any more effective with it than others.
Schellas Hyndman’s continued faith in Ferreira contributed to the manager losing his job near season’s end, as FC Dallas and its broken midfield failed to make the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
This does beg the question about who is making the personnel calls. Presumably it’s technical director Fernando Clavijo, with assistance from owner Dan Hunt, who has been increasingly involved with the club’s day-to-day management since former club president Doug Quinn left in a rather unpleasant bit of business.
Whoever it is, the dry erase board is being cleared. Building blocks still in place include striker Blaz Perez, center backs George John and Matt Hedges and goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
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No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
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Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday