A word of warning on the moves from D.C. United, Seattle Sounders


Be not fooled by these moves involving names you know in Seattle and at D.C. United. There is a lot more work to be done, and perhaps a shift in philosophies is even in order at both MLS addresses.

For Seattle, moving Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA was a swell stroke. Not a master stroke, but a good bit of business. The club was finished with Rosales, so getting anything from any club rings the bell of success. As it happens, they get Tristan Bowen, a forward who can help provide some depth once the club finds a home for Eddie Johnson.

(You don’t really think Johnson has another year at CenturyLink, do you?)

Plus, the Sounders are now No. 2 in the allocation process, a nice place to be.

All this happens a day after D.C. United added some midfield depth in Davy Arnaud.

Here’s the deal on both clubs: they have a history of favoring the splashy move over something less sexy. Less sexy usually means “spending money on quality defenders.”

(MORE: Assessing the Davy Arnaud trade for D.C. United)

Some of us have been hollering about D.C. United’s woeful defense for years. Yes, the attack at RFK was horrendous last year, and that had a lot of our poison pens jumping. But the Black and Red defense was something to hide from children, too. At 59 goals allowed, Ben Olsen’s group was second worst among 19 MLS teams.

Word to D.C. United: want to get better? Get better men to perform in front of your young, talented goalkeeper, who is too inexperienced to shepherd such a ramshackle bunch.

Seattle needs to bolster its back line, too. No, the Sounders defense wasn’t D.C. United-esque. But it wasn’t good enough for a team serious about contending for an MLS championship. It looked a little better due to protection from the league’s top holding midfielder, Osvaldo Alonso. Past that? Meh.

Seattle likes its chosen DPs to play nearer to the other goal.  So does D.C. United. In fairness, most teams do, too. But the moves ahead for these two high-profile outfits need to acknowledge a basic truth of the biz: defense wins championships.

Oh, about your newly crowned MLS Cup winners, Sporting Kansas City: Peter Vermes’ club was tops this year in goals conceded at 30, or less than one per game.

Report: Conte, Pirlo could spearhead Italy managerial team

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Various nations are still mourning their failure of missing out on the 2018 World Cup, but arguably none bigger than powerhouse Italy.

[ MORE: Premier League player power rankings ]

The Azzurri, who lost to Sweden in a UEFA playoff series in 2017, will not take part in soccer’s most-prestigious competition in Russia for the first time since 1958.

Former manager Gian Piero Ventura has received heavy criticism for the nation’s failure, and stepped down from his role as head coach immediately after Italy’s dismissal from World Cup qualifying.

A familiar face could now be in line to replace Ventura though, as Football Italia reports that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte could make a return to the Azzurri.

Conte remains under contract at Stamford Bridge, however, Chelsea’s dip in form this season after winning the title in 2016/17 has many speculating that the Italian won’t survive to coach the Blues next year.

Meanwhile, Italian legend Andrea Pirlo has also expressed his interest in joining the technical staff if Conte is appointed.

The two have a close history together from their days with the national team and at Juventus.

In addition to Conte, Carlo Ancelotti is reportedly being considered for the job as well, and Pirlo is believed to be willing to join the managerial staff is the former Bayern Munich coach is hired.

Former Sevilla player Diego Capel training with Sounders

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A former Sevilla star is training in MLS, as the veteran midfielder looks to continue his career stateside.

Diego Capel was spotted training with the Seattle Sounders on Thursday, despite club manager Brian Schmetzer initially playing coy on who the player was.

[ MORE: Where does Zlatan rank in MLS superstar signings? ]

“We have a player that’s in camp,” Schmetzer said. “He’s a good player. He’s probably worn the number 10 in his career. Maybe as a youth player. Maybe it’s just a player borrowing Nico’s jersey.”

The Sounders have suffered several major injuries in their attack to start the 2018 MLS season, which also contributed to the team’s derailment in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

While Capel traditionally has played on the wing throughout his career, the Sounders could use all the help they can get in the attacking third.

Jordan Morris has already been ruled out for the season with an ACL tear, while Nicolas Lodeiro and Will Bruin are currently sidelined for the club with respective injuries.

Capel came up through the ranks of Sevilla, while also playing for notable European sides such as Sporting Lisbon and Anderlecht.

The 30-year-old last played for the Belgian side in 2017, but has been a free agent since.

Int’l friendlies: Lingard guides England; Colombia tops France

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A roundup of Friday’s international friendlies….

England suffered an early setback in Holland after Joe Gomez limped off the pitch with an injury. However, the Three Lions bounced back with a 1-0 victory when Jesse Lingard struck after halftime.

[ MORE: USMNT reveals new kits ahead of Paraguay friendly ]

A drastic second-half turnaround for Colombia gave the South American side a 3-2 victory over France. Olivier Giroud and Thomas Lemar had Les Bleus out in front in the first half with a 2-0 lead, but the Colombians responded with three unanswered finishes to grab the win.

Mohamed Salah‘s second-half strike wasn’t enough to pace Egypt due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s late brace for Portugal (his 80th and 81st international goals), while Victor Moses‘ penalty kick helped Nigeria top Poland.

Meanwhile, Brazil picked up a convincing 3-0 win over this summer’s hosts Russia. Barcelona teammates Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho each scored in the second half, after Miranda opened the scoring for the Selecao.

Germany and Spain settled for an exciting 1-1 draw, while Argentina topped Italy, 2-0, without Lionel Messi or Sergio Aguero in the lineup.

Below are all the scores from today’s friendlies involving teams that will play in Russia this summer.

Portugal 2-1 Egypt
Argentina 2-0 Italy
Germany 1-1 Spain
Netherlands 0-1 England
Poland 0-1 Nigeria
Scotland 0-1 Costa Rica
France 2-3 Colombia
Uruguay 2-0 Czech Republic
Japan 1-1 Mali
Russia 0-3 Brazil
Saudi Arabia 1-1 Ukraine
Greece 0-1 Switzerland
Tunisia 1-0 Iran
Serbia 1-2 Morocco
Peru vs. Croatia — 8:30 p.m. ET
Mexico vs. Iceland — 10 p.m. ET

Joe Gomez exits Holland match after 10 minutes with injury

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Joe Gomez‘s World Cup hopes may have taken a major hit on Friday after the Liverpool defender exited England’s match against Holland after just 10 minutes.

[ MORE: USMNT releases new kits ahead of Paraguay friendly ]

The extent of the 20-year-old’s injury is unknown at this point, but the Reds defender was in noticeable pain as he limped off the pitch at the Amsterdam Arena.

Gomez was replaced by Leicester City center back Harry McGuire following the stoppage.