Every ounce of familiarity could be an advantage for the United States in a Western hemisphere World Cup like this summer’s event in Brazil, and USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann is excited about January’s camp at their summer home in Sao Paolo.
Klinsmann had already hailed the country’s January camp, as you read and watched thanks to Joe Prince-Wright, but he’s expounded upon the benefits and plans today at the MLS site.
“We’ll try things out there,” Klinsmann said. “We want to get to know the people. We want to build relationships, if it’s at the hotel, at the training ground. We want to get a feel for how things work there – for the Brazilian lifestyle, in a certain way – and this is a good opportunity.
“So we connected it because no other [World Cup] team really has that January camp happening. It’s because of the schedule that MLS has gives us that opportunity.”
The United States team and manager expressed optimism at getting used to everything from the hotel to the weather to the food in Brazil, and doing so ahead of many of their World Cup competitors.
Sporting KC midfielder and camp participant Graham Zusi laid out the benefits of the experience nicely:
“I think the trip down to Brazil makes it all real, very real, and I think that that has gained the focus of every single player, 100 percent. It’s going to feel real good going down there this first time and kind of knowing what you’ll be up against in the summer.
“If there are any snags or unexpected things, we’ll be able to experience them this first time and really take them out of the question the next time we’re down there.”
Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini thought it was the right thing to do; His club was reportedly looking for his successor, so why not let them do it in the open.
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What followed Pellegrini’s announcement that he would leave at the end of season were three straight losses and, arguably, City’s chances at a Premier League title.
From Sky Sports:
“After Guardiola said he was coming to England it was my decision [to go public] because all the media was talking about Guardiola here, Guardiola in Arsenal, Guardiola in Manchester United,” he told The Guardian.
“It was not fair for all managers – when everyone knew he was coming here. If I ask if I would do that again… I have some doubts.”
Pellegrini said the announcement didn’t make it difficult for him, but for his players.
The Argentine also said he’ll wait for an interesting job to come calling, and that he could be done managing forever if such an opportunity doesn’t present itself. That said, we think he’ll find a job that’s to his liking given this comment:
“Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive.”
Life is a good motivator.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup hits the third round on Wednesday, with NASL teams entering the fray and at least one fourth-tier or lower side guaranteed to advance to face MLS competition.
The USASA had three teams win second round matches, and two will face each other on Wednesday. The L.A. Wolves knocked off the USL’s Orange County Blues, while L Maquina FC handed the NPSL’s Sacramento Gold an ouster. They will tangle for the right to a high-profile match-up with the L.A. Galaxy.
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We’ll also see NASL vs. USL geographical rivalries when Carolina faces Charlotte and Rayo OKC meets Oklahoma City.
Wednesday’s third round matches
Chattanooga FC (NPSL) vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL)
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) vs. Richmond Kickers (USL)
Jacksonville Armada (NASL) vs. Charleston Battery (USL)
New York Cosmos (NASL) vs. Jersey Express (PDL)
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) vs. Charlotte Independence (USL)
Miami FC (NASL) vs. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL)
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) vs FC Cincinnati (USL)
Rochester Rhinos (USL) vs. Lansdowne Bhoys FC (USASA)
Indy Eleven (NASL) vs. Louisville City FC (USL)
Saint Louis FC (USL) vs. Minnesota United (NASL)
Rayo OKC (NASL) vs Oklahoma City Energy (USL)
Des Moines Menace (PD) vs. San Antonio FC (USL)
Arizona United (USL) vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks (USL)
La Maquina (USASA) vs. L.A. Wolves (USASA)
Kitsap Pumas (PDL) vs. Sacramento Republic (USL)
An Iranian woman wanted to see her favorite team play badly, but knew well the unspoken rule: no females at the stadium.
The Independent has the story of a woman who dressed in layers and filmed herself in case trouble came from her attendance.
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Persepolis FC is the name of the club, and they play in the Persian Gulf Pro League.
From The Independent:
There is no official ban on women attending sports events in Iran, but they are often refused entry so it is rare for women to attend.
In a third video, the woman explains that she layered five T-shirts and five pairs of trousers to hide her figure and covered her face with face paint.
I recognize that this is the norm over there, but it’s still a striking story.
It’s a $40 million question for Manchester United: Will Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho work well together?
Their time at Chelsea was fractured when Mourinho deemed Mata surplus to requirement and shipped the Spaniard to Old Trafford.
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Mata, 28, has been a consistent performer for United, but will his reunion with Mourinho be short-lived? It’s easy to imagine both as ready to move on and Barcelona could be an option if that happens.
Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona could make a bid of close to $40 million in order to help the midfield continue to tick. Mata was a key part of United’s possession-based approach under Louis Van Gaal, and as a player really does fit the bill of a Mourinho-minded mid.
We’re just hoping that if Mata moves, he doesn’t switch anywhere that would change his English language blog posts.