Where will new Toronto FC man Jermain Defoe fall in the ranking of MLS strikers?

Leave a comment

There is a real value to be discussed if Jermain Defoe is chosen for England’ World Cup roster. It could potentially nudge up global intrigue and awareness in a league increasingly blessed with World Cup-worthy talent – beyond the World Cup-worthy talent that plays in a U.S. shirt, that is.

Defoe, of course, was among two new Toronto FC players introduced by the suddenly very intriguing Canadian club today.

Michael Bradley may have sucked a bunch of media oxygen from the room – what, with all the debate about what this does for the development of the best U.S. player of the moment.

But there’s another big element to discuss in today’s newsiest of news days around BMO Field: does Toronto now own the best MLS striker?

Defoe hasn’t been a consistent starter at Spurs for the last few years, but he’s been an important element around White Hart Lane. And we are talking about a record $10 million man, a top-shelf striker who has 55 England caps.

So the question becomes this: where does Defoe rank straight-away among MLS strikers? Here’s where I would put the current Top 5:

1.  Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy: He has 32 goals over 50 league games in the last two years. I’ll be shocked if Defoe can match that kind of prodigious production.

2. Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy: Familiarity with the league and a long history of “getting it done” in MLS puts the league’s all-time leading scorer ahead of Defoe in the rankings.

3. Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC: It will take the former Spurs man a few games to adjust, but expect him to produce regularly around BMO (especially with Michael Bradley running the midfield behind him).

4. Mike Magee, Chicago Fire: The league’s MVP might be hard-pressed to repeat his 21 goals last year – a career high by a long, long way – but it’s not unreasonable to expect something in the 14-16 range around Toyota Park this go-round.

T-5. Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls: His totals declined last year (from 15 goals in 2012 to 10), but the veteran Frenchman still scores some real doozies.

T-5. Camilo, Vancouver Whitecaps: His numbers were more than double Henry’s, and a Golden Boot-winning 22 is certainly worthy of Top 5 consideration. Then again, going from 5 goals in 2012 to 22 smells a bit like “lightning in a bottle.” Let’s watch this one. Besides, his status as an MLS man is a bit up in the air.

Daly collapses during match, treated for heat illness

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

HOUSTON (AP) Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly collapsed during the final minute of a National Women’s Soccer League match against the Seattle Reign as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

The 25-year-old Daly was stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital, where the team said she was being treated for heat illness.

The temperature at BBVA Compass Stadium was 92 degrees at the 3 p.m. kickoff. The Reign won 2-0.

[ MORE: Perisic talking with Man Utd? ]

The NWSL issued a statement that said the league had worked with the Dash before the season to schedule any afternoon games early in the year to help avoid heat issues. The teams took a hydration break late in the match.

“We will immediately review these measures to prevent this situation from occurring in the future,” the statement said.

Reign coach Laura Harvey posted to Twitter: “Proud of the team today. Some of the hottest conditions I’ve seen. Road games are tough but that was crazy.”

MLS roundup: Outrageous dive, posts doom ‘Caps; Ramirez stays red hot

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Six matches are in the books on a busy Saturday in Major League Soccer, and five of them finished 1-0.

How they got there? Much different stories. With the Cali Clasico still to play, let’s dig into the five that followed Seattle 1-0 Portland.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]


Vancouver Whitecaps 0-1 DC United

It’s especially difficult to win on the road in Major League Soccer, unless the hosts fritter away four good chances off the woodwork — including a Cristian Techera PK — and give away a spot kick of their own. Lamar Neagle converted the 61st offering after a sinister dive from Jose Guillermo Ortiz. He was taken off soon after, and is probably going to miss sometime when the DisCo is done with him. Outrageous.

New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution

Not one, not two, nor three, but four New England players saw a low cross slide by them for Daniel Royer to finish as New York came from behind to take all three points at Red Bull Arena. Cody Cropper committed a gaffe that allowed Bradley Wright-Phillips to equalize after a Lee Nguyen PK had put the Revs ahead early.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting KC

Homegrown defender and University of Denver product Kortne Ford has his first MLS goal, as the Rapids surprised the Western Conference leaders on Saturday. SKC outshot Colorado by nearly 20 attempts (Shoulder shrug emoji).

Minnesota United 1-0 Orlando City

There were questions as to whether NASL superstar Christian Ramirez could translate his game to Major League Soccer.

Yes. The answer is yes.

Ramirez has eight goals in 13 MLS matches, and should be hearing his name from a certain Bruce Arena around Gold Cup time. Those USMNT dreams of last season should come true.

Bobby Shuttleworth made six saves for his third shutout of the season. All have come at home.

Real Salt Lake 1-0 Philadelphia Union

Joao Plata keeps shooting, and the tiny Ecuadorian menace keeps scoring, too. His 36th minute goal was enough for the hosts at Rio Tinto.

Raiola: Zlatan to “100 percent” stay in Europe for two seasons

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]

Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:

“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”

It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.

But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.