Mikael Silvestre 4

MLS news roundup: Maurice Edu details, Beitashour in Vancouver, fresh stadium discord in D.C. and more

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We know a little more today about the move that brings Maurice Edu back to PPL Park, where he’ll dust himself off and get to work for John Hackworth’s young team. Turns out, however, he’s not 100 percent free of the nightmare that his days at Stoke City turned into. His deal with Philly is just a loaner from Stoke. It is a season-long loan with an option to purchase.

About this apparent, raging opposition in Washington, D.C., to United’s proposed stadium there: here is some great context from longtime soccer ace Steven Goff.  Among the gems as Goff compares the current stadium talks to something similar with baseball in the not-so-distant past: “For decades, congressmen and pundits … set the agenda by drooling over the idea of the Mudville 9 and seventh-inning stretches in the nation’s capital. They are not as concerned about a soccer team, whose base of support inside city limits is young, hip, diverse and well-traveled.” Nailed it, dude.

A rather quiet off-season (player personnel-wise) came to life around BC Place as new coach Carl Robinson will have some real quality at right back, where Steven Beitashour is now on board to replace the retired Y.P. Lee.  As this piece points out, a back line of Beitashour on the right, Jordan Harvey or Carlyle Mitchell on the left, with Andy O’Brien and Jay Demerit holding the middle? Yeah, that doesn’t look too bad at all.

Just south of there, this was kind of surprising. I, along with some others, I’m sure, was looking forward to seeing if former Manchester United center back Mikael Silvestre (pictured above) could rebound from last year’s serious injury and add something to the Portland Timbers defense. But it sounds like he may not even get the chance. There’s ample cover now, plus he’s a high-salaried, 36-year-old coming off a significant injury, so there’s probably some contracting re-working that would need to be done.

Memphis jersey biggest seller in Premier League

during the Barclays Premier League match between XXX and XXX on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
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Memphis Depay‘s name has been printed on more Premier League jerseys than anybody else.

[ PHOTOS: Must-see Klopp merch ]

According to Kitbag.com, the Manchester United winger is the biggest climber on their top 10 list and fans have flocked to have “Memphis” printed on the back of their United jerseys.

The Dutch winger, 21, has had an up-and-down start to life at Old Trafford but that is not detracting fans from having Memphis, the name he prefers, emblazoned on the back of their shirts. Folks from an unnamed city in Tennessee, have you been buying lots of jerseys on the internet? No doubt the number of United fans in that region has sky-rocketed in the last few months. No doubt.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT ]  

Anyway, below is the list of the top 10 players name printed by Kitbag.

Top 10 selling jerseys worldwide

1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
3. Memphis Depay – Manchester United
4. Bastian Schweinsteiger – Manchester United
5. Eden Hazard – Chelsea
6. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
7. Neymar – Barcelona
8. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
9. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
10. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool

New Arsenal contracts on the way for Alexis, Ozil

Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil
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Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both in line to be handed new contracts by Arsenal.

The attacking duo, who have been in fine form in recent weeks after slow starts to the season, both have current deals which run until 2018 but the Gunners are said to be keen on locking the attacking midfielders down to contract extensions.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT ] 

According to the Daily Mail, Sanchez is set to become Arsenal’s top earner with a new deal on the table in excess of $220,000.

Sanchez is currently being paid $197,000 per week but is not the highest paid player at the Emirates, with Ozil taking that mantle and earning a cool $215,000 a week. Speaking of Ozil, talks over a new deal for him are also being prepared by Arsene Wenger and club officials with the German playmaker finally showing consistency this season, which is his third campaign in the Premier League following his $63 million move from Real Madrid in 2013.

[ MORE: Sanchez, Ozil dazzle in Arsenal’s win vs. United ]

Sanchez, 26, missed most of Arsenal’s preseason after winning the 2015 Copa America with Chile on home soil this summer, but he is now back in his groove and the former Barcelona forward has scored five goals in his last two PL games and seven times in his last four outings for club and country.

Ozil scored his first goal of the season against Manchester United in Arsenal’s recent 3-0 win, as Ozil and Sanchez ripped United’s defense apart in a stunning 19-minute spell at the beginning of the match.

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With Theo Walcott locked down to a new long-term contract in the summer, Wenger now looks to have found his go-to front three as Walcott, Sanchez and Ozil possess a superb combination of pace, power and trickery. It’s no surprise to hear reports about new deals being prepared for Sanchez and Ozil, as the duo have that extra bit of class which has seen the Gunners win back-to-back FA Cups and comfortably finish in the top four of the PL.

Now, can they kick on and contend for the title this season? If Sanchez and Ozil stay fit and in-form, there’s no reason why not.