Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba

“Didier Drogba to MLS” chatter gains momentum


Every time I start to scratch out a Top Five list of players I would love to see in MLS, I get immediate tired-head and check out. Fact is, there are just too many good ones out there that, for one reason or another, would be great for fans and terrific for the content providers like myself.

But I do know this: Didier Drogba would be on the list. Probably right at the top.

As I said on Twitter today about the looming possibility of the Ivorian hit man joining MLS: “If he does, I will go buy up a bunch of tickets. And I get into the matches free!”

The Ivorian has been a top MLS rumor target for more than two years, since we all knew his days at Stamford Bridge were done. But he opted to take the cash-dash into China and then quickly rerouted his (apparently ill chosen) course to Turkey’s Galatasaray.

Reports out of Turkey now say Drogba, his relationship in a bad place with the regional heavyweight, is set to leave at season’s end.

And if you are one to believe “reports,” the powerful striker may have already been offered a deal to join Seattle.

Clearly, that would mean the end of Obafemi Martins era at Seattle. Or, MLS could unveil the latest “Retention Fund” maneuver, meaning they will make up another rule on the fly that backs into whatever suits the loudest voices in the room, and, “Voila!”

Either way, it would set off another round of “Have vs. Have Nots” talk around MLS as the Sounders continue to rotate DPs through CenturyLink Field.

Who says this is a league of parity?

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
Liverpool Football Club/Getty Images
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.