MLS Season Preview: FC Dallas

Leave a comment

The recent fortunes of FC Dallas bear a resemblance to the Columbus team we previewed yesterday; two years of no playoffs meet a brand new, splashy coach. The difference here is that Dallas welcomes back one of its own in a sense, with Oscar Pareja returning from Colorado for pastures where he spent 13 years as a player and assistant.

What’s in the cupboard?


Players in: Adam Moffat (trade with Seattle), Andres Ramiro Escobar (loan from Dynamo Kiev), Hendry Thomas (trade with Colorado), Ryan Hollingshead (sabbatical), Brian Span (Djurgårdens IF), David Texeira (FC Groningen), Tesho Akindele (SuperDraft/Colorado School of Mines), Nicholas Walker (SuperDraft/Fairleigh Dickinson), Ronny Santos Mendoza (SuperDraft/Manta FC)

Players out: Kenny Cooper (trade with Seattle), Jackson (trade with Toronto), Kyle Zobeck (unattached), Ugo Ihemelu (unattached); Erick (unattached), David Ferreira (Independiente Santa Fe), Ramón Núñez (unattached), Bobby Warshaw (GAIS); Bradlee Baladez (unattached).

Key player: Texeira

Pareja struck late to pick up the 23-year-old Uruguayan forward on loan from FC Groningen in an attempt to bolster an attack that has struggled to score and even find the run of play. He’ll join Blas Perez and new loan signing Escobar to bring danger on the opposition. Escobar is also intriguing with his great pace.

Manager: Pareja

The 45-year-old Colombia worked wonders with the young players of the Rapids, bringing Deshorn Brown and Shane O’Neill into MLS prominence. He’ll bring a respectd and steady hand to a team that was searching for fire and consistency.

Outlook: It’s hard to envision FC Dallas jumping right back into the postseason, with a melange of styles and players to meld together. Still this should be an improved squad record-wise, and they did finish just seven points behind Colorado’s mark. If Dallas benefits from Pareja as much as Colorado falters without him, well, who knows? I wouldn’t bet on this being their year, but they shouldn’t be a boring team to monitor.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
AP Photo/Martin Rickett/PA
Leave a comment

In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
Leave a comment

Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.