I’ve known Jason Kreis since he was a rookie midfielder who practically refused to speak to the press; he humbly preferred that reporters talked to the established veterans, never mind that he was already one of his club’s top talents.
Still, I cannot pretend to know what’s in the guy’s mind.
I can, however, speculate with some education. And I would speculate that this Carles Puyol-to-New York City FC thing is a bunch of hooey. As we know, 80-90 percent of these aging-Euro-to-MLS media plants are hooey, so I’m not exactly betting the longshots here.
No, Kreis probably doesn’t have the final word on this stuff. Honestly, between the suits abroad (at Manchester City) and technical director Claudio Reyna, who knows where the balance of power lies with this fledgling of a club?
But here’s the deal. Puyol, who presided so regally on some absolutely wonderful FC Barcelona teams, is about to turn 36 (on April 13). So, that will a “36” with a recent history of injury – and that is not a good 36.
New York City FC will not begin passing and trapping until 2015 (when the club officially begins as MLS club No. 20). So, a month into his first MLS season, Puyol would turn 37.
And as I like to remind everyone at every turn, the extensive travel and the summer heat of MLS is tough, tough adjustment. It’s tough on a 27-year-old, much less a 37-year-old with a history of injury.
Chances of Puyol leading Kreis’ back line a year from now? Just a little bit better than the chances that I’ll be leading his back line at this time next year.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, and he is already the club’s all-time leading scorer.
After scoring both of PSG’s goals in a 2-1 win over Marseille today, Zlatan’s tally is up to 110 goals for the club, eclipsing Pauleta’s mark of 109. However, Pauleta needed 79 more matches to reach that number.
Zlatan has scored at a blistering pace since moving to Paris, having seasons of 35, 41, and 30 goals in his first three years at the club. Early into his fourth season with PSG, he has four goals through seven matches.
Not only has Zlatan achieved great success individually during his time at Parc des Princes, the club has dominated French football during his tenure.
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Since Zlatan moved to Paris in 2012, the club has won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, two League Cups, and one French Cup. During that time, Zlatan was twice named Ligue 1 Player of the Year and won two Golden Boots as the league’s top scorer.
Zlatan’s contract with PSG is up at the end of this season, and it has been long suspected that he will move on and join a new club next summer. Despite turning 34 earlier this month, Zlatan has proven his is still one of the world’s elite goalscorers, and will have his choice of clubs should he leave PSG.
Luciano Vietto scored with less than ten minutes to play to earn a draw for Atletico Madrid against their crosstown rivals Real.
Karim Benzema had given Real Madrid an early lead, heading home a cross from Dani Carvajal in the ninth minute. While Cristiano Ronaldo may get all the headlines, Benzema has been superb for Real, scoring six goals in seven La Liga matches this season.
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Atletico had a golden opportunity to draw level in the 22nd minute when the hosts were awarded a penalty, but Keylor Navas made a brilliant save to deny Antoine Griezmann, keeping Real ahead.
Still trailing 1-0, Diego Simeone made a substitution for Atletico in the 58th minute, bringing in Luciano Vietto for some added strength on the attack. It was the 21-year-old’s first taste of a Madrid derby, and he proved to be ready for the pressure.
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With the clock winding down, Jackson Martinez played a cross in from the left wing, and after a slight scramble in the box, the young Vietto cleaned up the scraps to level the score in the 83rd minute.
The result leaves Real Madrid second in La Liga, one point behind leaders Villarreal, while Atletico sits fifth, three points off the leaders.