England and Nigeria did Major League Soccer fans a favor by leaving Jermain Defoe and Obafemi Martins off their rosters for Brazil, but if the league’s first match day without World Cup call ups is any indication, Toronto and Seattle’s opponents will feel the wrath of two strikers scorned. In the day’s first game, Defoe’s early screamer helped end TFC’s three-game losing streak, though Martins’ eighth minute opener at CenturyLink did his fellow former-Premier League striker one better.
On a ball rolled into the left of the penalty area, Martins lofted a sharp angle shot towards Jon Busch’s post, something that very well could have been a cross. From the sharp angle at which Martins released it, the hope of finding a teammate at the far post was the only logical explanation. Given the arc on the ball, it didn’t appear as if the Seattle attacker had any designs at goal.
But it would be a mistake to look at this goal in terms of logic. Instead, think of how many different ways the shot defies it. In terms of temerity, probability, flight and result, there is nothing about this goal that suggests Martins could do it again. Of course, that’s part of what makes it such an amazing shot.
After seven minutes in Seattle, the Sounders were up one on San Jose.
Middlesbrough has impressed at times during its return to the Premier League this season, and now the club looks to bolster its backline as the transfer window closes.
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The club announced the loan signing of Arsenal defender Calum Chambers on Tuesday, providing the Boro with a promising young player to contribute in the back.
Chambers, 21, has made 58 appearances in the PL with both the Gunners and Southampton, while also earning three caps for England.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka revaled his excitement over the signing, while also stating that the player addresses a big need on the backline.
“I’m really pleased,” said Karanka. “It’s a position where we’ve been working towards bringing the right player in. We haven’t been in a hurry because Calum was the player we were waiting for, and he’s going to help us a lot.”
The Gunners have been heavily criticized for not spending enough during the transfer season, however, Arsene Wenger has gotten the man he wanted to help out defensively.
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Arsenal announced the signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi on Tuesday, after the German centerback had been previously been linked to the club for some time as their top transfer target.
Mustafi will likely figure immediately into the Arsenal defense, which has also added Rob Holding this summer. The 24-year-old made over 64 appearances for Valencia while in La Liga after beginning his academy career in England with Everton.
Hope Solo hasn’t had the best couple of weeks since the U.S. Women’s National Team bailed out of the 2016 Olympics.
On Tuesday, the U.S. keeper announced her decision to take a step back from her club team as well after receiving a six-month ban from U.S. Soccer.
The veteran American shot stopper took to Twitter to make her decision known, leaving her status unknown with the Seattle Reign in the future. Solo remains under contract until the end of the current campaign, however, it is not known as to how her decision to sit out will affect her financially.
Solo wil be eligible to return to the USWNT in February, but it will be up to head coach Jill Ellis to reintroduce the 35-year-old into the fold.
U.S. Men’s National Team and LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes will miss the rest of the MLS regular season with a broken bone in his right foot.
It was initially believed on Monday that the U.S. attacker could be out until the end of 2016 after suffering the injury in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Zardes was taken down by Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston during the latter stages of the match, with the Costa Rican apparently catching the inside of the 24-year-old’s foot, ultimately causing the injury.
Because of his extended absence, Zardes was ruled out of consideration for the USMNT squad ahead of their upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.