Who is Houston’s new World Cup mid? Reports say it’s this Honduran

Leave a comment

Bless you, Chris Canetti.

The Houston Dynamo president earns our praise for the latest MLS storyline that is DaMarcus Beasley’s return to Major League Soccer, but also for giving us soccer sleuths the task of uncovering which other World Cup starter he’s bringing to Texas.

To recap: at the end of the press conference unveiling Beasley as the latest Houston player, Canetti dropped some major hints on the next player tabbed to join the team.

[ RELATED: DaMarcus Beasley in Houston: “I see myself as a left back” ]

To recap, from Dynamo Theory:

Glenn Davis asked Chris Canetti to comment on the rumor the Dynamo might be adding another player that has World Cup Experience.

Chris Canetti’s reply was golden, “It is real. We are indeed in late stages of discussions with another player. That ties into the Warren Creavalle trade. We didn’t just trade Warren to move up and get the allocation slot for Beasley. We cleared him because we needed salary cap room for a secondary move. The player we are talking about would be a midfielder in the center of the park where we would’ve seen Warren playing minutes for us going forward.”

He continued, “we’re trying to finish it off, Glenn. He’s a player that is on his country’s national team. His country was in the World Cup, and he started all three games for that country in the World Cup.”

He also mentioned they would be working all through the night to try and get the deal done as quickly as possible.

Alright, so three starts in the middle means the player likely, though not certainly, comes from a team that flamed out in the group stage. Who could it be? Well, there could’ve been a theory that Houston could bring in a Honduran to pair with Boniek Garcia. How about bringing Roger Espinoza back this side of the Atlantic? The midfielder is 27 and has played 30 matches in 1.5 seasons at Wigan.

Or maybe there was a way Canetti could’ve been tricky with American fans: Nantes mid Ale Bedoya played in all four games for the USMNT at the World Cup, but only started three. And while he’s not a center mid, perhaps ‘center of the park’ was a purposefully vague?

As it turns out, the Honduran tip may work out, just with a different player (who did not start in three World Cup matches. Thanks for nothing, Chris).

Garrido, 23, would be likely coming on loan for the third-straight season of his career. A member of Olimpia in Honduras, Garrido was loaned to Deportes Savio (Honduras) in 2011 and Red Star Belgrade in 2013. He’s an aggressive, physical defensive center mid.

“Proud” hat trick hero Kane raves at shorthanded Spurs win

AP Photo/Petros Karadjias
Leave a comment

This could’ve gone much worse for Spurs.

Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen were suspended, and Christian Eriksen was sick.

[ RECAP: APOEL 0-3 Spurs ]

Never mind all that: Harry Kane was healthy, and scored three goals as Spurs kept pace with group mates Real Madrid in filing a 3-0 win at APOEL Nicosia in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

Kane said he was very proud of the side’s performance, as youngster Anthony Georgiou and seldom-used Georges-Kevin N’Koudou put in shifts in the win. From the BBC:

“We weren’t pleased with the first-half and a couple of chances could have gone the other way. We were more clinical and in the Champions League that is what you have got to be.

“We are missing a few players but the lads who stepped in were fantastic. We have a solid squad and you have to be ready. 3-0 away in the Champions League no matter who you play is a good result.”

Kane has 11 goals in September between club and country, and has six hat tricks in 2017. There may not be a finer big striker firing in Europe right now, and both England and Spurs will hope to ride him well into 2018.

Spartak Moscow 1-1 Liverpool: Frustrated Reds come back for point

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A point from far from home is not the end of the world, but Liverpool will rue its missed chances in a 1-1 draw at Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

Goalkeeper Artyom Rebrov had a stellar day for Spartak before being injured and then replaced by Aleksandr Selikhov, who was also strong for the Russians.

Fernando (not that one) scored a free kick for Spartak, while Philippe Coutinho bagged the equalizer that keeps the Reds ahead of Spartak on goal difference. Both sides are three points behind Sevilla.

Liverpool visits Maribor on Oct. 17, while Spartak will host Sevilla.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]  

Roberto Firmino saw a promising header saved, and Brazilian attack partner Philippe Coutinho cleared a launch pad for countryman Fernando with a needless foul minutes later.

The 25-year-old ex-Sampdoria man that curled a free kick over the wall, and not too near to a post. Loris Karius was too slow to move, and the ball found its way to the back of the net. 1-0.

Sadio Mane was lively as usual, and let fly with a low drive for Spartak backstop Rebrov to collect inside the six.

Coutinho made amends with a solidly struck equalizer just after the half-hour mark, working a 1-2 with Mane and lacing a shot beyond the hopes of Rebrov.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Spartak wasn’t sleeping to start the second half, and both Karius and his Russian counterpart Rebrov had work to do early.

Rebrov needed to be substituted following a collision with Mohamed Salah and long delay. A Man of the Match candidate, would the goalkeeper swap tilt the scales?

Manchester City 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk: KDB pulls the strings

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A Man of the Match performance from Kevin De Bruyne was just enough to send Man City past plucky Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

David Silva assisted De Bruyne’s second half goal, and Bernardo Silva set up Raheem Sterling for the second just before time.

Alone in first, City will host Napoli on Oct. 17 while Shakhtar is off to Feyenoord.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]  

Kevin De Bruyne set Sergio Aguero up for a chance that was well-covered by Shakhtar backstop Andriy Pyatov.

De Bruyne had the best chance of the first half, working himself into a “Surely” position only to miss his mark with a shot and leave the match scoreless.

At the other end, Ederson made an excellent save on Marlos.

Fittingly, De Bruyne helped set himself up for the opener, winning the ball and working a 1-2 with David Silva to finish with style.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Leroy Sane won a penalty for City, but Sergio Aguero’s tame effort was saved. At the other end, John Stones was directing traffic when a ball hit his arm. No call from the officials.

APOEL Nicosia 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Kane nets hat trick

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cyprus has been kind to Harry Kane.

The English striker scored thrice for Spurs, who join group mates Real Madrid on six points after a 3-0 win at APOEL Nicosia in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

The Bernabeu is next for Spurs, an Oct. 17 date with 2-0 Real Madrid, while APOEL will host Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]  

Hugo Lloris flubbed an early clearance and was fortunate to see the back-bounding ball dribble wide of his left post.

Carlao could’ve given APOEL a surprise lead close to halftime but headed wide of the net from within 10 yards.

Kane nearly added an assist to his ledger at the start of the second half, but Son Heung-min just missed his effort wide of the frame.

He scored another goal anyway, and another one. Moussa Sissoko set Kane up for the second of the night, a relatively simple finish for the striker, and Kane completed his trio of goals when he headed Kieran Trippier‘s cross home.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]