The Philadelphia Union have signed Algerian international goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi after his stunning performances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Mbolhi, 28, arrives from Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia and is expected to be Philly’s new number one as young American ‘keeper Zac MacMath seems likely to be traded away.
At the World Cup Mbolhi almost led the Desert Foxes to a shock defeat of eventual champions Germany at the Round of 16 stage as the ‘keeper made 11 saves and was awarded man of the match in Die Mannschaft’s narrow 2-1 extra time win. Fans of the U.S. will also remember Mbolhi from the 2010 World Cup as he was in goal for Algeria when Landon Donovan scored the dramatic last-gasp winner which sent the USA through to the last 16. That was the only goal Mbolhi conceded in two appearances during the 2010 WC.
It is rumored that Mbolhi has arrived on a three-year deal which in turn is likely to see either MacMath or last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Andre Blake, traded away.
The Union losing MacMath is more likely but it does seem strange given the fact that the 22-year-old is currently enjoying the best season of his professional career. With the Union needing reinforcements in defense and MacMath’s talents valuable to a number of clubs looking for a new ‘keeper across the league, Philadelphia may wheel and deal expertly here.
Right off the bat Toronto, Houston, New England, Montreal and Portland all seem like clubs who would be willing to snap up MacMath in a trade. Let’s see how this one pans out as interim head coach Jim Curtain and CEO Nick Sakiewicz continue to overhaul Philadelphia’s roster following John Hackworth’s departure earlier this summer.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.