Mix Diskerud

USMNTers in headlines on MLS transfer deadline day: Yedlin, Jones, Mix


Major League Soccer’s transfer window closes today, and there’s no shortage of rumors circulating regarding the comings and goings in the league.

Three of the biggest names that have been tossed around this summer have been United States men’s national teamers, which comes as no big surprise after the Yanks ran through a perceived Group of Death and into the Round of 16 before bowing out to Belgium.

The only confirmed movement of Yanks heading into Wednesday were the ‘old news’ move of DaMarcus Beasley to Houston, and the pair of extensions given to Matt Besler and Graham Zusi by Sporting KC.

[ MORE: What will Zusi and Besler’s DP deals mean for the future of MLS? ]

First, Seattle Sounders back DeAndre Yedlin could be set to put an exclamation point on MLS silly season by winding up in London… eventually. Taylor Twellman used Twitter to lay out a deal that would make a lot of Sounders fans happy in a bittersweet way, as Seattle could sell Yedlin but keep him for a few more months.

It’s definitely a victory for Seattle, who would get to plot its future knowing there’s money in the bank for their 21-year-old outside player.

[ MORE: All DeAndre Yedlin news ]

Meanwhile, Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated spilled the beans on the Crew’s hopes to bring Mix Diskerud to Columbus from Scandinavia:

Columbus thought it had a handshake deal on terms with U.S. international Mix Diskerud, only for his father/agent, Paal, to demand more money at the last second, according to multiple sources. As of Wednesday, the MLS summer transfer deadline, the two sides were still trying to work out a deal but had yet to reach one. A similar situation happened in early 2013 when Diskerud nearly joined Portland, only for talks to break down late in the game.

Way to go, Dad. It looks as if Columbus has moved onto plan B — not that they couldn’t have both — and could link up with Greek striker Dimitrious Papadopolous. The 32-year-old former international netted 14 times in 35 matches for Atromitos last season.

And Jermaine Jones to Chicago is not dead, at least not in the mind of Illinois hip-hopper Lupe Fiasco. The 32-year-old “Food and Liquor” rapper took to Twitter to plead with @JermaineJunior. And Jones was quick to Retweet his pleas:

[ MORE: Chicago confirms offer to Jones, unaware of any rejection ]

The rumors with Jones and Chicago have been that the Fire haven’t put enough money on the table for the player’s liking, and Wahl noted in his report that Michael Bradley’s big contract is a part of the problem.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?

Olivier Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott

Olivier Giroud, France
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Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.

Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.

[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]

Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:

“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.

“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”

Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.

[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]

The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.