Over the weekend two massive milestones were reached in Major League Soccer.
Take a bow Mr. Schmid and Mr. Rimando.
Both men were record breakers as Sigi Schmid celebrated his 200th win as an MLS coach on Sunday, while Nick Rimando kept his 113th clean sheet in MLS play, as RSL beat D.C. United 3-0, to break Kevin Hartman’s record on Saturday.
So, Schmid becomes the first MLS coach to break the 200 win barrier and he is a coach who has thrived and succeeded wherever he has gone. With the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders, Schmid has won silverware and many deemed this season as his biggest test yet. Overhauling Seattle’s roster, no problem. Schmid has used his vast knowledge of the league to bring in experienced MLS players who are getting the job done with the Sounders sitting pretty atop the Western Conference past the midway point.
The 61-year-old legendary coach began his journey in MLS in 1998 has never looked back after creating UCLA into a College Soccer powerhouse and being involved in the U.S. national team setup at youth level before turning to the pros. The German born coach has set the bar so high for others to follow and there’s no end in sight.
After racking up a record-breaking 113 shutouts in 361 games, Rimando has been one of the best ‘keepers in MLS, week in, week out, for 15 years. The U.S. national team goalkeeper provides highlight reel saves and the fact that he has never won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award is somewhat of a travesty. His MLS career began with the Miami Fusion back in 2000 and after a four-year stint with D.C. United, it is with current club Real Salt Lake were he has shone. Despite his small size for a ‘keeper, just 5 foot 9 tall, Rimando is a menace between the posts and he kept Bayern Munich at bay with several fine stops in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game.
A hidden gem of MLS has his name in the history books and many more accolades will be heading his way in due course. The four-time MLS All-Star and 2009 MLS Cup MVP is only 35 and has at least another four to five seasons left in him.
Congrats to Sigi and Nick on their remarkable achievements in MLS from everyone at ProSoccerTalk.
Landon Donovan was unveiled to Club Leon fans at Estadio Leon on Monday night.
The former USMNT star and longtime LA Galaxy forward came out of retirement for the second time to sign with the Liga MX side this past weekend. Leon finished 7th in the Apertura table, losing to Tigres in the first round of the playoffs. They currently have a perfect six points through the first two Clausura matches, sitting second in the table with a +3 goal differential.
¡@landondonovan no cree en los muros y quiere ganar títulos con La Fiera!
Fans were allowed into the stadium for free, and they packed the lower stand on one end, waving USA flags and holding large “L” and “D” cutouts, and the fans faced a massive board on the field that read “I DON’T BELIEVE IN WALLS.” Chants of “U-S-A” rang out through the stadium before the unveiling.
ESPN reporter Tom Marshall pointed out that the last time the club had such a large event to welcome a player, it was in January of 2013 when the club brought Mexico captain Rafa Marquez in from the New York Red Bulls.
USMNT veteran and current MLS free agent Nick Rimando will reportedly return to Real Salt Lake for a 12th season with the club, according to a report by Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep.
The report states he received interest on the free agent market from both Los Angeles clubs, but the 38-year-old will return to the club he has made 350 appearances for.
Rimando came to Real Salt Lake from D.C. United in 2006, and has made at least 24 league appearances in every single season since. He has also made 22 playoff appearances for the club across eight playoff campaigns.
He last received a USMNT cap in January of 2017 in a friendly against Serbia, but was part of the 2018 World Cup qualification squad throughout 2017 backing up Tim Howard. Overall, Rimando has played 22 times for the US national team, with 14 goals conceded and nine clean sheets.
The report also states that Kyle Beckerman will return to Rio Tinto Stadium, with the veteran also testing the free agent waters but deciding to re-sign. The pair will be two of just four players left on the roster from the 2009 MLS Cup winning team.
Arsenal is the latest club linked with the Gabonese striker, with reports earlier this month of a deal to send Aubameyang to China. He has reportedly asked to leave Dortmund multiple times this January, and has been turned down thus far, and it’s causing problems. Aubameyang was suspended by the club for one match for missing a meeting last week, a match that ended in a goalless draw with Wolfsburg.
“We had a very heated discussion,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc after the suspension was announced. “He hasn’t behaved like this for years, he’s always been very professional. What has happened is very tolerable, there will be some fines, too. It’s not necessary to talk about a transfer, but it’s clear that things can’t continue like this because some important things are in jeopardy, and that there is tension inside the squad.”
The price tag, according to recent reports, would be around $76 million, and he would be purchased with money from the likely outgoing transfer of Alexis Sanchez.
Arsenal transfer guru Sven Mislintat is reportedly driving the deal, having signed Aubameyang at Dortmund during his days as a scout from Westfalinstadion. However, there is buzz among the British media that Arsene Wenger is unimpressed by Aubameyang’s recent insubordination and has expressed his concerns.
Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is out of contract this summer, but says he could still sign back on at Anfield despite heavy rumors of his departure.
Still just 24 years old, the German came over from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2014 and has improved in each of his four years at Liverpool, flourishing under Jurgen Klopp as a strong passer and versatile player who can be used in midfield or defense. With that, he has reportedly turned down a number of new contract offers, and Juventus is reportedly in the lead to sign him to a free transfer.
Can is eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with anyone from now until the end of the season, but he says that doesn’t mean he will leave.
“My agent is looking after everything but I am here until the summer,” Can said. “I haven’t signed anything with anyone. I am talking with everyone. Of course I am talking with Liverpool. Why not? I still have a contract here. It is an amazing club. What can I say? My agent does the rest. I just concentrate on the scene, on my performance and the football. I will give everything for this team.”
The loss of Philippe Coutinho this winter is an obvious blow to the Reds, but an argument could be made that the loss of Can would hurt just as much if not more, as stout defensive midfielders are hard to come by. However, the arrival of Naby Kieta this summer could ease the blow of the German’s potential departure. Should Can stay, partnering with Keita in midfield could prove masterful as Liverpool looks to continue building towards a title challenge. Currently, Can has paired with Giorgino Wijnaldum in Liverpool’s midfield in recent weeks, and the club is on a five-match win streak that has seen them shoot into third place in the Premier League table.