Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Report: Remi Garde would welcome Hatem Ben Arfa to MLS

Leave a comment

Hatem Ben Arfa has authored some of the finest goals in European football, but has found himself out of favor at Paris Saint-Germain.

Unable to get any playing time, he’s been linked with a number of different spots.

Several of them come in Major League Soccer, and one of its current managers has some experience with Ben Arfa dating back to shared time at Lyon.

[ RECAPS: Juve-Real | Sevilla-Bayern ]

Montreal Impact boss Remi Garde was quizzed on the mercurial talent who’s now washed out of several spots including Newcastle United, and indicated his happiness at the idea of Ben Arfa joining him in Quebec.

Garde says the pair “know each other well” and that “if Hatem wants to come to MLS, he’d be welcome here.”

Whether or not he washes out of the league long-term almost feels irrelevant short-term, at least to neutrals, because he’d provide electricity from the jump. There are few players in the world like HBA and at 31, he could still bring plenty of fire to the field.

Twenty-Three* thoughts for Week 3 in MLS

Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

Almost half of Major League Soccer’s clubs have two weeks off to either lick wounds, right wrongs, or celebrate fine starts to their season.

There are 23 clubs in MLS, and we’re here to highlight what happened this week with the clubs who took the pitch for league play.’

[ MORE: (Very) Fresh faces for USMNT ]

Atlanta United and Vancouver Whitecaps — Call this one “V-A-R-you kidding me?”

A match we’d been anticipating all week gets a straight-shot to the gut from a trio of bad decisions.

First, Atlanta’s Leandro Gonzalez Pires works himself into position on a Five Stripes free kick, clearly and purposely aiming to find a way to hit the deck against Vancouver center back Kendall Waston.

Then Waston, who is known for his physical play, gets his elbow up against Gonzalez Pires, allowing the theatrical center back to go down like he’d been de-spined Sub-Zero/Mortal Kombat-style (Yes we made up a word there).

Finally, and probably most egregiously, referee Ismail Elfath goes to the Video Assistant Referee and somehow thinks he has a conclusive angle to send Waston off.

Can Waston have a red for that? Sure, but it was built and aided by embarrassing acting from LGP and it’s just not the sort of play we think should be reviewed and go from zero to red.

Chicago Fire — Veljko Paunovic’s men are a disappointing 0-2 start, but will feel pleased to see second-round pick Elliott Collier get off the mark. They’ll also know they lost to Minnesota with Bastian Schweinsteiger tending to more important matters:

Columbus Crew — The Twenty-Three would like to issue a too-soon apology to Columbus in case they “do a Burnley” and make our miserable preseason predictions even worse. The Crew could easily be 3-0 with a bit better finish from Gyasi Zardes.

DC United — Seemingly serial disappointment Darren Mattocks has two goals and 10 shots in two matches. Maybe Ben Olsen is what the Jamaican needed all along. Now both men would like a win, and soon.

FC Dallas — Granted Oscar Pareja’s men earned their 3-0 win on the back of Clint Dempsey‘s red card, but FCD now has a win and a draw in rebounding from a calamitous performance against Tauro in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Philadelphia Union — Threats were few for the hosts at Talen Energy Stadium, with David Accam taking a pair of shots and CJ Sapong held without an attempt. Still, the Union are unbeaten in two matches and showed good mettle in keeping Columbus off the board.

Houston Dynamo — There’s good Houston and there’s bad Houston. The first half saw electric attackers Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis scored one minute apart in cooking up a 2-0 lead. But the Dynamo didn’t threaten much in the second half as the hosts found a way to a point in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Minnesota United — Rebounded from the season-ending loss of Kevin Molino to pick up a second win of the season, something it took the Loons eight matches to do in their MLS debut last season. Seven combined shots from Sam Nicholson and Ibson helped do the trick.

Montreal Impact — Remi Garde is going to be exhaling after his Impact scooped the first win of his tenure, and in home derby style. Montreal has won its last two regular season 401 Derbies, which is not too shabby even if this one needed a huge deflection and perhaps some quite tired TFC legs to get the job done.

New York City FC — No David Villa meant NYC had a little more work to do in breaking down Orland this weekend, but it’s 2-0 win was very positive in taking a 3-0 record atop the Supporters’ Shield table. NYC has allowed just one goal through three matches, and winger Jesus Medina has been very, very good.

New York Red Bulls — Given that CCL sides went 0-3 this week in league play and the fact that Major League Soccer doesn’t have every team going every week, perhaps scheduling a bye here would’ve made more sense? RBNY’s 1-0 loss in Utah featured eight total shot attempts from the visitors.

Orlando City — The Lions are still waiting on their lineup to find its flow with one point through three matches, but “How long will Jason Kreis be allowed to run a losing team?” is starting to feel like a real question. Yes, it’s only three matches. No, this isn’t very good.

For more on Orlando’s plight, head here.

Real Salt Lake — Mike Petke will be feeling a lot better after his reading of the riot act inspired a win over his former team at Rio Tinto. This save is making the rounds, understandably so, and what we like best about this from RSL elder Nick Rimando is the wisdom to figure the show was coming low and the quickness to get there.

San Jose Earthquakes — Valeri Qazaishvili felt underused last season, or at-best poorly deployed. Not this go round, as Mikael Stahre is proving he’s going to fire at will with his weapons. To allow three goals on four shots on target, however, is an issue.

Seattle Sounders — Deuce has a reputation. Whether it was for his right-handed slap to Jacori Hayes’ private parts or the left-handed follow-through, we still really don’t have a read on Seattle thanks to travel congestion and a red card. Dallas went on to win 3-0.

Sporting KC — We thought SKC-SJ would be a good one, and it again delivered. Peter Vermes is opening up the attack, and now has seen seven Sporting goals in a pair of wins.

Alas…

Toronto FC — Given the Reds’ CONCACAF Champions League success/travel and a playoff structure as forgiving as Major League Soccer’s means TFC’s 0-2 start to the season is only cause for alarm in terms of:

A) Retaining the Supporters’ Shield

B) Losing a 401 Derby

Part B happened this weekend. Chances were even, as were battles, and Montreal’s game plan to foul TFC to death helped hamper flow. Jeisson Vargas’ goal took a massive deflection after the Reds’ back line gave Ignacio Piatti significant room to set up his teammate (Not a great idea). It’ll be fine.

Report: Montreal Impact to hire Remi Garde

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty image
Leave a comment

Following rumors that a pair of ex-Premier League coaches were in the running to take the reins of the Montreal Impact, a third has been chosen.

Remi Garde, who notably got less than a season at Aston Villa, is set or the job according to Tony Marinaro of TSN 690 in Montreal.

[ MORE: MLS Conference Finalists cheat sheet ]

Walter Mazzarri (Watford) and Francesco Guidolin (Swansea City) were mentioned in a Tuesday report.

Garde, 51, led Lyon for three seasons before that, winning the French Cup in 2012. He won 84 of 166 matches in charge, drawing another 37.

Montreal fired Mauro Biello after the Impact lost nine of their last 10 matches and missed the playoffs, a season after the coach led the club into the Eastern Conference Finals.

The club has MVP candidate Ignacio Piatti and Swiss star Blerim Dzemaili under contract, and they proved a potent duo.

Former Aston Villa manager Remi Garde calls position a “trap” amid Bruce rumors

Getty Images
2 Comments

On Saturday, former Hull City manager Steve Bruce told Sky Sports that he “had a chat” with Aston Villa about the vacant managerial position at Villa Park, but wouldn’t say any more other than the club “has a process, which you have to respect.”

The once great club has sunk into the depths of the Championship following relegation from the Premier League last season, and with its early league position threatening a second straight relegation campaign, the club took the step of removing Roberto Di Matteo from his position as manager just 4 months into his tenure.

Di Matteo became the fourth Aston Villa manager to lose his job in the last two years, dating back to the firing of Paul Lambert in February of 2015.

[ MORE: Manchester United chasing Everton’s Seamus Coleman ]

With the club once again looking for a man to lead them back to the top flight, one of the men on that list, Remi Garde, spoke with French media, and took a slight shot at the club.

While discussing a potential return to Olympic Lyonnais where Garde spent three seasons as manager before his move to Villa Park, the 50-year-0ld Frenchman told Telefoot about his short time in the Premier League, saying, “You know, I love this country [England]. I played a little bit there [with Arsenal], and I had a very short period coaching there. I would like to manage there again in better conditions than at Aston Villa. Yes, [the Villa position] appeared to be a trap, and I was not able to realize that before accepting the position.”

Steve Bruce, take note.

Report: Aston Villa won’t rush managerial decision, likely wait for summer

Stu Forster/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Aston Villa is very likely to be relegated from the Barclays Premier League this season, and after the recent firing of manager Remi Garde, the club doesn’t want to take any chances in misfiring when it comes to hiring their next coach.

[ MORE: Gary Neville sacked at Valencia after four months in-charge ]

According to the Guardian, Villa may wait until the summer to make a permanent coaching change.

[ MORE: Mathieu in jeopardy of missing Euros following meniscus tear ]

While David Moyes and Nigel Pearson currently top the club’s list of potential managers, names like Steve Bruce, Garry Monk and Brendan Rodgers have also been tossed around.

Moyes and Pearson could be the most realistic candidates for the job, given that Villa are reportedly in the market for a British manager. While Moyes was quickly let go at Manchester United, his days at Everton were certainly admirable, making him a legitimate frontrunner.

Pearson most recently managed with Leicester City, prior to Claudio Ranieri taking the side over, but likely doesn’t hold as much traction as a candidate because of his poor record.

Whomever the successor for Garde is at Villa Park, they will have their work cut out for themselves. Villa currently sits dead last on the PL table, 12 points out of the final safety spot, which is held by Norwich City at the moment.

Follow @MattReedFutbol