Hopefully, we are all a little smarter about this one.
Hopefully, we will not get all flush, hot and bothered because Brazilian star Kaka has graciously allowed that one day, in his declining years, he would be interested in cashing paychecks in these United States.
Please pardon us if we all are not falling over in delight.
Here, as always, are the important elements to keep in mind each and every time a foreign star dangles his pricey services, hoping to stoke some fires for later MLS arrival:
- When these players say they would consider MLS, what most mean is that they would like to perform in New York or Los Angeles. Of course, the math is tricky here; at present, each MLS club is allowed just three salary-special Designated Players. That reduces the chances of these star splashdowns.
- It takes two to Samba. In other words, Kaka or any other known name may want MLS, but does MLS really want them? Kaka? Perhaps, although every year Major League Soccer clubs get a little smarter about what does and does not add fans in the stands. Gone are the days when everyone believes so strongly in the star player attendance correlation. There’s generally more careful examination now, which is why someone like Arne Friedrich may have more value than a wow-wow aging attacker. (That is, a good, solid German defender who can improve the W-L ratio does more for the club than a guy who sells a couple of seats initially, then rides the bench while sowing ample salary envy in the locker room.)
- Finally, Kaka, 30, is talking about joining MLS after the 2014 World Cup. But the way player value tends to escalate after World Cups, he is more likely to (wisely) cash in with one more lucrative European deal. Then, at 34 or 35 years old … to MLS perhaps? By then, it may be too late.
Three matches took over the slate of Major League Soccer’s Friday night fixture list, and it was a rough evening for two of the Eastern Conference’s best clubs.
Here’s a look back at the night’s matches.
Toronto FC 0-1 FC Dallas
Last season’s MLS Cup winners are in some real danger right now, with Greg Vanney’s side losing their seventh match of the year on Friday. To put that into context, TFC lost five regular season matches a season ago, en route to their first MLS title. Despite a dominating effort from the host, including nine shots on target (23 shots overall), Sebastian Giovinco and TFC simply couldn’t break past Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez.
In all, Gonzalez made nine saves on the night. Check out a few of them below.
Houston Dynamo 3-1 New York City FC
David Villa made the Dynamo pay for an early miscommunication in clearing from the back, but after that, the home side simply dominated. The NYCFC back line looked out of sorts on a number of occasions, including the first goal allowed on an Alejandro Fuenmayor header at the far post. The Dynamo are now unbeaten in their last four matches.
LA Galaxy 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes
In reality, this was probably an unfair result considering the way the two sides have been playing as of late. Neither side managed a shot on target until the 82nd minute, however, the Galaxy nicked a goal late through Romain Alessandrini.
The Quakes had reason to be furious though in the first half when Valeri Qazaishvili’s volley from inside the Galaxy penalty area hit the arm of Emrah Klimenta. No penalty decision was made though, and it was likely the only legitimate chance of the match.
Mexico will take on Wales on Monday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA as they warm up for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Playing in the United States is nothing new for the USMNT’s southern neighbors, and it doesn’t phase them. In fact, they love it.
Star striker Chicharito told reporters that he and the rest of the squad is more than happy playing north of the border, because according to him, apart from a pair of venues, they can’t even tell they’re on the road.
“We always feel welcome here,” Chicharito said. “It’s like our second country, if we can say that, apart from Columbus [Ohio] and apart from the stadium in Miami when we played Colombia…those two stadiums, that’s the only time I’ve felt that we were the away team.”
Chicharito knows that the high population of his countrymen and women in the United States helps the Mexican team feel close to home when they play over the border. He’s all for the melting pot of the US.
“We feel at home [in the United States],” Chicharito said. “We have plenty of Mexicans here, so I don’t know what else to tell you, we feel welcome, we feel glad, happy to be in touch with those people here. They are sacrificing a lot of things, and they are all enjoying their lives that they decide to live in the USA…it’s great. It’s great when you come to another country and you feel like you are home. You see all the stadium green, shouting and screaming your names, screaming your goals, so yeah, it’s great.”
Mexico will play Wales on Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET, and will return home to take on Scotland at Azteca on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET.
England international Fabian Delph could face quite the dilemma if England advances past the group stage of the World Cup.
Delph’s wife Natalie is expecting the couple’s third child on June 30, which is two days after their pivotal group stage match against Belgium, and two days before the squad would take the field July 1 for its Round of 16 game should they win Group G. If they finish second in the group, they would play their Round of 16 game on July 3.
When asked what his plans are, Delph joked that his wife would manage on her own. “She’s tough, she’s a Yorkshire lass so she’ll deal with it,” Delph said with a smile.
He then coughed up the truth: they’re not quite sure what the plan is.
“We’re not 100% certain, with a game on the 28th there might be an opportunity to fly back and then get back fast,” he said. “[England manager] Gareth [Southgate] has been fantastic. There’s nothing more important than family to me – family always comes first and always will.”
There’s another dilemma that Southgate must navigate involving Delph. The 28-year-old is a natural winger, but played wing-back in Pep Guardiola‘s title-winning system for much of the year and saw a massive uptick in form in the new role, playing in place of the injured Benjamin Mendy. Southgate must decide where he wants to deploy Delph – if at all – and if he wishes to fit his formation and tactics to mold Delph’s season under Guardiola.
KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) — Prosecutors in Washington state have dropped domestic violence charges against former U.S. national team star goalkeeper Hope Solo.
Solo was charged with two counts of fourth-degree assault in 2014 after police said she assaulted two family members at a home in Kirkland, east of Seattle. The case was delayed by appeals.
KING-TV reports that city prosecutors dropped the charges Wednesday, saying the witnesses in the case wanted to move on with their lives and did not want to participate in a trial. An attorney for Kirkland, Melissa Osman, wrote in court documents that the circumstances were unlikely to be repeated.
The longtime national team goalkeeper and two-time Olympic gold medalist recently ran unsuccessfully for president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. She has called for equal pay and equal treatment for the U.S. women’s team.