Herculez Gomez wants back in MLS…he’s just not sure when

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Who wouldn’t love to see Herculez Gomez back in MLS – if only because it would strip away his  ability to be  such an MLS thorn in CONCACAF Champions League?

Seriously, there are so many reasons why most clubs would love for the U.S.  international to fall into their roster. First and foremost, the guy can score; he’s a regular for a strong Liga MX side and a U.S. national team starter.

He’s a standup guy who has established great relationships with supporters through social media. The Santos Laguna man is an American who now enjoys tremendous respect in Mexico for his accomplishments there, so he carries a fantastic cross-over marketing value.

Gomez had his time in MLS – and it came and went with mixed results at Colorado, Los Angeles and Kansas City. Gomez got an opportunity in 2010 with Puebla in Mexico – at a time when the opportunities weren’t exactly flying in – and his career was suddenly off and flying.

The U.S. international is fairly diplomatic when he talks about his time in MLS and how things didn’t always fall his way. But never mind all that; not only does Gomez sound like someone who wants to get back into the league, he suggested during an interview with Soccer Today that day might not be long in coming. (Full disclosure: Soccer Today is a weekly radio show/podcast that I host along with ESPN’s Marc Stein.)

Gomez was in Dallas last week visiting with friends from his MLS days and watching the FC Dallas-LA Galaxy match. He spoke with Soccer Today the following morning, saying he loves his time in Mexico but mentioning that he has recently turned 31. Home is home, after all, and so many stars who find greater fortune in Europe or Mexico long  for the chance to finish back in our country.

The question was about playing once again in MLS “down the road.”

It might be sooner than you guys think. I’ve been enjoying myself playing [in Mexico]. But I’m at a point in my in my life right now where I have a lot more, and MLS is extremely attractive. What I’ve done in Mexico, I’m extremely proud of. It’s not just that I’m scoring goals, but I’ve been put in difference environments, other different situations, been kind of set up to fail, you might so, and I overcame. That’s something I’ve hung my hat on. …

I’d like to think somewhere out there, there is another opportunity somewhere out there for me in MLS. I’d like to be part of that, because I think that’s important.”

When pressed about whether that “somewhere out there” might even be this summer, Gomez reacted the way a professional should – by reminding us that he’s a proud member of Santos Laguna, focused tightly on the team’s busy spring schedule and everything his  club has on its target of accomplishments. He said it’s difficult to look ahead.

From my standpoint, I can’t look that far, can’t look past this summer. … Right now I’m thinking about what it’s going to take to win the double this summer. After we do that, and after we do the national team, I’ll start thinking about my future. Santos has to come to a decision this summer, whether they want me to stay, whether they want me to go. Something is going to happen this summer. … I’ve been fortunate enough to come this far, been fortunate enough to see what I’ve seen, to have done what I’ve done. And this ride has been amazing. It will continue, and whatever is in store is in store. Right now I’m just enjoying life.

Gomez’s portion of the hour-long show linked above begins at about the 35-minute mark.

Yaya Toure talks future, wants to play with Paul Pogba

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There is very little debate: Yaya Toure is his own special case.

The longtime Manchester City midfielder does what he wants, flies his own flag, has the worst agent in the game, and is pleased or dismayed in unusual ways.

[ UCL: What would Real 3-peat mean? ]

Toure, 35, has been linked with a move to NYCFC now that he’s leaving Man City, but the Ivorian still wants to play two more seasons for a Champions League or Europa League club.

And he wants to get together with Paul Pogba. You can see where this is going… (from The Manchester Evening News):

“Pogba is the same size, power – but different in the way he wants to go. Technically as well, the ability to score goals as well. It is a player I want to play with, to be honest, just to teach him some things.”

That must mean both are going to Paris Saint-Germain because… Yaya at Manchester United? No way, right? Right? Even with last year’s reports from his — again — terrible agent that it was an option, that still seems too villainous.

“I don’t rule big teams out. The big teams are very important for me. What they want to achieve, the way they want to go, for me is very important. … I want to go somewhere I can win and achieve. It’s going to be hard one day to play against City, but I have to do that. It is part of my job.”

Toure later said he was “no good in an office,” which had us thinking, well, what if they properly celebrated your birthday, Yaya?

WATCH: Miami United midfield unleashes Open Cup laser

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Tomas Granitto, have yourself an extra plate at the postgame buffet.

The Miami United midfielder scored a gorgeous goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over fellow NPSL side Jacksonville Armada in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s third round.

[ MORE: 3 Key Battles for UCL Final ]

Complete with aesthetically-pleasing post-ping, the former El Salvador U-20 player laid into a 25-yard shot to open the scoring in Florida.

Granitto, 24, has played for Timbers 2, Swope Park Rangers, FC Edmonton, since leaving NCAA side Florida Gulf Coast.

Rondon wanted by Atleti, Inter Milan, and West Ham

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The big boys are looking to Salomon Rondon as a bargain striker.

Yes, $22 million is a bargain in the striker market these days.

[ MORE: Napoli hires Ancelotti ]

West Brom’s Venezuelan international, 28, stands 6’2″ and has a relegation release clause that is reportedly interesting Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, and West Ham United.

Atleti and Inter are in the Champions League next season, but Rondon played for new West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini at Malaga, posting 25 league goals in two seasons.

He’s scored 24 goals in three Premier League seasons at West Brom, almost a quarter of the 104 produced by the Baggies.

He also picked up three assists this season as the target man for Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, and Darren Moore (and was fouled more often than any other Baggie (Baggy?)).

Rondon and Marko Arnautovic next to each other would be a real handful for PL defenses. Then again, maybe he’ll stay loyal to West Brom and set the Championship scoring record next season.

Three German organizers of 2006 World Cup indicted for tax evasion

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Three German organizers of the 2006 World Cup have been charged with tax evasion linked to a payment to FIFA.

German news agency dpa reported that Theo Zwanziger, Wolfgang Niersbach and Horst R. Schmidt confirmed Wednesday they are indicted by Frankfurt prosecutors in a long-running investigation.

[ MORE: 3 Key Battles for UCL Final ]

They are accused of falsifying tax returns on behalf of the Germany soccer federation (DFB) in 2006. The DFB has already paid 19.2 million euros ($22.4 million) in back taxes. All three deny the charges, which were first reported by German daily Bild

The allegations are also being investigated by Swiss federal prosecutors and FIFA’s ethics committee. They have targeted German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer, who led the 2006 tournament organizing committee.

Beckenbauer, Zwanziger and Niersbach were members of FIFA’s executive committee in turn from 2007 through 2016.

In 2016, the DFB published an inquiry report into a complex payments trail including 6.7 million euros ($7.8 million) to FIFA in April 2005. Zwanziger and the DFB claimed the money was for a World Cup opening gala and therefore tax-deductible.

However, the payment went through FIFA and ended in a Swiss account belonging to former Adidas chief Robert Louis-Dreyfus, who died in 2009.

The inquiry report did not rule out, but could not prove, that votes were bought when Germany beat a Nelson Mandela-supported South Africa bid for the hosting rights in a 12-11 vote of FIFA executive committee members in 2000.

Swiss prosecutors said in 2016 they had opened a criminal proceeding against the four German officials the previous year, on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. That case spun off from a wider Swiss investigation of suspected corruption linked to FIFA and World Cup hosting votes that is ongoing.

Niersbach lost his seat on FIFA’s ruling committee when he was banned for one year for failing to disclose possible unethical conduct.

The various investigations have tarnished the reputation of the 2006 World Cup that was a popular success in the host nation, which called it the “Summer Fairytale.”