Steve Ralston, who helped create more MLS goals than anyone in the league’s 19-year history, turns 39 today.
He is a trusted assistant on Dominic Kinnear’s staff in Houston. But until just a few years ago, Ralston was a tidy possession and crossing specialist who meant a lot to the strong New England Revolution teams of the last decade.
He chalked up 135 assists over 14 MLS seasons, far and away the league’s all-time top total. I was once close to convinced that Landon Donovan would catch Ralston if he remained in MLS for the duration. Now? Maybe not nearly as much.
And if it’s not Donovan, Houston’s Brad Davis is the only man within stiffing distance. But he’s 31, and would probably need to retain the current pace (about 12 a year) over three more seasons (through 2016) to get there.
Here’s the MLS all-time list:
Report: Serie A could resume training May 2, games late in month
Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images
According to the report, any player returning to Italy from abroad would be quarantined for two weeks before returning to training.
After an initial round of testing for all players, more would follow:
More tests would be made weekly to maintain that level of certainty all the way to the end of the season. Clubs are believed to be stocking up on COVID-19 tests, in accordance with medical structures in their cities, ensuring everyone has enough to go around.
UEFA is speaking up regarding its hope to finish club seasons once the environment is safer.
Sky Sports reports that UEFA has sent a letter to its 55 members associations imploring them not to cancel their competitions early and that they exhaust all options “until the last possibility exists.”
“We are confident that football can restart in the months to come – with conditions that will be dictated by public authorities – and believe that any decision of abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, premature and not justified.”
This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be asking some burning questions we have when it comes to the beautiful game and the next one focuses on something we all have: a team we like that we don’t want to admit.
Each day we will release a burning question, as now seems like a good time to take stock of where the game is at and take a look at what we love and what we’d like to change as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Next question: Which clubs have the best crest and uniform combination?
It’s a difficult one, as some are great on the former and others on the latter. Look at the Premier League alone. Liverpool and Chelsea have terrific crests, iconic even, but the Reds and Blues’ traditional uniforms are not altogether different from several big clubs in the world. It’s difficult to lay claim to red.
We’re not kicking either of the above clubs out of the house party, but here are five looks that are inevitably theirs.
That said, you might argue the case of either club and we’d encourage you to do so in the comments.
Without further ado…
The yellow shirt with a dosing of green around the neck is instantly associated with Brazil, though the more green on the collar the better. The blue shorts matter here, too, completing a look worn by some of the greatest players of all-time. That helps the brand.
The green and white hoops are unmistakable, as is the four-leaf clover. Celtic actually wore green-and-white horizontal stripes for the early part of their existence, but the hoops were the proper switch.
The Blaugranas — blue and dark red, don’t you know? — striped-top has met the stripes in its crest, which also is topped by the red-and-white cross and red and gold stripes of the Barcelona coat of arms. Many say the stripes were brought to Spain by its Swiss leader, Joan Gamper.
The Gunners moved white sleeves onto their red tops in the 1930s, and the look is one of the most iconic in the world. While the crest has changed more than a few times, the addition of a cannon from the middle of the last century onward has been everpresent.
Also considered: Ajax
“Given the sacrifices people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice and gone into work and caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution; take a pay cut and play their part.”
That’s a heavy statement, one that surely resonates with all.
The PFA issued a post on its site that runs up nearly 1000 words on its position, stating that a big part of its concern is representing League One and League Two players. Those members do not receive the massive pay packets of PL stars.
Basically, what the PFA is requesting is time to make an educated decision considering the books and futures of every club are different. They’d like to see those books to make sure that if players are making a sacrifice that shareholders are as well.
We fully accept that players will have to be flexible and share the financial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to secure the long-term future of their own club and indeed the wider game. Our advice going out to players at this point reflects that expectation.
In addition, the PFA is also expecting to contribute financially to any solutions agreed upon.
Like everyone else in the country, we are trying to deal with a situation that has never been faced. Our spirits have been lifted seeing communities come together to support each other. We have been proud to see many of our own members and clubs step up to support the NHS, to help children who would usually benefit from free school meals, donating to food banks and other charitable donations to those affected by this crisis. Much of this has been done privately and without publicity.
Obviously there will be a resolution to this soon, but it’s a complex and layered situation. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe became the first PL boss to take a voluntary pay cut on Wednesday, with Brighton’s Graham Potter following suit.