One man with big U.S. connections lands in the Dutch Eredivisie (Juan Agudelo … but you know that because you’ve been reading the blog, right?) while another man well connected here leaves the Netherlands’ top flight.
And it’s Major League Soccer’s gain.
Marco Pappa, who once made the left flank of Toyota Park outside Chicago home, capped weeks of speculation by announcing via Twitter his return to Major League Soccer.
Pappa said he enjoyed his time at Heerenveen in Holland but that he was definitely happy about a return stateside. Not hard to figure out why; since leaving Chicago about 16 months ago, the Guatemalan winger has played sparingly for Heerenveen.
No word on where Pappa will land, although Seattle looks like the best chance as a final destination.
Elsewhere, in something that’s really just a change of title, FC Dallas has announced that Dan Hunt is the club’s new president.
Hunt has been increasingly involved with the club’s day-to-day operations, having filled a gap left with Doug Quinn had to resign due to legal troubles. His close relationship with Oscar Pareja – Pareja was close to a number of people around the club – helped form the partnership that led to Colorado’s manager becoming FC Dallas’ manager. (Pareja will be officially introduced to local media tomorrow.)
In a move that probably should have been taken care of much earlier, Vancouver announced that Jay DeMerit has been re-signed for duty at BC Place.
Terms were not disclosed (as usual). But was there every really a doubt that new manager Carl Robinson would have a better time of it for having the highly respected veteran around?
He has four goals in less than two matches, and Portugal is off to another flying start courtesy of their star forward.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Cristiano Ronaldo gave the Portuguese a 1-0 lead against Morocco in the fourth minute after brilliantly heading home a corner kick.
The Real Madrid star gave Portugal a similar spark at the beginning of their 3-3 draw against Spain in their first Group B match when Ronaldo drew, and scored a penalty kick inside of the opening three minutes.
Is there anything this man cannot do?
The Three Lions may not have taken all good news away from the team’s 2-1 win over Tunisia in their World Cup opener.
[ MORE: Russia races past Egypt, likely en route to next round ]
Several reports are suggesting that England will likely be without Tottenham playmaker Dele Alli in their second Group G match against Panama on Sunday.
Alli was forced out of England’s opener with a thigh strain, which gave manager Gareth Southgate the decision to put in Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
There isn’t a timetable for the 22-year-old’s return to the pitch, but his absence will definitely present a major question for Southgate heading into the rest of group play.
Without Alli in the starting XI, it’ll likely be between Loftus-Cheek and Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard to fill the role where Alli normally sits.
In the case of Lingard, who started against Tunisia, the England boss would have to bring in another starter if Southgate opts to have the Red Devils attacker sit in as the number 10.
Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.
The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.
Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.
Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.
Like the move for Newcastle?
Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.
The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.
From The Players’ Tribune:
There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.
Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.