Quick turnaround won’t keep Cahill, Henry, Wright-Phillips out of New York’s lineup

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It’s not that Wednesday’s game was that taxing, though based on the efforts Tim Cahill, Thierry Henry, and Bradley Wright-Phillips gave during the MLS All-Stars’ 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in Portland, Ore., the trio of Red Bull veterans would be forgiven for carrying tired legs back to New Jersey. Cahill’s hard-nosed play helped set the tone for a surprisingly contentious evening, while Henry’s effort on the FieldTurf of Providence Park was cited as an example by his All-Star teammates. With Wright-Phillips a part of the crew that helped kill off the team’s win, all three did more than stroll through a half’s worth of soccer.

No, it’s the travel that may really get them tomorrow in Chicago. At home to New England last Saturday. In Portland by Sunday. Back in New Jersey on Friday, and set to play in Bridgeville, Ill. tomorrow, the three veterans, who’ll carry a combined 99 years into tomorrow’s game, have barely had a chance to sit still, let alone relax and recover.

Speaking to the league’ website, Henry, 36, concedes he’s feeling the effects:

“It wasn’t easy, I will be honest,” Henry said. “…I’m not going to complain that’s what we like, that’s what we love to do. Having said that, it’s not an easy one but you have to perform under any circumstances. We’re going to try to do that, it won’t be easy against Chicago. … Hopefully we can do something and recover well.”

Or, perhaps Mike Petke could rest them? Undoubtedly, the Red Bulls boss will look for a chance to get his veterans off the field, but amid a tight playoff race in the East, days off are a luxury few teams can afford.

“It would’ve been tough to play [Saturday],”Petke told MLSSoccer.com. “I think, with any indication from practice today, if they are not ready yet, they are very close and, by [Sunday], they should be.”

As for Chicago, no Fire players were on the All-Star team, leaving the likes of Mike Magee, Harry Shipp, and Sean Johnson eight days to recover and prepare for the Red Bulls’ well-traveled stars.

Transfer rumor roundup: Japan, South Africa strikers to Premier League

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Percy Tau’s name isn’t yet widely known outside of South Africa, what with Bafana Bafana absent from the World Cup.

But the 24-year-old Mamelodi Sundowns winger may soon get to test his skills on a much bigger stage.

[ USMNT: More accolades for Pulisic ]

Tau, who has five goals in 12 caps, will reportedly join Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League if a medical goes well, with Sky Sports saying it’ll will be the biggest transfer fee yet for a South African Premier League player.


Yoshinori Muto could be bringing his 25 caps to the Premier League.

The 26-year-old striker made just one appearance at the World Cup, but has had a nice run with Mainz since joining from FC Tokyo. He’s bagged 23 goals in 71 appearances.

Bild report says there have been no formal offers for Muto, but that Newcastle United and West Ham are interested in the striker. Newcastle badly needs a striker, but West Ham has been spending money and Magpies owner Mike Ashley hasn’t green lit much in recent seasons.

Open Cup draw postponed as Portland protests LAFC win

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The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup draw is not going as planned, as the Portland Timbers protest the roster of victorious LAFC.

[ RECAP: Four USOC semifinalists minted ]

Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston were the other sides to get a place in the final four teams.

LAFC’s victory had already been marred by Adama Diomande‘s claims of a racial slur hurled his way, and now their victory may be in question altogether as U.S. Soccer issued a press release saying Thursday’s scheduled draw was postponed.

From a U.S. Soccer press release:

The decision comes as a result of a protest filed by the Portland Timbers in relation to the number of foreign players fielded by Los Angeles Football Club during Wednesday night’s Quarterfinal at Banc of America Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.

The rule says a maximum five players without green cards can be in the 18. Portland started only two Americans, Jeff Attinella and Zarek Valentin, but have green cards for many others and rules are rules.

Will the Timbers take a semifinal berth via protest?

Zlatan explains tough second season at Old Trafford

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic at his most humble is still a man riding his ego through the clouds.

The LA Galaxy striker gave an interview to the BBC in which he detailed why his second season at Manchester United didn’t go according to plan.

[ USMNT: More accolades for Pulisic ]

Ibrahimovic, 36, said his “mind was ready” but his knee was not when he followed up a 28-goal, 10-assist debut at Old Trafford with just seven appearances with one League Cup goal.

From the BBC:

“When I was ready, I said to myself ‘I am not there’,” he said. “They had a Zlatan before. After, I was not ready to be that Zlatan. I was selected in many of the games but I told the coach: ‘Listen, I am not ready. I don’t want to disappoint you. The respect I have for my team-mates and the coach. Select someone else who can do the job better.’ I stood up and did it, even if I am Zlatan.”

How’s that for humble? There’s only one Zlatan…

Report: Bristol City offers $4m for USMNT GK Steffen

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Championship side Bristol City has lodged a $4 million bid for Columbus Crew and USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen, according to MLS insider Sam Stejskal.

Viewed as a potential long-term American No. 1 for his country, Steffen has thrived at Columbus since returning from a stint at Freiburg in Germany.

[ USMNT: More accolades for Pulisic ]

Stejskal reached Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter, who said multiple teams are interested in Steffen but did not confirm the Bristol City bid. Berhalter said, “We want to be a place where we get players and we develop them and we help them advance in their careers, wherever that may be.”

Steffen, 23, starred at Maryland before making the move abroad. He’s proven a fantastic young pro with a knack for stopping penalty kicks.

Bristol City finished 11th in the Championship last season with 30-year-old goalkeeper Frank Fielding, who had played 153 league matches for the club since 2013 and led the club to promotion from League One in 2015.

Some have openly questioned whether the Championship is a clear upgrade from MLS — don’t count this typer in that group — but this does seem like win-win for Columbus and Steffen if the player wants the move. The Championship has been good for the development of several American players including Tim Ream, DeAndre Yedlin (on loan from a Premier League club), and Lynden Gooch.