The latest MLS Insider piece chronicles Real Salt Lake star Joao Plata, telling a bit about his early life, rise through Major League Soccer and his excellent performances despite his diminutive stature (height of 5-foot-2).
Plata detailed his struggles learning a new language and getting acclimated to a new home at his first MLS club, Toronto FC, and after being loaned out to Ecuadorian team LD Quito in 2012, he was traded to Real Salt Lake, where he now leads the team in goals and is tied for seventh in the league with the likes of Clint Dempsey, Lee Nguyen and Chris Wondolowski.
Plata’s teammates, midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando, and Real general manager Garth Lagerway were among those who spoke about the 22-year-old’s acension to his excellent 2014 campaign.
Hoping to bolster their third-place playoff spot in the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake will look to grab three points against low-ranking Chivas USA on Sunday.
Ukraine to join Spain-Portugal host bid for 2030 World Cup
NYON, Switzerland — Hosting World Cup matches in 2030 would be “the dream of people who survived the horrors of war,” Ukrainian soccer federation president Andriy Pavelko said Wednesday after his country launched a joint bid with Spain and Portugal.
The leaders of the three soccer federations joined together at UEFA headquarters to present a campaign they hope will connect people beyond the world of sports.
“This is the dream of millions of Ukrainian fans,” Pavelko said at a news conference, “the dream of people who survived the horrors of war or are still in the occupied territories and over whom the Ukrainian flag will surely fly soon.”
Pavelko said the project is backed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The expected Spain-Portugal bid, which has been in the works for more than three years, previously was made UEFA’s preferred candidate. FIFA will vote on the host in 2024.
“Now it’s not the Iberian bid, it’s the European bid,” Spain soccer federation president Luis Rubiales said at the launch. “Together we represent the power of transformation football has in society.”
No details were given about how many games at the 48-team World Cup would be staged in Ukraine or in which cities. The Olympic Stadium in Kyiv hosted the finals of the 2012 European Championship and the 2018 Champions League.
The European bid is expected to face a South American candidacy with co-hosts Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Saudi Arabia, which has built close ties to FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, has been preparing a multi-continent bid potentially including Egypt and Greece. It is unclear how Greece would be approved by UEFA to be part of that.
How to watch Crystal Palace vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday TV Channel: USA Network Online:Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Palace has given up 11 goals this season and expected goals say that perhaps it should be worse for the Eagles, who have received four of their seven goals from one man: Wilfried Zaha.
Leeds won’t have Luis Sinisterra, who was sent off last week, but Brenden Aaronson and Rodrigo have been producing plenty of attacking moments. Finish has to come next, although Leeds’ 10 goals puts it middle of the pack. Perhaps Patrick Bamford is ready to deliver the goods?
Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Joachim Andersen (calf). OUT: Nathan Ferguson (ankle), Nathaniel Clyne (ankle), Jack Butland (wrist), James McArthur (groin).
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Adam Forshaw (ankle). OUT: Stuart Dallas (thigh), Archie Gray (toe), Luis Sinisterra (suspension).
How to watch Newcastle vs Brentford live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday TV Channel: USA Network Online:Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Exciting forward Allan Saint-Maximin could return for Newcastle, making an already cohesive unit more dangerous. The 25-year-old has a goal and two assists in four appearances this season and scored in this fixture, a 3-3 draw, last season.
Brentford has scored the fifth-most goals in the Premier League this season — quite good — but only six teams have conceded more than the Bees. Goalkeeper David Raya has made 30 saves, tied for third in the Premier League with… Nick Pope. So perhaps it’s time to expect fireworks.
Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Allan Saint-Maximin (thigh). OUT: Karl Darlow (ankle), Alexander Isak (thigh), Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Matt Ritchie (calf), Emil Krafth (knee).
For those tempted to write off Erling Haaland’s historically-hot start to life as a Premier League striker, we get it: There’s something rather dull about not wondering the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, but just the number of his final tally.
Haaland’s Premier League-leading 14 goals from eight games has him seven goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
His third hat trick of the season, joined by three Phil Foden goals in Man City’s 6-3 derby win over United, keeps him on pace for more than 60 goals this season, a mark that would
And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s already becoming clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is not farfetched at all.
Take a look at these digits. Haaland isn’t just punching in goals; He’s made an almost seamless transition to Pep Guardiola’s system, producing chances for others in addition to his powerful self-positioning.
Haaland is unlikely to hit even 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault
Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.
Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.
Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:
30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)
Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.