Jason Kreis, the man hand-picked to manage New York City FC and lead the 2015 expansion side into its inaugural Major League Soccer campaign, has been fired after one season following “a review conducted at the end of a disappointing campaign,” NYCFC announced on Monday.
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Widely regarded one of the best American managers, Kreis left Real Salt Lake following the 2013 season and spent all of 2014 working alongside the technical staff at NYCFC’s sister club, Manchester City of the Premier League, to prepare for the 2015 season. NYCFC finished eighth in the Eastern Conference, 12 points adrift the sixth and final MLS Cup Playoffs place.
From the club statement:
Prior to the start of the season, it was agreed with the coaching team that securing of a playoff place was an appropriate target for this year. A win rate of less than one in three games and a points tally which was the second lowest in the league is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed.
While the challenges of building and integrating a new team are recognized, it was felt by the Board, following a comprehensive review, that there was not enough evidence of the dynamics required to improve the performance of the team for the next season and beyond.
Kreis also seemed to have been put in a tough position by his higher-ups at City Football Group. Despite a budget that seemed infinite in comparison to that of most other MLS clubs, it was widely reported that the summer signing of Andrea Pirlo — and perhaps that of Frank Lampard a year earlier — were signings forced upon the manager for off-the-field reasons. Neither Lampard nor Pirlo were particularly good in their first MLS season.
[ MORE: Kreis speaks exclusively, candidly to PST before 2015 season ]
A report last week stated that NYCFC has already held talks with unemployed Italian manager Fabio Capello as a possible replacement should Kreis be relieved of his duties, which has now been done.
The fallout from Manchester City and Tottenham’s wild 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium continues, as late VAR drama stole the show with Gabriel Jesus‘ strike ruled out deep into second half stoppage time.
[ MORE: VAR drama dominates ]
Jesus’ goal in stoppage time was ruled out for a handball on Aymeric Laporte after being checked by VAR, as the new laws brought in by IFAB this summer were interpreted correctly. The exact same thing happened as Wolves had a goal chalked out against Leicester during the opening weekend of the season.
But do those new laws need to be tweaked?
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
The new rules state that if there’s a handball in the box from an attacking player which either a) leads to the ball going into the net or b) leads directly to a goal being scored, then it will be called a handball.
However, the same law states that if a defending player handles in the box then it is down to the referees discretion to decide whether or not it was a deliberate handball.
As you’d expected, Man City midfielder Ilkay Gunodgan has strong feelings on this law change, and our broadcast crew discuss whether or not this law needs to be changed in the video above.
The overall feeling is that the law needs to tweaking to state that handballs in the box by either attacking or defending players are treated the same and called a handball.
Sheffield United host Crystal Palace at Bramall Lane on Sunrday (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Blades fans will enjoy their first home game back in the Premier League.
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Chris Wilder, the lifelong United fan who is now their manager, will be emotional and fans of the Yorkshire club will create a heated atmosphere for opponents to visit this season.
In team news Sheffield United are unchanged from the team which drew at Bournemouth last week, with club captain Billy Sharp on the bench.
Crystal Palace bring in star man Wilfried Zaha who starts up top
Gareth Bale is staying at Real Madrid.
The Welshman was not wanted by manager Zinedine Zidane, who stated that publicly on many occasions over the summer.
But Bale started and grabbed an assist as 10-man Real beat Celta Vigo 3-1 in their La Liga opener on Saturday and it seems like Zidane is ready to brush all of this Bale talk under the carpet.
“He’s going to stay and we all have to think of that as a positive thing,” Zidane said. “The injury to Eden Hazard was bad luck for us but it didn’t change the plans we had for Bale in this game. Gareth and everyone else here is going to show this shirt the respect it deserves.”
After his move to China broke down at the last minute amid conflicting reports blaming Bale and the club for the collapse of the deal, his future at Real has seemed pretty much dead in the water.
Adding in a serious injury to Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard picking up a knock, and all of a sudden Bale is needed again. But for how long?
He was linked with a loan move to Bayern Munich but Philippe Coutinho moved to Bavaria instead, and Bale wasn’t chased by Premier League clubs during the summer due to his huge wage demands. With the transfer window across many European countries closing at the end of this month, he has run out of options to leave a club where the hierarchy and fans don’t want him.
Bale, 30, is now stuck at Real and he has another three years left on his contract. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the man who has won four Champions League trophies at Real, yet has become the main villain at the Santiago Bernabeu as fans lambast him for playing golf and not learning to speak Spanish fluently during his six years in Spain.
Carson, Calif. (AP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in each half and the LA Galaxy tied the Seattle Sounders 2-2 on Saturday night despite playing nearly the entire match down a man.
The Galaxy’s Daniel Steres was sent off in the sixth minute for the denial of obvious goal opportunity.
Ibrahimovic tied it at 1 for the Galaxy (13-11-2) with a header in the 45th minute. In the 65th minute, he was taken down by Kim Kee-hee while going for a header in the area and converted the penalty, making it 2-1 with his 20th goal of the season.
LA defender Jorgen Skjelvik scored an own goal in the 82nd minute when he inadvertently deflected goalkeeper David Bingham’s attempted clearance into the Galaxy net.
Raul Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 42nd minute for the Sounders (11-8-7). Harry Shipp hustled to round up a loose ball and fed it to an open Ruidiaz, who slotted it home.