Getty Images

Moyes, Allardyce out at West Ham, Everton

Leave a comment

Two managerial departures took place on Wednesday in the Premier League as David Moyes wasn’t handed a new deal at West Ham and Sam Allardyce was shown the door at Everton.

Fans of both clubs will be feeling slightly optimistic but there’s no hiding behind the fact that both West Ham and Everton have become anything but models of stability of recent years.

Moyes was only on a short-term deal at the Hammers after arriving in November and guiding them to safety after an intense relegation scrap. West Ham beat Everton 3-1 on the final day of the season to finish in 13th place on 42 points. But with plenty of unrest behind-the-scenes amid fan protests against the owners which sparked pitch invasions during the season, there are a lot of issues for West Ham’s hierarchy to sort out. Moyes’ reputation has been rebuilt somewhat after his debacle at Manchester United and Sunderland, so he may well be happy to move on.

West Ham’s joint-chairman David Sullivan explained the decision for West Ham and Moyes going their separate ways.

“When David and his team arrived, it was the wish of both parties that the focus be only on the six months until the end of the season, at which point a decision would be made with regards to the future,” Sullivan said. “We feel that it is right to move in a different direction. We aim to appoint a high-calibre figure who we feel will lead the club into an exciting future for our loyal supporters within the next 10 days.”

Allardyce arrived at Everton in November and still had 12 months to run on his contract with the Toffees, with Big Sam dragging Everton out of a relegation battle (Ronald Koeman was sacked in October) and into eighth place in the table but a late charge for a Europa League spot faltered.

Despite that huge upturn in results, plus the likes of Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun arriving in January, Everton’s fans didn’t enjoy the direct style of play Allarydce preferred and often booed the manager and his tactical decisions. He was adamant until last week that he would be in charge next season but Everton’s owner Farhad Moshiri has listened to the fans as the Toffees are searching for a third manager in the space of eight months.

Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale had the following to say on Big Sam’s departure.

“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that,” Barrett-Baxendale said. “However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately.”

What is next for West Ham and Everton?

It has been reported that West Ham are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonesca, while Everton are said to be interested in bringing Marco Silva to Goodison.

The latter left Watford in January after he was initially linked with taking charge of Everton before Big Sam did, but the Hornets blocked the move and then Silva’s side slumped drastically as he was fired.

The Premier League managerial merry-go-round keeps spinning…

PSG signs American defender Alana Cook from Stanford

@PSG_Feminines
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain’s women’s team has signed American defender Alana Cook from Stanford University.

The 21-year-old Cook, who was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, has signed until June 2022. She was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year this season for her performances with Stanford and has represented the U.S. at Under-20 level.

[ MORE: Atlanta signs Watford teen ]

She played 93 games and scored five goals for Stanford.

PSG’s women’s team is second in the French first division and sits two points behind five-time European champion Lyon after 15 rounds.

Cook says “I really wanted to play in a European club and to play against the best teams in the world.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

MLS notes: Zimmerman spurns Europe, Vazquez sold, DC youngster in remission

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Let’s sweep up some good, somewhat-expected, and wonderful news from around Major League Soccer.

DC United defender and Maryland product Chris Odoi-Atsem announced that he is in remission after a fight with Stage Two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

[ MORE: Atlanta signs Watford teen ]

Odoi-Atsem was expected to undergo four months of chemotherapy, and the announcement comes just under three months into the journey.

At 23, Odoi-Atsem hopes to rejoin the team after his final round of chemo later this month. He was the 12th overall draft pick in 2017.

Another defender is extending his stay in Los Angeles.

USMNT center back Walker Zimmerman was a huge part of LAFC’s success as an expansion club following his arrival from FC Dallas, and was reportedly ready to test the waters of European soccer with interest from the Premier League, Ligue 1, and the Bundesliga.

But Bob Bradley pushed the right buttons and LAFC will have its 25-year-old mainstay back in the fold via a Targeted Allocation Money contract running through the 2022 season.

Finally, one of the key pieces to Toronto FC’s 2017 MLS Cup triumph is on his way out of Ontario.

Victor Vazquez is going to be sold to an unnamed Qatari club, pending a physical according to TSN’s Kristian Jack.

The 32-year-old scored posted 18 goals and 15 primary assists for TFC.

Transfer rumor roundup: Pellegrini to Man Utd? Dabbur wants Liverpool

Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

As Arsenal might be losing its head of recruitment, other Premier League movers and shakers are looking to bring big names to the Top Four fight.

If Northern Ireland is the hub for transfer movement, January is going to be a wild ride for one of the Premier League’s flagship clubs.

[ MORE: Atlanta signs Watford teen ]

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting that Manchester United is pursuing young Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini in addition to the whispers linking the club to former Liverpool wizard Philippe Coutinho.

Pellegrini, 22, has two goals and six assists for Roma this season, having become a regular call-up for Italy. He reportedly has a $35 million release clause in his contract, though he is cup-tied in the Champions League (Roma next faces Porto).

His 2.6 key passes per game lead Roma and only AC Milan’s Suso and Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez average more across Serie A. Pellegrini is second on Roma in crosses with 1.5.

How does $115 million sound for an elite 27-year-old defender? That’s what Napoli would reportedly accept from Real Madrid to bring Kalidou Koulibaly west to Spain.

The report, which also links Real with interest in Roma’s Kostas Manolas and Porto’s Eder Miliato, says United remains interested in the player despite the exit of admirer Jose Mourinho.

Anything more than $97 million, the fee Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk, would break the world transfer record for a defender.

Meanwhile, Israeli striker Munas Dabbur is angling to bring his 20-goal season to Anfield.

Reports that Dabbur has turned down a move to Valencia in the hopes of joining Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino at Liverpool.

The Red Bull Salzburg striker has scored half of his 20 goals in the Champions League and Europa League, and has 11 Israel caps.

The cost for Dabbur is said to be $28 million, but is there any guarantee Dabbur can produce at a level that would demand playing time. Divock Origi has three goals in six matches and can hardly get time for the Reds, and Daniel Sturridge has only found 576 minutes in the first half of the season.

Arsenal to reportedly lose head of recruitment Mislintat

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The man expected to usher in an era of exciting new young talent at Arsenal may be leaving the club after less than 14 months.

Arsenal head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, 46, has been hailed as the man who discovered Christian Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang while at Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Atlanta signs Watford teen ]

Well-connected reporter Raphael Honigstein says Mislintat is frustrated by a change in recruitment policy since Ivan Gazidis left the Emirates Stadium. Gazidis hired Mislintat to use analytics and stats to find diamonds, whereas new head of football Raul Sanllehi prefers to work his own network for players.

Mislintat is considered the key to bringing in Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi, as well as clear connections like former BVB center back Sokratis Papastathopolous.

His departure would be a shot across the bow of an organization which enjoyed stability under Gazidis and Arsene Wenger for years.