AP

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to stay in MLS but leave LA Galaxy?

3 Comments

Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t a subtle human being. But has he dropped a subtle hint he will not be with the LA Galaxy beyond the 2018 season?

The veteran striker has flourished in his debut campaign in Major League Soccer with 18 goals, but with LA’s season petering out after Sigi Schmid left as coach and a playoff appearance increasingly unlikely, Zlatan appears to be thinking about moving on.

Speaking to reporters, Ibrahimovic said his future in MLS with the LA Galaxy “isn’t a sure thing” according to LA Times writer Kevin Baxter which suggests he’d like to stay in North America’s top-flight but head elsewhere.

That is likely because Zlatan is only signed on a contract until the end of the 2019 season and he’s only paid $1.5 million per year, due to the fact that LA could only pay him via Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) as they already had three Designated Players. Therefore, he’s testing out the waters to see if other MLS clubs are interested in his talents.

So, where else could Zlatan go?

The obvious choice would be Inter Miami but David Beckham’s new MLS franchise isn’t set to begin play until 2020 and by that time Zlatan would be 38 years old.

After his serious knee injury, Ibrahimovic’s fitness isn’t a concern and as we have seen with LA this season, he is more than capable of scoring close to 20 goals in a single MLS campaign. Some of his strikes this season have been majestic (see: his goal from 40-yards in the LA derby after coming off the bench and a flying side volley versus Toronto for his 500th career goal).

With clubs such as D.C. United making a splash to sign Wayne Rooney as a veteran striker this season, the impact these ageing superstars can have on and off the pitch in MLS are clear for all to see. Would Zlatan prefer a move to New York City FC? Maybe heading across Los Angeles to new boys LA FC? Perhaps a club like Minnesota United would want to bring in Zlatan with their new stadium opening later this year and a large Scandinavian population?

The only thing we do know is that Zlatan will be a man in demand if he decides to leave LA over this offseason.

But what is more than likely happening here is that Ibrahimovic wants a vastly improved contract to remain in LA beyond the end of his current deal which runs out in December 2019. The Galaxy would be misguided to do anything but offer Zlatan what he wants.

Wright-Phillips hat trick rescues Red Bulls against DC

Twitter/@NewYorkRedBulls
Leave a comment

Josef Martinez’s historic season in Major League Soccer has dominated the headlines, but Bradley Wright-Phillips continues to come up in big moments for his side.

The New York Red Bulls earned a 3-3 draw against D.C. United on Sunday at Audi Field behind Wright-Phillips’ hat-trick.

Despite trailing on three separate occasions, Wright-Phillips and his side answered accordingly to pick up a point and deny their Eastern Conference rivals a crucial victory.

Paul Arriola opened the scoring for D.C. in the 25th minute, before Wright-Phillips equalized four minutes before halftime.

D.C. restored their advantage through Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta in the second stanza, however, it wasn’t enough for the visitors to gain all three points and close the gap on the Montreal Impact for the sixth playoff spot in the East.

DC United continues surge with win over Minnesota

Getty Images
1 Comment

The playoff push is real in the nation’s capital.

D.C. United continued its late-season charge towards the postseason with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Minnesota United at home, pushing them two points below the cutoff line with a game in hand over the Montreal Impact above them.

The hosts nearly struck first before the break, but Wayne Rooney‘s right-footed curler was acrobatically saved by a diving Bobby Shuttleworth who laid out to his right. Angelo Rodriguez then scored just two minutes after halftime to put Minnesota United up. The Colombian struck from a tight angle on the left after his initial cross was blocked by Kofi Opare and fell right back into his lap.

Then, the comeback was on. Ulises Segura was first to strike just past the hour mark, with strong hold-up play at the penalty spot leading to a turn-and-shoot that Shuttleworth reacted far to late on. Then, just four minutes later, Darren Mattocks came streaking in to cap off a broken transition attack, tapping in Joseph Mora’s cross under sliding pressure from Brent Kallman.

D.C. ended with 61% possession and a 7-4 advantage in shots on target. With the win, United has taken seven points over its last three games, and has six wins to just two losses since July 28th.

Report: Terry joining Europa League participants Spartak Moscow

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
Leave a comment

John Terry resisted calls to come out of international retirement during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, but he’s going to play in Russia anyway.

The longtime Chelsea defender, 37, last played with Aston Villa in its ill-fated bid to return to the Premier League.

[ USMNT-BRAZIL: Full recap | Player ratings ]

Sky Sports in Italy has the report of Terry undergoing a medical with Spartak Moscow, and notes that Terry could face former England teammate Steven Gerrard in the UEFA Europa League when Spartak faces Rangers.

Terry was decent for Aston Villa last season, and still has something left in the tank. While this means he won’t be playing with Wayne Rooney at DC United or Ashley Cole with the Galaxy, it’ll be interesting to see how long he continues playing.

He does seem like one of those “lifers” who will be one day playing third division at 44.

Kaku blast guides Red Bulls past DC United

Twitter@NewYorkRedBulls
Leave a comment

Harrison, NJ — Alejandro “Kaku” Gamarra’s fourth goal of the season propelled the New York Red Bulls to their 16th win of the season on Sunday, as the hosts dispatched of their I-95 rivals, D.C. United, for the second time in 2018.

By virtue of the victory, the Red Bulls captured the Atlantic Cup for the ninth time in storied rivalry against D.C. United.

Despite a flurry of chances in the opening 45 minutes, including a Wayne Rooney attempt that struck the crossbar, the Red Bulls pulled ahead in the 56th minute when Kaku gathered the ball at the top of the penalty area and blasted a left-footed effort into the far corner beyond goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

Rooney boasted several quality chances on the night for the visitors, including a free kick that forced a tough save out of Luis Robles in the ninth minute.

The Red Bulls nearly made DC pay just two minutes after, when Derrick Etienne Jr. led a counterattack for Chris Armas’ side, which ended with a Daniel Royer shot that skied over the crossbar.

DC’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes though may have come in the 24th minute, when Oneil Fisher’s point-blank header sailed over the bar, following a cross from Yamil Asad.

The former Atlanta United attacker was lively in the first half for DC, however, a strong tackle from Kemar Lawrence towards the latter stages of the half forced Asad out in the 47th minute.

The two clubs will meet one more time in the regular season on September 16 down at Audi Field in the nation’s capital.