Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s new boss has a pretty nice resume.
The LA Times’ Kevin Baxter says the LA Galaxy have reached an agreement with a new manager: longtime Columbus Crew star and recent Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
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The 45-year-old Argentine won the Primera Division in both seasons with Boca, leading Lanus to the Copa Sudamericana in 2013.
A former MLS MVP, Schelotto is tasked with restoring one of the biggest clubs in league history to glory. The Galaxy have lost ground not only in the league, but in their town. LAFC made the playoffs in its first season while the Galaxy failed to make the postseason.
From the LA Times:
When Schelotto joins the Galaxy for the opening of training camp in Carson in 3½ weeks, he will become the team’s fifth head coach in 26 months. Bruce Arena, a five-time MLS Cup winner, left in November 2016 after leading the Galaxy to its last playoff berth. He was replaced by Curt Onalfo, coach of Galaxy II, the team’s United Soccer League affiliate. Onalfo was fired after just 20 games and replaced by Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history.
Schmid (narrator voice) failed badly with a talented, veteran-laden team which included Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara, and both Jonathan and Giovani Dos Santos.
Atlanta United’s targets to replace Gerardo “Tata” Martino both have close connections to the Argentine former boss of Barcelona.
Both candidates have represented Argentina, with one an MLS legend in the form of Columbus Crew midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
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Mundo Albiceleste reports that Atlanta United power brokers Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra are in Argentina meeting with Schelotto.
The 45-year-old spent his playing career with Gimnasia La Plata, Boca Juniors, and Columbus Crew, winning an MLS Cup and MLS MVP Award. He’s since been the manager of Boca Juniors, winning more than 60 percent of his matches.
Should that fail, the report says Atlanta would love to bring in former Barcelona midfielder Gabriel Milito. At 38, Milito has managed Estudiantes, Independiente, and O’Higgins.
Getting Schelotto to leave Boca seems a mighty ask, though things in Argentina soccer have been less than ideal. Milito seems a bigger risk. For all of his playing experience, he’s already had three managerial stops in four years.
CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American soccer, have announced that if the 2018 Copa Libertadores final second leg does take place, it will do so outside of Argentina on either December 8 or 9.
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Boca are refusing to play the game and want the Copa Libertadores, the top continental club competition in South America, to be awarded to them due to River Plate not being able to control their fans.
It appears that will not be the case and CONMEBOL want the second leg to go ahead.
Saturday’s second leg between arch rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors — the first leg at Boca ended 2-2 after an initial one-day delay due to heavy rain in Buenos Aires — at River’s Monumental was delayed until Sunday after River’s fans attacked the Boca team bus.
The game was then postponed on Sunday as CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez met with both clubs to try and find a solution.
For extra context as to how big this game is, imagine Liverpool playing Manchester United or Real Madrid facing Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final. River versus Boca was billed as the biggest game in the 127-year history of Argentine soccer.
In a statement released on their website, CONMEBOL said that the game would take place “as soon as possible” and they will make the arrangements regarding safety.
Miami is vying to host the game, while Paraguay, Brazil and Italy have also said they would be willing to stage the huge match. Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium hosts a Dolphins game against the New England Patriots in the NFL on Dec. 9, so the game would have to be on Dec. 8.
Below is the statement from CONMEBOL in full.
Boca Juniors have requested that the second leg of the Copa Libertadores Final be postponed again following Saturday’s chaotic day at El Monumental.
UPDATE: Boca’s request has been granted.
Originally scheduled for Saturday, the match was delayed a few hours and eventually postponed to Sunday after River Plate fans attacked the Boca bus with tear gas, smashing windows which lead to a trip to the hospital for captain Pablo Perez.
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Glass was removed from Perez’s eye and face, and Carlos Tevez was among the players reportedly willing to forfeit rather than play on Sunday as several players took ill.
Here’s how Perez described his injury, via BeINSports.com:
“I’m feeling hurt,” he said. “This was supposed to be a party and it seemed more like a war. I’ve got an irked eye. They told me I have some injured spots in my eye. That could be caused by the glass splinters they got out from there.”
Yeah, we guess it could be caused by that!
Boca’s request for further postponement, presumably to a neutral venue, was made to CONMEBOL, noting the hostile atmosphere at the stadium and the potential for more fan violence.
The neutral venue seems remarkably unlikely given the first leg was played at Boca’s home, but the restoration of “equal terms” would make sense. Boca’s players simply are not as healthy as they were before the events.
FIFPro is backing Boca.
The game, tied at 2 after the first leg, is expected to kick off at 3 p.m. ET.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been on the scene for all decisions.
The first leg of the eagerly anticipated Copa Libertadores final between bitter rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate at La Bombonera on Saturday has been postponed due to heavy rain and an unplayable pitch.
Torrential rain in Buenos Aires saw the pitch at Boca’s stadium take on huge amounts of water, as CONMEBOL took the decision to postpone the match.
“The final of the Copa Libertadores between Boca Juniors and River Plate has been suspended due to heavy rain in Buenos Aires.”
It has now been confirmed that the game will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
The flooding in Argentina’s capital city was widespread, and below is a look at the pitch just a few hours before kick off.