“My reaction [to the WSJ report] is one of non-understanding to be frank with you because I have never played baseball at that level,” Kreis said Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t know what it means for the grass to be a certain way in baseball. I certainly know what it means to want the grass to be a certain way in soccer. We want the field to be as pristine as we can. Natural grass surface with a tightly mowed grass can be one of the most enjoyable surfaces to play on.
“We want the same thing for our surface, but for me to try to understand or comprehend someones comments who plays the sport at a high level is not my place, if that makes sense.”
Kreis was more interested in discussing how it will feel to manage the club at Yankee Stadium. After a long, long wait, the MLS managerial legend will sit in the coach’s chair for a home match. We can’t wait to watch, either.
Barry remains at Goodison Park, a seasoned veteran with over 500 Premier League appearances. In a piece from The Telegraph, the 33-year-old Barry said he wasn’t ready to “retire” from the game.
America was an option and there was a conversation about it but when I spoke to the coaches here they said, ‘If you are going there, you are retiring.’
That was in my head. Obviously I did not agree it was retiring but I sort of agreed it would have been going to a league that is up and coming and not as big as the Premier League so I could see their point.”
In the midst of the war of words between Jurgen Klinsmann and Don Garber, it is interesting to get the take of a current player as well respected as Gareth Barry on the state of the MLS.
After signing a three-year extension with Everton, Barry is now looking to regain a place in the England side.
“It’s good to see so many young players in the squad, but that is not to say you feel you still cannot do a job. I’m not hung up on it now. The manager made his decision and I was overlooked. I still feel I could do a job, it’s just that time has moved on and others are getting their chances.”
Barry has earned 53 caps for England, but has had a mercurial international career after breaking into the first-team as a 19-year-old in 2000. As Roy Hodgson continues to usher in a new generation of young English talents, Barry’s window of opportunity may be closing.
While the defensive-midfielder is trying to earn an England call-up as a 33-year-old, he believes his lack of consistent international appearances have helped him stay fresher, as balancing club and national team duties can take a toll on a player.
“I think playing international football burns players out, but I was in and out of the England squad so never felt that.
It must be tougher for a young player to take it all in now then it was when I was 17. There are so many sports scientists around now giving their opinion. They were not there when I was 17. You had a doctor and physic and that was it.”
Roberto Martinez will hope Barry’s fresh legs can help Everton, who sit just two points clear of relegation.
After scoring seven goals in fourteen matches for the Revolution in 2013, Agudelo was set to join Stoke City in the Premier League. But after failing to obtain a work permit, Stoke loaned the young striker to FC Utrecht in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Agudelo was set to return to Stoke after his loan spell, but was once again denied a work permit to play in England.
That’s where New York City FC comes in.
At 21 years old, Agudelo is a young striker with three seasons of MLS experience, as well as a loan spell in Europe. With 18 appearances for the United States, he is seasoned and ready to break through as a top American talent.
A return to the MLS could be what Agudelo needs to boost his confidence and get consistent minutes on the pitch. Also, playing alongside David Villa with Frank Lampard feeding through balls doesn’t sound like that bad a gig.
Unfortunately for NYCFC, it is rumored Agudelo only has eyes for the Premier League. After nearly two years of permit and paper troubles, he is determined to play in England’s top-flight.
An interesting storyline to keep an eye on as MLS teams continue to try and lure players back home from Europe to play in America.
Manchester City’s Pellegrini won’t rule out Lampard loan extension
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini would not shut the door on the idea of his club keeping Frank Lampard longer than his current six-month loan deal.
Signed by new Major League Soccer franchise New York City FC over the summer, Lampard is keeping in shape with City while his new team gets itself up-and-running. He made headlines this weekend when he scored the equalizer, refusing to celebrate, against his longtime team, Chelsea, at the Etihad Stadium.
Just a man doing a job, Lampard said. Pellegrini’s been impressed by the ex-Chelsea star, which means the Premier League club may have a bit to say about whether Lampard makes his way to MLS and one of their owners’ other clubs.
“I can’t answer about that in this moment,” said Pellegrini before the Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday.
“Frank will stay until January because until January he doesn’t have anything to do in the United States because they are not working. In January we will see what is happening and we will make a decision then.”
It’s something to keep an eye on, obviously, and we’ve seen plenty loans extended in the past. In just one example and a different case, Jermain Defoe stuck around Tottenham for a bit after he was sold to Toronto FC.
But how would it affect NYC FC and its fan base? Would it cost the club extra — in man power — when Lampard gets to this part of the MLS season next year? He’ll be 37 next June. Thirty-seven.
What would Lampard want? Hard to tell from the weekend’s celebration, so maybe we’ll have to wait until he’s a part of a goal celebration that doesn’t shatter his heart.
For ages countries like England, Spain and Italy have been taking the proverbial piss out of soccer in the United States.
They laugh at our men’s national team as we struggle to qualify for World Cups in a CONCACAF group that lacks the quality of European competition. They laugh at our domestic league, equating it to the second or third divisions of European football. And they discount our incredible achievements in the women’s game where we have won two World Cups and four Olympic gold medals.
But it’s all good.
Because we, as Americans, know it’s coming.
We know that soccer is set to explode in America.
Whether its Major League Soccer expanding from 10 clubs in 2004 to 19 in 2012, five Premier League clubs being purchased by American business owners, or the World Cup and Premier League broadcast rights packages tripling in value between offerings, the writing is on the wall: America is on the precipice of becoming a soccer-crazed nation.
And with Tuesday’s announcement that Manchester City and the New York Yankees have combined forces to create New York City Football Club, we have yet another ground-breaking moment in U.S. soccer history.
By forming NYC FC, City and the Yankees have created what is essentially a ‘sister-club’ relationship – an innovative bond between a Premier League and MLS club. The implications are numerous.
First and foremost, it means that two of the world’s richest sports teams, each flush with billions of dollars, now have a vested interest in MLS and U.S. Soccer. This interest will translate to better facilities, coaching, player wages and youth programs. Oh yeah, and that elusive first club academy where players are educated and live together in the mold of La Masia? You better believe that’s now a reality.
Second, the ‘sister-club’ bond represents a definitive player pipeline between the U.S. and England. That means City’s top youth prospects will spend seasons cutting their teeth in MLS. This will help further reduce the league’s stigma of being a retirement hotbed while providing MLS fans with looks at the future stars of European soccer. But the pipeline won’t just flow one way. With City on board our top homegrown youth products will now have a much greater opportunity to make it in England.
Third, the ‘sister-club’ relationship will do wonders for the NYC FC and City brands. Fans in Manchester will be more likely to support NYC FC while fans in New York will have a Premier League club they feel connected to. This translates into greater exposure for MLS in England and the Premier League in America.