Talking about all things Soccer. Its Soccer, its serious… but not always.
All the weeks biggest stories from North American Soccer, rounded up in one place.
James Keep – 17/06/16
SUCCESS IN SEATTLE
What a week it has been for the US national team, who on Thursday secured their spot in the Copa America Centenario semi-finals (most likely against Argentina) thanks to a 2-1 victory over Ecuador. Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes scored the goals but a red card to Jermaine Jones plus yellow card accumulation suspensions for Bobby Wood and Alejandro Bedoya mean things are going to be slightly more difficult for the US in their next game, even before you factor in Messi… and Aguero… and Higuain…
The US had of course got to this stage thanks to a 1-0 win over Paraguay which secured them top spot in their group. That doesn’t tell the whole story though, as two rash and reckless challenges from DeAndre Yedlin, in the space of just 30 seconds, saw the right back sent off and the US national team proceeded to put in an incredibly impressive defensive performance for the remaining 40 minutes, protecting their one goal lead and almost doubling it at one point. Geoff Cameron and John Brooks have been a revelation together at center-back and a small portion of the credit for that is seemingly due to Thomas Rongen, who helped bring Brooks to the US U20 national team.
Round four of the US Open Cup is in the bag and there were no real upsets. Sure, two MLS teams lost, but D.C. United have been woeful at times this year and lost 4-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, while New York City FC continued their absolutely dismal record against other New York sides, losing 1-0 to the Cosmos, which is hardly surprising when you leave all your DPs out of the squad. The LA Galaxy were run close by their local amateur competition after losing Rafael Garcia to a red card in the 17th minute, but eventually won 4-1 in extra time. Although LA’s opponents, La Maquina, have filled an official protest over the result due to a somewhat controversial goal.
The draw has been made for the round of 16 as well, with the bracket now available so you can chart your favorite team’s potential path all the way to the final.
Cincinnati continue to gain momentum as their first year in the USL rolls on and this article offers a very detailed look at just why the team is resonating with the city and its sports fans.
While the whispers are turning into murmurs for Cincinnati regarding their expansion prospects, St Louis is a city that is well and truly in the conversation at this point and there is growing talk of plans for a new stadium. The problem? Those plans may involve the city’s least favorite person: Stan Kroenke.
How did the Portland Timbers 2 fare in their Idaho outing a couple of weeks ago? A sell-out crowd of 4,352 came out to witness T2 win 2-1 against Swope Park Rangers and the performance off the field has people talking very seriously about a USL franchise in the state.
Could there be some players on the move?
One player definitely is, as the Philadelphia Union have parted ways with Vincent Nogueira due to an undisclosed health issue. The midfielder is returning to France to be with his family as he recovers but the move leaves the 1st place Philadelphia Union with a serious hole in their line-up.
Is Lucas Melano on his way out of the Portland Timbers? Boca Juniors are said to be interested but, according to Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, the Argentine club wanted him on a free loan.
Zlatan seems to have picked Manchester United over the LA Galaxy and, while Atlanta United were another team rumored to be interested in the talented Swede, it seems they’ve turned their attention to more realistic targets – namely 21 year old Argentine named Hector Villalba. They have also been linked with Mexican International Andres Guardardo– which would be a very strong move in terms of igniting the local Mexican fanbase (It’s either that or Javier Hernandez at this point).
We all know the Seattle Sounders are signing two marquee players this summer, we just don’t know who they are yet. Still, that hasn’t stopped anyone from guessing, with Argentine Sebastian Blanco the latest to be linked with the club.
Well done to the Indy Eleven, who managed to secure the Spring NASL Championship after a 4-1 win over the Carolina Railhawks, with the “Miracle at the Mike” proving enough to secure the title and thus secure their place in this year’s Soccer Bowl.
Is this the final model of D.C. United’s new Buzzard Point stadium? If so, it’s actually looking pretty nice. The club may also have signed a future star to play in their new home after it was revealed that United are set to sign US U17 captain Chris Durkin as a Homegrown player. The 16-year-old even featured for United in their Open Cup loss on Wednesday, the only game he is eligible to play for the club this year.
Could the club from the Capital also be looking to sign Costa Rican forward Jonathan McDonald?
CANADIANS TO THE UK
There’s a referendum in the UK on Thursday which, primarily, concerns immigration. However, one group who won’t be effected either way are Canadians, and that’s just as well, seeing as it looks like three of them are heading to the British Isles. Two of them are youngsters who have joined US international Perry Kitchen at Hearts of Midlothian in Edinburgh, while the most high profile one is Atiba Hutchinson, with West Ham United manager Slavan Bilic confirming he does indeed want to sign the Besiktas player .
Sadly, it’s impossible to end on a high note this week as, no matter which side of the Atlantic you live on, gun crime has dominated the headlines. Please take a moment and spare a thought for those who have lost their lives to senseless acts this week and, even more importantly, the loved ones they leave behind. The US national team have made a video response to the tragedy, and Michael Bradley wore a rainbow colored armband as a mark of solidarity but, more fittingly, Orlando City SC wrote an open letter to their city in the wake of their multiple tragedies this week.
Stay safe everyone.