By DAN KARELL
If the reports are to be believed, Sporting Kansas City have made an offer that most would find hard to turn down.
According to German publication BILD, Sporting KC have offered Hamburg SV and Netherlands international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart a contract of €4.3 million (Approximately $4.82 million) per season. The report states that that’s €800,000 more than what van der Vaart is earning this season with Hamburg.
The 32-year-old midfielder’s contract runs out at the end of this season, so he could be tempted for a move to MLS, though the call back home to his boyhood club Ajax is also a possibility.
Sporting KC have not yet commented on the report.
By DAN KARELL
The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team didn’t dominate proceedings like it did three days earlier, but still managed to come away with another victory.
Forward Joe Gallardo scored his fourth goal of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and Haji Wright scored his first as the U.S. U-17s took down Trinidad and Tobago U-17s, 2-0. The win puts the U.S. at the top of Group A with six points, following the opening day 5-0 victory against Cuba.
In an overall uninspiring performance, the U.S. was lifted by a couple of moments of brilliance.
Attacking midfielder Alejandro Zendejas drew a free kick at the edge of the area in the 30th minute. A minute later, Gallardo stepped up and placed a free kick low and hard towards the far post. Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Levi Fernandez was leaning to the right, but was unable to dive to the other way and fully keep the ball out.
By MATT STYPULKOSKI
Roma’s Serie A title hopes will be on the line against Juventus on Monday afternoon.
Juve enters the clash with a hefty advantage atop the league’s table, but the Giallorossi could cut the deficit to a more manageable six-point gap with a win at home, where they are unbeaten this season.
In October, Juve won a controversial 3-2 game in Turin. But this time around, Roma will benefit from the absence of Andrea Pirlo, who picked up a calf injury during the Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund last week. Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba could also miss the match.
This evening, the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team has an important match as it continues in the CONCACAF Championship group stage in Honduras. The Americans, who opened the tournament with a 5-0 win over Cuba on Friday, are set to take on Trinidad and Tobago.
Elsewhere, Spanish side Elche, which sits just one point clear of the relegation zone, will take on mid-table Celta de Vigo.
If you will be watching today’s soccer, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump): Continue reading
photo courtesy of USL
By FRANCO PANIZO
A new name also comes with a new president.
USL announced on Monday a number of changes on the executive side, with the most notable one being Jake Edwards replacing Tim Holt as league president. Edwards takes over after Holt’s decision to resign, and he most recently served as USL’s executive vice president in 2014.
“Jake Edwards is a dynamic, young executive with exceptional vision and extraordinary drive to achieve outstanding results,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis told USLSoccer.com. “He is a proven leader with a broad understanding of U.S. soccer, both on the collegiate and professional levels. Armed with a professional soccer career, MBA, corporate experience with Octagon (a leading global sports marketing firm), and a deep understanding of the USL business, we are confident that Jake will successfully lead the USL into the next phase of operations and growth.
“He has been instrumental in developing Destination 2020, the league’s long-term strategic growth plan, and navigating the league through its rebranding. We are fortunate to have such an outstanding sports executive as Jake to complete a seamless President leadership transition.”
Photo by Eric Bolte/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Jesse Marsch is feeling much more at ease and confident these days as it pertains to the standing of the centerbacks on his roster, so much so that it seems he’s made up his mind on the starters for the season opener.
When Marsch was appointed head coach of the New York Red Bulls in January there were some initial reservations as to if the crop of central defenders on the squad was good enough to carry out his plan for 2015. There was talent among the players on the roster, but not all of it fit into the blueprint that Marsch was laying out.
After making a number of moves and with a full preseason now complete, Marsch is no longer anywhere near as “concerned” about that talent or depth of the position. He has even appeared to confidently settle on a starting tandem for this Sunday’s first game at Sporting Kansas City.
“I think that Damien Perrinelle has done very well. He’s a very smart centerback and he’s a very good complement to the way that Ronald (Zubar) plays,” Marsch recently told SBI when asked about the position. “We’re asking a lot of our centerbacks both from a tactical perspective and from a physical perspective and I think that those two have worked really well together.”
By ADAM TROXTELL
After consecutive seasons without playoff soccer, FC Dallas went old school in its subsequent coaching appointment to make 2014 very different.
Former FCD midfielder Oscar Pareja transformed the team into a respected attacking unit that was a Seattle away goal from reaching the 2014 Western Conference final. It was exactly the kind of turnaround needed for an organization still dreaming about what could have been in that 2010 MLS Cup Final.
Under the tutelage of his fellow countryman, Colombian winger Fabian Castillo had his best season since joining the team in 2011. He scored 10 goals and tallied three assists to earn attention from teams like Club America and prompt FCD to offer him a five-year contract that was signed in the preseason.
Castillo was only bested by Panamanian striker Blas Perez, who led the team with 11 goals and six assists. He was the central figure in an attack that also included on-loan Colombian winger Andres Escobar, who has since returned to Dynamo Kyiv, and young designated player Mauro Diaz.
The flash was coupled with the backbone of the squad, made up of veterans like Stephen Keel, Je-Vaughn Watson, Adam Moffatt, and Michel. Their contributions provided the balance necessary for a consistent run into the playoffs.
Ahead of the 2015 season, FCD has somehow managed to get even younger. Pareja remains hopeful that his youthful side, which still retains the core of the squad from last season, can continue to build on what he called a “good starting point.”