Photo by Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Tim Cahill is currently representing Australia on the international stage, but the New York Red Bulls Designated Player is reportedly close to making a change on the club level.
The National reported that the Australian forward has agreed to a “tentative deal” with United Arab Emirates club Al Wahda with the two sides hoping to reach a formal agreement at the conclusion of the Asia Cup.
Cahill made 29 total appearances in 2014 for the Red Bulls, although the 35-year-old was used mostly as a substitute toward the end of the season. Currently in Australia for the Asia Cup, Cahill, who has scored three goals in the competition, is set to lead the Socceroos against UAE on Monday in the competition’s second semifinal matchup.
Here are some more of of Monday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading
Photo by Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports
By CAITLIN MURRAY
It seemed that Plan A was always for Hope Solo to be starting in goal for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The USWNT played in 24 matches in 2014. Solo started in 21 of them. She voluntarily missed one in June for what U.S. Soccer called a “family commitment” and was arrested for allegedly assaulting two family members the following night.
As Solo went through her legal troubles – which could’ve resulted in jail time and force her to miss this summer’s World Cup – coach Jill Ellis started No. 2 goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris just once when Solo was available. It was at World Cup qualifying against Haiti, a low-tier team that recorded a single shot against the U.S. in 90 minutes, which wasn’t even on goal.
Solo’s criminal case was later dismissed but it appeared unlikely to result in a conviction from the start. The alleged victims had reportedly changed their stories and were uncooperative. If those around Solo and the USWNT thought she would be around for the long haul, to Canada 2015 and beyond, they weren’t alone.
“When I decide to walk away, it will be my decision and it will be because I’m not having fun anymore,” Solo told SBI before World Cup qualifying when asked if she planned to retire after Canada 2015. “Do I expect to go another cycle after this cycle? Absolutely, if that’s what I set out to do and if I’m fully committed 110 percent.”
“I’m tired of all these questions about, is this my last cycle? I told Jill, I was like, ‘Jill, I’ll be around. You’re going to have to kick me out of this team before I leave.’ ”
By DAN KARELL
Sepp Blatter looks well on his way to winning a fifth consecutive FIFA presidential election, and while he’s ahead, he’s fired a warning shot toward his biggest opposition: UEFA.
Blatter said that the European soccer governing body, whose members haven’t been shy in opposing Blatter’s policies and fumbling of public relations, lacks the courage to oppose him in the upcoming elections. Currently only former FIFA executive Jerome Champagne, former player David Ginola, and AFC and FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein have pledged their candidacy for the presidency.
“I have been asked by the national associations to be our candidate again because nobody that is strong was in,” Blatter told CNN. “So I go there… All those who want to get rid of me should come. All this opposition is coming now, it’s unfortunate to say – but it’s true – it’s coming from Nyon, from UEFA. They don’t have the courage to come in. So let me go [on] – be respectful.
“Football is a team sport. Let’s go together with the team. I invite the confederation of UEFA and especially the leaders of UEFA that are so bitterly attacking me: Join! Join! Football is a unity.”
Blatter insisted later in the interview that he is still in the middle of his efforts to reform FIFA and that his “mission” is not yet finished.
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning: Continue reading
The Chicago Fire have had a busy offseason transforming their roster, but for all the moves made this winter, none may be as significant as their latest acquisition.
The Fire have completed the long-rumored signing of Scottish midfielder Shaun Maloney, the club announced on Sunday. Maloney joins the Fire via a transfer from English League Championship side Wigan, and will be the club’s newest Designated Player.
The Scottish national team midfielder has already arrived in Chicago, and will be formally introduced in a press conference on Monday.
By FRANCO PANIZO
There weren’t too many strong performances from Americans playing abroad this weekend, but two veteran defenders stood out for helping their clubs post respectable shutouts in tough environments.
Tim Ream went the distance at Anfield on Saturday to help Bolton play to a scoreless draw in their FA Cup tilt with Liverpool. Ream was on the left side of a new-look, three-man back line for the Trotters, and kept the likes of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho off the board to a force a replay at home on Feb 4. or 5.
Michael Orozco helped his side post a clean sheet in one of soccer’s biggest cathedrals this weekend. Orozco and Puebla entered Estadio Azteca on Saturday and came away with a valiant Liga MX point after holding Club America to a scoreless draw. Orozco played from whistle to whistle, but teammate Herculez Gomez did not get off the bench despite scoring in Puebla’s last two matches across all competitions.
There was another positive development in Mexico, as Joe Corona continued to make his way back from injury. After scoring in his return in a midweek Copa MX affair, Corona came off the bench to help Club Tijuana close out a 2-1 win over Tigres UANL on Saturday. Corona played the last 15 minutes of the game, securing the result that marked the Xolos’ third-straight victory in all competitions.
Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend: