By IVES GALARCEP
It was a busy week in Major League Soccer, with big news ranging from stadium project approvals to high-profile player signings to much more.
Episode 183 of The SBI Show catches you up on all the recent activity, from D.C. United’s stadium project approval to Orlando City’s signing of Brek Shea.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the recent MLS re-entry drafts, the latest news on Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres’ future and more.
Give Episode 183 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
By RYAN TOLMICH
Freddy Adu is once again back on the open market.
Adu has parted ways with Serbian side FK Jagodina after making just one first team appearance, in a cup game, for the club. Adu’s time with the club lasted just five months.
Reports in Europe stated that Adu had been released, but the 25-year-old attacker took to Twitter on Monday to say that he had been expecting to move on for some time.
The former U.S. Men’s National Team player – who has played for 10 clubs in his career – did not make an appearance in a league game for Jagodina and saw just 13 minutes of action in a cup matchup back in September.
By DAN KARELL
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team wrapped up their final two friendly matches before World Cup qualifying with a sweep of Honduras on the road.
In the finale on Sunday afternoon, the U.S. defeated Honduras, 2-1, following up a 2-1 victory on Thursday in the first of the two friendly matches in San Pedro Sula.
Romain Gall scored for the second match in a row, and his first-half strike was followed up by a goal from Lynden Gooch. Devron Garcia scored the lone goal for the Honduras U-20s in the defeat.
Head coach Tab Ramos will now organize a domestic-based training camp with the U-20 squad before heading to Jamaica early in 2015 ahead of the CONCACAF U-20 Championships. Ramos will have to select his 20-man squad by Dec. 30.
What do you think of this result? Like the U.S. U-20s chances heading into U-20 World Cup qualifying?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Many were left stunned by FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia, but one FIFA executive was particularly surprised by the organization’s decision.
FIFA’s Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who was chairman of a group responsible for assessing the feasibility of each World Cup location, concluded that England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup was the strongest of the lot. However, after the nation received just two of 22 votes, Mayne-Nicholls, who previously chaired Chile’s football association, was left shocked.
“(England) was by far the strongest contender,” Mayne-Nicholls said.. “How could England have only got two votes? It was a big surprise.
“England were on the top. They had the best concept, the best infrastructure and the people were very much involved,” said Mayne-Nicholls. “I was there and I saw the faces of Prince William and [David] Beckham, and they were shocked. It’s like when you are a first division team and you play a third division team and you lose by five goals.“
Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning: Continue reading
By ADAM TROXTELL
Liverpool owes a morale-boosting result to the head of Martin Skrtel.
Not only did his headed goal give them a 2-2 draw against Arsenal in Sunday’s marquee Premier League match, but an injury to the back of Skrtel’s head resulted in nine minutes of stoppage time. Seven minutes into the added minutes, 10-man Liverpool breathed a sigh of relief.
It’s a wonder they didn’t score more. The Reds put 13 shots on target and produced 27 chances. In contrast, Arsenal were much more efficient with their four chances on goal and used that to maintain a four-point gap between themselves and West Ham in fourth.
After 45 minutes of scoreless soccer, two fell in a minute and a half to end the first half. Philippe Coutinho struck first for Liverpool before Mathieu Debuchy equalized at the other end.
In the 64th minute, a seemingly rejuvenated Santi Cazorla kept a goal chance alive by reaching the end line before Olivier Giroud put away his near-post cross for the lead. Even two yellow cards within two minutes for Fabio Borini couldn’t keep Liverpool down in the end, and they seized potentially crucial momentum ahead of a packed holiday schedule.
In France, Marseille have taken sole possession of first place after a 2-1 win over Lille. Michy Batshuayi scored in the 69th minute for the eventual winner
Inter Milan produced late magic for a 2-2 draw with Lazio, while Atletico Madrid cruised past Athletic Bilbao 4-1 in La Liga.
Here is a look back at all of Sunday’s action from Europe’s top leagues:
By FRANCO PANIZO
The New York Red Bulls’ previous sporting director was well-versed in the European game. Their new one knows about all things on the domestic front.
Sources have informed SBI that the Red Bulls have found the successor for Andy Roxburgh, hiring retired forward Ali Curtis as the club’s sporting director. Curtis, 36, was most recently the senior director of player relations and competition for MLS.
BigAppleSoccer.com first reported the deal, adding that Curtis is on a one-year contract.
Curtis, who has never held a management position for a team, joins a Red Bulls side that saw Roxburgh depart last week after two years at the helm. Curtis will be tasked with trying to improve a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but lost the masterful Thierry Henry to retirement.
A former player who attended Duke, Curtis hung up his cleats for good in 2004. He was drafted three years earlier by the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny, and also went on to play for D.C. United and Dallas Burn.
New York technical director Ricardo Campos and New England Revolution assistant Tom Soehn were some of the other candidates up for the sporting director job, with sources confirming to SBI that Soehn turned down a two-year contract offer for the position, which then led to the Red Bulls hiring Curtis.
What do you make of Curtis’ appointment? Like the move? What should be his first priority with the Red Bulls?
Share your thoughts below.