Photo by Jake Roth/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Fresh off an MLS Cup and MLS MVP winning campaign, LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is set to finally sit down and enjoy the offseason.
Keane has ruled out a winter loan to the Premier League, although the Galaxy forward admits that he does have “the itch” to get back onto the field as quickly as humanly possible.
“I’ve been asked to go on loan. I think you know me, better than anybody, after a few weeks (inactivity) I get the itch,” Keane said. “I’ve got the itch now 100 percent. I was playing five-a-side with me mates 10 days after the Cup final. That’s the way I am.
“I have been asked (to go on loan), yeah. And there’s a temptation because I just love playing football,” he added. “There’s a temptation but I just can’t see it happening to be honest with you. It’s not going to happen.”
The Galaxy captain cited medical issues as the reason behind his upcoming rest period, as the 34-year-old believes he could benefit from a bit of a break.
“There’s certainly a temptation because I just love playing so much,” Keane said. “But I’ve spoken to people and medically it wouldn’t make any sense for me.
“It wouldn’t probably be fair at this moment after what I put myself through after the operations that I’ve had. I want to continue for a long time and this is probably my best bet but as I say it’s tempting but, like I say, it’s not going to happen.”
Here are some more of Wednesday’s MLS news and notes: Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
If anything was made clear during Ali Curtis’ introductory meeting with the media, it is that he and the New York Red Bulls have plenty to work on and discuss in the coming days and weeks.
The Red Bulls publicly appointed Curtis as their new sporting director on Tuesday, giving the former forward and MLS executive his first job at a club. Curtis, 36, is replacing the departed and largely successful Andy Roxburgh, but has the difficult task of remodeling a Red Bulls team that lost its best player in Thierry Henry to retirement.
How Curtis tackles the challenge is still the unknown part. Yes, he has a philosophy and vision for the club, but there are still a lot of things to be sorted through before making significant moves.
“I have some thoughts as to where we can improve and build upon the team, but I first want to talk with (head coach Mike Petke), I want to talk with the rest of our staff, I want to talk with Bob Montgomery, who is our academy director,” said Curtis, who was most recently MLS’s senior director of player relations and competition. “I really want to get some information from all areas of the club before we start running in a number of different directions, but I do plan on building the team and do plan on adding some players in this team and we’re very excited about that.”
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports
By DAN KARELL
Jermain Defoe’s future remains up in the air, but it’s becoming clearer that he sees that future away from MLS.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has made Defoe his No. 1 target for the January transfer window, though acquiring Defoe will mean convincing owner Tony Fernandes to spend a considerable amount of money.
The report states that Defoe has flown to London to try and push the deal through, and says that he’s already had contract discussions with the London club.
Toronto FC have maintained throughout the offseason that Defoe will remain a member of their squad for the 2015 season. Defoe was signed, along with Michael Bradley, last January in a major coup for MLS. He is reportedly earning a salary worth $8 million per season.
By DAN KARELL
Kristinn Steindórsson was vacationing on the Cape Verde Islands when he heard his cell phone ring.
At the other end of the line was his agent, who asked Steindórsson, a free agent, if he would be interested in playing in Major League Soccer. Steindórsson said yes.
In just a matter of a days, Steindórsson had signed a contract and became the latest member of Columbus Crew SC, adding to the team’s plethora of playmaking midfielders.
“It happened pretty quickly,” Steindórsson told SBI in a phone interview from his native Iceland.
The 24-year-old steps in as an expected replacement for Bernardo Anor, and is likely to challenge both Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay for playing time on the wings. Steindórsson is coming off his best season since moving to Sweden in 2012, scoring eight times in 29 games after scoring a combined eight goals in his first two seasons at Halmstad BK.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Liverpool manager Brandan Rodgers believes that the team is trying to put a square peg in a round hole when it comes to forward Mario Balotelli.
Rodgers admitted that the Italian striker doesn’t fit with Liverpool’s current style, which recently switched to include three at the back and no true center forward. With Balotelli’s reliance on being in and around the box, the Liverpool manager understands that both the player and the team will need to make changed to accommodate the forward’s style of play.
“I think we’ve seen that it’s not really his game,” Rodgers said. “Having worked with Mario during the time he’s been here, we’ve seen that he’s a player who better in and around the box, so that level of intensity and pressing isn’t a part of his game, but you try to get the best out of the players that you have, and the qualities that they have, so that’s something that we’ll focus on.”
Balotelli is set to make his return Friday after serving a one-game ban for an offensive post on Instagram.
Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Wednesday morning: Continue reading
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The rumors have been confirmed: Erick “Cubo” Torres is Houston-bound.
The Houston Dynamo announced Monday that the club has signed the former Chivas USA striker as a Designated Player. As part of the deal, Torres will spend up to six months with Chivas de Guadalajara for Liga MX’s Clausura campaign, which is set to kick off Jan. 9.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining the Houston Dynamo. It’s one of the premier clubs in MLS and a place where I really wanted to sign,” Torres said. “I can’t wait to join my teammates in Houston and continue their success on the field. I’d like to thank Lino Dicuollo of MLS, my agents Richard Motzkin and Rodrigo Morales of Wasserman, and Dynamo president Chris Canetti in making this deal happen.”
Torres emerged as one of MLS’ most prolific forwards in 2014, as the Chivas USA forward scored 15 goals in 29 games for a Chivas USA side that scored just 29 goals all season.
The 21-year-old forward will join midfielder Alexander Lopez and left back DaMarcus Beasley as the Dynamo’s Designated Players.
“We are delighted to sign a such a talented young player with the scope and potential to improve further,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “For me, he is an outstanding player who does the toughest thing in soccer with ease, and that is to score goals. I look forward to working with him and helping to make him even better.”
What do you think of the Dyanamo’s acquisition of Torres? How will Torres and his new team fare in 2015?
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