By FRANCO PANIZO
Lessons were always going to be learned after using a new formation for the first time, but some familiar issues also rose to the surface for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The U.S. was handed a 3-2 road defeat by Chile on Wednesday, as a promising but far-from-perfect first half was undone by yet another ugly second stanza. The Americans struggled mightily in a number of areas during the closing 45 minutes, and wound up surrendering a halftime lead to suffer a loss that extended their winless run to five games.
The result was not what mattered most, however. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann trotted out a new 3-5-2 formation against the Chileans, and how his players adapted to and performed in that set-up was always going to be more important than the final score.
The U.S. showed some encouraging signs in between the expected hiccups, but there were also problems that did not stem from the formational change, problems that Klinsmann will want to take a closer look at in order to solve them.
Here are five observations, both good and bad, that SBI took away from the U.S.’s 3-2 defeat to Chile:
By CAITLIN MURRAY
What MLS players want and what the league is willing to offer isn’t yet close enough to prevent a work stoppage — and the sticking point may be free agency.
That’s the overall message from MLS Players Union executive director Bob Foose, who spoke to the Orlando Sentinel about the status of negotiations in a Q&A published Thursday.
While player compensation has been a prominent issue in collective bargaining agreement talks, free agency could be where things will hit a snag. MLS has not put forth a proposal to add free agency or change the way player rights work, which makes an agreement unlikely, Foose said.
“There is no negotiation going on at this point with regard to free agency,” he told the Sentinel. “That makes it impossible to get a deal done. If that’s going to stay the same, I certainly don’t see a deal getting done.”
By CAITLIN MURRAY
New York City FC has yet to play a game, but the club is already undergoing changes in the front office.
The club announced Thursday that Tim Pernetti, who has been NYCFC’s chief business officer since the club formed in 2013, will leave his post to join media agency WME | IMG. At the same time, NYCFC introduced Tom Glick as the club’s new president. Glick comes from a top-level position with Manchester City FC, NYCFC’s parent club.
Pernetti will join WME | IMG as president of multimedia for its college work after NYCFC’s inaugural match of the MLS regular season, which Pernetti called a “natural exit point.”
“With college sports being my true passion and such a core part of my make-up, this awesome opportunity to join the team at WME | IMG was impossible to refuse, particularly at this natural exit point as New York City FC embarks on the next stage of its development,” Pernetti said in a statement released by NYCFC. “It has been my honor and a true privilege to work with the best in the soccer business and to be part of building the foundation of New York City FC. I will be a fan for life.”
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports
By DAN KARELL
Unable to ink an MLS contract this winter, Heath Pearce has gone against the strong current of Americans returning from Europe and signed with a club in Sweden.
IFK Goteborg announced on Thursday that they’ve signed Pearce to a five-month contract, with an option to extend. Pearce was a free agent, after his contract with the Montreal Impact expired at the end of the season and no teams selected him in the MLS re-entry draft. Pearce had recently been training with Orlando City.
“He can play at any position in the defensive line,” Goteborg sporting director Mats Gren said in a statement. “He’s experienced, strong, skillful game, great physics and has a good pass.”
The 30-year-old Pearce spent 2005-2009 abroad, playing for FC Nordsjælland in Denmark and Hansa Rostock in Germany, before joining FC Dallas in late 2009. He helped lead FC Dallas to the MLS Cup final in 2010, and since then has played for Chivas USA, the New York Red Bulls, and the Impact.
Goteborg finished second in the Swedish Allsvenskan last season, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. The 2015 Allsvenskan season begins in early April.
What do you think of this news? Do you like the move for Pearce? Do you see him returning to MLS this summer?
Share your thoughts below.
By DAN KARELL
Roberto Mancini is hoping to be reunited this summer with one of the best midfielders in the English Premier League.
The Inter Milan boss has revealed his interest in signing Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure during the summer transfer window. Mancini originally brought Toure to the Etihad Stadium in 2010 back when the Italian was Man City boss.
“Yaya is one of the strongest players in the world,” Mancini told the Italian newspaper Il Giornale. “He still is. He has played in so many teams. He has been in leagues in Belgium, Russia, Spain and England. Italy is the one missing. This could be the right opportunity for him to come and try.
“We are building a team. There are players that change the look of a team, and Yaya is one of them. Next year we could try. We need to bring three champions, and we will see that we will be ready to fight for the scudetto.”
Mancini took over for Walter Mazzari last November but Inter have remained mired in mid-table life in Serie A. They’re currently in 10th place in the league, one place ahead of arch rivals AC Milan.
Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday: