Tuesday Ticker: ‘Caps eye Hargreaves, Barcelona-Fabregras update and more

Owen Hargreaves 1 (Reuters)


The Vancouver Whitecaps have finally admitted it. They want to sign Owen Hargreaves.

Prior to a friendly versus Manchester City on Monday night, Whitecaps co-owner Jeff Mallett confirmed rumors of interest in Hargeaves, saying that the oft-injured midfielder knows of the club's desire to sign him

The 30-year-old Hargreaves, who was born in Canada but chose to represent England on the international level, is without a club after being recently released by Manchester United. He played in 30 league matches over the last four seasons as his knees proved troublesome on a consistent basis.

Pursuit of Hargreaves won't come without competition for Vancouver, as West Bromwich Albion has already held talks with Hargeaves.

Here are more stories from around the soccer world:


Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola says the club is interested in working out a deal with Arsenal for Cesc Fabregas, but that a move for a forward is more important. With Bojan Krkic and Jeffren Suarez wanting to move out of Barcelona, Guardiola is keen on replenishing depth at the forward position before moving in for Fabregas. It appears that help is on the way, though, as a deal with Chile winger Alexis Sanchez is almost complete, according to Barcelona sports director Andoni Zubizarreta.


Javier Pastore should be on the move in the coming days as Palermo is close to making a deal to sell the Argentine midfielder to a club yet to be revealed. The transfer fee for Pastore is going to be for around $70.1 million, according to club president Maurizio Zamparini. Pastore, who just finished playing for Argentina in its disappointing Copa America campaign, has been linked with Chelsea, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester City.


Neymar has broken the hearts of several clubs interested in his services, stating he'll be staying with Santos this season. Neymar had been linked with a number of high-profile clubs in Europe, but it looks like they will have to wait longer to capture the Brazilian starlet. Neymars announcement comes days after he finished playing for a Brazilian team that was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Copa America.


Tottenham Hotspur is hoping to bolster its attacking options, and Emmanuel Adebayor might be the man to help do so. Tottenham are looking to acquire Adebayor on a year-long loan from Manchester City, but it wants City to pay for part of Adebayor's wages. That leaves City with a problem as it wants to unload the Togolese forward and his full salary. Real Madrid is also reportedly monitoring Adebayor's situation after he spent the second part of last season on loan with the Spanish club.


Scoring a penalty kick can be hard enough, but United Arab Emirates player Awana Diab did so with a back-heeled attempt in a rout against Lebanon in a friendly on Sunday. The decision to do that has caused a stir, and Diab could face punishment for what some are labeling as a lack of respect. While no disciplinary action has been taken yet, Diab did receive punishment from his coach, who replaced Diab immediately following the kick. Diab entered the game just three minutes before his audacious effort.

Here's video of the back-heel penalty kick goal:



What do you think of Vancouver's interest in Hargreaves? Think it's wise for Neymar to want to stay at Santos? Do you think there should be a suspension over the back-heel penalty kick?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Major League Soccer, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Tuesday Ticker: ‘Caps eye Hargreaves, Barcelona-Fabregras update and more

  1. Stephen says:

    Pastore is an amazing talent – but he is waaay overpriced. How can Pastore be worth more than Snjeider or Fabregas? Zamparini is a mad man. Pastore should go for 25-30m euro tops.

  2. kpugs says:

    Never ceases to amaze me. Hargreave collected millions from Unitd for doing next to nothing and yet there are multiple clubs competing to pay him for doing nothing from here on out. For Vancouver’s sake I hope he signs for West Brom. What a joke.

  3. glaing says:

    I always liked Owen Hargreaves, but putting him on that turf in Vancouver will be troublesome.

  4. K-Town says:

    What in the hell was going through his mind. Coach just put him in the game and that was how he wanted to reward the coach. He could have easily missed that pk. And If he would have missed, he would hae never played professionally again, ANYWHERE!

    As far as suspension, I think Diab suspended himself with that backheel. Coach benched him right after the pk, which was only 3 minutes after he came on the pitch. I doubt he ever plays for that coach again. Not to mention that kind of reputation won’t make other teams chomp at the bit for his services.

    If that were baseball there would have been a dugout clearing brawl for the disrespect!

  5. Jimmy Bobo says:

    I think the penalty kick by heel was plenty stupid. Still, it should have been saved by any competent keeper. That would have been the true embarassment for the shooter. I think the manager was right to replace him for stupidity.

  6. Bob says:

    This punk can rot with Murdoch in England…no to Hargreaves!

  7. Dan says:

    Can be worth more easily: Palermo don’t really want to sell so put huge price on him to deter clubs, but clubs bid anyway for that price. Now Palermo can spend that money on a replacement and other players with the leftovers.

  8. Fat Guy says:

    Vancouver could use that Diab dude..

    Gols gols gols

  9. ACS says:

    Bad Knees + Turf=Bad idea

  10. Cole says:

    he shouldn’t face any additional punishment for the backheel penalty kick, it is completely legal based on match rules. It’s up to the coach to punish the player and the coach did so, no one else should get involved in his punishment in my opinion.

  11. SFTony says:

    The PK was good. As we saw from the women, pk’s are not guaranteed to go in. This obviously affected the goalie. The strategy has always been don’t look at the goalie, cause once you do, you’re his. Why not screw with the goalie mind instead?

  12. Train says:

    look at his body of work though. yes injuries killed his career, but 7 years at BAYERN MUNICH making over 140 appearances isn’t too shabby of a pro. now if at 30 he can regain any of what he had it would be a great reclamation project for his career and also bring talent to a club in dire need of it, talking about you WBA!

  13. Thomas513 says:

    Hargreaves is the definition of a poisoned chalice. I am not a Whitecaps fan, but I really hope the club does not make this signing. I have been really dissapointed with club management this year. They seem to have abandoned their long term, grow from within strategy in favor of a “lets act like TFC” strategy. Confusing for the neutral and I imagine the fans are frustrated. Hargreaves would be another bad step.

  14. KNPonder says:

    +1 Let the team take care of it.

  15. PD says:

    can we just get the Cesc thing over with. Start the Arsenal Fire Sale and let’s move on.

  16. DC Josh says:

    “The transfer fee for Pastore is going to be for around $70.1 million.”

    In 5 years, players will be sold for $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

  17. cj says:

    unsportmanlike conduct is illegal

  18. WhiteHart says:

    Doesn’t seem to me that Inter is interested in selling Sneijder, but that hasn’t stopped the price being much lower.

    Same could be said for Modric, Spurs have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want to sell him at any cost, but the initial bid was 22mil.. this for the best playmaker in the EPL?

  19. RK says:

    20 appearances a year? That’s nothing great.

  20. strider says:

    If I were a team that really needed some talent, I would be willing to sign Hargreaves to a pay for play contract, i.e. you get paid based on the # of starts or appearance, or even minutes. Does MLS have the kind of flexibility needed for this kind of contract? However, with that said, putting him on a turf field is NOT a good idea.

  21. Train says:

    do some homeweork before you think he averaged only 20 games a year…almost 2 1/2 seasons were completely lost by injury(knee, broken leg), the start of the decline some might say. 4 of those years he averaged 39 appearances a season. 4 bundesliga titles, 3 german cups, 1 UCL, 1 prem title…not too bad of a pedigree IMO.

  22. Brokenbil says:

    I like the back-heel penalty kick. It was fun to watch. I’m not sure I understand what’s unsportsmanlike about it.

    Let’s remember that sport teams are entertainment businesses and players are performers. What’s wrong with putting on a good show? Besides it would have been hilarious if he missed. Lighten up, people.

  23. JoeW says:

    Hargreave would be a terrible signing for Vancouver. MLS clubs can’t afford to pay maximum coin to players who only play 1/2 or 2/3rds of the season. Part of the reason Angel was originally such a good DP was not just that he scored goals but that he played most of the time (before his body started breaking down). MLS clubs aren’t Real Madrid where the team can afford to have an international star on the reserve side or gamble that someone “might” get healthy.

  24. JoeW says:

    It’s like a GK dribbling out of goal and then trying to dribble the length of the field to score b/c his club has a big lead–it’s a sign of disrespect.

  25. patrick says:

    no, it was for modric, not the best playmaker in the EPL. Lets not forget pastore is 4 years younger than Modric and 5 younger tan sneijder. Age has a LOT to do with it

  26. patrick says:

    yes, but you just pointed out why no one should sign him. 2 1/2 years alone at Bayern with injury problems, and another 3 or 4 years of it at Manchester. The dude’s knees are long gone.

  27. Brokenbil says:

    Disrespect? Since when does that matter in soccer? Players fall to the ground to feign injury in order to win set pieces or con the ref into issuing cards to the opponents. Players constantly look for opportunities to take cheap shots at one another physically and verbally. Players regularly swear at the referee when they disagree with his calls. These actions show complete disrespect for the game. What’s the difference?

  28. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    I assume you’re using Zimbabwean dollars in that calculation?

  29. Paul Dickov says:


  30. WhiteHart says:

    Who would you put ahead of Modric?

    I can think of Scholes and Silva as competition, but ones retiring, and I think Modric gets more out of the players around him than Silva..

    Age certainly has a lot to do with it, but being a proven player in the top league in the world is also very important, and at 25, Modric still has more than a few years left at the top level.

  31. Ian in ATL says:

    Every action you just named is a bookable offense if the referee decides to deem it worthy of a card. Look at the scoreline when that PK was taken (not to mention it was a friendly). It was disrespectful of the opposition and he received a yellow for unsportsmanlike conduct. His coach also subbed him instantly. I don’t think he should receive a suspension but in my opinion it was a classless thing to do.

  32. Dan says:

    Fabregas has most assists in top 5 leagues over the last 5 years so I’d put him as the best. Other thing is Inter and Spurs haven’t sold those players at those prices it’s just what has been bid. Also they the clubs haven’t said sneijder or modric are worth $X like Palermo did.

  33. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    What was “unsporting” about his behavior? He “FOOLED” the keeper by using a cunning maneuver. He did not stop in the run up or do something illegal. GET OVER IT!

  34. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    Kinda funny. But not for Zim.

  35. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    His PK is subject to opinion. I watch soccer to be entertained as do you.

    “Are you not entertained?”

  36. Train says:

    but when healthy he is a very good player is where i was going. i’m not saying the guy needs to get paid big money, but for the right price he is worth a shot. and WBA could really use a healthy OH.

  37. Brokenbil says:

    Eh, whatever, dude. It’s doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. The back heel penalty kick is just comical. Besides, bookable offenses have never discouraged anyone from showing their disrespect for the rules of the game.

    As far a back heels go, I have a bigger problem with Yura Movsisyan’s back heel goal against Chivas USA in the 2008 MLS playoffs. He put his team’s playoff hopes on the line with that stupid, reckless choice. I’m sure Randers wouldn’t have been interested had he missed.

  38. Wolfgang Depner says:

    The current direction of the Whitecaps frustrates me to no end. My complaints center not so much around the results, but the decision-making process. It appears that the ownership/management lurches from one direction into another with giving much thought to the larger whole. Vancouver soccer fans have been pretty patient over the years and are willing to give the team a lot of leeway if they can detect an over-arching concept that builds towards something sustainable. But most of the major decisions are ‘here-and-now’ moves designed to make a PR splash (no pun intended in light of the field fiasco) rather than an impact on the pitch. Vancouver is a hockey town. The Canucks rule everything and it is hard to get attention even during the best of times. But getting a washed up 30-year-old never has been like Hargreave strikes me as the apex of irresponsibility.

  39. John F says:

    I have to agree that the kick had to have been intended as an insult, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call it unsportsmanlike. I think Cristiano Ronaldo’s stop-and-go style of penalty-kicking is far more unsportsmanlike.

    That being said, no one has noted that the goalie was way off his line when the kick was actually taken.

  40. Pete says:

    did you not watch yesterday’s game?

  41. Tant says:

    hargreaves is pure rubbish

  42. Joamiq says:

    There is no one except for the blindest of Arsenal fans who would say that Fabregas was a better playmaker than Modric last season. At the moment he’s the best, hands down.

  43. Leo says:

    Yesterday’s game, totally what matters when the OP has been talking about the long-term strategy of the ownership.

    Summertime friendly tours don’t prove anything except how exuberant your fan base is. Period.

  44. CJ says:

    Plus, it was a meaningless “friendly” match, for crying out loud. What a bunch of maroons.

  45. Vlad says:

    Heargreaves is a rotting shite

  46. Wolfgang Depner says:

    I did not, because a friendly whose run-up damaged the team’s reputation has no bearing on the long-term development of the team does not interest me much. Yes, it is nice to play against a top Euro team. Yes, it is nice to use such games as snap-shot measurements, but what is the purpose of such games leaving aside the finances? The Whitecaps still want presumably to make the playoffs this year. Well, Monday’s game (plus Saturday’s cancellation) made that task that much harder. Barber and Co have bragged about turning the Whitecaps into a global Top 25 team. Well, let us just get MLS right first, before we can talk about such grandiose goals.

  47. jpc says:

    Hargreaves knees playing on the surfaces of the northwest? not a chance

  48. Neruda says:

    The keeper was stunned by the 180 turn around and back heel that he stood there in a shocked catatonic state when he should have blocked the… err kick.

    Brazil should have tried the back heel penalty to try to put at least one away against Paraguay. Same goes for the US Women against Japan.

    It is ironic that with all the pks during this last weekends international games hardly anyone could convert except a guy doing a back heel.

  49. Cholmondeley Warner says:

    A Canadian club signing Hargreaves would be hugely divisive, if the Whitecaps have any sense they’ll steer well clear. On the other hand as a TFC and Canada fan I would love the chance to abuse the pube-head invalid. Although that will also not turn out well either as I’ll be content just hurling abuse but there’s a likelihood things will get out of hand.

  50. solles says:

    “when healthy”? that’s the problem…he hasn’t been healthy for a long time and there’s nothing to indicate the guy can still play at all. Vancouver would be wasting money on Hargreaves, especially as, presumably, he’d be a DP.

  51. sir coble says:

    modric is my favorite player! I wear his jersey every chance I get, but he and fabregas are a little bit different of players. I think modders sprays it around the park better, but fab is more capable of scoring, or playing the perfect through ball.