Photo by Russ Isabella/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman have called Real Salt Lake home since 2007, and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen revealed to radio station ESPN700 on Tuesday night that Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman are close to signing three-year contract extensions with the club. Rimando, 35, and Beckerman, 32, have both become engrained in the club’s culture since arriving eight seasons ago and helped lead RSL to its first MLS Cup title back in 2009.
The two veterans, who partook in their first World Cup with the U.S. Men’s National Team this past summer, are coming off strong seasons at Salt Lake. Rimando posted seven shutouts and made 71 saves in 24 appearances while Beckerman scored three goals and assisted on three others in 28 games. They each started in all the matches they played in.
Additionally, Hansen also said Tuesday night that the club has purchased the rights to Joao Plata in full. Plata, a 22-year-old Ecuadorian international, is close to agreeing to a new five-year contract.
By ADAM TROXTELL
Jose Mourinho’s tradition of winning league and domestic cup doubles is on the line as Chelsea look to book a spot in the English League Cup semifinals.
The Blues head to Derby County for one of two quarterfinal matches on Tuesday. They’ll be looking for a fourth win in five games, while Derby hopes to bounce back after a loss to Middlesbrough over the weekend. Chelsea last won the competition under Mourinho in 2007.
Struggling Southampton travel to League 1 side Sheffield United. The Saints are on a four game-losing streak and will look to the cup for a much needed boost in confidence.
In Germany, Hamburg will look to pull further away from the relegation zone against bottom dwellers Stuttgart. With just one win in their last six, Stuttgart sit bottom on 13 points. League leaders Bayern Munich look to have a straightforward task at home against Freiburg.
In Spain, Barcelona will look to kill off Huesca in the second leg of their Copa del Rey match-up. The Catalans hold a 4-0 aggregate lead. Elsewhere Valencia take a 2-1 lead into their game against Rayo Vallecano.
If you will be watching today’s action, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action.
Photo by Andrew Fielding/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
The deadline came and went, but Major League Soccer is still working on bringing back Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres.
MLS issued a statement via MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday saying that it was continuing to attempt to finalize a deal to have Torres return to the league in 2015. There was a Dec. 15 deadline for the league to sign the 21-year-old Mexican international on a permanent basis after seeing him play on loan for the past season-and-a-half, but that date passed without an agreement in place.
Still, MLS is not giving up in its quest to extend the stay of one of the more promising attackers in CONCACAF.
“Over the past several weeks, MLS has been engaged in discussions with Erick Torres and Chivas de Guadalajara regarding the league’s option to acquire his contract,” read the statement. “Although no agreement has been concluded, these discussions are continuing.”
By ADAM TROXTELL
Tim Howard has decided to go back on his claim that Brad Friedel tried to block his move to England.
Howard issued a statement via Twitter on Tuesday retracting what was written about Friedel in his recently-published autobiography, The Keeper. In it, Howard accused Friedel of refusing to sign a statement supporting a move from MLS in an effort to prevent Howard from signing with Premier League heavyweights Manchester United.
Friedel immediately denied the controversial claim and asked that his former U.S. Men’s National Team teammate apologize.
“Brad takes issue with my characterization of his position and events,” Howard said in the statement. “At the time, I was surprised that Brad would not automatically sign my letter of recommendation, and I took this as an opposition to my application. Brad later explained that he had not in fact opposed my efforts to seek a work permit, either by writing to the (Professional Footballers’ Assocation) or otherwise.
“I have decided to take Brad at his word.”
Photo by John Geliebter/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Sporting Kansas City have said goodbye to several familiar faces this offseason, but do not expect them to add Dom Dwyer to that list. They want to keep him around for the long haul.
According to a report from the Kansas City Star, Sporting KC are close to finalizing a contract extension with Dwyer. The 24-year-old forward still has two years left on his current deal, but the club is keen on rewarding him for his breakout 2014 season with a substantial raise.
Dwyer, who made approximately $92,500 this year, broke the single-season franchise record with 22 goals this year. He finished only behind New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips (27) in the MLS Golden Boot race, and added a tally in the playoffs for Kansas City.
Along with demonstrating his knack for scoring, Dwyer also proved to be very durable. He started 31 of the 33 regular-season matches he appeared in for the club.
Here are more notes from around MLS:
By DAN KARELL
Germany’s plans to host the Euro 2024 tournament are moving full speed ahead.
The German Football Federation (DFB) agreed a deal with the FA to allow Wembley Stadium to host the semifinals and finals of the pan-European Euro 2020, with the idea that Germany would have England’s support to host four years later.
DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said at a press conference on Tuesday morning that Germany’s candidacy would be boosted by the modern stadia in the country, and not needing to build new venues as they did for the 2006 World Cup.
“The most ambitious goal is certainly to bring the European Championship (to Germany) in 2024,” Niersbach said. “The European Championships with its new format has 51 games. This means that we will need ten stadiums. We are of the clear opinion that no new buildings are necessary, so it’s very different than as in 2006. We’re totally optimistic to be the hosts in 2024.”
Germany last hosted the European Championship in 1988 and also hosted the World Cup in 1974. Germany currently has 16 stadia across the country with a capacity of more than 40,000, including Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, and Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday: