By AARON CRANFORD
Taking advantage of Targeted Allocation Money, the Philadelphia Union announced Wednesday that they had opened their wallet for some Swiss talent.
The Union acquired Tranquillo Barnetta on a free transfer after the 30-year-old had made 30 appearances for Schalke 04 in the 2014-15 Bundesliga season, assisting five and scoring three goals.
The club used TAM, which has helped teams from across MLS bring in additional star talent by allowing each club to use up to $100,000 per year for five years in additional spending money on players outside of the normal salary budget. The Union are not the first team to take advantage of the new rule, as the LA Galaxy were able to bring in Giovani Dos Santos, the Montreal Impact signed Didier Drogba and more have already used TAM to help build their 2015 squad.
“To add a player of Tranquillo’s quality will help us tremendously in what we’re trying to build,” Union technical director Chris Albright said. “He’s a player with a real pedigree who chose to continue his career here in Philadelphia over other options. His experience and leadership will also be a great addition to our group as we push for the playoffs and make a run at The Open Cup.”
Barnetta has made 75 appearances for the Switzerland national team, with his last call-up coming in Oct. 2014. He has been a member of the nation’s last three World Cup runs, including the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Here are some more notes in MLS this Wednesday: Continue reading
BY COLE KELLOGG
Jose Mourinho took Rafa Benitez’s wife to task after her recent comments criticizing the Chelsea manager.
The Special One put Benitez on full blast after her critique. “I think she needs to occupy her time, and if she takes care of her husband’s diet she will have less time to speak about me,” said Mourinho. “The only club where her husband replaced me was at Inter Milan, where in six months he destroyed the best team in Europe at the time.”
Benitez has chosen to not add more fuel to this fire, not engaging reporters when asked about the comments while in China for Real Madrid’s preseason tour.
Benitez’s wife sparked this battle of words in her interview with Spanish newspaper La Region. “We tidy up his messes,” said Maria Benitez on the phenomenon.
The Chelsea manager is known for his ability to work the media, and this outburst is just the latest in a long line of fiery comments made against his opposing managers in world football.
Here are some more news and notes from this Wednesday afternoon: Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
The 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is finally behind us, and it’s a tournament the U.S. Men’s National Team will want to forget, even as its fans continue to search for answers for what went wrong.
Episode 225 of The SBI Show looks back at the tournament, including the U.S. team’s disappointing fourth place finish. We discuss the status of Jurgen Klinsmann, and also discuss the rest of the tournament with Goal.com’s CONCACAF expert, Jon Arnold.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the latest in MLS, from the Week 21 results, to the signings of Didier Drogba and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
This episode of The SBI Show is brought to you by Soccerloco.com, your source for all your soccer apparel and equipment needs.
Give Episode 225 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
By RYAN TOLMICH
After topping Bayern Munich in last season’s mid-summer event, the MLS All-Stars take the field again Wednesday night against Tottenham. (Fox Sports 1, 9 p.m.)
Led by Kaka, Clint Dempsey and David Villa, the MLS All-Star’s will be looking to make it two straight victories against foreign opposition. In their way will be a Tottenham side featuring up and coming star Harry Kane as well as U.S. Men’s National Team speedster DeAndre Yedlin.
SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s final so please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Tonight’s SBI Live Commentary is after the jump):
BY COLE KELLOGG
The all-time leading goal scorer in international soccer has revealed she has no plans to quit the national team before next summer.
Abby Wambach, while speaking on a morning show in her hometown of Rochester, New York, said that she hopes to be a part of the U.S. Women’s National Team that competes in the 2016 Olympics.
“I’m planning on playing next summer in Rio, but I gotta let my body recover, because that’s the other thing about playing on artificial surface,” Wambach said. “Seven games is a lot of games, and it wasn’t a long period of time we were playing over. So my body took some hits, and I’m trying to recover. Continue reading
By COLE KELLOGG
The 2015 MLS All-Star roster has had an astounding amount of turnover in the past week.
Fans of the league were initially up in arms over Don Garber’s inclusion of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, two European superstars who had yet to play in MLS at the time of Garber’s selection, as the Commissioner’s Picks. But both Lampard and Gerrard have since picked up respective injuries and will not be participating on Wednesday.
Also sidelined by injuries are a few of the league’s top-earners in Michael Bradley and Robbie Keane. New England’s Chris Tierney will also be kept out by an injury, while MVP-candidate Sebastian Giovinco has also been ruled out and will be replaced by Toronto FC teammate Jozy Altidore.
The MLS All-Star head coach Pablo Mastroeni has opted to bring in Ethan Finlay, Gyasi Zardes, Dax McCarty, Sam Cronin and Waylon Francis as replacements, as well as Clint Irwin to fill in as the team’s third goalkeeper.
But who will Mastroeni start vs. Tottenham? Here is the MLS All-Star lineup we could see taking the field:
photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Landon Donovan might have been an exceptional penalty-kick taker in his career, but it is that part of the game that got his coaching career off to a losing start.
Club America’s Under-20s won the second MLS Homegrown Game on Tuesday night, defeating the Donovan-led MLS Homegrowns, 6-5, on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes. The shootout at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park went to seven rounds, but Anthony Jackson-Hamel missed on the Homegrowns’ final attempt.
Tommy Thompson scored the first goal in the history of the event in the first half, but the MLS side could not hold on. Tyler Turner conceded a penalty kick in the 67th minute for a push inside the penalty area, and Sergio Rodriguez capitalized on the opportunity by slotting in the ensuing spot kick a minute later.
Club America nearly won it before the end of regulation. Substitute Homegrowns goalkeeper Matt Lampson got just enough of the ball to push a 76th-minute shot off the post, and Victor Rodriguez fired a stinging shot from the right side of the penalty area two minutes before the final whistle that just went wide.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite rumors of record bids, Thomas Muller isn’t going anywhere.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he believes that Muller “will never leave Bayern Munich,” even though the forward has been the subject of numerous rumors this summer. Linked with a move to Manchester United, Muller’s future, Rummenigge says, is at Bayern, a club he signed with until 2019.
“Thomas Muller is not for sale,” Rummenigge said. “I have the feeling that Thomas will never leave FC Bayern. He feels great here. When Thomas retires one day, we’d like to integrate him into the club, if he wants to do.
“We have already accounted for it last year, at that time he had contract for another three years. Ahead of time, we prolonged it for another two years, and increased his salary. The one thing does not rule out the other. Let’s wait and see.”
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Wednesday morning: Continue reading