News Roundup

Monday Roundup — March 12, 2018

News Roundups are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning with quick hits on what you may have missed and what is still to come in The Beautiful Game.

Here’s what you may have missed, what is developing, and what is still to come. Here’s to helping bring you, the fan, up to speed, Ahead of the Game, and most importantly, get you through your Monday.

Philadelphia Union 

Jim Curtin’s side was off from MLS action this past weekend. Philadelphia (1-0-0) returns to play this Saturday, March 17, when the club welcomes Columbus Crew SC (2-0-0) to Talen Energy Stadium.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, where we’ll provide updates on the team’s training schedule for the week, including live Tweets from Curtin’s weekly press conference.

Accam Pledges Portion of Salary 

David Accam was one of the Union’s biggest offseason acquisitions, and fans are certainly hoping the Ghanaian will pay it forward on the pitch sooner rather than later. Accam is already giving back off the field, however, as the Ghanaian is pledging portion of his total salary to underprivileged kids in his home country.

Accam is donating one percent of his total salary on behalf of Common Goal, a charity started by Manchester United’s Juan Mata. Accam is the first African to join the charity, which is comprised of soccer players donating portions of their salaries to underprivileged communities around the world.

Major League Soccer

NYCFC Host 24-Hour Game

Several MLS teams and their fans have been restless, anxiously awaiting their home openers.

Ahead of their home opener on Sunday, New York City FC hosted a 24-hour soccer marathon known as Soccer Never Sleeps, which was held at the Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Soccer Never Sleeps featured a marquee match between Team David Villa and Team Patrick Vieira, both comprised of hundreds of NYCFC fans. The grueling 24-hour match kicked off Friday and concluded Saturday afternoon.

LAFC Rout RSL

Away from home, in just their second match, Bob Bradley’s Los Angeles outfit followed up an impressive away victory in Seattle with a 5-1 thumping of Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Mexican international Carlos Vela recorded his first career MLS goal, while young, Uruguayan Designated Player Diego Rossi struck again (and again) bagging a brace on the day.

Edwards Stunning Volley Against Columbus

Presented without comment. Just watch (Goal at the 2:50 mark).

Columbus continued their unbeaten start to the season, while the club’s newest signing and United States international Gyasi Zardes added two more goals to his name.

US Soccer

According to former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the joint North American bid to bring the 2026 World Cup to Canada, the United States, and Mexico is in danger of falling apart and losing out to Morocco.

Last week, former United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati stepped down as chairman of the United Bid Committee, which is working to bring the World Cup to North American in 2026.

Blatter says the departure of Gulati, the most senior American to have served in FIFA’s executive committee [under Blatter], gives the impression that the United Bid Committee is “afraid.”

“They give the impression that they are not any longer very sure that they will win, that’s my impression,” Blatter said on Thursday. “But I don’t know why they are afraid.”

Under Blatter’s leadership, FIFA has typically preferred single-nation World Cup hosts over joint bids.

According to sources close to ESPN, multiple high-ranking football executives within FIFA claim the United States-led bid to host the Summer games in ’26 is divided, with some estimates claiming Morocco are the favorites to secure the tournament.

Global 

West Ham Fans: “We’re not West Ham anymore”  

Things quickly went South in East London.

On Saturday, West Ham United were “hammered” three to nil by visiting Burnley. The Clarets now sit comfortably in seventh in the Premier League table.

Hammers’ fans added to the on-field humiliation by storming the Olympic Stadium pitch, interrupting Saturday’s match on multiple occasions. The pitch invasions were just one of the many ways fans voiced their displeasure with their club’s board.

Check the state of West Ham.

Mertesacker: “I would rather sit on the bench” Than Play for Arsenal 

Per Mertesacker has opened up about the pressure he feels to perform well on matchday.

According to Mertesacker, who has plans to venture into football management, beginning with Arsenal’s academy, the German’s prematch nerves stir anxious thoughts that bring the World Cup veteran close to vomiting.

Here’s the full quote from Arsenal’s BFG:

“Some days you realize that everything is a burden, both physically and mentally… but you have to deliver without a doubt, even if you are injured. In the moments before a game starts, my stomach turns around as if I had to vomit. Then I have to choke so violently until my eyes water.”

Cech Earns 200th Career Clean Sheet, Ozil Breaks Cantona’s Assist Record

Arsene Wenger has been under flak as of late, after a slew of poor results for the Gunners, including the most recent: a 2-1 defeat away to Premier League new boys Brighton and Hove Albion.

But then again, when isn’t the Frenchman feeling the heat from Gooners.

Sunday saw the Gunners return to form in a comfortable three-nil victory over Watford. A dominant performance at The Emirates was capped off with record-breaking performances from both Petr Cech and Mesut Ozil. 

Cech recorded his 200th career Premier League clean-sheet, while Ozil broke Manchester United legend Eric Cantona’s record for the fastest to reach 50 assists. Ozil became the fastest player in Premier League history to reach 50 assists (141 games), breaking Cantona’s previous record (143 games).

Thanks for reading Monday’s News Roundup. Check back here, on Wednesday morning, for the latest happening in The Beautiful Game. Cheers.

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