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 and what is still developing. And, as always, here’s to helping bring you, the Fan, up to speed and Ahead of the Game.
Monday’s News Roundup: Monday Roundup — April 23, 2018
PFD’s MLS Power Rankings — Matchweek 7: In Form — Barnes’ MLS Power Rankings: Matchweek 7
Philadelphia Union Announce “Rivalry Night”
Philadelphia Union, winless and scoreless in their last two matches, have announced “rivalry themed activities” ahead of their Eastern Conference match against D.C. United on Saturday, April 28.
Per the Union’s official website, the club plans to provide a car with United’s emblem on it for fans to smash before the game. Each smash from the fans will benefit the Philadelphia Union Foundation, which provides educational among other opportunities for local children.
It is undoubtedly a must-win fixture for Philadelphia, who currently sit tenth in the East and level on points with D.C. in ninth. Another loss, at home, may move manager Jim Curtin to the hot-seat, if he isn’t sitting on it already.
Union Social Gets … Trashed
Brotherly Game may have beat us with a better headline, but you cannot make this up.
On Tuesday, things went from worse to, well, have a look for yourself. Below is an actual, real, not-make-believe Tweet that was eventually and intelligently deleted by the Union’s social media team. This screen-grab is courtesy of Matt Ralph of tBG.
Of course, teams around the league, specifically the Union’s “rivals,” had a good bit of banter with the Tweet that We The People Podcast host JohnCom would most certainly point to as an example of being “That’s So Union!”
Major League Soccer
CONCACAF Champions League Final Preview
Toronto Football Club are down, but certainly not out.
Tonight, the Canadian outfit will play the second leg of this year’s CONCACAF Champions League Final against Liga MX side Chivas Guadalajara, at the Estadio Akron in Mexico.
After dropping the first leg 2-1, at BMO Field, the Reds will need at least two goals in order to capture their first-ever Champions League title and qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup in December.
Houston Dynamo Acquire United States International
On Monday, Houston Dynamo announced the signing of United States National Team midfielder Luis Gil from Mexican club Queretaro.
Gil, 24, joins the Dynamo on a season-long loan, after the Texan club acquired the American’s rights from Real Salt Lake in exchange for a 2019 SuperDraft selection and “future considerations.”
Gil was a regular for current Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera in the United States’ youth system. He has since been capped twice by the senior National Team.
New United States Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro has promised and “expects” to fill the vacancy at the newly created position of General Manager in “the coming weeks.”
Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart has been confirmed as already been interviewed for the position. In case you missed it, check out Monday’s News Roundup for more: Monday Roundup — April 23, 2018
Stars and Stripes FC: USMNT Weekly Youth Update
All is quiet on the United States Men’s National Team front. For now.
In the meantime, it is always a good time to check up on the progress and growth of the future of the National Team. Here’s how “Baby Nats,” from all over the world, performed for their respective clubs last week, courtesy of our friends at Stars and Stripes FC.
Ronaldinho Takes Jab at Former PSG Manager
Brazilian legend Ronaldinho is in the news recently, after offering both advice and criticisms to current Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.
Speaking with Canal+, Ronaldinho, who currently serves as an ambassador to Spanish super-club FC Barcelona, told Pogba to “respect” his club manager, Jose Mourinho, and to accept the Portuguese coach’s decisions.
However, “Ronnie” took things a step further.
Ronaldinho, 38, then laid into his former manager at French powerhouse Paris Saint Germain, Luis Fernandez, who currently serves as a youth academy sporting director for PSG. Ronaldinho told Canal+ that Fernandez’s opinion was of inferior value to Mourinho’s.
Full quote below:
“It is different — when Jose [Mourinho] tells you that you are going to be on the bench, you must respect that. [Fernandez], not so much.
There is a difference between the two. I think that Paul [Pogba] can really learn a lot from Jose. He is one of the best in world when it comes to coaching. A coach who has won that many titles and possesses that much knowledge has to be respected, really.
In my case, it was more the contrary.”
Fernandez responded to the remarks on Twitter, hitting back at the Brazilian.
Fernandez’s Tweet, translated from French and summed up in English, from where it hurts, suggests that it was Ronaldinho’s lack of fitness, which stunted his growth in joining the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the game’s best.
“His lifestyle stopped him from becoming a Cristiano Ronaldo or a Lionel Messi,” said Fernandez. “To see him like this … he is a mess.”
Who doesn’t enjoy a Twitter spat between two footballing greats?
Liverpool Cult Hero Lucas to Join Fans in Rome
Liverpool fans will notice a familiar face joining them in the away end for their UEFA Champions League Semi-Final fixture against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on May 2.
Cult hero Lucas Leiva is reportedly planning to join the Reds’ faithful in the away section for the second leg of the Semi-Final in Rome.
Leiva, 31, made more than 346 appearances for Liverpool during his 10-year spell in Merseyside. Now, after departing Liverpool last summer for Italian club Lazio, Leiva has told the Reds’ official website that he intends to support his former club.
Full quote below:
“I’m still thinking about it, but I’m hoping I can go to the Liverpool end and watch the game – and maybe take some of my friends and my son.
We still follow Liverpool a lot, we watch every game and I hope they can get to the final.”
Although it remains to be seen if Leiva will actually trade the pitch for the terraces, one thing is certain: the Reds’ cult hero has just further endeared himself to fans ahead of Liverpool’s first appearance in the Champions League Semi-Final since the 2007/2008 season.
Thanks for reading Wednesday’s News Roundup. Check back here, on Friday morning, for the latest happening in The Beautiful Game. Until then, Cheers.