One day after the U.S. men's national team took over Red Bull Arena, an MLS franchise—New York City FC—took back the headlines with a huge signing of a huge talent. Nick Kariuki reports on that and more.
June 03, 2014
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The David Villa Thing
New York City FC announced Monday that the club has signed David Villa on a free transfer from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid. The 32-year-old Spaniard will be the club's first player.
Fresh off of helping Atletico to its first title in 18 years, the World Cup winner will wear his signature No. 7 jersey and has signed on for a three-year deal. Villa made this statement on the club's website: “I want to try and help MLS continue to grow, through playing, working hard, scoring goals and at the same time try to make New York City FC become the best team in the league. It's a real honor that the people who have formed the club have focused their attention on me. I'm keen to do the best I can, take on board that extra responsibility and prove my worth by repaying the confidence they have shown in me.”
For an interview with the next big name in MLS, click here
England vice-captain and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is also reportedly on NYCFC 's radar. The Guardian
reported yesterday that Lampard and his representative were in New York City to talk with new franchise about a long-term deal.
Both players have made their respective World Cup squads and will possibly have to work out some arrangement that keeps them playing club football somewhere else before NYCFC's spring 2015 kick-off.
THE GAME YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN
The 4-3 thriller between the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps kept with the form that we’ve come to expect from a Cascadia Cup fixture.
The scoring was opened by Maximiliano Urruti in the 3rd minute with a shot from the top of the box.
Vancouver levelled and then went ahead with two penalty kicks from Pedro Morales in the 16th and 26th minute.
Erik Hurtado scored next for the visitors in the stoppage time by bungling over a rebounded shot which Donovan Ricketts could only parry.
After the break, Vancouver made it four when Jordan Harvey took down a cross from Morales and struck the ball across Ricketts and into the bottom right-hand corner.
The Timbers started to mount a late comeback in the 77th minute with a headed goal by Gastón Fernández.
Fanendo Adi then juggled the ball in the box to provide Will Johnson with a great setup. If there was an Assist of the Week in this roundup, I’d have this penciled in as my pick of the season.
The three Cascadia Cup fixtures this season have already yielded 19 goals. The season average when three teams have competed for the title is 22 goals so it’s worth marking in the next one on your calendar. Vancouver next host the Seattle Sounders on July 5.
GOALS OF THE WEEK
I’m going to give this week’s top goal to Fabian Espindola for his effort in D.C. United’s 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. Whether it was a cheeky curling chip or an overcooked cross, the Argentine forward’s ball over a wrong-footed Eric Kronberg will certainly be the most talked about goal from the weekend:
The honorable mentions go to San Jose’s Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi with a swerving strike from distance in Saturday’s 2-1 win over FC Dallas:
And Marco Pappa’s whipping free kick for the Sounders 4-0 rout over Real Salt Lake on Saturday:
The Portland-Vancouver game was just one of many exciting conference head-to-heads the past week. Saturday’s 4-0 victory for the Seattle Sounders over Real Salt Lake pitted first against second in the league. With the loss, Real Salt could only tie the MLS record for a longest unbeaten start to a season at 12 games.
D.C. United’s 1-0 win over Sporting KC pitted second versus third in the Eastern Conference. SKC’s winless streak is now at five.
With five straight wins going into Saturday’s tie with the basement-dwelling Montreal Impact, the New England Revolution was probably expecting more of a pushover than they got. Goals from Andrés Romero and Jack McInerney gave Montreal its first win in four games.
Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union both needed to turn around the poor run of form each side was going through. A brace from Conor Casey and one controversial goal from Cristian Maidana gave the Union a 3-0 win and a much-needed three points. I’ll leave the great and the bemusing below:
STANDINGS AND STATS
Despite losing 2-0 to the bottom-placed Montreal Impact, the New England Revolution remain at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. D.C. United’s win against Sporting KC allowed it to leap-frog the reigning champs into second place.
With the side’s win, the Sounders extended its lead in the both the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings
Bradley Wright-Phillips took the outright lead in the goal-scorers rankings with 11 goals. A goal-scorer is only as good as his service, and Wright-Phillips couldn’t ask for better. Teammate Thierry Henry has provided assists for five of the Englishman’s tallies, with Lloyd Sam following with three penalty kicks created.
Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri joins Seattle’s Obafemi Martins at the head the the assists leaderboard with 6 this season.
OTHER NEWS AND EVENTS
Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins earned his 50th MLS clean sheet against New England. Before the weekend Perkins was averaging two goals conceded per game in the first 11 games, so this milestone probably will come with some extra relief for him.
Against the Union Dan Kennedy tied the Chivas USA club record for appearances. The goalkeeper now has 123 games played, tied with Jonathan Bornstein and Francisco Medoza. In the same game Kennedy was also strangely called for the the first six-second delay of game during regular time that I can remember.
On Sunday Landon Donovan was on the score sheet again, thumping a low cross from Robbie Rogers into the roof of the net for the net for the Galaxy’s equalizer against the Chicago Fire. His season total is now at three. Check out the goal here:
With seven goals in its last two games, it’s safe to say that the Colorado Rapids have found its scoring boots this season. The Rapids are on a two-game win streak and next host Chicago this Wednesday.
Dallas’ loss to San Jose puts the team at six losses and no wins in its last eight match. This Saturday the side will face the Rapids for Colorado’s second game of the upcoming week.
Nick Kariuki writes both the ASN Injury Report and the MLS Roundup every week. Follow him on Twitter.