29
Jul

Is New York City FC the best five-a-side team in the Big Apple?

Jacobson (R) becomes NYCFC’s fifth player on the roster. (Image: USA Today)

New York City FC acquired FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson by trade on Tuesday. The expansion side shipped the modest price of a 2016 third-round draft pick to FCD in exchange for the 28-year-old holding player.

As far as transactions go, this swap warrants little more than a footnote for a team still months away from taking the field. NYCFC’s reaction to the deal, however, is quite a bit more notable. 

In response to the swoop for Jacobson, NYCFC boasted about the strength of its five-man roster to the shock and horror of basketball teams and indoor sides everywhere.

Andrew becomes the second midfielder signed to the club after Frank Lampard made the move form Chelsea last week. Spanish striker David Villa, goalkeeper Josh Saunders, and defender Jeb Brovsky fill the remaining spaces in what must currently be New York’s best five-a-side team.

The statement isn’t as rash as it sounds. Times are tough for both New York basketball teams. Carmelo Anthony stayed with the Knicks this summer, but they are hardly Eastern Conference contenders given the weak supporting cast surrounding him. Brooklyn is paying the luxury tax from now until eternity without any flexibility to reinforce an aging team with little real chance to win the NBA title.

Serious questions quickly emerged. Is Melo a better scoring option than the combined strengths of Frank Lampard and David Villa? Can Jeb Brovsky or Josh Saunders repel Joe Johnson’s threat from deep? Will 

These are the dilemma NYCFC asked us to ponder. The only problem: Jacobson quickly joined Brovsky and Saunders by securing a loan deal to fill the time before training camp. So much for the pickup game at Pier 40 to settle the matter, then.

29
Jul

Leroy Fer destroys dance floor at his own wedding

Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer got married over the weekend to long-time girlfriend Xenia Schipaanboord, and the pair then set the dance floor on fire with an impressively synchronized, not-so-traditional first dance.

Set to the romantic tune of Chris Brown’s These H*** Ain’t Loyal, watch these newlyweds entertain their guests with some dirty dancing:

Fer played for the Netherlands at this summer’s World Cup, but with moves like that you could easily mistake him for a Colombian!

Via Daily Mirror

29
Jul

Carles Puyol seems to be enjoying his retirement so far

If you ever wondered what retired professional soccer players do when they go on vacation with their stunning WAGs, maybe these posts from Carles Puyol’s girlfriend Vanesa Lorenzo will shed some light.

Apparently, some highly advanced hotel room yoga is on the agenda:

Perfect balance…

OK, now we’re slowly approaching Sarah Marshall-Aldous Snow territory…. (Come on, you can see it!)

Enjoy retirement, Carles! We’re sure you will.

29
Jul

Summer transfer market summed up in one Venn diagram

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The above Venn diagram from the good folks over at The Telegraph perfectly sums up the 2014 transfer season (what is left of it, anyway).

As you can see, the shopping window always consists of three types of players: those who desperately want out of their current club, those who don’t but are hot commodities, and the unfortunate ones who have no choice.

Oh, and then there’s poor Nicklas Bendtner, who deserves his own category!

29
Jul

Ashley Cole the odd man out in Roma team picture

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Ashely Cole seems to be fitting in splendidly with new club AS Roma.

The long-time Premier League defender made the bold move out of England this summer to join the reigning Serie A runners-up, and based on this team picture from their United States tour, it looks like Cole’s having a bit of a tough time making new friends!

Take it away, Celine …

Image via The Equaliser

28
Jul

Ronaldinho leaves Atletico Mineiro, is now a free agent

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Former ‘best player in the world’ Ronaldinho is unemployed.

The 34-year-old announced on Monday that he is leaving Atletico Mineiro by mutual consent, and is due to give a press conference on Wednesday to announce his future plans.

Atletico coach Levir Culpi confirmed the news speaking with SporTV.

"I can’t call on Ronaldinho anymore. His cycle with us has ended. It’s unfortunate because he’s an idol to all of us. Everyone loves his football, the way he plays and he’s a very charismatic person," Culpi said.

"But that’s the way it goes. He’s leaving and we must move on without him."

The former Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion scored 28 goals in 88 games with Mineiro, and helped them win their first ever Copa Libertadores title last season. Ronaldinho’s contract with the Belo Horizonte club was set to expire at the end of this year.

While you can now officialy start day-dreaming about Ronaldinho joining Major League Soccer, take in some of his greatest moments at Mineiro:

H/T Goal.com

28
Jul

Southampton coach Ronald Koeman posts pic of empty training ground

image"Where did all my players go?" (Reuters Image)

In case you haven’t noticed, Southampton’s roster is thinning by the day.

Since achieving their best-ever finish in the Premier League last season (8th place), the Saints have lost all three of their England internationals and biggest stars - top scorer Rickie Lambert, captain Adam Lallana and prized left back Luke Shaw - as well as key contributors Dejan Lovren and top talent Calum Chambers. Oh, they lost manager Mauricio Pochettino as well, to league rival Spurs. (And the exodus could get worse; Tottenham are reportedly interested in re-uniting Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin with Pochettino).

So when current manager Ronald Koeman posted this picture on Twitter earlier today, you’d be forgiven to think the Dutchman was making light of the dire situation the club is in:

Hey, at least they’re not Blackpool!

28
Jul

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores ridiculous, flying back-heel goal

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The World Cup was fantastic and all, but you can’t deny that you’ve missed Zlatan.

Luckily, with everyone gearing up for the new European season, we’re starting to see Zlatan do Zlatan things again, like insane back-heel goals:

We already feel bad for his Ligue 1 opponents…

H/T Pies