Happy Saturday, folks. It’s another weekend to celebrate and your favorite European teams should be back in action. Plus, it’s time to get ready for the MLS semifinals, which start Tuesday in Columbus and Houston.
On a personal note, I used a vacation day on Friday simply so I could go see Thor Ragnarok and Justice League and I liked both, so if superhero movies are your thing, you’ll probably enjoy these films like I did. Then I came home and started The Punisher on Netflix, so it was a total comic book nerd day for me. But I was probably more excited about the trailer for Ready Player One than either movie, because I loved that book (and the audiobook voiced by Wil Wheaton) and I can’t wait to see it on the big screen.
But I digress. Let’s get to your Saturday morning links. They’re a little light on the Lion and a bit heavier on the international stuff, but such is the nature of the off-season.
Dempsey ‘At Peace’ with USMNT Legacy
Whether Clint Dempsey’s time with the United States Men’s National Team has come to an end is anyone’s guess. After all, we don’t have a new full-time manager yet. But if Deuce is done, he said he’s OK with what he’s accomplished to this point.
“We’ll see what happens,” Dempsey said about his future with the USMNT. “In terms of what I’ve been able to accomplish with the national team, I’m at peace with that. But it’s not really about me, it’s about the group of guys they want to have moving forward. If I can play a role in trying to help, well then yeah if I’m feeling good and I’m playing well, you’ll never say no. But if the call never comes, I’m still happy, still at peace, and I’ll focus on being here and the time I have left.”
As ready as I am for the future, it would still make me sad if I never saw Dempsey represent the U.S. again.
Josh Sargent’s Dad Talks About the U.S. Wunderkind
What does it take to turn a kid into the kind of soccer player who can get a USMNT call up at age 17? FourFourTwo spoke with Josh Sargent’s dad about how things all came together for the young phenom. Jeff Sargent said Josh pretty much did it all by himself.
“Probably more than I would even want him to – I know some parents push their kids a lot, and I never had to push him. He was always getting me off the couch and making me go out and play with him. He was just that kind of kid. That’s something that was in Josh. I didn’t give that to him. He had that.”
It’s a good read, so give Charles Boehm a click and check it out.
Best MLS Goals of 2017
The “best of” content rolls on over at the MLS website. If you didn’t catch it, they assembled a video of every team’s best goal of the year. For Orlando City, they chose Kaká’s strike from distance at Atlanta. But if you watch the video, you’ll want to skip past the first two teams’ goals of the 2017 campaign, because they both came against the Lions. Why does everyone save their best for us? The world may never know.
Another Blow to the NASL
Miami FC Head Coach Alessandro Nesta stepped down after two years with the South Florida club yesterday. You may recall a very unpleasant night of U.S. Open Cup action at Orlando City Stadium earlier this year. Nesta was the architect of dumping Orlando from the tournament. Now he’s moving on, saying “I’m ready for a new challenge.” Maybe that challenge will be a bit more stable with another league that isn’t losing teams.
- Landon Donovan sat down with Andrew Wiebe for a talk about the USMNT’s qualifying failure. Among other interesting things, Donovan said watching the team getting eliminated felt worse than getting left off the World Cup roster.
- A complete look at all the MLS players who are in play for the World Cup.
- The mayor of Cincinnati’s big play to keep the city’s soccer specific stadium on the Ohio side of the river would give ownership of the facility to the public. The team would lease it from the public.
- Test your soccer knowledge: real English team or recurrently generated by a computer?
- Could Laura Harvey be back in the NWSL as early as next season?
- Vancouver Whitecaps 2 folded and the MLS side has affiliated with Fresno FC.
- Those born on this date include astronaut Alan Shepard (1923), Castle actress Susan Sullivan (1942), science fiction author Alan Dean Foster (1946), football’s Jack Tatum (1948), Scorpions drummer Herman ‘Ze German’ Rarebell (1949), Quiet Riot/Ozzy Osbourne bassist Rudy Sarzo (1950), former SNL actor Kevin Nealon (1953), football’s Warren Moon (1956), Doctor Who and Sherlock producer Steven Moffatt (1961), Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett (1962), Manchester United goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel (1963), baseball’s Gary Sheffield (1968), Owen Wilson (1968), David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz (1975), NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin (1980), and Fargo (TV version) actress Allison Tolman (1981).
That’s all my time for this fine Saturday morning. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!