A Potential Strike Partner for Rooney


(Image credit)

Manchester United, who finished fourth in the English Premier League last season, has signed Netherlands international Memphis Depay this summer, but with Robin van Persie now at Fenerbahce and Radamel Falcao at Chelsea on a season-long loan, the search for a top striker is one of manager Louis van Gaal’s priorities.

Wayne Rooney will be the only first-team striker left from last season’s team when the EPL starts next month. So, United must buy someone to partner Rooney up front. With almost unlimited resources, United can pick and choose from the world’s top talent. Here are three logical choices that could help out Rooney next season:

Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur
Kane, who’s valued at about 45 million pounds, had a breakthrough season last year, which is why United is interested in him. Van Gaal would get a homegrown talent with the potential to lead the line after Rooney retires or even leaves the club.

Signing Kane would be a risk, but it is one United can afford to take, and, after he scored 33 goals last season, he would gel with Rooney easily.

Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain
Cavani, a Uruguay international, has long been linked with Europe’s top clubs after making it clear that he wants a more central role in attack. He might be a little bit easier to sign, but PSG will want most of the 55.6 million pound transfer fee it paid Napoli back in 2013.

Cavani, 28, has a proven scoring record in Italy and France, but concerns remain over his ability to produce in big games. He disappointed in the most recent Copa America.

Karim Benzema, Real Madrid
United reportedly asked about Benzema last month and Madrid said he wasn’t for sale. But with newly-hired manager Rafa Benitez bringing in his own ideas, Benzema might be able to force a switch away from Spain. Benitez wants to put Cristiano Ronaldo as the team’s main striker, which might open up an option for Benzema to leave for United for 40 million pounds.

He played with Angel Di Maria at Madrid and the pair could link up again to help reignite Di Maria’s form after a poor first season at Manchester United.

Posted in Bez Saciri, English Premier League | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Preview: Saturday’s Spirited NWSL Match


(Image credit)

Seattle Reign (6-2-3, 21 points)
Washington Spirit (5-4-2, 17 points)
Saturday, July 18, 2015, 7:00pm ET
Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex
Boyds, MD
NWSL YouTube Channel (Live Stream)

by Philip Tacason

Saturday, the Seattle Reign (6-2-3, 21 points) will face the Washington Spirit (5-4-2, 17 points) for the second time this season. Aided by the afterglow of the Women’s World Cup, the host Spirit expect a sellout crowd at Maureen Hendricks Field in Germantown, MD.

Most of the two teams’ World Cup participants, however, will not play in Saturday’s match. The Reign have announced that both Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe will not take the field until next week at the earliest. On the other side, the Spirit have confirmed that Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger will be in uniform at the game, but neither will see any playing time.

Washington midfielder Diana Matheson, who returned on Tuesday from her World Cup duties with the Canadian National Team, is expected to be in uniform and available for the Spirit.

The first match-up between these two teams was won by the Reign at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium on May 2. The Reign, backed by goals from Beverly Yanez, Merritt Mathias, and Jessica Fishlock, won by a score of 3-1.

The Reign will enter the weekend riding an eight-game unbeaten streak, and having won four of their last five. They took first place in the league with last Saturday’s 4-2 win over WNY Flash, only to be overtaken by the Chicago Red Stars the following day.

The Spirit are coming off a 3-0 loss to FC Kansas City on July 3. They have since dropped to fourth in the league table and will be looking to recover some momentum for the rest of the playoff stretch.

Keys to the Game

Seattle – Break away early

The aggressive Seattle offense has carried them through their eight-game unbeaten streak, and a solid performance Saturday can extend it to nine. If the trio of Yanez, Fishlock, and reigning NWSL MVP Kim Little can lead the attack and put early pressure on the Washington defense, the Reign can take a multiple-goal lead and quiet the crowd.

From that point, the Reign can control the match with their defense – one of the most steady and consistent in the league.

Washington – Finish well, finish often

The Spirit had no shortage of scoring opportunities in the two teams’ last encounter. Washington took fourteen shots but salvaged only one goal in the 3-1 loss. Several of those shots – including two by Christine Nairn and Crystal Dunn – could have found the back of the net but were slightly off-target.

If Nairn and Dunn can finish drives and find the back of the net – which they have both shown they are very capable of – they will keep the Spirit in the game and give them a chance to upset the defending champions.


Posted in Guest, NWSL/WPS | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment