MLS Weekly Roundup for February 17th

Three significant new stories were released to MLS supporters this week. The 1st is related to the LA Galaxy, who announced that they’re considering to contract out Lionel Messi. Born in Argentina, Lionel Messi includes the option to leave Barcelona yearly with the end of each season. The latest contract for this professional athlete expires following June 2021, leaving countless outfits in the Premier League and Major League Soccer, negotiating for Messi’s updated contract.

The announcement that Lionel Messi could join the Los Angeles Galaxy Football Club came from Radio Continental. Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the Argentina Head Coach for LA Galaxy, confirmed to this radio channel that they’re interested in this potential contract. It’d follow after Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t adhere to his contract with LA Galaxy, who abruptly left to enter an illegal agreement with AC Milan.

Differences in leagues forced this otherwise illegal action to go unnoticed for punishment. Guillermo wants to avoid this going forward with any other potential famous athletes, with Lionel Messi infamous for his loyalty to new outfits. It should be noted that neither Guillermo Barros Schelotto nor Lionel Messi has begun discussing if he’ll move State-Side following the 2021 MLS Season.

Javier Hernandez Starts Preseason with LA Galaxy

Another announcement regarding the Los Angeles Galaxy Football Club was made this week as well. Representatives with the team confirmed that Javier Hernandez had made his debut preseason appearance on Saturday, February 15th. LA Galaxy competed against the Toronto FC, who dominated over Los Angeles by 2-1 at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

Javier Hernandez was considered one of the best components for the LA Galaxy’s side, with him being the single-player to acquire a goal. When it applies to the Toronto Football Club, two points were achieved through Alejandro Pozuelo and Infunayachi Achara. These points were obtained through the false strategic behaviours implemented by Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The LA Galaxy Football Club competed next week on the 22nd against Chicago Fire FC.

LA Galaxy will have to formulate new strategies to compete for the MLS Championship. Both the Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC are looking to be the best teams in 2020. It’d follow a similar pattern from last season, which works against LA Galaxy, who used to be considered the team outfit in MLS with David Beckham. They’d hope similar popularity with Zlatan, who let down team owners and managers by leaving without any warning.

Top Premier League Scorers

Being ranked as one of the top goal scorers in the Premier League is a prestigious position which is the result of brilliant talent, absolute passion and built upon the foundation of hard work. Therefore the success of Jamie Vardy created quite a stir within the circles of Premier League when this former amateur player forced football legend, Christiano Renaldo, to move one down in the rankings.

This past Sunday saw a match between Leicester City and Newcastle United. The final score was 5-0 in Leicester City’s favour. Two of these five goals came from none other than Jamie Vardy. Vardy’s first goal came from within the box, and the second was a header. These two goals tallied his total amount of goals on 85, which is one more than Renaldo’s record of 84.

Vardy’s new personal record also placed him ahead of Carlos Tevez who was previously in action as a striker for both Manchester United and Man City. Vardy is now also in an even run with two names from Chelsea, Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard. An additional prestige to his achievement is that Vardy who only entered the Premier League at the age of 27 years old, managed his record in 183 games, while it took Renaldo 196 to achieve his career.

His Playing Career

At the age of 16, the now 32-year-old started playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels. After three years for the Steels, he moved on to the Northern Premier League Club, F.C. Halifax during 2010. Here Vardy managed a whopping 25 goals during his first season, and he was hence named the club’s Player’s Player of the Year. Then he spent some time at Fleetwood Town before Leicester took a massive gamble on him. Leicester City paid a record-breaking amount in transfer fees at the time for him totalling at £1 million. This was money which brought a high return on investment though.

Vardy scored 20 goals for the club during his first two seasons playing for them. The 2015-16 season was, however, when he showed his actual value. Vardy excelled under the guidance of the Italian, Claudio Ranieri. During this season Vardy managed 25 goals for Leicester City, moving them into promotion into Premier League. It was also during this season that Ranieri started to describe him as a priceless player and his transfer fee was increased from £2.1 million to £18.8 million. His weekly salary was also adjusted to £80 000 per week.

During 2016, Arsenal made a bid on Vardy of £22 million, a proposal that Vardy rejected. Arsenal couldn’t promise him a place in his position, and their offer was denied, and Leicester came to the table with some improvements to his contract. Vardy’s contract was set to expire in 2019, but Leicester City did the sensible thing and extended his contract once again until 2022.

Liverpool eager for more after cementing Champions League legacy

Liverpool’s success in last season’s Champions League was the culmination of what had been a roller-coaster ride to the final.

The Reds’ 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur was achieved in comfortable fashion, although the road to Madrid had been anything but smooth.

Read on as we look at how Liverpool overcame the odds to lift European club football’s most prestigious trophy and assess their chances of repeating the trick this season.

Epic fightback stuns Barcelona

Liverpool sneaked through the group stage, before comfortably disposing of Bayern Munich and Porto in the first two knockout rounds.

They looked to be on their way out of the competition after losing 3-0 against Barcelona in the first leg of their semi-final tie.

However, they produced a stunning comeback in the reverse fixture to seal a memorable 4-3 aggregate victory.

With Spurs also recovering from a three-goal deficit in their last four tie against Ajax, the final contained two English clubs for the first time since 2008.

Liverpool make it six

The result of the final never looked in doubt from the moment Mohamed Salah put Liverpool ahead from the penalty spot after just two minutes.

Spurs failed to create many chances and on the rare occasions they did break through they found Reds goalkeeper Alisson in fine form.

Divock Origi’s late goal was the icing on the cake for Liverpool in a game that struggled to live up to the drama provided by the semi-finals.

However, with only Real Madrid (13) and AC Milan (7) ahead of them in the list of winners of the competition, Liverpool can rightly claim to be one of Europe’s finest clubs.

Defending the trophy will be tough

Madrid won the Champions League three times in a row between 2016 and 2018, but no other side has retained the trophy since Milan achieved the feat back in 1990.

Liverpool were beaten by Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Napoli during pre-season and will have to play much better when the competition gets underway in September.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has yet to make any major signings this summer and that could hinder their hopes of success this time around.

However, Liverpool proved last season that it is foolish to write them off and they will be eager to make it to through to their third successive Champions League final.

Liverpool Claim Glory at the Champions League Final

None of the Liverpool fans will care too much about the banners that were unfolded in Madrid and the fact that they now look completely outdated. Liverpool managed to claim their sixth star and when the team returns next season, we will undoubtedly see ‘Madrid, 2019’ added to the white, yellow, and red flags that have been flapping from lampposts, hotel windows, and balconies in Spain in memory of Paris, 1981, Wembley, 1978, Rome, 1984 and 1977, and Istanbul, 2005.

Liverpool’s Glorious Victory

For Liverpool, this will be the sixth time in the history of the prestigious football club where they managed to bring back the shiny old pot. Only Real Madrid, with a total of 13 times, and AC Milan, with a total of 7 times, boast with a more superior record when it comes to the Champions League. In the English Premier League, Liverpool has managed to win the tournament more than any of the other clubs combined.

Mohamed Salah will finally understand the feeling of scoring a decisive goal in the biggest soccer tournament Europe has to offer, along with Divock Origi who is now considered the ultimate hero for his club after scoring a phenomenal goal during the 83rd minute of the match. The rewards that come at this level will be so prestigious that Jurgen Klopp and his team won’t be bothered with the fact that they could have performed at a much more sophisticated level.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Pain

As for Tottenham Hotspur, it gave the impression of a breath-taking painting being torn apart. The players in the team along with Mauricio Pochettino will never be able to forget the evening where they had the opportunity to claim the most prestigious trophy in the 137 years since the club’s inception.

They will feel especially hurt that the goalkeeper for Liverpool didn’t make any significant saves until the second half of the match and realized the hard way that there’s no glory in a final while the other team is on the winner’s podium. It must be a genuinely numbing feeling to witness the trophy in all its glory and not being able to hold it in your hands at the end of the night.

Liverpool’s Remarkable Performance

Although Liverpool completely understands how Tottenham felt in the evening, they made 100% sure that they wouldn’t feel like it again. Liverpool had Salah on the field for a more extended period this time around which helped. The Reds were also playing against a club that was 26 points behind them in the Premier League.

Origi was another unlikely hero for the evening that many did not expect, but his goal during the 87th minute was the end of the duel and everything in the stadium, and those watching from around the world, knew it. After Liverpool scored the 2nd goal, it didn’t take long for the club to throw Jurgen Klopp in the air.

How Solskjaer Can Fix Manchester United

The Manchester United manager ripped into each of his players following a horrible 2-0 defeat at home against Cardiff City on the last day of the Premier League, informing them that they were an embarrassment to both themselves and the club. Solskjaer is spot on, but it will necessarily be him that will lose his job if things don’t turn around after an awful 2018/19 season.

Finishing in sixth place, with 32 points behind Manchester City is a complete disgrace for Manchester United. However, the Norwegian has a clear picture of which players are a problem and which players need to stay. He had a total of 6 months to evaluate the team and allowed each of them to prove themselves on the pitch.

Solskjaer as Head Coach

Some are under the impression that it was a huge mistake to make Solskjaer a full-time head coach in March. However, no one said anything when he defeated Paris-Saint Germain during the Champions League two months ago. Unfortunately, Manchester United has been rotten ever since then, and Solskjaer must take some blame. However, there’s loads of credit still left for the head coach, and most of the fans remain on his side.


One huge advantage when he was appointed in March was that he was allowed to plan carefully for next season. He understood that recruitment was a major priority and requested that Mike Phelan become a permanent staff member on his team. Solskjaer’s request came to life after his employers drew up a contract for Mike Phelan last week.

Manchester United’s Plan for 2019/20 Season

Manchester United are well aware of which areas need to be strengthened in the team and the type of footballers the club needs. Solskjaer is planning to get players in early to lift the spirit and hopes in fans around the world. Avoiding the unnecessary mess that was created last year will help too. Manchester United was also taken by surprise when they were informed late that another central midfielder was required on the pitch.

These types of players are complicated to find, especially from now-wealthy clubs, such as Leicester City. If the head coach doesn’t get it right, the club will slip behind the likes of Wolves, Everton, and Leicester.

Manchester United’s recruitment is being monitored very carefully because it previously fell short and turned out to be a disaster. Solskjaer also wants each of his players to be much fitter as well, which is why there have been loads of changes when it comes to his fitness staff too.

Solskjaer is not a puppet or an idiot when it comes to the club and dismissing the necessary team members. He understands that the job will eat him alive if he doesn’t get his players to perform, and he knows he needs to make a few bold moves to get rid of the problematic players in the dressing room. He can make these decisions without hesitating once.

Liverpool and Manchester City Complete a Phenomenal Season

There weren’t any unexpected twists on the last day of the Premier League. Just two of the best clubs that England has ever seen doing precisely what they’ve been doing in every league game in the last couple of months: winning.

Manchester City has managed to accumulate 198 Premier League points out of a possible 228 over the last two seasons. That showcases a level of dominance that has never been seen before in the Premier League, and it offers cause to think when it comes to those that ridiculed the achievements by Pep Guardiola at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Equally impressive is the fact that Manchester City was pushed until the end by the Reds, which is a true statement of the work done by their rivals. Most of us were too focused on the overall storylines that we never stopped to marvel at the work both these managers achieved in the 2018/19 Premier League season. Both individually and collectively as well as in the way they represented their clubs in the campaign. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at each of these clubs.

Manchester City

Manchester City was defeated 2-1 by Newcastle towards the end of January. From there on in, Man City only conceded four goals in the last 14 games. This occurred although Fernandinho only started in 5 of these games even though he is considered irreplaceable when it comes to the defence. Down the field, Pep Guardiola put his trust in two footballers who only a handful would have seen as critical contributors to their victory, one old, one young.

Oleksandr Zinchenko started as a winger but was under the radar for most of last year. However, in the previous 3 months, he was an ever-present left back, which gave the impression that he’d been part of the team for years. Vincent Kompany, a player who was slowed by injuries, seemed to have become a non-playing footballer in the last couple of years.

However, he was a secret weapon in the final weeks, especially when he scored his phenomenal goal while playing against Leicester City. He is one of the reasons why Manchester City lifted the trophy.

Liverpool

Liverpool, on the other hand, only lost one league match the entire season while boasting with the best defensive record within the league. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson as full-backs, along with Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, received loads of praise.

However, has anyone considered Joel Matip? Eighteen months ago, when he suffered from injuries and when van Dijk arrived, he seemed the had fallen behind. However, he joined the starting line-up in January and has been ever-present ever since.

Look at Naby Keita and Fabinho, two wildly expensive players that didn’t do much during the first three months. Klopp worked on them during the season, and both of them played vital roles in midfield.

Vincent Kompany’s Extravagant Goal for Manchester City

There was no way that Vincent Kompany would score a goal from there. His manager knew it, his teammates knew it, and more importantly, the Leicester City players knew it too.

There were only 20 minutes left in a game of cloying tension at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening when Aymeric Laporte passed the ball to Vincent Kompany halfway inside the Leicester half of the field. This is the situation Manchester City was in, the team’s centre-backs were camping on the halfway line, while their forwards were ineffectively clustering around the penalty area. They managed to throw everything at Leicester City without any results.

With a record of 12 consecutive victories that preceded this match, Manchester City only took the lead after the 63rd minute of the game. For Pep Guardiola’s side, this w1as considered uncomfortable and unfamiliar terrain.

Vincent Kompany’s Goal

Kompany decided to kick the ball a couple of feet in front of him. The opposition was in Manchester City’s faces throughout the match, but here, they surprisingly decided to back off due to the identity of the player. Both Hamza Choudhury and Wilfred Ndidi continued to run across the outer edge of the penalty area, while James Maddison decided to stay off. Therefore, Kompany agreed to take another touch before he decided to let the ball fly.

The perfect camera angle to witness the shot was behind Kompany as it provided the best story for his remarkable goal. He managed to strike the ball with his right foot, lifting both his feet off the ground in his effort to get the most out of his shot. The ball travelled high towards the goal, far beyond the capable hands of Kasper Schmeichel, ending up in the top-right corner to give Manchester City the lead.

This was considered a one-in-a-million strike, a wonder goal, and the more you look at it, the more sensational it becomes. This was the first goal for Kompany in more than a year. It also provided his primary goal in the Premier League from outside the box. He hasn’t been able to hit the goalie from outside the penalty area since December 2013.

The Reaction After the Goal

In Manchester City stands, there was a massive explosion of relief and joy. When the cameras focused on the Manchester City manager, Pep was in a messianic pose with his hands towards the sky along with a sea of limbs in the background.

When Pep was asked what he thought before Vincent went for goal, he responded that he didn’t want Kompany to go for the play at all. However, once the ball landed in the back of the net, he stated that it was a sensational goal and was relieved it managed to pass the goalkeeper. This will be the last season for Kompany at Manchester City as his contract comes to an end. However, if this is his good-bye, he certainly did it in style.

Liverpool Claims Victory over Porto in Champions League Quarterfinal


A first leg, by definition, is all about preparing the groundwork for an upcoming fixture. However, the 2-0 victory by Liverpool at Anfield against Porto isn’t just remarkable in relation to the second leg of the Champions League in Portugal, but in relation to Liverpool’s run-in as well. Five matches from the end of a magnificent and potential title-winning Premier League season, Jurgen Klopp somehow realised a brand-new midfield system, including Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, and Fabinho.

The New Midfield of Liverpool

None of the three midfielders have played consistent campaigns. For instance, Fabinho, after he arrived from Ligue 1 and Monaco, struggled initially to get into the Liverpool side due to his fitness levels. He only found his feet after three months of getting used to the system incorporated by Klopp. Keita has primarily been a disappointment since he made the transfer from RB Leipzig, while Jordan Henderson was partially a victim to the improvement of Fabinho where he lost his holding role position to the Brazilian.

However, Friday evening’s come-from-behind win against Southampton came equipped with a Keita equaliser where he burst forward to provide a goal. Then after Salah placed Liverpool in the lead, Jordan Henderson – a substitute with game-changing abilities who injected energy, tenacity, and fright – made his way to the penalty box to provide a remarkable pull-back for Roberto Firmino, sparking celebrations that gave everyone the impression that this is definitely the season for Liverpool.

Then, for the game against Porto in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal, the midfield of Klopp didn’t come with Georginio Wijnaldum, who is the most consistent midfielder for Liverpool this season. It also didn’t feature James Milner, Adam Lallana, or Xherdan Shaqiri. This midfield had Henderson, Keita, and Fabinho that represented the high-pressure triangle of Jurgen Klopp.

During an open match with opportunities on both sides, Liverpool managed to score within 25 minutes of the game, with both Henderson and Keita vital in the two goals. The initial goal was fortunate, with the shot by Keita from the edge of the penalty box being deflected off a player to pass Iker Casillas. The 2nd goal was brilliant. Keita managed to spread the ball from left to right, allowing Henderson to slip the ball between defenders before he placed it in the back of the net.

Henderson, Keita, and Fabinho

Both Henderson and Keita were brilliant in the recent matches they have played. Henderson and Fabinho are undoubtedly the best beneficiaries for Liverpool at the moment, contributing loads of skilful and clever playing tactics to get past defenders in midfield. The most recent victory is Liverpool’s 44th game in this campaign, signalling the first time that the trio played together on the field. If this trio is used again throughout the remainder of the Premier League season and the Champions League campaign, they will have a real chance to bring home some trophies at the end.

How Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Can Finish in the Top 4

The title race for the Premier League between Liverpool and Manchester City is alive and well. However, when you look at the clubs behind them, things are equally compelling in the fight for the top-four places. With just 3 points between Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham, it’s finally possible to make a case as to where each team might end up.

Tottenham Hotspur

The wait is finally over for Tottenham to make their return to White Hart Lane. The stadium has offered a crucial morale boost for the club that is currently struggling after they only made 1 point in the last five games. The 2-0 win against Crystal Palace doesn’t solve the question entirely of how well each player adjusted, but fans are much happier in the great new arena, following two years of travelling from London to Wembley. A place that never honestly felt like home. Tottenham Hotspur also has a relatively easy run going forward. Apart from Manchester City, they can enjoy a few simple home games against Everton, West Ham, Brighton, and Huddersfield along with an away trip to face Bournemouth.

Arsenal

The 2-0 win against Manchester United in March represented the last fixture against a Big 6 club, which means their remaining run is much easier on paper. Arsenal has also managed to collect 16 points in their previous 6 matches. Unai Emery has also managed to get the perfect balance with his team after spending the first half of the season changing and chopping. If things continue down this glorious path, Arsenal will be in the top 4 of the Premier League.

Chelsea

The 3-0 win against Brighton might prove crucial, especially when you consider that Maurizio Sarri’s brand-new changes made a significant impact on the field. Fans of Chelsea remain anti-Sarri. However, the use of Loftus-Cheek and Hudson-Oddi proved very popular on the pitch, giving Chelsea a breath of fresh air going forward. If the club can create a winning streak going forward with new players on the field successfully doing what they need to do, Chelsea can make a significant impact on the top 4 teams in the Premier League.

Manchester United

Manchester United has four matches at home out of 6, with the away games being played against Huddersfield and Everton. There’s also a feel-good atmosphere at Old Trafford, and while the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba haven’t been in the same form, they showcased during the first few months under Solskjaer, the overall improvement on the tenure of Jose Mourinho is very clear. Manchester United are the least favourite team to make it to the Champions League semi-final this year because they are playing against La Liga giants, Barcelona. However, this gives them the perfect opportunity to place all their focus on the remaining Premier League games to ensure they reach the top four.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Proves His Worth at Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently admitted that he wanted to give the best interview possible during his temporary spell as manager for Manchester United. He already managed to do this before his club defeated PSG to advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. However, this incredible victory will surely confirm that he is indeed the perfect man for the permanent role.

Solskjaer can’t do more to prove that he is the man to become the full-time successor at Manchester United after the match against PSG. The 3-1 result and performance being showcased in front of Sir Alex Ferguson, Avram Glazer, and Eric Cantona, it was an evening that felt like an inauguration.

The next time United makes a public announcement, it will be about Solskjaer as the new manager for United. If not, supporters of the team are going to storm the club in protest, and who would blame them?

PSG vs Manchester United

Never before had Manchester United lost a home game in a European tournament. Managing not to qualify for the next round after that. Never before, in a total of 106 attempts, had a football club fought back from a 2-0 defeat at home to progress.

However, Solskjaer’s team, missing a total of 10 senior football players due to injury. Including Paul Pogba as an 11th due to suspension, managed to rewrite the history books while playing in Paris to successfully book a place in the final eight.

To further add to the list of achievements created by Solskjaer, this was the ninth consecutive win for Manchester United, a club record. However, when asked after the match whether he had the permanent position, Solskjaer stated that he is still waiting to hear.

“No, I’m going to keep doing my job to the best of my abilities and see where it takes me,” Solskjaer stated. “It’s been a phenomenal time with the staff and players that I have working with me.

“I will continue to enjoy my job for as long as I have it. I will smile and enjoy it for as long as I can.”

Solskjaer’s Road at Manchester United

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford in December 2018. He answered an SOS from his former club who managed to drift badly off course under Mourinho in the Premier League.

Manchester United was 11 points away from the top 4 teams, and most of the senior players had various issues with Mourinho at the time, especially Paul Pogba. Solskjaer was called by the executive vice-chairman of United, Ed Woodward, to steer the ship back on course. They were salvaging something from the current season while they searched for someone else to take the role.

Mauricio Pochettino was obviously at the top of the list of Woodward. However, Solskjaer managed to restore believe with United supporters, repaired the dressing room that was broken, and placed a smile back on the face of the club.