Exciting French youngster wanted by MLS clubs

Antoine Kisaku is a transfer target for MLS sides LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact, with the young winger impressing at Marseille’s youth level.

The 18-year-old plays for Olympique Marseille U19’s, and has made four appearances in the UEFA Youth League this season, scoring twice.

French journalist Cyril Olivès has revealed that the left-winger is being targeted by both the Galaxy and the Impact, who are thought to be interested in securing the services of the promising Frenchman this summer.

LA could do with a youthful injection into their side, as the attacking talents of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan have a combine age of 65 now.

Kisaku could add a spark to the side, but he is relatively unknown, having played just 265 minutes in the UEFA Youth League.

He scored in matches against Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund, and is thought to be an exciting talent.

A move to Montreal may appear more likely, as the French-speaking City would make Kisaku feel more at home with his surroundings.

The Impact are desperate for an exciting talent to join the side and give supporters real hope about the future, and the 18-year-old could be that man.

Advertisements

LA Galaxy finally get a win, but what did we learn in their victory against FC Dallas?

FC Dallas travelled to LA on Wednesday night and were confined to a 2-1 defeat as the Galaxy ended their run of four games without a win. Here are a few things we learnt from this result:

1. Feed Robbie Keane and he will score.

As we said in our recent podcast, the Galaxy has to get the ball to Keane, especially in the absence of Landon Donovan, who is likely off to the World Cup, and it is down to ‘Keano’ to get the goals.

The Irishman scored his sixth of the season last night, and it is already a contender for goal of the week as he beat two defenders before planting the ball the in the top corner.

Embed from Getty Images

(Photo: Keane celebrating after his brilliant goal last night)

2. Fabian Castillo is dangerous.

The 21 year-old Dallas winger has pace to burn and will cause fullbacks problems all season. He will however, need someone to get on the end of his inviting crosses, which means his teammates will have to keep up with him!

He is a similar player to Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon or Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, as Castillo has impressive acceleration which can leave defenders for dead, and his opponents will struggle even more if he were to adapt by cutting in and shooting more often.

Castillo is one to watch for Dallas!

 

3. Dallas need to change it up.

Without a win in six after last night, it must be time to revert back to basics. Too many times the ball would be launched up field, but would not stick.

Dallas needs to go with a strike partnership up top and spend more time in the opponents half, which is difficult with the number of injuries but they just need bodies going forward.

Embed from Getty Images

(Photo: Fabian Castillo needs support up top for FC Dallas)

 

4. Juninho can hold the fort till Donovan returns.

As mentioned before, Landon Donovan is away with the USMNT and as such, the Galaxy midfield is missing a lot of experience.

However, in Juninho they have a defensive midfielder who can direct attacks and shield a defence that has been below par this season.

 

5. Omar Gonzalez could not come back sooner.

Like Donovan, Gonzalez is being missed in LA. The defending hasn’t been good enough and they need their star centre-half back as soon as possible.

With the Galaxy expected to push on for a playoff berth, LA will need Gonzalez back to stabilise the defence.

 

Highlights via MLS on YouTube:

England’s golden generation to head Stateside?

With three of England’s most experienced talents possibly heading to MLS, we take a look at where their talents would be best suited.

England’s golden generation has passed, and with the new crop of players coming through, there is no need for the likes of Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard or Rio Ferdinand to stay in England.

The money is in England with these three veterans still demanding a high wage bill, however, with the expansion teams planned in MLS there will be a need to promote the new franchises.

And what better way to promote a new team than to have a 100-cap England international on the roster.

When David Beckham joined LA Galaxy in 2007 many viewed it as a transfer for purely commercial gain. However, ‘Goldenballs’ inspired the Galaxy to two titles in 2011 and 2012.

The signing of Beckham prompted a complete re-branding of the franchise in 2007 and also Major League Soccer, as he spearheaded an MLS popularity boost. Could Ferdinand, Lampard and Cole do the same with other franchises across the league?

The only problem lies in that all three are linked with the New York Red Bulls, and they only have one designated player spot left.

This is where I think each player would thrive the most:

Rio Ferdinand: New York Red Bulls

Ferdinand is the favourite for the New York move as the Red Bulls are desperate for a solid centre-back.

The 35-year-old would sure up the defence of the Red Bulls and provide direction for the all-out attacking force they have at their disposal.

Embed from Getty Images

(Photo: “On my way” – Ferdinand looks set to join MLS this summer and would be perfect in New York with the Red Bulls)

Ashley Cole: New England Revolution

Cole would be another good addition for the Red Bulls, but ‘Rio’ should be their priority.

Cole would be more suited for the New England Revolution, who have only filled one designated player slot, and the Chelsea defender could keep them on track for success this season.

Embed from Getty Images

(Photo: Ashley Cole could still make the move across the Atlantic and New England would be a good fit for the left-back)

Frank Lampard: Montreal Impact

Frank Lampard is a tricky one as not many teams would want to take on a central midfielder that’s 36 next month.

However, if he were to head Stateside, he would surely play in his usual advanced role and sit behind a striker.

Montreal Impact are desperate for goals this season and a name like Lampard’s would strike fear into opposition, while ‘Lamps’ has also expressed an interest in playing for Beckham’s proposed Miami franchise, though this will surely come too late for the midfield veteran.

(Photo: Lampard’s future is still undecided, and could be another to head out to the US this summer)

Preview: LA Galaxy and FC Dallas look to stop the rot in tonights meeting

LA Galaxy host FC Dallas in the late game on Wednesday night at the StubHub Center as both sides look to end poor winless streaks.

The Galaxy are without a win in four, and Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Dynamo means they have only scored one in their past three games.

They are missing Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, who are with the USMNT’s training camp but Robbie Keane should feature for LA in tonights match.

FC Dallas are on a five-game winless run, and their 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at the weekend ended a run of four losses in a row.

They started the season so well, but are now really struggling and injuries to key players isn’t making their task any easier.

Mauro Diaz will be out for a lengthy period, and midfielder Hendry Thomas is also expected to miss around six weeks too.

Dallas still sit in third in the Western Conference on 17 points, eight higher than bottom placed LA, who have played four games less.

Tonight’s game should be a tight contest as neither side can afford to lose, and Dallas will look to soak up pressure and counter-attack through the pace of Fabian Castillo.

The Galaxy are playing just their third home game of the season, and will relish the prospect of playing in front of their own fans after four consecutive away matches.

They will need to start taking their chances, they have scored just eight goals in eight games and have a chance conversion rate of just 5%. A shocking statistic when they have Robbie Keane up front.

Embed from Getty Images

(Photo: Robbie Keane will want to add to his 5 goals in tonight’s meeting)

Keane started behind Rob Friend and Samuel on Saturday, but he will need to feature as the striker tonight if the Galaxy want to get goals, and they should as Dallas have not kept a clean-sheet all season.

Both sides play again at the weekend, and will want to take maximum points from the double gameweek, though it’s a tough task for Dallas who travel to Real Salt Lake on Sunday. LA have another home game against Philadelphia and a good opportunity to push up the table.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – Dallas will need him to break quickly whenever they have the opportunity, as they will look to soak up pressure from LA all night.

Key Statistic: LA Galaxy have scored from just 5% of their chances created so far this season.

Prediction: LA Galaxy 2-0 FC Dallas

MLS: 5 key takeaways from week 11

It was another dramatic weekend of Major League Soccer action, and despite key players from several teams absent at World Cup training camps, the quality of the league still shone through. There were 28 goals in the nine matches this weekend, here are our key takeaways from the action:

 

1. World Cup snubs inspire strikers.

Jermain Defoe, Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins all scored this weekend, the perfect response to their World Cup snubs with their National teams. They would have all be extremely disappointed not to have made their 23-man squads for Brazil, but reacted in the best way possible by netting goals immediately. All three of them will need to continue to score the goals and boost their clubs chances, while showing their National managers exactly what they’re missing out on.

Embed from Getty Images

 

2. New England are unstoppable in attack.

The Revs scored five goals for the second consecutive week, as they beat the Philadelphia Union 5-3 to record their first ever win at PPL Park. Their attacking force is playing some excellent stuff, and they counter-attack teams perfectly now. Patrick Mullins got his third in as many weeks, and he is spearheading the devastating offence, with Teal Bunbury and Diego Fagundez constant threats behind. Check out our full review here.

 

3. Argentinian’s and Portland is a good match.

Four Argentinian players starred in the dramatic 3-3 draw between the Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew in Portland on Saturday night, with three of them getting on the scoresheet. Federico Higuain was the standout performer as he scored twice and got one assist for Columbus, including a sensational lobbed effort that looped into the back of the net.

Portland saw Maximiliano Urruti open the scoring, with Gaston Fernandez netting a late goal to secure the draw. Diego Valeri was also instrumental throughout for the Timbers, and his cross ended up finding Fernandez late on as Argentine’s stole the show.

Embed from Getty Images

 

4. LA Galaxy are not looking good.

The Galaxy are not in the best shape at the moment, as they sit second bottom of the Western Conference and have not won in four games now. Their 1-0 loss in Houston was their third loss in eight games, and they have only won twice this season. They are typically better in the second half of the season and will be relying on that if they are to make the playoffs as expected. Landon Donovan is now absent with the USMNT and the Galaxy have only scored one in their past three. Things can only improve, stating with their home game against FC Dallas this Wednesday.

 

5. Real Salt Lake can’t lose.

Salt Lake are still the only remaining unbeaten side in Major League Soccer this season following their 2-1 victory against the Colorado Rapids in the Rocky Mountain Cup game on Saturday night. They are the best team in MLS right now, and are winning games despite not looking at their best, the key ingredient for potential champions. They have won three on the spin now, and will hope to add to that when they welcome FC Dallas on Sunday.

 

 

All square in Portland as the Timbers leave it late

By Jamie Ives

LA Galaxy travelled to Portland on Sunday night, but were unable to leave with the win as Diego Valeri scored a 95th minute equalizer.

The Galaxy left it late themselves, with Robbie Keane scoring what he must have thought was the winner in the 92nd minute.

The Los Angeles club were without star defender Omar Gonzalez due to a knee injury, but he still remains on course to make it to Rio with the USMNT, after he was picked in the preliminary 30-man squad on Monday.

The game was rather dull until the twenty-ninth minute when a Robert Friend effort from outside the box went just over.

The rest of the first half followed the trend with neither team taking the initiative.

The second half was a different story however, with Jaime Penedo straightaway involved, parrying a Diego Valeri effort wide, before holding a Darlington Nagbe effort moments later.

The Timbers went close again, just before the hour mark, as Futty Danso connected with a free kick and guided it onto the far post, only for it to be scrambled off the line.

The next big chance came in the eighty-second minute, when a Landon Donovan left-footed strike didn’t have enough on it to trouble Donovan Ricketts.

The Galaxy were pressing for a winner, and a minute later ex-Leeds and Tottenham striker Robbie Keane had a strike deflected, that seemed to be looping over Ricketts. However, the Jamaican pulled off a miraculous save to tip it over for a corner.

With the game entering stoppage time, Keane latched onto a throw on which evaded everyone to score with a header. Vintage ‘Keano’, alert and alive in the box.

But as the Timbers showed last week, they are partial to a late goal of their own, and they equalized in the ninety-fifth minute through Valeri. The Argentinian created some space for himself to put it past Penedo in a wild finish at Providence Park.

Embed from Getty Images

(Photo: Diego Valeri’s late strike rescued a point for the Timbers)

The Galaxy will want to pick themselves up, and hopefully pick up three points next time out when they travel to Houston.

While Portland face Columbus next week in a game between two sides desperate to snap a poor run of form.

Highlights via the MLS YouTube channel:

 

Del Piero set for move to Major League Soccer

By Louis East

Alessandro Del Piero is set to continue his playing career by moving to Major League Soccer, with LA Galaxy or DC United his likely destination.

The Italian striker is a free-agent after he left Australian club Sydney FC last week and is thought to favour a move to MLS before he ends his career.

According to reports in Italy, LA Galaxy are keen to secure the services of the former Juventus captain, and he has emerged as their number one transfer target.

Embed from Getty Images

(The Juventus legend looks set to be the next big name joining MLS)

Del Piero is currently in Los Angeles on holiday with his family, and is not interested in retiring or coaching yet.

DC United will rival LA Galaxy for his signature, with owner Erick Thohir keen to bring Del Piero to the Washington-based club.

The Indonesian businessman became the majority shareholder with Serie A side Inter Milan just six months ago, and he has reportedly made a move for the former Serie A star.

A move to DC would appear to be more realistic, as Del Piero would likely need to be a designated player.

DC currently over have one designated player in Eddie Johnson, and could have a dangerous attack if Del Piero were to join.

The Galaxy have all three designated player spots filled by Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez, and would either have to free up a spot on their designated player list, or keep Del Piero’s earnings within the salary cap.

Major League Soccer looks set to welcome another global star in Alessandro Del Piero and the 39-year-old will help the league continue to grow wherever he ends up.