Barcelona star could turn down Manchester United move for MLS switch

FC Barcelona right-back and Manchester United transfer target Dani Alves could turn down a move to the Premier League in favour of making the switch to MLS, according to The Guardian.

The Brazilian defender has made a staggering 393 La Liga appearances during his time with Sevilla and Barcelona but has yet to agree a new deal with the Spanish giants which has left the Red Devils keeping a close eye on developments.

However, because Dani Alves is now 32 years of age, The Guardian’s Tor-Kristian Karlsen believes that the attacking full-back may be “somewhat past his prime” and is a “possible recruitment for an MLS side”.

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During his time in Spain, Alves has won five La Liga titles, two Champions League’s and three Copa Del Rey’s among other honours and would therefore demand a high weekly wage if he were to make the move to MLS.

Because of that factor, he would certainly have to join on a Designated Player contract. There are currently eight teams in Major League Soccer with Designated Player slots available, including expansion franchise New York City FC, where Alves’ former teammate David Villa is plying his trade.

The other expansion franchise, Orlando City, are owned by Brazilian man, Flávio Augusto da Silva. Ex-international compatriot Kaka and midfielder Pedro Ribeiro are also both at Orlando, so Alves could be persuaded by his fellow countrymen to join them in the USA.

Could Dani Alves make the switch to MLS?

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Chelsea set to HIJACK United’s move for young Brazilian star

Chelsea are looking to add another young Brazilian to their ranks with a move for Fluminense’s Robert Kenedy who has also caught the eye of Manchester United, according to The Guardian.

The 19-year-old attacker has been working his way to the top of Brazilian football after bursting onto the scene two years ago when he was the top scorer in Brazil’s squad at the South America’s Under-17 Championships.

Kenedy has expressed his desire to play alongside his Brazilian compatriots Oscar and Ramires at Chelsea and it is looking likely that he will be the club’s second Brazilian signing in a short space of time, having already secured Nathan de Souza.

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Any possible transfer is estimated to cost a similar £4.5 million fee that Chelsea paid for Nathan.

One issue is that Nathan and Kenedy would not qualify for work permits at present, meaning they would be loaned out. Chelsea have a strong affiliation with loaning young players out in the last few years to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, which could be a possible destination for the two Brazilian youngsters.

Chelsea signed Oscar at a similar age back in 2012 and initially it seemed they would be loaning him out, but he was thrown in at the deep end and has gone on to make 152 appearances for the club already.

Kenedy can play either as winger or behind the striker and has scored two goals with five assists in 31 appearances for Fluminense.

Would Kenedy be a good signing for Chelsea? Do they need another young attacker at the club?

Chelsea and Arsenal stars want Kaka to join but Orlando is his home

Brazilian star Kaka has only played three games for MLS Expansion Franchise Orlando City SC but admits that his Premier League pals would love him to play in England.

However, the 32-year-old playmaker is the highest-paid player in MLS and is loving his time in Orlando – his new home, and has no plans to move on anytime soon.

Kaka is good friends with Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil as well as Chelsea‘s Brazilian trio of Felipe Luis, Oscar and Willian and has revealed that they would all love to play with him in the Premier League.

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“They joke with me saying, ‘Come and play for Chelsea or Arsenal’ but I am so happy here in Orlando,” Kaka said in an interview with the Daily Mail.

Kaka has a three-year contract with Orlando City and has no plans to leave his new team. However, he did have some high praise for Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, whom he worked under at Real Madrid.

“His ambition for victory sets Mourinho apart. He wants to win every game, so he prepares all the smallest details; in training, at the game, everything. I loved to work with him.

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“He tries everything to extract the best from the players, to push them. This is what he can do better than anyone else.

“I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Mourinho, he is one of the best coaches in the world.”

Kaka was the world’s greatest player back in 2007 as he beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the Ballon d’Or – the award that Messi and Ronaldo have dominated since, and the Orlando City captain takes great pride from his triumph over two of the greatest players to have ever played the game.

“I won the Ballon d’Or and World Player of Year against Cristiano and Messi,” he said. “They win it every year now, but I could beat them back then. For me that’s important because I had the best opponents. I’m proud when I see that.”

Kaka’s illustrious career is something few will forget and just because he has made the move to Major League Soccer doesn’t mean he’s taken his foot off the pedal.

It’s quite the opposite in fact. Kaka scored the Lions’ first-ever MLS goal in the 1-1 draw against New York City FC at the start of the month and wants to win trophies with Orlando City.

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At the same time, he has his eyes on the 2018 World Cup in Russia and won’t rule out taking part in the tournament he won with Brazil in 2002 once again.

“It is in three-and-a-half years and if Dunga needs me I’ll be ready to play in the national team. It is a real motivation for me.”

Would Kaka still be able to shine in the Premier League? Should he end his career in MLS with Orlando?

Brazil legend Pele heaps praise on scintillating Spurs star

Brazil’s legendary striker Pele is one of the greatest players to have ever graced the game and so he knows a good forward when he sees one. And in his eyes, Tottenham’s Harry Kane is one of them.

The Spurs star has been in scintillating form this season and has just earned his first England call-up as a result. Pele has offered some advice to Kane and compliments don’t come much better than from Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer.

“I think he is an excellent young player,” Pele told Press Association Sport. “He could be a good one for the English team.”

Kane added a further three goals to his season tally with a hat-trick in this afternoon’s 4-3 home win over Leicester City in the Premier League, proving once more that he is worthy of Pele’s comments.

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He has now scored an astonishing 29 goals in all competitions this term, 19 of those in the league.

But Pele thinks Kane has to remain grounded if he is to continue to improve as a player.

“Tell him never think he can be the best. Always he has something to learn. That is my advice.”

Kane is quickly being regarded as one of the best players in the country and has now scored more Premier League goals this season than any other striker.

His confidence is sky-high and he showed his cool once again to slot home from the penalty spot to complete his hat-trick at White Hart Lane this afternoon.

Kane has a great chance of winning this season’s Golden Boot and will be itching to make his England debut, looking to shine on the international stage in the coming week.

Is Harry Kane the best striker in the Premier League?

Ronaldinho set to replace Landon Donovan at LA Galaxy – report

Brazilian legend Ronaldinho is once again being linked with a move to Major League Soccer and he is being tipped to replace Landon Donovan at LA Galaxy.

The 34-year-old is currently playing for Mexican club Queretaro but could be set to leave after just three months to play soccer in the United States, according to Codice Informativo

Ronaldinho has played in homeland Brazil and Mexico since moving away from European football he has been linked with playing MLS on several occasions, though this time it seems to make sense.

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Los Angeles is the sort of place a star of Ronaldinho’s calibre would want to play and with Donovan set to retire after the Galaxy’s playoff run comes to an end, a move to bring in the former Barcelona and AC Milan star would be sensible.

He guarantees excitement and skill and would be able to fill the designated player spot Donovan is set to free up when he hangs his boots up within the next few weeks.

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Ronaldinho is thought to be unsettled in Liga MX despite scoring three goals and picking up one assist in eight appearances so far, and he could end his two-year contract very early.

He was also linked with LA when David Beckham left the club but it is surely his last chance to make the move to the fastest growing league in the world.

At 34 his best years may be behind him, though his marketing value is something that will appeal to MLS and the fact that his Brazilian friend Kaka is also joining the league next season could also help his decision.

Ronaldinho continues to showcase skills with ‘shark attack’ volley (via FNTV on YouTube):

Trying to replace Landon Donovan was never going to be easy but if the Galaxy have wrapped up a deal for Ronaldinho already, then they deserve great credit. Though it remains to be seen if the reports are accurate.

Would Ronaldinho be a good replacement for Landon Donovan at LA Galaxy?

New York Red Bulls must seriously consider move for Ronaldinho

With Brazilian legend Ronaldinho now a free-agent, a move to Major League Soccer is a real possibility after years of speculation.

The 34-year-old left Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro on Monday and is set to decide where his next move will be by next week with offers from all over the globe.

New York Red Bulls have been linked with a move and they should seriously consider making one as the long-term future’s of Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry remain up in the air.

Cahill could go home to play in Australia at the end of the current season while Henry is believed to be considering retirement, as Red Bulls head of global soccer Gerard Houllier suggested on Saturday.

Ronaldinho would bring in a world-class playmaker and a huge name to help the team on and off the field, something increasingly important with New York City FC set to enter the league with a bang next year.

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A problem would be that the Ballon d’Or winner does not speak English, and this would hinder his marketing potential for the franchise, though his footballing ability cannot be questioned.

Red Bulls officials are believed to have met with Ronaldinho’s representatives during the World Cup in Brazil but did not speak about a potential move.

They may now be back in contact though with the former Barcelona and AC Milan star available as a free-agent.

His age would not be a problem with his agent and brother Roberto Assis claiming that he could play “until he’s 42”.

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Henry joined as a 32-year-old and is still tearing defence’s apart at 36, so Ronaldinho’s arrival would undoubtedly make the team better as an attacking unit.

His arrival could even convince Henry to stay for another season as the pair played together at Barcelona in the 2007-08 season.

Should New York Red Bulls go all out for Ronaldinho?

USMNT gather momentum going into the World Cup

USA has now won all three of their warm up games. They were, however, less than impressive in the opening two of their ‘send-off’ series.

But they changed their performance last night as Jurgen Klinsmann ditched the diamond and flooded midfield.

The structure was simply genius as it allowed Alejandro Bedoya and Clint Dempsey freedom on counter attacks.

There are things we need to look out for at the World Cup, assuming that Klinsmann won’t change this current team too much.

1. Zonal Marking – ditch it.

Set pieces are the worst way to concede a goal, as you have plenty of time to set yourself up and zonal marking is the greatest liability.

The system allows players to get complacent because you rely on each other, whereas, in a man-marking system everyone has a job.

We hope he doesn’t use it in Brazil against the likes of Germany who will punish the team from corners otherwise.

2. Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones are a great insurance plan.

When you risk everything on a fast-paced counter attack you have to take precautions defensively.

Jones and Beckerman provide that cover so that the fullbacks, Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley can bomb on.

Klinsmann has found an answer to his midfield issue, and the USMNT have a realistic chance of success at the tournament.

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3. Michael Bradley is ready to shine.

Based on what we have seen in the three warm up games, Michael Bradley will have a great World Cup.

He is one of the first names on the USMNT team sheet and he provides a range of passes that can trouble any defence.

Ghana, Germany and Portugal better have done their homework because Bradley could hurt them.

4. Bedoya or Zusi?

We like Bedoya and he had another good game last night. But we have cause to believe Graham Zusi would be a better choice in terms of structure.

He is more than capable of joining in on the counter attack and he can also pick out a pass to perfection.

But unlike Bedoya, Zusi gives you a bit more defensively and we think he should start instead. It is likely that Bedoya will play though because we cannot see Klinsmann changing his team too much now.

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5. Jozy Altidore can score goals.

It’s an extreme long shot but who’s to say he can’t win the Golden Boot? Although this is extremly unlikely, he did give us cause for optimism with a well-taken brace and lead’s a side with goals in it.

Granted the first goal was a tap-in and had he missed it, he should have retired, but his second cannot be questioned.

The confidence he showed while in possession was great to see and we think the USA have a great platform to attack with him as their outlet alongside Dempsey.

The USMNT will now play Belgium in a behind closed doors match on Thursday but we expect the team will stay much the same regardless of what happens there.

Orlando City targeting Brazilian superstars

Orlando City SC are looking at bringing in Brazilian midfielders Robinho and Kaka from AC Milan ahead of their debut season in Major League Soccer next year, according to reports across Italy.

The Orlando City franchise are set to join MLS next season, at the start of 2015, and have made the Brazilian stars their transfer priorities.

Kaka has been linked with the move since March, after he visited the franchise’s training facilities with owner and friend Flávio Augusto Da Silva.

Speaking to Corriere della Sera, the former Ballon d’Or winner stated that his next move will be to the US, when he leaves Milan for the second time in his career.

“One day, I would like to play in America, let’s see. At the end of the season, I will talk to [general manager Adriano Galliani]. Not just to speak about bonuses and money, money is not the main thing for me now, and I think that is understood.”

“If it turns out I need to move, I will choose the MLS,” Kaka added.

The 32-year-old would be an incredible coup for Orlando City, and Major League Soccer as well if he were to make the move stateside.

And today’s reports from Italy indicate that Robinho is also keen to make the move across to the US, following teammate Kaka to Orlando.

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(Photo: Thumbs up from Robinho, who fancies the move to MLS)

The Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that the former Real Madrid and Manchester City winger has the option to move to Orlando in time for next season, as well as having offers from Brazil.

The 30-year-old is set to leave Milan this summer, and it is believed that his likes the option of an extended break before joining up with Orlando City in time for next season.

His flair would certainly light up MLS and he would undoubtedly thrive in the league.

The same report confirms that Kaka is also likely to join the side in time for the new season, but he will remain with Milan until January, before heading over to the US.

Both Kaka and Robinho were omitted from the Brazilian national side for this summer’s World Cup and are now ready to enjoy a new challenge away from European football.

Do you think Kaka and Robinho will make the move to Orlando City?

United States to play Belgium on opening day of World Cup in final preparation game

By Louis East

The USMNT will play Belgium in a behind-closed-doors friendly on the 12 June as both sides look to finalise their preparations for the tournament just days before their opening games.

While the rest of the World will be gearing up to watch Brazil take on Croatia in the opening fixture, the US National team and Belgium will be focusing on a friendly to make any last minute adjustments.

FIFA announced on Friday that the two sides will cap off their World Cup preparations by playing each other in Sao Paulo on the opening day of the World Cup.

Some fans will be concerned by the late friendly, as any injuries suffered will affect the nations tournaments.

Though the Belgian football federation have described the game as more of a training session that a competitive match: “It will be a kind of training session for each side.”

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The United States and Belgium are two footballing nations where the sport is rapidly developing, and the Belgian side have an abundance of talent in their squad.

A ‘golden generation’ of Belgian’s are playing across the major leagues in Europe, with several shining in the Premier League.

Whereas the USA’s national league is growing by the year, with Major League Soccer showcasing a better standard of football every season.

These two met in a friendly last May in a six-goal thriller, with Belgium coming out on top 4-2 on that occasion.

It will be the fourth, and final game for Jurgen Klinsmann to assess his side ahead of their World Cup opener against Ghana on June 16.

They will need to get something out of their opener against the Black Stars as they also face Germany and Portugal in the ‘Group of Death’.

The USMNT play against Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria in the United States, before travelling out to Brazil in July.