SOUNDERS TO KEEP CLINT DEMPSEY

Major League Soccer (MLS) side Seattle Sounders would get to keep star player Clint Dempsey much longer, according to reports. The general manager Garth Lagerwey said the club would keep Dempsey for another year as they get salary help.

Dempsey will feature in the 2018 season and the club would have salary flexibility to have a good squad that can seek a third straight title in the Western Conference. Dempsey will be the designated status man for the 2018 term. His previous deal had a team option but it was affecting the club’s salary cap.
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CORTEZ IMPRESSING IN DROGBA’S ABSENCE

Chris Cortez has been impressing for the Phoenix Rising FC side in the absence of star striker Didier Drogba.


The player made his return to the setup about one month ago but he has been helping the club get past the postseason.

As the club battled Sacramento Rep FC in Drogba’s absence, Cortez netted one goal and provided two assists in the 3-1 rout. The veteran seems to have settled into the team and is contributing the needed effort as they enter an important part of the season.

The forward says everything is starting to gel in the team and that as they keep playing together, they’d get better.
“Working on patterns and different things and stuff like that and training together with everyone and then being able to play in games is kind of that final product, and I think of sums that all up,” he adds.

Rising is undefeated in four games now. Shaun Wright-Phillips sent a near perfect corner kick from the right side that Cortez headed in for his second goal in as many games. On Wright-Phillips’ cross, the 6’2 striker said it was the excellent delivery that made it easy for him to head in.

With Drogba out, Cortez was the best person that could bury such excellent cross. Alessandro Riggi and Jason Johnson were also brilliant on the night as the team won the game comfortably.

Johnson says the regular training and games so far has helped the team with their free flow football. He adds that the players know their attributes better and that of their teammates so it is easier to play games.

The head coach Patrice Carteron is impressed that the team was able to rise up to the occasion in the absence of the Ivorian. He adds that he is excited that the team is back in the top nine.

Pep Guardiola is satisfied by the performance of his squad

In the International Champions Cup campaign of Manchester City, the team of Pep Guardiola faced off with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.


All of these matches were played in the time-lapse of 8 days with the 1st one taking place on July 21st at the Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas. This was the only ICC game that Manchester City lost as the final scoreboard displayed 0-2 in favor of Jose Mourinho´s squad.

The following 2 games saw Manchester City claiming successive triumphs over Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, both of those matches were very dominant from City as they won with a 3 goal margin.

Pep Guardiola expressed his thoughts concerning the performance of his players as the Spanish tactician said:

“I’m so happy for all of them involved. Of course, the results are good for confidence and the way we did it, our performance is good. I’m so satisfied especially in the last two games – no injuries, then we come back home, rest and prepare.”

“You have the quality with Kyle and Danilo, they have that physicality. Some days we’ll play three at the back but sometimes we’ll play with four.”

This is the type of results and performances that Pep Guardiola want to see from his team as they had to settle with the 3rd spot of the English Premier League during the previous season of 2016-17 and are now aiming for a better position or maybe even targeting the top spot and become the new champions of England.

The 2017-18 season of the English Premier League is expected to kick off on August 11 and the opening match of Manchester City is going to see them locking horns with Brighton & Hove Albion on August 12.

Pep Guardiola is hoping that his squad can initiate the upcoming season on a positive start and defeat Brighton and hopefully continue doing so throughout the entirety of their campaign.

DROGBA HITS THE USL WITH A BANG

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba started his campaign in the lower division of American soccerwith a bang.


The 39-year old Ivorian showed he still has it in him after all these years. His presence in the stadium attracted over 7,000 people and he gave them a show.

The Champions League winner led the team as the skipper against a USL side, wearing the No. 11 jersey. He was very energetic from the start of the game before he netted in the 40th minute. A teammate AmadouDia had sent a cross which he converted through a header, beating Vancouver Whitecaps 2 goalkeeper Sean Melvin.

Drogba celebrated in his usual style, running to the corner flag as his teammates joined him. However that was not all from the former MLS star. He stole the ball from the midfield before passing onto mate Shaun Wright-Phillips who converted the second goal in the 77th minute. Both matured players seemed to roll back the years for Phoenix Rising FC as they won the duel 2-1.

After the game, Drogba said the game was not different from his other debuts. He added that he just wanted to enjoy the game and help the team. Phoenix have teams in every sports league in America aside the top flight soccer league, the MLS. The club hopes to use Drogba as a player and part owner to become an MLS franchise soon.

Drogba is excited at the project as it was unique that he spent five weeks to get back in shape for the team. In his first game, he played the full match, inspiring the team to success. The debut saw fans paying $100 to see Drogba play. Drogba was a star in France, England, Turkey, China and America top flight. He seems to be carving a niche for himself already in the American lower division.

Shaun Wright-Phillips joins his 2nd American club

Shaun Wright-Phillips made his debut as an official player in the United States back on June of 2015 as he signed with New York Red Bulls which was the 1st American club that Wright-Phillips joined as an actual performer.


He spent 2 seasons performing with the New York Red Bulls and the 35 year old Englishman decided to extend his playing career in USA as Shaun Wright-Phillips recently penned a deal a with Phoenix Rising.

Phoenix Rising confirmed this transfer on February 24 of 2017 as the club wrote on their social media, twitter account: “We’re thrilled to have a player of Shaun’s quality and experience joining us. This is another step toward making us one of the most competitive clubs in USL.”

Didier Drogba is another one of the high-profile players that has recently joined Phoenix Rising as he will be working closely together with his former Chelsea teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips.

On April 12 of 2017, it was confirmed that Drogba had signed with Phoenix Rising as he was a free agent and decided to become an owner as well as a player and this is the very first time that any person has turned into a player-owner of any club in the history of the sport.

At the age of 35, Shaun Wright-Phillips is trying to extend his playing career as much as he can and joining clubs in USA is something which has been done on a more regular basis for players who are reaching the final stages of their respective careers.

Even at his elevated age, Wright-Phillips gives it his all and he does want to prove what he can do and especially now that he will be working with his former teammate Didier Drogba with whom he lifted the Premier League title during the season of 2005-16 with Chelsea.

Bradley is going strong but Shaun Wright-Phillips is insignificant in the MLS

Bradley and Shaun Wright-Phillips are brothers, both of which have had a fairly similar footballing career at least during their initial years as professional players as each of them performed with Manchester City and it was the first top European club that they joined.


Bradley is 4 years younger and his professional career has not been as impressive in comparison to Shaun Wright-Phillips as Bradley wore the Manchester City jersey for 2 years and after that he went on to join lesser known and not as competitive clubs including: Southampton FC, Plymouth Argyle, Charlton Athletic and his current club New York Red Bulls.

Shaun Wright-Phillips on the other hand, has enjoyed going through a much more successful and impressive playing career as he stayed with Manchester City and later went on to perform in Stamford Bridge as a player of Chelsea and a few years later he returned to the Etihad Stadium.

In terms of joining top clubs and lifting more titles, Shaun Wright-Phillips has had a much more impressive career than his brother Bradley but now that both of them are performing in the MLS side New York Red Bulls, Shaun Wright-Phillips has disappeared and Bradley is taking up the spotlight.

The last competitive appearance that Shaun Wright-Phillips made as a player of New York Red Bulls was back on September 27 of 2016 as he appeared against Antigua for a CONCACAF Champions League match and he was mostly invisible in the 2016 as the 35 year old player is a substitute player more than anything else and in the 2016 season of the MLS, Shaun only made 1 appearance.

Bradley on the other hand is a regular starter in the New York Red Bulls and he earns $600,000 a year while Shaun Wright-Phillips has had to settle with $116,000 a year.

NY RED BULLS END CONTRACT OF ITS PLAYERS

Red Bulls have ended the contracts of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Aurelien Collins, Damien Perrinelle and Kyle Reynish, according to reports.


The Major League Soccer outfit can still keep the players if they want to stay but would have to negotiate a new deal.

Collin’s name came as a surprise considering he featured 23 times for Bulls his term. He joined the club mid-season from Orlando City and he has been key for the club. The 30-year old player was instrumental for the team when Perrinelle picked up injury. The defender covered when Gideon Baah was injured too. However, it is understandable as he had a huge bill even as Orlando picked up a portion.

Many believe the player will return to the side in the new season but the former MLS All Star player would have to agree to a new deal by the club.

Perrinelle’s name did not come too much as a surprise being that he as was injured all through the year. His injuries only allowed him to feature ten times. The club decided to end his contract even though the 33-year old was a major contributor to last year’s success of the club. He seems to have lost his spot in the team permanently to Ronald Zubar.

Wright-Phillips could only rack up 19 appearances after two years. The elder brother of Bradley might have to end his time with the New York side. He was mostly on the bench for most of 2016 and he rarely caused a stir whilst in action. He was in the news recently when Arsenal fans compared forward Alex Iwobi to him when the Gunners failed to defeat PSG in the penultimate round of the Champions League. Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw with Iwobi being substituted as he couldn’t find the net, leaving the fans to troll him on Twitter, comparing him to Wright-Phillips.

Reynish’s deal expired alongside Ryan Meara but the club renewed Meara’s.

WEBB ADMITS MISTAKE FAR BACK AS 2008

Former top Premier League referee Howard Webb has admitted that he is unsure of he did not make a mistake for not sending Cristiano Ronaldo off for an offence he committed during the Manchester derby far back in 2008.


Ronaldo played at Man United before his record-breaking transfer to Spanish giants, Real Madrid in 2009.

Webb, who retired in 2014, was one of the top referees, and he was handling the biggest games. He recently discussed one of the key incidences when United played Man City at the Etihad.
“Sometimes I’ve been found wanting. I can remember a situation when Cristiano Ronaldo sarcastically applauded me for showing him a yellow card early in the game, and I was in quite a bit of a dilemma.

“Should I send him off for this lack of respect? Or can I manage this – and when you’re sending somebody off, it’s a big move, it’s a big step, if it’s for something that’s not a football-related situation – can I manage this?” Webb told Daily Mirror.

The current three-time Ballon d’Or winner had fouled Shaun Wright-Phillips, but as Webb was to decide what to do so early in the game, Ronaldo clapped. If that were to happen now, at anytime, Ronaldo would have been dismissed for another bookable offence under the newly established Respect initiative.

However, he sent off bad tackle or a holding offence that’s denied a promising attack, when it’s something that’s not about playing the game, it can put you in a situation where you’re thinking, ‘Can I manage this? Should I manage this? Will I get support if I do send him off?’

WHY WRIGHT-PHILLIPS JOINED RED BULLS

The former Manchester City, Chelsea and England winger, has been loaned out to New York Red Bulls reserve team by Queens Park Rangers to get some much-needed playing time and also where he meet his brother, Bradley Wright-Philip’s.


The previous season, his first with the club, he appeared just 12 times, including one start. When he did not have his option picked up at the end of the 2015 season, he was eventually re-signed on a salary of $116,000 a year.

Former Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard – who has also struggled for minutes at rival New York City FC due to injury – is on $6,000,000 a year. The 34-year old decided to join New York Red Bulls due to his complaint of not having enough playing time at Queens Park Rangers in England. The Chelsea and Manchester City former winger’s form is drastically wearied as he moves from one club to another.

Shaun has appeared for his club twenty times out of which he started just two with alone goal in the previous season. He becomes a bit happy whenever he remembers he is in the same club with his younger brother Bradley.

“We played every day, no exaggerations,” Bradley said, recalling his youth.

“I’m talking every day. At that age, it’s just for fun. You dream about playing professionally, but you don’t understand the reality of it. We were among the best of our friends, but I wasn’t thinking too far ahead. I was just out to have fun with football.”

Shaun may not at the end of the season return to QPR where he came from but stay at New York Red Bulls just for the sake of his brother as it is popularly said “Blood is thicker than wine.”

Shaun Wright-Phillips is struggling trying to get playing time

Shaun Wright Phillips joined Queens Park Rangers on August of 2011 and his debut season with the English club was fairly successful as he managed to make over 30 appearances but as each year and season progressed, Wright-Phillips was getting less time in the first team until he eventually opted to make a switch of clubs.

The English player went from making 32 appearances in his first season with Queens Park Rangers to only getting 4 matches of playing time in his last season with the English Championship League outfit.

After dropping so much in the ranks, Shaun Wright-Phillips decided to make a move to a club where he can get more time in the first team and it was the MLS side New York Red Bulls which offered Wright-Phillips a contract.

Even after making a switch to another team, Shaun Wright-Phillips is still struggling to get consistent playing time as he has had to settle with a place on the sidelines with limited playing time and in those particular matches that he does appear its generally in the late minutes of the 2nd half.

Considering the fact that Shaun Wright-Phillips is 34 years old, it’s getting harder for him to get consistent playing time even after changing clubs. It’s more difficult for the English player to compete against younger performers as they are more energetic and filled with spirit which spark life into the pitch.

Unfortunately for Shaun Wright-Phillips, he is the oldest player in the entire squad of Jesse Marsch’s squad in New York Red Bulls. Even though Wright-Phillips does provide experience that nobody else in the MLS club is able to do, it’s still not enough for him to nail down a consistent starter spot for New York Red Bulls and things does not appear like it’s going to be changing anytime soon.

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