Tag Archive for World Football

MLS Transfers: Houston Dynamo Make Their First Deal of the Offseason

Nathan Sturgis, a 24-year-old journeyman midfielder, joined his fifth MLS club in only seven years yesterday evening, landing with the Houston Dynamo.  This young utility player has seen brief stints of both success and lackluster play throughout his MLS career.  

Houston signed Stugris from Toronto FC for a conditional 2014 draft pick (essentially not much).  

It would appear that Toronto unloading Sturgis might mean that Aron Winter has his targets set on bringing in another piece to his side.  Losing Sturgis (who did not particularly impress in Toronto) frees up both cap room and an American international slot.  

Having just last season signed Sturgis from the Vancouver Whitecaps for a first overall (eighth) pick in the 2011 SuperDraft, Toronto sees a great deal of loss as this deal goes through.

Houston looks to Sturgis to add depth and leadership.  President of Business Operations Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com that:

Dom [Kinnear] knows in his mind what he likes, and when he really likes a guy he envisions, far more than anyone else, how that guy will fit into the club and into his scheme. That was certainly the case with Adam Moffat and hopefully it will be the same situation where Dom sees Sturgis in a certain role with our club and he finds success…I think that’s a positive to get a young player with good experience that’s been around a couple of different organizations, Canetti said. He’s a professional and knows how to approach things and brings some youth to the squad.

Sturgis has been touted early as becoming an instant role player with Houston—someone who can play multiple positions and whose experience in the league can provide leadership.  

Although certainly not a blockbuster deal in any form, this is Houston’s first dip into the transfer window this offseason.  Sturgis is a player with several international caps at youth level, who is looking to find a home in the MLS and revitalize his career.

Both parties are wishing that Houston is where Sturgis finds his form once again.  

Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Thierry Henry is Perfect January Prize for Gunners

Thierry Henry has given the Arsenal supporters a lifetime of memorable moments, so it is no surprise that he could very well deliver a few more in an epic return to North London. 

Sami Mokbel of The Daily Mail reports the Gunners have offered a contract to return to the club on a two-month loan. The onus is now on Henry and the New York Red Bulls as to whether the star player will return to Arsenal. 

The move by Arsene Wenger to extend an offer makes a lot of sense. The Gunners are in prime position to take a fourth place or better finish in the EPL into the summer. 

One thing that could hinder such a thing from happening would be the team faltering as a couple of their stars go off to play in the Africa Cup of Nations. 

Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh will leave Emirates for a spell, leaving Robin Van Persie to shoulder a tremendous load. RVP no doubt has the form to take on such things, but Arsenal is not in the habit of taking such chances. 

Two birds meet one stone as Henry would invigorate the supporters for a final season push. The memories of the leading Arsenal goal scorer on the pitch would flood back. 

Wenger would also have a fine forward to push up next to Van Persie in attack. The report assures that Henry has been working with the side during the MLS offseason and he is in fine form. 

If the offer is accepted, Henry could feature in seven Premier League games, including clashes against Manchester United and Tottenham. 

Wenger will need depth in those contests, and Henry can deliver with pace and leadership. This is a rare signing that has little to no down side. Arsenal will get a great shot in the arm that will also deliver goosebumps of nostalgia. 

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Premier League vs. La Liga: Why the EPL Wins Every Time but I Can’t Prove It

One thing about voicing an opinion is that you open yourself up to criticism, hatred and most certainly: controversy.

The title of this article will no doubt achieve all of the above on it’s own, but for me it’s not even a debate.

I’m sure I’m probably biased being an Englishman, but the Premier League offers so much more competitiveness that there is rarely a televised game that I wouldn’t watch.

Real Madrid and Barcelona can offer up some of the most entertaining attacking players that have ever lived—in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi—but in terms of a competitive league, it’s a two-horse race every season.

People could argue that more goals, the superstar players or the amount of Champions League appearances could all be testament to which is the better league, but for every valid point there is an equally valid rebuttal.

For example, what if more goals in a league comes down to the league having poorer defenders? Or does it mean they have better strikers?

Does Barcelona winning the Champions League mean that La Liga is a better league? Or does it mean La Liga’s top team is stronger than the EPL’s top team?

Any of the lower placed clubs in the Premier League can certainly go to Old Trafford, Anfield or the Etihad Stadium and have a shock result, and that is what football is all about.

I’m not sure I could say that about visiting teams to the Bernabeu and Camp Nou.

The Premier League can certainly boast a higher average attendance than La Liga (via Wikipedia)—based on last year’s figures, but that doesn’t clarify whether the league is better or not.

There will never be a proven way of concluding the answer to this quandary, and it will continue to divide opinion for years to come—much like the argument of whether Ronaldo is better than Messi.

At the end of the day, people have their own views on which league is better and you can’t prove them wrong.

Just remember they can’t prove they’re right either (h/t Christopher Hitchens).


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