In a recent interview, Brazilian National Team coach Tite revealed some of his squad for the World Cup in 2018. While not an official list, it is odd that Tite would release the names of most of his roster months out in advance, with a lot of the major domestic seasons still to finish. The names themselves were no surprise: Dani Alves, Marcelo, Willian, Thiago Silva, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus. In filling out the rest of the roster Tite may have issues though, trying to find the right group of players. Brazil is in an upswing of talent at the moment, and most likely some good performers will be left out. There is also always injury to take into account when building a World Cup roster. Tim Vickery of ESPN talks about the challenges of building the team for Brazil for this World Cup.
The New York Red Bulls made waves when they traded their captain and main creative force Sacha Kljestan this offseason to Orlando City. Part of the rationale for the trade was that the Red Bulls were about to add a young skilled attacker to the team who could help mitigate the loss. They finally completed the long rumored signing of young Argentine Alejandro Romero Gamarra, better known as Kaku, last week. Sam Kelly, who has covered Argentine football for more than a decade, gives the lowdown on the Red Bulls’ newest acquisition.
You may remember the big doping scandal in Russian sports that broke last year. It was a huge story, but most of the attention was on the system set up to help Russian Olympic athletes use performance-enhancing drugs and not get caught. What was not widely talked about was how this system affected Russian soccer players, which is kind of a big deal, seeing as how Russia is hosting the World Cup this year. Russian whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov talked about how, among other things, results that tested positive for PED’s were hidden to prevent scandal. This is a story that FIFA will need to investigate and get out in front of quickly, lest it dominate the focus and headlines ahead of the World Cup this summer.
Things didn’t quite work out for Memphis Depay at Manchester United, but he seems to be doing just fine at Lyon. A few weeks ago Lyon defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2-1, a result notable not just because of a rare PSG loss, but because the three goals in that game were all spectacular, including the game winner by Depay. Memphis did it again in the Europa League, scoring another thunderbolt against Villarreal in Lyon’s 3-1 first-leg win. He may not score all the time, but now it seems when Memphis does score, it’s gonna be a great one.
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