With no Euros to occupy our attention today, the English Premier League grabbed the headlines with the news of a big move for Chelsea hero Didier Drogba. What does that mean for Fernando Torres? Hot-blooded Italian rumors! MLS is back and in a big way with six matches tonight, including four of the top five teams in this week’s MLS Power Rankings. We’ll catch you up with where everyone stands. Plus, some off the beat highlights from the U.S. Women’s National Team’s short trip to Sweden.
English Premier League
The biggest news coming today is that former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has officially signed with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua:
One month after sealing Chelsea’s victory in the European Champions League final, Didier Drogba signed with Shanghai Shenhua on a two-year contract that reportedly will make him China’s highest-paid player.
Shanghai confirmed the signing on Wednesday, and Drogba said on his website he will join the Chinese Super League team in the country’s financial hub next month.
No details were given on Shanghai’s offer, although local media reported the club was willing to pay as much as $15 million per year.
Does this mean that Fernando Torres has a spot in the starting XI? Not if Juventus has anything to do with it:
According to Goal.com it appears that Italian Champions, Juventus are chasing the out of favor Spaniard with an offer of £24 million having been directed towards Chelsea.
Despite having shelled out £50 million for the former Liverpool hitman in January of 2011, the club could be set to cut their losses and move on with Torres getting a new lease on life in Italy where his talents would be more apt to shine due to the nature of the Italian game.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter finally admitted that goal-line technology is a “necessity,” after a major blown that knocked Ukraine out of the Euros:
The most powerful man in soccer called goal-line technology a “necessity” Wednesday, only hours after Ukraine was denied what appeared to be a legitimate goal in its must-win match against England at the European Championship.
“After last night’s match GLT is no longer an alternative but a necessity,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter wrote on Twitter.
Want a good laugh? Search “Sepp Blatter GLT” on Twitter.
Major League Soccer
Though we’ve been quite content with Euros and international friendlies in the last couple weeks, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I missed MLS. Well, it’s back to your regularly scheduled programming and we’ve got tons of matches with the cream of the crop to look forward to. In case you’ve forgotten where everyone stands, here’s MLS’s Week 15 Power Rankings to catch you up. Real Salt Lake remain firmly at the top, but the New York Red Bulls are down after a 3-1 loss on Sunday to Chicago Fire, breaking their six-game unbeaten streak.
After stumbling in Chicago, can the Red Bulls get past Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United this Sunday? If they want to, they’ll have to figure out how to stop D.C.’s “forward thinking” attack. MLS’s Armchair Analyst breaks their attacking mentality down.
Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron just returned his club after interational duty with the national team, but he may not be there for long. Cameron is drawing interest from European clubs in the Bundesliga and Premier League:
Reports during this past Saturday’s broadcast of the Texas Derby – a 2-1 win over FC Dallas – claimed that three clubs, Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga and English Premier league clubs Everton and Stoke City, were at BBVA Compass Stadium for the game to scout the multi-talented defender.
While Cameron is distancing himself from the process, it is no surprise teams are interested in the 6-foot-3 center back. The 26-year-old’s unique skill set – especially on the ball – is sure to attract more interest along the lines of what he got on Saturday night.
“Geoff’s a top player and we’ve heard through the grapevine that some clubs in Europe are interested,” Dynamo executive Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “We certainly wouldn’t be surprised if some teams knocked on our door about him but, at this point, no formal offers or inquiries have been made.”
U.S. Women’s National Team
The USWNT took care of business in Sweden this past weekend, defeating Sweden 3-1 and Japan 4-1 in the three-nation Volvo Winners Cup, a friendly tournament in preparation for the Olympics. But it wasn’t all business. On a day off from training, midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lori Lindsey took a trip to the Liseberg Amusement Park in Gothenburg and documented their adventures. More Pinoe and Lori, please, U.S. Soccer.