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San Jose Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear after his sides 2-1 defeat to the New England Revolution.

roweThe New England beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 in front of 10,688 fans on a cold and damp afternoon at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.

Revs headed into the San Jose game with only one point on the season, and that came in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with the Montreal Impact.

Heading into the game my three keys from a New England Revolution perspective were:

  1. How solid will the defense be with Jose Goncalves back in the line-up?
  2. Revs were very narrow against Montreal. Can they play with more width against San Jose?

mateo-kovacicThe stories linking future Inter Milan star Mateo Kovacic with a move away from the San Siro will not go away, with the most recent version suggesting that Inter will use the €30m from the Kovacic sale to buy Yaya Toure from Manchester City whom Coach Roberto Mancini has repeatedly asked for.

If Inter do this they are out of their mind. Did the Nerazzurri learn nothing from prematurely giving up on
Philippe Coutinho, who has blossomed into a true star at Liverpool? All the signs were there that Coutinho could be a special player when he played at Inter, but the club did not have the patience to see him develop and now Liverpool have a 22-year-old potential superstar on their hands.

iker-casillasAccording to ESPNFC, Real Madrid have taken the first steps in moves that will see goalkeeper Iker Casillas leave the club this summer after 18 years.

According to reports, Casillas’s representatives have already started discussions about the financial package he would receive on leaving the Bernabeu.

ESPN quotes sources in Spain say two things right now are certain:

“The mood around Real is very much that Casillas will leave this summer” — and that the European champions want De Gea as his direct replacement this summer.”

DIEGO-SIMEONEHe is arguably the best manager in world football at the moment, and he will be staying at Atletico Madrid as
Diego Simeone has signed a new five-year deal with the club. Someone has been linked with several Premier League clubs, but his decision to stay in Madrid will end speculation over his immediate future.

Last season Someone guided Atleti to the Spanish title as well as the final of the Champions League. This season they are currently fourth in La Liga, nine points off leaders Barcelona, but Simeone is convinced the club can get back to the top.

Berti-VogtsBerti Vogts has been appointed as a technical advisor to the USA national team, a decision that is totally baffling to me.

Vogts had a storied playing career as he helped then West Germany win the 1974 World Cup. Then as a a coach he guided Germany t0 the UEFA EURO 96 title. But since then it has been all downhill, wirth failed coaching stops in Kuwait, Scotland, Nigeria and Azerbaijan.

The reason for Voghts being hired is his close relationship with tone deaf US coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who was captain of the Germany side which won the European Championship under Vogts 19 years ago. Klinsmann is quoted as saying about the Vogts hiring:

carlo-ancelotti-real-madridWhile i9t might be an international weekend, that does not mean that teams are not busy working on their plans for next season. One team that will change managers is Manchester City and according to reports from Spain and Italy, the Premier League champions have given Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti an April 30 deadline on whether he will be there new manager next season.

Ancelotti’s contract with Madrid is through the end of next season, but amazingly his future at the club is not secure despite winning four trophies in 2014 including the club’s long sought after La Decima Champions League trophy.

Jurgen KlinsmannNicklas (Lord) Bendtner scored his first international hat trick, as the USA once again could not hold onto a lead late in the game, as Denmark rallied to beat the Americans 3-2 in a friendly game at Aarhus, Denmark on Wednesday night.

Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and set up former club teammate Aron Johannsson’s goal in the second. But Bendtner tied the score in the 83rd minute and got the winner in the first minute of stoppage time. Christian Eriksen looped a ball over the defense and Bendtner ran onto it, took a touch and beat goalkeeper Nick Rimando from 15 yards for his 29th goal in 65 international appearances.

skrtel-suspensionI think it is fair to say that Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is not amused with the decision by the FA to give him a three-match ban for stamping on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea at the weekend.

After hearing the news, Skrtel published the above clown picture on his Instagram account!

Skrtel was found guilty of violent conduct after he was ruled to have stamped on De Gea in stoppage time at the end of Liverpool’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

minnesota-unitedMajor League Soccer continues to expansed with the awarding of its 24 the franchise to Minnesota on Wednesday. The new Minnesota United will begin play in 2018 and will play in a new soccer-specific stadium in downtown Minneapolis. It becomes the 13th new team to join the North American league since 2005.

“We are proud to welcome Minnesota to Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “The ownership group’s commitment to soccer and the community, the area’s growing millennial population and the region’s rich tradition of supporting soccer at all levels in Minnesota were key indicators that this was the right market.”