Zlatan hits LA, the U-20s back in action, and more
After a vacation, ASN is back in full swing and ready to kickoff your weekend with an eye towards next week's USMNT game against Paraguay.
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedTHIS MARCH INTERNATIONAL BREAK was expected to be a slower news period for American Soccer. Without a World Cup to prepare for, the national team only has one game and MLS has a light schedule this weekend. But that was not the case.
March 22, 2018
March 22, 2018
Here is a rundown of news to get your started for the weekend.
Zlatan to hit LA
Every few years a huge, big-name player comes to MLS who is past his prime but still considered top caliber. The latest is Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, 36, who will be joining the LA Galaxy. SI reports that he could be in action for the Galaxy by the end of the month.
We’ve been down this road before and results of these types of signings are generally mixed.
The good: Robbie Keane, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, David Villa, Sebastian Giovinco, Nicolas Lodeiro
The bad: Rafa Marquez, Lothar Matthäus, Branco, Steven Gerrard, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard
So where will Zlatan Ibrahimovi? fit? He is different than all of the above because he is a huge personality that will be an entertainer in addition to his enormous talent. Of course there are concerns about his injuries which resulted in a lack of playing time this year.
It is also interesting to see how signings like these give MLS the perception of a “retirement” league even though the average age of players imported from foreign leagues is its early 20’s.
Every now and then, however, these signings are good. They inject entertainment, intrigue, and quality while at the same time not being the cornerstone of the league.
Will this help the Galaxy on the field? That is highly likely although it will also raise expectations to a high level. A team with both Dos Santos brothers and Ibrahimovic along with playing in a soccer-hotbed of Southern California for homegrowns should be expected to make a run in the playoffs.
United States U-20 team returns to action
The United States U-20 national team returns to action today with a game against France in Spain. The U-20 team lost to France 2-0 earlier in the week.
It is important to note that France brought a much older team to these games and the U.S. team was outplayed. France brought at team mostly of players born in 1997 and 1998 with the bulk of the U.S. team born in 1999.
The better U.S. players in the loss were Andrew Carleton, Manny Perez, Mark MacKenzie, and Josh Sargent.
This is the second U-20 camp of the cycle for Tab Ramos and many of his top players were not available for this camp. In MLS, Paxton Pomykal, Ben Mines and Anthony Fontana, did not make the trip and Tim Weah is with the full national team.
ASN USMNT starting lineup is open
With the site’s editor having only returned from vacation, it was delayed but the ASN’s starting XI generator for the Paraguay game is now open. Have fun with it