MLS Ticker: Arena sounds off on Gold Cup sked; RBNY's Juninho to retire at season's end; and more

MLS Ticker: Arena sounds off on Gold Cup sked; RBNY's Juninho to retire at season's end; and more

MLS- Toronto FC

MLS Ticker: Arena sounds off on Gold Cup sked; RBNY's Juninho to retire at season's end; and more

Bruce Arena

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Los Angeles Galaxy defender just returned to the club from nearly a month with the U.S. Men’s National Team last Wednesday. Assuming he is called up for the upcoming Gold Cup, he’ll only be around for another seven days before he leaves for another month with the national team.

Speaking to reporters after the Galaxy’s practice on Monday morning, Arena didn’t shy away from calling out the league and schedule makers, as he could potentially lose Gonzalez and midfielder Landon Donovan for an extended period of time right in the heart of the Major League Soccer season.

“That’s what this league is. This is the way the league operates. When you can’t be in sync with an international calendar, that’s the reality of things,” Arena said to the team’s website. “We’ve been well aware of [the Gold Cup] before the year started. It’s crazy. It skews the competition in the league, but it is what it is. What are you going to do?

“It’s a major problem we have with scheduling in the league, and it damages the competition. We have to find other ways to fit the schedule in where teams are not impacted due to the FIFA calendar.”

Without Gonzalez and Irish international forward Robbie Keane in the lineup for three weeks, the Galaxy lost three matches in a row in all competitions.

Here are some more stories to catch you up around the league:

JUNINHO TO RETIRE AT END OF 2013 SEASON

One of the greatest free-kick takers of the past 20 years is retiring from professional soccer this December.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Juninho reportedly disclosed his decision to retire in an interview with a French newspaper that was published this weekend, announcing his intent to retire at the conclusion of the MLS season. The 38-year-old has failed to score this season for the Red Bulls, but has four assists, including two of them on game-winning set pieces late in the match against the Los Angeles Galaxy and Montreal Impact last month.

The former French champion at Lyon in Ligue 1 began his career at Sport Recife in 1991, eventually moving on to Vasco De Gama in 1995. In 2001, Juninho made his move across the atlantic to Lyon, cementing his legendary status with 100 goals in 344 matches and seven league titles.

In 2009, Juninho moved to Qatari side Al Gharafa for two seasons, before signing with the Red Bulls last February for the current MLS campaign.

TORONTO FC TO LOSE FOUR PLAYERS TO GOLD CUP

While the Los Angeles Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City will be hit hard by international call-ups during the Gold Cup, Toronto FC could be missing up to four players during the tournament.

According to reports out of Canada, TFC could be without defenders Ashtone Morgan and Doneil Henry, and midfielders Kyle Bekker and Jonathan Osorio for a period of two to four weeks, depending on Canada’s performance in the Gold Cup.

The Canadian Soccer Federation was supposed to announce their roster for the Gold Cup on Monday, but it was delayed due to player availability, according to a statement from the federation. Canada is in Group A of the Gold Cup, where they’ll face Panama, Mexico, and Martinique in the group stage.

QUICK KICKS

Colorado Rapids winger Danny Mwanga acquired his U.S. citizenship on Monday. (REPORT)

Seattle Sounders forward Eriq Zavaleta has returned from a two-week loan with NASL side San Antonio Scorpions, but could be returning there for the second half of the season. (REPORT)

Chivas Guadalajara announced their roster for their upcoming friendly against D.C. United, but left new signing Aldo de Nigris off the list. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Do you agree with Arena’s statements? Surprised at Juninho’s decision? Do you see TFC’s international call-ups hurting the club with their absence?

Share your thoughts below.

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