South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Van Gaal to decide squad following U.S. tour; Falcao scores vs. Arsenal; and more

LouisVanGaalManUnitedUnveiling1 (Getty)


Many players on the fringes of the Manchester United squad will learn their fate in the coming days.

As Man United winds down their U.S. tour when they face Liverpool in the final of the 2014 International Champions Cup, manager Louis Van Gaal told local reporters that he will speak individually with each player and let them know if they have a place in the squad ahead of the season.

“I shall make judgments after this tour,” Van Gaal told the Daily Telegraph. “I let all the players play and I know now more than before the tour. Now also it is a little bit soon to judge, but in football you have to judge and you have to give a chance to the player to make a transfer when I see that his prospects to play are not so high.

“You have to say it in advance because it’s too late after Aug 31 and I will tell payers after the tour, but to them, not to you.”

Players such as Javier Hernandez, Nani, Shinji Kagawa, as well as Marouane Fellaini and Anderson, who aren’t in the squad for the ICC, have all been subject to rumors or reports that they would leave Man United this summer. The summer transfer window closes in Britain on Monday, Sept. 1 at 11 p.m. local time.

Here are some more stories to start off your Monday:


It may have come in an exhibition match in another country but Radamel Falcao’s first goal since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament is nonetheless another step in his recovery.

The 28-year-old forward made his first start on Sunday at the Emirates Cup for AS Monaco since suffering a torn ACL on Jan. 22, an injury that ruled “El Tigre” out of the World Cup. Though he was marked for most of the match and still showed signs of rustiness, the Colombian forward took his one chance with ease, heading home a free kick past Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

It was the only goal of the match as Monaco held on for a 1-0 victory over the hosts, Arsenal, and following the match, both Falcao and manager Leonardo Jardim said that the player would be staying at the club this season.

“At this point Falcao is our player and he’s with us 100 per cent and we don’t want to let him go,” Jardim told reporters after the match. It’s a pity we lost James [Rodriguez] but we can count on Falcao staying. Regardless of what people say, he’s our player. He’s in the final stages of his recovery and he’ll be with us this season.”

Since Rodriguez completed his move to Real Madrid, he has been on the record as saying that he’d like to see Falcao move to Los Blancos with him, though no formal offers have been made.


After weeks of speculation, Costa Rican international goalkeeper Keylor Navas is officially a member of Real Madrid.

The club announced the signing on Sunday afternoon, with Navas signing a six-year contract with los Blancos. According to reports in Spain, Real Madrid paid Navas’ buy-out clause to sign him from Levante, a fee of €10 million.

Navas was the star of La Liga last season, being named by most pundits as the best goalkeeper in the league based on his performances for Levante. Navas then carried that form into the World Cup, leading Costa Rica to an incredible quarterfinals finish at the tournament, the farthest ever the little nation has gone in their World Cup history.


Alessandro Del Piero, at age 39, believes he can play one more season, though he is a free agent at the moment since leaving Sydney FC. (REPORT)

PEC Zwolle have stunned all of Holland with their 1-0 victory over Ajax to win the Johan Cruyff Trophy. (REPORT)

Bayer Leverkusen have acquired defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund. (REPORT)

Liverpool are closing in on the signings of Spanish defenders Alberto Moreno and Javi Manquillo. (REPORT)

Stuttgart have signed Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu on a season-long loan. (REPORT)

Uruguayan international midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro was unable to make his debut for Corinthians this weekend after a soap dish fell on his foot in the shower. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Which Man United players do you expect to leave in August? Do you see Falcao staying with AS Monaco? Do you see Navas receiving any playing time this season?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Alex

    Navas will be starting! Pains me to say as a Real Madrid supporter but Casillas has lost it and has never been the same since Mourinho benched him 2 yrs ago.


    • bryan

      agreed. him and Pepe were terrible on Chicharito’s goal the other day. it also pains me to say that Navas could, if he hasn’t already, replace Howard as the best CONCACAF keeper.


      • bryan

        for sure, i think if i had to rate, based on right now, it would be Navas, Howard, Ochoa.


      • Jay

        Hmmm I think Howard and Navas are a flip of a coin but Ochoa is right behind them.


      • GW

        What is your criteria? The World Cup? That is four to five games for the keepers in question.

        It seems to me all three keepers did their jobs very well.

        And since neither Howard nor Ochoa, for example , played for Costa Rica, I don’t see how you can make any kind of sane keeper comparison.

        The next CONCACAF tournament is the Gold Cup , next summer. Howard for one may not even play in it.


      • bryan

        it includes the World Cup plus their past season performance. i made it clear this is strictly based on right now. i’m not saying Navas is the best keeper to ever come from CONCACAF…which is why i said, “…replace Howard as the best…”

        you really can’t see how someone could make a “sane” comparison? so i’m crazy for thinking this? seems dramatic GW.

        Navas was the best keeper in La Liga last season and then went on to push CR to a quarter final appearance at the World Cup in a group that included Italy, England, and Uruguay. then they beat Greece in PKs, with Navas coming up big, and barley lose to the Netherlands, also in PKs. he nows signs for Real Madrid as looks primed to start as opposed to being the back up.

        he may fail miserably, sure, but if i was asked to rate those three, that’s how i would.


      • GW


        Comparing keepers, unless it is an obvious clear thing like Hamid of two years ago vs. Brad Guzan today, is always a very iffy proposition.

        It works best if you are talking about comparing two keepers, Guzan and Howard for example, battling it out for one spot on the same team.

        Then you can do the apples to apples thing.

        Otherwise it gets murky.

        For example, Navas is 27 and Ochoa is 29 and both are 6’1”. Memo is two years older and has played nearly twice as many pro games as Navas. But Keylor seems wise beyond his years.

        Both have good experience but neither has had the kind of constant glare that Timmy has often had to face for as long as he has.

        Timmy is 35 is 6’3” and bigger than those two. He has quite a bit more experience than either Memo or Keylor, much of it in the EPL, a league very hard on and unforgiving of keepers.

        Navas, Ochoa and Howard all played well in Brazil.

        Navas seems to currently be the best of the trio because, to date, he does not seem prone to the kind of brain cramps I’ve seen from both Timmy and Memo, but maybe that is just because he’s younger, his turn will come, and because we in America see him play so infrequently. It only takes a few good games , or even minutes ( see Diskerud, Mix ) to win over SBI fans.

        Basically he benefits from being the new kid on the block so to speak and a miniscule sample size.


      • bryan

        GW, i get that but i feel like you are just reading way too much into my original ranking. by your logic, why hand out individual awards like golden glove then? if these players being on different teams is such a big factor in not being able to accurately say who is better than who, why do it?

        my whole point was comparing relatively current form. so the sample size is only going to be so big to begin with. an entire La Liga season plus a World Cup, not to mention the qualifiers, is not a minuscule sample size when discussing it in the context i was attempting to.

        it’s not like he ONLY had a good World Cup. the dude was literally the best goal keeper in La Liga last season.


    • Sly

      I remember when everyone wanted this kid. A knee injury and now everyones waiting to see. Good pickup by Leverkusen. Nothing but benefits here.


      • Increase0

        He got Papastathopoulos and Papadopoulos mixed up.

        I mean I can see the problem except for the fact that the Dortmund guy goes by his first name Sokratis. So…. ya who knows.


  • Ian

    If I hear one story about “MLS interested in Del Pierro,” I’m gonna punch a baby deer.


    • beto

      sounds like a great fit for Montreal; Italian, close to 40 years old, free agent…


    • bryan

      well Adidas is trying to get him to an MLS team. to the point that his contract with them would be the main source of his salary. my guess is to avoid him having to be a DP.


  • Gill King

    Chich has played pretty well in this recent tournament, has not only hit the back of the net, but has also been creating lots of dangerous situations in the box. He looks a lot better with the Red Devils than he’s showed with El Tri. Welbeck has been on fire this tournament also, playing tremendously off of Rooney. My wonder is how much they expect to get from RVP, who’s (lack of) fitness for their long season played into their problems heavily last season. Chicharito is insurance against that, in addition to regularly coming off the bench. Nani has sucked for a couple of years now at Old Traff. I’m betting that he gets shown the door.


    • chuck

      That NASL to El Paso guy is gonna post a rant about how that would be the best thing ever in 3…2..



        Chicharito is the mexican Beckham for MLS. I actually think MLS should get Beckham dps from all over the world, like chicharito from Mexico, Honda from Japan, ronaldinho from Brazil, casillas from Spain, sneijder from holland and so on.
        Drogba a could of come, but MLS is too good for ronaldinho and drogba 🙂


    • GW

      Why would Chicharito want to play in MLS?

      He appears to have serious interest from Italy and Spain as well as other EPL teams and he may still stay in Manchester.

      Look at RVP’s overall record and you will find that being fit and healthy is not normal for him. Over the course of his career he has missed a ridiculous number of games.


  • Bean

    The Manquillo, and Moreno signings by Liverpool need to get done. The current fullbacks are not going to cut it for the difficult campaign ahead.


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