Connect with us

MLS

Daryl Dike, Ricardo Pepi transfers point to rising tide in MLS

Published

on


Dike grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma, and Pepi is from El Paso, Texas, many hours from the nearest MLS academy, with only relatively young USL Championship clubs in their vicinity. These are not exactly what most would consider traditional US soccer hotbeds – though we may need to fundamentally reevaluate our perceptions of such terms, considering how quickly and brightly their stars have risen.

Pepi was identified at a young age by FCD’s savvy talent-spotters and convinced to uproot himself and relocate to Frisco to join their academy as an adolescent, with his family providing support by following suit in the ensuing years. Dike took the NCAA path, shining at college powerhouse Virginia before moving to Orlando City via a Generation adidas contract and the fifth overall pick in the 2020 SuperDraft.

So there’s more than one path, and that sends a powerful message of hope and possibility, not only to others hoping to follow in their footsteps but everyone rooting for the positive outcomes this can reap for players, clubs and eventually even national teams – like the USMNT and their Canadian rivals, who as you may have noticed, currently occupy the top two positions in Concacaf’s Octagonal World Cup qualifying table.





Source link

MLS

2022 MLS season: Fire standing behind struggling goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina

Published

on

By


Gabriel Slonina has made his decision. He’s going with the United States men’s national team.

Slonina, 18, announced Friday on social media he is committing to the US over Poland. A dual national, Slonina was recently named to Poland’s roster for its upcoming UEFA Nations League matches but has chosen to cast his lot with the United States program. Poland clearly wanted Slonina badly, as shown by coach Czesław Michniewicz traveling to Chicago to meet with him and present him a jersey.

Those overtures were rejected, and Slonina explained why. Though he discussed his pride in his heritage and what it means to be Polish, Slonina said “my heart is American.”

“This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for,” Slonina posted. “It’s pushed me and supported me through good and bad. I understand the privilege of wearing the badge, and the only time I’ll put my head down is to kiss it. America is home and that’s who I’m going to represent.”

Because of his age, FIFA rules allow Slonina to play in three matches for a national team before being bound to a country, so it’s possible he could change his mind in the future.

Slonina is part of a crowded US goalkeeping picture that includes Manchester City’s Zack Steffen, the Revolution’s Matt Turner (who will join English club Arsenal this summer) and former Fire standout Sean Johnson, currently the captain of reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC. Poland is also strong in net, led by Wojciech Szczęsny, the starter for Italian powerhouse Juventus.

But just because Slonina, who’s represented the US at youth levels, has made this decsion doesn’t mean all his major choices are complete. Slonina’s been linked with major European clubs, and with their transfer windows opening soon, the young goalie might be forced to decide between famous teams in the near future.

Slonina’s recent play for the Fire has raised questions about whether those outside factors have taken a toll. Last Saturday, Slonina’s late giveaway led to the Fire’s 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati. Then on Wednesday against the Red Bulls, Slonina whiffed on an easy save for New York’s second goal, overcommitted on their stoppage-time equalizer and could’ve easily given away a penalty after contacting an opposing attacker in the Fire box.

After the Red Bulls match, coach Ezra Hendrickson was asked whether the external noise was affecting Slonina’s concentration.

“Maybe outside of the game but in the game I don’t think he’s thinking about all that stuff. He just happened to make some mistakes,” Hendrickson said. “You know, we all make mistakes as soccer players and it just happened to be that in that position of his, your mistakes are more dangerous, are more costly than someone missing a goal or something like that. But he’ll get out of it and we’ll make sure that he stays positive and stays confident.”

Perhaps that will be easier for Slonina with one major decision out of the way.





Source link

Continue Reading

MLS

Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi – rsl.com

Published

on

By



Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi  rsl.com



Source link

Continue Reading

MLS

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin on being first place in MLS – FOX Soccer

Published

on

By



Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin on being first place in MLS  FOX Soccer



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending