All posts by Jonathan Abraham

Zlatan Ibrahimović set to return to A.C. Milan

After starring for the MLS’ LA Galaxy for the past two seasons, Zlatan Ibrahimović has reportedly agreed to a principle deal, returning to A.C. Milan for at least until the end of this season.

Ibrahimović, who scored 42 goals in 61 appearances for the Serie A side from 2010 to 2012, will be brought in for some much-needed assistance as Stefano Pioli’s Milan are currently in 11th place in the league with a record of 5-2-7. The Lion has several years of Serie A experience under his belt, playing for the likes of Juventus (2004 to 2006), Inter Milan (2006 to 2009), as well as Milan. 

However, critics wonder if Ibrahimović, 38, will be able to play at a high level in one of the top leagues in the world. Even though the Swedish international played a pivotal role for the Galaxy as he accumulated 52 goals in 56 appearances for the club, the North American league is considered a place where Europe’s biggest stars come to retire. 

This move back to the San Siro will be a huge step in Ibrahimović’s career to see if he still has the ability to play a top-level league. Do you think he will shine again in Italy?

LA Galaxy look towards PSG’s Edinson Cavani to replace Zlatan Ibrahimović

According to several reports, the LA Galaxy are hoping to replace Zlatan Ibrahimović with former PSG teammate Edinson Cavani.

Ibrahimović, who had been in the league since making his much-anticipated debut for the Galaxy on March 31, 2018, decided it was time to leave the club after scoring an impressive 52 goals in only 56 appearances.

Cavani, who has been sensational for the French giants since arriving from Napoli in 2013, has fallen down the pecking order after the club signed Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi on loan for this season. This has caused the Uruguayan striker to find a move that could get him playing time, which the MLS would be able to offer.

Throughout the summer, Cavani had been linked to David Beckham’s Inter Miami for their inaugural season, but Ibrahimović’s departure could lead the storied franchise to sign the prolific striker.

The Uruguayan has been a pivotal part of PSG since his arrival, scoring 136 goals in 192 appearances with the club. Cavani has also been sensational for his national team, alongside FC Barcelona’s striker Luis Suárez, bagging 48 goals in 114 appearances. 

If the Galaxy are able to land Cavani, it would be a major coup for the league. The striker has dominated Europe, winning a Coppa Italia with Napoli in 2012, winning five Ligue 1 titles, and many more. The Uruguayan was also a part of the squad that won the 2011 Copa América in Argentinian soil.

Although Cavani’s personality may not as out-of-the box as Ibrahimović’s, whose flair off the pitch seemed to take over the city of Los Angeles and the league, he is a player that could make an immediate impact if signed.

The 32-year-old looks as if he could still play at a high level, so some may wonder why he would move to the MLS, a league considered to be a place where Europe’s biggest stars come to “retire.” However, if the Galaxy are able to land Cavani, it could be a huge step to increase star influence in the league, having already had players such as Beckham, Ibrahimović, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, and many more take their talents to the U.S. and Canada. 

As the Galaxy become desperate to search for their next No. 9, it should be interesting to see if Cavani will be able to fill the giant void left by Ibrahimović in a city where the lights and pressure shine the brightest.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry named head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact

Thierry Henry, one of the biggest players in the most popular sport worldwide, was appointed to be the head coach of the Montreal Impact on a two-year contract.

 For Henry, who has played for the likes of some of Europe’s top clubs such as Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, and FC Barcelona, this will be his second stint in the league after he played for the New York Red Bulls from 2010-2014, scoring 51 goals in 122 appearances for the club.

The Frenchman began his coaching career in February 2015, coaching Arsenal’s youth teams along with working for Sky Sports. Henry later became an assistant coach, specifically focused on the forwards, for the Belgium national team under manager Roberto Martinez. His efforts led him to be offered the managerial position for Bordeaux, but disagreements with the club’s owners led him to not accept the job. 

After being promoted to lead assistant coach, Henry accepted his first job as a manager for his former club Monaco in October after the firing of Leonardo Jardim. After starting off his tenure with a 2-1 loss at Strasbourg, Henry was unable to get a win for over a month before defeating Caen 1-0 in November. The club’s struggles led him to sign several key players during the winter transfer window, including former Arsenal teammate Cesc Fábregas from Chelsea and Brazilian center back Naldo from Schalke. Ultimately, these signings did not help the club improve its form, and Henry was dismissed from his former club after the team was in 19th at the time, finishing his tenure with a record of 4-5-11.

 Although Henry’s tenure at Monaco was rough, he does not have to face the pressure of relegation in the MLS with the Impact. The club’s partnership with Italian-side Bologna will also offer a great deal of help as he would be able to loan some players from a top-flight league into the squad, offering some much-needed assistance for a squad that missed the playoffs after finishing 9th in the Eastern Conference. 

With the fate of Montreal’s success in the league in the hands of Henry, time will tell if the Frenchman – who had only previously managed one side prior and was unsuccessful – will be able to improve the squad’s performance compared to last season.

How do you think Henry will get on at Montreal Impact?

Chelsea Women’s land international superstar Sam Kerr

Manager Emma Hayes and the Chelsea Women’s side, who are currently the leaders of the WSL at 4-1-0, improved their squad drastically by signing Australian sensation Sam Kerr on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The Blues competed against several of European’s top clubs, including FC Barcelona, PSG, and Champions League winners Lyon, but were able to sway the prolific scorer into playing in England. She will officially join the squad in January 2020.

Kerr, 26, was rotating her playing time between the Perth Glory of Australia’s W-League (whose season runs from October to April) and the Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL (whose season ran from April to October), which was taking a toll on the striker. 

The Australian international had a strong campaign in her home country’s league last season as she won the Golden Boot Award for the second consecutive year in the league with 13 goals. Kerr also had an MVP season in the U.S. as she accumulated a league-record 18 goals along with five assists – leading the Red Stars to the championship game before ultimately losing to the North Carolina Courage. She is currently the all-time leading scorer in both leagues (64 in W-League, 65 in NWSL).

However, Kerr is most known for being the face of soccer Down Under, where she has been striving for the Matildas since her international debut at a mere 15 years of age. The captain of the squad has scored 38 goals in 83 appearances, leading Australia to the Round of 16 in the most recent edition of FIFA’s Women’s World Cup before falling to Norway in penalties.

 This signing for Chelsea was a huge step towards league and European dominance as they look to compete with these powerhouses by signing one of the best goal scorers in women’s soccer history.

Super Frank Lampard wins Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for October

On July 4, Chelsea brought a bit of nostalgia when they appointed Frank Lampard as the new manager on a three-year contract, making him the first English manager to manage the side in 23 years.

The club legend had not donned the club’s colours since he left in 2014 for a move to league foe Manchester City – much to the chagrin of some fans who did not want to see him in any other shade of blue. After finishing his playing career in the MLS for New York City FC, Lampard served as a team captain on the ITV sport panel show Play to the Whistle, until 2017. He was also a regular for BT Sport’s football coverage as well. In 2018, he was appointed as the manager with the Championship club Derby County, which begun his managerial career.

In Lampard’s first season at the helm for the Rams, he guided the club to the final of the Championship play-offs before ultimately losing to Aston Villa 2-1. However, his tenure at Derby was short-lived once his former club were searching for a new manager. Lampard is named among the top candidates for the open position.

When Lampard arrived at Chelsea, the team had ultimately lost their best player in Eden Hazard to powerhouse Real Madrid and had a transfer ban for the upcoming season. He had to use his best with what he had – a lot of young prospects and ageing veterans. His tenure for the Blues did not get off to the best start after they were clobbered by Manchester United at Old Trafford 4-0, the biggest defeat for a debut manager for the club since Danny Blanchflower’s squad in December 1978, who lost to Middlesbrough 7-2.

However, Lampard would not let that defeat define his first managerial season for his beloved club, and the squad took off after that horrendous performance. The squad started to show signs of improvement after the loss at Old Trafford, going 4-2-3 in all competitions in August and September. But October was when Chelsea took the world by storm with several strong performances, causing him to win the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month.

The Blues had won all three of their league matches in the month of October, and this was just a sign of the improvements Lampard has made since his tenure for the club. The squad began their league play this past month cruising through Southampton with a 4-1 victory at St. Mary’s Stadium. They also had a nail-biting 1-0 win over Newcastle at home courtesy of a Marcos Alonso goal. Chelsea had finished their perfect month thanks to an astonishing performance from Christian Pulisic, whose “perfect” hat-trick led them to a 4-2 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.

This season was an uncertainty for Chelsea fans, who had to deal with a transfer ban and the club hiring a manager with only one season of managerial experience under his belt. However, Super Frank has proved the doubters wrong with the choices he has made so far that has led his squad to be successful so far this season. Only time will tell if Lampard continues this success as a manager for his beloved club.