In a certain light, Shaq Moore could be looked upon as a blueprint for young Americans looking to develop careers in professional soccer. The 21-year-old fullback spent time in the IMG Academy and the FC Dallas Academy before moving to Spain, where he rose through the reserve divisions and currently plays for Levante in the Primera Division. He has even appeared against Barcelona.
However, to hear him tell it, there is no blueprint.
In the four months since LAFC selected Tyler Miller with the first overall pick in the 2017 MLS expansion draft, he has rubbed shoulders with Will Ferrell, debuted with a clean sheet against his former team in Seattle and come face-to-face with the newly-elected mayor of Los Angeles, Zlatan.
“The football I grew up playing is no longer there. Today, all players care about are their cars, their shoes with their names on, and their image. While for me, the only thing that counted was football. Nothing else.” -Miroslav Klose
Football is under attack. It’s a sentiment that, regardless of how much it resonates with you, is often expressed and passionately argued. Whatever the reason, be it the influx of money, the unsporting concentration of talent or the diminished draw of the international game, there’s cause for cynicism.
They call him “Braveheart.” Of course they do. What else would you call a Scotsman from Livingston, some 15 miles west of Edinburgh, who came up through the ranks at Celtic before making the somewhat unusual move to Bari in Italy’s Serie B during the January transfer window?
However, Liam Henderson’s signing with the club based in southern Italy was/is not a gimmick, and there are many around Celtic who think the Glasgow giants made a mistake in letting him leave. And, it’s important to note, that Henderson is not the first Scot to make the jump.
As Lionel Messi has grown more adult, so has his hair. Except for that blonde thing a while back. We'll get to that. Anyway, Messi's hair and beard have gradually mutated from a clean-shaven, moppy-haired boyish look to a bearded, crew-cutted mannish look. Let's take a look at how this transformation came about:
Age 21, standing at 6-4 and hailing from Muskego, Wisconsin, you probably think you know the USMNT’s latest salvation at the forward position, Andrija Novakovich. You’ve probably sketched a mental outline of a big, blundering center forward with an affinity for Milwaukee’s Best, but we mustn’t forget that Harry Kane was similarly written off for being a chubby, traveling salesman-looking version of Butt-head.
Aged just 16 years, five months and two days (for comparison’s sake, Lionel Messi was 17 years, three months and 22 days), teenage Catalan phenom Claudia Pina made her league debut for FC Barcelona Femeni Sunday in the club’s 2-0 victory over Zaragoza.
Pina has been a revelation for Barcelona throughout her La Masia rise, and her exploits for Spain at the U-17 level have been remarkable, to say the least.
Just before the new year, Puebla announced the signing of 26-year-old Bolivia international Alejandro Chumacero from La Paz club The Strongest. At 5-4, Chumacero is as diminutive as they come in the midfield/wide areas, but his talent was enough to earn a short-lived spell at Brazilian club Sport Recife at the age of 22.
Back on November 24, 2017, Guadalajara completed a three-goal comeback in the Apertura championship to shock Pachuca in the inaugural season of Liga MX Femenil, the top-flight women’s league in Mexico. Key to Chivas’ triumph was midfield captain Tania Morales, a 31-year-old native of Guadalajara who scored five goals and two assists in the 14-match regular season to lead her club into the playoffs.