I have a theory as to one reason (of many) the England National Team tends to underperform in major tournaments: the players all play in the same league. Every England international plays in the Premier League. One might argue this breeds familiarity and is therefore good for the national team, but I think it leads to a lack of stylistic variety in the team and makes the payer pool stagnant. It's basically like inbreeding, is what I'm saying.
It’s not football’s best kept secret, but Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has confirmed that much like Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa before him, 26-year-old center forward Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave the club for “a once in a lifetime chance to play for a certain team.”
Atlanta United are officially terrifying. After an impressive first season in Major League Soccer, Tata Martino's team has gotten even better with Wednesday's addition of former Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe.
The USA international is one of the best creative midfielders in MLS, and will make an Atlanta United attack that already features the likes of Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron even more vicious.
U.S. & The A.
“For f**k’s sake. Have you got nothing else to talk about?” was Neymar’s recent response when asked about wild speculation linking him with a transfer to Real Madrid. No, is now the Spanish media’s resounding answer.
The Vancouver Whitecaps pulled off what might be one of the biggest moves of the MLS offseason on Thursday, signing Venezuela international Anthony Blondell. The striker led the Primera Division in Venezuela with 23 goals in 2017, leading Monagas SC to the Torneo Apertura title.
Anthony Blondell (pronounced blun-dell) could be a coup for the Whitecaps. At 23 years old, he’s an emerging star, having made his international debut earlier this month. His 2017 haul of 23 goals came in 33 starts and 37 appearances and many of them were impressive strikes.
Monday marked Contract Deadline Day in Major League Soccer, meaning that all clubs (apart from the four still participating in the MLS Cup playoffs) had to announce which player contract options they’d picked up and which players they’d effectively cut.
Could Robert Lewandowski be the latest European star to make a move to MLS? According to his wife, Anna Lewandowski, the couple dreams of a move to Los Angeles and a chance to build their personal brands ahead of Robert's retirement.
"I think we will spend some time in the United States, too," Anna Lewandowski said in a recent interview with Business Insider Poland. "We dream of Los Angeles. There we want to develop our brands."
Here at The18, we typically steer clear of transfer rumor nonsense fueled by nothing more than the strange fancies of dubious websites because we’re not hacks. That’s why our award-winning staff is so often likened to German dachshunds with regards to the transfer market — we sniff out the nonsense and we piss on it.
Borussia Dortmund’s sobering 3-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich on Saturday contained only two redeeming qualities according to BVB manager Peter Bosz: the support of the club’s famous Yellow Wall and the play of 19-year-old American attacker Christian Pulisic.
There’s certainly not a whole lot in this — it’s wild January transfer speculation two months before the window opens from dubious sources — except that it kinda makes sense.