MLS Defending: United States domestic league’s defending struggles

MLS Defending: United States domestic league’s defending struggles

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Major League Soccer is a fascinating league to watch, presenting a strange, unique brand of football which has both its very clear strengths and weaknesses openly on display. Graced by world-renown names and stars of former years, the technical, attacking quality of the MLS is at a really high level, and yet is faced off against a defensive and goalkeeping core still seemingly in its developmental infancy.

Match after match, MLS supporters watch as the technically-gifted forwards and creative players of the league run rings round defenders often struggling with some of the more basic elements of top level football. Positioning and tactical defending seems yet to become properly rooted into MLS defences, and as such there is almost always an abundance of space and opportunity for the opposition attackers.

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FTB: Why Henri Saivet has become an expensive forgotten man at Newcastle

FTB: Why Henri Saivet has become an expensive forgotten man at Newcastle

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Henri Saivet is something of a conundrum as a footballer at Newcastle United. A late relic of the Magpies’ French Revolution, whereby scout Graham Carr utilised his extensive contacts in the European nation to bring a host of French talent over the Channel, with some working out brilliantly and many falling by the wayside.

Once such star was Saivet, who was brought in towards the end of Carr’s tenure at the head of Newcastle’s recruitment and scouting network, and despite doubts from the then management of Steve McClaren, signed from Bordeaux for a hefty reported fee of £5m.

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MATCH FOCUS: LA Galaxy 7-2 Sporting Kansas City

MATCH FOCUS: LA Galaxy 7-2 Sporting Kansas City

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Against Sporting Kansas City, LA Galaxy proved all that is excited and frustrating with MLS football. As chance after chance came flying in during the end-to-end contest, it was exhilarating for supporters to watch and likely infuriating for the coaches.

Simple mistakes and lacklustre defending created opportunities out of nothing. Sporting Kansas City almost took the lead early into the contest with a complete pot shot from distance which clattered against the post.

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Yeovil Town ball boys dismissed by referee during Bromley match

Yeovil Town ball boys dismissed by referee during Bromley match

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Gamesmanship is just another part of football that has become commonplace. Suddenly, as matches head towards the latter stages, the players of one side might seem suddenly sluggish and in no desperate rush to take throw-ins and set plays.

However, at Huish Park, it seemed not only the players wanted to get involved. Just to keep the game going, referee Aaron Jackson had to in effect brandish eight red cards.

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Late injury forces Gillingham to name goalkeeping coach on bench

Late injury forces Gillingham to name goalkeeping coach on bench

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Simon Royce last played a competitive match back in February 2011 for Brentford during a 4-1 defeat in League One to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Yet, the 48-year-old goalkeeper found himself unexpectedly named on the bench for Gillingham in their League One clash with in-form Oxford United. The reason for the surprise inclusion was a late injury to reserve goalkeeper Joe Walsh.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Adil Aouchiche

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Adil Aouchiche

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Adil Aouchiche appears to have all the makings of a world-class attacking midfielder for France in years to come.

If his performances at the UEFA European Under-17s Championships this summer were anything to go by, it wont be long before Aouchiche begins to make his mark at senior level for the Ligue 1 champions.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Sebastiano Esposito

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Sebastiano Esposito

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Sebastiano Esposito is one of Inter Milan’s brightest up-and-coming talents, with the young forward already beginning to get his first taste of senior football at just 17 years old.

The striker is a regular scorer for Italy’s Under-17s side, scoring four at the youth level Euros – and earning a spot in the team of the tournament.

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