5 Stripes back to training, Tuesday's news updates: Starting Lineup, August 22
by Jason Longshore
1- Atlanta United gets back on the training pitch this morning as they look to build on Sunday night's big 2-0 win in Seattle. 2 goals from Giorgos Giakoumakis earned him the MLS Player of the Matchday award as he is now tied for second in the Golden Boot race with 12 goals in 2023. Assists from Thiago Almada (his 11th of the year) and from Brooks Lennon (his 8th of the year, a career high) were hallmarks of a complete performance in the big win. Atlanta is now on 38 points in 7th place in the East. Second place through seventh is separated by five points.
2- Xande Silva (photo credit: ATLUTD) and Edwin Mosquera made their first starts of 2023 for Atlanta United, while Tristan Muyumba made his first MLS start for the club. Saba Lobjanidze is scheduled to speak to the media for the first time on Thursday and is expected to be available for selection for Saturday's match against Nashville. You can hear more of my thoughts about the match on last night's Atlanta Soccer Tonight from 92.9 The Game:
3- The timing of this move surprises me a bit, as Giovanni Savarese has been fired by the Portland Timbers. It is not surprising after a bad 5-0 loss on the road, but it is surprising based on all Savarese has accomplished with the club. Two MLS Cup appearances, the winningest manager in club history, Savarese did not get to finish out the season as the Timbers try to get back into the playoffs after missing out in 2022. They are five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and we'll see if interim manager Miles Joseph can turn things around quickly.
4- Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales has apologized for kissing Spain World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso during the postgame medal ceremony after Sunday's Women's World Cup final, saying: "I made a mistake, for sure" amid widespread criticism of his behavior. Hermoso downplayed the incident on Monday, but there is no question it has taken up too much attention from Spain's historic win. It's not the first time Rubiales has been the source of controversy and we'll see if changes ever happen at the RFEF. (ESPN)
5- Manchester City might have found their replacement for Riyad Mahrez with only a few days left in Europe’s summer transfer window. City and Rennes have reportedly come to an agreement on the transfer fee for Belgium winger Jérémy Doku, who will cost the English and European champions $71 million if he passes his medical tests. Doku is 21, has 14 caps and 2 goals for Belgium, and had 8 goals in all competitions for Rennes last season.
6- After stating an interest in the USMNT job that went to Gregg Berhalter, former France striker Thierry Henry has been named head coach of the country's U21 side until 2025, the French Football Federation said in a statement on Monday. The Arsenal great will lead the team at next year's Olympic Games in Paris, replacing Sylvain Ripoll, who was sacked after France's early exit at this year's European Under-21s.
7- Chivas Guadalajara (and former Chicago Fire) head coach Veljko Paunovic has been sanctioned by the FMF's Disciplinary Committee for criticizing referees. Referee Fernando Hernández awarded Juárez a penalty late in the match which allowed them to level the game. Paunovic reacted angrily in the post-match press conference, saying that it was “not a coincidence” that his side had been treated unfairly. Paunovic also alluded to Hernández's history, he just returned from a 12-match suspension after kneeing a playing in the groin back in April.
8- Amazing debut for Christian Pulisic yesterday for Milan with a goal in their 2-0 win at Bologna. Pulisic was dangerous on the dribble throughout the match and was involved in creating Olivier Giroud's opening goal as well.
9- Folarin Balogun is still an Arsenal player at the moment, although interest is picking up late in the transfer window. Fulham is in need of a striker after Aleksandar Mitrović's departure. Chelsea, who is seemingly interested in everyone, could be in the mix. Monaco reportedly have already had one bid rejected but still want to bring Balogun back to Ligue 1.
10- On this day in 1969, the Atlanta Chiefs routed the St. Louis Stars 5-2 at Atlanta Stadium in front of just over 4,000 fans. Kaizer Motaung and Emment Kapengwe each scored two goals in the win as the Chiefs were chasing league leaders Kansas City with two games left to play in the NASL season.
11- On this day in 1961, Roland Orzabal was born in Portsmouth, England. He is the co-founder and co-lead vocalist of Tears for Fears as well as a producer and author. Roland is responsible for so many great songs to choose from for today's Song of the Day, "Head Over Heels" gets the nod today and here's a great live version for you: