Insider Notes: Tensions high over de Gea; Will USA host '16 Copa America?
In the wake of the aborted David De Gea transfer, tensions remain high between Manchester United and Real Madrid. And while we may never be 100% certain of exactly what happened, I’m told Real Madrid bosses are of the belief that Man United manager Louis Van Gaal changed his mind at literally the final hour about doing the deal and made sure it didn’t go through.
Even though De Gea has signed a new four-year contract with United, Real Madrid remains confident that it will acquire him via transfer for next season.
Here are a couple of other items from around the soccer world:
CONCACAF, CONMEBOL to meet over Copa America
Will the Copa América Centenario take place in the U.S. next year after all? A meeting between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL in Mexico City on Thursday may decide things. With the tournament being heavily tied to the FIFA indictments, CONCACAF and U.S. Soccer gave a list of conditions to CONMEBOL that have to be met before they agree to host the tournament here.
CONMEBOL wants the tournament to be in the U.S., but U.S. Soccer wants to be protected in case more CONMEBOL officials are arrested. I’m told CONMEBOL came around on some of the conditions a few weeks ago, but not all of them. Bottom line: This tournament is still very much up in the air.
One intriguing note: U.S. Soccer’s contract for the tournament is with CONCACAF, not with CONMEBOL.
Kamara not focused on MLS record
Kei Kamara of the Columbus Crew has a league-leading 20 goals this year, and with five games left in the regular season he has a chance of challenging the MLS single-season record of 27. How much is Kamara thinking about the record?
“To be honest, my teammates are thinking about it more than I am,” he said. “They’re finding ways to say: ‘How can we beat this record?’ I’m hearing guys saying, ‘We need to find a way to get you those goals.’ For me, I think it’s kind of hard to get to [the record]. I’m just looking to whether I can win the Golden Boot for this year.”
Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco trails Kamara by three goals, while NYCFC's David Villa and LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane follow with 15 apiece.
Last year's Golden Boot winner, New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips (who tied Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski's MLS record with 27), has 14.
One remarkable thing: Kamara doesn’t have a single penalty kick goal this season and isn’t his team’s regular penalty taker—that would be Federico Higuaín—but Kamara said if Columbus does get a penalty his teammates are probably going to force him to take the spot kick in pursuit of the record.