Tuesday Kickoff: Shevchenko weighs options, new Euro fan racism and more

Shevchenko (Getty Images)

After turning in some of the more memorable moments of Euro 2012, Andriy Shevchenko is a wanted man, and the 35-year-old Ukrainian forward is considering his options.

Contrary to some reports that suggest a move to MLS is imminent, Shevchenko said he is still very much figuring out whether he will even continue playing, let alone packing his bags for the United States.

"At the moment, I have not made a decision about my future – whether to continue playing football or retire, whether to stay in Ukraine or leave the country," Shevchenko told Reuters. "I have offers from clubs abroad and from Dynamo Kiev. Let me take a breather after the Euros and make a decision. I will certainly stay in football … Football is a bit more than a game for me. It is what I live for."

There were European-based reports circulating on Monday that Shevchenko had a signed deal with MLS and D.C. United, but that is not the case, and according to the Washington Post, the club and player have not had any contact. D.C.'s biggest imminent decision to make involves Designated Player Branko Boskovic, whose contract expires next month. If he were to be let go or re-sign at a discounted rate, then D.C. would potentially have the funds to go forward with another big-name signing. Boskovic, Hamdi Salihi and De Rosario are all making DP money, though De Rosario's salary is being bought down with allocation money, meaning he does not count as a DP.

Here are a few more stories to get your Tuesday going:

SPAIN, RUSSIA FANS UNDER UEFA SPOTLIGHT

The incidents of fan racism continue to hang over Euro 2012.

Spain and Russia are the latest to have UEFA investigate reported incidents of supporters' racial abuse, with Spain's fans being looked at for their actions in La Furia Roja's group match against Italy on June 10 and Russia having its fans investigated for alleged racial chants against the Czech Republic on June 8.

Italy's Mario Balotelli and Czech Republic's Theodor Gebre Selassie have previously been the subject of racial abuse from fans and are at the center of this investigation as well.

The latest racism investigations come a day after the German federation was fined €25,000 for supporters displaying Neo-Nazi banners and clothing during the Germans' match against Denmark in the group stage.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PRELIMINARY ROUND DRAW ANNOUNCED

A pair of Americans have learned their UEFA Champions League fate.

Molde's Josh Gatt and Kiryat Shmona's Bryan Gerzicich will participate in the second round of UCL qualifying, and their teams were involved in Monday's draw for the tournament.

Molde will face Latvian side FK Ventspils, while Kiryat Shmona has a date with Slovakian power MSK Zilina. The opening legs of the round take place during the third week of July, and the return legs will happen on the following week.

The entire draw can be seen here

ARSENAL SIGN GIROUD

Olivier Giroud's long-awaited move to Arsenal is complete.

The Montpellier and French national team striker agreed to a long-term contract with the Gunners Tuesday, one that begins on July 1. Giroud has been linked to a move to Arsenal for months, and he joins Lukas Podolski as offseason attacking signings by the London club. 

Giroud, 25, scored 21 league goals for Ligue 1 champion Montpellier this past season, sharing the Golden Boot with Paris-St. Germain's Nene and outscoring new Chelsea signing Eden Hazard by one goal.

PRANDELLI QUESTIONS EURO SCHEDULE

When Italy takes to the field against Germany in the Euro 2012 semifinals on Thursday, the Azzurri will have had two fewer days of rest than the Germans, a fact not lost on Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.  

"UEFA needs to re-examine the schedule for the next tournament," Prandelli said. "Either you extend the tournament or you find (other) solutions. Otherwise you have finals that are not very spectacular."

Germany has been out of action since Friday, after a relatively comfortable 90 minutes against Greece, while Italy was forced to play 120 scoreless minutes and endure a penalty shootout against England in a game that ended in the early hours of Monday morning in Ukraine.

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Do you want to see Shevchenko in MLS? What do you make of the latest alleged acts of fan racism? Think Gatt and Molde can make a run to the group stage? Do you see Giroud and Podolski having success in the Premier League? Agree with Prandelli? Should UEFA alter the schedule so the rest discrepancy is not as large?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Euro 2012, European Soccer, UEFA Champions League. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Shevchenko weighs options, new Euro fan racism and more

  1. Joe Creighton says:

    Siggy signs with Spurs. Delighted!

  2. Eugene says:

    Totally agree with Prandelli, I think the Italians have to fly to Poland as well.

  3. Inglorious Bast*rds (A Quentin Tarantino film) says:

    While I would love to see Shevchenko come to MLS, I could completely understand if he retired. 20 years of professional soccer has to wear you down. However, I hope he gives us the opportunity to see him play here in the United States.

    Racism in Spain is as bad as you’ll see anywhere in the world. My sister in law says she was horrified by the racist behavior of soccer fans while she was studying abroad several years ago. She said that people were much more accepting in other European countries, even in eastern Europe where many people had never met a non white person before. While I try not to let a few bad apples spoil the bunch, I am ofter disgusted by the display of inhumanity seen in Spanish soccer stadiums. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear about their fans participating in such behavior.

  4. elgringorico says:

    First I’ve heard of Shevchenko to DC — if it’s a trade of Bosko for Shev do you dump Bosko even though he’s been playing pretty damn well lately? I am inclined to say… yes.

  5. PD says:

    I don’t think Sheva to US is a good idea, unless it’s a play to get his kids to become future NATS players… in which case, woo away…

  6. James says:

    All I’ve heard or seen on ESPN is how Italy is getting 2 less days rest, but no one ever mentions that Spain is getting the same 2 less days for their matchup against Portugal. That being said, more importantly is the fact that Thursday’s semifinal winner will only have two full days rest before the final. That’s something that should never happen in a major championship, especially one as big as the Euros.

  7. Karol says:

    I think the Italians should have complained before the tournament started. Now it`s too late. Everybody knew the schedule before and nobody complained.

  8. Nate Dollars says:

    yeah, i assumed that the final would be the weekend after that, because no organizer would schedule a final that soon after semis.

  9. 19561 says:

    wow – Bosko made a difference in the NY match Sunday. Why dump a CAM to add another striker – albiet a very good one when you have Santos, Salihi, Pontius DeRo and even Wolff. I realize DC has a good roster but who runs the midfield for them?

    Although as a NYRB fan yes please trade away your CAM.

  10. FulhamDC says:

    For what it’s worth, United currently have only 2 DP’s, Bosko and Salihi. DeRo is listed as a salary budget player. No idea how that’s done given his salary, but if I understood the salary rules in MLS, I’d probably have a better job that the one I’ve got now.

  11. 19561 says:

    Ives – Transfer rumors article pretty please???

  12. Modibo says:

    Agreed. The Italians should make sure they don’t finish second in their group next time.

  13. KevDC says:

    DCU should resign Bosko.

    And even if Shevchenko was interested he would cost WAY more and not be a good value. He’s 35 and at the price he would command you would need a DP who would also put butts in seats. Casual soccer fans don’t know him even if he is an international superstar.

  14. RLW2020 says:

    ya why didn’t Germany play on Saturday and Spain on Friday? Then there would only be 1 day difference between semi-finalist

  15. John says:

    England tentatively agreed to play the USA in May 2014 in Miami

    link to mirror.co.uk

  16. away goals says:

    Exactly. Win the group like spain did and you get three days rest. Come in second like portugal did and you get 5 days rest.

    Wait.

  17. elgringorico says:

    Good lord that is a long ways away!

  18. bryan says:

    dude, the article literally spells out how DC United did it…

  19. bryan says:

    i’ve been seeing this DCU rumor for a bit. makes sense given Shev’s wife is from DC.

    1. Have to keep Bosko, he’s starting to click.
    2. Shev is not worth DP money, so maybe he’ll agree to a salary in the $300,000 range?
    3. DCU would really need to drop a forward because we would have too many by bringing in Shev, my guess is Wolfe would be sacrificed.

    i don’t see DCU pulling it off unless he agrees to non-DP money (which i think could happen). not a big enough name and at 35 it’s not a great ROI, in my opinion. but he would certainly be a nice addition for the right price!

  20. Karol says:

    When the draw was made Spain and Italy were probably very happy that they didn`t end up in Potugal`s/Germany`s group. Now both teams managed to progress and eliminate the Netherlands and Denmark and all of a sudden, people realize that they have an advantage in the quarterfinal because of the schedule…

    You can argue that both Germany and Portugal were “victims” of the draw and have now gotten a little advantage in return.

  21. away goals says:

    That’s a fair point. This year’s rebalance is accidental though. If group A had put a team in the semis, the discrepancy would have been compounded instead.

    Group draws will always produce uneven conditions. But the tournament should minimize built in advantages if at all possible.

    Simply playing the semifinals over two days instead of four would have accomplished that.

  22. elgringorico says:

    My very amateur opinion is that Shev is a small notch about Santos/Salihi and could start alongside Pontius. Wolff is obviously the one who would go sadly. It would not be ideal to part with Bosko. I would be very surprised if this rumor came to fruition.

  23. elgringorico says:

    above* Santos/Salihi

  24. bryan says:

    I agree. It would be fantastic have Santos, Salihi, Shev, and Pontius. Would give us even more depth!

  25. elgringorico says:

    I would def. not want to part with Bosko, yet while he did play well against NYRB, we did lose that game. He hasn’t been particularly instrumental to our success this season even though he is definitely improving.

    That being said it’s not like we need more forwards… hmmm.