Thursday Kickoff: Mexico name Gold Cup squad; Chelsea reach Schürrle deal; and more

MexicoGoldCupChampions1-2011 (Terra)

By DAN KARELL

As the first-choice Mexico National Team arrived in Brazil in preparation for the Confederations Cup, the FMF (Federation of Mexican Football) announced the 23-man squad for this summer’s Gold Cup, set to take place in July in the United States.

With the Confederations Cup and a squad at the Under-20 World Cup, it’s a highly inexperienced squad, with just two players, forward Omar Bravo and midfielder Fernando Arce, have more than 12 caps with El Tri to their name. One of the biggest stories out of this group is that experienced forward Oribe Peralta was left out of the squad, instead sitting in the potential list of players who could come in after the group stage.

Three players on the squad have ties to the United States. Forward Isaac Brizuela and midfielder Miguel Ponce were both born in California, though they grew up in Mexico, and goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo, who plays for Club Tijuana, has an American mother, though the 31-year-old doesn’t hold an American passport according to reports.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

CHELSEA AGREE FEE WITH LEVERKUSEN OVER SCHÜRRLE

Though on the cusp of completing the deal weeks ago, Chelsea finally came to an agreement with German side Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday over the transfer of 22-year-old midfielder Andre Schürrle.

The deal will likely be completed in the next two days as the two clubs complete all the legal and international documentation, as well as Schürrle passing a medical and signing personal terms with the London club.

Now with the news of the move nearing completion, the rumor mill will turn into overdrive over current Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who spent last season in Germany on-loan with Werder Bremen and has expressed a desire to remain in Germany next season.

Schürrle, who has made 24 appearances already for the German National Teal with seven goals, is one of the brightest stars in the Bundesliga the last two years since moving to Leverkusen two seasons ago from Mainz. Last season, Schürrle scored 14 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions, including the Bundesliga, German Cup, and Europa League.

MESSI ACCUSED OF TAX FRAUD

The Spanish authorities have lodged a writ in court against Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi and his father Jorge over tax fraud of more than $5.3 million.

No charges have been filed by the court, but according to reports out of Spain, the Messi family have a network of companies in Britian, Uruguay, Switzerland, and Belize that have been used to hide income from the Catalonian tax officials.

Messi released a statement on his Facebook page, saying: “We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities. We are surprised about the news, because we have never committed any infringement. We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants, who will take care of clarifying this situation.”

If charged and eventually convicted, however unlikely that possibility, the penalty for the charges would be up to six years in prison.

PSG ENTERS RACE TO SIGN GARETH BALE

Gareth Bale is easily sits in the top ten of the most-wanted list of soccer players this summer, and according to reports out of England, Paris Saint-Germain are willing to break the bank to bring him on board.

The Player of the Season in the Premier League for Tottenham last season as voted by the players and media is valued by Spurs at more than $133 million, but in a bid to hijack a potential transfer from Real Madrid, PSG are happy to pay above and beyond that price, which would make Bale the most expensive transfer in soccer history.

Cristiano Ronaldo went for about $125 million in 2009 when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid. United forward Wayne Rooney has also been rumored to be on his way to PSG in a large transfer fee.

Bale is set to be offered a new contract by Spurs this summer as they hope to hold on to the Welsh international, who can build on his career high 21 goals in 33 Premier League appearances this season, and potentially bring the club a Europa League title next season as well.

QUICK KICKS

Cesc Fabregas has shot down any claims of him leaving Barcelona and moving back to the Premier League. (REPORT)

AS Roma have signed French coach Rudi Garcia, formerly of Lille, to be their next manager. (REPORT)

Manchester United winger Nani is considering a move to either Juventus or Monaco this summer. (REPORT)

Malaga have replaced outgoing manager Manuel Pellegrini with former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster. (REPORT)

With Andre Schürrle out the door at Bayer Leverkusen, the club have signed South Korea international Heung-Min Son from Hamburg. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Surprised that Peralta was left off the Gold Cup squad? Do you see Schurrle getting a regular place in the side? Do you believe Messi committed tax fraud?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Mexico name Gold Cup squad; Chelsea reach Schürrle deal; and more

  1. b Shurley says:

    Interesting note I saw on the Univision link was that Carlos Vela has agreed to return to el tri for the September and October Qualifiers. Should make for an interesting addition to a team lacking some serious offense at the moment.

    • Helium-3 says:

      Vela is the best forward on their team. He’s good all around and doesn’t have deficiencies like the other forwards (Chicharito, Dos Santos, De Negris, Peralta) who play for El Tri.
      After having all these scoring problems they now figured it out and invite him back. L O L

      • Socom 2 says:

        Carlos Vela to mexico is like Shawn Parker to US

        Too bad we are losing to two dual nationals in the gold cup to mexico

        Miguel Ponce
        Isaác Brizuela

        Disappointed again on klinsmann not reaching out to dual nationals

        • Lorenzo says:

          How do you know he didn’t? Just because you “reach out” doesn’t mean you get them. I was very pleased to see 10 of the 11 players starting in Seattle started in MLS.

          How is Vela to Mexico like Parker to USA?

    • Old School says:

      From what I’ve heard, his main issue is with the current manager. No guarantees that he’ll even be there in Sept/Oct, so this “rejoining” was probably inevitable anyway.

    • RK says:

      He had a great season in Spain, too.

  2. SanFran415 says:

    Story out of Spain is that someone is playing politics with Messi to make it seem like they’re trying to balance budgets back home.

    Aside from the fact that Spanish law prevents retroactive application of new tax rules, the Spanish tax decree (‘Beckham Law’) came into place before Messi obtained dual citizenship. Thus, his only taxable income and @sset valuation, as a wealthy foreign professional, would be that which originated in Spain.

    I figure they know that–hence the no charges.

  3. The Imperative Voice says:

    If the rumors are true I don’t see how playing for ABV at PSG is any different than playing for him at Spurs, other than a different assortment of supporting characters. And you’re still playing for an overrated coach.

    • Old School says:

      Why is he overrated?

      Seems more like when hate > becomes opinion > becomes fact.

      • Grubbsbl says:

        Overrated is a harsh word but AVB is probably a little overhyped, and certainly a growing manager. He did well at Porto but underperformed at Chelsea, losing control of a talented locker room. The fact that the sand squad has won 3 trophies since his removal doesnt bode while either. He then moved to Spurs and took a team that finished 4th a yr ago, signed a bunch of players, and then finished 5th. With a Bale playing out of his mind too. Not exactly the stuff of legends.

        Now why C Ronaldo would move to PSG and play under AVB there and not Spurs is obvious. PSG have CL football, a larger wage structure, and better players than th North London club.

        • Old School says:

          “He did well at Porto but underperformed at Chelsea, losing control of a talented locker room.”

          To me, that was a Chelsea problem mixed in with the inexperience of AVB.

          He wanted to inject new blood into the team and lost the veterans as a result. However, that team is incredibly aged and he was right in that objective.

          Mourinho is about to gut the majority of it and has already publicly stated even the likes of John Terry has no guarantee of a spot on his team.

          AVB is inexperienced and still cutting his teeth but inexperience doesn’t mean “overrated”. He’s a talented manager…any additional hype isn’t a product of him, nor is it his fault.

    • biff says:

      I followed Tottenham regularly last season and have mixed feelings on AVB–both good and bad thoughts about his coaching abilities. But I gotta say, I think the bad outweighs the good. IMO he made some questionable coaching decisions that cost Tottenham at least two precious points needed to gain a Champions League top four finish in the Premier League.

  4. zztoppppp says:

    I think it is a big mistake for United to let Nani walk, whoever signs him is getting a world cl@ss winger.

    • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

      As a Man U fan and someone who has watched Nani each of his 6 season at Old Trafford, I’m fine with letting him go. He has lost the form he had two season ago and he is such a maddening player who consistently makes the worst decisions. His lack of soccer intelligence can’t be made p with pace. Simple as that.I appreciate all he did for us but it’s time to move on.

      Now if we could go back and keep Pogba, that would be something.

    • Old School says:

      I don’t think Nani’s attitude is worth his talent. He seems toxic to chemistry and appears to overvalue his own ability.

      I think the stigma of being the next great Portuguese behind winger Ronaldo doomed his growth, ultimately.

      I’d sell him in a heartbeat.

    • Helium-3 says:

      I don’t know about world class but Nani definitely isn’t at the same level as the other wingers like Ribery and Robben.

  5. Nate Dollars says:

    i was originally laughing at chelsea for going after schurrle, because yeah, another attacking mid is what they need. but if he can enable them to move oscar back to a center mid role (where i think he’s going to be world-cl@ss), then maybe…

  6. Lorenzo says:

    Alright Mexican Liga fans, how does Mexico’s Gold Cup roster look?

  7. Hush says:

    IMO it seems we have much better & lager pool of players to fill in in different tournaments then any other Concacaf teams. We have experience & young experience players who have sniffed the A-team for the most part, unlike Mexico’s B and C teams. Which are either inexperience or too old.

    There’s 10 players in the W.C qualifiers that will be in the Gold cup as well. But only 4 players are starters right now, well, at least for the most part. So,.. let’s say there was another tournament we had to play in this summer and can’t use A-team in qualifiers or the B-team in the Gold cup. Here is another option of players we could assemble together for a C-team to play a tournament:

    I can see Adu, Agudelo, Ream, Lichaj, Chandler, Gyau, Bunberry, Morales, Spector, Cherundolo, G-john, etc… These 11 players alone are better than most Concacaf teams and definitely better than a Mexico C team and probably B-team as well imo. This of course would be a U.S C team… I would add some MLS C mids and a few goal keepers and we are ready to roll. Agudelo up from with Adu and Gyau on the wings. Morales, John, Dolo, Lichaj our back line with Timmy as an option at right or left.. I’d paid to see these four and in the back in the trio up front…. We are definitely better imo. Chivas and Morelia have good Mex-ballers, but nothing that I consider National team quality.

    The point is, we have a stronger selection of players if we would put 3 teams together on paper. Any Mexican players playing abroad automatically gets them on the NT. That is not the case for the U.S.. We have more Euro players that can’t sniff the NT at times because of playing time. … That is not the case for Mex players playing abroad. … We should win this Gold cup, if not, it will be a disappointment.