Wednesday's soccer news starts with USMNT and Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard announcing that 2019 will be his final season in professional soccer. Howard's resume doesn't need highlighting for any fan of American soccer. Suffice it to say, Howard will leave the game as one of the all-time greats.
I’m greatly looking forward to kicking off the 2019 MLS season, as it will be my LAST. There will be plenty of time for sentiment later. For now, I am going to enjoy every minute. And as I’ve always done, compete hard and help lead the Rapids with the sole purpose of winning. pic.twitter.com/QWuCcy7gW2— Tim Howard (@TimHowardGK) January 22, 2019
On the field, Howard and the Rapids face a significant challenge in showing that they can push into the playoff spots in the Western Conference. It's an opportunity for a major statement from Howard, showing once again how to lead from the back. The Rapids are already a better team right now than they were in 2018, with the added benefit of an extra playoff place.
Also in the soccer news, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter reduced the January camp roster to 23 players for the upcoming friendlies against Panama on January 27 and Costa Rica on February 2.
"We've had a great two weeks in Chula Vista focusing on building team culture, style of play and competing every day," Berhalter said in a press statement. "The entire group has worked hard and brought an excellent mindset, and we thank them for the consistent effort thus far. We look forward to continuing to build on these ideas in Phoenix and measure our progress in the game against Panama."
USMNT Game Roster
GK: Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0)
DEF: Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 2/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 0/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Keegan Rosenberry (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 4/1)
MID: Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 17/2), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 142/17), Russell Canouse (D.C. United; 0/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 6/0), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 5/1), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 5/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 11/0)
FOR: Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers, 0/0), Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 40/6)
The Athletic's Paul Tenorio explains the allocation money in MLS. The Sacramento Republic announces new investment and plans for MLS expansion. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald looks at the release issue for the U-20 USMNT with Philadelphia not necessarily happy about the potential for losing a player.
The Guardian's Ewan Murray predicts the likelihood of a true title race in the Scottish Premier League. The NY Times' Tariq Panja on the arrest and legal issues for the person behind the Football Leaks.
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