DC UNITED BOSS HITS BACK AT CRITICS

Just last Thursday, Rundown broke the news of the Wayne Rooney-DC United connection on this very website. Since then, every football journalist in the United States has had his say. That includes ESPN’s Taylor Twellman at half time during Sunday’s Cascadia Cup fixture between Seattle and Portland as he questioned whether the residents of Audi Field had the infrastructure required to house England’s all-time leading goalscorer. If you haven’t seen what I describe as excellent analysis, Rundown will share it on @CharlieTangoFM over on twitter.

Speaking to the media, the DC boss pulled no punches with his comments. “It has come to me through a few people that there is some positive and negative spins to the whole thing,” the former US international said after training.

“I don’t really give a [crap] what the media has right now. It’s their job to live in this hyperbole world. If that guy came to our team, I’m pretty sure he’d be pretty good.”

TMZ, who are once again dabbling in football, doorstepped United head coach Ben Olsen in an airport for his comments and he avoided committing himself. Like Bruce Arena previously when confronted by the TMZ mob, he retained his dignity. Speaking on Tuesday, Olsen was a little more reflective. “The hyperbole of everything is just unbelievable, the lack of reality,” Olsen responded to further media reports about the Liverpudlian.

“Just stepping back is hard to do right now I think for a lot of people. We’re going to continue to try to make this team better with some additions in the summer. That, you can bank on. Who it is, we’re continuing to try and find that out.”

2019 GOLD CUP VENUES REVEAL

The CONCACAF 2019 Gold Cup will be hosted in a joint effort between the United States, Central America and the Caribbean. The competition will feature an expanded field of 16 participating teams, six of which have already earned qualification including Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States, who are automatically qualified. Ten additional nations will qualify through CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers.

Announced as venues already are: Banc of California Stadium (Los Angeles), University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona), Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia), Bank of America Stadium (North Carolina), Allianz Field (Minnesota).

The rest of the US venues are expected to be revealed in the coming days and weeks.

MARCEL DE JONG SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION

Canadian international Marcel de Jong has signed a contract extension. He will be committed to the end of the 2019 season with an option for 2010. He follows center back Kendall Waston and right back Jake Nerwinski in signing with Vancouver Whitecaps.

“Since his first day with the club, Marcel has been the consummate professional,” Vancouver coach Carl Robinson said in a club statement.

“He’s a competitor, he sets the standard at training, and we’ve seen the results on the pitch. Marcel and his family have embraced Vancouver and this club and we are thrilled to have Marcel agree.”

TRANSFER TARGETS

It’s less than two months until the transfer window opens. MLS clubs have been casting their eyes far and wide in the search for players who will see them through to the end of the season. Vancouver Whitecaps are considering a move for Facundo Barcelo. The Uruguayan forward currently plies his trade for Argentine Primera División club San Martín de San Juan.

Peruvian midfielder Pedro Aquino is drawing interest from MLS. The 23-years-old is currently under contract with Liga MX side Monterrey and . He is expected to star for Peru this summer, suggesting that any club interested in him should get their offers in early.

Calcio Insider is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur are set to meet Borussia Dortmund’s asking price for American starlet Christian Pulisic. The price appears to stand at £40 million. Pulisic previously trained with Spurs before moving to Germany in 2015.

Any Other Business…

Los Angeles FC have now recorded the best start by any expansion side in MLS history.

Greg Seltzer over at MLSsoccer.com suggests the five players in Liga MX who should be on MLS clubs’ radars. They are Kekutah Manneh (Columbus Crew), Julian Quinones (Seattle Sounders), Keisuke Honda (Chicago Fire), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) & Lucas Cavallini (Montreal Impact).

Thank you for reading the MLS Rundown, a twice-weekly column focused on news, rumours and transfers. If you would like to connect with the writer, please do so on twitter @CharlieTangoFM