Cristiano Ronaldo: Plastic surgery, or not?

By Michelle Kaufman

There's been much debate in recent years whether the Best Soccer Player in the World is Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Here's another question up for discussion, after seeing his face over and over during the Euro 2016 final: Has Cristiano Ronaldo undergone plastic surgery? He certainly looks different than he did as a kid at Manchester United. Clearly, braces helped his crooked teeth. But has he had more done? Nose job? Botox? Or has his face just evolved naturally as he matured? Examine the photos and vote in the poll below....

 

Ronaldo

Monday, May 16, 2016

Klinsmann named 22-man roster for Miami camp, Puerto Rico friendly

By Michelle Kaufman

U.S. national coach Jurgen Klinsmann invited 22 players to Miami this week for a training camp as the team begins to prepare for the Copa America Centenario in June. The players chosen for this camp are based in Europe and Mexico, and just completed their club seasons. Major League Soccer players will join the group at a later date.

At the end of the week, the team will fly to Puerto Rico for a May 22 friendly in Bayamon, the first-ever between the two teams. The match will be at noon, and shown on FS1 and UniMas.

After Puerto Rico, the U.S. team plays Ecuador on May 25 in Frisco, Texas (7 p.m. CT; ESPN2 and UniMas) and Bolivia on May 28 in Kansas City, Kansas (7 p.m. CT; FS1 and Univision).

Fifteen of the players in camp -- including Weston's Alejandro Bedoya (FC Nantes) -- are eligible for the Copa America 23-man roster, as they were included in a 40-man provisional roster that was due at the end of April. The final roster for Copa America must be submitted by May 20. MLS players who make the final roster will be released by their clubs on May 23 and join the team that day in Dallas.

Among the players invited were veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard, who is headed to the Colorado Rapids after a 10-year career at Everton in England, and Bobby Wood, who just set a scoring record for American players in Germany with 17 goals for Union Berlin of the 2 Bundesliga. Wood was so impressive that on Sunday he was transferred to Hamburg of the Bundesliga.

The Mexican club most represented is Club Tijuana, with Michael Orozco and national-team rookies Paul Arriola and Amando Moreno.

"We are doing this week in Miami and finishing off the week with a game in Puerto Rico because it's really important in terms of transitioning our players coming in from Europe and some who are already done in Mexico to keep them in a flow, to keep them in a rhythm," said Klinsmann. "One of our lessons from last year's Gold Cup was because the tournament was pushed into July, we couldn't transition our European-based players and some of the Mexican players perfectly."

"We added some players coming from the younger side to look at them and to get a roster together, but the main purpose of this camp is to keep the rhythm, keep going and to transition perfectly into the preparation for the Copa America Centenario."

All the U.S. practices are closed to the public.

The Miami camp roster....

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Zach Steffen (SC Freiburg)

DEFENDERS (7) : John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

MIDFIELDERS (7) : Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg), Danny Williams (Reading)

FORWARDS (5) : Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Fabrice Picault (FC St. Pauli), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beckham will have "significant'' Miami MLS news by summer

By Michelle Kaufman

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

David Beckham does not plan to make any announcements during his visit to Miami this week, but according to a source close to his camp, the soccer icon hopes to have “significant’’ news to share “before summer’’ regarding the finalizing of his team ownership group, a name for his Miami Major League Soccer club and the proposed debut season -- maybe 2017, but more likely 2018.

Beckham’s group has narrowed down four or five stadium sites “he quite likes,’’ but the more immediate issue, said the source, is trying to secure additional financing to be able to impress the soccer-savvy South Florida market with a state-of-the-art stadium, international marquee players the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, and a world-class soccer academy that would attract top young talent from all over the Americas.

“The narrative has centered around the stadium site, and that is a priority, but it is a bit of a red herring,’’ said the source. “The group has very big ambitions and big-picture decisions to make; so the reason this is taking so long is that they decided to take a step back from the stadium site issue and focus on what kind of football club we can be, how deep are our pockets, how much money can we spend?

“Will we be a rich stable club or a very rich club that attracts a Ronaldo or a Messi, the caliber of player that would really excite fans in Miami. Will we build a 20,000-seat stadium or can we afford 60,000? Public land or private? Will our academy be the envy of MLS or the envy of all of Latin America? We have to compete with NYCFC and the L.A. Galaxy, and the new Orlando team, and that requires deep pockets.’’

MLS commissioner Don Garber has remained in close contact with Beckham’s group, and plans to re-visit Miami soon.

“David and his partners are continuing to work hard to finalize plans for a new stadium, and we are supporting them in their efforts,” said Garber, who was headed to Minneapolis for a Wednesday announcement of a 23rd MLS franchise in that city.  “As we have said previously, we believe that with the right stadium and David’s passion, leadership and business acumen, Miami will be a great MLS market.  We plan to visit Miami in the coming months and will meet with David and local officials.’’

Beckham and his manager/business partner Simon Fuller have spent the past several months talking to potential investors all over the world.

“Just because (Beckham) hasn’t been seen in Miami doesn’t mean he has lost interest,’’ said the source. “That is not true at all. He has been talking to investors in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, who are very interested in Miami and attaching themselves to the team. He is narrowing down the right partners, trying to find partners who share his vision and integrity. Once he knows how much money he has to spend, then he can start planning all the rest of it. That really has to come first.’’

-30-

Monday, July 14, 2014

Obrigada, Brasil!

Bom Dia from the Rio airport...5 a.m. here..on my my way home after 35 days in Brasil.

It's been a very memorable tournament -- on and off the field!

Thanks so much for visiting the blog. Hope you enjoyed the coverage. Here are my two stories from today...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/13/4234638/mario-goetze-sends-germany-home.html

and...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/13/4234548/michelle-kaufman-besides-finalists.html#morer

There's always a down period after the World Cup, but soccer goes on....MLS (64,000 showed up for Seattle v Portland last night!), European leagues, Champions League, ICC in Miami...

Keep coming back. And please share your views on the World Cup!

Obrigada,

Michelle.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Newest Beckham stadium plans

David Beckham's group on Thursday unveiled their new plans for a downtown #MLS stadium and waterfront park at the FEC boat slip between AmericanAirlines Arena and Museum Park. It would join the museum area with the arena and create a continuous green space along the water that, in my opinion, would be much more attractive than what is there now. In my mind, it would enhance the waterfront area and make it more of an attraction. Right now, the FEC slip area is underutilized, there is no nature there, and there are beer cans and garbage floating in the water. The project still has a long way to go, and voters will get to decide in November. Stay tuned.

Donovan reaction to snub, Klinsmann quote

World Cup Countdown: 20 Days to Go!

I am still stunned with the news that Landon Donovan was left off the US World Cup team. Is he as fast and fit as in his younger years? No. Is he still a better choice for a World Cup team than an 18-year-old German kid whose international experience consists of one half of one game, who does not play on his club team's first team, and who spent almost no time in this country? Yes, I believe Landon would have contributed more to this team -- on AND off the field -- than Julian Green. I'm sure Green is a great kid, and has a bright future, but Donovan is the face of American soccer, a leader, and even if he isn't a starter, he could have added creativity, vision and experience off the bench. Klinsmann obviously knows more about soccer than I do, but this move seems strange and may backfire.

Here is Klinsmann's explanation:

"This is certainly one of the toughest decisions — the toughest decision in my coaching career – to tell a player like him with everything he’s done and what he represents, to tell him that you’re not part of those 23 right now,” Klinsmann said in a video released Thursday by US Soccer. “I just see some other players slightly ahead of him.”

“The last 10 days he did everything right,” Klinsmann said of Donovan’s performance in training camp. “He was always positive, he took it the best way possible. So his disappointment is huge. I totally understand that. He took it very professional, because he’s an outstanding professional player and he knows that I have the highest respect for him.

“But I have to make the decisions as of today. I have to make the decisions what is good today for this group going into Brazil and I just think that the other guys right now are a little bit ahead of him and I told him that. And he understands it, but obviously he’s very disappointed.”

And here is Donovan's message he posted to fans on Facebook: “It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups. I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision. Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come. Thanks for all your support, Landon.

And here is former MLS player Jimmy Conrad's response on Twitter: Just double checking my math. 1 cap, no 1st team minutes with club team > 156 caps, 5 World Cup goals, best player in U.S. history. Got it.

 

Saturday, May 17, 2014