Thursday 21 September 2017

In Off the Post

Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Doyle Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Doyle Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Green Scene: The MLS campaign kicked off without Robbie Keane over the weekend, and the regular updates and clips of his latest starring performance for LA Galaxy will be missed.

Keane is still taking time to mull over his next switch and has been spending time at home. He was linked with a variety of MLS clubs but the deals didn’t come to pass.

Bournemouth star Harry Arter Photo: Reuters / Andrew Yates
Bournemouth star Harry Arter Photo: Reuters / Andrew Yates

Therefore, Kevin Doyle is the most recognisable Irish face in America, and Colorado Rapids – who still have Meath man Padraig Smith as their sporting director – kicked off the campaign with a 1-0 win over New England Revolution, with Doyle prominent.

However, he’s not the only Irishman on the books of an MLS club. Ex-Burnley and Wigan midfielder Chris McCann has signed up with league newcomers Atlanta United.

They are managed by former Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino and kicked off their campaign in the early hours of this morning against New York Red Bulls.

McCann will hopefully have a better run of injury luck in his new abode.

Star man: Harry Arter

The Bournemouth midfielder was a busy presence in his side's 1-1 draw with Manchester United and managed to stay on the right side of the under-fire referee Kevin Friend by hassling the hosts as they failed to make the most of their numerical advantage.

The worst supported league in Europe

Attendances are a problem in the League of Ireland, but our clubs are fanatically supported compared to Estonia, which has the worst supported league in Europe. Their summer season kicked off on Friday and Saturday, and the crowds were in keeping with the norm - the average top flight turn-out across the campaign is less than 200. Champions Infonet Tallinn's away date in Tartu attracted the largest figure from week one: 484 fans came out to watch them. Meanwhile, the Tallinn derby between traditional rivals Flora and Levadia energised 335 souls.  Granted, the population is 1.3 million but 407,000 live in the capital. Clearly, they have better things to be doing with their spare time in a country where they like their skiing and basketball.

Stag do blamed for refereeing mistakes

Intrusion into the lives of footballers goes with the Premier League territory these days, but you know it has become a circus when the private lives of referees are discussed.

After a Saturday dominated by bad decisions, it was noted that a number of officials took last weekend off to attend the stag do of Anthony Taylor in Marbella. And Taylor’s poor performance in Swansea’s meeting with Burnley led some sections of the media to ask if the two were related.

As it happens, a few of them could have next weekend off.

Numbers game

25 - Minutes of football played in Buncrana on Friday night when floodlight failure forced the abandonment of Derry’s game with Limerick. Not much fun for the visitors after a round trip of 740km.

19 - Goals that Liverpool have scored in the first 30 minutes of Premier League games this season – that’s five more than any other club.

On this day

23 years ago – 1994

Manchester United’s double ambitions are hit by a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea, with Gavin Peacock the scorer. United went on to win the league and cup – thrashing Chelsea in the final. Peacock is now a Christian preacher.

Irish Independent

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