While Bastian Schweinsteiger might have endured a torrid time at Old Trafford, ever since his departure from Manchester United, he has been enjoying himself in the MLS.
The German legend who left United to join Chicago Fire only recently, scored his second goal for his new team, on Saturday, against New England.
And it was his second strike in just his third MLS match.
He penetrated the opposition defence with a clever run, then got past two defenders and blasted in a fine shot to gift his team the opening goal, in what was a 3-0 win.
And, if he can still notch up goals for his team at 32, what more would you want from him. It looks like there’s still plenty of fuel left in Schweini’s tank.
Do you think Schweinsteiger could turn out to be the best signing in MLS this year?
Manuel Neuer has widely been regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world over the last few years, even with David De Gea’s rise and Gianluigi Buffon’s evergreen form.
The Germany and Bayern Munich stopper has come to be known as The Wall because of the futility in attempting to beat him, although Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kießling has had some success, scoring six times against Neuer.
Of course, those six goals have come over the course of ten years, so it would be hard to claim that Kießling that has unlocked the secret to beating Neuer.
Will any striker find consistent success against the Bayern Munich No. 1?
Mbark Boussoufa insists Monday’s – Ten Cate paltry home crowd for their crucial AFC Champions League clash against Al Fateh did not affect the players, but he hopes a raucous support will cheer them on to a victory that would put them on the cusp of the Arabian Gulf League title.
Just 322 fans turned out at Jazira’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium for a critical ACL Group B game against the Saudi visitors, where a win would have given Henk ten Cate’s men renewed optimism of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Instead, a dour 0-0 draw all but ended their hopes of progressing and left them rooted to the foot of the group. It was an alarming show of support from the Pride of Abu Dhabi’s fanbase – especially with Al Shabab visiting tomorrow.
The Hawks will arrive in the capital, where a 19th win of the campaign for Jazira means they can claim the AGL title on Saturday should reigning champions Al Ahli fail to beat Al Wahda across Abu Dhabi.
But Morocco international Boussoufa failed to criticise the Jazira faithful, instead lashing praise upon them for their support which has carried the club to the verge of a first domestic crown in six seasons, and just second in club history.
“Friday is a big game and I hope the fans will come and support us, but the fans have been there the whole season,” said schemer Boussoufa, who has scored three goals and dished out five assists in 17 league games this season.
“They’ve been there at home and away, everywhere, regardless. “If the game almost doesn’t count because you’re not going through to the next stage unless you win then of course it’s difficult for everybody to come out.
“But they’ve been there the whole season and I’m sure they’re going to be there Friday night like they’ve been the whole season. All we can say is we appreciate them and like them for the things they’ve done for us.”
And the former Chelsea academy graduate, who is in his first season with Jazira after a summer move from Russian giants Lokomotiv Moscow, refused to acknowledge that playing in front of sparse audiences had a detrimental impact on the players.
He added: “It’s not demotivating, who says I’m demotivated. We have a duty to play so of course you want the fans to be there, but if they’re not there you still have to do your duty.
“It wasn’t a demotivating factor (against Al Fateh). We were very motivated, it was just difficult to make the difference. But I think the will to win was there. We wanted a good result, it’s always very frustrating when you don’t score.”
Ten Cate had signaled his priorities before a ball had even been kicked on the continent when he left January arrival Leonardo out of his Champions League squad.
And despite the fact he said he was not happy with his side’s performance on Monday, he admitted the Shabab game takes precedence.
“Friday is the most important day of the week,” said the former Chelsea and Barcelona assistant. “Friday will be a very important game and maybe this was in the mid of the players, I’m not sure.
“And I’m sorry, I don’t want to degrade the Champions League, but can we win the Champions League? No. Can we win the championships? Maybe and this is what our focus was on. “That’s why we are in the situation we are in, because I rested my key players in the previous games.
I’m very proud of this team and these players because what they did, with a small roster, not the biggest, is incredible.”