Bruce Arena bites his fingernails religiously, a habit he has had since age 10. Arena walks across midfield soaking in the California sun and surveying the scene as his players take a lap and begin stretches ahead of training on a practice field adjacent to Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes. "I'm thinking about my investments and retirement and things like that," Arena cracked, then added: "I'm observing the players and looking at their habits, trying to learn as much as I can about players on a daily basis. With his quick wit off the field and demanding nature on it, Arena has instilled a calm and a swagger the U.S. squad needed, and that has bred success again after fans reached panic mode.
It wasn’t too long ago that Liverpool apologized for its pursuit of Southampton center back Virgil Van Dijk, ending its quest for the big Dutchman. Is it apology accepted and then some at St. Mary’s? Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol says not much has changed since the big sorry toward Anfield, but that a source close to Van Dijk expects Van Dijk will be a Red “by the end of the window.” That said, Sky’s report makes it unclear what’s changed to lead to such a proclamation. There is no suggestion that Liverpool have done anything wrong since they apologised and ended their interest. Southampton’s position remains that Van Dijk is not for sale but Chelsea and Manchester City are also interested.
Mansfield chief executive Carolyn Radford has posted a promotional music video on YouTube in a bid to win a seat on the Football Association Council. Radford, 35, wife of the Sky Bet League Two club's chairman John, is one of five candidates bidding for two places currently available to represent the Football League on the FA Council. Radford, who graduated from Durham University with a degree in politics, said on her Twitter account that her song was a tongue-in-cheek imitation of a campaign video once used by former US president John F Kennedy.