As recently as Wednesday, Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie joined his American teammate Nick Taitague and fellow Yank teenager Christian Pulisic for an afternoon of FIFA at Pulisic’s place in Gelsenkirchen. How long those sort of friendly meetings will endure is up for discussion, because one of the world’s best rivalries has two young American friends on either side. McKennie is a whopping 21 days older than Borussia Dortmund’s Pulisic, and will turn 19 on August 28. “When we hang out it doesn’t come up, but we know in the back of our heads that when that game comes around we’ll have to hit pause on our friendship,” McKennie told ProSoccerTalk.
Breaking news on Twitter from Amsterdam, where Ajax is getting ready to face Rosenborg in the Europa League playoff round. According to Die Telegraaf journalist Mike Verweij, Colombian defender and Ajax Player of the Year Davinson Sanchez is not with Ajax at their team hotel ahead of the match, which suggests the player might be on the move. Ominous message for @Ajax fans. #daosanchez26 not at the Hilton hotel, where the team prepares to duel with Rosenborg. The smart money here suggests that Ajax and Tottenham have finally worked out a fee for the transfer of Sanchez to north London. Sanchez is a hugely important player to Ajax, and there’s zero reason that he wouldn’t be with the team, even
Robin van Persie is in line for a recall to the Netherlands national team after an absence of almost two years. The Fenerbahce forward was named on Wednesday in a preliminary squad for two key World Cup qualifiers in the next fortnight. Ryan Babel and Eljero Elia have also been recalled as coach Dick Advocaat named 32 players for the important qualifier against Group A leaders France in Paris on Aug. 31 and then at home to Bulgaria in Amsterdam on Sept. 3.