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Maccabi Tel Aviv increase bid for U.S. defender Steve Birnbaum - sources

MLSsoccer.com's Calen Carr tells you why Steve Birnbaum could be the best young defender in MLS.

Israeli giant Maccabi Tel Aviv has lodged an improved $800,000 bid for United States defender Steve Birnbaum, but D.C. United is refusing to sell the center-back, sources told ESPN FC.

Club sources said on Friday that D.C. United is not currently entertaining offers for the 25-year-old and is "comfortable" letting Birnbaum play out the rest of his contract, which runs until January 2018.

D.C. United would still hold Birnbaum's MLS rights at that stage if the contract expires.

One source close to...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Maccabi's Jordi Cruyff says he can't make mistakes because of his name

Jordi Cruyff
Jordi Cruyff has been sporting director at Maccabi Tel Aviv since 2012.

Jordi Cruyff says his famous last name gives him less room for error as Maccabi Tel Aviv sporting director, but he's happy with the work he's done as the Israeli club prepare to take on Chelsea on Tuesday.

The son of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff took the job as Maccabi director in April 2012 and has qualified for the Champions League in each of his first three seasons.

This is the first year Maccabi have reached the group stage, having beaten Basel in the playoff round, and Cruyff told the Guardian...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Gary Cahill trusts security experts for Chelsea's UCL trip to Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Gary Cahill is putting his trust in security experts to decide whether Chelsea's Champions League trip to Maccabi Tel-Aviv will go ahead on Tuesday.

The latest information from the British government advises tourists to "take extra care and be vigilant when using public transport in Tel Aviv," saying that there is a "high threat from terrorism" in Israel.

The Premier League champions are playing 60 miles north of Maccabi's home ground due to the club playing European games at the Sammy Ofer Stadium...