EPL Talk Archives for January 2014

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 3: Open Thread

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The third week of the Premier League kicks off today with 7 matches on deck. But most importantly, it's the final Saturday action for two weeks due to the international break starting next week.

For viewers in the United States, the games will be shown on:

Burnley vs Manchester United, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra
Manchester City vs Stoke, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra and movie theaters
QPR vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Swansea vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
West Ham vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Everton vs Chelsea, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Eibar Coach Gaizka Garitano Slams Atletico Madrid As ‘Cheats’ [VIDEO]

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A video of Eibar coach Gaizka Garitano firing up his squad before their Week Two encounter with Atletico Madrid has gone viral over the past 24 hours.

In the footage, Garitano is seen addressing his squad in trainingand urging them to be wary of the reigning La Liga champions playing style.

A Review Of The Book “Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet”

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The recent World Cup has spawned a number of books that not only look at the recent past of American soccer but what the men's national team needs to do going forward. Many of these stories are being written by journalists, but it is rare we hear from people who have experienced the U.S. soccer development system that are not on ESPN and NBC.

Burnley vs. Manchester United Match Review and Player Ratings

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The last time that these two teams met at Turf Moor was in the 2009 Premier League season, with Burnley coming away as 1-0 winners. The Premier League newcomers were hoping to produce another shocking result, even if it comes against a struggling Manchester United team still trying to find their feet.

Swiss Super League TV Coverage Comes To The USA (beINSports)

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beINSport's streaming service beinsportsconnect.tv will present FC Basel v BSC Young Boys this Sunday (August 31st) at 10:00am ET. This is an introduction of a new league to soccer fans in the US.

The Swiss Super League is ranked #13 based on UEFA's ranking by league coefficients. The league has a reputation for high scoring matches.

Julian Green Leaving Bayern Munich For One Year Loan To Hamburger SV

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Julian Green from the United State's Men's National Team and Bayern Munich will be leaving Bayern to join Hamburger SV for a one-year loan deal, as confirmed by his father's twitter as well as Sven Töllner of Sky Sports earlier today.

Green joined Bayern Munich in 2013 after signing a four-year deal that will see him with the Bundesliga giants until 2017.

Radamel Falcao Close To Finalizing A Move To Real Madrid, Say Reports

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According to growing reports, AS Monaco have agreed to send Radamel Falcao on a season long loan to Real Madrid for a fee believed to be near £20 million. The Spanish giants will also have the option of signing the striker on a permanent basis at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.

News of Falcao's move to Madrid began surfacing on Thursday after CNN and beINSPORT contributor Tancredi Palmeri claimed a deal between the clubs had been reached on his Twitter account.

Radamel Falcao Close To Finalizing A Move To Real Madrid, Say Reports

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According to growing reports, AS Monaco have agreed to send Radamel Falcao on a season long loan to Real Madrid for a fee believed to be near £20 million. The Spanish giants will also have the option of signing the striker on a permanent basis at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.

News of Falcao's move to Madrid began surfacing on Thursday after CNN and beINSPORT contributor Tancredi Palmeri claimed a deal between the clubs had been reached on his Twitter account.

Julian Green Leaving Bayern Munich For One Year Loan To Hamburger SV

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Julian Green from the United State's Men's National Team and Bayern Munich will be leaving Bayern to join Hamburger SV for a one-year loan deal, as confirmed by his father's twitter as well as Sven Töllner of Sky Sports earlier today.

Green joined Bayern Munich in 2013 after signing a four-year deal that will see him with the Bundesliga giants until 2017.

Swiss Super League TV Coverage Comes To The USA (beINSports)

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beINSport's streaming service beinsportsconnect.tv will present FC Basel v BSC Young Boys this Sunday (August 31st) at 10:00am ET. This is an introduction of a new league to soccer fans in the US.

The Swiss Super League is ranked #13 based on UEFA's ranking by league coefficients. The league has a reputation for high scoring matches.

Burnley vs. Manchester United Match Review and Player Ratings

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The last time that these two teams met at Turf Moor was in the 2009 Premier League season, with Burnley coming away as 1-0 winners. The Premier League newcomers were hoping to produce another shocking result, even if it comes against a struggling Manchester United team still trying to find their feet.

A Review Of The Book “Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet”

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The recent World Cup has spawned a number of books that not only look at the recent past of American soccer but what the men's national team needs to do going forward. Many of these stories are being written by journalists, but it is rare we hear from people who have experienced the U.S. soccer development system that are not on ESPN and NBC.

Eibar Coach Gaizka Garitano Slams Atletico Madrid As ‘Cheats’ [VIDEO]

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A video of Eibar coach Gaizka Garitano firing up his squad before their Week Two encounter with Atletico Madrid has gone viral over the past 24 hours.

In the footage, Garitano is seen addressing his squad in trainingand urging them to be wary of the reigning La Liga champions playing style.

Burnley vs Manchester United Predicted Lineups

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Manchester United head into what Louis van Gaal has labelled a 'derby match' with Burnley on the cards next up. Sean Dyche's side hope to recreate the heroics of the 2009 team which defeated United 1-0 on their last visit to Turf Moor.

Shinji Kagawa is an addition to United's injury list, following a concussion sustained in the midweek defeat to MK Dons whilst new signing Marcos Rojo still awaits the approval of his work permit applicationafter sealing his move from Sporting Lisbon earlier this month.

Manchester United Agree £14 Million Fee For Daley Blind, Say Reports

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According to reports in England and the Netherlands, Manchester United have agreed a£14 million fee for AFC Ajax defender Daley Blind. All that is left is for the player to agree to personal terms with the Premier League club, which is expected to be a formality.

Once the transfer isfinalized, Blind will become United's fifth signing of the summer; following the arrivals of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria.

Everton vs Chelsea Predicted Lineups

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José Mourinho's Chelsea travel to Merseyside to face Roberto Martinez's Everton in Saturday's English Premier League marquee matchup. Everton finished the 2013-14 season in fifth place, just two places behind Chelsea. Sharing the points from these fixtures last season, the Toffees defeated Chelsea at home, yet lost to the Blues when they travelled to Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham vs Liverpool Predicted Lineups

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Two league wins, scoring five goals and conceding zero in the process have seen Tottenham Hotspur at the top of the table, although it is very early days. They entertain Liverpool on Sunday the 31st of August. The Merseyside team were beaten 3-1 by the Champions Manchester City away from home and with key players missing through injury it gives Rodgers a selection dilemma.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 3: Open Thread

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The third week of the Premier League kicks off today with 7 matches on deck. But most importantly, it's the final Saturday action for two weeks due to the international break starting next week.

For viewers in the United States, the games will be shown on:

Burnley vs Manchester United, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra
Manchester City vs Stoke, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra and movie theaters
QPR vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Swansea vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
West Ham vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Everton vs Chelsea, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Manchester City vs Stoke City Predicted Lineups

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Coming off of a decisive 3-1 victory over last year's Premier League runners up Liverpool, Manchester City will look to continue their perfect start to the early season with a lineup that will feature only a couple of changes. The most likely changes will be at fullback with Sagna in line to make his first appearance in sky blue and Alexander Kolorov rotating in for Gael Clichy.

The Sweeper: 10 Soccer Stories You May Have Missed This Week

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Allow The Sweeper to hurtle you through this past week's best stories at the speed of Mario Balotelli racing through Milan's streets in a Ferrari with his queasy pet Rottweiler by his side.

1. "Think Outside the Ibrox"

Picture Ben Roethlisberger back in the MAC scrambling to find holes in the Akron Zips' secondary on a Tuesday night at Heinz Field.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 3

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NBC has announced the commentators for this weekend's Premier League matches that will be shown on television and Internet across the United States.

Here's the line-up:

Saturday, August 30:

Burnley vs Manchester United, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & Jim Beglin
Manchester City vs Stoke, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Daniel Mann & Davie Provan
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra and movie theaters; Gary Weaver & Brian Little
QPR vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Tony Jones & Tony Gale
Swansea vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Jonathan Beck & Ray Houghton
West Ham vs Southampton, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Taphouse & Trevor Francis
Everton vs Chelsea, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon

Sunday, August 31:

Spurs vs Liverpool, 8:30am, NBCSN and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux
Aston Villa vs Hull, 8:30am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Crocker & Dean Sturridge
Leicester vs Arsenal, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Danny Mills

NBC Sports Group's coverage of the 2014-15 Premier League season continues this Saturday beginning at 6:30 a.

Chelsea Trigger Loic Remy’s £8.5m Buy-Out Clause From QPR, Say Reports

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Fresh off the news that Fernando Torres has joined AC Milan on a two-year loan deal, Chelsea have reportedly triggered QPR striker Loic Remy's £8.5million buy-out clause and the France internationallooks set to have a medical with the Blues as early as Saturday.

Speculation is Chelsea began talks with Remy's representatives following an injury scare involving Didier Drogba earlier this month.

Top 5 Must-See Soccer Games On TV This Weekend

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When we have an honorable mentions section on this feature, its always a firm indicator that the weekend is going to be a bit of a special one. And a week ahead of the dreaded international break (I know, I know, sorry for mentioning it) we have a few days bristling with top quality action is most welcome.

Ivory Coast May Miss Africa Cup of Nations Qualification Due To Fear Of Ebola Exposure

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The Ivory Coast's National Team may be forced by the Ivorian Government to forfeit their first qualification match for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, due to fear of exposing the team and their country to the Ebola virus. Government officials for Ivory Coast are stating their refusal to let the team travel to Abidjan to play against Sierra Leone, and as a result the country would be forced to miss the Cup of Nations tournament.

Clubs Silly To Continue Paying Over The Odds For British Players

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It's often claimed Premier clubs pay a premium for British players a homegrown tax, if you will. But what does it look like when we actually compare fees for British players with those for their foreign counterparts?

At first glance it might seem logical to pay more for British players. They'll arrive at your club training ground pre-acclimatised to living and playing in England.

Why FC Barcelona Could Use a 3-4-3 Diamond Formation

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The Catalan revolution has indeed started after a trophyless season. Tata Martino has been replaced by Luis Enrique as the manager of the club. Stars such as Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez have been sold, whereas the club have bought a series of high profile players like quality midfielder Ivan Rakitic and world-class striker Luis Suarez.

The Best Digitial Resources Available For Soccer Fans

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I should first start off by saying to always check out WorldSoccerTalk.com and the World Soccer Talk podcast for all of your soccer analysis, news, notes, opinions and scores. Now that the preambles are over, here are the remaining top soccer resources everyone should check out:

WhoScored.com – WhoScored is a great website to visit for detailed statistics on 14 different leagues and competitions.

Jose Mourinho Coy On Fernando Torres’ Future And Updates Diego Costa’s Fitness

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Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League showdown with Everton, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his desire for Fernando Torres to remain at the club, while also stating that striker Diego Costa is a "big doubt" to make theBlues' bench at Goodison Park.

Torres has been linked with a move to AC Milan in recent days.

Shinji Kagawa Reportedly Transferring To Borussia Dortmund

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As Louis van Gaal settles in as Manchester United's newest manager, he has made it very clear that he is interested in selling a number of players. Shinji Kagawa is on the list of players for sale, and the Japanese midfielder has received interest from Valencia and his former club, Borussia Dortmund.

Diego Simeone’s Eight-Match Ban Upheld By Spanish FA Appeals Committee

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The Spanish Football Association Appeals Committee has rejected Atletico Madrid's appeal against Diego Simeone's eight-match touchline ban.

The court's decision means the Argentinian boss will missLos Colchoneros'next four league fixtures against Eibar, Real Madrid, Celta and Almeria; with the remainder of the suspension to be served during Atletico's Spanish Super Cup matches.

The Argument Against Arsenal Buying A Replacement For Olivier Giroud

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With Olivier Giroud's surgery knocking him out of action until January, the buzz around Arsenal is that the team now needs to buy a new striker if they want to compete for a title. This has led to all kinds of rumors about who Arsenal is targeting and the obscene amounts of money it will cost to acquire a player.

What If Landon Donovan Stayed At Everton

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When he retires at the end of this MLS season and after the October 10 USMNT friendly in which he will feature Landon Donovan will be shrouded as the greatest American soccer player of all-time. While some soccer historians and fairly recent players may have a say in that argument, undoubtedly Donovan has made the biggest impact on the growth of soccer in the U.

Arturo Vidal To Stay At Juventus, Says Massimiliano Allegri

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Speaking ahead of his team's Serie A opener against Chievo, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has responded to the latest rumors surrounding Chilean midfielder, Arturo Vidal.

"He's [Vidal] a fundamental player for Juve and he will stay with us," Allegri said to the assembled media at his pre-match press conference.

New York Red Bulls CONCACAF Champions League Attendance Highlights Problems

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For all the international games played in New York this summer, it was nice to have one that actually counted toward something larger. All those World Cup preparation games, those friendlies that were meant to prepare teams for Brazil, or the pre-season competitions that ended in a trophy ceremony, all those victories and cups held aloft were rather empty in a way.

Wayne Rooney: The Right Choice Or The Only Choice As England Captain?

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When Wayne Rooney burst onto the international scene as a teenage sensation, there was a sense that this day—a day on which he was named England captain—would always come.

The young Evertonian's irrepressible ability pointed towards a lengthy and prosperous career on the international stage.

Manchester United Still Waiting For Marcos Rojo To Secure A Work Permit

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A little more than a week ago, Manchester United confirmed the £16 milliontransfer of Sporting Lisbon defender, Marcos Rojo.

Shortly after the Argentina international was announced as a member of the twenty-time champions of England, United manager Louis van Gaal revealed that the 24-year-old would not be included in hissquad against Sunderland because the player was unable to finalizehis work permit.

Jurgen Klinsmann Announces 22-Man Roster For USMNT Friendly Against Czech Republic

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United States Men's National Team head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, announced the 22-man roster which have been called into camp to prepare for the country's first friendly of the 2018 World Cup cycle. The USMNT is set to travel to Prague and face Czech Republic on September 3rd at 2:15 PM ET with the game shown on NBC Sports Network and UNIMas as well as tweets from the US Soccer twitter account @ussoccer.

How Angel Di Maria Can Avoid Being The Latest British Transfer Record To Flop

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Complete the sequence: Angel di Maria, Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll, Robinho, Andrei Shevchenko, "X".

For those who don't instantly recognise what connects the aforementioned soccer players make a note of the eventual answer, because it's a nailed on pub quiz question it's a chronologically descending list of the players signed by English clubs that have broken the British transfer record.

Stevan Jovetic Beginning To Prove His Worth For Manchester City

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After a debut season riddled by injury, Stevan Jovetic appears to have found his feet at Manchester City, and with the Montenegrin striker in fine form, the football community can only expect more from the player.

It's not always been smooth sailing at City for Jovetic. The striker suffered a series of injury setbacks following his £22 million transfer from Fiorentina.

Fernando Torres On The Verge Of Joining AC Milan, Say Reports

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Over the past few days, there has beengrowing speculation regarding the immediate future of Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.

Yesterday, AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani confirmed his club'sinterest in the 30-year-old Spaniard: "Our goal is to take a great striker. Fernando Torres?

Top 7 Soccer Commentators on TV

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While there are dozens of solid soccer commentators on English language television around the world, I have compiled a list of the seven best announcers in the business. To see if your favorite voice made the cut, let's check the list:

7. Daniel Mann

Mann just began commentating Barclays Premier League matches for Sky Sports in 2010.

Analyzing The Success of Clubs Spending Their Financial War Chest From Big Player Sales

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Every off-season a big name is sold in European football often even two or three. From Tottenham selling Gareth Bale to Porto moving James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho to Monaco, players are sold for huge sums of money. While the players sold have profound impacts at their new clubs, the bigger impact comes from the raft of players brought in to supplement the selling squad.

Giroud’s Injury Could Force Arsenal To Spend Big On A Striker

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With Arsenal's star center forward, Olivier Giroud, rumored to be out for three to four months with a broken bone in his foot, manager Arsene Wenger will soon have to decide on whether or not to buy an additional striker before the deadline day comes to an end on Monday night. Giroud was injured at the latter stages of Arsenal's 2-2 draw at Everton at the weekend when a ball struck his foot just as it was landing on the ground.

Arsenal vs Besiktas Player Ratings

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Arsene Wenger and his men were all smiles after they survived a scare against Turkish giants Besiktas in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying match. Marquee summer signing Alexis Sanchez netted his first goal goal for the club, which earned his new employers a narrow 1-0 victory that saw them edge through the two-legged tie.

Chelsea Sweating The Fitness Of Diego Costa Following Hamstring Scare In Training

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Diego Costa's Chelsea career has gotten off to a fast start as the striker has found the back of the net twice in his opening two league matches.

But reports have surfaced from Englandspeculating that the newly-signed goalscorer picked up a hamstring injury in training and could be out of action for as long as six weeks.

Samuel Eto’o Retires From International Football

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Cameroon striker, Samuel Eto'o, has announced his retirement from international football today in a tweet posted on his personal account. He thanked the nation of Africa for their support and thanked his fans as well. The 33-year-old recently signed with Everton, thus ending his one-year stay with Chelsea for a two-year deal with the Toffees.

talkSPORT and TuneIn Brings European Soccer to US Radio

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Listening to European soccer is to be made even easier this season with the renewal of radio services in the United States for Premier League and Bundesliga broadcasting rights.

talkSPORT, the world's largest sports radio station, has been given the rights to broadcast coverage of all 380 Premier League fixtures in the 2014/15 season, broadcasting across 25 countries including the US and UK.

Preview To The 2014-15 Serie A Season

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The new Serie A season is kicking-off this weekend, as Chievo Verona host holding champions Juventus on Saturday (Noon ET). Will theOld Ladyretain the title for a fourth consecutive time or will the ever-improving Roma snatch it away? Can Napoli enter the argument and what will Fiorentina, Inter and Milan have to say about it?

Xabi Alonso On The Verge Of £5million Switch To Bayern Munich, Say Reports

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It appears Xabi Alonso isn't finished making news today.

Fresh from the announcement that he has retired from international competition, Alonso is reportedly on the verge of a £5 million move to Bayern Munich, according to storiesemanating from Germany and Spain. Should the deal take place, speculation is the 32-year-old will sign a two-year contract with the Bundesliga champions.

Xabi Alonso Announces Retirement From International Competition

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Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has confirmed his retirement from international competition via an open letter, as well as hisofficial Twitter account. The announcement signals the end of an eleven-year career with the Spanish national team. He becomes the second member of Spain's "golden generation" to retire following Xavi Hernandez announcement earlier this summer.

Angel di Maria Capture Only One Piece Of The Manchester United Jigsaw Puzzle

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Manchester United officially announced the signing of Angel di Maria amid the backdrop of a 4-0 insult at the hands of impudent league one side MK Dons. So abject was their display that if you were watching both teams for the first time you would struggle to believe United was the team purchasing the£60 million player.

Real Madrid Renew Interest In AS Monaco Striker Radamel Falcao, Say Reports

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Following the news of Angel Di Maria's£59.7 million transfer to Manchester United, reports emanating from Spain and France are saying that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has made it his top priority to sign AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao before the conclusion of the transfer window.

The signing of Falcao has been the president's obsession for the majority of the summer.

Daley Blind Will Only Be Sold For ‘Absolute Top Price’, Says Ajax Official

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AFC Ajax director of football Marc Overmars has told the Dutch NewspaperDe Telegraafthat any club interested in signing Daley Blind will have to pay an "absolute top price" for the Netherlands international.

Blind has been a rumored target of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal following the player's successful stint with Holland's national team during this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Atletico Madrid Face Possible Sanctions For Exceeding First-Team Expenditures

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Atletico Madrid have one week to adhere to the spending limits set forth by the Spanish Professional Football League (LFP), or the reigning champions of La Liga could face a range of sanctions from the governing body.

Currently, the club's first-team expenditures are above the limits permitted by the LFP.

Angel Di Maria Insists He Never Wanted to Leave Real Madrid

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Angel Di Maria has released a personal statement following his transfer from Real Madrid to Manchester United, in which he insisted he never wanted to leave the Spanish capital.

Di Maria, 26, spent four years at Madrid, capitulating a superb final season with a Champions League victory. In his letter, he insisted he never wanted to leave Madrid for United, but that he felt forced to do so.

Interview With Nick Webster, Host of the World Soccer Talk Podcast

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Nick Webster, one of the pioneers at Fox Soccer Channel, recently joined World Soccer Talk as the new host of the weekly podcast (and the longest running soccer podcast on the planet).

Here's our interview with Nick to learn more about what it was like at in the early days of FOX Soccer, as well as his experience as a coach and his insights about the beautiful game:

Christopher Harris (Chris):Nick, outside of your work with television and in media, you've been active in coaching soccer.

The Bizarre And Curious Case Of Fulham Striker Kostas Mitroglou

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With Fulham starting life in the Championship slowly, following their relegation from the English Premier League, it is hard to see the finger pointing and recriminations at the London club slowing down anytime soon.

At the heart of the inquisition you will find the name of Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou, who signed from Olympiacos in January for a fee of £12 million and became Fulham's most expensive ever player.

Geoff Cameron Must be Calculated and Logical About His Playing Future

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Rumors abound that American international Geoff Cameron is being courted both within the Premier League as well as on the continent. ProSoccerTalk links Cameron to a number of clubs, the biggest name being traditional Serie A contender Lazio.

But recent moves to big clubs have hampered many an American abroad.

Crystal Palace Appoint Neil Warnock Manager On A Two-Year Contract

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Crystal Palace have appointed Neil Warnock as manager on a two-year contract with immediate effect. Warnock was previously in charge of the club from 2007 to 2010. He replaces Tony Pulis, who left the club "by mutual consent" on August 15.

Steve Clarke had been rumored to be the favorite for the job at Selhurst Park.

Assessing The Louis Van Gaal Selection Predicament

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The new Premier League season is only two weeks old and Manchester United under Louis van Gaal are already playing catch-up. The pre-season tour feels like a very long time ago now.

The Red Devils have placed a significant number of eggs into an Ángel di María-sized basket and the spending may not end there with utility Daley Blind and defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong heavily linked to the Old Trafford club.

Why Samuel Eto’o is a Shrewd Acquisition For Everton

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Everton's search for forward reinforcements seems to be over after the club confirmed the signing of 33-year-old Samuel Eto'o today.

The former Barcelona, Internazionale and Chelsea forward joins up with Roberto Martinez's side on a two-year deal, and the three-time Champions League winner will bring a wealth of experience at the pinnacle of the European game with him to Goodison Park.

Cable TV No Longer The Future For The Soccer Viewing Fan

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With cable and satellite prices continuing to increase, many people are joining the cord cutter movement and ditching their television provider services. In fact, 7.6 million Americans have ended their cable/satellite subscriptions according to USA Today. In the report, the newspaper claims that "about 6.

UEFA Champions League and League Cup: Open Thread

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There's no rest for the wicked with Manchester United, Celtic, Millwall, Porto and other clubs playing today in mid-week action in the League Cup and UEFA Champions League.

For viewers in the US, the TV/Internet schedule is:

MK Dons vs Manchester United (League Cup), 3pm,beIN SPORTSandDishWorld
Millwall vs Southampton (League Cup), 2:45pm, beIN SPORTS Connect
Celtic vs Maribor (UEFA Champions League playoff, 2nd leg), 2:45pm, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Go
Porto vs Lille (UEFA Champions League playoff, 2nd leg), 2:45pm, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Sports Go

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccerfansfrom around theworld.

Manchester United Sign Angel Di Maria For British Transfer Record of £59.7m

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Manchester United has smashedthe British transfer record to sign Argentina and Real Madrid star Angel Di Maria for £59.7million.

Typically when a transfer is made, clubs are reluctant to confirm the price they paid to sign a footballer. But in this case, in an act of bravado and to prove that the club is investing in the future, Manchester United publicly announced the £59.

Highs and Lows of Soccer Viewing Experience, Aug. 23-25

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Hardcore soccer fans consume a lot of the sport. So much so thatmany of us can identify an announcer or co-commentator by hearing just a few of his words. It's almost as if we feel we know the person considering the vast number of hours we spend listening to the talent over the days, months and years.

Thierry Henry’s Impact On The Field Can’t Perform Miracles Off It

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If Thierry Henry's about to say goodbye to Major League Soccer, he's doing so on a high note. His stint is one that caps one of the most productive four-and-a-half year stretches in league history. True, extending his deal at Red Bull Arena could still happen, but there's a growing and now very public feeling the 37-year-old, out of contract at the end of the year, will use this fall has his sunset.

Atletico Madrid To Appeal Diego Simeone’s 8-Match Touchline Ban

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Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has informed the news outlet Canal Plusthat his club will file an appeal against Diego Simeone's eight-match touchline ban.

This news comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement from the Spanish FA that the Argentine boss was found guilty of four infractions during the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

Premier League Tactics Corner: Aston Villa-Newcastle United & Tottenham Hotspur-QPR

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In this week's edition of Premier League Tactics Corner, we dive into Newcastle's use of Emmanuel Riviere and Queens Park Rangers' three-back system.

Holding It Up

Aston Villa did not put a shot on target in Saturday's early game against Newcastle United, and the Magpies should have walked away victorious had their finishing been clinical.

Frank Lampard Announces Retirement From International Soccer

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New York City FC footballer Frank Lampard has announced his retirement today from the England national team.

Lampard is "hanging up his boots" from international soccer before England begins its first Euro 2016 qualification game.

The gifted midfielder made 106 appearances for the England national team, at the senior level.

MLS Again Creates New Rule to Appease Owners

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The return of Jermaine Jones to MLS is a great moment for the league. After his stellar play in the World Cup, the veteran midfielder was out of contract and needing one more shot at being a contributor in a major league. His agent and the Chicago Fire had been holding serious negotiations and the Fire appeared to be on the cusp of a real coup just in time for a playoff run.

AS Roma And Bayern Munich Agree £24 Million Fee For Mehdi Benatia, Say Reports

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The transfer saga of AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia has finally come to a conclusion as reports in Italy and Germany have stated the Serie A side and Bayern Munich have agreed a£21million fee plus£3.2m in add-ons for the player. The Morocco international will fly to Germany to have a medical on Wednesday.

Premier League Gameweek 2 Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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If you missed any of the Premier League matches from the weekend, or if you want to watch the highlights again, take your pick from the following videos.

Note that due to rights restrictions, the videos are only playable for viewers in the United States.

Aston Villa vs Newcastle United

Premier League Gameweek 2 Match Highlights [VIDEO] is a post from World Soccer Talk.

Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool: Back to the Drawing Board for the Reds

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Manchester City 3
(Jovetic x2, Aguero)

Liverpool 1
(Zabaleta O.G.)

Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: Michael Oliver

Recent history has seen some truly entertaining clashes between these two attacking-minded sides with this clash in Manchester proving to be no different.

Watch Gary Neville Analyze Where Angel Di Maria Will Play For Manchester United [VIDEO]

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On this week's episode of Monday Night Football, Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville analyzed where new signing Angel Di Maria will play for Manchester United.

The analysis discusses what that means for Juan Mata, as well as all of the other options the signing will give United. On top of that, Neville discusses the depth issue and whether having a lot of left footed footballers is a good thing or not.

Glazers Are Not to Blame For Lack of Squad Quality at Manchester United

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This will not be a popular opinion, but the Glazers and Ed Woodward are not to blame for the lack of squad quality at Manchester United. The facts show that the Glazers have loosened the purse strings whenever they have been asked to.

Here is a comparison that will further elucidate this point.

How Mario Balotelli Will Fit Into Liverpool’s Attacking Lineup

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Mario Balotelli possesses so much talent, but the detriments he can bring on and off the pitch bring about an aura of fear.

So how does Brendan Rodgers fit the bad boy who says he wants to become even badder, into a club that was supposedly worried about image problems just a few months ago?

Managing Mario Balotelli Will Be a Tough Test For Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers

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Despite claiming on August 3rd that Liverpool would not be signing Mario Balotelli, Brendan Rodgers has signed the mercurial Italian to his forward line, in a major signing for the Liverpool club.

There had been worries about Liverpool's transfer business this summer with the club having failed to suitably replace Luis Suarez with a renowned name despite spending upwards of £100million on new players.

Spanish FA Slaps Diego Simeone With An 8 Match Touchline Ban For Super Cup Antics

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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has been handed an eight-match by the Spanish Football Association.

The Argentinian boss was facing three separate charges and had been anticipating a lengthy spell away from the touchline. He was already banned from the touchline for today's La Liga opener against Rayo Vallecano and admitted during his pre-match press conference that he needed to pay for his indiscretions.

Manchester City vs Liverpool: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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After just over one week of the 2014/15 Premier League season, today marks the first biggest match of the season with the Premier League champions against last season's runner-up.

With the excitement of the Mario Balotelli signing sure to be one of the main talking points of the game, even though he's not available to play and will be sitting in the stands,

Forviewersin theUnited States, the game will be shown on:

Manchester City vs Liverpool, 3pm ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups:

Manchester City:Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy, Fernando, Nasri, Yaya Toure, Silva, Jovetic, Dzeko

Subs: TBA

Liverpool:Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno, Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson, Allen, Sterling, Sturridge

Subs:Jones, Manquillo, Sakho, Toure, Can, Markovic, Lambert

NBC Sports Group's Premier League lead play-by-play announcer Arlo White calls the match, joined by Graeme Le Saux at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

Daniel Sturridge Primed To Be The Leader Of Liverpool’s Attacking Pack

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When Daniel Sturridge left Manchester City for Chelsea back in 2009, the overwhelming consensus was that he would go on to become a wonderful center forward. After all, here was a young man who had it all: pace, power, technical ability and a calm head in front of goal.

Admittedly somewhere between his switch from Manchester to London and his subsequent move from the capital to Merseyside, his star faded and his ability to make it at the very top level was doubted.

Bradley Wright-Philips And Thierry Henry Star For New York Red Bulls

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Last night in front of a very select crowd of 17,891 fans, leading MLS goalscorer Bradley Wright-Phillips tied the New York Red Bulls and New York MetroStars record for goals in a single season. His 74th minute effort was provided to him by marquee man Thierry Henry. In the closing seconds of regulation play, as the arena announcer was signalling how much time the fourth official had added to the game, Wright-Phillips scored again to become the new record holder.

Lee Dixon’s Criticism Of Referee Kevin Friend Was Unwarranted

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Lee Dixon was paired with Arlo White on NBC's coverage of Everton versus Arsenal on Saturday. So far, in their first year and two weeks of Premier League coverage, all of the commentators have done well. But on Saturday, Dixon was a disgrace.

It has long been a favorite tactic of managers to blame the referee after their team loses the game.

League Of Beasts (World Soccer Talk Review Podcast)

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In this weekend's episode, host Nick Webster is joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer and Nate Abaurreaas they dissect all of the major talking points from a busy weekend of Premier League soccer including the Malky Mackay and Iain Moody controversy, where it's going wrong for Manchester United, whether Arsenal is the real thing this season, and the defensive frailtiesat Everton.

Sporting Kansas 0-3 D.C United (Photos)

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D.C United fired themselves to top sot in the Eastern Conference, following a rampant first-half that saw them claim a routine 3-0 victory over Sporting Kansas. Goals from Fabian Espindola, Chris Rolfe and Perry Kitchen came in an eight-minute burst, meaning that the game was all but over just after 30 minutes had been played.

Manchester City vs Liverpool Predicted Lineups

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Liverpool and Manchester City go again in Premier League play on Monday when the Reds travel to the Etihad to battle the Sky Blues. The two outfits played to a 2-2 draw at Yankee Stadium over the summer with the Reds winning on penalty kicks, but now spectators will see the two sides take each other on in a competitive match.

Everton’s Surrender Highlights Need For Transfer Reinforcements At Goodison

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Having been the dominant force in both of their opening Premier League games, Everton should have six points from six at this early stage of the season.

For overwhelming periods of their matches against Leicester City and Arsenal, Roberto Martinez's side have resembled a vibrant, enterprising outfit.

Manchester United Agree Record Breaking £63.9 Million Fee For Angel Di Maria, Says Report

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According toSky SportsSpanish football expert Guillem Balague, Manchester United have agreed to pay Real Madrid a British transfer record fee of£63.9million for Angel Di Maria.

Balague broke news of United's impending move for the Argentina international late yesterday and is now reporting that the 26-year-old winger will fly into Manchester tomorrow in order to hold more talks with the club before completing a move to the twenty-time champions of England.

Sunderland vs Manchester United: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Today's Sunderland-Manchester United match gives United manager Louis Van Gaal an opportunity to get United off to a better start than the 2-1 loss to Swansea last week.

Forviewersin theUnited States, the game will be shown on:

Sunderland vs Manchester United, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups:

Sunderland:Mannone, Vergini, v Aanholt, Brown, O'Shea, Cattermole, Larsson, Rodwell, Buckley, Wickham, Fletcher

Subs:Pantilimon, Jones, Bridcutt, Gomez, Altidore, Mavrias, Roberge

Manchester United:De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Blackett, Valencia, Cleverley, Fletcher, Mata, Young, Rooney, v Persie

Subs:Amos, M.

Libya Withdraws As Hosts Of 2017 African Cup of Nations

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Libya lost the rights to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals today, citing the country's "unstable security situation" due to ongoing conflicts and political volatility in the nation.

Libya has been plagued with turmoil since 2011 following the downfall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Why Soccer Clubs Should Adopt a Doctor Who Model of Coaching

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At the beginning of last season, the average tenure of a manager in the Premier League was 2 years and 2 months. This is comparable with the tenure of managers in Serie A and La Liga, and slightly less than the tenure of a coach in the Bundesliga. What this means to a soccer fan of a top flight club is that your team, no matter where the club is in the table, has a good chance of turning over management every three years.

Carlo Ancelotti Confirms That Angel Di Maria Is Leaving Real Madrid; Could Be United Bound

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Fresh from yesterday's news that Manchester United are on the verge of signing Angel Di Maria, Real Madrid manager has informed the media that the player has said his goodbyes and is leaving the club.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Madrid's first league fixture of the season against Cordoba, Ancelotti confirmed the Argentina international's days in Spain are coming to an end.

Spurs vs QPR and Hull vs Stoke: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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The two Premier League teams that were involved in the Europa League on Thursday (Tottenham and Hull City) play this morning. For viewers in the United States (and around the world), the match between Spurs and QPR will be commentated by Ian Darke, which will be a nice bonus for an early match.

Forviewersin theUnited States, the game will be shown on:

Hull vs Stoke, 8:30am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Spurs vs QPR, 8:30am, CNBCand NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups:

Spurs:Lloris, Dier, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue, Bentaleb, Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Adebayor

Subs:Lennon, Soldado, Holtby, Kane, Dembele, Friedel, Davies

QPR:Green, Dunne, Ferdinand, Caulker, Phillips, Isla, Barton, Fer, Traore, Mutch, Remy

Subs:Simpson, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Faurlin, Murphy, Hoilett, Zamora

———————————————

Hull City:McGregor, Chester, Davies, McShane, Elmohamady, Robertson, Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn, Ince, Jelavic

Subs:Harper, Rosenior, Figueroa, Bruce, Meyler, Boyd, Aluko

Stoke City:Begovic, Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Odemwingie, Nzonzi, Whelan, Sidwell, Arnautovic, Diouf

Subs:Sorensen; Muniesa, Adam, Walters, Crouch, Cameron, Bojan

———————————————

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccerfansfrom around theworld.

Sunderland vs Manchester United Predicted Lineups

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Sunderland entertain Manchester United on Sunday afternoon in what will be the latest indicator to Louis Van Gaal as to how much work still needs to be done to this broken United squad.

Sunderland go into the game as the form side out of the two clubs, and there is a real feel that they will go on to inflict yet more misery on the beleaguered Red Devils.

Manchester United Close In On £55 Million Signing Of Angel Di Maria

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Reports from Spain and England are gathering momentum, as it appears Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria.

Sky SportsSpanish football expert Guillem Balague has revealed that the Argentina international is expected to hold talks with United next week to discuss a move to Old Trafford; a switch that could see the Premier League club pay up to£55 million for the 26-year-old.

Why Louis van Gaal May Be the Wrong Choice for Manchester United

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Louis Van Gaal's "Red Devil Revolution" might have won over the British press quickly but how is he serving as an effective custodian of Manchester United's future? David Moyes made an effort to transition properly to the next era of Manchester United players giving Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck more time on the pitch and worked to transition the backline.

Everton vs Arsenal Player Ratings

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In a game of two halves at Goodison Park, Everton took a 2-0 lead into the break only for Arsenal to score two goals to finish the match 2-2. Here are the player ratings:

Everton

Tim Howard – 5

Didn't have a lot to do with only three shots on target against him but conceding two goals does ask the question if he could have done more.

Diego Simeone Facing Lengthy Ban Following Spanish Super Cup Antics [VIDEO]

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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is an imposing figure while he's stalking the touchline during a match. The former Argentina international midfielder has carried over his bustling playing style into management and has fashioned a "take no prisoners" attitude amongst the club's players and supporters.

Chelsea vs Leicester City Player Ratings

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Despite Leicester City being the more aggressive, hungrier-looking team in the first half, Chelsea sparked to life in the second half, finding goals from Diego Costa and Eden Hazard for a 2-0 home win.

As for individual performances, here are my player ratings on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest):

Chelsea

Goalkeeper:

Thibaut Courtois: 10

Courtois completely justified Jose Mourinho's selection of him over veteran Petr Cech, doing everything a manager wants from a keeper.

4 Reasons Why Danny Welbeck Should Leave Manchester United

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On Friday morning, reports suggested that Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal had told Danny Welbeck that he could leave the club. During his press conference, Van Gaal was typically evasive in his answer about Welbeck's future. At no point, however, did van Gaal suggest that Welbeck had a future at the club.

Everton vs Arsenal: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Forviewersin the United States, the game will be shown on:

Everton vs Arsenal, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups

Everton:Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Naismith, Pienaar, Lukaku

Arsenal:Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Monreal, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez

Before, during or after today's match, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Watching the Premier League From the West Coast of America

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It's almost 5.30am Pacific time as he drives hurriedly in his dark blue Chevy S-10 to his fellow Liverpool supporting friend's house. Kick-off is nigh, and he breaks the law by checking his Twitter feed to see if the Reds have included any surprise inclusions in the lineup. Despite his lack of sleep and being behind the wheel of a car, he's more concerned by whether his team will secure a precious three points.

Juventus Demand £39m Plus Players From Manchester United For Arturo Vidal, Says Report

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The speculation surrounding Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal refuses to die. With just over a week remaining before the summer transfer window closes, the expectation is the Chile international's name will continue to circulate around the rumor mill.

The Italian champions have insisted no discussions have been held with any club regarding a possible transfer of Vidal.

Everton vs Arsenal Predicted Lineups

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This Premier League fixture will be the first game of the season where two top five teams face each other. It's fifth against fourth when the Gunners travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton in their second league game of the season.

Neither side produced what they're capable of on the opening day, Arsenal escaping with a 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace thanks to a late Aaron Ramsey goal and the Toffees drawing 2-2 away to new boys Leicester City.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 2: Open Thread

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For viewers in theUnited States, here's the TV/Internet schedule:

Saturday, August 23:

Chelsea vs Leicester, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
Crystal Palace vs West Ham, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra andmovie theaters
Southampton vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Swansea vs Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Everton vs Arsenal, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups:

Chelsea:Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Schurrle, Oscar, Hazard, D Costa

Leicester:Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Mahrez, King, Hammond, Schlupp, Ulloa, Nugent

—————————————————————————

Crystal Palace:Speroni, Kelly, Hangeland, Delaney, Ward, Bannan, Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Chamakh, Campbell

West Ham:Adrian, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Downing, Zarate, Vaz Te, Cole

—————————————————————————

Southampton:Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Wanyama, Schn'lin, W-Prowse, S Davis, Tadic, Pelle

WBA:Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli, Mulumbu, Gardner, Berahino, Dorrans, Brunt, Anichebe

—————————————————————————

Swansea:Fabianski, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Bony

Burnley:Heaton, Arfield, Mee, Jones, Shackell, Marney, Trippier, Ings, Taylor, Jutkiewicz, Duff

—————————————————————————

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Angel Di Maria Contacted Marcos Rojo Regarding Move To Manchester United, Says Report

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According to the radio programMarcador,which airs on Radio Marca in Spain, Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria has been in contact with Manchester United's latest signing Marcos Rojo regarding a potential move to Old Trafford.

Reports have been surfacing from South America speculating that the two Argentina internationals share a friendship which extends to each other's family.

What We’ve Learned From the Cardiff, Crystal Palace and LMA Fiasco

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As evident in the recent revelations of text messages between former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay and former sporting director of Crystal Palace (also former Head of Player recruitment of Cardiff) Iain Moody, anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are all still very much alive in British football.

The Sweeper: 11 Soccer Stories You May Have Missed This Week

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Before we throttle into another action-packed weekend, let The Sweeper, a new World Soccer Talk feature, take you back through the week that was for some of the stories from around the web that you may have missed.

1. "Christmas in August."

The transfers are flying fast and furious as the September 1stdeadline nears which means plenty of opportunities for players to awkwardly hold up new shirts and scarves.

Top 4 Players Most Likely to Leave Serie A



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The last few weeks of the summer transfer market always deserve some attention due to unexpected transfers, both concerning top players and bargain deals. 
In the last few years, during the final stages of the transfer window, Italian supporters have become used to seeing top players leaving rather than arriving in their league.

Serie A Preview: Juventus is Still the Team to Beat

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As the trophy was hoisted and the players celebrated a third consecutive scudetto, you could forgive Juventus fans from feeling a little giddy. With one of the best coaches in Italy, an ownership group that seemed interested in boosting the squad for the Champions League, and the spine of the Italian national team under contract, fans looking ahead to the next season could be forgiven for already getting a little excited.

Barcelona’s Season Preview: Expectations Are High Despite Dodgy Defense

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Fresh from spending somewhere in the region of £130 million, Barcelona has been slapped with a double transfer embargo ban meaning that they can't buy any players during the next two windows.

Their transfer strategy this summer was plotted out with such an embargo in mind as the Catalan club finally spent some money in key areas of the pitch where they've been severely lacking over the past 2 or 3 years.

Candidates Who Could Replace Tim Howard During His Leave Of Absence

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While Tim Howard continues to play for Everton and spend more time with his family, there will be sizeable void in the United States Men National Team's defense in a very literal sense. Between the two back-up goalkeepers who traveled with the team to Brazil, and a few scattered amongst MLS and the English Premier League, the fight for a starting birth should become very interesting during the next year.

La Liga: Preview Of Opening Round Of Games For 2014/15 Season

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As the La Liga season looks to get into full swing, we take a look at the opening weekend match-ups and how the teams could fare as the season goes on.

Malaga v. Athletic Bilbao

Malaga will look to start their season off on the right foot after a disappointing 11th place finish this past season.

Real Madrid’s 2014/15 Black Third Kit Reviewed: [PHOTOS]

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The 2014/15 Real Madrid third kit, to be officially released on August 26, is eye-catching to say the least.

This new alternate uniform was created specially by award-winning Japanese fashion designer, Yohji Yamamoto, and unsurprisingly, it looks nothing like your average football kit.

The jersey, all black with white details, features two intertwined dragons sprawled across the torso.

Aston Villa vs Newcastle United: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Aston Villa flew under the radar last weekend with their 1-0 away win against Stoke City, but there's no hiding today when they face Newcastle United at Villa Park.

Forviewersin theUnited States, the game will be shown on:

Aston Villa vs Newcastle, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups:

Aston Villa:Guzan, Hutton, Senderos, Vlaar, Cissokho, Westwood, Delph, Richardson, Weimann, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor

Subs:Given, Baker, Bacuna, Cole, Bent, Sanchez, Grealish

Newcastle United:Krul; Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini (c), Dummett; Anita, Colback; Gouffran, Sissoko, Cabella; Riviere.

A Guide To English Soccer TV Commentators

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x

In alphabetical order

Lead commentators:

Steve Banyard — X

Steve Bower– Bower began his soccer commentating in the early 90's as a radio reporter for a Liverpool network. He started out doing Liverpool, Everton, and Tranmere Rovers games until moving to the Manchester United Network in 1998.

Diego Simeone And Atletico Madrid Play Their Own Version Of “Total Football”

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Johan Cruyff, the legendary Dutch player and former manager of Barcelona, was once asked his thoughts on the footballing philosophy known as "total football". The man, who is arguably the biggest proponent of the football tactic, replied: "Attackers could play as defenders and defenders as attackers.

Barry Davies to Return to Match Of The Day As Part of 50 Year Anniversary

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August 22nd, 1964. Anfield. Liverpool, lining up with the legendary Roger Hunt up front, defeated Arsenal in a thrilling 3-2 match where both sides were separated by a last minute Don Howe own-goal.

It was another strong showing from the defending champions in front of their home supporters who were growing used to their team delivering full points in their own patch.

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid, Spanish Super Cup 2nd Leg: Open Thread

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After a 1-1 draw earlier this week at Santiago Bernabeu, Atletico Madrid holds a slight advantage against their neighbors in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

The derby, which features the winners of the La Liga title against the Copa del Rey champs, will be shown live on US TV and Internet at:

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, 4:25pm ET, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3

Before, during or after today's match, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 2

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NBC has announced the commentators for this weekend's Premier League matches that will be shown on television and Internet across the United States.

Here's the line-up:

Saturday, August 23:

Aston Villa vs Newcastle, 7:45am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & Chris Waddle
Chelsea vs Leicester, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Daniel Mann & Tony Gale
Crystal Palace vs West Ham, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra andmovie theaters; Tony Jones & Alan Curbishley
Southampton vs West Brom, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Joe Speight & Barry Horne
Swansea vs Burnley, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra; Gary Weaver & Andy Hinchcliffe
Everton vs Arsenal, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Lee Dixon

Sunday, August 24:

Hull vs Stoke, 8:30am, NBC Sports Live Extraand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jim Proudfoot & David Pleat
Spurs vs QPR, 8:30am, CNBCand NBC Sports Live Extra; Ian Darke & Clive Allen
Sunderland vs Manchester United, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra; Jon Champion & Danny Mills

Monday, August 25:

Manchester City vs Liverpool, 3pm, NBCSN and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra; Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux

Two days after playing against Arsenal, Tim Howard makes his season broadcast debut in the studio with NBC Sports Group joining Lee Dixon and ITV Sport's Matt Smith at the Manchester City-Liverpool match for a live on-site studio appearance for Premier League Live at 2 p.

Top 5 Must-See Soccer Games On TV This Weekend

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Back in the routine yet? You probably will be after this weekend!

Competitive soccer is back on the menu all over Europe, and after the Premier League curtain raisers were played out last weekend, a host of leagues across the continent begin their season too.

But such is the calibre of the fixtures that are to take place in the English football league this weekend, our focus falls primarily onto some potentially enticing clashes as we select our top five games to watch this weekend.

Angel Di Maria Left Out Of Real Madrid Squad; Man United Makes £56m Bid, Says Report

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Carlo Ancelotti has not included Angel Di Maria in the squad for tonight's second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Atletico Madrid, according toSpain's oldest and largest radio network,Cadena SER.

Spanish broadcaster 'Cuatro' reports that Di Maria was excluded because the club wants to avoid Di Maria picking up an injury which could undermine his chances of being sold this summer.

The Cord Cutter’s Guide to Watching Soccer

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If you are like many out there who don't want to have a monthly cable/satellite bill anymore, but still want to watch live soccer matches, you are in luck. "Cord cutters" now have many different ways to watch live soccer events without having to fork out $50, $60, or $70 a month in television provider fees.

Mario Balotelli: The Man, The Myth, The Legend [VIDEOS]

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Mario Balotelli's name precedes him, just as it was with the man he'll be replacing with his imminent arrival at Liverpool. When Premier League fans think of Balotelli, they think of "Why Always Me", bathroom fireworks, and his slew of training ground bust-ups with teammates and coaches alike. But just as it's unfair to refer to Suarez for his lapses in judgment so to speak, without mentioning that he was, indeed, the greatest player in the world during the 2013-14 season, it's unfair to mention Balotelli without mentioning his talent.

Can You Buy Success in the Premier League? [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Much of the banter regarding Premier League teams these days is focused on money. An disagreement among fans will often descend into a rant about how "so and so" club bought the title. But are some of the club "saints" among the "sinners"? Or can they all be painted with the same brush.

To learn more, the folks over at TonyBet have put together this informative infographic.

Analyzing Louis van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation at Manchester United

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During the World Cup we saw the renaissance of the 3-5-2 formation. Typically known as the classical continental formation of the 1970′s and 1980′s. Louis Van Gaal, who took charge of The Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup, has stood by a philosophy akin to the Dutch "total football" during his managerial career.

Bayern Munich 2014/15 Season Preview: Pep Focuses on Champions League Title

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The two-time reigning Bundesliga champions are heading into their upcoming campaign as the heavy favorites to retain the trophy and have a three-peat, which is something the Miami Heat couldn't do. The real narrative of Die Roten's season will be if Pep Guardiola can lead them back to being the rulers of Europe.

Real Madrid 2014/15 Season Preview: Los Blancos Ready to Make History

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Expectations always remain insanely high for Real Madrid. After finally completing the La Decima mission in May, Los Blancos enjoyed another transfer window where they acquired new Galacticos. The team's main goal this season will be trying to be the first back-to-back champion in the Champions League era and with their depth they can accomplish it.

Tim Howard Announces Hiatus From US Men’s National Team

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USA and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has decided to take a hiatus from playing for the US Men's National Team, and will not be considered for selection until the fall of 2015.

The shock decision by Howard, who was arguably the best performing American at World Cup 2014, was made after discussion with USMNT Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

TV Coverage Of La Liga And Bundesliga Opening Weekends

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beINSports is rolling out the red carpet for the opening weekend of Spain's La Liga. Eight matches will be broadcast live on both beINSports channels:

Saturday, August 23rd:

1:00pm ET Málaga v Athletic Bilbao
3:00pm ET Sevilla v Valencia
5:00pm ET Almería v Español

Sunday, August 24th:

1:00pm ET Éibar v Real Sociedad
3:00pm ET Barcelona v Elche
5:00pm ET Levante v Villarreal

Monday, August 25th:

2:00pm ET Real Madrid v Córdoba
4:00pm ET Rayo Vallecano v Atlético Madrid

The two remaining matches will be shown on a delayed basis later in the week:

Granada v Deportivo La Coruña

beINSport-1/Wednesday @ 12:00pm ET
beINSport-ñ/Friday @ 11:00am ET

Celta de Vigo v Getafe

beINSport-ñ/Wednesday @ 11:00am ET
beINSport-1/Friday @ 12:00pm ET

Of course, the weekend really starts on Friday August 22, with the 2ndleg of the Spanish SuperCup, where Atletico Madrid host Real Madrid (1st leg: 1-1).

Why Balotelli at Liverpool will work

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Mario Balotelli looks set to become a Liverpool player, after a £16 million price was agreed with AC Milan. But can the Italy forward keep himself in the starting lineup and out of trouble?

As a Liverpool supporter, news that that Liverpool had spoken to AC Milan over a possible loan deal made me optimistic that the player could have a big impact in Liverpool's league finish.

NBC Sports Live Extra to Launch New Tactical Cam to Enhance Premier League Coverage

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EXCLUSIVE: Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that NBC Sports beta tested a brand-new feature on its app during a Premier League match last weekend that featured a tactical cam (see screenshot above).

Officially, NBC Sports Digital will formally debut its "Tactical Cam" during next Monday's Manchester City-Liverpool game (3pm ET kickoff).

AS Roma Officials Open Talks With Manchester United Regarding Mehdi Benatia, Say Reports

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Reports of Mehdi Benatia joining Bayern Munich from AS Roma appear to have been premature, as the defender's transfer saga continues with more twists.

The Morocco international was rumored to make the switch to Manchester United on Saturday, then speculation in Italy was he would renew his contract with Roma this week, and yesterday it was reported that his agent Moussa Sissoko had reached a deal on personal terms with Bayern Munich; subject to the clubs reaching agreement for Benatia.

Premier League Insider: Views On Opening Weekend For Chelsea, Spurs, City, Villa, WBA, Stoke & QPR

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Cesc Fabregas has taken the Premier League by storm once again with a stunning first half performance in his official Chelsea debut on Monday night. The case of Fabregas is curious, as many had written him off as someone who peaked early in his career and had lost his way. But perhaps the reason Fabregas tailed off in his final Arsenal season and in his three years at Barcelona was that he was not being given the luxury to play as deep as he would like in midfield.

DC United is the Antithesis of MLS 3.0

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MLS 3.0 is in full force and the sports media have focused like a laser on the growth of the league. Soccer-specific stadiums have sprung up across the country, academies are churning out young talent, big names are coming across the Atlantic to play in North America, and suddenly U.S. men's national team players are booking tickets to places like Houston and Philadelphia to remain relevant for Jurgen Klinsmann.

Carlo Ancelotti Admits Angel Di Maria Asked To Leave Real Madrid

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Speaking at his press conference ahead of Real Madrid's second leg of the Spanish Supercup, Carlo Ancelotti confessed to reporters that Angel Di Maria had requested to leave the La Liga club earlier this summer.

It is widely known that the Madrid boss values the Argentina international and would like to keep him in the Spanish capital.

Crystal Palace Meltdown Continues After Iain Moody Resigns Over Alleged Racist Texts

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Crystal Palace has announced that Sporting Director Iain Moody has resigned from the club.

The incredibly laconic statement suggests that the evidence of racist, homophobic and sexist texts sent between Moody and ex-Cardiff manager Malky Mackay is the reason for the resignation.

This comes just days after Tony Pulis announced his departure from the club, following an internal struggle with the ownership over transfer funds.

Liverpool Considers Move For Mario Balotelli On Loan or Permanent Deal, Says Report

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Fresh rumors of Liverpool's interest in signing Mario Balotelli heightened tonight after credible reports emerged from the UK and Italy.

Ever since the departure of Luis Suarez, Liverpool's transfer dealings have been numerous and varied. Early dealings in the window saw former Southampton stars Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren head to Merseyside for fees totaling around £50million.

Top Three Underrated Signings of La Liga This Summer

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With the likes of James Rodriguez, Antoine Griezmann, Mario Mandzukic and Toni Kroos headlining the Spanish transfer market activity, many players have been signed which have gone under the radar.

Let's have a look at the top three under rated signings in La Liga so far this summer.

3.

Southampton Show There is Life After Summer Fire Sale

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After enduring a somewhat turbulent summer, Southampton began their season away to a Liverpool team that purchased three of their key performers last season. Whilst the result went against them, it was the manner of their performance that should fill fans of the Saints with optimism for the remainder of the forthcoming season.

Liverpool Agrees £16million Deal to Sign Mario Balotelli On 5-Year Contract

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Liverpool has secured a £16million deal to sign striker Mario Balotelli, the striker will sign a five-year contract with the English club.

The player's agent, Mino Raiola, flew to England last night to negotiate the contract with last season's Premier League runners-up.

During his last training session with the club, Balotelli informed teammates that it was to be his "last day in Milan.

Vincent Tan Delivers Revenge On Malky Mackay to Scupper Move to Crystal Palace

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Less than 24 hours ago, Malky Mackay looked set for a return to Premier League management with Crystal Palace following his acrimonious departure from Cardiff City last December. However the offer has now been taken off the table following the intervention of Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan.

The exact details are as yet unclear.

Barcelona Considers Spending Spree to Snatch Marco Reus And Juan Cuadrado Before Transfer Embargo, Say Reports

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Fresh from the news that its appeal against a two-window transfer ban was rejected by FIFA, Barcelona is considering signing Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund and Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina, according to reports emanating from the Catalan press.

The transfer ban is set to take effect at the beginning of September 2014 and end at the start of January 2016.

Marcos Rojo Will Be a Perfect Additiion to Manchester United’s Defense

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Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon have agreed to the purchase of Marcos Rojo on a fee believed to be £16 million, in addition to a season-long loan deal for Nani.

Rojo first signed for Spartak Moscow on a five-year deal back in 2011, but lasted only one season in Russia before moving to Portugal to play for Sporting Lisbon.

Why FOX’s TV Coverage of the Women’s World Cup May Be Doomed

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Confidence in FOX Sports' expected level of coverage for the 2015 Women's World Cup and men's World Cup 2018/2022 is already at a low.

I won't rehash the reasons why (although there is extensive coverage of it on World Soccer Talk and other sites such as Awful Announcing) but there has been little shown so far from the network to indicate that it can reach the heights set by ESPN over the last two tournaments.

Maribor vs Celtic, UEFA Champions League Playoff 1st Leg: Open Thread

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Glasgow Celtic gets a second chance at qualifying for the UEFA Champions League after Legia Warsaw were kicked out of the tournament for fielding an illegible player. Next up for the green and white hoops is Slovenian side Maribor. Kick-off time is 2:45pm ET. Viewers in the United States can watch the game live on FOX Sports 2.

Juventus Executive Puts a Stop To Any Arturo Vidal Transfer Speculation

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Speculation over the past few weeks was that Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal had left the door open for a possible move from Italian champions Juventus. The player had been linked with moves to Manchester United and Real Madrid in recent months.

But following today's comments from Juventus CEO Beppe Marotta, that door has effectively been slammed shut.

Bayern Munich Agrees Deal to Sign United Target Mehdi Benatia, Says Report

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In a transfer saga that has taken multiple turns thus far this summer, it appears as if we are closer to knowing the future of AS Roma defender Mehdi Benatia with French newspaper L'Equipe suggesting an agreement had been reached between the player and Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.

In a saga that has seen both Manchester United and Manchester City weigh up respective moves for the Moroccan international with neither putting in a formal offer, it looked as if Benatia would remain in Italy's capital city with Roma offering him a new contract.

UEFA Investigating Italian FA President Carlo Tavecchio Over Racism Claims

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UEFA have started an investigation into the alleged racist comment made by new Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio.

Despite the racism allegations, the former FIGC vice-president was elected to the top seat on August 11, after he defeated Giancarlo Abete by a majority vote.

FIFA Reject Barcelona’s Appeal Against Transfer Ban; Club Decides to Appeal

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FIFA has announced that it has rejected Barcelona's appeal against the sanctions imposed on the club over breaches of rules around the transfer of under-18 players.

According to the ruling, Barcelona will be unable to sign new players in the next two transfer windows; beginning in September 2014 and ending January 2016.

Swansea City Announces £7m Signing of Argentina Defender Federico Fernandez

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Swansea City has revealed the signing of Argentine central defender Federico Fernandez from Napoli.

The defender, who played in the World Cup, will replace Chico Flores, who joined a club in Qatar earlier this month.

Fernandez, 25, who has failed to secure a regular starting spot at Napoli in his three year spell, was a part of the Argentina squad that reached the World Cup final in Brazil, making an appearance in the 2-1 victory over Bosnia.

Marouane Fellaini Loan Move To Napoli In Doubt Following Training Ground Injury [PHOTO]

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Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini's potential season-long loan move to Napoli has been put into serious doubt following news of a training ground injury suffered by the player.

Fellaini was pictured heading to the hospital on crutches with his left foot in a protective boot following yesterday's practice.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund Play Mind Tricks Over Marco Reus

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As Marco Reus is attempting to recapture his world-class form after being injured for three months, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are engaging in a war of words over his future.

The Bavarian-based club signed Mario Gotze from their biggest rival last year and this offseason signed Robert Lewandoski.

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, Spanish Super Cup 1st Leg: Open Thread

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One week after winning the UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid has the opportunity to take a big first step to gain a satisfactory result in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup today against Atletico Madrid.

The derby, which features the winners of the La Liga title against the Copa del Rey champs, will be shown live on US TV and Internet at:

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, 4:45pm ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3

Before, during or after today's match, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Brazil Announces 23-Man Squad For September Friendlies in US

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Brazil's new head coach, Dunga, has announced his 23-man squad that will face Colombia on September 5 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami followed by a friendly against Ecuador on September 9 at Met Life Stadium in New York.

Dunga has made several big changes to Luis Filipe Scolari's World Cup roster, including the addition of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho who will likely earn his second appearance after his initial debut four years ago.

Premier League Coverage On NBC Scores Best Opening Weekend Ever

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NBC Sports reported today that its coverage of the 2014/15 Premier League season scored the best opening weekend ever on US TV for the world's most popular sports league.

More than 3.3 million people tuned in to five telecasts on NBC and NBCSN Saturday and Sunday up 3% from the 3.2 million total for the five games on NBC and NBCSN last year.

Manchester United Confirms £16m Signing of Marcos Rojo, While Nani Joins Sporting On Loan

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Manchester United has confirmed that Sporting and Argentina left back Marcos Rojo has signed for the club, for a fee believed to be in the region of £16million. Luis Nani has been sent the other way on a season long loan.

Rojo will be unveiled as United footballer after he passes a medical and agrees personal terms.

Besiktas vs Arsenal and Napoli vs Athletic Bilbao: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Today marks the first day of playoffs for the UEFA Champions League where clubs are playing across Europe to try to make it into the Group Stage of the tournament. Two high profiles matches are being televised on US television (more info below).

Beginning at 2pm ET, Rob Stone hosts pregame, halftime and post-game UEFA Champions League coverage from Los Angeles with analysts Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride.

Amid Struggles, MLS Finds Ways to Transcend the Curve

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Consider the implications of Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee – the league's implicit acknowledgement that decisions on the field need not be sacrosanct. In the Information Age, the willingness to review the league's most controversial plays shouldn't be novel, but in the broader soccer culture, MLS is ahead of the curve.

Highs and Lows of the US Soccer Viewing Experience, August 15-18

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In a new feature on World Soccer Talk, I'll review the highs and lows of my soccer viewing experience on a weekly basis.

The feature will review what's it like watching the beautiful game online and on TV from the perspective of a soccer fan — someone, like you, who loves the sport and eats, lives and breathes the game.

Malky Mackay to Be Named Crystal Palace Manager to Replace Tony Pulis

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Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay is set to be confirmed as the manager of Crystal Palace, to replace Tony Pulis who left the club by mutual consent last week.

In December, Mackay was sacked by Cardiff owner Vincent Tan despite the club being in 15th position in the Premier League.

Besiktas vs Arsenal Preview: UEFA Champions League Playoff 1st Leg

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For the second successive year, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side travel to Turkey hoping to clinch a place in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage with Slaven Bilic's Besiktas the Gunners' final obstacle.

Arsenal do however have some significant fitness issues ahead of today's clash with Yaya Sanogo, who had been given the nod ahead of Olivier Giroud for the start of Arsenal's domestic campaign, being deemed not fit enough to travel.

Watch Burnley 1-3 Chelsea Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Burnley played their first Premier League match in four years Monday night with a home match at Turf Moor against Chelsea.

With the odds stacked against them, few expected the Clarets to cause much of a stir against the Blues, but they did just that when they scored the opening goal of the game.

Premier League Tactics Corner: Man Utd-Swansea, Liverpool-Southampton & Leicester-Everton

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Let's talk about tactics. Each week, clubs vary their approaches and over the season we'll be analyzing how teams leverage an advantage by best using the resources within their squad.

Louis van Gaal's Halftime Switch

Twitter's trolls were quick to throw Louis van Gaal under the bus after his side's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City, even though he was forced to play a weakened hand due to injuries.

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini to Join Napoli On Loan Pending Player Approval

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Manchester United and Napoli have agreed to a move that will send Marouane Fellaini to Italy on a season-long loan. The transfer will be finalized as soon as the Belgium international gives his approval to the switch.

The Italian newspaperGazzetta dello Sportis reporting that Napoli has agreed to pay United a fee of £4million in order to secure the services of the 26-year-old midfielder.

Watch Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher Discuss Wing Backs on Monday Night Football [VIDEO]

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Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher got into a fascinating debate on the first Monday Night Football episode of the season as they discussed the new fad of wing backs in the modern game, and whether they're much different than the modern day full back.

The 3-5-2 formation proved to be the catalyst for the debate between the former Manchester United and Liverpool defenders.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Out For At Least 6 Weeks Due to Injury

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Paris Saint-Germain has been rocked by the news that their talismanic striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will be out for close to six weeks due to injury.

Ibrahimovic was forced off with an injury after just 15 minutes into the Ligue 1 clash against Bastia, with the score still tied at 0-0. The Swedish international suffered the injury following a innocuous attempt to turn away from his man while in possession.

James Alexander Gordon, the Voice of English Football Results, Dies, Aged 78

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James Alexander Gordon, the voice synonymous with the reading of classified football results on BBC Radio, has died, aged 78.

Forty years after getting the job he was at first "terrified of" on BBC Radio to read out soccer results, James Alexander Gordon was forced to step down. The then 77-year-old was forced to retire from his beloved role due to an illness that affected the very part of his body that made him so famous.

Marcos Rojo Finalizing Move To Man United; Nani Goes The Opposite Way, Say Reports

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Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo is on his way to Manchester United in a £16million, according to reports emanating from Argentina. Thedeal will see Portuguese international Nani move in the opposite direction.

Rojo will be in England tomorrow night to have a medical before signing a four-year contract with an optional fifth year.

Burnley vs Chelsea: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Burnley returns to the Premier League for the first time since 2010. They're the smallest town ever to have a club in the Premier League (the town has a population of less than 80,000). Today, they face Chelsea, the bookmakers' favorite to win the Premier League title.

To put things into perspective, here's Chelsea's record for the past 15 games on the opening weekend of the Premier League season: WWDWWWWWWWWWDWW.

Man Utd Target Mehdi Benatia Will Re-Sign With AS Roma Within 48 Hours, Says Report

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Rumors circulating around AS Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia went into overdrive on Saturday after Sky Sports reporter Jim White tweeted news that the AS Roma defender was on his way to Manchester United.


That news was quickly followed by reports of the player flying to England to speak to United officials.

Sky Sports’ ‘Monday Night Football’ Is The Blueprint For What US Soccer TV Analysis Should Be

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It goes without saying that the amount of soccer available to American "soccer" fans is astounding.

This summer, ESPN/ABC made sure every match of the World Cup was available live on television, Internet or even app. Meanwhile, NBC Sports Group is kicking off its second season covering the Barclays Premier League, which will see the broadcast company showcase all 380 matches of the season on its networks and over the web.

Legia Warsaw Appeal Rejected By The Court Of Arbitration For Sport

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has had a busy few days. Last week, the court upheld FIFA's four-month ban on Uruguay international Luis Suarez. Although it did rule that his ban on all football-related activity was "excessive", thus allowing the striker to train with teammates, participate in promotional activities and administrative matters.

Reviewing the Key Refereeing Decisions From Opening Weekend of Premier League

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The start of the new Barclays Premier League season brought goals, shocks as well red cards, meaning that the officials were given no time to settle in and get used to their new vanishing spray.

There were 3 red cards over the weekend, all of which were totally justified. However, Kyle Naughton's dismissal in the game between West Ham and Spurs at Upton Park was the most contentious call.

Top 4 Feel-Good Stories From Opening Premier League Weekend

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The Premier League is back in our lives again after a three month break. And there were already several feel-good stories to put a smile on my face (and hopefully yours too).

Here's my top 4:

4. Southampton's fight against Liverpool

New Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has seen half of his would-be starting XI leave the club in the summer.

55% Of Top 100 Soccer Blogs Recommended by The Guardian in 2011 Are Now Gone

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In October 2012, World Soccer Talk published an analysis of the health of the top 100 soccer blogsaccording to a 2011 list that was created byThe Guardian newspaperof the best soccer blogs worth following.At the time of the review of the list in 2012, 37% of the blogs were defunct with more on the edge of extinction.

Watch Liverpool vs Southampton & Newcastle vs Manchester City Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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Sunday's two Premier League matches featured the teams that finished first and second in the league last season, with Liverpool at home against Southampton, and Manchester City away at Newcastle.

Both Southampton and Newcastle United had their work cut out for them if they were to add any damage to the opponents.

USWNT Names Roster For Midweek Friendly Against Switzerland

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U.S. Women's National Team head couch Jill Ellis has put together her 19-women roster for the August 20 friendly against Switzerland at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

For all intensive purposes, it is a safe and predictable roster for Ellis, who narrowed her field from June's roster against France, when she called up 26 players.

A New Beginning – EPL Weekend Review (World Soccer Talk Podcast)

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The debut weekend of the 2014/15 Premier League season was a new beginning for football supporters as we welcomed many of our favorite footballers back to the TV sets. And at World Soccer Talk, it's a new beginning as we introduce a brand-new host to the longest-running soccer podcast on the planet — Nick Webster.

Predicted Lineups for Burnley vs Chelsea

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In a match of David against Goliath, newly promoted Burnley kick off their Premier League campaign against last year's third place finishers, Chelsea. The heavily favored Blues travel to Turf Moor, and will be expected to get a result. José Mourinho will surely have seen how the rest of the clubs have fared over the weekend, especially those who finished above Chelsea last season Liverpool and Manchester City.

Premier League Mini Cooper’s Spotted On the Streets of New York City [PHOTOS]

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For the opening weekend of the Premier League season, NBC Sports and Uber partnered in New York City to offer free Uber rides to soccer fans in the Big Apple.

There's a fleet ofMini Cooper Countrymans on the streets of New York City, so we thought we'd share photos collected from Twitter of the Premier League cars in the wild.

Premier League Continues to Gain Popularity in Kenya

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From the French Riviera to India's Taj Mahal; from the environs of the Statue of Liberty in America to the wilderness of Kenya's eccentric landscapes, there is one common language that pervades topological boundaries – the global dialect of soccer.

While soccer fanatics in these countries may be thousands of miles away from the Anfields, Emirates and Old Traffords of this world, their passion for the Barclays English Premier League remains at fever pitch levels.

Where Your Favourite Club Should Be In The English Football Pyramid

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If you were to consider the history of your club in the post-World War II years until the end of last season, which league would your favorite team be placed in? If you're a supporter of Manchester United, Everton or Arsenal, for example, the answer is easy — the Premier League. But for supporters of other teams, the answers may surprise you.

Top 10 Worst Haircuts in Soccer

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Over the years, soccer has seen some of the worst haircuts in humanity. From Rene Higuita to Fabricio Coloccini of Newcastle, the Premier League alone has experienced some terrible trims.

Let's take a look at some of the worst haircuts on the market, both past and present:

10. Raheem Sterling

Liverpool forwardRaheem Sterling's hairdo is just awful.

5 Young Americans to Watch Out For Who Are Playing In Europe

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US soccer players such as Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore, Brad Guzan, Geoff Cameron and Stuart Holden often monopolize most of the headlines when it comes to discussing American stars playing in Europe. But there are many other footballers who are overlooked that are plying their trade overseas.

Here are 5 young Americans to watch out for that are playing in Europe in the 2014/15 season:

1.

Luis Suarez To Play In Barcelona Friendly On Monday, Says Luis Enrique

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Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has confirmed that Luis Suarez will "get some minutes" during the club's friendly at the Camp Nou on Monday. The Catalan club is scheduled to play Leon FC in the Joan Gamper Cup, which is held annually before the start of the La Liga season.

Programming note: For viewers in the United States, the match is being shown exclusively on beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS Espanol and DishWorld.

Newcastle United vs Manchester City: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Premier League champions Manchester City plays Newcastle United at St James' Park today in a match where Joe Hart starts in goal for City instead of Willy Caballero. In other team news, Sergio Aguero is on the bench as is Pablo Zabaleta.

For Newcastle, there are Premier League debuts for Emmanuel Rivere, Remy Cabella and Daryk Janmaat.

Swansea City Record First-Ever League Victory Against Man United At Old Trafford

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Last season, Swansea proved to be a startlingly brisk team struggling to transcend the crowded middle of the Premier League table. Led by the sure feet of Wilfried Bony and Michu, the Swans consistently proved to be anything but the pushovers one expected they might have been. Manchester United, on the other hand, was the exact opposite.

Watch BBC’s Match of the Day Opening Titles For 2014/15 Season [VIDEO]

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BBC's Match of the Day program celebrates 50 years of broadcasting this month. The weekly English top flight highlights show is an institution in Britain.

One of the endearing aspects of the program is that they update the opening title sequence of the show every season. Here's the one from the 2013-14 season.

Watch NBCSN’s Exclusive Interview With Steven Gerrard On Sunday at 7am ET

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In the latest 20-minute episode of Premier League Download, NBC's Rebecca Lowe sits down with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard for a heartfelt interview with the Premier League footballer.

Whether you're a Liverpool fan or not, the interview is a must-see. Lowe, in a reserved but purposeful manner, manages to allow Gerrard to open up and give an honest account of the last few weeks of the 2013/14 Premier League season that you're unlikely to see or hear in other interviews.

Most Instrumental Players at Each of the 20 Premier League Clubs

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Soccer is far from being a one-man game. However having instrumental players in-form in key games surely increases the chances of winning any match by any team against any opposition. The following is part one of a four-piece feature where I choose one player from each English Premier League team who I believe will be key in his side's chances achieving their objectives, be it avoiding relegation, reaching the top 4 or winning the title.

Burnley 2014/15 Season Preview: The Clarets Face a Battle Against The Odds

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Burnley has worked the transfer market in a typically low budget manner, spending only £1.5million pounds while acquiring other signings on a free. That comes as no surprise as manager Sean Dyche had spent only £450,000 on transfers in less than two years.

Dyche proved that his side had the perfect chemistry and unity to make it into the Premier League.

Celtic Goalkeeper Craig Gordon Looks To Revitalize Career After Finally Overcoming Injuries

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McDiarmid Park, home of St. Johnstone, may not be foremost in the minds of soccer fans, but on the 13th of August it did play host to a couple of firsts. It was Celtic manager Ronny Deila's first taste of action in the Scottish Premiership; but perhaps more importantly the match marked the first competitive game Craig Gordon has played in since 2012.

Liverpool vs Southampton: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Who's ready for the first Sunday fixture of the 2014/15 season featuring Premier League runners-up Liverpool against one of the most discussed teams of the summer, Southampton. This should be a very open and entertaining match.

For viewers in the United States, the game will be shown on:

Liverpool vs Southampton, 8:30am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting line-ups:

Liverpool:Mignolet, Manquillo, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge

Subs:Jones, Toure, Sakho, Allen, Ibe, Can, Lambert

Southampton:Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, S Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Pelle

Subs:Davis, Long, Taider, Cork, Hooiveld, Isgrove, Stephens

Before, during or after today's match, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

5 Observations From Arsenal’s Win Against Crystal Palace

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Arsenal started off the 2014/2015 Premier League game with a late win against a very defensively sturdy Crystal Palace side. Hangeland opened the scoring with a good header in the first half, yet a good header from Laurent Koscielny and a tap-in from Aaron Ramsey earned Arsenal their first three points of the season.

Watch Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 1 Match Highlights [VIDEO]

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The 2014/15 Premier League season kicked off today with 17 goals in 7 games, for an average of 2.42 goals per match. We had plenty of drama across England with teams such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa as well as others trying to get a good start to an all-important season.

Liverpool vs. Southampton: Predicted Line-Ups and Preview

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Overachieving was a theme for both Liverpool and Southampton in their last campaigns, but each side has been active in this summer's transfer market. While Southampton has off-loaded several players from last year's extremely talented squad, Liverpool has sold Luis Suarez, but made an extensive amount of purchases to increase depth ahead of its first Champions League campaign since the turn of the decade.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace Player Ratings; Premier League Gameweek 1

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Arsenal snatched a victory out of the hands of defeat with a 2-1 victory against London rivals Crystal Palace in their first Premier League match of the 2014/15 season.

Despite the turmoil going on inside of the club due to Tony Pulis leaving his position as manager on Thursday night, Palace put up a solid effort, with new centre back Brede Hangeland scoring from a good header.

How to Use a VPN to Watch BBC’s Match of the Day

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If you want to watch BBC's popular television show Match of the Day to see the highlights of the Barclays Premier League games every Saturday during the season, you can securely (and legally) gain access to the British TV show by using a VPN.

Howstuffworks.com describes a VPN (virtual private network) as "a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to connect remote sites or users together.

Manchester United Agree £24 Million Deal To Sign Mehdi Benatia From AS Roma, Say Reports

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Manchester United has had a £24 million bid accepted forAS Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, according to several reports.

The Morocco international had been rumored to be closing in on a move to Chelsea in recent days, but United entered the race to sign the defender in the past 48 hours and appear to have beaten their Premier League rivals to the highly-rated player.

Manchester United vs Swansea City Player Ratings; Premier League

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Going with his original 3-4-1-2 Dutch setup, Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United was clearly still getting used to the new formation against a Welsh team that pressed. In the second half United switched to a 4-4-1-1 formation. but Swansea manager Garry Monk had his team well prepared for the changed as was evidenced by the amount of room Swansea utilized on the pitch.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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The first Premier League match of the 2014/15 season shown on the free, over-the-air NBC network in the United States kicks off at 12:30pm ET today for a game that features David against Goliath. And David has just lost its leader.

For viewers in theUnited States, here's the TV/Internet schedule:

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups -

Arsenal:Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Sanogo

Subs:Martinez, Monreal, Coquelin, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Giroud

Crystal Palace:Speroni, Kelly, Dann, Hangeland, Ward, Puncheon, Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Chamakh, Campbell

Subs:Hennessey, Delaney, McCarthy, O'Keefe, Bannan, Gayle, Murray

Before, during or after today's matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 1: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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Saturday's first dose of five Premier League matches played at the traditional time of 3pm GMT kicks off today, with opportunities to see what the 2014/15 editions of the Premier League sides have to offer.

For viewers in the United States, here's the TV/Internet schedule:

Leicester City vs Everton, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra
West Ham vs Spurs, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra andselect movie theaters,
QPR vs Hull, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
Stoke vs Aston Villa, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra
West Brom vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra

Starting lineups:

Leicester City:Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, Knockaert, Drinkwater, King, Mahrez, Ulloa, Nugent

Subs:Hamer, Hammond, Schlupp, Hopper, Taylor-Fletcher, Wasilewski, Wood

Everton:Howard, Baines, Jagielka, McGeady, Lukaku, Naismith, Distin, McCarthy, Barry, Pienaar, Stones

Subs:Robles, Mirallas, Besic, Atsu, Osman, Coleman, Alcaraz

—————————————————————————

West Ham United:Adrian, O'Brien, Reid, Collins, Cresswell, Nolan, Noble, Kouyate, Downing, Cole, Vaz Te

Subs:Jaaskelainen, Zarate, Demel, Diame, Poyet, Valencia, Burke

Tottenham:Lloris, Rose, Kaboul, Lennon, Adebayor, Lamela, Dier, Naughton, Eriksen, Capoue, Bentaleb

Subs:Friedel, Davies, Dawson, Holtby, Townsend, Kane, Soldado

—————————————————————————

QPR:Green, Dunne, Ferdinand, Caulker, Simpson, Traore, Mutch, Faurlin, Barton, Remy, Austin

Subs:Hill, Phillips, Onuoha, Henry, Murphy, Hoilett, Zamora

Hull:McGregor, Davies, Chester, Bruce, Elmohamady, Robertson, Huddlestone, Livermore, Snodgrass, Ince, Jelavic

Subs:Harper, McShane, Figueroa, Meyler, Quinn, Brady, Aluko.

Time Warner Cable and Bright House Add NBC Sports Live Extra In Time For EPL Season

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Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks now offer access to NBC Sports Live Extra to its customers. With the availability of the service, soccer fans in the US who have TV subscriptions to either Time Warner or Bright House can now access Premier League matches via live, legal strams from the entire season.

Aston Villa 2014/15 Season Preview: Lack of Buyer Casts Dark Shadow Over Club

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Aston Villa head into a Premier League season with expectations at a record low. Following an announcement that the club was for sale at the end of last season, there has been little to no movement on that front with Paul Lambert once again forced to look high and low for bargain transfers in a very difficult market.

West Bromwich Albion 2014/15 Season Preview: Stability Is The Goal After Rocky 12 Months

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Former Everton youth coach Alan Irvine takes control of West Bromwich Albion this season, giving him his first Premier League managerial role. Finishing 17th last year, leaving their survival until the penultimate game and going through a managerial change during the course of the season, most West Brom fans will be happy to put last season behind them.

Newcastle United 2014/15 Season Preview: Sense of Optimism Returns to St James’ Park

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Newcastle United endured another difficult campaign last term with supporters becoming increasingly frustrated at both the ownership of the club and the performances of manager Alan Pardew. The final straw appeared to be the sale of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain in the January transfer window, with the money not being reinvested into the squad straight away.

Hull City 2014/15 Season Preview: A Season of Consolidation

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Premier League survival and a trip to Wembley, what more could a newly promoted side ask for? Last season's FA Cup finalists Hull City must be pleased with the result of their season, even if it did end in disappointment.

Manager Steve Bruce puts it best, when he said in his first pre-match press conference:"I don't think anything changes.

Swansea City 2014/15 Season Preview: Garry Monk Faces Difficult Challenge

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On the surface, Swansea appears to be stronger than where they left off last season. The club signed French strikerBafetimbi Gomis to solve the goalscoring issue, while Gylfi Sigurdsson returns to the club to add an impetus as an attacking midfielder. The Swans also finally acquired Marvin Emnes, who has moved to South Wales after repeated attempts by Swansea to sign the Middlesbrough dynamo.

Sunderland 2014/15 Season Preview: Poyet Continues to Reshape His Team

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Gustavo Poyet performed a minor miracle in guiding Sunderland to Premier League safety last season following the disastrous start to the campaign under the stewardship of Paolo Di Canio. The Uruguayan coach urged Sunderland supporters to persevere with the team until he was in a position to reshape the team in his image and start playing the football designed to attract supporters to the Stadium of Light.

Queens Park Rangers 2014/15 Season Preview

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Over the past few seasons Queens Park Rangers has become somewhat of a spectacle, drawing media attention mostly for the wrong reasons. But after a successful Championship run and a Cinderella-like playoff run that culminated in one of the most thrilling games played last season, QPR is finally on the right track to compete in the Premier League.

5 Worst Premier League Transfers This Summer

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The 2014/15 Premier League season is almost upon us with managers up and down the country making their final touches towards their squads ahead of the opening weekend. There's been plenty of solid business from clubs during the summer transfer window but there have been some equally peculiar and somewhat puzzling transfers as well.

Manchester United vs Swansea City: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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The 2014/15 Premier League season kicks off today with the opening tie between Manchester United and Swansea City, live from Old Trafford in England.

After a strong summer for United where they won the International Champions Cup and went undefeated in preseason, Louis Van Gaal's team now has to do it for real in the world's most popular sports league against the underdogs, Swansea, led by manager Garry Monk.

Stoke City 2014/15 Season Preview: In Bojan We Trust

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Saturday ‘s match against Aston Villa marks the start of Stoke City's 2014/15 Premier League season. Pre-season matches have been more about fitness than flash, with results being draws or close defeats, and a solitary victory against Real Betis at the Britannia Stadium.

Squad changes have been swift and significant this pre-season, which is something of a shock to hardened Stoke fans used to being prime contenders in Sky's transfer deadline day festivities at the end of August.

Manchester City 2014-15 Season Preview: Champions Face Unsure Season

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Manchester City has enjoyed a rather calm pre-season despite the Financial Fair Play regulations placed upon them by UEFA, which has limited the club's spending.

Rather like Manchester United did under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester City has looked at weaknesses within their squad and identified players efficiently.

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 1

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NBC has announced the commentators for this weekend's Premier League matches that will be shown on television and Internet across the United States.

Here's the line-up:

Saturday, August 16:

Manchester United vs Swansea City, 7:45am, NBCSN and mun2 and NBC Sports Live Extra; Peter Drury & Jim Beglin
Leicester City vs Everton, 10am, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra; Daniel Mann & Trevor Francis
West Ham vs Spurs, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra andselect movie theaters; Gary Weaver & Tony Gale
QPR vs Hull, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra;Tony Jones & Don Goodman
Stoke vs Aston Villa, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra;Joe Speight & Garry Birtles
West Brom vs Sunderland, 10am, NBC Sports Live Extra;Gary Taphouse & Dean Sturridge
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, 12:30pm, NBC and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra;Arlo White & Lee Dixon

Sunday, August 17:

Liverpool vs Southampton, 8:30am, NBCSNand NBC Sports Live Extra;Arlo White & Graeme Le Saux
Newcastle vs Manchester City, 11am, NBCSN and Telemundoand NBC Sports Live Extra;Jon Champion & David Pleat

Monday, August 18:

Burnley vs Chelsea, 3pm, NBCSN and mun2and NBC Sports Live Extra;Martin Tyler & Danny Mills

Commentators for Premier League Matches On NBC Sports, Gameweek 1 is a post from World Soccer Talk.

FAQ On Watching Premier League Games In US Movie Theaters

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Since announcing the news that NBC Sports has teamed with Fathom Events to bring select Premier League matches to movie theaters across the United States, we've been inundated with questions from you, the readers, about the who, what, when and where.

The very first Premier League match that will be shown in US movie theaters happens this weekend, when Tottenham Hotspur visits West Ham United at 10am ET/7am PT.

Leicester City 2014/15 Season Preview: Foxes Hope to Spring Some Surprises After Flying Under the Radar

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After impressively accruing over 100 points in the Championship last season, there is a palpable sense of optimism that Leicester City can once again reaffirm their Premier League status over the coming months.

As with any promoted team, transfers and experience are two fundamentals in ensuring Premier League survival.

2014/15 Premier League TV Schedule For Viewers in the UK

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While Americans can revel in having every single Premier League game shown live, we Brits have a lot fewer games that are available on television (and Internet).

In the UK, television rights for matches are split between Sky Sports and BT Sport with the schedule up to and including November 30 already being released.

FOX Sports Sublicenses Select UEFA Champions League Playoff Games to ESPN

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In soccer TV and Internet rights news, FOX Sports has sublicensed select UEFA Champions League matches to ESPN Deportes and ESPN3.com for the matches scheduled next week.

The playoff games will be split between FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, FOX regional sports networks, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Soccer 2GO and FOX Sports Go.

Crystal Palace 2014/15 Season Preview: Palace’s EPL Future Hangs In The Balance

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Crystal Palace provided one of the lasting memories of the 2013-14 Premier League season, scoring three goals in a breathtaking final 11 minutes at Selhurst Park on May 5 to draw 3-3 with Liverpool, leaving Luis Suarez in tears on his knees after a dagger blow to his club's title hopes. Palace would go on to finish 11thin the table, comfortably safe on 45 points after a remarkable stretch of 5 consecutive wins to go with two draws and just one defeat in the season's final eight matches.

Luis Suarez Takes Part In First Training Session With Barcelona [VIDEO]

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Luis Suarez has completed his first day of training with Barcelona. The Uruguay international was awarded a partial victory yesterday when his four-month ban from all football-related activities was amended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The court considered his ban on all football-related activity "excessive" and clarified that his suspension will "apply to official matches only and no longer to other football-related activities (such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters).

Everton 2014/15 Season Preview: Toffees Ready for Most Anticipated Season In Years

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Typically, pre-season follows one of two age-old narratives. If results are going well, then managers will point to some crucial momentum gathered ahead of the new campaign. But if the wins aren't coming in the run up to the big kick off, then the significance of scorelines are played down.

Roberto Martinez has been doing the latter throughout Everton's pre-season, where the Toffees failed to snaffle a victory in any of their games as they prepare for the rigors of another Premier League campaign.

Chelsea 2014/15 Season Preview: Crunch Time For Jose Mourinho

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The honeymoon period is over for manager Jose Mourinho in his second stint at Chelsea. Last season, Chelsea fans serenaded the Special One at virtually every match, celebrating the return of supposed stability at the club after the wacky stretch that saw four different managers over two years. The mood around Chelsea last season was fairly optimistic, with Mourinho ramping down expectations while promising to build for the future.

Liverpool 2014/15 Season Preview: New Signings Raise Expectations

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Liverpool's preseason coverage has been overshadowed by a single event — the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75million in July. Most Liverpool fans will admit that the sale was of no surprise, and opinion has been pretty divided on the issue. He tied the all-time Premier League goalscoring record with 31 goals in that time, but also missed seven matches at the beginning of last season and would have missed many more this time around had he stayed.

West Ham vs Spurs to be First EPL Game Shown In US Movie Theaters

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Saturday's London derby between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur will be the first Premier League game ever shown in US movie theaters.

The 10am ET/7am PT kickoff featuring the Hammers against Spurs will be available in 33 select movie theaters nationwide in a deal between NBC Sports and Fathom Events.

Tottenham 2014/15 Season Preview: Pochettino Adds Optimism to Spurs

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Despite a rocky first half of the season with Andre Villas-Boas sacked in December, Tottenham was able to finish the season under head coach Tim Sherwood before he too was sacked. His replacement, Mauricio Pochettino has the unenviable task of picking Spurs up this season and trying to get the club back into the UEFA Champions League.

West Ham United 2014/15 Season Preview: Big Sam’s Make Or Break Season

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West Ham and Sam Allardyce have always had a somewhat uneasy relationship despite the fact that he has seemingly accomplished what's been asked of him.

After being appointed West Ham manager in 2011, he guided the club into the Premier League albeit via the playoffs before retaining top flight status for the Hammers finishing 10thin the 2012/13 season and 13ththe following year.

Southampton 2014/15 Season Preview: Positives Remain Despite Tumultuous Summer

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It's been nothing short of an interesting summer for Southampton FC. After finishing off a fantastic 2013/14 season in the Barclay's Premier League which saw them finish in 8thplace, the future quickly went from bright to rather frightening. It all began with the departure of manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose high pressing game won the hearts of his players, the fans, and unfortunately the eye of Tottenham's Daniel Levy.

UEFA Announces Its 3-Man Shortlist For The Best Player In Europe

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer have been named to UEFA's shortlist for the 2013/14 Best Player in Europe Award.

The voting was done by a collection of journalists from each of UEFA's 54-member associations. The nominees were whittled down to these three candidates from another shortlist which consisted of ten European players.

Why Traditional Media is Actually Driving Illegal Soccer Viewing

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Pop quiz! Which legal streaming platforms are showing the UEFA Champions League qualifying matches? And where can you watch the English Championship via legal streams? Yeah, we thought so. It's not easy to know the answers to these questions, right, without digging into a lot of exhaustive online research?

Tony Pulis Leaves Crystal Palace By Mutual Consent 2 Days Before Start of Season

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Tony Pulis has left Crystal Palace by mutual consent just two days before the start of the 2014/15 Premier League season.

The manager and co-chairman Steve Parish had been locked in serious talks late this afternoon. It is believed that the two men had a difference of opinion as for the type of players they wanted to recruit to the club.

How Dejan Lovren is the Remedy to Liverpool’s Defensive Frailties [GIFs]

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In the age of tactical writing and analysis, soccer geeks fight over which formation is best, the use of the False 9, if there is a False 10, and whether or not to label a defensive midfielder as the next Claude Makelele. What can be lost in the analysis though, is the positioning of players and how it contributes to their chemistry as a unit.

Italy Appoints Antonio Conte As Head Coach On 2-Year Deal

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Former Juventus coach, Antonio Conte, has been appointed as the new coach for the Italian national team, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed today. Since the unexpected resignation of former Italian coach, Cesare Prandelli, in the wake of their dismal World Cup 2014 group stage elimination, the position had remained vacant.

2014-15 Premier League Table Predictions: What’s Your Top 20?

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For the past seven years, we've asked you —the reader —to predict how you think the Premier League table will finish up at the end of the season. The challenge is that we ask you this before the season kicks off, and before the summer transfer window ends.

It's an opportunity for you to share your expertise and guess how the table will end for the 2014/15 season.

Sporting Lisbon Claim Officials ‘Representing’ Manchester United Attempted Negotiations

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The Marcos Rojo transfer saga has had its share of twists and turns since it was first reported two days ago that Manchester United had tabled a £16million bid for the Sporting Lisbon defender.

There were early concerns regarding the potential transfer because Rojo is only part-owned by the Portuguese club.

NBC Sports Will Offer Enhanced Matchday Coverage For Premier League Season

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After a debut Premier League season where NBC Sports exceeded everyone's expectations, the sports network is preparing for its sophomore season in covering the world's most popular sports league.

While there have been plenty of changes on the pitch, with transfers galoreby each club, NBC Sports is planning on several enhancements to elevate the production of Premier League games for viewers in the United States.

WATCH Men In Blazers’ Appearance on Seth Myers Late Night TV Show [VIDEO]

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NBC's Men In Blazera made an appearance on the Seth Myers late show on television last night.

The short segment featured an interview with Roger Bennett and Michael Davies. The duo were interviewed by soccer fan and comedian Seth Myers, formerly of the Saturday Night Live TV show.

Watch the segment here (which is split into two):

Mobile app users, visit the desktop version to watch the videos.

Mondogoal Launches Best-of-Breed Fantasy Soccer Game

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There are lots of fantasy soccer games out there, but a new site named Mondogoal has brought something unique and refreshing to the table. Mondogoal has set up a fantasy soccer game where you can compete for cash, every single match day. Combined with a beautiful and easy-to-use design, Mondogoal has emerged as a best-of-breed fantasy soccer game.

NBC Sports and Uber Launch Fleet of Premier League Mini Coopers in New York City [PHOTOS]

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NBC Sports and Uber have teamed together to offer soccer fans in New York City a unique opportunity to ride in Premier League-themed Mini Coopers for free.

In celebration of its second season as the exclusive home of the Premier League in the U.S., NBC Sports Group will unleash a custom-designed convoy of Mini Cooper Countrymans – one for each of the 20 Barclays Premier League teams – into the Uber platform, to provide complimentary rides to New Yorkers from August 14-August 17.

Manchester United 2014/15 Season Preview: New Faces at Old Trafford Herald New Dawn

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Manchester United has started the post-Moyes era in remarkable fashion, having not lost in any of their six pre-season friendlies as they settle relatively well into Louis Van Gaal's unorthodox 3-5-2 system. Their last friendly fixture – against Valencia – saw Marouane Fellaini notch his first goal for the club in injury time, which is typical to the Red Devils' way in what Van Gaal labeled as the ‘worst game' under him.

Luis Suarez’s Appeal Rejected And Ban Is Upheld; But Player Can Train

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Luis Suarez's four month ban from soccer has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). But the player has been permitted to train with his teammates and be involved with promotional activities at Barcelona.

"The sanctions imposed on the player by FIFA have been generally confirmed," the CAS said in a statement.

Arsenal 2014/15 Season Preview: Gunners Hopes Remain Optimistic After Winning Silverware

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Arsenal's famed nine-year trophy drought ended in May when the Gunners defeated Hull City in the FA Cup and on Sunday, the north London club beat Manchester City 3-0 to win the FA Community Shield. Can Arsenal continue their trophy hunt by adding a Premier League title this upcoming season?

Before we go any further, I must admit that I've been an Arsenal fan since I was 10-years-old because Thierry Henry was my favorite player and I grew to love the club passionately throughout my formative years.

Why It’s Time to Adopt a Favorite Second Team for the 2014/15 Season

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Celtic barely advancing in the Champions League and Ted Lasso videos mean one thing to the serious soccer fan – it's back. After a tasty appetizer of the World Cup, European club soccer returns this month beginning with the Premier League this weekend. While MLS fans would counter that their season is six months old, the lure of seeing the best players in the world teaming-up Guardians of the Galaxy style (with Per Mertersacker as Groot) and compete against each other for more than one fleeting month is a moment to celebrate.

Only 30% of Community Shield Winners Go On to Become Premier League Champions

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With Arsenal's 3-0 victory over Manchester City in the latest Community Shield, people in the soccer world are now starting to see the Gunners as a contender to win the Premier League title this season. Claiming the top spot is within their grasp if they keep their players fit. But does winning the Community Shield actually mean anything towards the actual season ahead?

Top Female Soccer Players Express Outrage That Women’s World Cup Will Be Played On Artificial Grass

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More than 40 international women's players have stepped forward and are threatening to take legal action against FIFA and its decision to allow the 2015 Women's World Cup to be held exclusively on artificial turf in Canada.

What started as a grassroots campaign by players on social media has turned into a growing issue that FIFA will have to address less then a year before the opening kick in Canada.

Hope Solo Court Trial Set For November, Won’t Interfere With World Cup Qualifying

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A November date has been set for the trial of U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who is accused of assaulting her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew.

Solo appeared in Kirkland, Washington court Monday following two counts of fourth degree domestic violence in June. She has pleaded not guilty.

Solo's lawyer has said the 33-year-old goalkeeper was a victim in the altercation.

Separating Seattle’s Fiasco From The Debate About Turf

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Sunday night's game between Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field looked like the aftermath of a tire fire, and thanks to a national broadcast, everybody online took note. When the Sounders kicked off ESPN2′s Sunday night game, the turf at CenturyLink looked like it'd be drenched in ash, with the black, rubber pellets used to revitalize FieldTurf surfaces coming through new fertilizer on newly laid sod.

League Cup 2nd Round Draw Announced; MK Dons to Play Manchester United

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The draw for the second round of the League Cup was revealed tonight with 13 Premier League clubs joining the competition at this stage, while current holders Manchester City and the other clubs competing in Europe will join in the third round.

The mouthwatering game of the round features Milton Keynes Dons against Manchester United.

Everton Signs Ghana Midfielder Christian Atsu on Season-Long Loan

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Everton FC announced the club has reached an agreement in principle to sign the Chelsea winger, Christian Atsu, on a season-long loan, according to Everton manager Roberto Martínez.

Martinez's men finished fifth last season, running out of gas in the dying stages of the campaign, and the Spaniard is eager to go one better as he seeks to guide his side into Europe's elite first tier competition – the UEFA Champions League.

DeAndre Yedlin Signs For Tottenham Hotspur In $4 Million Move From MLS

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Tottenham Hotspur has signed DeAndre Yedlin from MLS club Seattle Sounders in a deal that's reportedly worth $4 million.

The United States men's national team and Seattle Sounders right winger, who can also play right back, completed his move to Tottenham Hotspur today. The US World Cup star has been the subject of many rumors surrounding both clubs.

Franck Ribery Announces His Retirement From International Soccer

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France forward Franck Ribery has announced his retirement from international soccer.

The 31-year-old missed this summer's World Cup in Brazil due to a nagging back injury. The French forward followed an individual training program in the weeks leading up to the tournament but was unable to regain full fitness in time to join Didier Deschamps'23-man squad.

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw Ruled Out For Up To A Month, Says Report

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Manchester United's Luke Shaw has been ruled out for up to a month, according toSky Sports News.

Shaw looks set to miss matches against Swansea, Sunderland, Burnley and QPR and may not be available until the middle of September.

The left-back was absent from yesterday's lineup against Valencia, but was seen signing autographs following United's 2-1 friendly win over the La Liga side on Tuesday.

EA Announces New Innovations for FIFA 15, Including Next Gen Keepers [VIDEO]

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EA Sports announced today that its making significant changes to goalkeepers in FIFA 15. It is part of its attempts to provide a more realistic gameplay experience, with keepers acting and moving a lot more like their real world counterparts. It is just one of an array of new features that FIFA 15 will bring to the franchise.

5 Players Arsenal Should Consider to Replace Thomas Vermaelen

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Former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen has finally left the Gunners after making 150 appearances and scoring 15 goals. However, the writing has been on the wall for a very long time when it comes to the Belgian leaving and no-one is really surprised.

Despite the loss that comes with it, Wenger has admitted that signing another center back before the end of the transfer window is a priority for the Gunners.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund, Germany DFL-Supercup: Open Thread

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The 2014 DFL-Supercup kicks off today at Noon ET on GolTV (for viewers in the United States) featuring Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund.

The annual cup competition features the winner of the Bundesliga (Bayern) against the winner of the DFB-Pokal (Dortmund).

Dortmund are the reigning champions, having beaten Bayern 4–2 in 2013.

Premier League Chief Still Wants 39th Game Played Abroad

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Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, has reaffirmed his will for a 39th round of Premier League fixtures to be played abroad.

The idea drew a lot of criticism from the media and from fans when it was first proposed in 2008, but Scudamore has told theBBC that he and Premier League clubs would still be in favor of the move.

Sporting Lisbon Disciplines Marcos Rojo For Yesterday’s Failure To Train

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Sporting Lisbon has 'sanctioned' Manchester United target Marcos Rojo for his refusal to train and amid reports that the player handed in a transfer request yesterday.

On Tuesday, the Portuguese newspaper O' Jogobroke a story saying United had tabled a bid of around£16million for the 24-year-old defender.

Mexico International Raul Jimenez Signs Six-Year Deal With Atletico Madrid, Say Reports

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Atletico Madrid has signed Club America striker Raul Jimenez to a six-year deal according to the Spanish press. An official announcement from both clubs will be made on Wednesday and the player is rumored to be on his way to Madrid to be unveiled to Atletico supporters.

The reigning champions of La Liga has reportedly paid a fee of£8.

Premier League Season Preview (World Soccer Talk Podcast)

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Matt, Kris and Morgan are back in the saddle. And after a short lay off we recap some of the news and notes from the transfer window, do some quick previews on some of the big signings and give our predictions to the top 7 in the 2014/15 Premier League season.

World Soccer Talk: @worldsoccertalk

Kartik: @kkfla737

Kris: @KHeneage

Matt J: @MattJFootball

Matt L: @MattsMusings1

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Court Of Arbitration For Sport Will Announce Luis Suarez Decision On Thursday

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced that Barcelona striker Luis Suarez will learn the result of his appeal for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at 2pm BST (9am EST) on Thursday.

CAS said in a statement: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport will announce its decision in the matter Luis Suárez, FC Barcelona and the Uruguayan FA on Thursday 14 August 2014.

Wayne Rooney Named Manchester United Captain

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Louis Van Gaal has named Wayne Rooney as the captain of Manchester United, with Darren Fletcher taking the vice-captain position.

Rooney, 28, has been at Old Trafford since 2004 after his £26million move from Everton at the age of 18. He has since scored 158 goals in over 300 appearances for the club as well as lifting 5 Premier League titles.

Shane Long Linked With £12million Move to Southampton, Says Report

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Hull City forward Shane Long has been linked with a move to Southampton for a fee of £12million, reportsSky Sports Newsanchor Jim White.

Long, 27, only moved to Hull City in the January transfer window this year, and has netted 4 times in 15 games during his time at the KC Stadium.

Manchester United Fans Will Need to Prepare For a Season of Tedious Tactics Under Louis Van Gaal

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Newly appointed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has his critics on whether or not the Dutch coach's teams play attractive soccer. Following a 2-0 victory over Chile in this summer's World Cup, van Gaal was asked by a journalist if his tactics were attacking enough. Van Gaal quipped, "Could you give me a definition of attacking football?

New Twist On Fantasy Football Offers Soccer Fans Plenty of Features

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As the dawn of the new European soccer season draws closer, millions of people around the world are spending coffee mornings, lunch breaks and spare evenings deciding between Sanchez or Costa, Lewandowski or Immobile, Bale or Suarez, and other combinations. But with the constant transformation of real-time markets, the bug has finally caught fantasy soccer and with it a company named Light Speed Games has created fantasy leagues for the top four European Leagues (Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga) with the Serie A game being the most popular fantasy game for Serie A on the web.

Liverpool Agrees to £12million Fee For Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno

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Liverpool has agreed a£12million fee with Sevilla for left-back Alberto Moreno. The agreement should now bring an end to the transfer saga that has taken up most of the summer window.

The Spain international will become Brendan Rodgers eighth signing of the summer and should provide competition at left-back to fellow-Spaniard, Jose Enrique.

Newcastle’s Alan Pardew Lowers Expectations By Setting Goal Of Mid-Table Finish

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Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has set the goal for his team during the 2014/15 season to be 48 points, a mid-table finish, and one fewer than where the club ended up last season.

When asked if Newcastle's target was to finish in the top half of the Premier League standings again this season, the 53-year-old manager told Sky Sports:

"Well, the average for this club over the last 10 years in the Premiership is 48 points, and I think if we get that or anything above that, I think it will be a good season for us.

Manchester United Tables £16million Bid For Sporting Lisbon’s Marcos Rojo, Say Reports

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Manchester United has tabled a£16 million bid for Sporting Lisbon defender, Marcos Rojo, according to reports in Portugal and England.

The Argentina international was a key contributor during his country's World Cup run that ended with a defeat in the final of the competition. He played all 120 minutes versus Germany and was named to the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team at the conclusion of the tournament.

Man United vs Valencia, Real Madrid vs Sevilla & MK Dons vs Wimbledon: Open Thread

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You couldn't ask for three more different types of matches this afternoon. At 2:30pm ET, Manchester United kicks off against Valencia in a friendly on ESPN2, live from Old Trafford. Then, just 15 minutes later, the UEFA Super Cup kicks off in Cardiff between Real Madrid and Sevilla on FOX Sports 1, to determine the winner of the UEFA Champions League versus the winner of the UEFA Europa League.

Patrick Vieira Finds The Appointment Of Carlo Tavecchio Hard To Believe

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Former France international Patrick Vieira, who spent time playing for AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, has shared his thoughts on Carlo Tavecchio being named president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

Yesterday, Tavecchio defeated rival candidate Demetrio Albertini with a majority of the vote, despite having battled allegations of racism during the weeks leading up to his election.

Soccer Fans Plan March in London to Protest Rising Premier League Ticket Prices

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The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) will be marching on the Premier League and Football League headquarters in London on Thursday to demand affordable ticket prices.

Soccer fans are protesting the rising ticket prices, particularly in the Premier League, that they claim are excluding many soccer fans from attending games.

Talks Under Away to Bring Expand International Champions Cup to Australia in 2015

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As we reported last week, the 2015 International Champions Cup will be expanding to Asia next summer. And now reports confirm today that talks are under away to have some of the games hosted in Australia in July, 2015 (as well as the United States).

The news comes after the Premier of Victoria confirmed that the Victorian State Government is currently in the process of securing three pre-season fixtures to be played between the world's elite at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), a multi-purpose arena with a capacity of over 100,000 spectators.

Hatem Ben Arfa Cancels Meetup With Fans and Gets Banned From Newcastle Open Training

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Hatem Ben Arfa has taken another move to damage relations with his club Newcastle United, after announcing he shall hold his own 'meet and greet' with Newcastle fans, after being excluded from the open training session being held on the same day. However, he has been advised to cancel the event to limit the damage of an already rocky relationship with NUFC.

Liverpool Interested In Signing Cameroon Striker Samuel Eto’o

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Premier League club Liverpool is reportedly weighing up a transfer for free-agent Samuel Eto'o in a bid to bolster their depleted attack, reports The Guardian.

The 33-year-old enjoyed a relatively successful Premier League season, scoring on nine occasions from 21 league appearances for Chelsea.

Radamel Falcao Will Move To Real Madrid Before This Transfer Window Closes

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The reports circulating around Radamel Falcao proposed move to Real Madrid have died down in recent days. The Spanish press are focusing on the build up towards tomorrow's UEFA Super Cup encounter in Cardiff between Real Madrid and Sevilla (to be televised on FOX Sports 1 at 2.30pm ET Tuesday).

There is also just under three weeks left before the close of the summer transfer window and lots can happen over that time.

Scott Sinclair Could Follow Jack Rodwell’s Lead And Leave Manchester City

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Another promising young English footballer is considering his future at Manchester City as reports in England today are saying Scott Sinclair is 'considering his future' at the Etihad.

Last week, Jack Rodwell joined Sunderland on a five-year deal after spending the past two seasons in the blue half of Manchester.

Most Instrumental Players at Arsenal, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Burnley

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Soccer is far from being a one-man game. However having instrumental players in-form in key games surely increases the chances of winning any match by any team against any opposition. The following is part one of a four-piece feature where I choose one player from each English Premier League team who I believe will be key in his side's chances achieving their objectives, be it avoiding relegation, reaching the top 4 or winning the title.

Legia Warsaw Suggest Meeting With Celtic; Scottish Champs Decline

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On Friday, UEFA handed Celtic FC a Champions League reprieve when the governing body ruled that Legia Warsaw had fielded an ineligible player during its 6-1 aggregate victory over the champions of Scotland in the third qualifying round.

The player in question, Bartosz Bereszynski, came on in the final minutes of the second leg victory over Celtic.

5 Burning Questions Regarding Arsenal’s Squad

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For the first time in a long time, Arsenal has had a productive summer transfer window and fans are ecstatic about what the team can achieve this year. Wenger has brought in Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez, former Newcastle United right back Mathieu Debuchy and 19 year old Calum Chambers from Southampton.

New Details Emerge About 2015 Gold Cup To Be Held In 10+ US Cities

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Details on the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup are now emerging, as Traffic Sports USA, a soccer event management company, accidentally leaked image with tournament information this past weekend.

The company states that next year's Gold Cup competition will be hosted by at least 10 different cities across America.

‘Welcome To Vanchester’ Billboard Unveiled In Manchester’s City Center

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Five years ago, a group of Manchester City supporters taunted their cross-city rivals by unfurling a poster on Deansgate (a main road in the Manchester city center) that depicted Carlos Tevez celebrating with the words "Welcome to Manchester" written underneath him.

The sign was an obvious jab at Manchester United fans because Tevez had opted to leave Old Trafford to make a big-money switch to the Etihad.

Executive Who Made Racist Comment Elected New President Of Italian Football Federation

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As expected, Carlo Tavecchio has been elected the new president of the Italian football federation by a majority vote, replacing Giancarlo Abete.

For readers who are unaware, Tavecchio had been battling allegations of racism in the weeks leading up to the election.

In late July while speaking at the summer assembly of Italy's amateur leagues, the 71-year-old gave his thoughts on the influx of foreign players into Italy.

Premier League Teams to Use Football Manager Database to Buy Players

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Several Premier League clubs are set to start utilizing the database of players used by computer game Football Manager to help scout out talent across the globe.

Everton has been reported to be using the database for a number of years, which delivers highly specific and accurate information about players in a wide range of leagues across the world.

Men In Blazers’ Roger Bennett to Join NBC Sports Studio Team as EPL Special Contributor

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Following yesterday's story in The Wall Street Journal that NBC Sports has decided to sign the Men In Blazers to a weekly TV show that will appear during the Premier League season on NBCSN, more details have been released today.

The big news is that Men In Blazers co-host Roger Bennett will contribute to studio shows throughout the season, where he'll serve as a special contributor, providing on-site features from the UK and making studio appearances alongside Rebecca Lowe.

Tottenham Finally Has a Manager to Cure the “Spurs Syndrome”

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Tottenham are perhaps the most frustrating big club in English football. Unlike Leeds United and Newcastle United, they have solid ownership even though the decision making of Chairman Daniel Levy, who runs the club, has been questioned. Last summer's spending spree yielded little in the way of success during the 2013-14 season, but with a new manager in Mauricio Pochettino and a new optimism, Spurs could roar into the top 4 this season.

Germany Striker Miroslav Klose Announces Retirement From International Soccer

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Miroslav Klose has announced his retirement from international soccer less than one month after winning the World Cup with Germany in Brazil and becoming the all-time leading goalscorer in World Cup history.

The 36-year-old enjoyed a largely successful international career spanning for over 13 years where he scored 71 goals in 137 appearances for the nation.

Louis Van Gaal Wields The Axe On Five Manchester United Players, Says Report

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Prior to the final of the International Champions Cup last week, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal informed the media that he would decide the futures of certain United players after the conclusion of the club's US tour.

"I shall make judgments after this tour," Van Gaal said. "I let all the players play and I know now more than before the tour.

NBCSN to Debut Weekly Men In Blazers TV Show Starting Late August

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NBCSN will debut a weekly TV show from the Men In Blazers every Monday night beginning in late August, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The English duo of Michael Davies and Roger Bennett will be moving from ESPN to NBC after their successful World Cup show won over a large number of mainstream soccer fans.

Manchester City Finally Confirms Signing of Eliaquim Mangala

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Manchester City has today confirmed the signing of France and Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala nearly three weeks after the club released a video of the player being interviewed as a City footballer.

Mangala, 23, has impressed many in Porto since his move from Standard Liege, having a standout season last year for the Portuguese side.

Barcelona New Signing Thomas Vermaelen Suffers Hamstring Injury And is Out Indefinitely

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Barcelona has revealed that new signing Thomas Vermaelen has been sidelined indefinitely with a right hamstring injury.

The 28-year-old passed a vigorous medical on Saturday before signing a five year contract with the Camp Nou outfit. However, the club has now revealed that the Belgian international picked up an injury whilst on duty in the World Cup back in June, where he made two appearances en-route to a quarter-finals berth.

Topps Releases Limited-Edition Cards Of NBC’s Premier League Announcing Team [PHOTOS]

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NBC Sports has teamed up with Topps to create several custom trading cards featuring Ted Lasso, Rebecca Lowe, Arlo White, Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe.

The limited edition cards will be available in pubs in select markets across the United States where soccer fans will receive "Season Starter Kits" including Topps cards for Arlo White, Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino, Robbie Mustoe and Ted Lasso.

Your Best Fantasy Soccer Starting XI For the 2014/15 Season

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The new soccer season in most European countries is just around the corner, and thus so is the fantasy league for Europe. Using a budget of 100 million on Euro Fantasy League, here is my fantasy Starting XI that I recommend you consider.

Goalkeeper: Salvatore Sirigu

Defenders: Flilipe Luiz or Cesar Azpilicueta, Rami, Barzagli, Pablo Zabaleta

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Cesc Fabregas, Raheem Sterling, Luka Modric

Forwards: Radamel Falcao, Jan-Klaas Huntelaar

Subs: John Stones, Bojan Krkic, Aaron Ramsey

I based my choice by selecting players who are more likely to be in a team that manages to achieve a clean sheet as well as players who I think can produce assists and/or goals.

Juventus Fever Grips Sydney, But A-League All Stars Push Bianconeri Close

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Sport is part of the fabric of Sydney, Australia, something that's perhaps best illustrated by the multi-purpose ANZ Stadium—where five different sports are played—that was bristling with excitement as Juventus tackled the A-League All Stars this weekend.

Indeed, even in the days that preceded Juve's friendly game with the Australian top flight's finest, the streets of Sydney, plus collective mass of civilians and tourists alike were sprinkled with Bianconeri colors.

Club America Striker Raul Jimenez Close To Atletico Madrid Switch

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Reports have surfaced in Spain linking Club America striker Raul Jimenez with a move to Atletico Madrid.

Atletico's manager Diego Simeone is intent on improving his side's scoring options before the summer transfer window closes and the club have reportedly tabled a bid for the Mexican goal scorer, who is now considering his options.

Ian Holloway Chides Millwall Supporters Over ‘Obscene’ Chants

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Following Saturday's 2-0 opening day victory over Leeds United, Millwall FC manager Ian Hollowaystated he was "bursting with pride" in regards to his team's performance. But he went on to say that the actions from a group of his own supporters during the match were "obscene".

Holloway was referencing chants that goaded Leeds supporters about their city's link to Jimmy Savile, the former radio/TV personality who was later implicated as a sex offender.

Challenges in Serie A Epitomized By Lack of Spending in Transfer Window

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The Serie A transfer market has been pretty disappointing so far this summer.

Italy used to attract the best players in the world, but due to the lack of cash in the league among many teams, it's turning into a sad summer transfer window.

This year, the only top player coming from abroad has been bought by FC Juventus, as Alvaro Morata joined the Bianconeri for €22million from Real Madrid.

Roy Keane Could Be ‘The Grim Reaper’ Standing Beside Paul Lambert

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Paul Lambert is one of the more respected managers in English football. The 45-year-old Aston Villa boss stepped into his position with the Birmingham club two seasons ago and has safely navigated his squad from the trap door of Premier League relegation during both seasons.

Prior to his two years working at Aston Villa, Lambert led Norwich City to successive promotions while steering the Canaries to the English top-flight.

Top 5 Premier League Loan Signings, 2014-15 (So Far)

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It's that time of the year when loan deals are fashionable in the Premier League, particularly after the way that Everton exploited the market last summer and turned it into a successful strategy.

While the transfer window isn't over yet for a few more weeks, here's the top 5 Premier League loan signings of 2014-15, so far:

1.

Samir Nasri Tells All Regarding Manchester City’s Title Rivals, Arsenal And Fan Abuse

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Prior to today's FA Community Shield, Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has given an interview where he shared his thoughts on Premier League title rivals, Arsenal and fan abuse.

Let this be said about the player, he isn't shy of giving an honest opinion. Which is refreshing.

When Nasri was asked about the title chances of City's league rivals, the 27-year-old responded: "I think Chelsea will be the biggest threat.

Arsenal vs Manchester City, FA Community Shield: Starting Lineups, TV Times and Open Thread

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The traditional start of the 2014/15 top flight English football season kicks off today with the winners of the 2013/14 Premier League (Manchester City) playing the winners of the 2013/14 FA Cup (Arsenal) to determine who will be crowned winners of the annual FA Community Shield.

The game today gives Arsenal another chance to win a piece of silverware, which would make it two within the space of six months.

Paul Pogba ‘Uncertain’ Of Arturo Vidal’s Future At Juventus

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Speaking ahead of his club's exhibition match against FOXTEL A-League All Star Team in Sydney, Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba confessed that he and his teammates are concerned about the future of Arturo Vidal with the club.

According to a report from The Sydney Morning Heraldtoday, the Italian champions went through a complete team session at the WIN Jubilee Stadium, but Vidal was left to train on his own before going through some supervised drills due to a knee injury.

Research Shows That Soccer Fans Are More Likely to Be Liberals

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During the frenzy of the World Cup, it was difficult to stay on top of all of the headlines, so one of the reports that you and I may have missed was in TheWall Street Journalnewspaper where research shows that most soccer fans are liberal.

The poll showed that amongst those who consider themselves ‘liberal,' 11% said they watched the 2010 World Cup, while a mere 6% of conservatives took in the action.

Official: Thomas Vermaelen Joins Barcelona On A Five-Year Deal

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Barcelona have announced the signing of Belgium international Thomas Vermaelen on a five-deal for a fee understood to be£15 million.

The former Arsenal centre-back had fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates and had been rumored to be a transfer target of the La Liga giants for most of the summer window.

New Features in FIFA 15 Enhance Gaming Experience [VIDEO]

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EA Sports has been producing the best interactive soccer game for years now. FIFA, the game — not the soccer governing body, is a massive hit with soccer fans and gamers around the world, allowing you to interact with people around the globe for a game of soccer on your favorite console.

EA Sports has announced the following new features and enhancements for FIFA 15:

New Features in FIFA 15 Enhance Gaming Experience [VIDEO] is a post from World Soccer Talk.

BBC Announces New Pundits For Match of the Day

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A new Premier League season is upon us and that can only mean one thing...BBC's Match of the Day is back and this time round we are being treated to a fresh new line-up of pundits. Liverpool legend and MOTD veteran Alan Hansen will not be on the television screen of households and pubs all over the UK on Saturday nights.

Top 4 Tactical Innovations in Soccer

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Following the impressive performances – most notably the 5-1 victory over the defending champions Spain – of Louis van Gaal's Dutch side in the World Cup, a new formation seems to be in vogue...the 3-5-2. In reality, many sides have utilized a back four in the last decade with Marcelo Bielsa's Chile, Roberto Martinez's Everton and Wigan, Walter Mazzarri's Inter, Edy Reja's Lazio, Gian Piero Gasperini's Genoa, Roberto Donadoni's Livorno, Antonio Conte's Juventus and Steve Bruce's Hull City all coming into mind.

How Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia Saved Their Manchester United Careers

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The pre-season tour of the USA could not have gone any better for Manchester United. Wins against elite European opposition and against the old enemy has buoyed Manchester United fans worldwide. Clearly, the Dutch manager has lifted the spirit of the entire club and instilled belief into the players once more.

FA Community Shield Preview: Arsenal vs Manchester City

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Arsene Wenger leads Arsenal to Wembley once again this weekend as the FA Cup winners take on the Premier League champions, Manchester City, in the traditional curtain raiser of the top-flight English season (Sunday, 9.30am ET on FOX Sports 1).

Manchester City have been tipped as the team to beat this season with Manuel Pellegrini adding steel to his midfield with only a new centre-half still to be brought in, although Eliaquim Mangala is expected to finalize his move to Eastlands in the coming days following a number of third party ownerships issues.

Diego Lopez On the Verge Of A Switch To AC Milan

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Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez has agreed to personal terms with Italian giants AC Milan and is scheduled to have a medical on Monday.

Lopez's agent, Manuael Garcia Quillon negotiated the deal last night and finalized it this morning following face-to-face meetings with Milan representatives.

Why Frank Lampard’s Move to Manchester City Does Not Break Financial Fair Play

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Frank Lampard, the highly decorated and lauded former Chelsea and England midfielder, was recently announced as the second major signing for forthcoming MLS expansion club, New York City FC. The money was obviously an attractive offer, just as it was with NYCFC's first signing, Spanish striker David Villa, but the trouble is that the club won't officially be part of Major League Soccer until next season.

Southampton Finalizes £10million Deal to Sign Goalkeeper Fraser Forster From Celtic

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Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has agreed to personal terms and will be joining Southampton after both clubs agreed on a fee of£10million for the player.

The transfer will be final once the England international passes a medical with the Premier League side.

Newcastle United, Forster's former club, will receive of portion of the transfer fee (25%), with Celtic having paid£2 million for the player in July 2012 following his two seasons on loan with the Magpies.

The Death Match: Looking Back At The Legendary Game Between FC Start And Flakelf

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Editor's note:Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the infamous "Death Match".

On the 9th of August 1942, a group of men who worked at Kiev's Bakery #3 took on the might of the Nazi Luftwaffe team and triumphed. The game was dubbed the "Death Match".It was a match that went down in legend and folklore.

League One Preview: Part 3; Plus League One Predictions

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Editor's note: The third part of the League One Preview is the third and final segment of the series (here's part one and part two, if you missed either one).

I'm back with my preview of 8 more teams in League One.The teams I cover this time are: Port Vale, Preston North End, Rochdale, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield United, Swindon Town, Walsall, and Yeovil Town.

DeAndre Yedlin On Verge of Joining Tottenham Hotspur In $3.3 Million Deal, Says Report

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Seattle Sounders and US World Cup star DeAndre Yedlin is on the verge of signing with Tottenham Hotspur in a deal that's reportedly worth $3.3 million, according to Goal.com.

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid confirmed today that Yedlin is currently in Europe, where he was reported to be preparing for a medical.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Play a Different Fantasy League This Season

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If you're an avid soccer fan, there's a probable chance your love of the game has transcended to the next level and you feel the need to be as involved as possible with your favorite teams and players. Your passion simply can't be contained with just viewing the game. When it gets to that point, many supporters usually take to the Internet and join a fantasy league to ply their trade at management.

Landon Donovan Leaves Behind a Legacy as a Pioneer In US Soccer

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If we're being honest with ourselves, we knew that Landon Donovan's retirement was a long time coming.

With Landon Donovan, there have always been very few secrets. His candidness, his realness, his humanness is legendary among American soccer circles.

After his sabbatical at the beginning of last year, how long did we really expect Donovan to continue playing?

Morgan Schneiderlin Making Things ‘Difficult’ At Southampton, Says Koeman

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Speaking at a press conference ahead of his club's friendly against Bayer Leverkusen tomorrow, Southampton manager Ronald Koeman informed the media that the club and its prized-midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin are embroiled in a stand off.

The Saints new boss went so far as to say that the player was making his situation with the Premier League club "difficult".

Dutch Eredivisie Starts 2014-15 Season Without a TV Home in the U.S.

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This weekend marks the start of the new Dutch Eredivisie season and there is a conspicuous absence of coverage on US TV. ESPN has held the rights to the league since the 2008-09 season. Prior to that saw the now defunct Setanta USA channel cover the Dutch league for a couple of seasons. While over the years a majority of matches were only available on ESPN's streaming service (ESPN3), for the past 2 seasons ESPN Deportes had regular coverage early Sunday morning.

Didier Drogba Announces Retirement From Ivory Coast National Team

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Didier Drogba, who made his debut for the Ivory Coast national team 12 years ago, has today announced his retirement from international soccer. The 36-year old Chelsea striker featured in three World Cups, and has captained his national side for the last eight years. Drogba also lead "Les Elephants" to two runners-up finishes in the African Cup of Nations in 2006 and in 2012.

Atletico Madrid Attempting To Bring Roberto Soldado Back To Spain

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Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado was signed last summer for£26 million from Valencia. Prior to his arrival at White Hart Lane, the Spain international had made 101 appearances and scored 59 goals for his La Liga club and had also scored 7 goals in 12 appearances for his country.

Soldado's last season in Spain saw the product of Real Madrid's youth system bag 24 goals in La Liga.

Manuel Pellegrini Responds To Arsene Wenger’s Questioning Of Manchester City Deals

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Following the news of Frank Lampard's six-month loan move from New York City FC, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger raised questions about Manchester City's ability to circumvent UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by owning clubs outside of England.

City were sanctioned by the governing body for breaching FFP rules, with a£49 million restriction put on the club's net spending during the summer transfer window.

WATCH Ted Lasso’s Return to Promote NBC’s Premier League Coverage [VIDEO]

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Former Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Ted Lasso has returned to US airwaves with a new video, to promote NBC's coverage of the 2014/15 Premier League season.

After being fired by Tottenham Hotspur, Coach Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) is back in the US-of-A, looking to make the most of his Premier League experience.

Luis Suarez Ban Expected To Be Reduced, Appeal Heard Today

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Luis Suarez has arrived in Switzerland to havehis appeal againstthe four-month ban on a football-related activity imposed by FIFA heard bythe Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Reports from Spain say thatBarcelona have helped prepare the striker's case since the club feels that they are also being affected by the ban; as the Uruguay international is unable to train, enter the Camp Nou or even meet his new teammates.

Thomas Vermaelen Set For Barcelona After Manchester United End Interest

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Defender Thomas Vermaelen is set for a move to Barcelona following the news that Manchester United have ended their interest in the player.

Reports coming from England are saying Arsenal wanted Chris Smalling as part of the deal for the Belgium international, but United refused that request and withdrew from the transfer.

Liverpool And Arsenal Have Tabled Bids For Edinson Cavani, According To Player’s Agent

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The Uruguayan newspaper El Telegrafo is reporting that the agent of Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has confirmed thatboth Liverpool and Arsenalhave tabledbids for the Uruguay international.

Cavani's agent, Claudio Annelluci, expressed that even though his client is happy with the French champions, he is mulling over the offers from the Premier League clubs.

Like Sochi, the West’s Smear Campaign Against Russia’s 2018 World Cup Won’t Work

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In the latest of brewing Cold War sentiments between the US and Russia, controversial Republican Senator John McCain recently reissued a demand to pull the plug on Russia's right to host the World Cup in 2018. Speaking to ESPN/ABC podcast Capital Games program, McCain asked whether it was "appropriate to have this venue in Russia," — although he's not the first Republican to struggle at his own language, by venue he must have clearly meant event or tournament — "and aren't there other countries that would be far less controversial?

AC Milan Send Robinho To Santos On Loan

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AC Milan forward Robinho will be returning to the club where he began his soccer career, Santos.

The Brazilian club has confirmed a season-long loan deal for the 30-year-old player who made 23 appearances in Serie A last season.

Robinho began his career in Santos' youth system before spending three seasons with their senior squad.

How Jurgen Klopp And Diego Simeone Made Pragmatic Soccer Cool

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Most teams in the world do not have the luxury of unlimited funds to buy any player they want like Barcelona, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City or Real Madrid do. Because of the gargantuan gaps between the haves and have-nots, certain teams are forced to play a historically unattractive way to be able to still compete for trophies.

Manchester United Agrees To Personal Terms With Arturo Vidal, Says Report

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The endless rumors surrounding Arturo Vidal and Manchester United refuse to go away.

The Italian newspaperLa Stampareported last night that Vidal's agent Fernando Felicevich has spoken with United and agreed in principle a deal worth£182,000-a-week; which would bring his annual earnings to nearly£9.

Read Landon Donovan’s Letter to Fans to Announce His Retirement From Soccer

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MLS and USA soccer star Landon Donovan has announced his retirement from the professional sport. The all-time leading scorer in USMNT soccer history will retire at the end of this season.

Donovan published the following letter to explain his decision:

After careful deliberation and after many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last season as a professional soccer player.

Manchester United Interested In Signing Thomas Vermaelen, Admits Arsene Wenger

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Arsene Wenger this morning rolled back the years in a press-conference filled with dry humor ahead of Arsenal's return to Wembley for the annual domestic curtain raiser as the FA Cup winners take on the Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield.

There was much talk regarding the fitness of Theo Walcott as well as possible selection combinations at Wembley on Sunday.

Landon Donovan to Retire From MLS At End of 2014 Season, Says Report

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Landon Donovan is set to retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season, according to ESPN pundit Taylor Twellman.

Twellman broke the news on Thursday afternoon regarding the US legend, stating:

Big announcement doesn't mean new player for @LAGalaxy. Looks like @landondonovan retiring at end of 2014 @MLS season.

Liverpool and Manchester City Leading Chase to Sign Radamel Falcao, Say Reports

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Monaco striker Radamel Falcao is back in the papers today, as fresh reports claim that the highly-rated goal scorer is now being chased by Liverpool, Manchester City, and Real Madrid. The Independentnewspaper is reporting that while the three clubs all want Falcao, it is the Merseyside club that is actually leading the chase to secure the Colombian international.

Manchester United Doesn’t Need to Sign Angel Di Maria

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The news from France this morning is that Paris Saint-Germain has either called "time" or dropped out of the race altogether to sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.

PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi was quoted earlier today as saying: "For Di Maria, it's true we have discussed him with [Florentino Perez].

With Lukaku, Everton Are Officially One Of The Big Boys

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After Romelu Lukaku posted a picture on his Instagram account with the caption ‘time to write a new chapter' with a gleaming smiling, many thought either he was returning to Stamford Bridge to play for Chelsea next season, or the unfounded rumors were true, that Lukaku was on his way to Real Madrid.

Everton Unveils Third Shirt For 2014/15 Season: Official [PHOTOS]

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Everton has officially unveiled its third shirt for the 2014/15 season.

The Toffees will wear the white and purple kit for the first time in a friendly against SC Paderborn.

Everton describes the shirt as "white, blackberry and yellow," as well as featuring a v-neck wrap-over collar with a high-stretch rib for comfort whilst a mesh stripe gives the shirt a stylish finish.

5 Thoughts On The 2014 MLS All-Star Game

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After the MLS All-Star Game Wednesday night in Portland, some misconceptions have been exposed. Keeping in mind that this was just a friendly where the result mattered little and playing to win wasn't at the very fore of the conversation and thinking surrounding the game,here are my 5 thoughts regarding the 2014 MLS All-Star Game:

1.

MLS All-Star Team vs Bayern Munich, 2014 All-Star Game: Open Thread

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Live presentation of the MLS All-Star Game featuring Bayern Munich versus the MLS All-Stars begins at 9:55pm ET tonight with commentators Adrian Healey, Taylor Twellman and sideline reporter Monica Gonzalez calling the match. Then at midnight ET,ESPN FC will have a 2014 MLS All-Star postgame episode live from Providence Park in Portland.

Tottenham: 5 Questions To Answer Before The Start Of The Season

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Following the almost non-stop turmoil of last season, Tottenham's 2014/15 pre-season has been notable for its lack of headlines. Aside from a well publicized attempt to snatch Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton, Spurs have just made a couple of low profile acquisitions in Swansea's Ben Davies and Michael Vorm and future prospect Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon.

Angel Di Maria Transfer To Paris Saint-Germain Is ‘Off’, Says Club Official

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Speaking at the public presentation of David Luiz, Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi has given his thoughts on the rumored transfer of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria to the French side.

The club official was questioned about the cost of the former Chelsea defender. PSG's president then drew a comparison with the Ligue 1 champion's proposed move for Di Maria.

Spurs Leading Chase to Sign DeAndre Yedlin From Seattle Sounders, Says Report

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Since his long, mouth-watering cameo against Belgium in the World Cup Round of 16, the star-spangled feature of DeAndre Yedlin has been the most-talked about American transfer story of the summer.

Yedlin has been linked with top clubs in Italy, France, and now England, as ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman has reported on Twitter that Tottenham Hotspur are leading the race for Yedlin's signature.

New EPL Rules Help Doctors Recognize Concussions Among Players

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A new rule was introduced by the Premier League to help protect players from concussions caused by head injuries. Starting with the 2014-2015 season, a doctor in the tunnel (separate from the doctors on either team) will determine a player's ability to rejoin the game after an injury instead of the club's managers.

Juventus Defender Mauricio Isla Joins Queens Park Rangers

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Queens Park Rangers has announced that Mauricio Isla has completed his medical at Loftus Road, received his work permit/governing body endorsement from the Football Association and will be joining the newly-promoted Premier League side on a season-long loan from Italian champions, Juventus.

The defender is now back in Italy finalizing his work visa.

ESPN to Debut Innovative Cameras Inside Goal Posts at MLS All-Star Game

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MLS' big night is here: The 2014 All-Star game from Providence Park in Portland, which will see the league's best, made up of a quasi-US national team core, take on European superpower Bayern Munich.

ESPN2, which will broadcast the All-Star game and has just signed a new deal with MLS and US Soccer to carry the league going forward, will have comprehensive and unprecedented coverage.

Portland is Ready to Celebrate the MLS All-Star Game In Soccer City USA

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People like Portland.

You see that when you go out of town, and tell people where you're from. More often than not,you'll see faces light up.

"Oh, I love Portland!"

Or, "I've heard Portland is amazing, I've always wanted to go."

People like Portland. People who live in Portland, and people who don't.

Karim Benzema Extends His Contract With Real Madrid

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Real Madrid has announced that striker Karim Benzema has agreed to extend his contract with the European champions until June 2019.

The 26-year-old has been with the La Liga giants since 2009, making 159 appearances and scoring 72 goals over the course of his career in Spain.

Last season, Benzema appeared in 35 matches, scoring 17 goals and notching nine assists while helping Los Blancoswin the Copa del Rey, as well as its tenth European title.

Southampton Signs Saphir Taider From Inter Milan And Sends Dani Osvaldo The Other Way

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Southampton FC has announced the signing of Algerian midfielder Saphir Taider from the Serie A club Inter Milan.

The 22-year-old will join the St. Mary's club on a season-long loan from the Italian side, with striker Dani Osvaldo moving in the opposite direction on the same basis.

According to Southampton's website, the players are not part of the same deal and both transfers have independent options should the respective loaning clubs wish to make either move permanent next summer.

Atletico Madrid’s Javier Manquillo Completes Loan Move To Liverpool

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Liverpool have announced the signing of Atletico Madrid right-back Javier Manquillo on a two-season loan.

The 20-year-old defender will be Brendan Rodgers' seventh signing of the summer after Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi (who was immediately loaned back out to Lille).

Frank Lampard Takes His First Day Of Training At Manchester City [PHOTO]

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Manchester City have confirmed the arrival of Frank Lampard today. The former Chelsea midfielder has signed a full-time contract with New York City FC, but will be available for Manuel Pellegrini's side on loan for the next six months.

Chelsea's all time top scorer reached an agreement with the Premier League club where he will train and play, before joining up the his MLS club before its inaugural season starts in March 2015.

Tottenham Doesn’t Need Morgan Schneiderlin When They Have a Resurgent Etienne Capoue

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I know that new things are shiny and hard to resist. I mean, it's been a whole week since Tottenham has signed someone. And we haven't had a real transfer saga the entire summer, as much as we tried to create one with Ben Davies.

So the time is right, I suppose, to get back on the merry-go-round and go after the highly-rated French international and first-ballot Football Twitter Hall-of-Fame nominee Morgan Schneiderlin.

Premier League Referee Howard Webb Retires From Officiating

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In a surprise announcement made today, the Premier League released a statement saying that Howard Webb was officially retiring as a match referee and would be appointed technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

Webb will now be responsible for overseeing the technical direction and standards that govern the on-field performance of PGMOL match officials.

Top 5 Premier League Youngsters

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The 2014/15 Premier League season is fast approaching with squads beginning to take shape and being run through their paces as pre-season continues. There are always plenty of young guns to keep an eye on in this division and Easyodds.com's football tipster Tom Powell has picked out his five ones to watch ahead of the new season.

Top 5 Best and Worst Transfers in Europe Thus Far

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The transfer window still has nearly a month to go before it shuts, but there's never a bad time to look back and the good, bad and ugly of clubs spending money for the sake of it. So it's time now to look at the Top 5 best and worst transfers in Europe this summer (thus far).

The Best:

5.

4 Reasons Behind MLS’s All-Star Success

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Red bricks rise toward the sun at dusk, the steps at Pioneer Square's south and west becoming amphitheater benches when movies play across from the courthouse. When the farmers' market or weekday lunch crowds relinquish control, the 40,000 square foot block between Morrison and Yamhill is split up among skateboarders and chess players, coffee drinkers and tourists.

International Champions Cup to Expand to Asia In 2015

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With the success of the International Champions Cup soccer tournament, the event organizers have announced that the competition will be expanding to Asia in the summer of 2015.

"The 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup featured the largest soccer crowd ever in the United States, continually put world-class soccer on display across North America, and Monday night in Miami was no exception," said Charlie Stillitano, CEO of Relevent Sports.

Liverpool And Bayern Munich Agree On Fee For Goalkeeper Pepe Reina

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Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina is on his way to the Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, according to the English newspaper,The Times.

The German giants have had a bid of approximately£2million accepted for the 31-year-old player, who spent last season on loan with Napoli. It was believed that Rafa Benitez wanted to keep Reina on a permanent basis at Napoli, but the player has decided instead to join Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich.

Manchester United vs Liverpool, International Champions Cup Final in Miami [PHOTOS]

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As thunderstorms moved in to the South Florida on Monday due to Hurricane Bertha, which was offshore in the Bahamas, some soccer fans were questioning whether the game would be played. And if so, whether fans would be able to make the difficult trek through flooded roads and torrential rain to the Sun Life Stadium.

Tony Meola Discusses USMNT, World Cup and MLS All-Star Game

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In April, World Soccer Talk interviewed U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer Tony Meola about his career and some of his thoughts on the U.S. Men's National Team's chances heading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

This week we spoke with Tony again, and he reflected on the USMNT's performances, as well as what it means for MLS and the MLS All-Star Game.

Louis Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 Ultimately Pays Off For Man United Against Liverpool

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Louis Van Gaal's 3-5-2 has been the flavor of the month among pundits and fans. The Dutch manager is using the formation to transform Manchester United's midfield and accommodate the talents of new signing Ander Herrera. Van Gaal historically has mixed formations, using the 4-3-3 at Barcelona and Bayern but also the 4-4-2 at AZ Alkmaar and a variety of formations with the Dutch National Team.

Speculation of Juan Cuadrado’s Transfer To Barcelona Continues To Gain Momentum

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As teams around Europe are preparing for the upcoming season to begin in a couple of weeks, Barcelona are still looking quality players that will fit new manager Luis Enrique's preferred system. Fiorentina's utility man Juan Cuadrado has been heavily linked with the Catalan-based club all summer and as the transfer deadline draws closer, the Blaugrana will look to sign the 26-year-old.

Manchester United Wins 2014 International Champions Cup [VIDEO]

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The final game of the 2014 International Champions Cup was played between Manchester United and Liverpool, with United ending victorious after coming back to beat Liverpool 3-1.

The rainy Sun Life Stadium in Miami played host to over 51,000 fans as the eight-team tournament came to a close, finishing up the exciting second International Champions Cup tournament.

Highs and Lows of FOX Sports’ International Champions Cup TV Coverage

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With the 2014 edition of the Guinness International Champions Cup now completed, it's time to look at what FOX Sports' coverage was like during the tournament.

Certainly, there were some good points but not surprisingly, given FOX's track record of late, there were plenty of low points. As ridiculous as it sounds, FOX Sports's soccer coverage even managed to be worse than usual at times during the tournament.

David Luiz: New PSG Signing is the Most Statistically Strange Signing of the Summer

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Paris Saint-Germain's latest signing, recent Chelsea player David Luiz, was acquired for a staggering £50million ($84million+). Fifty million of any currency is a lot for any player, but for a player like Luiz it seems overkill. Most soccer pundits and experts will tell you that Luiz has his flaws.

Average Attendances Increase 20% at International Champions Cup

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The second annual International Champions Cup tournament has ended, with the 2014 edition more than doubling the total attendance of the 2013 series.

The 2014 International Champions Cup was attended by 642,135 US soccer fans across the United States, which was more than double the number of the 2013 series that had a total of 306,344attendees.

Xavi Retires From International Football

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Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez has announced his retirement from international football.

The 34-year-old alerted the media to his decision during a press conference this morning.

"I've taken the decision to leave the national team. My time there has finished," he said.

Manchester United vs Liverpool, International Champions Cup Final; Open Thread

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After 12 days of the International Champions Cup, with matches being played all across the United States, the tournament reaches its climax tonight with the final between the two undefeated teams in the competition — Manchester United and Liverpool.

The International Champions Cup match will kickoff at 8pm ET tonight from Miami, with the game being televised all around the world.

Chilean International Gary Medel On His Way To Inter Milan, Says Report

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In a story that has been gathering steam all weekend,Sky Sports Italiais now reporting that Cardiff City defensive midfielder Gary Medel is flying to Italy to finalize a move to Inter Milan.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move away from Welsh club since it was relegated at the end of last season.

WATCH Martin Garrix Music Video For ‘Animals’; DJ to Perform At ICC Final [VIDEO]

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Martin Garrix will perform during halftime of tonight's final of the 2014 International Champions Cup between Manchester United and Liverpool in Miami. The game, which kicks off at 8pm ET, will be played at Sun Life Stadium.

The Guinness International Champions Cup Finals will feature DJ Martin Garrix as the halftime entertainment.

WATCH Top 5 Goals of the 2014 International Champions Cup [VIDEO]

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The 2014 International Champions Cup has been a roaring success both on and off the field, with record attendances filling stadiums across the country. But it's on the pitch where it matters most, and there have been several incredible goals scored during the tournament.

Here are the top 5 goals of the 2014 International Champions Cup (see below).

Female Coach Set For First Match In Charge Of Men’s Side

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In June, Corinne Diacre was appointed by French second division side Clermont Foot to replace Helena Costa after her abrupt resignation (which took place a day before she was to take charge of training).

Upon her exit, Costa stated that she left her position with Clermont because male colleagues sidelined her (signed players without her consultation) and used her as a "face" to attract publicity.

Real Madrid Officials Pictured With Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao’s Agent [PHOTO]

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Intrigue continues to grow in Spain as pictures surfaced on Twitter of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and the club's director general Jose Angel Sanchez having dinner with the agent of Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, Jorge Mendes.

The picture shows the three men at one of the restaurants at the Santiago Bernabeu and comes at a time when rumors of Falcao's arrival and Di Maria's departure are splattered all over the pages of Spanish newspapers.

Scotland Ramps Up Scouting Program to Recruit Young England Footballers

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Scotland has taken a novel approach to find some of the best young talent south of the border in England by hosting a training camp not in Glasgow or Edinburgh, but deep in the heart of England to scout almost 70 youth players who would be eligible to play for Scotland.

The training camp was set up in the Midlands and attracted talent from a host of Premier League academies as well as Spanish-born Jack Harper of Real Madrid.

Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell Set To Join Sunderland On A 5-Year Deal

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Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell is on the verge of joining Gus Poyet's Sunderland side in the next few hours.

The two clubs are reported to be in "advanced talks" regarding the player and Rodwell has arrived at Sunderland to have his medical.

The 23-year-old product of the Toffees youth academy left Everton for Manchester City in a£12 million move during the summer of 2012.

Tottenham Close to Signing Villarreal Defender Mateo Musacchio For £17million

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Reports from Spain have been surfacing over the past few days linking Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio with a£17 million move to Tottenham Hotspur.

Today, news from England says the deal is in place and the 23-year-old will soon be arriving at White Hart Lane.

When the deal is announced, Musacchio will become the fourth new arrival in north London this summer following: Eric Dier (Sporting Lisbon), Ben Davies and Michel Vorm (Swansea City).

Steven Naismith Buys Everton Tickets For Unemployed Supporters

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Everton striker Steven Naismith has bought tickets for his club's home games to donate to unemployed people across Merseyside.

Naismith grew up in a working class family Ayrshire in the west of Scotland and spent a good amount of time in Glasgow a city that, at time, has seen high levels of unemployment.

Ciro Immobile Looks To Make His Own Mark At Borussia Dortmund

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Ciro Immobile's rise to prominence has been very impressive especially since he's only 24 years old. The Italian international now has a new challenge of replacing Robert Lewandowski, who left for Bayern Munich, and he looks to be up to surpassing what the Polish striker has accomplished for Borussia Dortmund.

What to Expect From Christian Atsu If Everton Signs Ghanaian Midfielder

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After getting Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea, Everton are working with the Blues again as they try to sign winger Christian Atsu on a season-long loan. Allegedly, up to 12 teams are interested in signing Atsu but if the Toffees get him, here's what they can expect.

Chelsea signed the Ghanaian international last summer from Porto and in a press release described him as "a left-footed attacker, capable of playing as a winger or a second striker.

Manchester United 3-1 Real Madrid: International Champions Cup [PHOTOS]

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On a beautiful summer's day in Michigan, Manchester United and Real Madrid played 90 minutes in front of a record crowd of 109,318 Saturday.

World Soccer Talk photographer Bo McMillan was there to capture the action. Here are exclusive images from the match that ended 3-1 in Manchester United's favor.

West Bromwich Albion Away Shirt for 2014/15 Season: Official [PHOTOS]

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West Bromwich Albion has officially revealed its away shirt for the 2014/15 season.

While West Brom's home shirt was controversial, the club's away shirt from adidas is more traditional. The red shirt with white trim looks like it's straight out of an adidas catalog of template shirt designs.

Manchester United and Liverpool to Play In Miami in International Champions Cup Final

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On Monday night, England's two most successful clubs descend on Miami for the final of the Guinness International Champions Cup as Manchester United battle against Liverpool to determine who will be the 2014 tournament winners.

Before the International Champions Cup kicked off this summer, there were so many interesting concoctions of who could make the final.

Barcelona President Believes Club’s Image ‘Has Suffered’ Over The Past Twelve Months

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who ascended to his position midway through the 2013-14 season, believes his club's image has been tarnished due to the controversial transfer of Neymar from Santos last summer.

The club was also given a 14-month transfer ban in April because FIFA ruled Barcelona had broken rules governing the signing of international players under the age of eighteen.

Official: Real Madrid Confirms Keylor Navas Signing

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Real Madrid and Levante have managed to agree terms for the sale of goalkeeper Keylor Navas, according to Real Madrid's club website.

Navas, 27, had an outstanding World Cup as a central part of Costa Rica's run to the quarter finals, bringing the attention of many potential suitors. However, it is Madrid who have won the race to sign the Levante stopper, who has always been held in very high esteem by those who follow La Liga.

Manchester United Fans Turn Ann Arbor From Blue to Red on Memorable Weekend

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Saturday was a memorable day for Ann Arbor, and all of U.S. soccer. What started as a 90 minute soccer game quickly turned into a weekend event with the main event being Manchester United playing Real Madrid in the Guinness International Champions Cup at their football stadium, the Big House.

Ann Arbor closed many of the main streets downtown and brought in live music the night before the game.

AS Monaco Manager Leonardo Jardim Insists Radamel Falcao Will Stay

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The past few days have seen an increase in reports from Spain and France linking Monaco striker Radamel Falcao with a loan move to Real Madrid.

As unlikely as the rumors may seem, respected news outlets have been commenting on the deal being "imminent" with the only issue holding the transfer back being in the fitness of the player.

Darren Fletcher Should Be The Next Captain Of Manchester United

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One of the better stories in sports is being hidden in the shadows of the media spotlight which has been focused on the arrival of Louis van Gaal to Manchester United.

Taking nothing away from the Dutch manager's ability to re-focus and re-energize a squad of players which finished in seventh place last season in the Barclay's Premier League while leading them to four pre-season victories during their tour of the United States.

Memories of Supporting Stoke City With My Father

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Unlike most soccer fans, I can't really remember my first Stoke game. My first clear memory of watching Stoke was against Middlesbrough at Vale Park, and then having a season ticket in 1977 in the Butler Street Stand. Relegation, inevitably, soon followed.

So, basically, I was introduced to the Potters after a visit to our strange, unfriendly rivals and then being forced to sit in probably the only roofless stand in Britain at that time, and watch us get relegated.

Jack Wilshere and the History of Smoking in Soccer

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What happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas for Arsenal star Jack Wilshere as he was recently caught smoking a cigarette while partying poolside. He duly apologized, saying "Of course I regret it...I have kids myself and I don't want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it's ok for a footballer to smoke because it's not.

Manchester United 3-1 Real Madrid: European Clubs Make US Soccer History

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ANN ARBOR, MICH. – It was billed as possibly being the largest soccer crowd in the history of the United States. And it didn't disappoint.

In front of 109,318 fans at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., travelers from around the world that had descended on the town that houses the University of Michigan were treated to a spectacle that never had the feel of a pre-season warm-up match.

Koke Admits: “It Was Difficult To Say ‘No’ To Barcelona”

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Earlier this summer, Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke was targeted by La Liga giants Barcelona as a possible replacement for some of the club's aging stars.

Xavi Hernandez had turned 34 in January and Andres Iniesta just reached his 30th birthday in May. So the Catalan club identified Koke as the perfect piece to slide into its midfield engine.

Liverpool vs AC Milan, International Champions Cup Open Thread

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Trailing 2-1 in the 85th minute against Manchester City at a sold-out Yankee Stadium, Raheem Sterling of Liverpool scored the equalizer to force the shootout, where Liverpool prevailed 3-1 to vault them to the top of the table with five points for the tournament. Liverpool travels to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to face A.

Manchester United vs Real Madrid, International Champions Cup Open Thread

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All eight tournament teams compete today, headlined by Manchester United facing Real Madrid at "The Big House" at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The game is expected to draw the largest-ever audience for a professional soccer match in the United States, with more than 108,000 fans packing the stadium on game day and millions more watching on FOX and in over 150 countries worldwide.

Manchester City vs Olympiacos, International Champions Cup Open Thread

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Manchester City and Olympiacos square off at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, with kickoff slated for 3pm ET. Both teams are still in contention to qualify for the International Champions Cup final in Miami on Monday, and need wins coupled by a Liverpool loss to advance from Group B.

For viewers in theUnited States, here's the TV schedule for this afternoon's game:

Manchester City vs.

Angel Di Maria Set To Leave Real Madrid For PSG Next Week, Says Report

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According to Bein Sports, Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain to have Angel Di Maria sent to the Ligue 1 side. The player would be sent on loan for this season with PSG paying the Spanish giants£8 million. After the completion of the 2014-15 season, the Paris-based club would pay Real Madrid an additional£64 million for the Argentina international.

New European Fantasy Soccer League Opens Today

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Ever wanted to play a fantasy soccer game which allows you to select your players from multiple European leagues? Choosing from one league can often lead to similar sides and boring results, or perhaps you're a fan of not just EPL but also one of the other major European sides. Maybe you don't watch much EPL or you enjoy watching La Liga as much as EPL, meaning your expertise lies in multiple leagues.

Inter Milan vs AS Roma, International Champions Cup Open Thread

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Inter Milan and AS Roma kick off the Guinness International Champions Cup on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET., as both teams are still in contention for the finals matchup with victories and a Manchester United loss.

For viewers in theUnited States, here's the TV schedule for this afternoon's game:

AS Roma vs.

Ayr United Releases New Shirt Featuring Topless Model In Bodypaint [PHOTOS]

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Ayr United has released their new shirt for the 2014/15 season in a unique way, by using body paint on a topless model. Though unexpected for almost any other club on the planet, Ayr is continuing the trend they started last year.

The slick black shirt sports a white collar and cuffs on the sleeves, with the bodog sponsor name strategically featured underneath the chest.

Radamel Falcao Closing In On Move To Real Madrid, Say Reports

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AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao appears to be closing in on a transfer to Real Madrid, if reports in Spain and France are correct.

Just last weekend, the Spanish newspaperASreported that Real Madrid were in talks with Monaco over a potential move for the Colombian international.

Stoke’s Geoff Cameron Attracting Interest from 9 European Clubs

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US international Geoff Cameron has as many as nine clubs trying to sign him this summer, according to reports in the Stoke Sentinel newspaper.

Cameron has been used primarily as a make shift right back over the past two seasons at the Britannia, though with the introduction of Phil Bardsley from Sunderland on a free transfer, that position may be under threat.

Arsenal’s Loan Of Carl Jenkinson To West Ham Is A Smart Move For Both Clubs

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Although not much of a surprise, Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson has joined fellow London-based club West Ham United on a season-long loan. With the Gunners securing both Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers this summer, Jenkinson was pushed down to third option in the right back pecking order and would've found playing time scarce.

Bojan Looks To Finally Realize His Potential At Stoke City

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It's amazing to think that Bojan Krkić is only 23 years old. He burst on to the scene, making his Barcelona debut against Egyptian side Al-Ahly when he was just 16 and even scored in that game too.

If he produces strikes of that caliber then he will quickly become a favorite at the Britannia Ground.

Cristiano Ronaldo Ruled Out Of International Champions Cup Match At The Big House

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo playing in tomorrow's International Champions Cup match against Manchester United at Michigan Stadium.

Ronaldo had been going through double training sessions in recent days and is reportedly nearing match fitness.

How Real Madrid Will Line Up This Season With James Rodriguez Added To The Mix

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As Real Madrid continue to spend on players that they may or may not need, the issue arises as to who should start, who should sit on the bench, and who should be left out of the game day squad.

With certain new transfers having enjoyed a particularly special World Cup, we now look to a potential formation, who will play in it, and who won't.

Frank Lampard To Sign For Manchester City On Six-Month Loan, Say Reports

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Separate reports from England have suggested that former-Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is on the verge of making a sensational return to the Premier League with Manchester City.

The 36-year-old was in the United States early this week to promote his new MLS club, New York City FC.

It was understood that Lampard would play in the Australian A-League alongside fellow NYCFC teammate David Villa next season, since the New York club will not start competing until March 2015.

Goalkeeper Diego Lopez Being Shown The Exit Door From Real Madrid

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According to reports coming out of Spain, although Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is satisfied with his current goalkeeper choices of Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez, the club has decided to sign Costa Rican international Keylor Navas after his outstanding performances at the World Cup this summer and for Levante last season.

Real Madrid Stadium Plans Halted By Supreme Court Ruling

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The Supreme Court of Madrid has suspended, on a preventative basis, the renovation and extension of the Santiago Bernabeu.

At the end of January, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez unveiled plans to redevelop the stadium, which were to include the installation of a retractable roof, as well as the construction of a shopping center, hotels and a leisure center next to the Bernabeu.

Crystal Palace Announce The Signing Of Defender Brede Hangeland

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Former Fulham defender Brede Hangeland has agreed to join Crystal Palace after signing a one-year contract with Tony Pulis' side.

The 33-year-old Norway international spent the past six seasons with Fulham before leaving the club following its relegation to the Championship last season.

Upon his departure, Hangeland had some parting words for the London club and its new boss, Felix Magath.

Atletico Madrid Continue To Reload With The Signing Of Left-Back Cristian Ansaldi

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Left-back Cristian Ansaldi has joined Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan from Zenit St Petersburg.

The 27-year-old defender becomes the eighth signing of the summer for Diego Simeone, as the Argentine continues to reload his La Liga winning side. The announcement also comes on the heels ofLos Rojiblancoswelcoming France international Antoine Griezmann to the Vicente Calderon yesterday afternoon.

Mexico Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa Finalizing Switch To Malaga

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Mexico international goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has flown to Spain to finalize a move to Malaga.

Ochoa was one of the standout performers during this summer's World Cup in Brazil. He made countless game saving stops during Mexico's tournament run with his most notable performance perhaps taking place in a 0-0 group stage match against the host nation, Brazil.

Former Manchester United Striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy Named Dutch Assistant Coach

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The Dutch football association (KNVB) released a statement today naming former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy one of the Netherlands national team assistant coaches.

Van Nistelrooy played at numerous European clubs, but the striker's longest stint was with Manchester United where he made 150 appearances while tallying 95 goals.