The biggest soccer match of 2016 thus far kicks off this Saturday when Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in el Clasico. It'll be the 172nd time the teams have met, and the pressure will certainly be on both teams as they fight for the respect of their fans around the world.
Real Madrid will want to avenge their 0-4 loss to Barcelona from November.
Greek teams face a ban from international competition after a meeting on Wednesday between the country's government, FIFA and UEFA officials failed to provide a resolution to the cancelled Greek Cup competition.
Greece's Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis refused to rescind an earlier decision to cancel remaining Greek Cup contests because of the fear of violence while FIFA and UEFA representatives insisted that his refusal could lead to a suspension.
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou says his team is good enough to beat anyone in Asia and he is not worried who they draw in the next round of World Cup qualifying.
Postecoglou was full of confidence after the Socceroos dismantled Harry Redknapp's Jordan 5-1 in Sydney on Tuesday to win Group B of Asian qualifying, meaning they enter the third and final phase to make the 2018 tournament in Russia.
Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta says the European champions will be extra motivated to honor legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff when they host Real Madrid in Spain's El Clasico on Saturday.
More than 90,000 fans will take part in a pre-match display reading "thank you Johan" in Barca's first match since the Dutch master died at the age of 68 last week after a five-month battle with lung cancer.
With seven games left in their season, Leicester City lead the Premier League by five points, and are 15 points clear of fourth place Manchester City, meaning they are effectively guaranteed at least some Champions League soccer next season.
Given that they haven't been involved in any European competition recently, it is worth considering how Leicester would fare amongst the continent's leading lights.
Jamie Vardy believes his goal-scoring exploits with England will provide the ideal confidence boost as he returns to the task of firing Leicester to the Premier League title.
After terrorizing Premier League defenders throughout a remarkable breakthrough season, Vardy transferred his talents to the international stage with his first two goals for England against Germany and the Netherlands.
Barcelona star Dani Alves scored deep into injury time as Brazil came from behind to draw 2-2 with Paraguay in a pulsating 2018 World Cup qualification battle.
Brazil desperate to bounce back after a demoralizing 2-2 draw with Uruguay on Friday when they squandered a two-goal lead appeared to be heading to defeat on Tuesday after Dario Lezcano and Edgar Benitez put Paraguay 2-0 up.
Another dramatic and important night in US Soccer ended as many expected it to, with the US Men's National Team putting in a typical American effort in a 4-0 demolition of Guatemala, while the U-23's lacked the quality or the nous to overcome Colombia in the second leg of their Olympic qualifying tie.
Qatar World Cup organizers say they are considering using Airbnb to house some of the visiting soccer fans during the World Cup finals in 2022.
Hasan al-Thawadi, general secretary of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body overseeing the organization of the tournament, said market demands could mean the room-sharing service being used in six years' time.
Jurgen Klinsmann's United States soccer squad, in jeopardy of missing the final round of North American 2018 World Cup qualifying, announced details Tuesday on a key qualifier and two Copa America Centenario warmups.
The Americans, who will host the special 100th anniversary edition of the South American tournament in June, will face Ecuador on May 25 in Frisco, Texas, and Bolivia three days later in Kansas City, as preparation for their Copa opener June 3 against Colombia.
The panic signs exhibited by United States fans ahead of tonight's must-win clash with Guatemala in Columbus are not surprising. The fan base of the United States Men's National Team has become more disenchanted with the management regime of Jürgen Klinsmann with every passing month.
French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday all the security necessary would be mobilized for Euro 2016, a competition which he insisted would be "a form of answer to the hate, horror" of the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks.
"Security will be at a maximum, it's a duty for the government regarding all those who have chosen to come to France in June and we will never compromise on the rules," said Hollande during a visit to INSEP, France's center for sporting excellence, ahead of the tournament which starts for a month on June 10.
England manager Roy Hodgson has challenged Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge to use Tuesday's friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley as an opportunity to stake a claim to a starting berth.
Sturridge, 26, went into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as Hodgson's first-choice number nine, but missed the entirety of England's successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign due to a succession of injuries.
Liverpool midfielder James Milner will captain England for the first time in Tuesday's home friendly with the Netherlands, the Football Association announced on Monday.
The 30-year-old, capped 57 times, takes over from Chelsea center-back Gary Cahill, who stood in for injured regular skipper Wayne Rooney in Saturday's 3-2 victory over world champions Germany in Berlin.
Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis said Monday he will accept a delegation from FIFA and UEFA on Wednesday to discuss his decision to indefinitely postpone the Greek Cup competition, but insists his actions were justified.
"We will battle to confirm our decision. It was founded on legal terms and is a measure which solves the serious problem of public order," Kontonis told a press conference.
Didier Deschamps admitted that last November's attacks were on everyone's minds on the eve of his side's return to the Stade de France, but they were determined to get on with the job of preparing for Euro 2016.
"You don't forget, but you have to move forward," said Deschamps as the Euro 2016 hosts play an international friendly against Russia in Paris on Tuesday.
Istanbul giants Fenerbahce and Galatasaray will clash in a crunch derby on April 13 after the original fixture was postponed over fears of a terror attack, the Turkish Football Federation said on Monday.
The match, which was due to have been played on March 20, was postponed for security reasons even as fans were starting to enter the ground.
Invigorated by Saturday's thrilling 3-2 friendly win over world champions Germany, England tackle the Netherlands on Tuesday seeking to sustain the feel-good factor ahead of the European Championship.
Goals from Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier saw an England team inspired by Dele Alli come from 2-0 down to beat Germany and while manager Roy Hodgson was quick to downplay the result's importance, there was no disguising the ebullience of his youthful team's display.
Brazil will be without Barcelona star Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz on Tuesday when they face a tricky 2018 World Cup qualifying trip to Paraguay with renewed uncertainty swirling around their campaign.
The Brazilians are licking their wounds after the disappointment of Friday's 2-2 draw with Uruguay, when they squandered a two-goal lead and finished the game clinging on for the point.
The pressure is on coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the United States as they host Guatemala on Tuesday aiming to bounce back from an embarrassing 2-0 defeat in Guatemala City in 2018 World Cup qualifying.
Klinsmann blamed "lack of focus" for the defeat in Guatemala City, which left the United States in third place in Group C in the fourth round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF).
As far as friendly results go, the Germany 2-3 England match made quite an impression.
Two nil down after 58 minutes at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, playing the World Champions without their captain Wayne Rooney and starting goalkeeper Joe Hart, the Three Lions were left celebrating a night that Roy Hodgson called "my best with England.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Nipun Chopra, Richard Farley and Kartik Krishnaiyer analyze the USA's shock 2-0 defeat against Guatemala, the impact that Johan Cruyff had on American soccer, review of the UEFA Champions League draw, the chances of Tottenham winning the title, the importance (or lack thereof) regarding the Olympic U23 tournament, and who could (or should) replace Jurgen Klinsmann as US coach.
Friday night's 2-0 loss to Guatemala was just the latest in a year and a half long string of disappointing and ugly results for the US. The sense of cautious optimism of Friday morning and afternoon (especially after the U-23 team managed to earn a 1-1 draw in Colombia) was all gone after seven minutes.
The United States Men's National Team loss to Guatemala in World Cup qualifying was a disaster. The lack of cohesive play, the poor coaching choices and the overall product on the field was an embarrassment to a nation that considers itself an elite in CONCACAF. Much is being written today about the consequences, short- and long-term, to the US's qualification chances and the job security of Jurgen Klinsmann.
Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 hopefuls got mixed reviews as Kevin Doyle's injury overshadowed a dour 1-0 win over Switzerland in Friday's friendly in Dublin.
With time running out before the Euros, Republic boss Martin O'Neill fielded an experimental line-up at the Aviva Stadium as he took a closer look at the understudies hoping to make the plane to France.
Luis Suarez scored on his return from a worldwide ban for biting as Uruguay fought back from 2-0 down to grab a 2-2 draw with Brazil in a pulsating World Cup qualifying battle.
Barcelona star Suarez playing his first international since infamously chomping on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup struck in the 48th minute to complete a remarkable Uruguayan fightback.
There's no other way to describe the US Men's National Team's performance in Guatemala other than it was disgraceful, especially in the first half. That performance does not change if the USAtake care of business in their last three games. But for now, the calls for Jurgen Klinsmann's head have gotten louder again, and his shield used to deflect blame is getting pierced from all sides.
Guatemala dealt a lackluster United States a devastating 2-0 defeat in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Guatemala City.
With goals in the first 15 minutes from Rafael Morales and Carlos Ruiz and an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Paulo Motta, Guatemala earned their first ever World Cup qualifying victory over the USA and leapfrogged over Jurgen Klinsmann's men into second place in Group C in the fourth round of qualifying in North and Central America (CONCACAF).
Arsenal and England national team star Jack Wilshere has not played a single minute of competitive soccer during the current 2015/16 campaign. The combative midfielder suffered a hairline fracture to his leg reportedly following a tackle from Gunner teammate Gabriel back in early August. While initially it was thought that Wilshere would only miss a few weeks due to the injury, it required surgery and the 24-year-old has been relegated to the sidelines for the last seven months.
Germany coach Joachim Loew is wary of 'dangerous' England striker Jamie Vardy and impressed by the Leicester City forward's performances ahead of Saturday's friendly international against the Three Lions.
The 29-year-old Vardy is set to face world champions Germany at Berlin's Olympic Stadium after his 19 goals have helped Leicester top the English league table.
Italy forward Lorenzo Insigne ended David De Gea's six-game unbeaten run in the Spain goal in a 1-1 friendly draw on Thursday that gave Azzurri fans hope for this summer's Euro 2016 in France.
Spain, who thrashed Italy 4-0 in the final of the 2012 European Championships, were on a seven-game winning run that had seen Manchester United 'keeper De Gea keep a clean sheet in their last six outings.
Argentina avenged their Copa America final defeat to Chile with a 2-1 victory as Ecuador scrambled a late draw with Paraguay to preserve their unbeaten start to South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying competition.
Goals from Angel Di Maria and defender Gabriel Mercado secured a vital three points for Argentina in Santiago after Chile had taken an 11th-minute lead through Felipe Gutierrez at the National Stadium.
It was during a group-stage match against Sweden at the 1974 World Cup in Germany that Johan Cruyff unveiled the move that would come to bear his name.
Finding his route blocked by Swedish right-back Jan Olsson on Holland's left flank, Cruyff made as if to play the ball infield, only to drag the ball behind his standing leg with his right foot and race off towards the touchline, leaving his bewildered opponent floundering in his wake.
The viewing figures are in for all of the soccer games shown on US TV from last weekend, and there are certainly some revealing numbers.
The Manchester derby led the way with the most number of viewers. NBC's broadcast of the game was certainly helped by the United Kingdom not switching to Daylight Savings Time yet, so the game kicked off an hour later on US television sets than the typical 11am ET start time.
World Cup Qualifying is once again ramping up for the US Men's National Team with a pair of qualifiers against Guatemala. With a successful January Camp in the rearview mirror and the Copa America Centenario looming this summer, it's important for the US to go ahead and lock up a spot in the final round of World Cup Qualifying as early as possible.
The Champions League could face a radical makeover with two groups of just eight teams each in what media reports claimed Wednesday represents a step closer to a European Super League.
The plans are aimed at pleasing the continent's major clubs from the likes of Germany, Italy, Spain and England who fear that the current Champions League, which features eight groups of four, does not attract sufficient commercial returns.
Orlando City has dipped into the Brazilian player market once more as attacking midfielder Julio Baptista has joinedthe club.
Baptista had been training with the Lions in early March as he sought out a new team. The 34-year-old has been out of contract since December after his deal with Brazilian side Cruzeiro Esporte Club expired.
UEFA is not considering staging the European Championships in France behind closed doors but is working on "contingency plans" because of security fears after the Brussels attacks, a UEFA spokesman told AFP on Wednesday.
"We are confident that all security measures will be in place for a safe and festive Euro and therefore there are no plans to play matches behind closed-doors," spokesman Pedro Pinto said.
In a sudden U-turn, beIN SPORTShas announced that they are scrapping plans to show the Chile vs Argentina match on pay-per-view and will insteadshowthe matchliveon itstwo networks in the United States — beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español.
The news comes after several providers including Comcast made the pay-per-view event available for purchase.
It's that time of the year when the vast majority of soccer leagues around the world (except MLS) take a break from competitive club soccer in order to focus on international matches. For the next 7 days, there are several hugely important matches taking place including World Cup qualifiers, qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, as well as key friendlies across Europe.
As a frustrated and forlorn John Terry soaks in the Chelsea faithful's appreciative applause while the club closes out its annus horribils, it'd be befitting to hear the Stamford Bridge tannoy play The Beatles' "Two of Us." Because at age 35 and with a possible summer departure looming, Terry and the club have, as Paul McCartney put it, "memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.
Manchester United's Bastian Schweinsteiger has suffered a fresh knee injury while on duty with Germany and will miss their forthcoming friendlies against England and Italy, the German FA confirmed Wednesday.
The 31-year-old midfielder picked up the injury training in Berlin on Tuesday and will undergo an MRI scan in Munich with the German team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt.
Belgium's friendly international with Portugal due in Brussels next Tuesday has been called off following the deadly explosions that rocked Brussels airport and metro, local football authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
"For security reasons and also as a measure of precaution, the Brussels City hall asked us to cancelled the March 29 home game with Portugal, so the match is off, A communique from the Belgian Football Union said.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday that this summer's Euro 2016 soccer tournament will go ahead as planned in France despite the Brussels attacks.
Asked in a call-in program on Europe 1 radio station whether it was wise to press ahead, given the level of threat of another terror attack, Valls said not to do so would be "a victory for terrorists".
A new song has energized an old stadium this season as West Ham United's supporters have fallen beneath the spell of shimmeringly skillful French playmaker Dimitri Payet.
The Boleyn Ground, in east London, has been graced by West Ham greats such as Bobby Moore, captain of England's 1966 World Cup winners, 1980 FA Cup final hero Trevor Brooking and record appearance-maker Billy Bonds.
New Morocco coach Herve Renard begins his quest for a record-equalling third Cup of Nations title with back-to-back qualifiers against Cape Verde, the top-ranked African team.
A seven-day, 50-match schedule starts Wednesday and the co-Group F leaders meet in Praia Saturday and in Marrakech Tuesday in key matches as only mini-league winners are guaranteed places at the 2017 tournament in Gabon.
FIFA's ethics committee on Tuesday launched an investigation targeting six people over their roles in the bidding that awarded the 2006 World Cup to Germany, with the probe partly focused on alleged bribery.
Those targeted include Franz Beckenbauer, the German football legend and World Cup organizing committee chief who is suspected of bribery, and Wolfgang Niersbach, former German football federation (DFB) president, who is being probed over possible failure to report FIFA ethics violations.
Sporting KC's 1-0 win over Toronto FC on Sunday leaves the Midwest outfit as the only Major League Soccer team to have a 100% win record. Brad Davis' 70th minute goal kept Sporting perfect as the team continue a strong start to 2016.
While the club were limited in turnover during the offseason, few would have expected the team to come together so quickly.
Rennes midfielder Ousmane Dembele is quickly making a name for himself in the French top division. Despite having just made his season debut back in November, the 18-year-old has already racked up 10 Ligue 1 goals, as well as five assists. The impressive goal tally in the short amount of time (just 19 league matches) has made the big boys perk up a bit.
If notfor Arsene Wenger and the sacrifices he's made, it's hard to imagine where Arsenal would be today. The stature, the reputation or even the identity Arsenal have as a club among all other European giantsisall down to the Frenchman's contributions. Compare the club's state prior to Wenger's appointment and the state thereafter, and you'll get an idea.
Bayer Leverkusen rejoined the fight for a Champions League qualifying berth on Sunday with a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart that saw them break back into the German Bundesliga's top six.
Goals by Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi handed Leverkusen a win that put them level on points with fifth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach and two points behind Schalke, who sit in the fourth place that offers a spot in next season's Champions League play-offs.
Jurgen Klopp refused to write off Liverpool's hopes of forcing their way into the top four despite squandering a two-goal lead at Southampton.
Liverpool's 3-2 defeat meant they were unable to take advantage of Manchester City's home loss to Manchester United and move to within four points of Manuel Pellegrini's side who lie fourth having played a game more.
Mauricio Pochettino has warned Leicester that title-chasing Tottenham are ready to step on the gas as the race for pole position in the Premier League hots up.
Thanks to Harry Kane's latest heroics in Sunday's swaggering 3-0 win over Bournemouth, Pochettino's second placed team are just five points behind Leicester heading into the final seven games of a gripping title battle.
Napoli can keep on dreaming of a first scudetto in more than a quarter of a century, said striker Gonzalo Higuain after taking his Serie A goal tally to 29 in 30 games with a brace in a 3-1 win over Genoa on Sunday.
Napoli, chasing a first Serie A title since the heady days of Diego Maradona in 1990, had slipped to six points off the pace after Juventus cruised to a 4-1 derby win at Torino.
NBCSN's Premier League presenter Rebecca Lowe will be replaced by Arlo White and Steve Bower while she's on maternity leave, according to NBC Sports.
Lowe, who is expecting to deliver a baby boy in April, will initially be replaced by Arlo White, who will be temporarily moving from England to the United States to host Premier League Live for the next two match weeks (April 2-3 and April 9-10) from the NBC Sports Group International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Connecticut.
In what can only be seen as a step backwards in the evolution of soccer broadcasting in the United States, beIN SPORTSwill be offering some of the top CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying matchups live only on a pay-per-view basis.
The new approach starts with the 5thRound of qualifiers, which kick off this Thursday, March 24with the top match between Chile and Argentina.
Gary Neville will delay meeting up with the England squad in preparation for their friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands until Thursday after his Valencia side slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Neville was met with chants of "donkey" and "Gary go now" towards the end of Valencia's third consecutive La Liga defeat, provoking a rethink of his initial decision to fulfill his duties as an assistant to England manager Roy Hodgson.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Nipun Chopra discuss the Tyne-Wear and Manchester derbies as well as their implications on the relegation battle and the race for fourth place. The hosts also talk about wins for the Premier League's top three, Liverpool's collapse at Southampton, as well as the rest of the action in the season's 31st round.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes that his team have a "big chance" of finishing in the Premier League's top four following their 1-0 win at Manchester City.
United's season looked to be on the rocks after they were knocked out of the Europa League by Liverpool last Thursday, but teen sensation Marcus Rashford's clinically taken 16th-minute strike got them back on track at the Etihad Stadium in Sunday's derby.
A derby between bitter Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahce was postponed Sunday over a "serious" threat, authorities said, a day after a suicide bomb attack in the Turkish city killed four people.
"The football match was postponed in light of serious information" pointing to the risk of an attack, the local governor's office said in a statement less than two hours before kick-off.
Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home an 83rd-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland on Sunday that did nothing to ease both clubs' Premier League relegation fears.
Both remain in the bottom three, but it could have been so much worse for Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez as his side trailed in his second game in charge against local rivals who had won their previous six derby encounters.
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has issued a thinly-veiled 'hands off' warning to Manchester City after Pep Guardiola's future employers have been linked to a string of Bayern's stars.
"I have been wondering somewhat about statements made by our colleagues from Manchester City, because contracts are contracts and that also applies to Manchester City," Rummenigge told German daily Bild.
United States goalkeeper Tim Howard is to leave Everton at the end of the current season and return to Major League Soccer with the Colorado Rapids, the two clubs announced on Sunday.
Everton confirmed that Howard will move to the Rapids on a three-and-a-half-year deal as a Designated Player on July 4, bringing to an end an association with the Goodison Park club that began in 2006.
Robert Lewandowski's 25th goal of the season gave Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at Cologne on Saturday as the Bundesliga leaders moved eight points clear of Borussia Dortmund once again at the top of the table.
The Poland star, the Bundesliga's leading scorer, fired home in the 10th minute after Dominique Heintz blocked a Thiago Alcantara pass and the ball fell into his path.
Sporting Gijon scored twice in the final 11 minutes to land a huge blow to Atletico Madrid's La Liga title challenge with a 2-1 win on Saturday.
Antoine Griezmann's sunning first-half free-kick put Atletico in front.
However, Atletico felt the after effects of their efforts in seeing off PSV Eindhoven after extra-time and penalties in the Champions League in midweek as Antonio Sanabria and Carlos Castro turned the game around in the final stages.
Riyad Mahrez moved Leicester one step closer to pulling off the most remarkable title success in decades with the only goal in a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Claudio Ranieri's side sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after Algeria winger Mahrez's 16th league goal of the season piled the pressure on Tottenham, 24 hours before the second-placed side face Bournemouth at White Hart Lane.
Italy coach Antonio Conte handed first call-ups to Brazil-born Napoli midfielder Jorginho and Fiorentina forward Federico Bernardeschi, but left Mario Balotelli on the sidelines Saturday for upcoming friendlies with Spain and Germany.
As part of the build-up to this summer's Euro 2016, Italy will host defending champions Spain this Thursday in Udine in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final the Azzurri lost 4-0.
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez and Sunderland counterpart Sam Allardyce played down their personal differences as they prepare to lead their sides in the most important Tyne-Wear derby for over a quarter of a century.
The Black Cats travel to St James' Park on Sunday aiming to record an unprecedented seventh consecutive victory in a rivalry spanning more than 117 years, and one which takes on added significance as the North-East neighbours fight for Premier League survival.
Overall, both Manchestersides have not had it good this season in the Premier League. Manchester City were one of the pre-season favorites for the title but they'renow 15 points behind league leaders Leicester City with only ninematches to go.
The Citizens are very much in danger of dropping out of the top four if they lose here,but their recent record against United is healthy so they can at least take confidence from that.
With 24 major trophies over the last decade (not including several more likely to be added in 2016), it's almost impossible to imagine a world where Barcelona is considered anything other than the gold standard in world soccer. And yet, as recently as 2003, the club's situation was not only starkly different, but downright perilous.
After letting in four goals as Juventus were eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich in midweek, Gianluigi Buffon needs only shut out Torino for four minutes on Sunday to set a new record.
Currently enjoying a 19-game unbeaten run that has seen Buffon keep the ball out the net for their past 10 league outings, Juve take a three-point lead over Napoli across Turin for the derby on Sunday as they continue their quest for a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title.
NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this weekend is highlighted by one of the most anticipated matches of the season, when fourth-place Manchester City host rivals sixth-place Manchester United in the 171st Manchester Derby this Sunday, March 20, at Noon ET on NBC.
NBC Sports Group's lead Premier League play-by-play announcer Arlo White calls the Manchester Derby, joined at the Etihad Stadium by analyst Graeme Le Saux.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila says his only focus is on winning a league and cup double with the Hoops as speculation continues to grow about his future.
The Glasgow giants are a point above Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand over the Dons and face Old Firm rivals Rangers for a place in the Scottish Cup final next month.
Paris Saint-Germain will get the chance to celebrate winning the French title in record time when they play host to second-placed Monaco at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
PSG became the earliest champions in French football history when they wrapped up a fourth consecutive title with eight games to spare last weekend, inflicting a pitiless 9-0 defeat on bottom side Troyes in Champagne country.
The possibility of Britain voting to leave the European Union in its June 23 referendum leaves the lucrative and globally popular English Premier League facing an uncertain future.
For some, Britain leaving the EU would have a positive impact, fully opening up the Premier League to the world whilst also enabling home-grown footballers to find their feet without competition from cheap European imports.
Juventus could use a lingering bitterness at exiting the Champions League in their favor as they switch focus to chasing a record-equalling fifth consecutive title away to derby rivals Torino on Sunday.
Juventus, who lost last year's final to Barcelona, were seconds away from sealing progress to the competition's last eight in midweek before Thomas Mueller's last-gasp leveler for Bayern Munich drove the last 16 decider into extra time.
While perusing The Guardian sports webpage this morning, something struck me as amazing. Of the three most viewed stories, two involved the NCAA tournament and the number of upsets that had occurred on St. Patrick's Day. While my digital signature likely showed that I was viewing the website from the United States, I doubt many American citizensvisitThe Guardian for basketball news and opinions, so this level of interest from the paper's readers struck me as odd.
Pep Guardiola will be hoping Bayern Munich suffer no Champions League hangover when they return to Bundesliga action at Cologne on Saturday on the back of their stunning victory against Juventus.
Bayern came from two goals down to beat Italian champions Juve 4-2 after extra time in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday and advance to the quarter-finals 6-4 on aggregate.
The Tyne-Wear derby once again could determine Sunderland's fate in the Premier League. Given that Sunderland has six victories against Newcastle in a row during the past few years, another win could help the Black Cats mount a great escape once more.
Sunderland's mastery over its local rival now could potentially mean Newcastle gets relegated.
Two of the Premier League's biggest names will be desperate to save something from disappointing domestic campaigns on Sunday, as they meet in one of the division's biggest derby matches.
Indeed, with just nine games in the season remaining, things are beginning are beginning to hot up at the top of a host of European soccer's top competitions; it leaves another title challenger with no margin for error as they face a difficult challenge on Saturday lunchtime.
Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi insisted European champions Barcelona have more to their armory than his partnership with Luis Suarez and Neymar as the Catalans eye a second consecutive treble.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described the South American trio as turning "normal life into art", as all three were on target to take their combined goals tally for the season to 106 in eliminating the English side from the Champions League on Wednesday.
Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho's stylish goal earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Thursday as Jurgen Klopp's men eliminated their arch foes from the Europa League.
Trailing 2-0 from last week's one-sided first leg, Louis van Gaal's United claimed a foothold in the last-16 tie when Anthony Martial won and scored a 32nd-minute penalty to restore hope at Old Trafford.
N'Golo Kante of Premier League leaders Leicester City has received a first call up to the France squad as coach Didier Deschamps revealed his 23-man squad for friendlies with the Netherlands and Russia.
West Ham striker Dimitri Payet, fresh from an FA Cup quarter-final wonder goal against Manchester United, was recalled as the Euro 2016 hosts play the Dutch in Amsterdam March 25 and host Russia at the Stade de France four days later.
Forthe general public, single-game tickets are not yet available for the Copa America Centenario final at MetLife Stadium. Instead, CONCACAF is forcing youinto buying a venue pass for the Group Stage of the tournamentin orderto be entered into a lottery. Then it's the luck of the draw whether you'll be able to get a ticket to the final.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed Barcelona's front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar as capable of turning soccer into art as all three struck to eliminate his side from the Champions League.
The Gunners bowed out at the last 16 stage for a sixth consecutive season 5-1 on aggregate after a 3-1 defeat at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, but gave the European champions a scare with a spirited display.
The last time I saw Arsenal go two-nil down in the FA Cup was during the 2014 FA Cup Final against Hull. I hadn't been able to get a ticket to Wembley and had joined 20,000 fans at a watch party at the Emirates. It was in the 8th minute when the second Hull goal went in. I put my head in my hands and said to myself, believing it, "we can come back from this, not from three-nil, but we can come back from two-nil.
Given Leicester City were the winners of English football's Championship in the 2013-14 season, the second tier, while always an absorbing and enthralling sideshow to the Premier League, has been viewed with an added degree of scrutiny this term.
After all, with the top flight set be enriched by a money-spinning television deal this summer, swelling the bank balance of the 20 teams involved, there is a chance for those sides involved in the promotion race at the moment to follow the Foxes' blueprint.
It's fair to say that Louis Van Gaal hasn't had the best of times managing Manchester United. He's been given large budgets, a long rope, and carte blanche to bring in whatever players he wants, regardless of fit or resale value. His accomplishments were a fourth place finish, admittedly getting Manchester United back into the Champions League at the first time of asking, and thus far being in sixth place four points off the top four this season.
Substitutes Thiago Alcantara and Kingsley Coman scored extra-time goals as Bayern Munich roared back to beat Juventus 4-2 in their Champions League last 16, second leg on Wednesday and win 6-4 on aggregate.
A stunned Bayern found themselves 2-0 down after 28 minutes at the Allianz Arena as Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado struck for the Italians before the Bavarians scored four unanswered goals.
Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were all on target as Barcelona piled more pressure on under-fire Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger by easing into the Champions League quarter-finals 5-1 on aggregate with a 3-1 win at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Neymar's early strike appeared to erase any forlorn hopes of an Arsenal comeback, but the visitors were handed a lifeline when Mohamed Elneny drilled into the top corner just after half-time.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Richard Farley and Kartik Krishnaiyer talk about Manchester City advancing in Champions League, where Arsenal was also eliminated by Barcelona. The duo also preview Thursday's Europa League action, talk about Mauricio Pochettino's future with Spurs, and preview the coming Premier League weekend, where derbies in England's northeast and northwest will have major impacts on two parts of the table.
Returning to London after Champions League elimination at Barcelona's hands, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger faces more uncomfortable questions than ever before about his stewardship of the club.
A season that was still full of hope at the turn of the year is now unravelling in all-too-familiar fashion, with Arsenal out of Europe, out of both cup competitions and trailing Premier League leaders Leicester City by 11 points, albeit with a game in hand.
Five-time European champions Liverpool will aim to finish off eternal rivals Manchester United when England's two most successful sides clash in the Europa League last 16, second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Anfield, Liverpool are well placed to reach the quarter-finals of a competition that realistically represents the best chance for either club to qualify for next season's Champions League.
FIFA on Wednesday demanded tens of millions of dollars in damages from the "sordid" officials facing charges in the United States over mass bribery scandals that have rocked world football.
In a wide-ranging admission on the scope of soccer corruption, just two weeks after Gianni Infantino replaced Sepp Blatter as its president, football's governing body called on US authorities to investigate the assets of former FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb.
Jeffrey Webb, the disgraced former FIFA vice president, has kept up a millionaire lifestyle quaffing champagne, gambling and partying while under US house arrest awaiting sentence for corruption, according to football's world body.
The 51-year-old husband of American gynecologist Kendra Gamble-Webb was the first former FIFA official to appear publicly in a New York court last July and quietly cut a plea deal four months later.
Last weekend's US TV viewing numbers for soccer matches featured a record-breaking 2,900,000 people that watched the Super Clasico between Chivas and Club America on Univision and Univision Deportes. The game ranks as the most-watched regular season club soccer match since 2010, and outperformed the NBA on ESPN and NHL on NBC for the current season-to-date.
Claudio Ranieri has never quite been given the plaudits his managerial pedigree should have earned him. When he was appointed lastJuly by Leicester City, the critics came out in full force. The evidence cited as to Ranieri's inadequacy for the job generally centered around his failed short stint as manager of the Greece national team in late 2014.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany faces a "minimum" lay-off of a month after re-injuring his calf against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Tuesday, manager Manuel Pellegrini said.
Kompany and his fellow centre-back Nicolas Otamendi were both forced off by injury inside the first 23 minutes as City completed a 3-1 aggregate win with a 0-0 draw that took them into the quarter-finals.
A former top-ranking Chilean soccer official who admitted wrongdoing in the huge FIFA graft scandal has compared awaiting sentencing in the United States to a holiday in the sun.
The boast by Sergio Jadue, a former vice president of the South American football confederation CONMEBOL and formerly the president of the Chilean FA, has infuriated his compatriots back home and could yet spark the interest of US justice officials.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone hailed his side's belief as they edged out a brave effort from PSV Eindhoven to reach the Champions League quarter-finals 8-7 in an agonizing penalty shootout on Tuesday.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock across 210 minutes of the two-legged tie.
Manuel Pellegrini backed his Manchester City team to make a mark on the Champions League's latter stages after they overcame Dynamo Kiev to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
City fell to Barcelona in the last 16 in both of the past two seasons, but they will take their place in Friday's draw for the last eight after Tuesday's drab 0-0 stalemate completed a 3-1 aggregate success.
Barcelona are the overwhelming favorites to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League after securing a 2-0 away win at the Emirates in the first leg of this fixture three weeks ago.
The Gunners started the game very well and wasted a few opportunities in the first half before a lapse in concentration allowed Barcelona to take the lead via a counter-attacking move finished off by Lionel Messi.
Center-backs Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi were forced off by injury inside 23 minutes as Manchester City made a calamitous start to Tuesday's Champions League meeting with Dynamo Kiev.
Captain Kompany, who has been dogged by recurring calf problems, was forced off in the seventh minute after hurting himself when he slipped in a tussle for possession with Dynamo midfielder Vitaliy Buyalskiy.
Aitor Karanka resumed his role as Middlesbrough manager on Monday after the Spaniard had appeared on the verge of quitting the Championship club.
Karanka's future was shrouded in doubt over the weekend after he stormed away from showdown talks with his under-performing squad on Friday.
The 42-year-old questioned the players' desire to win promotion to the Premier League following their midweek loss at lowly Rotherham and was said to have told them he no longer wanted to manage them during the heated training ground meeting.
Soccer streaming service NGSN has temporarily suspended service, and plans to become available again this summer.
NGSN (Next Generation Sports Network) temporarily shut down its service on Friday. According to NGSN, "In order to be ready for a fresh rebound in [the] summer, we have temporarily suspended our services.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side face an almost impossible task when they travel to face a red-hot Barcelona on Wednesday looking to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in six years.
As so often in the second half of Wenger's 20-year reign, Arsenal will travel to the Camp Nou with a sense of what might have been.
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri said he was still refusing to look at the Premier League table despite his team re-establishing a five-point lead by beating Newcastle United 1-0.
Shinji Okazaki's stunning 25th-minute overhead bicycle kick gave Leicester a hard-earned 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium on Monday and left them needing 20 points from their final eight games to complete one of the most improbable title triumphs in the history of European football.
Often overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of Real Madrid's galacticos and collective brilliance of Barcelona's attacking triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Atletico Madrid have carved out their own golden era on a historically great defense.
PSV Eindhoven travel to the Vicente Calderon for the second-leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Tuesday, with the tie finely balanced at 0-0, tasked with one of the most difficult challenges in European football: breaching the Atletico backline.
Due to Nike's lack of creativity and over reliance on template designs, the US-based kit manufacturer will release new jerseys in the coming weeks for the national teams of England and the United States that will look almost identical.
The new leaked images of the jerseys reveal how similar they are in design, with the only discernible differences being the crest and the use of a navy blue trim on the England shirt instead of red on the USMNT jersey.
We're nearing the time of the year when many of the international soccer clubs from around the world begin to announce their plans for summer tours. For those of us in the United States, we already know that Chelsea, Arsenal, AC Milan, Club Leon and Chivas will be playing in the US this summer. Plus many more are expected to be announced soon including Liverpool hitting Stateside as well as the teams and schedule for the International Champions Cup.
Arsene Wenger admitted that he faces a tough job lifting his Arsenal players for this week's trip to Barcelona following his side's FA Cup elimination at the hands of Watford.
Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Quique Sanchez Flores's side in the quarter-finals ended Arsenal's two-year hold on the competition and they will now focus on attempting to overturn a 2-0 deficit when they visit Camp Nou for Wednesday's Champions League last 16 second-leg match.
Pep Guardiola admits feeling the pressure ahead of Bayern Munich's crunch Champions League last 16, second-leg, clash against last year's finalists Juventus on Wednesday in his swangsong season in Bavaria.
Guardiola has won five titles so far in three seasons with Bayern and is on course for the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup title.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Richard Farley is joined by Laurence McKenna and Nipun Chopra to discuss FA Cup quarterfinal weekend, where the two-time defending champions, Arsenal, were seen out of the competition after an upset loss at home to Watford. The trio will also talk about the limited slate in the Premier League as well as preview the coming week of Champions League soccer.
French giants Paris Saint-Germain, inspired by four stunning Zlatan Ibrahimovic goals, turned on the style Sunday to beat Troyes 9-0 and clinch a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 crown in record time.
Just four days after advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals, PSG wrapped up the club's sixth French title with eight games to spare by beating a Troyes side destined for an immediate return to the second tier.
Manuel Pellegrini urged his Manchester City players to re-focus on the Champions League following their disappointing 0-0 draw against Premier League strugglers Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Pellegrini's men were frustrated by a resolute Norwich side battling to retain their top-flight status and were left nine points adrift of leaders Leicester City, who host Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United on Monday.
What is Brek Shea's best position? Shea has always been a player with a lot of potential, yet he hasn't truly fulfilled that potential. There was a three season span in which Shea looked like he would become the premier player in Major League Soccer, as he tallied 19 goals in 77 league games (11 of those came in 2011).
Colorado newcomer Marco Pappa struck in the dying seconds to lift the Rapids to a 1-0 Major League Soccer victory over Los Angeles Galaxy, whose coach Bruce Arena was left fuming on Saturday.
The contest at a windswept DSG Park in Denver looked headed to a scoreless draw until Pappa, a 67th minute substitute, scored from close range in the fifth minute of injury time Arena calling it "ridiculous" and "disgraceful" that so much injury time was added on.
Thomas Mueller and Thiago Alcantara both netted twice as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich warmed up for their crunch Champions League clash at home to Juventus by blitzing Werder Bremen 5-0 on Saturday.
With second-placed Borussia Dortmund playing Mainz on Sunday, Pep Guardiola's Bayern took the chance to reopen an eight-point gap.
Mauricio Pochettino's decision to rest several key players for Tottenham's Europa League loss at Borussia Dortmund will be tested when his side return to Premier League action at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Pochettino opted to name a weakened team for the last 16 first leg tie in Germany on Thursday, omitting Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Mousa Dembele and Kyle Walker while Dele Alli was suspended.
Lionel Messi scored, provided three assists and missed a penalty as Barcelona pressed home their advantage at the top of La Liga with a 6-0 thrashing of Getafe on Saturday.
Juan Rodriguez's own goal opened the scoring before Messi saw his penalty saved by Vicente Guaita, teed up Munir El Haddadi and Neymar and smashed home his 36th goal of the season all before half-time.
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has told misfiring striker Edin Dzeko he should beg for a shirt for Sunday's trip to Udinese as he cracked the whip days after seeing his side limp out of the Champions League to Real Madrid.
Dzeko was one of several players slated for a poor performance in the second leg of their last 16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu in midweek where Roma succumbed to a 2-0 reverse and a 4-0 aggregate defeat to the 10-time champions.
Romelu Lukaku scored two superb goals to give Everton a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory on Saturday over his former club Chelsea, for whom Diego Costa was sent off.
As a fractious match neared its conclusion, Lukaku took a Tom Cleverley pass in his stride after 77 minutes and powered past four defenders before burying an unstoppable shot into the back of the visitors' goal.
Paris Saint-Germain's path to claiming the Ligue 1 title in record time this weekend was cleared on Friday as nearest challengers Monaco were held 2-2 at home by Reims.
A win at lowly Troyes on Sunday would give Laurent Blanc's side 77 points 25 more than Monaco who are currently second with 52 points after 30 games and a fourth successive crown to round out an excellent week after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.
Los Angeles Galaxy summer signings Ashley Cole and Nigel de Jong insist they will be ready for a demanding test at altitude against the Colorado Rapids in the second round of the new Major League Soccer season on Saturday.
Former England and Chelsea star Cole and Dutch international de Jong got off to a winning start last weekend in the Galaxy's come-from-behind 4-1 victory over DC United at Carson.
Despite being 34-years-old, an age at which most professional soccer players begin thinking about retirement, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still thriving with Paris Saint-Germain. The striker has already netted a total of 31 goals (as well as 15 assists) during the current campaign. Although many fans and pundits will claim that the French Ligue 1 is not exactly the most defensive league in the world, as it is certainly not, Ibrahimovic is also performing exceptionally well in the Champions League competition.
Even though it is likely Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will make another run at signing David de Gea this summer, the club's supporters have overwhelming voted to keep the team's current number one Keylor Navas between the sticks at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.
In a poll releasedby the Spanish publicationAS, 79% of Real Madrid fans chose Navas over De Gea.
Aitor Karanka's future as Middlesbrough manager is shrouded in doubt after the Championship promotion contenders announced he will not be in charge for Sunday's trip to Charlton.
Karanka is believed to be unhappy with his players after some poor performances in recent weeks and the Spaniard stormed away from Middlesbrough's training ground on Friday following a heated meeting with the squad.
Beaten finalists Juventus warmed up for a crucial Champions League date at Bayern Munich with a precious 1-0 win over Sassuolo that saw veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and striker Paulo Dybala star in Turin.
The win moved Juventus six points clear of scudetto rivals Napoli ahead of their trip to Palermo on Sunday, kept the Old Lady unbeaten for 19 games and a clean sheet for a new league record of 10 consecutive games.
The latest episode of World Soccer Talk Radio features an interview with Joe Tolleson, New York City FC play-by-play announcer for the YES Network and program director at Sirius XM FC.
During the interview, Joe looks ahead to New York City FC's season, discusses the impact that Head Coach Patrick Vieira has already made at the club, and shares his insight regarding what it's like to announce a game from the famous Yankee Stadium.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has challenged his team-mates to make amends for their frustrating Champions League exit by booking a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.
After bowing out of Europe's elite club competition with a 4-2 aggregate defeat against Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday, the FA Cup is Chelsea's last remaining opportunity to win silverware this season.
Only the most faithful of Manchester City supporters would bet on Manuel Pellegrini ending his reign as manager with another Premier League title, but Saturday's trip to Norwich at least offers the chance to strengthen their hold on a top-four spot.
Pellegrini's side have been consistently successful against the teams towards the foot of the table this season and maintained that record by beating Aston Villa 4-0 last Saturday, ending a run of three successive league defeats in the process.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said his team had been simply overwhelmed by Liverpool's high pressing during their one-sided 2-0 Europa League defeat at a raucous Anfield.
Daniel Sturridge, with a penalty, and Roberto Firmino scored as Liverpool claimed a deserved win on Thursday, and the hosts might have put the last 16 tie to bed had it not been for United goalkeeper David de Gea.
Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon says the Hoops are focused on finishing the season strongly after suffering a recent dip in form.
The Glasgow giants have won just two of their past five Scottish Premiership games and successive draws against Hamilton and Dundee has seen their lead over Aberdeen at the top of the table cut to just one point, albeit they have played a game less than the Dons.
Rafael Benitez returned to English football on Friday with the task of saving Newcastle United from Premier League relegation after the struggling north-east side announced the Spaniard as their new manager.
Former Liverpool boss Benitez, sacked by Real Madrid earlier this season, has signed a three-year deal with Newcastle, who are currently second-bottom in the table with just 10 league games remaining this term.
For Newcastle United, the idea of hiring Rafa Benítez makes all the sense in the world. A proven "big club" manager, whose tactics have been useful to maximizing results. For a club facing a strong likelihood of relegation to the Championship, it would be wise to make such an appointment.
Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino scored as Liverpool deservedly defeated eternal rivals Manchester United 2-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie on Thursday.
Liverpool dominated the first ever European meeting between the teams from first minute to last, scoring through Sturridge's 20th-minute penalty and Firmino's 73rd-minute effort to put Jurgen Klopp's men firmly in the driving seat ahead of next week's return leg.
Steve McClaren has been sacked as manager of English Premier League strugglers Newcastle United with "immediate effect," the north-east club announced Friday.
Newcastle are second-bottom in the table and facing relegation despite spending some £29 million ($41 million, 37 million euros) on new players during the January transfer window in a bid to avoid the drop.
Chelsea will play AC Milan in Minneapolis this summer as part of the International Champions Cup, according to soccer website Northern Pitch.
The reputable website reveals that the match will be played at the US Bank Stadium in early August. An official announcement regarding the news, as well as the rest of the International Champions Cup schedule, is expected at the end of this month.
After bursting back onto our TV screens last weekend, Major League Soccer delivered a timely reminder of its plus points, with a host of thrilling contests to savor.
So when picking selections for this weekend's best games, it seemed only fair to opt for two clashes from the United States' top flight, including two teams who enjoyed handsome wins on the opening weekend.
Mauricio Pochettino has made many great decisions in his short tenure in the White Hart Lane dugout. How he has transformed Tottenham from fringe Champions League contenders to title contenders in one season has been nothing short of remarkable. But all managers are capable of making mistakes, and against Dortmund on Thursday, he made a classic error and it cost Spurs a chance at the Europa League as well as a chance to prove themselves against one of the best sides in Europe.
A soccer financial expert says that business people in Brazil are becoming very concerned about the financial growth and rising popularity of Major League Soccer, and fear that it will soon overtake the Brazilian top-flight league, the Campeonato Brasileiro.
In a recent exclusive interview with World Soccer Talk Radio, soccer journalist and broadcaster Tim Vickey (who lives and works in Brazil)shared his insight regarding issues that are plaguing Brazilian club soccer, as well as how MLS is causing some independent experts in South America to marvel at the growth of Major League Soccer.
A former FIFA match agent's confession that he helped pay big bribes to soccer officials in Central America and the Caribbean promises to fan the flames of the scandal rocking the game's beleaguered world body.
Miguel Trujillo, a 65-year-old Colombian resident in the US, on Tuesday pleaded guilty in a New York federal court to four counts of money laundering, wire fraud and a falsified tax return.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Richard Farley and Kartik Krishnaiyer talk about mid-week results in Champions League, with Chelsea bowing out of the competition in the Round of 16. The duo also discuss the latest Premier League news, Arsenal's win in the FA Cup, and the coming weekend's action, which includes the FA Cup quarterfinals and top-versus-bottom matches in league play.
Former Arsenal full-back Emmanuel Eboue has joined Premier League strugglers Sunderland for the rest of the season, the Black Cats announced Wednesday.
The 32-year-old former Ivory Coast international, who was released by Turkish club Galatasaray in pre-season, was taken on by north-east club Sunderland after training with Sam Allardyce's squad for several weeks.
Arsene Wenger will take stock of Arsenal's mounting injury problems after the FA Cup holders' progress to the quarter-finals came at a cost.
Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista were all substituted during the comfortable 4-0 victory at Championship side Hull City that stretched the Gunners' three-year unbeaten record in the competition.
Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said on Wednesday he is not convinced Germany's Ilkay Gundogan will stay amidst reports Pep Guardiola's future employers Manchester City are set to swoop.
The 25-year-old has a contract with Dortmund until June 2017 and German media report that Gundogan's agent, his uncle Ilhan, met with City's director of sport Txiki Begiristain in Amsterdam earlier this week.
The number of viewers for the opening weekend of MLS games on national television in the United States declined by 11% compared to the opening MLS weekend in 2015.
While this year's opening weekend is not an apples to apples comparison to last year, it's pretty close. For the opening weekend of 2015, the season kicked off on a Friday night with live coverage of LA Galaxy vs.
The viewing figures for last weekend's soccer games on TV were more varied than usual given the return of MLS as well as beIN SPORTS en Español reporting (for the first time?) their Spanish-language viewing numbers, which gives the network (and La Liga) a visible boost.
Plus there was the last minute switch by FOX Sports to move the biggest Bundesliga game of the season, between Dortmund and Bayern Munich, from FOX Soccer Plus to FX.
French authorities have seized documents from the country's football federation in connection with the Swiss criminal investigation targeting former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, Switzerland said Wednesday.
The search was conducted Tuesday two days before Blatter's 80th birthday with Swiss officials present while French investigators searched the French Football Federation (FFF) headquarters.
Pep Guardiola reportedly met the sporting director of future employers Manchester City in Amsterdam on Monday despite promising to focus solely on Bayern Munich in his final months in charge of the German club.
Clad in a grey winter hat, thick sweater and carrying a rucksack, the 45-year-old Guardiola looked like a tourist as he was photographed entering a luxury hotel in Amsterdam on Monday morning.
Paris Saint-Germain talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic said on Tuesday that he will not be motivated by revenge on his return to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the Champions League.
The Sweden striker was sent off for a foul on Oscar in the first half of PSG's 2-2 draw at Chelsea last season, which took Laurent Blanc's side into the competition's last eight, and later branded his opponents "babies" for appealing for his dismissal.
Anyone seeking to understand Chelsea's steady return to form under interim manager Guus Hiddink will find a partial explanation in the unassuming figure of holding midfielder John Mikel Obi.
Having started just two of Chelsea's final 16 Premier League games under Jose Mourinho, Mikel has started nine of 12 under Hiddink in the only notable non-enforced personnel change that the Dutchman has made to the starting XI.
Arsene Wenger has launched a vigorous defense of his achievements as Arsenal manager as he hit back at the "boring" critics calling for him to quit.
Wenger has become accustomed in recent years to Arsenal supporters and pundits calling for him to resign and the Frenchman was under-fire again last week after three successive defeats dealt a major blow to the team's Premier League title challenge and Champions League campaign.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is preparing for his biggest game since taking charge as the Spanish giants eye a place in the Champions League quarter-finals against Roma on Tuesday.
Madrid hold a commanding 2-0 lead from the first leg in the Italian capital three weeks ago, but have little room for error with the Champions League their last realistic hope of a trophy this season after a poor domestic campaign.
The English Premier League is one of the most famous soccer leagues in the world, whereas the Major League Soccer League is just coming to prominence. Wouldn't it be great if there was a tournament between the two leagues every summer? Well good news the MLS commissioner Don Garber is considering hosting an annual competition between North American and English teams that would take place in the summer.
When Arsenal signed Mohamed Elneny from Swiss club Basel in January, many fans of the north London club were left feeling unfulfilled. After all, the 23-year-old Egyptian international is not considered a "world class" player, nor is he a household name in the soccer world. The Gunners reportedly only paid somewhere in the range of £5-£7 million for the defensive midfielder, hardly an earth-shattering transfer.
Mario Goetze made German football history by scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final, but now the Brazil 2014 hero can not get a game at Bayern Munich.
A groin injury has restricted Goetze to just seven league appearances this season, but a month after making a full return to training, he has been kept on the bench for all of Bayern's last five games.
MLS digital star Rachel Bonnetta has joined FOX Sports to become the newest member of their video show The Buzzer.
Bonnetta, who began her career at Toronto FC as host of their video channel, joined MLSsoccer.com in early 2015 to be the face of their digital network. During 2015, she became one of the brightest stars off the field at MLS, scoring several memorable interviews and segments, as well as hosting the MLS NowandOff Topic With Rachel Bonnetta shows.
Until recently, soccer punditry was seen as a joke by many, a last paycheck given to big-name players who contributed nothing someone who had never played the game in their life wouldn't have known. What viewers really wanted, tactical analysis, anecdotes of having been there and done that, and a clear viewpoint on what the optimal course of action would be in a given situation were all lacking until the arrival of Gary Neville and then Jamie Carragher.
Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain meet at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday with both sides' seasons riding on the outcome of their Champions League last 16, second leg showdown.
PSG head to London with a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Paris last month thanks to a late Edinson Cavani winner, but the tie is finely poised, with John Obi Mikel's away goal giving Chelsea plenty of reason to believe they can progress.
It wasn't until the BBC documentary The Class of '92,that I learnedabout Salford City Football Club. As an American transplanted in Salford, England, I had lived in the area for three years before finding out anything about them. However, once I saw an episode of the documentary and learned about the connection the club have to Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers, I had to get to a game.
Aaron Ramsey says that Arsenal will resume their FA Cup defense at Hull City on Tuesday with confidence restored following Saturday's 2-2 draw with north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsene Wenger's side had come in for heavy criticism after back-to-back defeats had seen them fall away in the Premier League title race, prompting Alexis Sanchez to claim that some of his team-mates lacked the hunger to be champions.
Major League Soccer has kicked off the 2016 season and set a record amount of goals on opening day. With the fixtures coming fast and furious in the weeks to come, here are five things we learned from week 1.
1. Patrick Vieira off to a winning start, defense still needs work
Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira got off to a winning start in charge of New York City FC.
Saturday's loss against West Ham was a microcosm of Everton's whole season thus far. Exciting attacking play, a superb Lukaku, shoddy defending and a shocked Roberto Martinez trying to find new excuses to mask his side's shocking display at the back.
In a season dominated by Leicester punching above their weight, Newcastle being punched down by the weight of expectation and Chelsea and Liverpool making their best impression of a mid-table side, Everton's plight has largely passed under the radar.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Richard Farley is joined by Laurence McKenna and Nipun Chopra to discuss one of the most important North London derbies in Premier League history, with Saturday's result at White Hart Lane allowing Leicester City to increase their lead atop the league table to five points with nine matches to go.
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer on Sunday again insisted he is innocent in the 2006 World Cup scandal amidst allegations of corruption, pinning any potential blame on his now deceased lawyer.
Beckenbauer, who captained and coached Germany to the 1974 and 1990 World Cup titles respectively, was head of the organizing committee for the 2006 finals, but insists his former lawyer Robert Schwan, who died in 2002, ran his finances.
Los Angeles Galaxy launched their new Major League Soccer season with a 4-1 victory over DC United on Sunday inspired by two of the star-studded outfit's lesser lights.
The Galaxy, whose starting line-up featured former Premier League stalwarts Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Nigel de Jong and Robbie Keane, had looked in danger of suffering a shock loss after United took the lead through Lamar Neagle on five minutes.
The familiar anthem of the UEFA Champions League returns. The one that raises the hair on the back of your neck, as they belt out the words "These are the champions." But it's the action that follows that is even better, and there are plenty of nerve-racking games in store.
For soccer fans in the USA, here's the schedule of the Round of 16 games on TV and live streaming:
Gianluigi Buffon set a new clean sheet record in Serie A's three-points-for-a-win era as Juventus maintained their three point lead at the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win at Atalanta on Sunday.
Andrea Barzagli's 24th minute tap-in and a wonderful individual goal from Mario Lemina four minutes from the end was enough for the reigning champions, who move up to 64 points after extending their unbeaten run to 18 games, and hold second-placed Napoli at bay after Maurizio Sarri's side briefly drew level with Saturday's convincing 3-1 win over Chievo.
Salomon Rondon inflicted a major blow upon Manchester United's Champions League qualification hopes and left Juan Mata ruing two moments of madness as West Bromwich Albion won 1-0 on Sunday.
The £12 million ($17 million, 15.5 million euros) Venezuelan international lashed home his eighth goal of the season to move West Brom to within touching distance of manager Tony Pulis's all-important 40-point mark as 10-man United's run of four successive victories came to a miserable end.
Claudio Ranieri is still refusing to countenance Leicester City as Premier League title favorites despite seeing his side extend their lead at the top of the table to five points.
Leicester's 1-0 victory at Watford ensured they cashed in on Tottenham and Arsenal's 2-2 draw earlier in the day and answered questions about their own ability to grind out results from difficult assignments.
Guus Hiddink dismissed concerns over Diego Costa's fitness by insisting the Spain striker will be available for Chelsea's crucial Champions League clash with Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday.
Costa missed Saturday's 1-1 Premier League draw against Stoke as he rested to avoid aggravating a tendon injury, but Blues interim manager Hiddink is confident his star forward will return for the last 16, second leg against PSG.
Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham missed an opportunity to step up their Premier League title challenge, after failing to beat 10-man Arsenal in a pulsating 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.
Pochettino's side remain in second place, five points behind leaders Leicester, but the Tottenham manager was left frustrated after Spurs squandered a 2-1 lead against their bitter north London rivals.
Napoli moved joint top of Serie A after goals from Gonzalo Higuain, Vlad Chiriches and Jose Callejon saw them beat Chievo 3-1 on Saturday and get their title challenge back on track after a three-game mini-slump.
Maurizio Sarri's side are level on 61 points with reigning champions Juventus after a winning a hugely entertaining encounter in which Chievo, who stay 11th on 34 points, more than played their part and opened the scoring with just over a minute on the clock through Nicola Rigoni.
Rangers manager Mark Warburton says he and his players will keep their feet on the ground after booking their place in the Scottish Cup semi-finals for the second time in three years with a 4-0 demolition of Dundee.
The Championship leaders, who are 14 points ahead of Hibernian in their bid to gain promotion back to the Premiership, eased to victory over their top-flight opponents whose eight-match unbeaten run came crashing to an end.
The biggest winner in the north London derby was Leicester City, seeing that both of their biggest title rivals dropped five out of a possible six points in a week when even they dropped points. While there are both positives and negatives for both sides to take from one of the more enthralling derbies in recent memory, both can see that maybe their best isn't quite good enough this season.
The LA Galaxy are a wounded team. Coming off a season in which they were knocked from the Major League Soccer playoffs in the knockout round, the Galaxy are looking for redemption. Yet, the team's first attempt at revitalization, the CONCACAF Champions League, saw the Los Angeles outfit crash and burn to Mexico's Santos Laguna 4-0 on aggregate.
Manchester United travel to the Hawthorns on Sunday hoping to secure a third consecutive Premier League victory at West Bromwich Albion.
Pressure has eased on Louis van Gaal after the Red Devils were able to qualify for the next round of the FA Cup and Europa League while league wins against Arsenal and Watford kept their top four hopes alive.
The 21st season of Major League Soccer kicks off across North America this weekend with officials optimistic about prospects for future growth despite emerging challenges from rival competitions across the globe.
A legacy of the 1994 World Cup, MLS has come a long way since the San Jose Clash kicked off the league with a 1-0 win over DC United in front of 31,863 fans on April 6, 1996.
FIFA is still considering setting up an independent panel to oversee its reform effort, a move requested by world football's top corporate sponsors, the head of FIFA's reform committee Francois Carrard told AFP.
Carrard, a Swiss lawyer who helped lead an anti-corruption drive at the International Olympic Committee more than a decade ago, headed the group which drafted FIFA's governance reforms, overwhelmingly approved at a congress last week.
The father of UEFA's new interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis, a top official at Greek champions Olympiakos, has called on media to leave his son out of match-fixing talk concerning the club.
"They should leave my son out of it," Olympiakos vice-president Savvas Theodoridis told sports daily Fos on Friday.
Following Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Swansea City on Wednesday, which was their third defeat in a row, the Gunners are now six points behind league leaders Leicester City. Although the teams surrounding Arsenal in the table, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, both lost as well, there are some serious issues with the Gunners at the moment.
Borussia Dortmund deserve an immense amount of credit for still being in touch with league leaders Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
Because Pep Guardiola's swashbuckling side have been awesome in 2015-16, the champions have suffocated opposition teams with a constricting cocktail of pressing and possession, surging to the summit of the table, totting up an obscene tally of goals and keeping the defensive door tightly bolted.
Arsenal will be looking to arrest their dreadful run of three consecutive defeats in all competitions when they travel to bitter rivals and fellow title contenders Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger has come under severe criticism in recent weeks for the failure of his side to capitalize on the collapse of regular title contenders Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United in this year's title race.
A former president of Portuguese football giants Benfica, Manuel Damasio, was arrested and indicted Thursday for alleged influence peddling and money laundering as part of an international corruption investigation.
The 75-year-old who served as Benfica president between January 1994 and October 1997 was arrested in the morning and brought before an investigating judge who placed him in judicial custody, the Portuguese prosecutor general said in a statement.
Back in November, I wrote about that edition of the north London derby, which was shaping up to be the most important in years. That game was important in its own way, but after the past few months ofsoccer, it turns out that that game was an appetizer for the return leg at White Hart Lane, which is certainly the most important derby in the Premier League era, and one of the most important in the long history of this blood feud.
If some absorbing title races in European soccer aren't sufficient for sating your appetite, Major League Soccer returns once again this weekend.
And in a brilliant turn of fate, fans will be treated to a repeat of last year's MLS Cup final on the opening weekend. Elsewhere, there are vital tussles to take in at the top of the Premier League, the Bundesliga and Portugal's top flight.
Euro 2016 kicks off in June featuring many of the world's greatest soccer nations including France, Spain, Germany and Italy as well as several entertaining teams such as Belgium, England, Ireland and Sweden, as well as surprise appearances by Wales, Northern Ireland, Iceland and Albania.
With all 24 national teams in the championship ranked among the top 40 teams in the FIFA World Rankings, the UEFA European Football Championship is arguably the most prestigious and competitive international soccer tournament in the world.
ESPN has announced its initial coverage plans for Euro 2016, one of the world's most entertaining national soccer competitions.
Every match will be shown live on TV and online. All together, ESPN networks will combine to televise more than 230 live hours of Euro 2016 beginning Friday, June 10 through Sunday, July 10 from 10 cities across France.
A new leaked image of the USA black jersey for 2016 is the best one yet. The photograph, that is. Not the shirt.
The new USA black jersey, which will be officially unveiled later this month, features a black shirt, the new USA logo and sleeves that are red and blue.
Designed and manufactured by Nike, the new USA 2016 jersey is sure to generate a lot of debate from both sides of the aisle — with those who hate it sure to be more vociferous on Twitter than those who like it.
Uncertainty over the futures of Francesco Totti and coach Luciano Spalletti is hanging over Roma ahead of a clash with Fiorentina on Friday that is key for both clubs' chances of Champions League qualification.
"It won't be decisive, but it's a six-pointer," Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa said after his side hit the woodwork twice on their way to being held 1-1 by Napoli on Monday.
Stand-up comedian Russell Brand made an appearance on West Ham TV Wednesday night where he interviewed Hammers boss Slaven Bilic.
The interview was conducted after the Irons defeated Spurs 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground.
Brand, who is a massive West Ham supporter, made sure to point out that Spurs will never have another chance to beat West Ham at the Boleyn Ground anymore as the team will move to the Olympic Stadium this summer.
Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City remain sitting pretty at the Premier League summit after their closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester City remarkably all contrived to lose on Wednesday.
Leicester had dropped points in a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, but they remain in pole position after Spurs lost 1-0 at West Ham United, Arsenal crashed 2-1 at home to Swansea City and Liverpool claimed revenge for their League Cup final defeat by crushing City 3-0.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Richard Farley and Kartik Krishnaiyer break down a mid-week round that saw the Premier League's top four go winless, with Leicester's home draw with West Bromwich Albion increasing their lead atop the league. Richard and Kartik also preview the coming weekend's action, paying special attention to Saturday's crucial North London Derby.
Holders Club America advanced to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League on with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders as Mexican sides clinched a clean sweep over their Major League Soccer rivals.
With DC United and Los Angeles Galaxy losing their quarter-finals on Tuesday, Seattle had arguably the best chance of progressing to the last four as they traveled to Mexico City after a 2-2 draw in the first leg.
With the 2016 MLS season slated to begin on Sunday, it's time to look forward to what we can expect from each of the 20 teams in the New Year. So what you'll find below is a series of quick questions and expectations for each team in MLS as the new season approaches.
Their new coach is Veljko Paunović, the man who led Serbia to the U-20 World Cup title back in July.
One Major League Soccer playoff appearance in their six season existence has left Philadelphia Union fans hungry for more, much more. Despite two consecutive runner-up performances in the US Open Cup, the Union have underachieved mightily since their first MLS game in 2010. From shaky goalkeepers to allegedly abusive managers, and even a stint from former US wunderkind-come-bust Freddy Adu, the Union have seen a lot in their short time.
The English Premier League's biggest clubs on Wednesday moved to distance themselves from a report that they met to discuss forming a breakaway European Super League.
The S*n newspaper claimed representatives from Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool held "secret talks" with officials from a company owned by American billionaire Stephen Ross on Tuesday.
If you want to watch Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich on live TV this Saturday, you won't find it on FOX Sports 1. You won't find it on FOX Sports 2 either. Nor will you find it on FOX Sports Net or any other FOX affiliate. Instead, the only place you can watch the biggest live Bundesliga game of the 2015/16 season is on FOX Soccer Plus, the TV channel that most soccer fans in the United States don't get.
UEFA president Michel Platini has made a formal appeal against his six year ban from soccer at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the tribunal said Wednesday.
The French football legend has also asked the CAS to give a decision before the European Championships in France, which would enable him to attend if he is successful, the tribunal secretary general told AFP.
Last Friday when MLS Commissioner Don Garber prepared to cast the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) ballot for FIFA President, Twitter blew up. The election, which was being broadcast live into American homes by both FOX Sports 1 and ESPN, was a major event in terms of soccer coverage in the United States, a landmark day of sorts.
Spanish giants Atletico Madrid were Wednesday unveiled as the fourth side to play in this year's International Champions Cup in Australia, joining Italian champions Juventus and England's Tottenham Hotspur.
Melbourne Victory will also compete in the Australian leg of the global pre-season club competition at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in July.
Arsenal will be hoping to bounce back from a shock 3-2 loss away to Manchester United last Sunday when they play Swansea City on Wednesday (2:45pm ET on NBCSN).
The Gunners are now sixpoints behind leaders Leicester City with 11 games to go but it doesn't get any easier for them with tough fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona and an FA Cup replay at Hull City coming up within the next two weeks.
Steven Gerrard's hopes of leading the Los Angeles Galaxy to CONCACAF Champions League glory came to an abrupt end as Mexican sides dominated against their American quarter-final opponents.
Gerrard partnered new Galaxy signing Nigel De Jong in the Los Angeles midfield as the Major League Soccer side traveled to Torreon in Mexico to face Santos Laguna after grinding out a 0-0 draw in last week's first leg.
Ian Darke, arguablythe country's most popularsoccer commentator, has signed a multi-year agreement with ESPN to continue as the company's lead play-by-play announcer. The news comes as a blow to FOX Sports who reportedly were interested in hiring him to commentate the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage of 18 matches in five days continues today at 2 p.m. ET with Premier League Live, followed by first-place Leicester City v. West Bromwich Albion at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage continues tomorrow, Wednesday, Mar. 2, when Liverpool host fourth-place Manchester City at 3 p.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila has urged his players to write themselves into the history of the club by winning their fifth league title in a row.
The Hoops have only achieved the feat twice before in their 128-year history with the last coming in the 1970s under the club's European Cup winning manager Jock Stein who eventually led the club to a record nine titles in a row.
CONCACAF has announced the kickoff times for all of the Copa America Centenario games that will be played on US soil this summer.
The good news for soccer fans is that none of the games clash with the Euro 2016 competition, so fans will be able to watch the best teams in Europe play on TV in the morning and afternoons, and then have a chance to watch soccer in-person in the evenings to see the stars from North and South America.