World Cup Buzz Archives for January 2017

Football: Juventus top Roma on penalties in International Champions Cup friendly

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New York (AFP) – Juventus closed out the International Champions Cup friendly tournament with a 5-4 win on penalties over Roma after the Italian clubs played to a 1-1 draw.

Mario Mandzukic’s opening goal for Italian champions Juventus was cancelled out by Edin Dzeko’s second-half strike.

Sanchez saga won’t ruin Arsenal, says Wenger

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London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger insists the Alexis Sanchez transfer saga won’t be a distraction to Arsenal this season despite the Chile forward’s refusal to sign a new contract.

Sanchez is out of contract at the end of the forthcoming season and he has shown no signs of accepting Arsenal’s offer of a lucrative new deal as he tries to engineer a transfer to a club in the Champions League.

Denmark stun Germany, England beat France for first time in 43 years in Euro

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Tilburg (Netherlands) (AFP) – Germany’s hopes of a seventh successive European women’s title were shattered on Sunday when second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen gave Denmark a shock 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

In Thursday’s semi-finals, Denmark will face newcomers Austria who beat Spain 5-3 on penalties following a goalless draw in Tilburg.

Denmark stun Germany, France crash out of women’s Euro

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Tilburg (Netherlands) (AFP) – Germany’s hopes of a seventh successive European women’s title were shattered on Sunday when second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen gave Denmark a shock 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

In Thursday’s semi-finals, Denmark will face newcomers Austria who beat Spain 5-3 on penalties following a goalless draw in Tilburg.

Manchester United set to seal Matic swoop: reports

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London (AFP) – Manchester United are on the verge of signing Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea in a £40 million ($55 million) deal, according to reports on Sunday.

United manager Jose Mourinho has been keen to take Matic from his former club for over a year and it appears the deal is finally set to go through.

Denmark stun Germany to set-up Austria Euro semi-final clash

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Tilburg (Netherlands) (AFP) – Germany’s hopes of a seventh successive European women’s title were shattered on Sunday when second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen gave Denmark a shock 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

In Thursday’s semi-finals, Denmark will face newcomers Austria who beat Spain 5-3 on penalties following a goalless draw in Tilburg.

Lacazette gives Arsenal injury scare after first home goal

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London (AFP) – Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal an injury scare as the club’s record signing limped off after scoring his first home goal in Sunday’s 2-1 Emirates Cup defeat against Sevilla.

Lacazette is under pressure to make an immediate impact after Arsene Wenger splashed out £52 million ($68 million, 58 million euros) to sign the France striker from Lyon earlier this month.

United set to seal Matic swoop — reports

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London (AFP) – Manchester United are on the verge of signing Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea in a £40 million ($55 million) deal, according to reports on Sunday.

United manager Jose Mourinho has been keen to take Matic from his former club for over a year and it appears the deal is finally set to go through.

Alves urges ‘friend’ Neymar to show courage

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Tangiers (Morocco) (AFP) – Veteran Brazil international full-back Dani Alves said he is hopeful superstar Neymar will join him at Paris Saint Germain but insisted he isn’t using his personal friendship to sway the Barcelona forward’s decision.

The two were team-mates at Barca from Neymar’s arrival in 2013 until Alves left to join Juventus a year ago.

Spanish Liga to file PSG complaint over Neymar

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Madrid (AFP) – Spain’s football league chief Javier Tebas said he will file a complaint with UEFA for financial fair play breaches against Paris Saint-Germain over their pursuit of Brazilian superstar Neymar.

PSG are rumoured to be weighing up a bid for the Barcelona forward at more than 200 million euros, enough to trigger the 25-year-old’s transfer release clause.

Denmark stun Germany in women’s Euro quarters

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Tilburg (Netherlands) (AFP) – Second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen stunned holders Germany who bow out of the women’s Euro after a 2-1 loss to Denmark in Rotterdam on Sunday.

Germany, who have won the Euro six times in a row and eight times overall, dominated the eventful game postponed from Saturday because of heavy rain, but Denmark’s counter-attacking was eventually too much for them.

Confident England face France at women’s Euro

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – A confident England will seek to extend their perfect record at the women’s Euro against France while Spain will take on newcomers Austria on the second day of quarter-finals on Sunday.

“We go into the game on a great run of form,” said England coach Mark Sampson, whose side thrashed Scotland 6-0, sank Spain 2-0 in a rain-drenched game, and edged Portugal 2-1 with a reserve team in the group phase.

Alves on target as PSG win Champions Trophy

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Tangiers (Morocco) (AFP) – New Brazilian recruit Dani Alves powered Paris Saint-Germain to their first title of the season beating Monaco 2-1 in the Champions Trophy final on Saturday.

It was a fifth straight trophy for the Parisians in the traditional curtain-raiser to the French season to put them level with Lyon’s record of seven titles.

Galaxy chief says ‘doors open’ for Ibrahimovic

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Los Angeles Galaxy president Chris Klein says the club’s “doors are open” for Zlatan Ibrahimovic but the Swedish star wants to stay in Europe.

“We have an incredible relationship with Zlatan and his agent,” Klein said Friday as the Major League Soccer club introduced new signing Jonathan Dos Santos.

Dutch into Euro semi-finals, Germany v Denmark postponed

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema handed the Netherlands a 2-0 win over Sweden and a spot in the women’s Euro semi-finals Saturday before the quarter-final pitting Germany against Denmark was postponed to Sunday because of heavy rain.

Euro semi-finalists from 2009, hosts Netherlands will face either England or France in Enschede on August 3.

Amid transfer drama Neymar ‘doesn’t know what to do’: Pique

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Brazilian superstar Neymar “doesn’t know what to do” as frenzy over his possible move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain continues to dominate headlines, Barca teammate Gerard Pique told ESPN FC.

French giants PSG are supposedly ready to launch a record-breaking 218 million euros ($256 million) move for Neymar.

Liverpool down Hertha as Coutinho gets captain’s armband

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Berlin (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp enjoyed a perfect return to Germany on Saturday, as Liverpool beat Hertha Berlin 3-0 in a pre-season friendly with summer signings Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah both on the scoresheet.

The game also saw Philippe Coutinho, who has been heavily linked with a $93 million move to Barcelona, handed the captain’s armband, and the Liverpool fans gave the Brazilian playmaker a rousing reception.

Football: Turkey’s Irtegun freed after coup probe detention

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Istanbul (AFP) – Turkish authorities on Saturday freed international footballer Bekir Irtegun a day after detaining him on suspicion of links to a group blamed for last year’s failed coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Irtegun, who played for six years for Fenerbahce before joining Istanbul rivals Basaksehir in 2015, had been taken into police custody as part of the investigation into the group of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Sanchez not for sale, insists Arsenal’s Wenger

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London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger has reiterated his determination to hold onto Alexis Sanchez and slammed claims the unsettled Arsenal star’s dose of the flu was part of his plan to engineer a transfer.

Sanchez has just one year left on his Arsenal contract after refusing to sign the club’s offer of a new deal and it is believed the Chile forward wants to move to a team in the Champions League.

Netherlands ease past Sweden into Euro semi-finals

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema handed hosts the Netherlands a 2-0 win over Sweden and a spot in the women’s Euro semi-finals on Saturday.

Euro semi-finalists from 2009, the Netherlands will face either England or France in Enschede on August 3.

Walcott shines as Arsenal trounce Benfica

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London (AFP) – Theo Walcott gave Arsene Wenger a timely reminder of his qualities with a brace in Arsenal’s 5-2 friendly thrashing of Benfica as Alexandre Lacazette made his Gunners home debut in the Emirates Cup on Saturday.

Walcott is in danger of being reduced to a fringe figure following a disappointing campaign that ended with the England winger being left out of Arsenal’s FA Cup final win against Chelsea in May.

Serb Sredojevic quits as Uganda coach in pay row

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Kampala (AFP) – Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic resigned as Uganda coach on Saturday, six months after leading the team to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 38 years.

The 47-year-old Serbian confirmed he was terminating his contract with the Cranes in a row over unpaid salary allowances totalling 216 million shillings ($64,000).

Leipzig’s Hasenhuttl warns off Keita admirers

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London (AFP) – RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has warned clubs interested in Naby Keita that there is no chance the Guinea midfielder will be sold this season.

Keita was the subject of two recent rejected bids from Liverpool and Leipzig have confirmed they turned down an offer of £67 million ($87 million) from an unnamed club.

Bizarre own goal steals show as Inter Milan beat Chelsea

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Singapore (AFP) – Inter Milan’s Geoffrey Kondogbia entered the annals of sporting infamy with a remarkable own goal but the Italian side held on to win 2-1 and condemn Chelsea to a successive pre-season defeat on Saturday in Singapore.

Inter led by two goals from the impressive Ivan Perisic and Stevan Jovetic, before what was supposed to be a routine backpass from substitute Kondogbia looped over his own goalkeeper and nestled into the top corner from fully 40 yards, stunning the crowd of over 32,000.

Bizarre own goal steals show as Inter beat Chelsea

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Singapore (AFP) – Inter Milan’s Geoffrey Kondogbia entered the annals of sporting infamy with a remarkable own goal but the Italian side held on to win 2-1 and condemn Chelsea to a successive pre-season defeat on Saturday in Singapore.

Inter led by two goals from Ivan Perisic and Stevan Jovetic, before what was supposed to be a routine backpass from substitute Kondogbia looped over his own goalkeeper and nestled into the top corner of the net from fully 40 yards, stunning the crowd of over 32,000.

Football greats fall foul of Spanish taxman

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Madrid (AFP) – From Barcelona’s star striker Lionel Messi to his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, many football stars have fallen foul of the Spanish taxman over the past few years.

Ronaldo appears in court on Monday, accused of evading 14.7 million euros ($17.2 million) in tax.

Ronaldo to start football season in court

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo faces a brutal return to Madrid before starting pre-season training with Real Madrid as he is expected in court on Monday, accused of evading millions in taxes.

The 32-year-old - the world’s highest paid athlete according to Forbes magazine - will be questioned by a court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of Madrid where he lives, over allegations he evaded 14.

Real captain Ramos would welcome teen star Mbappe

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Miami (AFP) – Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says French teen striker Kylian Mbappe will become a welcome addition for the reigning Champions League and La Liga champions should he decide to leave Monaco.

The 18 year-old forward is wanted by Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, with the Spanish giants poised to make him one of the most expensive players of all time in a move that could cost around $211 million (180 million euros).

Football: US fans show appetite for European stars

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Landover (United States) (AFP) – Having paid nearly $500 for a ticket to watch his team in a pre-season friendly against Barcelona, Manchester United fan Vikrom Ahuja could hardly contain his excitement.

“It’s a lifetime opportunity because you’re not going to see this kind of opposition in the US,” said Ahuja as he savored the prospect of seeing Jose Mourinho’s side take on the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at a stadium in the suburbs of Washington.

Spain won’t budge from possession game, says Losada

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Epe (Netherlands) (AFP) – Spain will stick to their possession-based game despite almost missing out on the women’s Euro knock-out stages after group losses to England and Scotland, midfielder Vicky Losada said.

Tipped as one of the favourites to win the women’s Euro, Spain were one goal away from elimination as a 1-0 defeat to minnows Scotland on Thursday, coupled with a 2-0 defeat to England, meant they squeaked through to the knock-out stages only on goal difference.

Football: Neymar set for China trip as speculation mounts

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Shanghai (AFP) – The intrigue surrounding Neymar’s future at Barcelona took another twist when the Brazilian star said Saturday that he would be in Shanghai on Monday.

It comes a day after a major event organiser in China said a meet-and-greet with the forward on Monday in Shanghai was off because he and his advisers were busy with transfer business.

Chelsea boss Conte’s weight-loss secret: touchline passion

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Singapore (AFP) – Passionate Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he loses up to three kilos during games because of his touchline antics and often feels “destroyed” afterwards.

The 47-year-old Italian made a stunning impact in guiding Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in England after arriving last year.

Chelsea boss Conte’s weight-loss secret? Touchline passion

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Singapore (AFP) – Passionate Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he loses up to three kilos during games because of his touchline antics and often feels “destroyed” afterwards.

The 47-year-old Italian made a stunning impact in guiding Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in England after arriving last year.

Training spat has Barcelona pals asking Neymar to stay

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Miami (AFP) – Barcelona star teammates said Friday they have begged Neymar to resist the temptation of moving to Paris St Germain after a training ground altercation with new signing Nelsen Semedo.

The French giants are supposedly ready to launch a record-breaking $256 million (218 million euros) move for Neymar, sparking exit fears as the Spanish club prepared for a Saturday “El Clasico” friendly matchup with Real Madrid at Miami.

Neymar talk to one side as PSG, Monaco clash

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Tangiers (Morocco) (AFP) – Neymar will not be there but Kylian Mbappe will be as Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain meet in the Champions Trophy, the traditional curtain-raiser to the French season, in Morocco on Saturday evening.

They have been the two biggest transfer sagas of the summer in Europe, with PSG ready to break the bank for Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar while Monaco try to resist interest in their teen sensation Mbappe.

Denmark eye football fairytale against Germany

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Denmark are hoping for a fairytale against holders Germany while hosts the Netherlands are bracing for a tough Swedish defence as the women’s Euro quarter-finals kick off on Saturday.

“Every Danish person knows Hans Christian Andersen, the great fairytale writer, and we want to write one tomorrow,” Denmark coach Nils Nielsen said on Friday ahead of the game in Rotterdam.

Neymar talk to one side as football clubs PSG, Monaco clash

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Tangiers (Morocco) (AFP) – Neymar will not be there but Kylian Mbappe will be as Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain meet in the Champions Trophy, the traditional curtain-raiser to the French season, in Morocco on Saturday evening.

They have been the two biggest transfer sagas of the summer in Europe, with PSG ready to break the bank for Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar while Monaco try to resist interest in their teen sensation Mbappe.

Premier League Football pair Fernando, Feghouli set for Galatasaray

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Istanbul (AFP) – Istanbul giants Galatasaray have agreed terms to sign Brazilian midfielder Fernando from Manchester City and Algerian international Sofiane Feghouli from West Ham United, Turkish media reports said on Friday.

Both English Premier League players would arrive in Istanbul on Monday at the latest and then join Galatasaray’s pre-season camp in Austria after medical tests and a signing ceremony, the NTV Spor website said.

Football: Turkish international Irtegun detained over ‘coup links’

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Istanbul (AFP) – Turkish authorities on Friday detained international footballer Bekir Irtegun on suspicion of links to the group blamed for the July 15, 2016 failed coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Irtegun, who played for six years for Fenerbahce before joining Istanbul rivals Basaksehir in 2015, was detained as part of the investigation into the group of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

With dueling coaching hires, the battle between LAFC and LA Galaxy is on

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The news dropped like dueling sledgehammers on Wednesday morning: First, the LA Galaxy announced that they had fired manager Curt Onalfo and replaced him with Sigi Schmid.

Then, not two hours later, the Galaxy’s new cross-town rivals answered. LAFC announced that it had landed former U.

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for July 18-23, 2017

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MLS returned from its summer break with Orlando City SC taking on Atlanta United on ESPN last Friday night. The match drew 338,000 viewers, up 13% from ESPN’s previous Friday night broadcast on June 30 and a strong number for MLS on the network. The next day, however, Minnesota United’s match against the New York Red Bulls broadcast on ESPN was the networks second least-watched match of the season with only 222,000 viewers.

Women’s Euro Championship minnows Austria spark excitement at home

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Wageningen (Netherlands) (AFP) – Newcomers Austria have comfortably sailed into the women’s Euro quarter-finals past France, Iceland and Switzerland, turning women’s football into a top interest in their country which was fairly indifferent a month ago.

“That’s insane, incredible,” said midfielder Sarah Zadrazil, who scored Austria’s first in a 3-0 rout of Iceland on Wednesday which sealed the historic Group C win.

Chelsea backlash a lesson for clubs chasing China cash

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Hong Kong (AFP) – Kenedy’s offensive social media posts about China sparked calls for his club Chelsea to be banned from the country and were a spectacular own goal in a lucrative market.

Experts say that while the controversy will have only limited impact on Chelsea’s popularity in China, it serves as a warning to European clubs chasing riches in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Struggling Los Angeles Galaxy acquire Jonathan Dos Santos

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Los Angeles (AFP) – The Los Angeles Galaxy, mired in a five-game Major League Soccer losing streak, on Thursday announced the signing of Mexico international Jonathan Dos Santos.

Dos Santos’ move from Spain’s Villarreal had been rumored for several days.

The official announcement came hours after the Galaxy announced they had sacked coach Curt Onalfo and replaced him with former Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid.

El Clasico fever grips Miami – at $900 a ticket

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Miami (AFP) – The new La Liga season is still weeks away, but try telling Miami that Saturday night’s El Clasico at a sold-out Hard Rock Stadium is meaningless.

For the first time in over 35 years, Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet on foreign soil. It’s also the first encounter between the two sides in the United States.

Neymar, the darling of starless Brazil

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Brazilian golden boy Neymar is riding high on a wave of unprecedented popularity at home where a year ahead of the World Cup news of his possible transfer has become an issue of national debate.

Reportedly pondering a 222-million euro ($256.8 million) move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona, the Brazil captain showed this week why the French club would be willing to pay a world-record price to get him.

Chelsea in transfer talks ‘every day’, manager Conte says

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Singapore (AFP) – Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said on Friday that he holds talks “every day” with club bosses about transfer targets as the Premier League champions race to further bolster their squad.

The Italian is set to give big-money signing Alvaro Morata his first Chelsea start against Inter Milan in a pre-season friendly in Singapore on Saturday and has also splashed out this summer on the defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

English Championship will remain on beIN SPORTS TV in US after contract renewed

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The 2017/18 Championship season will be televised in the United States on beIN SPORTS after the broadcaster renewed its contract with the English Football League (EFL).

The new season of England’s second division kicks off on Friday, August 4 with Sunderland against Derby County, which will be shown live on beIN SPORTS Connect and fuboTV.

Neymar promo event off amid transfer talk: China organisers

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Shanghai (AFP) – A promotional event in China featuring Neymar was cancelled Friday because he and his advisers are “busy with transfer issues”, organisers said, amid frenzied speculation about a record-breaking move.

The Brazilian star forward, who is reportedly mulling a huge 222-million-euro ($260 million) move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona, was due to meet fans at a luxury Shanghai hotel on Monday.

Rooney happy to get Everton homecoming out of way

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Liverpool (AFP) – Wayne Rooney basked in a successful and emotional homecoming with Everton on Thursday but admitted that he is glad the occasion is now behind him.

The former England and Manchester United captain made his second debut for his boyhood club in their laboured 1-0 Europa League qualifying first leg tie against the Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok.

Rooney returns in underwhelming Everton win

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Liverpool (AFP) – Wayne Rooney made his second competitive ‘debut’ for his boyhood club Everton on Thursday, as Leighton Baines grabbed a 1-0 Europa League third-round qualifying victory over Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok.

The former Manchester United and England captain had revealed in the build-up to the match at Goodison Park that it had been a lifelong ambition to play for Everton in Europe.

England, Spain through after women’s Euro thrillers

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Deventer (Netherlands) (AFP) – Toni Duggan and Nikita Parris gave England a 2-1 win over Portugal, sending the Lionesses to the women’s Euro quarter-finals alongside Spain who lost 1-0 to Scotland on Thursday.

Duggan opened the score in Tilburg on seven minutes following a howler by Portuguese keeper Patricia Morais, who sent her clearance to the England striker and then watched as Duggan chipped the ball over her into the net.

Bob Bradley to coach MLS newcomers LAFC

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Bob Bradley will return to the Major League Soccer as the first coach of the expansion Los Angeles FC, which is set to debut in the North American league in 2018.

The 59-year-old Bradley hasn’t coached in MLS since leaving Chivas USA to become head coach of the United States in 2006, a job he held until the summer of 2011.

MLS needs to change to compete in light of International Champions Cup and MP & Silva: World Soccer Talk Podcast

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World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 37, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• The impact that the International Champions Cup and a four billion dollar TV deal offer are having on MLS,

• News about as a new fantasy game from the Premier League,

• Feedback on USA’s Gold Cup win and FOX/Univision’s TV coverage,

• Plus big news for fans of Scottish soccer.

Unsettled Sanchez due back with Arsenal on Sunday

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London (AFP) – Amid persistent reports that Alexis Sanchez wants to leave Arsenal, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger says the Chile forward will return to training on Sunday.

Sanchez missed Arsenal’s pre-season tour to Australia and China while he rested after playing for his country at the Confederations Cup.

Villar resigns from FIFA and UEFA roles

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Lausanne (AFP) – Deposed Spanish football boss Angel Maria Villar, in custody on corruption charges, has resigned as vice-president of both FIFA and UEFA, the two governing bodies announced on Thursday.

The 67-year-old’s near three-decade tenure as head of the Spanish federation ended this week when he was suspended following his arrest on July 18.

Two-goal Eder helps Inter sink Bayern

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Singapore (AFP) – Eder scored two headers to lead Inter Milan to a 2-0 victory against a lacklustre Bayern Munich on Thursday in a preseason friendly game in Singapore.

There was a scare for the German champions when Franck Ribery limped off towards the end of the first half, but coach Carlo Ancelotti said later he suffered a minor ankle injury and would be back in action in days.

80,000 fans descend on Maryland for Barcelona-Manchester United ICC match

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Photo credit: Harry Cee (World Soccer Talk)

A total of 80,162 fans descended on FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland to witness Barcelona take on Manchester United in the International Champions Cup. As expected, both teams had thousands of supporters show up to cheer them on, and the lineups at kickoff did not disappoint.

Eder scores brace to help Inter sink Bayern

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Singapore (AFP) – Eder scored a brace to lead Inter Milan to a 2-0 victory against a lacklustre Bayern Munich on Thursday in a preseason friendly game in Singapore.

Bayern dominated early on but it was Inter that managed to get a goal in the eighth minute against the run of play.

An Antonio Candreva cross found 30-year-old Eder, who dispatched his header past the Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.

Neymar scores as Barcelona beat Manchester United 1-0

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Washington (AFP) – Neymar, serene amid a frenzy of transfer speculation, scored the first-half goal that gave Barcelona a 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Wednesday in an International Champions Cup friendly.

The Brazilian striker, reportedly pondering a 222-million euro ($256.

USA beat Jamaica 2-1 to win sixth CONCACAF Gold Cup

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Santa Clara (United States) (AFP) – Jordan Morris’s late strike lifted the United States to a 2-1 victory over Jamaica on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

The United States captured their sixth Gold Cup crown - one shy of Mexico’s record seven victories in the regional championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Marchisio brace lifts Juventus to 3-2 win over PSG

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Miami (AFP) – Claudio Marchisio’s second-half double was enough for Juventus to see off Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on Wednesday and send the French champions home from the United States on the back of two consecutive defeats.

The Italian international scored the goal of the game, a fiercely struck effort in the 62nd to restore Juve’s lead after PSG’s equaliser on 53 minutes.

Manchester City romp to 4-1 friendly win over Real Madrid

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City has spent big to bolster their defence this summer, but showed they will be a force to reckon with at the other end this season in a 4-1 friendly win over Real Madrid on Wednesday.

A second-half blitz in front of 93,000 fans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum saw City secure their first pre-season victory in style.

Manchester United not at Barcelona’s level, says Jose Mourinho

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Washington (AFP) – Pre-season matches against star-studded Real Madrid and Barcelona were good preparation for the rigors of the Premier League even as they demonstrated the Spanish giants’ superior level, Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho said Wednesday.

With a goal from Brazilian striker Neymar, Barcelona defeated Manchester United 1-0 on Wednesday, handing the Red Devils the first defeat of their US Tour.

Football shirts reappraised as design classics

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London (AFP) – Football shirts are not just symbols of team allegiance: the colours, designs and styles are being reappraised as icons of sartorial cool at an exhibition in London.

“The Art of the Football Shirt” takes visitors through 180 different football shirts, from instantly recognisable classics to strange strips that pushed the boundaries, and jerseys that crossed over into fashion, music and politics.

Ederson performance against Real sign of things to come – Guardiola

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Ederson will reap the rewards from thwarting European football’s most potent attacking force, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes.

City romped to a 4-1 win over Champions League holders Real Madrid in Los Angeles on Wednesday, after a second half blitz saw Guardiola’s side secure a first pre-season victory.

Spanish football chief Villar resigns from FIFA and UEFA roles

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Lausanne (AFP) – Deposed Spanish football boss Angel Maria Villar, in custody on corruption charges, has resigned as vice-president of both FIFA and UEFA, the two governing bodies announced on Thursday.

The 67-year-old’s near three-decade tenure as head of the Spanish federation ended this week when he was suspended following his arrest on July 18.

Watford keeper Gomes signs new contract

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London (AFP) – Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes signed a two-year contract extension with the Premier League club on Thursday.

Gomes’s deal was given the green light by new Watford manager Marco Silva and will keep the Brazilian at Vicarage Road until June 2019.

“Watford FC is delighted to announce that goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes has signed a new two-year deal with the club,” a club statement read.

France, Austria reach women’s Euro quarter-finals

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Rotterdam (Netherlands) (AFP) – A late Camille Abily free-kick sent 10-woman France through to the women’s Euro quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, alongside newcomers Austria who routed Iceland 3-0 on Wednesday.

In Breda, Switzerland took the lead on 19 minutes when Eve Perisset was sent off for bringing down Ramona Bachmann and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic slammed in a header from the ensuing free-kick.

No Scottish Premiership TV deal in USA means games will be available only via club websites

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With the 2017/18 Scottish Premiership season scheduled to kick off on August 5, Scotland’s top-flight soccer league looks destined to miss out on television in the United States and only be available via streaming through paid subscriptions to each club website instead.

In previous years, a few of the Scottish Premiership games were available each week on FOX Soccer 2GO as well as being televised in the morning hours on FOX Soccer Plus.

Five goal Spurs-Roma thriller entertains full house at Red Bull Arena

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Walking into Red Bull Arena, I was surprised to see how many random soccer jerseys were being worn. I’d come to watch Tottenham Hotspur play AS Roma after all, but if you’d told someone with no knowledge of the fixture to come, they’d have had a hard time telling you exactly who was playing whom.

Turkey’s football coach resigns after off-pitch troubles

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Ankara (AFP) – Turkish national team coach Fatih Terim resigned on Wednesday, the country’s football federation said, less than two weeks after he was reportedly involved in a fight at a kebab house.

“It was decided that it would be better for both sides to part ways,” the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) said.

No Real Madrid deal for Kylian Mbappe, insist Monaco

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Monaco (AFP) – Monaco said on Wednesday that no deal with Real Madrid has been reached for teenage French international striker Kylian Mbappe.

Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev also said in a press conference the principality club were in discussions with Mbappe over a new contract extension.

English club Shrewsbury closer to football safe-standing landmark

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London (AFP) – Shrewsbury have moved closer to becoming the first English club to install safe standing in their stadium nearly three decades after the Hillsborough disaster.

The third-tier League One team want to create a safe-standing area, which would have a capacity of around 500, in their Montgomery Waters Meadow arena and their application has now been approved by the Sports Ground Safety Authority.

Brad Friedel discusses his broadcast career and what makes Mauricio Pochettino so special

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Brad Friedel sat down with World Soccer Talk this week to discuss his broadcast and coaching career.

World Soccer Talk: You are one of the most decorated goalkeepers in the history of the Premier League with the most appearances – even more than the likes of Peter Schmeichel and Petr Cech.

Ross Barkley to quit Everton, says Ronald Koeman

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London (AFP) – Everton manager Ronald Koeman sparked a transfer chase for Ross Barkley on Wednesday by revealing he is “100 percent” certain the England midfielder will leave Goodison Park.

Barkley is in the final year of his Everton contract and last season he was told by Koeman he would be sold if he didn’t sign the Premier League club’s offer of a lucrative new deal.

Neymar PSG switch doubts grow in Barcelona

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Madrid (AFP) – Confusion surrounding the Neymar-Paris Saint-Germain transfer saga was rife in Barcelona on Wednesday, with the player staying silent on his future.

“Doubts, doubts and more doubts,” ran the headline on the front page of Catalan daily Sport, above a photo of the striker lost deep in thought.

Where to find USA vs. Jamaica Gold Cup Final on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. Jamaica in the Gold Cup final, you’ve come to the right place.

After defeating Costa Rica 2-0 in the semi-final, the US will battle Jamaica tonight in the final of the 2017 Gold Cup. Bruce Arena’s team is just 90 minutes away from lifting the Gold Cup.

Tottenham chairman Levy slams ‘unsustainable’ spending

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London (AFP) – Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has slammed the “unsustainable” spending of Premier League clubs during a frenzied summer transfer window.

At least £800 million ($1.04 billion, 896 million euros) has been spent by English top-flight clubs in the current transfer period and Levy believes the exorbitant spree is bad for the sport.

Premier League big guns reload as transfer arms race heats up

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London (AFP) – Premier League spending looks certain to shatter all previous records before the current transfer window closes as England’s superpowers reload in an increasingly frenzied arms race.

Fuelled by lucrative television contracts, currently worth around £8.3 billion ($10.

Home support fuels Dutch young gun Vivianne Miedema

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Zeist (Netherlands) (AFP) – After helping the Netherlands reach the women’s Euro quarter-finals, Vivianne Miedema barely stretched during training the next day, but a crowd of orange-clad onlookers greeted her loudly all the same.

The applause was much louder on Monday, when the 21-year-old striker was leaving the pitch 86 minutes into the Netherlands’ 2-1 victory over Belgium that earned the hosts a quarter-final clash against Sweden.

‘Intuition’ tells Pique Neymar will stay with Barcelona

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Washington (AFP) – Barcelona defender Gerard Pique remains convinced that Neymar will stay at Camp Nou, but said on Tuesday his opinion was based on “intuition” rather than inside knowledge.

“It’s a personal opinion from the conversation that I had with him and my intuition,” Pique said at a press conference on the eve of Barcelona’s International Champions Cup friendly against Manchester United in the US capital.

Roma withstand Tottenham fightback in 3-2 friendly win

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Harrison (United States) (AFP) – Roma withstood a dramatic, late Tottenham comeback to send the Premier League team to their first defeat of this pre-season in a bad tempered affair which ended 3-2 in remarkable fashion.

Tackles were flying in all over the pitch and Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was livid with match officials in the second half, although much of his anger would have been directed at his players who badly underperformed at Red Bull Arena.

Manchester City’s summer spending spree not over, Guardiola says

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City are “still looking” to add to their £200 million summer spending spree, although he refused to comment on the possibility of hijacking Real Madrid’s move for Kylian Mbappe.

City have been the major shoppers in the transfer market after splashing out a Premier League record total of £200m (223 million euros, $260 million) to bring Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Ederson, Danilo and Douglas Luiz to the Etihad.

Inter open to Perisic offers as United circle

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Singapore (AFP) – Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti on Wednesday gave the clearest indication yet that Ivan Perisic could leave, saying the Serie A club will listen to serious offers for the winger.

The 28-year-old Croatian international has been strongly linked with a big-money move to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, while Premier League champions Chelsea are reported to be in for Inter midfielder Antonio Candreva.

Indian Super League teams eligible for AFC Cup

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Mumbai (AFP) – Asia’s football governing body has dealt a major boost to the Indian Super League by ruling that its franchise-based teams will be eligible for the AFC Cup from next year.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement late Tuesday that the winners of the glitzy tournament, which is backed by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, will go into the continental competition’s qualifying round.

Top Chinese clubs pay debts after expulsion threat

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Shanghai (AFP) – Ten Chinese Super League clubs say they have paid off debts related to player wages, bonuses and transfers after 13 of them were threatened with expulsion.

Shanghai Shenhua, who signed Argentine striker Carlos Tevez in January on what are believed to be among the highest wages in world football, and Oscar’s Shanghai SIPG are among the top-tier clubs who say their books are now clean.

Neymar PSG switch doubts grow at Barcelona

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Madrid (AFP) – Gerard Pique has sparked panic at Barcelona after appearing to backtrack on his ‘he stays’ tweet on teammate Neymar, target of a blockbuster transfer by Paris Saint Germain.

“Doubts, doubts and more doubts,” ran the headline Wednesday on the front page of Catalan daily Sport above a photo of the striker lost deep in thought.

Bayern’s Ancelotti says decision on Sanches after pre-season

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Singapore (AFP) – Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti said Wednesday he would not be rushed into a decision about Renato Sanches’s future and they would sit down together after the pre-season.

It came after the Portuguese midfielder reportedly conceded Tuesday he was unhappy at Bayern and expressed an interest in AC Milan.

Wayne Rooney ready for ’emotional’ European debut with Everton

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London (AFP) – Wayne Rooney says he can’t wait to fulfil his childhood dream of playing for Everton in Europe in Thursday’s Europa League tie against MFK Ruzomberok.

Rooney won the Champions League and Europa League during his trophy-filled spell with Manchester United, but the visit of Slovakian side Ruzomberok to Goodison Park will still rank as one of the more memorable moments of the 31-year-old’s glittering career.

Football: Bayern won’t join transfer bidding war ‘madness’ – Hoeness

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Singapore (AFP) – Bayern Munich will not enter into a bidding war for star footballers, the German champions’ boss Uli Hoeness said, describing skyrocketing transfer prices as “madness”.

“I don’t want to buy a player for 150 or 200 million euros, I don’t want to join in such madness.

USA vs. Jamaica Gold Cup final preview, TV times and team news

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The theme for the US throughout most of this Gold Cup was that they needed to start playing much better if they wanted to win the whole thing. Well, the competition got tougher in the semi-finals and the US played their best game of the tournament, defeating Costa Rica 2-0 to advance to a record 10th Gold Cup final.

Join the official Fantasy Premier League Draft and play against World Soccer Talk readers

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For the first time ever, the Premier League has launched a Fantasy Premier League Draft game, and it’s free to play.

Many of you are already very familiar with the most popular fantasy soccer game in the world, the Fantasy Premier League (be sure to sign up for our private league if you haven’t done so already).

Lloris fears Sissoko uncertainty could impact World Cup

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New York (AFP) – France captain Hugo Lloris fears the uncertainty surrounding Moussa Sissoko’s future at Tottenham Hotspur could impact Les Bleus’ preparations for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Sissoko, who became Spurs’ record signing when he moved from Newcastle United for £30 million ($39.

Germany, Sweden into women’s Euro quarter-finals

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Holders Germany beat Russia 2-0 to set up a women’s Euro quarter-final clash with Denmark while Sweden also advanced to the knockout phase despite losing 3-2 to Italy on Tuesday.

In Utrecht, Babett Peter scored from the spot on 10 minutes and captain Dzsenifer Marozsan converted another penalty in the 56th minute to hand a dominant Germany victory.

Bailly ban ‘very harsh’: Mourinho

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Washington (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho expressed surprise Tuesday at the three-match ban that UEFA handed defender Eric Bailly on Monday.

Ivorian Bailly was sent off for violent conduct in the second leg of United’s Europa League semi-final victory over Celta Vigo in May for his part in a melee in the final minutes of a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Spanish FA chief Villar banned amid graft probe

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Madrid (AFP) – Spanish football federation president Angel Maria Villar, in custody following his arrest on corruption charges, was suspended for a year on Tuesday by the country’s sports ministry (CSD), a spokesperson told AFP.

The suspension was decided during a meeting of the CSD executive committee in Madrid, after the Spanish administrative sports tribunal opened disciplinary proceedings against Villar.

NBC Sports App authentication comes to fuboTV streaming service

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Subscribers to fuboTV, the legal streaming service in the United States, can now use their fuboTV username and password to authenticate with the NBC Sports App to watch even more programming.

The long awaited news will come as perfect timing especially for soccer fans who are looking forward to the start of the new Premier League season, which kicks off on August 11.

Maia becomes Bielsa’s 12th signing for Lille football club

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Lille (France) (AFP) – Lille continued their spending spree under new coach Marcelo Bielsa by making Brazilian midfielder Thiago Maia their 12th close-season signing on Tuesday.

The Ligue 1 outfit confirmed Maia’s arrival from Santos, with French newspaper La Voix du Nord reporting a club-record transfer fee of 14 million euros ($16.

Penalty specialist Petersen gains revenge on Norway

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Heelsum (Netherlands) (AFP) – Four years ago Denmark goalkeeper Stina Lykke Petersen left the pitch devastated after the Euro 2013 semi-final loss to Norway in a penalty shoot-out, but she earned sweet revenge on Monday.

Petersen saved a spot-kick by Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen to help Denmark win 1-0 in their final Group A game and reach the quarter-finals while consigning Norway to a premature exit.

Casemiro tight-lipped over Mbappe transfer talk

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro refused to be drawn on speculation the European champions are set to smash the world transfer record for 18-year-old Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe, but insisted the Frenchman’s arrival wouldn’t spell the end for Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid.

Hand of God goal ‘wouldn’t have stood’: Maradona on VAR

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Paris (AFP) – Argentinian great Diego Maradona accepted on Tuesday that his infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal would have been ruled out with video technology, as he backed the use of video assistant referees (VAR).

Maradona used his hand to score in Argentina’s 2-1 quarter-final victory against England during their 1986 World Cup-winning campaign, and also admitted to another crucial handball in the 1990 tournament.

Nouri out of coma, but brain damage unchanged

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Amsterdam (AFP) – Stricken Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri, who suffered serious, lasting brain damage after collapsing during a friendly, has been transferred out of intensive care, and can breathe on his own, the club said Tuesday.

The 20-year-old is being cared for at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, where he was brought on July 14 from a hospital in Austria.

Real Madrid clinch world record deal for Mbappe: report

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Paris (AFP) – Real Madrid have reportedly reached a world record deal in principle to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for 180 million euros ($210m, £160m), closing one of the hottest transfer sagas of the summer.

Spanish sports daily Marca, citing sources close to the negotiations, said the gifted teenage striker who shot to stardom last season is expected to join Real “in the next few days” on a six year deal.

Simeone extends Atletico contract to 2019 – report

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has extended his contract with the capital club until 2019, according to a report by Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

The 47-year-old Argentinian had shortened his contract from 2020 to 2018 after his side’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last year.

Arsene Wenger ready to gamble with Alexis Sanchez

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Arsenal potentially selling one of their stars is nothing new for the north London club. From 2007 to 2012, the Gunners let go of Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, and Robin van Persie at a time in which neither the team nor the fans really wanted the players to leave.

Chelsea’s Kenedy sent home over China slurs – Conte

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London (AFP) – Kenedy has been sent home from Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Asia as punishment for his offensive social media posts about China, team boss Antonio Conte said Tuesday.

The Brazilian defender was axed from Chelsea’s tour as the Premier League champions fought to avoid further embarrassment after the social media slurs sparked a furious response in China, a major market for European teams.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 20 of the 2017 season

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Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was very busy as MLS comes out of the Gold Cup group play break. In a nice change, there were no terrible reported attendances for the seven midweek matches. DC United had a disappointing showing over the weekend given they had rain. Meanwhile, New England Revolution opened up some extra seats for the LA Galaxy’s visit as did Vancouver for its Cascadia Cup game versus Portland.

Morata’s Chelsea debut upstaged by Bayern’s Mueller

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Singapore (AFP) – Big-money signing Alvaro Morata made his debut for Premier League champions Chelsea on Tuesday but was upstaged by two-goal Thomas Mueller as Bayern Munich won 3-2 in Singapore.

The Spanish international striker signed for Chelsea from Real Madrid in a deal reported to be worth up to 80 million euros ($92m) last week, and climbed off the bench with about 30 minutes remaining of the match.

What MP & Silva’s $4 billion TV deal could mean for lower leagues of American soccer

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On Monday, Sports Business Journal reported that Riccardo Silva on behalf of MP & Silva had approached MLS about a $4 billion broadcast rights deal spanning the years 2023-2032 if the league agreed to institute promotion and relegation. MLS has rejected the proposal according to SBJ. While we speculated yesterday that perhaps they would come back to the table, league sources have indicated to me that MLS and its marketing arm Soccer United Marketing (SUM) have a policy of not selling domestic broadcast rights to third parties.

Real Madrid ‘reach Kylian Mbappe deal with Monaco’

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid have reached agreement to sign Kylian Mbappe from Monaco for a world record 180 million euros ($210m, £160m), Spanish media reported on Tuesday.

Sports daily Marca, citing sources close to the negotiations, said the teenage striker is expected to joining Real “in the next few days” on a six-year deal.

Cristiano Ronaldo: ‘I’m staying at Real Madrid’

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo has told a Spanish newspaper he is staying put at Real Madrid to plunder more silverware, ending weeks of speculation about his future.

“To win important trophies with my club and the personal honours last season was brilliant, to do it again would be nice,” Ronaldo told the sports daily Marca on Tuesday in an interview from Shanghai.

Chelsea star Kenedy sent home over China slurs — reports

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London (AFP) – Kenedy has been sent home from Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Asia as punishment for his offensive social media posts about China, according to reports on Tuesday.

Brazilian defender Kenedy was axed from Chelsea’s high-profile tour as the Premier League champions fought to avoid further embarrassment after the social media slurs sparked a furious response in China.

MLS will hurt growth of US soccer by rejecting $4 billion TV offer and promotion/relegation

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If ever there needed to be evidence that MLS is completely entrenched in its single entity model for soccer, Monday’s revelation that it rejected a $4 billion TV deal from MP & Silva was it.

Imagine for a minute how an injection of $4 billion in cash could transform the United States into a powerhouse of soccer.

Jamaica aim to slay another giant, face US in Gold Cup final

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Jamaica are out to end North America’s stranglehold on the CONCACAF Gold Cup when they take on the favored United States Wednesday in the final at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

The arrival of Bruce Arena’s men in the title match of the regional championship for North and Central America is no surprise.

Cassano retiring – again, says wife ‘was wrong’

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Rome (AFP) – Former Italy international striker Antonio Cassano confirmed his retirement for the second time in a week on Monday, bringing an eventful end to a colourful career.

The 35-year initially announced he was retiring last Tuesday, before backtracking on his decision just hours after breaking the news to his Verona team-mates.

Netherlands, Denmark reach women’s Euro quarters

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Deventer (Netherlands) (AFP) – Hosts Netherlands beat neighbours Belgium 2-1 to advance to the women’s Euro quarter-finals alongside Denmark, who edged 2013 runners-up Norway 1-0 in Group A on Monday.

In Tilburg, Sherida Spitse converted a penalty - her second in two games - in the 27th minute to put the Netherlands ahead after Maud Coutereels had brought down Jackie Groenen in the box.

West Ham snap up Mexico football star Hernandez

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London (AFP) – West Ham have completed the signing of former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez for £16 million ($20.8 million, 17.9 million euros), the Premier League club said on Monday.

A deal to bring Mexico’s record goalscorer to London Stadium was hammered out several days ago.

MLS’ rejection of $4 billion TV offer from MP & Silva could be beginning of saga

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MLS has quietly rebuffed a $4 billion offer from MP & Silva that would have quadrupled the broadcast rights fee the league currently receives from its deals with FOX Sports, Univision and ESPN, according to a story in Sports Business Journal. The deal came with one catch, which was too much for MLS to absorb - the institution of a promotion/relegation system within the top two divisions of American soccer.

Crystal Palace wrap up deal for Riedewald

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London (AFP) – Crystal Palace completed the signing of Dutch international defender Jairo Riedewald on a five-year deal from Ajax on Monday for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club announced.

Riedewald will be reunited with new Palace manager Frank de Boer, who handed the 20-year-old his professional debut in 2013 while in charge of the Amsterdam club.

Five things to know about defender Benjamin Mendy

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Paris (AFP) – Five things on Benjamin Mendy, who signed a five-year contract to join Manchester City from Monaco on Monday to make him the world’s most expensive defender:

#BlueMendy – New Order

Fans of Manchester band New Order will have been tickled to see the witty #BlueMendy hashtag the world’s most expensive defender posted on a video he tweeted Monday telling City fans he’d see them soon.

Manchester United’s Bailly banned for Super Cup against Real

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London (AFP) – Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will miss next month’s European Super Cup against Real Madrid after UEFA handed the Ivorian a three-match European ban on Monday.

Bailly was sent off for violent conduct in the second leg of United’s Europa League semi-final victory over Celta Vigo in May for his part in a melee in the final minutes of a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 20 of the 2017 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 20 of the 2017 MLS season.

1. Atlanta Are Cup Contenders

Atlanta United got what is arguably the best win of their expansion season on Friday night, beating Orlando City 1-0 in Florida on a stunning late goal from Hector Villalba.

Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy completes record Man City move

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London (AFP) – Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy on Monday signed a mega five-year contract with Manchester City making him the world’s most expensive defender.

The 23-year-old, who joined the French champions from Marseille last summer, has agreed a deal reported to be worth a record £52 million (58 million euros, $67 million) for a defender.

Manchester United edge Real Madrid on penalty kicks

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Santa Clara (United States) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho has challenged Anthony Martial to produce the goods on a more consistent basis after the Manchester United frontman caught the eye against Real Madrid.

Martial produced a scintillating weaving run to set up Jesse Lingard’s opening goal in United’s 1-1 draw against Real in the International Champions Cup at Santa Clara, California, on Sunday, albeit the French international blazed over from the spot in the penalty shootout that followed the draw.

Jamaicans stun Mexico to reach CONCACAF Gold Cup final with USA

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Kemar Lawrence scored in the 88th minute to give Jamaica a shocking 1-0 upset of defending champion Mexico on Sunday in a CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final match.

The 24-year-old fullback for Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls expertly curled a left-footed free kick around the Mexico wall and just under the crossbar to deliver Jamaica a stunner at the Rose Bowl.

Jamaicans stun Mexico, book CONCACAF Gold Cup final with USA

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Kemar Lawrence scored in the 88th minute to give Jamaica a shocking 1-0 upset of defending champion Mexico on Sunday in a CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final match.

The 24-year-old fullback for Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls expertly curled a left-footed free kick around the Mexico wall and just under the crossbar to deliver Jamaica a stunner at the Rose Bowl.

Spain’s Cejudo joins Australia’s Wanderers

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Sydney (AFP) – Winger Alvaro Cejudo has become the second Spanish signing for the Western Sydney Wanderers ahead of the next Australian A-League season, the club said on Monday.

Cejudo, 33, joins the former Asian Champions League winners from Real Betis as the club’s second marquee signing alongside striker and former Osasuna teammate Oriol Riera.

Pedro suffered multiple fractures – Conte 

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Singapore (AFP) – Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said Monday that forward Pedro sustained “multiple fractures” to his face after colliding with Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.

The 29-year-old Spaniard was taken to hospital with a bloodied face after Ospina flew into him while clearing a ball with two fists during the Blues’ 3-0 pre-season win over their London rivals in Beijing on Saturday.

Monaco’s Mendy completes record Man City move

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London (AFP) – Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy has signed a mega five-year contract with Manchester City, the Premier League club announced on Monday.

The 23-year-old, who joined the French champions from Marseille last summer, has agreed a deal reported to be worth a record £52 million (58 million euros, $67 million) for a defender.

Manchester United edges Real Madrid on penalty kicks

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Santa Clara (United States) (AFP) – Anthony Martial offered Jose Mourinho a timely reminder of his attacking prowess Sunday despite missing from the spot in Manchester United’s penalty shootout victory over Real Madrid.

After a hugely impressive debut campaign at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal, Martial struggled to consistently produce the goods under Mourinho last season - prompting speculation throughout the summer that the French international could depart.

Neymar staying at Barcelona, says teammate Pique

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Washington (AFP) – Brazilian superstar striker Neymar will stay with Barcelona, according to teammate Gerard Pique, who posted a Twitter message on the striker’s status Sunday.

Spanish international defender Pique indicated the South American maestro would continue at Camp Nou by tweeting a photo of Neymar with the caption “He’s staying.

England sink Spain to close in on women’s Euro quarters

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – Fran Kirby and Jodie Taylor handed England a 2-0 win over Spain in a game marred by heavy rain in Breda on Sunday, to make it back-to-back victories at the women’s Euro tournament.

Earlier in the day, Carolina Mendes and substitute Ana Leite gave Portugal a 2-1 win over Scotland in a clash of Euro newcomers in Rotterdam.

Portugal beat Scotland to boost women’s Euro last-eight hopes

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – Carolina Mendes and substitute Ana Leite gave Portugal a 2-1 win over Scotland in a clash of newcomers at the women’s European championships in Rotterdam on Sunday.

Mendes scored against the run of play on 27 minutes after a cross from Diana Silva which Scotland defender Vaila Barsley comically failed to clear.

Chelsea apologise ‘to Chinese people’ after Kenedy slur

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London (AFP) – Chelsea apologised “to Chinese people” on Sunday after their Brazilian full-back Kenedy posted two videos on Instagram insulting the Asian powerhouse which is also one of the club’s biggest markets.

Kenedy, 21, has been disciplined and reprimanded by the Premier League champions after posting the videos, one of which contained a profanity and the other featured a sleeping security guard accompanied by the words: “Wake up China.

Record-breaking 82,000 fans attend Barcelona-Juventus International Champions Cup game

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In front of a record-breaking 82,104 fans - the most ever for a soccer game in New Jersey, Barcelona saw off Juventus 2–1 in an exciting International Champions Cup match at MetLife Stadium Saturday night featuring two quality first-half goals from Neymar.

Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini scored a towering header to halve the lead for Juventus but Barcelona’s Brazilian superstar stole the show.

Neymar dazzles as Barcelona down Juventus

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East Rutherford (United States) (AFP) – Neymar gave Barcelona fans a dazzling reminder of what they could be about to lose on Saturday, scoring twice as the Spanish giants defeated Juventus 2-1 in a pre-season friendly.

The 25-year-old Brazilian superstar is at the centre of frenzied speculation linking him to a gargantuan, world record 222-million-euro ($256.

De Gea ‘guaranteed’ to stay at United: Mourinho

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Santa Clara (United States) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho has given a “guarantee” that David De Gea will stay at Manchester United this season, despite the long-running saga over a potential move to Real Madrid.

Transfer speculation over De Gea returning to hometown club Real has stretched on for the last two years, ever since the goalkeeper was a whisker away from heading to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2015.

Spurs open pre-season with 4-2 friendly win over PSG

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Orlando (AFP) – Harry Kane’s late penalty helped Tottenham Hotspur start their pre-season preparations in emphatic fashion as French champions Paris St Germain imploded in Orlando.

PSG were reduced to 10 men just moments into the second half when German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who had endured an awful first 45 minutes, was sent off for handballing outside of the box.

Salvadoran football players banned after biting incidents

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Henry Romero received a six-game ban and Darwin Ceren for three on Saturday for “anti-sporting” behavior in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match in which they bit US players.

Los Cuscatlecos defender Romero bit Jozy Altidore on the back in El Salvador’s 2-0 Gold Cup quarter-final loss to the United States and also grabbed the US forward’s nipple and twisted it.

Coutinho bid a waste of time, Klopp tells Barca

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Hong Kong (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told Barcelona they are wasting their time trying to sign Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho - no matter the offer.

Klopp has already rejected a $93 million bid for Coutinho, who scored a superb winner in Liverpool’s 2-1 Premier League Asia Trophy victory over Leicester City in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Dempsey milestone as US down Costa Rica to reach football Gold Cup final

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Clint Dempsey’s milestone goal sealed the United States’ 2-0 victory over Costa Rica on Saturday in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Dallas, Texas.

In Wednesday’s final, the United States will face either defending champions Mexico or Jamaica - who face off on Sunday in Pasadena, California.

Danilo completes Man City move

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London (AFP) – Real Madrid right-back Danilo completed his move to Manchester City on Sunday, the Brazilian joining Pep Guardiola’s Premier League giants on a five-year contract.

The 26-year-old will now link up with City on their pre-season tour of the United States after agreeing personal terms and passing his medical.

France held by Austria, Swiss edge Iceland at Euro

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Amandine Henry’s second-half header rescued a 1-1 draw for title contenders France against women’s European Championship newcomers Austria in the Netherlands on Saturday.

Captain Lara Dickenmann and Ramona Bachmann scored as Switzerland recovered from a goal down to beat Iceland 2-1 in the earlier game.

Ronaldo will remain Real player ‘2-3 more years’, says Zidane

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo will be remain a Real Madrid player for “the next 2-3 years”, coach Zinedine Zidane said Saturday, ending talk the Bernabeu superstar might depart for Manchester United.

On the eve of Real’s pre-season friendly against United at Santa Clara, California, Zidane spoke in Los Angeles about the 32-year-old Portuguese forward who is currently on vacation.

Real Madrid boss Zidane confirms Danilo ‘gone’

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Saturday that Brazilian right-back Danilo is no longer with the Champions League trophy-holders, with Manchester City apparently set to benefit from his Bernabeu departure.

On the eve of Real’s pre-season friendly against English Premier League side Manchester United at Santa Clara, California, Zidane spoke in Los Angeles about changes to the Spanish giants, which include striker Alvaro Morata’s Friday transfer to English champions Chelsea.

Switzerland edge Iceland at women’s Euro football

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Captain Lara Dickenmann and Ramona Bachmann scored as Switzerland recovered from a goal down to beat Iceland 2-1 at the women’s Euro in the Netherlands on Saturday.

Iceland took the lead on 33 minutes as Fanndis Fridriksdottir beat Gaelle Thalmann in the Swiss goal with a low left-footed strike.

Stoke’s Arnautovic in £25m move to West Ham

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London (AFP) – Stoke City forward Marko Arnautovic is to join Premier League rivals West Ham United in a move potentially worth £25 million ($32 million, 28 million euros), both clubs announced Saturday.

“West Ham United are delighted to announce the club-record signing of Austria attacker Marko Arnautovic,” the Hammers said on their website.

Pele’s son returns to prison

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Sao Paulo (AFP) – The son of Brazilian football legend Pele will return to prison after his appeal against a 13-year sentence for laundering drug-trafficking money was rejected, local authorities said on Saturday.

Edson “Edinho” Cholbi do Nascimento, 46, turned himself into a police station in Sao Paulo on Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Santos police told AFP.

Afghan-born Dane Nadim says sport key to opening closed doors

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Heelsum (Netherlands) (AFP) – Having fled her native Afghanistan with her family as a child, Nadia Nadim has found a new home in Denmark, whose shirt she is wearing at the women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands.

The 29-year-old striker with the Portland Thorns in the US National Women’s Soccer League left her home with her mother and four sisters in 2000, after her father had been murdered by the Taliban.

Coutinho stunner gives Liverpool Hong Kong win

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Hong Kong (AFP) – A moment of Philippe Coutinho magic lifted Liverpool to a 2-1 victory over Leicester City in the final of the preseason Premier League Asia Trophy on Saturday.

With Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp rejecting a big-money offer from Spanish giants Barcelona for Coutinho earlier this week, the mercurial Brazilian underlined his important to the Reds with a flash of individual brilliance in Hong Kong.

Where to find USA vs. Costa Rica Gold Cup on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. Costa Rica in the Gold Cup semifinal, you’ve come to the right place.

Here we go, the United States face Costa Rica in a must-see Gold Cup semi-final to determine who will advance to the final to play either Mexico or Jamaica on Wednesday.

Five things on Alvaro Morata

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London (AFP) – Five things on Alvaro Morata, after the Spanish international striker signed for English champions Chelsea from Champions League holders Real Madrid on Friday for a deal reported to be worth up to 80 million euros ($92.2m):

Decent proposal

Morata possesses a flamboyant side as he revealed when he proposed to his sweetheart Alice Campello.

No signings, no problem says Tottenham playmaker Eriksen

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Orlando (AFP) – Christian Eriksen is adamant Tottenham Hotspur’s lack of action in the transfer market this summer will not hamper manager Mauricio Pochettino’s push for the Premier League title.

While Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all spent vast amounts in the last few weeks, Tottenham have brought in no fresh faces to boost a squad who’ve gone close to landing the championship for the past two campaigns.

Football: Pedro bloodied as Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-0

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Beijing (AFP) – Chelsea crushed Arsenal 3-0 in a preseason game in Beijing on Saturday but the friendly turned ugly as Pedro left the field with a bloodied face after a big collision with David Ospina.

The injury scare was followed by a two-goal performance by Chelsea’s Belgian forward Michy Batshuayi before a crowd of 55,618 people at the Bird’s Nest in the Chinese capital.

Football: Picture this! Pensive Neymar stirs renewed PSG fever

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Paris (AFP) – Neymar’s decision to post a photo of himself in thoughtful contemplation sparked a fresh wave of speculation that he is on the verge of sealing a world record 222-million-euro ($256.8 million) move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Instagram picture, even accompanied by a matching emoji, shows the 25-year-old Brazilian superstar stretched out on the pitch with his chin resting on his left hand.

USA vs. Costa Rica Gold Cup semifinal preview, TV times and team news

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The US has made its way into the semi-finals of the Gold Cup, but if they want to win the whole thing or even advance to the final they are going to need to play much better than they have thus far in the tournament. Many thought that with the addition of the regulars like Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley that the US would basically steamroll El Salvador.

Barca manager Valverde dismisses talk of Neymar move

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New York (AFP) – Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde swatted down talk of star striker Neymar departing for a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, dismissing “rumors” Friday and saying the squad wants him to stay.

Amid reports Neymar’s future at the Camp Nou is in doubt, Valverde says the Brazil international is beloved and wanted at Barca for years to come.

Germany edge Italy, Sweden sink Russia at women’s Euro

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Deventer (Netherlands) (AFP) – Babett Peter’s second-half penalty edged defending champions Germany to a 2-1 victory over 10-woman Italy at the women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands on Friday.

In the other Group B game, captain Lotta Schelin and Stina Blackstenius powered Sweden to a 2-0 win over Russia.

Neymar ‘the future of Barca’, says Mascherano

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New York (AFP) – Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano calls Brazilian star Neymar the future of the Spanish giants, telling ESPN on Friday that he hopes the 25-year-old striker stays with Barca for years to come.

Neymar’s future at the Camp Nou is in question amid reports the Brazil international could be set for a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

US plays Costa Rica, Mexico meets Jamaica in Gold Cup semis

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Defending champion Mexico faces Jamaica and host United States meets 2014 World Cup quarter-finalist Costa Rica in weekend semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Bruce Arena’s US squad is on a 12-match unbeaten run since he replaced Jurgen Klinsmann as coach with seven wins and five drawn, but figures to get a tough test from the Ticos on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, Texas.

Sweden sink Russia at women’s Euro

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Deventer (Netherlands) (AFP) – Captain Lotta Schelin and Stina Blackstenius powered Sweden to a 2-0 win over Russia at the women’s European Championship in the Netherlands on Friday.

Schelin scored Sweden’s opening goal on 22 minutes in Deventer, heading in a superb free-kick taken by Magdalena Ericsson.

Morata completes Chelsea move, targets football silverware

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London (AFP) – Premier League champions Chelsea completed the signing of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on a five-year-deal on Friday in a deal reported to be worth up to 80 million euros ($92.2 million).

“I am so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club.

Morata completes Chelsea move, targets silverware

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London (AFP) – Premier League champions Chelsea completed the signing of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on a five-year-deal on Friday in a deal reported to be worth up to 80 million euros ($92.2 million).

“I am so happy to be here. It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club.

Picture this! Pensive Neymar stirs renewed PSG fever

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Paris (AFP) – Neymar’s decision to post a photo of himself in thoughtful contemplation sparked a fresh wave of speculation that he is on the verge of sealing a world record 222-million-euro ($256.8 million) move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Instagram picture, even accompanied by a matching emoji, shows the 25-year-old Brazilian superstar stretched out on the pitch with his chin resting on his left hand.

Chelsea boss Conte praises experienced Morata

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Beijing (AFP) – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte marvelled Friday at the “crazy” transfer fees demanded for players, though he praised 80-million-euro ($92.2-million) newcomer Alvaro Morata as a young but experienced striker with a bright future.

The Italian coach said Morata, 24, will be a “first choice” player for his squad in the upcoming Premier League season, a day after Real Madrid and Chelsea announced his transfer.

Stoke snap up Zouma on loan from Chelsea

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London (AFP) – Stoke City have secured the signing of Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma on a season-long loan deal, they announced on Friday.

The French centre-back is believed to have turned down a host of sides from around Europe, and has opted for the West Midlands club after completing a medical at the Potters’ Clayton Wood training complex.

Chilean international Isla joins Fenerbahce

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Istanbul (AFP) – Istanbul giants Fenerbahce on Friday announced that Chilean international defender Mauricio Isla was joining the side on a three-year deal.

“Agreement has been reached in all areas,” the club said in a statement, adding that the player would be formally unveiled in the coming days.

Football: Chelsea boss Conte praises experienced Morata

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Beijing (AFP) – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte marvelled Friday at the “crazy” transfer fees demanded for players, though he praised 80-million-euro ($92.2-million) newcomer Alvaro Morata as a young but experienced striker with a bright future.

The Italian coach said Morata, 24, will be a “first choice” player for his squad in the upcoming Premier League season, a day after Real Madrid and Chelsea announced his transfer.

Morata passes Chelsea medical

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London (AFP) – Spanish striker Alvaro Morata has passed his Chelsea medical ahead of his move to the Premier League champions from Real Madrid, according to Sky Sports on Friday.

The 24-year-old is now expected to fly to Singapore to link up with his new team-mates, who are preparing to play Arsenal in a friendly in Beijing.

Jamaica into CONCACAF Gold Cup semis as Canada downed

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Jamaica defeated Canada 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday.

Goals in each half from Shaun Francis and Romario Williams secured victory for the ‘Reggae Boyz’, who will play Mexico or Honduras in the last four.

Jamaica, the beaten finalists in the 2015 Gold Cup, got off to a dream start at the University of Phoenix Stadium when Francis scored after only six minutes.

‘Killer pitch’ and food poisoning haunt Asia football tours

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Shanghai (AFP) – There was the infamous Hong Kong “killer pitch”, an 11th-hour cancellation of a Manchester derby in Beijing and now Arsenal players struck down with food poisoning in Shanghai.

Add to that searing heat, tropical downpours and long-haul flights, and it is easy to see why Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left wondering aloud this week whether pre-season tours of Asia are worth all the aggravation.

Lukaku, Rashford on target as Manchester United down City

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Houston (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford were on target as Manchester United defeated Premier League rivals Manchester City 2-0 in their International Champions Cup pre-season clash on Thursday.

Belgian international Lukaku grabbed his second goal in his second start for United as the Red Devils eased past a disjointed City at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Ronaldo visits Valencia FC owner Lim in Singapore

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Singapore (AFP) – Football mega-star Cristiano Ronaldo jetted into Singapore for a flying visit to Valencia owner Peter Lim and his family Friday on his way to a media event in China.

Dozens of fans and journalists swarmed the Real Madrid forward but were held back by security as the world footballer of the year dropped by a private hospital to visit Lim’s daughter, Kim, and her newborn baby.

Mourinho wants Manchester United to wrap up transfer business

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Houston (AFP) – Jose Mourinho urged Manchester United bosses to wrap up the club’s transfer business as quickly as possible after watching new signing Romelu Lukaku find the net once more in a 2-0 win over Manchester City on Thursday.

Lukaku, who joined United last week from Everton in a British record transfer, bagged his second goal in as many starts while teenager Marcus Rashford also scored in the win at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Mexico, Jamaica into CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Defending champion Mexico claimed the final semi-final berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 1-0 win over the offensively-challenged Honduras national team on Thursday at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Rodolfo Pizarro scored the only goal of the contest in the fourth minute, finishing off a nice passing series in front of the Honduras’ goal as Mexico took another step towards trying to win a record-extending eighth Gold Cup championship.

Hands off Coutinho, Klopp warns Barcelona

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Hong Kong (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Friday brushed off a reported $93 million offer from Barcelona for Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, insisting: “We’re not a selling club.”

“We want to work together and we want to make the next step, and to do this we need to stay together,” the German told reporters before his side face Leicester City in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Roma’s Mahrez bid rejected by Foxes

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London (AFP) – Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare confirmed on Friday that the club had turned down an offer from Italian side AS Roma for winger Riyad Mahrez.

The Paris-born Algeria forward is likely to command a fee of around £50 million ($65 million, 55.8 million euros), with Roma’s offer believed to be some way short of that figure.

Kolarov set for Roma switch: Guardiola

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London (AFP) – Manchester City’s left-back Aleksandar Kolarov is on the verge of a move to Serie A side AS Roma, Blues boss Pep Guardiola said Friday.

The Serbia international was left out of the side beaten by Manchester United in the Houston friendly on Thursday, and former Barcelona boss Guardiola says he won’t stand in Kolarov’s way after he expressed a desire to leave.

Ozil on verge of huge new Gunners deal

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London (AFP) – Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil is close to signing a new contract with the Gunners, according to British media reports on Friday.

The German World Cup winner’s current deal runs out at the end of the 2017/18 season, but Arsenal are confident of wrapping up negotiations in the next couple of weeks.

Schedule of Liga MX Apertura games on US TV/streaming for gameweek 1

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Liga MX, the most popular soccer league in the United States, returns to US airwaves this weekend with gameweek 1 of the Liga MX Apertura.

Liga MX Apertura 2017 will run from July 21 to December 10, 2017. Liga MX Apertura 2017 will feature the winning team of the 2016-17 Ascenso Final, Lobos BUAP, whose appearance marks the first time the team plays the highest category of Mexican fútbol in its history.

Major League Soccer to implement video ref system

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New York (AFP) – Major League Soccer will implement the video assistant referee (VAR) system league-wide in August, making it among the first domestic leagues to use the video review system hailed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the Confederations Cup in June.

“The introduction of Video Review into MLS league matches is the culmination of more than three years of extensive research and testing of video review technology by MLS and the Professional Referees Organization (PRO),” MLS said in a statement on Thursday.

Aston Villa sign veteran defender Samba

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London (AFP) – Veteran Congo international defender Christopher Samba penned a one-year deal with English second-tier side Aston Villa on Thursday after impressing coach Steve Bruce on a trial.

The 33-year-old was a free agent after leaving Greek club Panathinaikos in January and will bring with him a wealth of experience of English football having spent five years at Blackburn Rovers between 2007 and 2012.

Newcomers Belgium stun Norway, Dutch down Danes

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – Elke Van Gorp and Janice Cayman gave Belgium their first-ever win at the women’s Euros as the Red Flames stunned 2013 runners-up Norway 2-0 in Breda on Thursday.

In the day’s other Group A game in Rotterdam, Sherida Spitse’s penalty gave the Netherlands a 1-0 win over Denmark.

Africa Cup of Nations expands to 24 teams for 2019

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Rabat (AFP) – The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday.

The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season.

Morata hails Chelsea as ‘best club’, Conte ‘best coach’

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London (AFP) – Chelsea’s 80-million-euro new boy Alvaro Morata hailed the English champions as “the best club” and manager Antonio Conte as “one of the world’s best coaches” as the striker arrived in London to complete his transfer Thursday.

The 24-year-old is expected to sign a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge after a deal reported to be worth 80 million euros ($92.

Spanish court orders federation head Villar held in custody

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Madrid (AFP) – A Madrid court on Thursday ordered Spanish football federation president Angel Maria Villar and his son Gorka to be held in custody without bail following his arrest on corruption charges.

High Court judge Santiago Pedraz ordered the two men detained because he said there was a significant flight risk given their “huge financial means” and they could destroy evidence.

Newcomers Belgium stun runners-up Norway at women’s Euro

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – Elke Van Gorp and Janice Cayman gave Belgium their first-ever win at the women’s Euro as the Red Flames stunned 2013 runners-up Norway 2-0 in Breda on Thursday.

Van Gorp slammed in a rebound in the 59th minute past Norway keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth who had cleared Tessa Wullaert’s header following a cross from Belgium’s Davina Philtjens.

Celtic’s Griffiths banned for fan provocation

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Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has been banned by UEFA for his side’s Champions League third round first-leg qualifier against Rosenborg next week.

The Scotland international was issued with a one-match European ban on Thursday for “provoking spectators” at the end of Celtic’s 2-0 second round first-leg win over Linfield last Friday.

West Ham agree terms with Leverkusen for Chicharito

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London (AFP) – West Ham United confirmed on Thursday that they’ve reached an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen to sign former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.

The Premier League side have been chasing the 29-year-old throughout the summer, and they’ve now agreed a fee of around £16 million ($20.

What value do summer friendlies have in the US? World Soccer Talk Podcast

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World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 36, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• America’s love-hate relationship with summer friendlies, whether they’re good for soccer in the US and how meaningful the matches are or not,

• Discussion of FOX Sports’ coverage of the Gold Cup,

• News about ESPN’s commentators for the International Champions Cup,

• The latest word on the TV ratings for soccer games on United States TV

• Plus questions from YOU, the listeners and much more.

Stop ‘tapping up’ Mbappe, warn Monaco

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Monaco (AFP) – Monaco want European rivals sanctioned if they don’t stop making illegal approaches to their teenage striker Kylian Mbappé, the French champions threatened Thursday.

“Top European football clubs made contact with Kylian Mbappé and his entourage without our authorisation,” Monaco said on their website.

Prosecutors demand jail for Spanish football chief Villar

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Madrid (AFP) – Prosecutors called on a Madrid judge on Thursday to jail Spanish football federation president Angel María Villar and his son Gorka following their arrest on corruption charges.

Federation chief and UEFA vice president Angel Maria Villar was examined throughout the day along with his son Gorka by high court judge Santiago Pedraz who was set to rule on whether to free the pair on bail or jail them.

Javier Hernandez poised for West Ham switch

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London (AFP) – West Ham United are close to agreeing a deal to sign former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, according to widespread media reports.

The Premier League side have been chasing the 29-year-old frontman throughout the summer, and appear confident of landing Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer from Bayer Leverkusen.

Monaco rebuff Man City’s Mendy bid

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London (AFP) – French champions Monaco have turned down a bid from Manchester City for French defender Benjamin Mendy, according to media reports on Thursday.

Pep Guardiola is desperate to add Mendy to his full-back options after releasing Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta this summer, but their £44.

Paris Saint-Germain need a Neymar, says coach

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New York (AFP) – Paris Saint Germain need to sign a player of the calibre of Neymar or Kylian Mbappe in their quest to win the Champions League, according to their coach Unai Emery.

In an interview published in French sports daily L’Equipe on Thursday Emery named Neymar as a world top-five player, just the class PSG needed to become a top European power.

Celtic manager Rodgers confident of Champions League improvement

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Glasgow (AFP) – Brendan Rodgers says Celtic are in a much better place to make an impression in the Champions League than last year after watching his side ease past Linfield into the third qualifying round of the competition.

The Hoops cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Northern Ireland champions at Celtic Park thanks to goals from Australian international Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong and a double from Scott Sinclair to seal a 6-0 aggregate win.

Godoy own goal sends Costa Rica into CONCACAF Gold Cup semis

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Washington (AFP) – Anibal Godoy headed agonizingly into his own net to give Costa Rica a 1-0 victory over Panama on Wednesday in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Philadelphia.

The Central American rivals were deadlocked in the second half when Costa Rica’s David Guzman swung a long free kick toward the Panamanian goal.

US battle into CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals

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Philadelphia (AFP) – The United States overcame a battling display from El Salvador to advance to a CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final showdown with Costa Rica here Wednesday.

First-half goals from defenders Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj secured a hard-fought quarter-final win for the hosts, who are chasing their first Gold Cup title since 2013.

PSG edges Roma on penalties in US friendly

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain edged Roma 5-3 on penalties on Wednesday after they played to a 1-1 draw in a friendly international football match in Detroit, Michigan.

Brazilian defender Marquinhos gave the Ligue 1 giants the lead in the 36th minute, but Roma responded with a strong second-half performance that saw Sadiq Umar nab the equalizer in the 60th minute.

Mourinho treating Manchester derby as training session

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Houston (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said he plans to treat Thursday’s exhibition match against Manchester City as a training session as the two Premier League rivals prepare to clash in Houston.

The two teams meet at the NRG Stadium - home of the Houston Texans NFL team - in the first ever edition of the Manchester derby to be staged overseas.

Real’s Danilo set for Man City move

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London (AFP) – Manchester City are close to signing Real Madrid full-back Danilo, according to widespread media reports on Thursday.

Pep Guardiola made full-backs his top transfer priority in the close season having released Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna, and Brazilian international Danilo is on the verge of joining Kyle Walker as City’s latest recruit in that position.

Italy football probe over false visas for young Africans

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Rome (AFP) – Italian police are investigating football clubs for allegedly getting young African players false papers in a probe that could involve Serie A teams, national media reported Thursday.

The inquiry centres on AC Prato, which plays in the Lega Pro league, amid suspicions managers “favoured the illegal entry into Italy of African minors, some of whom were then sold to superior clubs,” the Gazzetta dello Sport said.

Taylor treble sparks England rout of Scotland

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Jodie Taylor scored a hat-trick as England demolished newcomers Scotland 6-0 at the women’s European Championship while Spain cruised past Portugal in their opening Group D match in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

In Utrecht, Arsenal striker Taylor struck an 11th-minute opener, capitalising on a run by Lucy Bronze, before firing home again in the 27th minute following a goalmouth scramble.

Barkley’s Everton football future clouded by surgery

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Liverpool (AFP) – England midfielder Ross Barkley underwent groin surgery on Wednesday and is expected to miss the start of the Premier League season amid ongoing speculation over his future.

Everton said the 23-year-old is set to be sidelined for around four weeks after missing the club’s pre-season trips to Tanzania and the Netherlands.

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for July 12-17, 2017

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Mexico and the United States topped the charts last week as the CONCACAF Gold Cup Group Stage concluded. Mexico’s matches averaged 3.189 million viewers between both FOX’s and Univision’s networks, beating all other nations by a huge margin. Unsurprisingly, the United States saw the second-highest average viewership at 1.

Spain cruise past Portugal at women’s Euro

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – First-half goals from Vicky Losada and Amanda Sampedro handed Spain a convincing 2-0 win against Euro newcomers Portugal in the Group D opener at the women’s Euro tournament on Wednesday.

Losada opened the score on 23 minutes after a long pass from Andrea Pereira and the Barcelona midfielder slammed the ball past the helpless keeper Patricia Morais.

Aguero going nowhere says Guardiola

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Houston (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Wednesday he had no plans to sell Sergio Aguero but confirmed the club was in talks with “three or four” potential new signings.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Manchester City’s Houston derby with Manchester United on Thursday, Guardiola attempted to draw a line under speculation about Argentina striker Aguero’s future.

Spain cruise past Portugal at women’s Euro football tournament

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Doetinchem (Netherlands) (AFP) – First-half goals from Vicky Losada and Amanda Sampedro handed Spain a convincing 2-0 win against Euro newcomers Portugal in the Group D opener at the women’s Euro tournament on Wednesday.

Losada opened the score on 23 minutes after a long pass from Andrea Pereira found her and the Barcelona midfielder slammed the ball past the helpless keeper Patricia Morais.

Villa sign Egypt star Elmohamady from Hull

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London (AFP) – Aston Villa have signed Egyptian international midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady from Championship rivals Hull City for a fee of £1 million ($1.3 million, 1.13 million euros), the club confirmed Wednesday.

Villa boss Steve Bruve has raided his former club to sign the 29-year-old, who he managed at Sunderland and Hull.

Chelsea agree deal for Real striker Morata

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London (AFP) – Chelsea have reached an agreement to buy Spain international striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid for a reported 80 million euros ($92.2 million), the two clubs announced on Wednesday.

“Chelsea Football Club and Real Madrid have agreed terms for the transfer of Alvaro Morata to Stamford Bridge,” Chelsea said on their club website.

Arsenal hit hard by food poisoning in China

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Shanghai (AFP) – Arsenal were ravaged by food poisoning in Shanghai that ruled several key players out of their pre-season friendly with Bayern Munich on Wednesday, manager Arsene Wenger said.

Wenger’s ailing men were outplayed for long periods by Bayern before salvaging a last-gasp 1-1 draw and then winning 3-2 on penalties.

Stoke’s Arnautovic set for West Ham move

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London (AFP) – Austrian international forward Marko Arnautovic is to undergo a medical at West Ham United on Wednesday after the London club agreed a £24 million ($31 million, 27 million euros) fee with Stoke City.

West Ham had two previous bids rejected for the 28-year-old, but Stoke have decided to cash in after the Austrian expressed a desire to leave the Midlands club.

England goalkeeper Forster pens new Saints deal

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London (AFP) – England international goalkeeper Fraser Forster has signed a new five-year deal with Southampton, the Premier League club confirmed Wednesday.

The 29-year-old had agreed a contract last summer until 2021, but the former Celtic stopper has now extended that for another season.

Liverpool close in on Robertson signing

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London (AFP) – Liverpool are set to sign Hull City defender Andy Robertson after agreeing a fee of around £10 million ($13 million, 11.3 million euros) for the Scotland international on Wednesday, according to media reports.

The 23-year-old left-back has left Hull’s pre-season training camp in Portugal in order to have a medical with the Reds on Thursday.

Neuer replaces Lahm as Bayern’s captain

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Berlin (AFP) – Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer will replace Philipp Lahm as Bayern Munich’s skipper for next season, the Bundesliga champions’ chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed.

“Our number one is the number one (choice) - Manuel Neuer,” Rummenigge told Munich daily newspaper TZ.

Arsenal hit by food poisoning in China

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Shanghai (AFP) – Arsenal were ravaged by food poisoning in Shanghai that ruled several key players out of their preseason friendly with Bayern Munich on Wednesday, manager Arsene Wenger said.

The Frenchman revealed the sickness that had swept the Arsenal camp, coupled with the severe heat in China and long flights, made for far-from-ideal preparations for another taxing campaign.

Solanke shines as Liverpool beat Palace in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong (AFP) – New signing Dominic Solanke came off the bench to score as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in a preseason game in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old suggested he could prove a summer bargain at just $4 million as he linked up well with fellow striker Divock Origi, who also got on the scoresheet in the Premier League Asia Trophy win.

‘Keeper Szczesny seals Juve move

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London (AFP) – Poland stopper Wojciech Szczesny has completed a move from Arsenal to Italian champions Juventus for an undisclosed fee, both clubs confirmed Wednesday.

Having passed a medical in Turin Szczesny put pen to paper on a four-year deal expected to be worth around £13.3 million ($17.

Arrested Spanish federation chief faces bleak future

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Madrid (AFP) – Angel Maria Villar’s future as the head of the Spanish football federation was in serious doubt on Wednesday following his arrest as part of a vast anti-corruption probe.

Villar, his son Gorka Villar, and several Spanish federation executives were detained by police in a series of early morning raids on Tuesday on suspicion of embezzlement, fraud and collusion.

Newcastle complete Jacob Murphy capture

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Newcastle (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Newcastle United have wrapped up the signing of England under-21 international winger Jacob Murphy from Championship side Norwich City for a reported fee of £12 million (13.6 million euros, $15.6 million), the club confirmed Wednesday.

The Magpies had a bid for the 22-year-old accepted by Norwich on Monday, and Murphy has now completed his switch to the club he supported as a boy.

Review of George Best – All by Himself, ESPN’s 30 For 30 soccer masterpiece

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Like many soccer fans, I have been frustrated that despite the constant flow of excellent ESPN 30 for 30 films, so few have had any content related to our sport. As someone who spends very little time watching sports other than soccer, the 30 for 30 series has been enlightening and educational about topics I generally have little interest in.

Chelsea agree ’80 million euro’ deal with Real for Morata – reports

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has reached an agreement with Chelsea and will move to the English Premier League champions for a fee reported to be 80 million euros, reports in the Spanish press claimed on Wednesday.

“He has reached an agreement with Chelsea and is right now looking for a flight to London,” respected radio station Cadena Ser said on its website as it explained that the striker will be leaving the Madrid training camp in the United States as soon as he can.

Where to find USA vs. El Salvador Gold Cup on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. El Salvador in the Gold Cup quarterfinal, you’ve come to the right place.

After finishing atop Group B in the group stage of the Gold Cup, the US Men’s National Team faces El Salvador in the quarter-final tonight. The winner will move through to the semi-final stage where they’ll play the winner of Costa Rica versus Panama on Saturday night.

Mourinho ‘ready for 15 years’ at Old Trafford

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed he is targeting a 15-year stay at Old Trafford, telling ESPN in an interview on Tuesday he wants to restore the stability of the Alex Ferguson era.

Mourinho, who took over the Premier League giants last year, told the network’s website that he is desperate to deliver sustained success over a long-term period just as Ferguson did over nearly three decades.

USA vs. El Salvador preview, TV times and team news

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As was the case with their first two games of the Gold Cup, the US was somewhat underwhelming in their 3-0 win over Nicaragua on Saturday, if only because it could have and should have been more than three. Dom Dwyer and Joe Corona both missed penalties but thanks to a late Matt Miazga goal, the US was able to secure top spot in the group and avoid a more difficult quarter-final matchup.

Conte signs improved Chelsea deal

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London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte signed a new two-year deal with the Premier League giants on Wednesday as the club moved to quell reports of a rift with the Italian.

The deal was confirmed as Conte, who guided Chelsea to the title in his first season last year, prepares to take his squad on a pre-season tour of Asia.

US roll out big guns for Gold Cup knockout rounds

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Los Angeles (AFP) – US coach Bruce Arena will look to the old guard when his team attempts to book a place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals with victory over El Salvador on Wednesday.

Having squeezed into the knockout rounds on goal difference, the Americans have taken full advantage of tournament rules that allow teams to make up to six squad changes after the group stage.

The whirlwind adventures of the NASL’s Dallas Tornado: Memories with footballer Jan Book

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July usually sees major soccer clubs the world over take flight to embark on their respective summer tours. Generally, these are exercises in connecting with the global fan base, maintaining and raising profiles and of course getting some match practice in preparation for the new season.

It’s safe to say that none of these clubs could even begin to imagine let alone experience the amazing world tour that the Dallas Tornado undertook in 1967.

Japan’s Honda arrives in Mexico, speaking Spanish

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Pachuca (Mexico) (AFP) – Japan international Keisuke Honda surprised journalists by speaking passable Spanish as he gave his debut press conference Tuesday at his new club, Mexico’s Pachuca.

The 31-year-old, who signed with the Mexican first-division club last week after a three-year stint at AC Milan, amused sports reporters covering his arrival in Mexico by greeting them with a nearly accentless “Hola a todos” (hello everyone).

Hart completes West Ham loan move

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London (AFP) – Manchester City’s England goalkeeper Joe Hart has completed his season-long loan move to Premier League rivals West Ham United, the club confirmed Tuesday.

The 30-year-old spent last season on loan at Italian side Torino after Pep Guardiola took over as City boss last summer, and Hart was told once again that he was not in the Spaniard’s plans.

Cassano in dramatic Verona retirement U-turn

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Rome (AFP) – Former Italy international striker Antonio Cassano pulled a remarkable about-turn on Tuesday, backtracking on his decision to retire just hours after breaking the news to his Verona team-mates.

“This morning I had a moment of weakness, I had a meeting with (head coach) Fabio Pecchia and the others to say that I wanted to stop,” the 35-year-old Cassano told reporters.

Dortmund insist Aubameyang not for sale

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Guangzhou (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday moved to end speculation about the future of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, by insisting the Gabon international is going nowhere.

Aubameyang, who scored 31 goals in the Bundesliga last season, has been linked with big-money moves to Real Madrid, Chelsea, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks.

Arsenal never seem to get full value in player sales

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Arsenal, and in particular manager Arsene Wenger, are known for making sound investments when it comes to bringing in new players. They haggle and negotiate over prospective players as much as anyone in the business. From young prospects such as Hector Bellerin, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, and Rob Holding, to established veterans like Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and Petr Cech, Wenger and company are extremely savvy on the incoming end of transfers.

Crystal Palace swoop for Dutch defender Riedewald

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London (AFP) – Crystal Palace have signed Dutch international defender Jairo Riedewald from Ajax for around £8 million ($10.4 million, 9 million euros), according to British media reports on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old will reunite with new Eagles manager Frank de Boer, who handed Riedewald his Ajax debut in 2013 while in charge of the Amsterdam club.

Spain’s federation chief held in fraud probe

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Madrid (AFP) – Police raided the headquarters of Spain’s football federation on Tuesday and arrested its president Angel Maria Villar as part of an anti-corruption probe.

Villar, 67, a senior vice president of FIFA, world football’s governing body, was being held on suspicion of abusing his position to embezzle funds from the federation, among other charges, the source said.

England face women’s Euro ‘battle of Britain’

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Utrecht (Netherlands) (AFP) – England’s goalkeeper Karen Bardsley said Tuesday she expected a tough physical game when the Lionnesses take on Scotland in their women’s Euro opener.

Ahead of Wednesday’s group D game in Utrecht she said: “We’re hoping that the game obviously goes in our favour but we’re expecting big things from Scotland, they’re a fantastic side with some really good players.

Barca ‘200%’ certain Neymar will stay

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre insisted Tuesday that Brazilian star Neymar will be staying in Spain despite rumours linking him with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Asked during a press conference if he could confirm Neymar would remain at Barca ahead of the 2017-18 season, Mestre replied: “200 percent”.

Celtic hope for trouble free Linfield visit

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Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic will hope the focus is solely on football when the Scottish champions host Linfield in the return leg of their Champions League second round qualifier on Wednesday.

The Hoops have one foot in the next round following a 2-0 victory over the Northern Ireland title holders at Windsor Park thanks to first-half goals from Scott Sinclair and Australian international Tom Rogic.

Mourinho pleased as ‘top striker’ Lukaku opens account

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Salt Lake City (United States) (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku bagged his first goal in a Manchester United shirt on Monday as the 10-man Premier League giants labored to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake in Utah.

Lukaku, who joined the Red Devils from Everton in a reported 75 million pound ($98.

Klopp backs injury-free Sturridge to fire for Liverpool

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Hong Kong (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp plans to unleash an injury-free Daniel Sturridge in the new season with the England striker back training fully fit and focused.

“It’s the best condition he has been in since I have been here,” Klopp told reporters in Hong Kong on Tuesday ahead of his second full campaign as Liverpool manager.

Rodriguez not here to replace Mueller – Bayern Munich coach

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Shanghai (AFP) – Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti rubbished suggestions on Tuesday that James Rodriguez was signed to replace misfiring German international Thomas Mueller.

The Colombian last week joined the Bundesliga champions from Real Madrid on a two-year loan that some have interpreted as a threat to Mueller, who is coming off the back of a poor season by his high standards.

Huddersfield shore up squad with new deals

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London (AFP) – Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town have tied down three more players to new deals ahead of their first season in the top flight for 45 years.

Captain Tommy Smith, midfielder Jonathan Hogg and winger Rajiv van La Parra have all penned new three-year contracts that will keep them at the West Yorkshire club until the summer of 2020, with the option of a further 12 months.

Leicester’s Huth set for lengthy lay-off after ankle op

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London (AFP) – Leicester City defender Robert Huth is set to miss the start of the Premier League season after having ankle surgery.

The German centre-back - an integral part of the Foxes’ Premier League title-winning team of 2015/16 - is expected to be sidelined for up to two months to repair the injury he suffered in pre-season training, according to Leicester’s club website.

Football: Arsenal seeking fresh blood but Sanchez stays – Wenger

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Shanghai (AFP) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Tuesday he wants to make more new signings before the season begins next month and batted away fresh doubts about the future of Alexis Sanchez.

Wenger is under pressure after the Premier League side failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, and he is also dealing with persistent doubts about several of his star players.

Spain’s football federation chief held in fraud probe

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Madrid (AFP) – Police raided the headquarters of Spain’s football federation on Tuesday and arrested its president Angel Maria Villar as part of an anti-corruption probe, a judicial source said.

Villar, 67, a senior vice president of FIFA, world football’s governing body, was being held on suspicion of abusing his position to embezzle funds from the federation, among other charges, the source said.

Germany held by Sweden, Russia stun Italy at women’s Euro

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – Holders Germany were held to a goalless draw by Sweden while underdogs Russia stunned Italy as Group B opened at the women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands on Monday.

In Breda, Sweden picked up their first point in 12 competitive encounters with Germany, who have won the European title six times in a row and eight times overall.

Barcelona announce record $800m revenue

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona announced Monday record income of 708 million euros ($812.8m) for 2016/2017 with an after-tax profit of 18m euros.

The Spanish giants said the healthy revenue was up 13m on the forecast figure in their budget for the period.

A statement following the approval of the accounts at a board meeting disclosed the club has reduced its debt by 24.

Russia stun Italy 2-1 at women’s Euro football championship

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Breda (Netherlands) (AFP) – First-half goals from Elena Danilova and Elena Morozova handed Russia a surprise 2-1 win over Italy in the Group B opener at the women’s Euro in the Netherlands on Monday.

Danilova struck nine minutes into the game with a low shot from outside the box that took Italian keeper Chiara Marchitelli by surprise at her left post.

Investigation begins into Senegal football stadium disaster

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Dakar (AFP) – Senegalese prosecutors on Monday announced the opening of a judicial enquiry into a stadium tragedy, as a local team whose fans were accused of triggering a deadly stampede were suspended from the country’s football federation.

Multiple witnesses told AFP that US Ouakam fans threw stones and other objects at Stade de Mbour supporters when Mbour scored a goal to take a 2-1 lead in extra time during Senegal’s League Cup final on Saturday.

Totti confirms retirement to take Roma role

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Rome (AFP) – Roma legend Francesco Totti confirmed his retirement on Monday and will take a directorship role at the Serie A club.

The 40-year-old played his final game for Roma in May after 24 years with the capital-city side.

He had been linked with a possible move to either Japan or Major League Soccer, but wrote on Facebook: “The first part of my life as a football player is over and now another more important one is about to begin.

Everton swoop for Southampton’s Martina

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London (AFP) – Everton’s busy transfer window shows no signs of letting up after they announced the signing of defender Cuco Martina from Southampton on a free transfer on Monday.

The 27-year-old has signed a three-year-deal at Goodison Park and again links up with manager Ronald Koeman, who coached him at the south-coast club.

Second Qatari stadium on schedule

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Doha (AFP) – A second stadium being built for the football World Cup 2022 in Qatar will be ready on schedule next year despite sanctions imposed by Gulf neighbours, an official said on Monday

Al-Wakrah 40,000-seat stadium, designed in the shape of a boat by the late award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, will come in line after Khalifa stadium, which was delivered in May.

Celtic and Linfield face UEFA charges

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Lausanne (AFP) – UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic and Linfield over incidents at last week’s Champions League tie, European football’s governing body announced on Monday.

Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths is charged by UEFA with “provoking spectators after the end of the match”, while Linfield are in the dock over objects thrown on the pitch and a “field invasion by supporters”.

Newcastle United close in on Norwich City’s Murphy

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London (AFP) – Newcastle United have moved a step closer to signing long-term transfer target Jacob Murphy, after agreeing a fee for the winger with Norwich City, according to British media reports on Monday.

The Magpies have endured a largely frustrating transfer window, with French defender Florian Lejeune and Ghanaian forward Christian Atsu the only arrivals.

Gold Cup TV schedules set for quarter-finals featuring USA, Mexico and other nations

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Now that the group stage of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup has been completed, the schedule for the quarter-finals of the tournament can be revealed.

The USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Jamaica, Canada and Honduras are through and will play midweek. Meanwhile, Martinique, Curacao, French Guiana and Nicaragua go home.

CAF ‘think tank’ to mull Africa Cup of Nations changes

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Johannesburg (AFP) – New-look Africa Cup of Nations and CAF Champions League competitions could emerge this week from discussions in Morocco that will include FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

A two-day CAF symposium begins Tuesday in Rabat and officials, coaches and former stars have been tasked with plotting the future of the popular sport in the continent.

Marseille to lure last minute centre forward

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Lausanne (AFP) – Marseille are in the hunt for an extra striker and coach Rudi Garcia said he is looking to snag a last minute bargain before the transfer window snaps shut.

Former Roma coach Garcia who won the French title with Lille in 2011 was brought in last season by ambitious new American owner Frank McCourt to help Marseille rival Monaco and PSG.

Messi and Neymar praised by Barca boss

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Barcelona (AFP) – New Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde laughed off the idea of bringing in new players on Monday saying the best signings were the players already in the dressing room.

“I’m more than happy with the way things stand,” said Valverde when pressed on the potential signing of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti.

Senegal football club suspended after stadium tragedy

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Dakar (AFP) – Senegal’s US Ouakam team was suspended from the country’s football federation on Monday after accusations its supporters threw projectiles at rival fans triggering a stampede that left eight dead.

Multiple witnesses told AFP that Ouakam fans threw stones and other objects at Stade de Mbour supporters when Mbour scored a goal to take a 2-1 lead in extra time during Senegal’s League Cup final on Saturday.

Jamaica, El Salvador secure spots in CONCACAF Gold Cup quarters

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Jamaica and El Salvador both punched their tickets to the quarter-finals after playing to a 1-1 draw in a Group C match at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Sunday.

Jamaica now have one win and two draws which moves them into first place in the group standings with five points - just ahead of seven-time champions Mexico who have a game in hand.

Japan’s Verdy abandon Totti chase

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Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Tokyo Verdy have called off their bid to sign Italian superstar Francesco Totti after his wife turned her nose up at a move to the Far East, local media said Monday.

“Ultimately he was unable to get his family’s blessing,” Verdy president Hideaki Hanyu told Japan’s Nikkan Sports newspaper, claiming Totti’s celebrity wife Ilary Blasi had been a major factor in the collapse of their ambitious pursuit of the 40-year-old World Cup winner.

Football: Japan’s Verdy abandon Totti chase

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Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Tokyo Verdy have called off their bid to sign Italian superstar Francesco Totti after his wife turned her nose up at a move to the Far East, local media said Monday.

“Ultimately he was unable to get his family’s blessing,” Verdy president Hideaki Hanyu told Japan’s Nikkan Sports newspaper, claiming Totti’s celebrity wife Ilary Blasi had been a major factor in the collapse of their ambitious pursuit of the 40-year-old World Cup winner.

Pato finds mojo in China after years of decline

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Shanghai (AFP) – Alexandre Pato is rediscovering his love for football in China after a turbulent few years saw his career nosedive before he had even reached his prime.

The 27-year-old forward hit a cracker from long distance in Tianjin Quanjian’s 3-0 weekend win over Shanghai Shenhua, for whom Carlos Tevez now has just two league goals during an injury-disrupted season.

City ‘keeper Hart to undergo West Ham medical

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London (AFP) – England international goalkeeper Joe Hart is set to have a medical with West Ham on Monday as he looks to finalise a loan move from Manchester City, according to media reports.

The 30-year-old had been told by City boss Pep Guardiola that he could find another club, and he appears set for a season-long loan with the East Londoners after spending last season with Italian side Torino.

Bayern jet off with Bundesliga title “already in the bag”

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Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich landed in China on Monday for their pre-season tour with the German giants already tipped to win a sixth straight Bundesliga title - five weeks before the new season starts.

Bayern touched down in Shanghai to start their tour of China and Singapore with the new German league season to start on Friday August 18.

Bayern end bid to sign Sanchez from Arsenal

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Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed they have dropped their interest in signing Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez for next season.

After head coach Carlo Ancelotti last week had his wish granted to sign Colombia’s James Rodriguez on loan from Real Madrid, Bayern have called off their bid to poach Chile’s hot-shot Sanchez from Arsenal.

Netherlands, Denmark win women’s Euro openers

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Utrecht (Netherlands) (AFP) – Shanice van de Sanden’s bullet header lifted hosts the Netherlands past Norway while Denmark beat Belgium as the women’s Euro tournament kicked off with two Group A games on Sunday.

Liverpool winger Van de Sanden’s 66th-minute goal gave the Dutch a deserved win over the 2013 runners-up in the competition opener in Utrecht.

Mancini makes winning start in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) – Italian manager Roberto Mancini chalked up a confident 2-0 win in his first Russian Premier League match as his new club Zenit St Petersburg beat promoted SKA Khabarovsk on Sunday.

Goals by halftime substitute midfielder Daler Kuzyaev and forward Alexander Kokorin set the four-time former Russian champions on their way to a well-deserved win in the season-opening encounter.

Netherlands, Denmark earn wins in women’s Euro openers

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Utrecht (Netherlands) (AFP) – Shanice van de Sanden’s bullet header lifted hosts the Netherlands past Norway while Denmark beat Belgium as the women’s Euro tournament kicked off with two Group A games on Sunday.

Liverpool winger Van de Sanden’s 66th-minute goal gave the Dutch a deserved win over the 2013 runners-up in the competition opener in Utrecht.

Sevilla sign Nolito from Manchester City football club

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Madrid (AFP) – Sevilla signed Spanish international winger Nolito from Manchester City, the La Liga club announced on Sunday.

The 30-year-old, who only joined City from Celta Vigo a year ago, moved for a reported fee of nine million euros ($10.3m) and has signed a three-year contract.

Netherlands beat Norway in women’s Euro opener

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Utrecht (Netherlands) (AFP) – Shanice van de Sanden’s bullet header handed hosts the Netherlands a 1-0 win against Norway in the women’s European Championship opener on Sunday.

The Liverpool winger capitalised on a superb cross from Lieke Martens from the left wing that found her face to face with helpless Norway keeper Ingrid Hjelmseth.

Senegal suspends sports events after stadium tragedy

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Dakar (AFP) – Senegal on Sunday suspended all sports and cultural events until elections at the end of the month, a day after eight people died in a football stadium disaster.

Legislative elections are due on July 30 and tensions are running high with prominent opposition leader and Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall campaigning from jail.

Dempsey, Howard join USA for Gold Cup football playoffs

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Chicago (AFP) – Striker Clint Dempsey, chasing Landon Donovan’s US goals record, and goalkeeper Tim Howard were among six players added Sunday to the American squad for the Gold Cup knockout stage.

Rules for the North American (CONCACAF) regional championship tournament allow up to six changes after the group stage, which the Americans completed Saturday by beating Nicaragua 3-0, and US coach Bruce Arena took full advantage.

Wenger expects Arsenal player Giroud to stay with Gunners

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsene Wenger says he expects Olivier Giroud to stay at Arsenal this season despite speculation over how he will fit in following the record signing of fellow French striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Giroud, the reported off-season target of Premier League rivals Everton and Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, was among the goalscorers in the Gunners’ 3-1 pre-season win over Western Sydney Wanderers in Sydney on Saturday.

Cowed Chinese football clubs desist in face of 100% levy

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Shanghai (AFP) – Wayne Rooney led the big names linked with a move to China but in the end the only arrivals were striker Anthony Modeste and a cast mostly of freebies, loanees and has-beens.

Experts and insiders say a 100 percent tax on foreign imports and befuddling last-minute changes to Chinese transfer rules ensured the transfer window in the country fizzled to a close on Friday.

Rashford double as United thrash Galaxy

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United kicked off their pre-season tour of the United States with a 5-2 rout of the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

With new signing Romelu Lukaku starting on the bench, England striker Rashford reminded manager Jose Mourinho of his eye for goal with an energetic display against an outclassed Galaxy team.

Mourinho rules out Ronaldo move after United rout Galaxy

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Jose Mourinho ruled out any attempt to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford after Manchester United opened their US tour here Saturday with a 5-2 rout of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

United manager Mourinho is keen to bolster his ranks further after already strengthening his squad with the additions of Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku.

Senegal suspends sports events after football deaths

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Dakar (AFP) – Senegal on Sunday suspended all sports and cultural events until elections at the end of the month, a day after eight people died in a football stadium disaster.

Legislative elections are due on July 30 and tensions are running high with prominent opposition leader and Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall campaigning from jail.

Njie seals permanent Marseille switch

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London (AFP) – Cameroon international striker Clinton Njie has joined Marseille on a permanent deal from Tottenham Hotspur after spending last season on loan in France, the Premier League club said Sunday.

The 23-year-old joined Spurs from Lyon in 2015 but featured sparingly at White Hart Lane before he was shipped out to Marseille, where he scored four goals in 23 appearances.

Chelsea sign ‘outstanding’ French midfielder Bakayoko

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London (AFP) – Chelsea completed the signing of French international midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco, the Premier League champions announced on Saturday.

The 22-year-old joined Antonio Conte’s Chelsea on a five-year contract for a reported fee of up to £39.7 million ($51.

I’m no Klopp clone, says Dortmund coach Bosz

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Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – New Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Bosz promised to do things his way after his side beat Japan’s Urawa Reds 3-2 to begin their Far East preseason tour Saturday.

Germany forward Andre Schurrle smashed a late winner as Dortmund gave the Dutchman his first win since taking over from Thomas Tuchel last month.

Chelsea complete deal for midfielder Bakayoko

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London (AFP) – Chelsea completed the signing of French international midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco, the Premier League champions announced on Saturday.

The 22-year-old joined Antonio Conte’s Chelsea on a five-year contract for a reported fee of up to £39.7 million ($51.

Schurrle strike gives Dortmund 3-2 win in Japan

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Saitama (Japan) (AFP) – Germany forward Andre Schurrle smashed a late winner as Borussia Dortmund beat Japan’s Urawa Reds 3-2 on their Far East preseason tour Saturday.

Turkey striker Emre Mor scored a quickfire double to cancel out Shinzo Kuroki’s volleyed opener, before Reds defender Wataru Endo restored parity with a free header five minutes from time in Saitama.

Where to find USA vs. Nicaragua Gold Cup on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. Nicaragua in the Gold Cup group stage, you’ve come to the right place.

The final game in the group stage for the United States features a game against Nicaragua. With Martinique and Panama playing in the earlier game, the US Men’s National Team will know what result they need to advance into the quarter-finals.

John Terry named Aston Villa captain

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London (AFP) – Former long-serving Chelsea captain John Terry was named Aston Villa’s new skipper on Saturday after joining the second-tier side following his departure from Chelsea.

Terry, 36, replaces Wales international and fellow central defender James Chester as Villa captain having signed a one-year deal with the club earlier this month.

Linfield to probe bottle incident involving Celtic’s Griffiths

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Belfast (AFP) – Linfield will investigate a bottle-throwing incident involving Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths that occurred during the Scottish club’s 2-0 win in Friday’s Champions League second qualifying round.

Scott Sinclair and Tom Rogic scored as Celtic won a hostile first-leg encounter at Windsor Park in Belfast, but Scotland international Griffiths was targeted by objects thrown from a section of the home crowd while taking a corner.

USA vs. Nicaragua preview, TV times and team news

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While the USMNT did not get the Gold Cup off to a great start against Panama on Saturday, it was going to be alright because the next two opponents were Martinique and Nicaragua, teams that the US should score a ton of goals against and cruise past without much effort. Except, that’s not the way it happened against Martinique on Wednesday night.

Galatasaray exit saddens Dutch midfielder Sneijder

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Istanbul (AFP) – Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder left Turkey on Saturday after four years with Galatasaray, expressing sadness that club manager Igor Tudor had not wanted him to stay.

The Istanbul club said on Friday that it was “parting with Wesley Sneijder” and wished him success in the future.

Football: Costa Rica, Canada reach quarter-finals of Gold Cup

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Frisco (United States) (AFP) – Canada advanced to their first quarter-final since 2009 after playing to a scoreless draw with Honduras in the final Group A match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Friday.

Canada and Honduras moved on to the quarters where they will join Group A winner Costa Rica who advanced with a dominating 3-0 victory over winless French Guiana earlier Friday.

Costa Rica, Canada reach quarter-finals of Gold Cup

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Frisco (United States) (AFP) – Canada advanced to their first quarter-final since 2009 after playing to a scoreless draw with Honduras in the final Group A match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Friday.

Canada and Honduras moved on to the quarters where they will join Group A winner Costa Rica who advanced with a dominating 3-0 victory over winless French Guiana earlier Friday.

Teddy Sheringham joins ISL as coach of Kolkata

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New Delhi (AFP) – Former England and Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham has joined Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata as head coach for the new season.

Sheringham, who made 51 England appearances between 1993 and 2002, joins another United hero Steve Coppell as a coach in India.

Teddy Sheringham joins Indian Super League as coach of Kolkata

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New Delhi (AFP) – Former England and Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham has joined Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata as head coach for the new season.

Sheringham, who made 51 England appearances between 1993 and 2002, joins another United hero Steve Coppell as a coach in India.

Bonucci bids Juventus farewell after AC Milan move

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Rome (AFP) – Italy international defender Leonardo Bonucci took out a page in a local newspaper on Saturday to thank Juventus fans for their support after agreeing a shock move to rivals AC Milan.

Bonucci, 30, is joining Milan on a five-year deal after seven seasons in Turin, where he won six successive Serie A titles with Juventus and played in two Champions League finals.

Sneijder leaves Galatasaray after four years

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Istanbul (AFP) – Istanbul giants Galatasaray said that Dutch international midfielder Wesley Sneijder was leaving the club by mutual agreement after over four seasons that saw him become a big favourite with fans.

“Our club is parting with Wesley Sneijder,” Galatasaray said in a statement late on Friday.

Mourinho gives Lukaku simple job – goals

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Jose Mourinho said on Friday Romelu Lukaku will be expected to deliver goals as the striker prepares to make his Manchester United debut.

Lukaku, who completed his 75 million pound ($97 million, 85.5m euro) transfer to Old Trafford on Monday, could make his first appearance in a United shirt in Saturday’s US tour match against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for July 6-9, 2017

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The National Women’s Soccer League matched its season high viewership on Lifetime last week as 123,000 viewers tuned in as the league-leading North Carolina Courage defeat the fourth placed Seattle Reign 2-0. Viewership of the NWSL on Lifetime has seen a 9% increase since the beginning of June and the league is now averaging 94,417 viewers on the year.

Door open for new Zlatan deal – Mourinho

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be given the chance to resurrect his Manchester United career as he battles back from a serious knee injury, manager Jose Mourinho confirmed on Friday.

Swedish star Ibrahimovic was United’s top-scorer last season, bagging 28 goals in all competitions.

Manchester United eyeing more transfer targets – Mourinho

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Friday the Premier League giants were targeting two more major signings as they aim to build a title-winning squad.

United have already bolstered their ranks in recent weeks with the addition of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton and Swedish defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica.

Juve’s Bonucci in shock Milan move

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Rome (AFP) – Italy international defender Leonardo Bonucci is joining AC Milan in a shock move from Italian champions Juventus, the San Siro side announced on Friday.

“Bonucci in Milan,” the buying club reported on their official website, alongside pictures of the smiling defender being enthusiastically welcomed by Rossoneri supporters.

Kyle Walker joins Man City from Tottenham – club

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London (AFP) – England international Kyle Walker signed for Manchester City from Tottenham Hotspur on Friday in a deal that could see him become the world’s most expensive defender.

The 27-year-old right-back signed a five-year contract for a fee that could rise with add-ons to £54 million ($70m, 61m euros), according to The Times and other media.

Kyle Walker joins Man City from Tottenham in big-money move

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London (AFP) – England international Kyle Walker signed for Manchester City from Tottenham Hotspur on Friday in a deal that could see him become the world’s most expensive defender.

The 27-year-old right-back signed a five-year contract for a fee that could rise with add-ons to £54 million ($70m, 61m euros), according to The Times and other media.

Juve’s Bonucci nears shock AC Milan move

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Rome (AFP) – Italy international defender Leonardo Bonucci is on the verge of a shock transfer to AC Milan from Italian champions Juventus after he arrived in Milan on Friday.

Bonucci has won six successive Serie A titles with Juve but is close to finalising a move to Milan that Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport says is worth 40 million euros ($45.

Stricken Ajax player taken back to Amsterdam

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The Hague (AFP) – Stricken Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri who suffered serious brain damage after collapsing last weekend has been transferred from Austria to an Amsterdam hospital, his club said Friday.

“We can confirm he is in Amsterdam. His condition remains unchange,” Ajax spokesman Miel Brinkhuis told AFP.

El Salvador strikes early to subdue Curacao

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Quick goals from Gerson Mayen and Rodolfo Zelaya lifted El Salvador to a 2-0 victory over Curacao in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Denver.

The victory boosted El Salvador’s hopes of advancing from Group C, in which reigning champions Mexico and Jamaica faced off later in a rematch of the 2015 final.

Football: Wenger keeps tabs on budding Arsenal star Nelson

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says teenager Reiss Nelson is “very close” to more first-team action after his dazzling performance in the Gunners’ 2-0 pre-season friendly win in Australia.

The 17-year-old looked a star in the making as he ripped apart the Sydney FC defence with his pace and on-the-ball skills in Sydney on Thursday.

Leicester City’s Thai owners to be sued by graft-buster

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Bangkok (AFP) – A Thai anti-corruption official on Friday said he is suing King Power, the duty free giant that owns Leicester City Football Club, for hundreds of millions of dollars over the alleged underpayment of taxes.

Charnchai Issarasenarak, head of a junta-appointed anti-graft panel, accuses King Power of under-declaring revenue to avoid paying a 15 percent levy agreed in a 2006 contract to operate in Thailand’s airports.

Jamaica hold Mexico to goalless draw

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Defending champions Mexico couldn’t make their dominance pay dividends on Thursday as they were held to a frustrating scoreless draw by Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In a rematch of the 2015 final won by Mexico, El Tri dominated possession but couldn’t get the ball into the net of Jamaican keeper Andre Blake.

Wenger keeps tabs on budding Arsenal star Nelson

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says teenager Reiss Nelson is “very close” to more first-team action after his dazzling performance in the Gunners’ 2-0 pre-season friendly win in Australia.

The 17-year-old looked a star in the making as he ripped apart the Sydney FC defence with his pace and on-the-ball skills in Sydney on Thursday.

Football: Japan’s Honda joins Mexican side Pachuca

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Tokyo (AFP) – Japan international Keisuke Honda has signed for Mexico’s Pachuca, the former AC Milan player announced on social media Friday, ending months of speculation about his future.

The 31-year-old left the Serie A side at the end of last season after a frustrating three-year spell in Italy.

Kyle Walker set to become world’s most expensive defender

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London (AFP) – Kyle Walker is set to become the world’s most expensive defender on Friday with Manchester City prepared to spend up to £54 million ($70mn, 61mn euros) for the out of favour Tottenham player.

The 27-year-old England international, who joined Spurs alongside Kyle Naughton in 2009 for £9mn from Sheffield United, will cost an initial £45mn with another £5mn due in a year’s time and £4mn due in add-ons, according to The Times.

Watford sign Chalobah from Chelsea

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London (AFP) – England Under-21 international Nathaniel Chalobah has signed for Premier League side Watford from champions Chelsea for an undisclosed fee, the buying club announced.

The 22-year-old impressed as England reached the semi-finals of the recent European Under-21 Championship and has signed a five-year contract with the Hornets.

Japan’s Kagawa extends Dortmund deal to 2020

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Berlin (AFP) – Japan international midfielder Shinji Kagawa has extended his contract with Borussia Dortmund until 2020, the German club said on Friday.

“We’re very pleased that Shinji will play for us for another three seasons,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said as the club arrived in Tokyo on Friday on its pre-season tour.

Real Madrid look to future with Ceballos signing

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Madrid (AFP) – Spain Under-21 midfielder Dani Ceballos has joined Real Madrid on a six-year deal from Real Betis, the European champions said on Friday.

The 20-year-old was voted player of the tournament at last month’s European Under-21 Championship as Spain finished runners-up to Germany.

Defoe leads mourners for funeral of ‘best mate’ Bradley

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London (AFP) – The funeral of Bradley Lowery, one of the iconic faces of last season’s Premier League season as the devoted Sunderland fan battled a rare form of cancer, drew crowds of mourners onto the streets on Friday.

Lowery died last Friday aged just six of neuroblastoma, and his parents will wear football shirts to the service to honour his love of the sport.

Ajax, Nice to clash in Champions League qualifying

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Paris (AFP) – Mario Balotelli’s Nice drew four-time European champions Ajax on Friday in the standout fixture of the Champions League third qualifying round.

Ajax lost last season’s Europa League final 2-0 to Manchester United and will face a tricky challenge against Lucien Favre’s Nice who finished third in France last term.

England striker Defoe bids tearful farewell to ‘best mate’ Bradley

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London (AFP) – The funeral of Bradley Lowery, one of the iconic faces of last season’s Premier League season as the devoted Sunderland fan battled a rare form of cancer, drew thousands of mourners onto the streets on Friday.

Lowery died last Friday aged just six of neuroblastoma, and his parents wore football shirts to the service to honour his love of the sport.

Rooney nets on Everton return in Africa friendly

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Dar es Salaam (AFP) – Wayne Rooney marked his first game back in an Everton jersey with a goal in a friendly against Kenya’s Gor Mahia in Tanzania on Thursday.

England’s record goalscorer was making his first appearance since he rejoined his boyhood club from Manchester United last week on a free transfer after 13 years at Old Trafford.

FIFA lifts ban on Sudan

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Johannesburg (AFP) – World football body FIFA said Thursday it had lifted a ban imposed on Sudan last week for government interference in the sport.

The move follows the reinstatement of Mutasim Gaafar Sir Elkhatim as president of the Sudan Football Association.

He had been forcibly removed from the association offices by police with unelected official Abdel Rahman Elkatim taking over.

Barcelona agree deal for Portugal’s Semedo

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign Benfica right-back Nelson Semedo on a five-year deal, the Spanish club announced on Thursday.

Barcelona said Semedo would undergo a medical on Friday after Spanish press reports said they had agreed to pay a transfer fee of 30 million euros (£26.

Falcao makes 8 million-euro payment to Spanish taxman

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Madrid (AFP) – Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, suspected of tax evasion in Spain, has paid 8.2 million euros ($9.3 million) to Spanish tax authorities, judicial sources told AFP on Thursday.

Falcao is suspected of failing to correctly declare 5.6 million euros of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 while he was at Atletico Madrid.

France defender Rami joins Marseille

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Lausanne (AFP) – Marseille’s rebuilding programme continued on Thursday as the ambitious Ligue 1 club signed Adil Rami the France defender on a four-year deal from Sevilla.

The 31-year-old has 33 caps for France, won the Ligue 1 title with Lille in 2011, the Europa League in 2016 with Sevilla and had solid spells at Valencia and AC Milan behind him.

‘No threat’ to women’s Euro 2017 football – Dutch officials

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The Hague (AFP) – Dutch counter-terrorism officials said Thursday they had not found any “concrete threat” against the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 football championships, after a reported jihadist call for an attack.

There are “no indications that an attack will be made on the European Women’s Football Championship,” the Dutch counter-terrorism agency (NCTV) said in a statement.

Debating the virtues of the Gold Cup as a TV viewing experience: World Soccer Talk Podcast

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World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 35, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• A solution to improve the TV viewing experience for soccer fans tuning into the Gold Cup,

• Discussion of FOX Sports’ coverage of the Gold Cup,

• Details about NBC’s opening weeks of the mew Premier League schedule,

• News about NBC working with one of the top teams in Liga MX

• Plus questions from YOU, the listeners and much more.

Sven Bender joins twin Lars at Leverkusen

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Berlin (AFP) – German international defender Sven Bender joined his twin brother Lars at Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday, after moving from Borussia Dortmund on a four-year contract.

German media reported that Leverkusen paid in the region of 15 million euros ($17.1m) for the 28-year-old, who started just three Bundesliga games last season and hasn’t played a full international since 2013.

Sidibe, Glik extensions give Monaco boost

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Monaco (AFP) – Defensive duo Djibril Sidibe and Kamil Glik have handed French champions Monaco a major boost by signing contract extensions on Thursday to commit their futures to the principality side.

Full-back Sidibe, who has won 10 caps and had been heavily linked with a move to the English Premier League, has signed a new deal tying him to the club until 2022 on improved terms.

Walker set for big money Man City move

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London (AFP) – England full-back Kyle Walker is set for a £50 million ($64.5m, 56.7m euros) move to Manchester City from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, the BBC and British Press Association reported Thursday.

The 27-year-old - who moved along with Kyle Naughton to Spurs from Sheffield United in 2009 for a combined total of £9 million - is expected to undergo a medical with City on Friday and go with them on their pre-season tour of the United States.

East Timor official gets life ban for match-fixing

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Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – A top East Timor official has been banned for life from taking part in any football-related activity after he accepted money to lose a match against Malaysia, the Asian football body said Thursday.

Orlando Marques Henriques was found guilty of receiving $15,000 from a third party to arrange for seven players from the East Timor team to lose the match in May 2015, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement.

CAF suspends Al-Ahly coach over BeIn Sports boycott

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Cairo (AFP) – Al-Ahly coach Hossam El Badry has been suspended for one match by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after boycotting a press conference over the presence of the Qatari-owned BeIn Sports channel.

Egypt and several of its allies cut diplomatic relations with Qatar last month, accusing it of supporting extremism.

Capello lures Cameroon skipper Moukandjo to China

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Rennes (France) (AFP) – Cameroon striker Benjamin Moukandjo has joined Fabio Capello’s struggling Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning after two seasons at Lorient, the French club said on Thursday.

The 28-year-old who captained Cameroon to the African Cup of Nations title in 2017 has signed a two-years deal with the club coached by former AC Milan, Real Madrid and England boss Capello since June.

Football: Messi seeks fresh start under Valverde

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Tokyo (AFP) – Barcelona star Lionel Messi on Thursday expressed hope for improved fortunes under new coach Ernesto Valverde after a disappointing year for the Catalan club.

“Whenever I start a new season there is a very clear-cut goal, which is that Barcelona would do its best,” said the Argentine wizard, who recently agreed a three-year contract extension at Barca.

Fatal football team bus crash in Ghana

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Accra (AFP) – The British manager of Ghana Premier League side Asante Kotoko and one of his players were hospitalised after a bus crash that killed a member of their back-room staff, the club said on Thursday.

The crash happened when the team bus rammed into a stationary truck at Nkawkaw, some 150 kilometres (95 miles) by road from Accra, at about 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) on Wednesday.

Ajax youngster Nouri suffers brain damage after collapse

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The Hague (AFP) – Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has suffered “serious and permanent” brain damage after collapsing over the weekend, the Dutch club said Thursday, dashing earlier hopes the promising prospect would make a quick recovery.

“Ajax are deeply saddened by the news that ‘Appie’ Nouri has been diagnosed with serious and permanent brain damage,” the Amsterdam club said in a tweet.

Football: Lacazette scores on debut in Arsenal win against Sydney

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal’s record signing Alexandre Lacazette scored on debut in the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Australian champions Sydney FC on Thursday.

Lacazette, signed last week in a £52.5 million ($68 million) deal from Lyon, came off the bench in the second half to score Arsenal’s second goal before more than 80,000 fans at Sydney’s Olympic stadium.

Rooney in spotlight as Everton start East Africa trip

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Dar es Salaam (AFP) – Wayne Rooney was the centre of attention in Tanzania on Thursday with England’s record goalscorer set to make his first appearance back in an Everton shirt against Kenya’s Gor Mahia.

Rooney rejoined his boyhood club from Manchester United last week on a free transfer after 13 years at Old Trafford.

Belfast braces for high-octane visit of Celtic

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Belfast (AFP) – Scottish champions Celtic should not have too many problems on the pitch with Northern Irish title holders Linfield in their Champions League second qualifying round first leg on Friday, but they can expect a hostile reception.

The first ever meeting of the two teams will also be the first Champions League game to be played on a Friday - to avoid clashing with the tinderbox date of July 12, when Protestants celebrate King William of Orange beating the deposed Catholic ruler James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Panama rally for 2-1 CONCACAF Gold Cup win over Nicaragua

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Washington (AFP) – Panama hit back with two goals in seven minutes Wednesday to beat Nicaragua in CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B action in Tampa, Florida.

Nicaragua scored first, but Panama answered quickly to seize three points in Group B, which saw the United States and Martinique playing later Wednesday at the same venue.

Enter to win tickets to el Clásico Miami featuring Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

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Tickets to el Clásico Miami, the most eagerly anticipated club soccer game this summer, have been selling at a rapid pace with huge demand from fans around the United States.

When you have the two biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid and Barcelona, facing off against each other for the first time on US soil, the world pays attention.

Morris brace lifts US to 3-2 win over Martinique

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Washington (AFP) – Two goals from Jordan Morris helped a revamped United States hold off Martinique 3-2 on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Tampa, Florida.

Bruce Arena’s men, held to a 1-1 draw by Panama in their opening match, were again less than convincing, surrendering a 2-0 lead to minnows Martinique before Morris’s 76th-minute strike sealed the victory.

Striker Modeste leaves Cologne for China

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Shanghai (AFP) – French striker Anthony Modeste made the first major move of the Chinese transfer window when he joined Tianjin Quanjian from Cologne in a deal that could be worth 35 million euros.

The forward, third-highest scorer in the German Bundesliga last season with 25 goals, moved on a reported loan with an option to buy, just before the mid-season Chinese transfer window closes on Friday.

Corrupt former FIFA official Blazer dead – lawyers

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Corrupt football official-turned-whistleblower Chuck Blazer, whose evidence helped trigger the FIFA bribery scandal, died Wednesday, his lawyers said.

Blazer, who was banned for life from all football activities for corruption in 2015, had been battling cancer up to his death.

China looks to Manchester to ramp up football fortunes

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Shanghai (AFP) – Chinese coaches hope the magic of Mourinho and the guile of Guardiola will rub off on them as they attempt to dramatically improve football in the world’s most populous country.

A group of 57 Chinese coaches is in Manchester on an intensive 12-week training and management course, part of a drive by the Beijing government and football-supporting President Xi Jinping.

Zimbabwe give COSAFA-winning coach new task

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Zimbabwe have rewarded COSAFA Cup-winning coach Sunday Chidzambwa by retaining him for the 2018 African Nations Championship qualifying campaign, which begins Sunday away to Namibia.

The former national team captain and centre-back was due to step aside after Zimbabwe overcame Zambia 3-1 last Sunday to win the southern Africa championship a record fifth time.

Brighton sign Austrian defender Suttner

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London (AFP) – Austrian international full-back Markus Suttner became Premier League debutants Brighton’s third signing of the close season on Thursday after joining from German outfit Ingolstadt.

The 30-year-old spent the majority of his career at Austria Vienna before moving to Germany and has signed a three-year contract with Brighton for an undisclosed fee.

Football: Messi vows to do ‘best’ under Valverde

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Tokyo (AFP) – Barcelona star Lionel Messi shied away from making major promises for the coming season Thursday, pledging only to do his “best” under new coach Ernesto Valverde.

Messi said he was not familiar with Valverde’s style, but voiced cautious hope.

“Well, I say the exact same thing I say all the time,” he said at the team’s celebration of a new sponsorship deal with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten at its Tokyo headquarters.

Clement wants quick resolution to Sigurdsson’s future

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London (AFP) – Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson’s future must be sorted out as soon as possible to avoid harming Swansea’s preparations for the upcoming Premier League season, says manager Paul Clement.

The 27-year-old played a pivotal role in keeping the Swans in the top flight last season, scoring nine goals and creating 13 others, and has been linked with a move to Everton.

Chelsea set to secure French midfielder Bakayoko

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London (AFP) – Chelsea look set to put the disappointment of losing out on Romelu Lukaku by signing French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to the British media on Thursday.

The 22-year-old - who played a pivotal role in Monaco winning the French title and reaching the Champions League semi-finals last season - will cost the English champions up to 39.

Modeste swaps Cologne for China

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Berlin (AFP) – French striker Anthony Modeste has finally completed a move to Chinese outfit Tianjin Quanjian from Cologne, the German Bundesliga side announced on Wednesday.

In a statement on their website, Cologne said: “The 29-year-old will continue his career in the Chinese Super League with Tianjin Quanjian.

Juve swoop for Bayern winger Douglas Costa

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Rome (AFP) – Juventus have signed Brazil international winger Douglas Costa on a season-long loan from Bayern Munich with an option to make the move permanent, the Italian champions said on Wednesday.

Juve can purchase Costa outright for 40 million euros ($45.7 million) if they trigger the option before July 2018 and will pay Bayern an initial six million euros for the 26-year-old as part of the loan agreement.

Alves targets history after PSG switch

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Paris (AFP) – Brazil international Dani Alves admitted the prospect of “making history” by winning the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain factored into his decision to join the French heavyweights.

Alves was unveiled as the club’s second signing of the close season on Wednesday after joining PSG in a two-year deal on a free transfer following his exit from Juventus last month.

Bastia double relegation appeal rejected

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Bastia (France) (AFP) – Bastia failed in their appeal against their demotion to the French third division on Wednesday, having been relegated a second time on financial grounds after finishing bottom of Ligue 1.

“The club is going to immediately appeal this decision to the CNOSF (French Olympic Committee),” Bastia said in a brief statement on the club’s website.

Dutch probing reported threat against women’s Euro 2017

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The Hague (AFP) – Dutch counterterrorism officials said Wednesday that they were investigating a reported threat by so-called Islamic State jihadists against the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 football championships.

The Islamic group has called on “lone wolves to attack Stadion Galgenwaard in Utrecht” on Wednesday, July 19, the day of the England versus Scotland match, according to the specialist jihadist monitoring website SITE.

Alves targets more trophies after PSG switch

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Paris (AFP) – Brazilian right-back Dani Alves vowed to add to his trophy collection at Paris Saint-Germain as he was unveiled by the French giants on Wednesday after signing a two-year deal.

The 34-year-old won three Champions Leagues and six La Liga titles at Barcelona, whose former manager Pep Guardiola had hoped to lure Alves to Manchester City.

Real Madrid announce squad for International Champions Cup tour

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Real Madrid has unveiled its squad for the 2017 International Champions Cup tour that will played across the United States.

While many of the stars will be available to play in the United States, the glaring omission is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star is resting after competing in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Atletico secure Vitolo deal despite FIFA ban

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid said Wednesday they had signed Spanish international Victor Machin Perez, know as ‘Vitolo’, from Sevilla but immediately loaned him to Las Palmas to comply with a FIFA recruitment ban.

“Atletico de Madrid has reached an agreement with Víctor Machín Perez, Vitolo, for the next five years after the football player rescinded his contract with Sevilla,” Atletico said on their website.

Sign up for 2017-18 Fantasy Premier League and join the World Soccer Talk private league

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Registration is now open for the 2017-18 Fantasy Premier League season. The game is free to play. And, if you like, you can join the World Soccer Talk private league.

Here’s how to join the World Soccer Talk private league today:

1. Visit the Fantasy Premier League site and log in
2.

Liverpool’s Mane to miss pre-season trip to Hong Kong

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London (AFP) – Senegalese star Sadio Mane will miss Liverpool’s pre-season tournament in Hong Kong as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old forward, who scored 13 Premier League goals for Liverpool last season after joining from Southampton, is making good progress but has yet to resume full training.

Swansea’s Llorente could miss start of season

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London (AFP) – Former Spanish international striker Fernando Llorente may miss the start of Swansea’s Premier League campaign after breaking his arm, club manager Paul Clement said Wednesday.

The 32-year-old forward - whose 15 goals last season played a crucial role in Swansea retaining their Premier League status - has his arm in a brace and will miss the pre-season tour of the United States.

Where to find USA vs. Martinique Gold Cup on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. Martinique in the Gold Cup group stage, you’ve come to the right place.

After the United States’ disappointing draw against Panama in the first match, Bruce Arena’s team has the opportunity to bounce back against a Martinique team that defeated Nicaragua 2-0 on Saturday.

De Boer makes Loftus-Cheek first signing

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London (AFP) – England Under-21 midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek on Wednesday became the new Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer’s first signing since taking over at the Premier League side last month.

The 21-year-old joins Palace on a season long loan from champions Chelsea.

“I had the option of coming to Palace and I thought that it would be great for me,” Loftus-Cheek told Palace’s official site.

Premier League and Football League clubs post record revenues

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Paris (France) (AFP) – The 92 Premier League and Football League clubs recorded combined revenues in excess of £4.4 billion ($5.7bn, 4.9bn euros) in the 2015/16 season, according to consultants Deloitte.

English topflight clubs generated record revenues of £3.6bn, a 9% increase, in the final year of the league’s 2013-16 broadcast cycle, the firm said in its annual review of football finance.

James Rodriguez to rekindle career under Ancelotti at Bayern

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Berlin (AFP) – After a frustrating spell at Real Madrid, James Rodriguez will attempt to kick-start his career at Bayern Munich next season, back under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

Colombian hot-shot James on Tuesday joined his former Real boss at the German champions on a two-year loan.

Schedule of UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 tournament on US TV and streaming

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ESPN’s presentation of UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 from The Netherlands will kick off Sunday, July 16, with the hosts facing off against Norway at Noon ET on ESPN3 and streaming live on the ESPN app. A second match from Group A will stream at 2:45 p.m. ET as Denmark takes on Belgium. All 31 matches of UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 will air live on the ESPN networks, with the group stage, quarterfinals and semifinals streaming on ESPN3 and the ESPN app, with the final airing from Enschede on ESPNU on Sunday, Aug.

Fitness and finance jostle for football pre-season spotlight

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Paris (AFP) – Real Madrid and Barcelona square off in a rare overseas Clasico while Manchester United and Manchester City meet for the first time outside Britain as the world’s leading clubs strive to optimise their pre-season preparations.

Pre-season tours have grown significantly in importance over the past decade as teams promote their brand visibility while simultaneously striving to ensure players are ready to hit the ground running.

Football: Davies tallies again as Canada ties Costa Rica

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Houston (AFP) – Alphonso Davies scored in the first half and Milan Borjan made several brilliant saves as Canada held on for a 1-1 tie with Costa Rica to remain undefeated at the 2017 CONCACAF Golf Cup.

Teenage phenom Davies opened the scoring with his third goal of the tournament in the 26th minute for Canada who are the surprise co-leaders atop Group A after beating French Guiana 4-2 in their opener.

Marriage of business and sport fuels football Champions Cup

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Los Angeles (AFP) – The cream of European football will be on display in the United States this month as the International Champions Cup aims to cash in on the growing popularity of the world’s most popular sport amongst American fans.

In the space of little more than a decade, the event has evolved from a haphazard collection of meaningless friendlies to becoming the most prominent pre-season tournament in the world, what organiser Charlie Stillitano describes as the “perfect marriage of football and commerce.

Davies tallies again as Canada ties Costa Rica in CONCACAF Gold Cup

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Houston (AFP) – Alphonso Davies scored in the first half and Milan Borjan made several brilliant saves as Canada held on for a 1-1 tie with Costa Rica on Tuesday to remain undefeated at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Teenage phenom Davies opened the scoring with his third goal of the tournament in the 26th minute for Canada who are the surprise co-leaders atop Group A after beating French Guiana 4-2 in their opener.

French Guiana in hot water after ‘ineligible’ Malouda starts

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Houston (AFP) – French Guiana is under the microscope of disciplinary officials and may have to forfeit their Gold Cup match against Honduras after former French star Florent Malouda played on Tuesday despite being ruled ineligible.

The former France and Chelsea player was in the starting lineup for the territory of his birth which played to a scoreless draw with Honduras in a CONCACAF Gold Cup clash on Tuesday night.

Australia looks to reap benefits of European football tourists

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal play a double-header of friendly matches in Sydney this week and the arrival of the English Premier League giants is seen as a golden opportunity for football in Australia.

The Gunners’ new £52.5 million ($68 million) record signing Alexandre Lacazette could make his debut in Thursday’s meeting with the reigning A-League champions Sydney FC.

Chelsea players will have to watch their timing

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London (AFP) – Chelsea players won’t be able to blame the lack of a watch if they arrive late for training in future after as club owner Roman Abramovich gave each of them one as a gift for winning the Premier League.

The Hublot watches - which cost £9,000 ($11,570, 10,000euros) each and are a unique design with a Chelsea lion on the face - were displayed on Instagram by Brazilian winger Willian and England Under-21 midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah.

Football super-agent Mendes in Portuguese tax probe

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Lisbon (AFP) – Portuguese tax inspectors were examining the accounts of football super-agent Jorge Mendes on Wednesday, his company said, two weeks after he was charged in Spain with tax fraud.

The 51-year-old Mendes represents Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, Radamel Falcao and a host of other top earning stars, many of whom are being investigated in Spain over allegations they hid earnings from image rights in off-shore accounts.

USA vs. Martinique preview, TV times and team news

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It’s a safe bet to say that the USMNT did not get off to the start that most fans and players wanted it to see at the Gold Cup with a less than stellar 1-1 draw against Panama in Nashville on Saturday. But Panama has been something of a thorn in the side of the US for a few years now so the result was not entirely shocking or unexpected.

Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez included in Barcelona’s International Champions Cup squad

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Barcelona has announced its squad for the 2017 International Champions Cup, and it includes Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

The trio of Blaugrana stars are among a 28-man squad that will be playing across the United States this summer. After rejecting an opportunity to play in the MLS All-Star Game, Barcelona has instead focused on playing in three high-profile games this summer including games against Serie A champions Juventus on July 22 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford and then Manchester United at FedEx Field in Washington, D.

Carrick takes over as United captain

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London (AFP) – Michael Carrick has succeeded Wayne Rooney as captain of Manchester United after the club’s all-time top goalscorer’s move back to Everton.

“It feels great and it is such a huge honour to captain such a great club,” Carrick told the club’s MUTV on Tuesday.

Conte eyes Real’s Morata to cure Lukaku hangover

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London (AFP) – Spanish striker Alvaro Morata is now the focus of frustrated Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s attentions after Romelu Lukaku slipped through his fingers and signed for Manchester United, according to media reports.

Chelsea have tabled a £62 million (70m euros, $80m) bid for the 24-year-old Morata but Real Madrid are holding out for around £80m, the reports say.

Goalkeeper Donnarumma agrees extended deal with AC Milan

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Rome (AFP) – AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, regarded as the greatest prospect in his position in world football, has agreed an extension to his contract keeping him at the San Siro until 2021, the club announced on Tuesday.

“We continue together! AC Milan and Gianluigi Donnarumma have reached an agreement to extend the goalkeeper’s contract through to 2021,” read a statement on the club’s website.

Collapse victim Nouri’s brain scan clear: Ajax

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The Hague (AFP) – Abdelhak Nouri’s brain appears to be functioning normally according to a preliminary scan following the player’s weekend collapse, his club Ajax said on Tuesday.

“A brain scan and other neurological tests have not detected any anomalies,” the Dutch side announced in a statement.

France goalkeeper Mandanda returns to Marseille

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Marseille (AFP) – French international goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has returned to former club Marseille from English Premier League outfit Crystal Palace on a three-year deal, the Ligue 1 side announced on Tuesday.

Mandanda, 32, starred for Marseille for nine seasons and helped them win the French title in 2010.

UK sports-linked sex abuse victims rise substantially: police

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London (AFP) – The number of victims of historical sex abuse crimes in all sports in the UK but primarily football has risen by nearly 200 in the past three months, according to police figures released on Tuesday.

The number of victims stands at 741 - up from 560 in April - whilst the list of potential suspects has also grown from 252 to 276 in the figures published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Bayern sign Rodriguez on loan deal from Real

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Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Colombia’s hot-shot James Rodriguez has joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan from Real Madrid, the Bundesliga club announced on Tuesday.

The two clubs have agreed on a two-year deal until June 30, 2019, with the option for Bayern to buy the 25-year-old midfielder who was the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Croatia’s Mamic faces new corruption charges

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Zagreb (AFP) – Croatia’s football strongman and former Dinamo Zagreb chief Zdravko Mamic was charged Tuesday for funnelling money from the club which allegedly cost it nearly 20 million euros ($22.8 million).

Along with Mamic, national anti-graft prosecutors charged six other people including his brother Zoran, a former Dinamo Zagreb coach, son Mario and former club director Damir Vrbanovic.

PSG set to seal Dani Alves signing

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain are set to make a statement summer signing by announcing the capture of Brazilian full-back Dani Alves, according to media reports on Tuesday.

The French giants have called a press conference for Wednesday afternoon at 4pm local time (1400 GMT) at the Parc des Princes, at which they are expected to unveil the 34-year-old.

Rooney to start for Everton on East Africa trip

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London (AFP) – Wayne Rooney will make his first appearance back in an Everton shirt in the club’s friendly against Kenyan opponents Gor Mahia in Tanzania on Thursday.

Manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed all players making the trip to East Africa will feature for at least 45 minutes in the game.

Benzema wins court battle over sex-tape

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Paris (AFP) – France’s highest court on Tuesday struck down a ruling putting Real Madrid star Karim Benzema on trial over the sex-tape blackmail of fellow former international Mathieu Valbuena.

The Court of Cassation annulled a Versailles Court of Appeal ruling in December to send Benzema to trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail Valbuena over the sex tape.

Football: Arsenal’s Sanchez going nowhere, insists Wenger

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Tuesday insisted unsettled striker Alexis Sanchez is going nowhere, saying he expected him honour his contract and potentially sign an extension.

The Chilean, 28, has a year left on his Gunners deal but is yet to sign a new contract and has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Arsenal striker Sanchez going nowhere, insists Wenger

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Tuesday insisted unsettled striker Alexis Sanchez is going nowhere, saying he expected him honour his contract and potentially sign an extension.

The Chilean, 28, has a year left on his Gunners deal but is yet to sign a new contract and has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Football: Wenger keen on teen sensation Mbappe

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal are keen on in-demand Monaco teenager Kylian Mbappe, manager Arsene Wenger said Tuesday, while confirming club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette will make his debut on their pre-season tour of Australia.

The 18-year-old Mbappe has reportedly been the subject of world record offers from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and has also been linked with Manchester United.

Arsenal manager Wenger keen on teen sensation Mbappe

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Sydney (AFP) – Arsenal are keen on in-demand Monaco teenager Kylian Mbappe, manager Arsene Wenger said Tuesday, while confirming club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette will make his debut on their pre-season tour of Australia.

The 18-year-old Mbappe has reportedly been the subject of world record offers from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and has also been linked with Manchester United.

Chivas TV enhances streaming capabilities as result of partnership with NBC Sports

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Chivas TV, the official streaming subscription service for fans of CD Guadalajara, has announced a strategic partnership with Playmaker Media (owned by NBC Sports Group and operated by NBC Sports Digital) to enhance the reliability and capabilities of the Mexican club team’s streaming platform.

Pogba behind record Manchester United deal: Lukaku

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku revealed that his record move to Manchester United was inspired by Paul Pogba’s arrival at Old Trafford as he began training with the Premier League giants in Los Angeles on Monday.

A relaxed-looking Lukaku signed autographs for fans and posed for photos at UCLA’s Drake Stadium, where United are training this week as their five-match pre-season US tour gets under way.

New Real Madrid recruit Hernandez looking to learn from ‘world’s best’

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s new French left-back Theo Hernandez said Monday he joined the Spanish champions from cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid because he wants to learn from the “world’s best players”.

“I am very happy to be here, the best club in the world, and I have come here to learn from the best players in the world,” the 19-year-old said at his official presentation at Real’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Verona sign former Italy forward Cassano

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Rome (AFP) – Newly-promoted Serie A side Verona signed former Italian international forward Antonio Cassano, the club announced on Monday.

The 35-year-old, who last played for Italy in 2014, was released by Sampdoria last January and hasn’t played professionally since.

Verona finished second in Serie B last term to win back promotion to the top flight after just one year in the second tier.

Nouri’s heart not damaged: Ajax

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The Hague (AFP) – Tests have shown that the heart of Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri appears to have not been damaged when he collapsed during a training match in Austria, the club said Monday.

“The latest tests have shown that Appie’s heart is functioning normally and appears to be undamaged,” Ajax said in a statement.

Everton is no ‘retirement home’, says Rooney

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Liverpool (AFP) – England’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney insists Everton is ‘not a retirement home’ after making an emotional return to Goodison Park.

Rooney rejoined his boyhood club on Sunday after 13 years at Manchester United where he was also the record goalscorer having broken another United icon Bobby Charlton’s mark last season.

Lukaku completes record move to Manchester United

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London (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku officially completed his move from Everton to Manchester United on Monday for a reported fee of £75 million ($97m, 85.5m euros), a record deal between British clubs.

The 24-year-old Belgian international striker - Everton’s record Premier League goalscorer - signed a five-year deal after passing his medical and agreeing personal terms which will see him earn over £200,000 a week.

Lukaku signs for Manchester United: club

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London (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku officially completed his move from Everton to Manchester United on Monday for a reported fee of £75 million ($97m, 85.5m euros), a record deal between British clubs.

The 24-year-old Belgian international striker - Everton’s record Premier League goalscorer - signed a five-year deal after passing his medical and agreeing personal terms which will see him earn over £200,000 a week.

DIRECTV NOW vs. Sling TV vs. fuboTV comparison of top streaming services

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Between DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV and fuboTV, which is the better streaming service for residents in the United States?

The short answer is it depends on you.

Each streaming service is different in many ways. Not every streaming service offers the same channels. Some offer DVR functionality, some do not.

Swansea slap £50million price tag on Sigurdsson

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London (AFP) – Premier League club Swansea will not let Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson leave for less than £50million ($64m, 56.4m euros) the BBC reported on Monday.

The 27-year-old playmaker - who was pivotal to the ‘Swans’ staying up last season scoring nine goals and creating 13 others - was subject of a £40m bid from 2016 champions Leicester which was turned down.

Costa given extra time off with Chelsea future uncertain

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London (AFP) – Diego Costa has been permitted by Premier League champions Chelsea to miss the start of pre-season training on Monday, fuelling speculation he is set to rejoin Atletico Madrid.

The 28-year-old Brazil-born Spanish international is still keen on a return to Atletico despite them not being allowed to field new players until January because of a transfer ban.

Second-half goals lift Jamaica in Gold Cup opener

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San Diego (AFP) – Jamaica came alive in the second half on Sunday to score two goals that gave them a 2-0 win over Curacao in the Group C opener in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Romario Williams in the 58th minute and Darren Mattocks in the 73rd, gave the Reggae Boyz the first three points in a group that also includes defending champions Mexico and El Salvador - who were next up in the day’s double-header in Southern California.

Mexico open Gold Cup defense with 3-1 win over El Salvador

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San Diego (AFP) – Mexico launched their CONCACAF Gold Cup title defense with a comfortable 3-1 victory over El Salvador in their Group C opener on Sunday.

A young Mexico side aiming to capture an eighth Gold Cup crown took the first step with goals from Hedgardo Marin, Elias Hernandez and Orbelin Pineda.

Mexico open CONCACAF Gold Cup defense with 3-1 win over El Salvador

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San Diego (AFP) – Mexico launched their CONCACAF Gold Cup title defense with a comfortable 3-1 victory over El Salvador in their Group C opener on Sunday.

A young Mexico side aiming to capture an eighth Gold Cup crown took the first step with goals from Hedgardo Marin, Elias Hernandez and Orbelin Pineda.

Tevez’s Chinese club hit out at fixing claims

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Shanghai (AFP) – Carlos Tevez’s Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua say they are taking legal action over suggestions of match-fixing after they grabbed a last-gasp 2-2 draw at Fabio Capello’s Jiangsu Suning.

The weekend stalemate means Capello’s wait for a first Chinese Super League (CSL) victory goes on and Shenhua said that online speculation about the result was tarnishing the club.

Lukaku pays gushing farewell to Everton

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London (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku bid a fond farewell to Everton as he contemplated life with Manchester United following his move for a reported £75 million ($97m, 85.5m euros) transfer record deal between British clubs.

“I want to say a big thank you to all the people involved at Everton,” the 24-year-old Belgian international striker said.

USM, Ahly Tripoli advance, 10-man Zamalek out

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Johannesburg (AFP) – USM Alger of Algeria and Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya reached the CAF Champions League quarter-finals Sunday as 2016 runners-up Zamalek of Egypt bowed out with 10 men.

A 4-1 home victory over CAPS United of Zimbabwe in Algiers ensured USM of top place in Group B with 11 points from six matches.

Zimbabwe confirm COSAFA dominance over Zambia

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Phokeng (South Africa) (AFP) – Zimbabwe confirmed their superiority over Zambia in COSAFA Cup southern Africa championship finals by winning 3-1 in Phokeng Sunday to lift the trophy a record fifth time.

This was the fourth time the neighbouring nations have met in the final of the annual regional competition and Zimbabwe have won three.

Chelsea sign Germany defender Rudiger

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London (AFP) – German international defender Antonio Rudiger joined Chelsea from Italian club Roma for a reported fee of £29 million ($37.3m, 32.7m euros), the buying club announced on Sunday.

The 24-year-old - whose fee with add-ons could rise to £33.3m - signed a five-year contract a week after helping his country win the Confederations Cup.

Analyzing Alexandre Lacazette’s potential impact with Arsenal

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Earlier in the week, Arsenal landed former Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette in a deal that could be worth up to £52.6 million based on performance add-ons. The base fee of £46.5 million for the forward would still set the north London club’s transfer record, previously held by Mesut Ozil (2013).

Mino Raiola: ‘Genius’ and ‘big mouth’ best friend to the stars

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Haarlem (Netherlands) (AFP) – Dressed in a T-shirt and jeans or tracksuit and trainers, it is easy to mistake Mino Raiola for just another chubby beer-loving football fan rather than the razor-sharp mind who dominates the world transfer market.

Raiola, whose Italian roots and love of pasta is highlighted by his family’s pizza restaurant, is said to have been instrumental in orchestrating Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku’s latest signing at Manchester United for a reported £75million ($97m, 85.

Wayne Rooney bids to revive career with Everton return

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London (AFP) – England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney declared himself “ecstatic” after completing a move back to Everton, the club where he first starred as a teenager, on Sunday.

The 31-year-old - who became a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho last season - signed a two-year contract on a free transfer, according to the BBC, bringing the curtain down on 13 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford.

Where to find Mexico vs. El Salvador Gold Cup on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch Mexico vs. El Salvador in the Gold Cup group stage, you’ve come to the right place.

Both Mexico and El Salvador will make their first appearances in the 2017 edition of the Gold Cup tonight. The match, which will be played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, is expected to be played in front of a crowd of 40,000 or more.

Wayne Rooney returns to Everton in bid to revive career

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London (AFP) – England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney declared himself ‘ecstatic’ after completing a move back to Everton, the club where he first starred as a teenager on Sunday.

The 31-year-old - who had become a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho last season - signed a two-year contract on a free transfer according to the BBC, bringing the curtain down on 13 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney rejoins Everton from Manchester United

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London (AFP) – England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney completed a move back to his first club Everton on Sunday.

The 31-year-old - who had become a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho last season - signed a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee, bringing the curtain down on 13 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford.

USA held to 1-1 draw by Panama in Gold Cup opener

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New York (AFP) – The United States gave up an equalizer to draw 1-1 with Panama on Saturday to open Group B action in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Nashville, Tennessee.

English-born striker Dom Dwyer scored for the United States - his second goal in as many matches for his adopted country putting the US up 1-0 in the 50th minute.

Mexico coach apologizes for outburst

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San Diego (AFP) – Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who was slapped with a six-game ban by FIFA, has apologized for an outburst directed at officials during the recent Confederations Cup match in Russia.

Speaking on Saturday night for the first time about the incident, which took place during a game against Portugal, the 56-year old Colombian said he would do “everything” to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Manchester United move realises childhood dream: Lukaku

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London (AFP) – Romelu Lukaku says his move from Everton to Manchester United for a reported £75million ($97m, 85.5m euros) is the opportunity he dreamed of as a child.

The 24-year-old Belgian international striker told ESPN he hadn’t hesitated over the move even though his former club Chelsea offered a similar fee but apparently baulked at the sizeable commission his agent Mino Raiola demanded.

Real Madrid’s Ramos ‘calm’ over Ronaldo exit rumours

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says he is “very calm” about rumours linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a move away from the Spanish capital.

“In that sense I am very calm,” Ramos told Spanish newspaper Marca on Sunday when queried about the Portuguese superstar’s future.

Wayne Rooney returns to Everton from Manchester United

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London (AFP) – England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney completed a move back to his first club Everton on Sunday, the player told the Press Association in a statement.

The 31-year-old - who had become a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho last season - signed a two-year contract with Everton, bringing the curtain down on 13 trophy-laden years at Manchester United.

USA open Gold Cup with 1-1 draw against Panama

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New York (AFP) – The United States and Panama played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday to open Group B action in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Nashville, Tennessee.

English-born striker Dom Dwyer scored for the United States - his second goal in as many matches for his adopted country putting the US up 1-0 in the 50th minute.

Victorious Wydad, Ahly book CAF Champions League last-eight spots

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Al Ahly of Egypt secured CAF Champions League quarter-finals places Saturday, increasing the number of north African qualifiers to four.

A 68th-minute goal from Achraf Bencharki gave Wydad a 1-0 win over 10-man Zanaco of Zambia before a near-capacity crowd in an 80,000-seat Casablanca stadium.

Colombian striker Muriel joins Sevilla football club

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Madrid (AFP) – Sevilla splashed out a club record 20 million euros ($22.8 million) on Saturday to lure Colombian international striker Luis Muriel from Italians Sampdoria, the La Liga outfit announced.

“Sevilla and Sampdoria have agreed a deal which will go through after a medical and the actual signing,” Sevilla saids on their website.

Ronaldhino and friends boost Pakistan football

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Karachi (AFP) – Brazil’s Ronaldinho and a host of other former top footballers played an exhibition match in Pakistan on Saturday in a push to encourage people in the cricket-mad nation to take up the game.

Recently-retired Ronaldinho, who graced the Barcelona shirt in his prime, told reporters he wanted to “provide a good show” in the country, which is looking to entice more international stars as security improves.

Lukaku arrested after rowdy party in Beverly Hills

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Los Angeles (AFP) – Manchester United-bound striker Romelu Lukaku is likely to have to spend a fraction of his extravagant salary on settling a fine in Beverly Hills after being arrested during a noisy party at his rented mansion.

A Beverly Hills Police Department statement on Saturday said Lukaku was arrested at his temporary residence in Beverly Hills on July 2 following a series of complaints over noise at the home.

FOX Sports’ promo video for World Cup 2018 coverage [VIDEO]

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In case you missed it, FOX Sports recently unveiled a promotional video to begin advertising its coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will be televised in the United States across the network of FOX Sports channels.

You can watch the video below, but the promo video features clips of some of the most iconic moments in World Cup history.

Manchester United agree fee for Everton’s Lukaku

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London (AFP) – Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku is joining Manchester United for a reported £75million ($97m, 85.5m euros), a record fee between British clubs, after a deal waa agreed with Everton on Saturday.

The 24-year-old’s signing - which the BBC says includes £15m in add-ons - represents a coup for United and their manager Jose Mourinho whose former club Chelsea had earmarked him as their top striking target for the close season.

Where to find USA vs. Panama Gold Cup on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. Panama in the Gold Cup group stage, you’ve come to the right place.

The US Men’s National Team kicks off their Gold Cup campaign today in Nashville in a difficult game against a very talented Panama side. A win for the Bruce Arena’s USMNT and this will go a long way to helping the national team qualify for the next round of the tournament considering that the next two matches are much easier (against Martinique and Nicaragua).

The taxman cometh for image rights holders

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London (AFP) – The raids by the the British taxman on Premier League sides, West Ham and Newcastle, in late April are believed to have been inspired by non-payment of taxes on image rights.

Indeed HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showing an increased interest in football clubs could be a sign of things to come.

Davies double as Canada down French Guiana at CONCACAF Gold Cup

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New York (AFP) – Teenage striker Alphonso Davies scored twice as Canada withstood a fightback from minnows French Guiana to open their CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with a 4-2 victory in Group A on Friday.

Vancouver Whitecaps forward Davies, 16, who was born in a refugee camp in Ghana in 2000 as his family fled fighting in Liberia, finished clinically in the 60th and 85th minutes to give Canada all three points at the Red Bull Arena.

Manchester United agree fee for Lukaku

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London (AFP) – Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku is set to join Manchester United for a reported £75million ($97m, 85.5m euros), a record fee between British clubs, after the buying club announced Saturday they had reached agreement with Everton.

The 24-year-old’s signing represents a coup for United and their manager Jose Mourinho as the latter’s former club champions Chelsea had earmarked him as their top striking target for the close season.

Wolves break transfer record for Portuguese star

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London (AFP) – Highly-rated Portugal Under-21 international Ruben Neves became second-tier English side Wolverhampton Wanderers’ record signing on Saturday, joining the Chinese-owned team from Porto for a reported £15.8 million ($20.3m, 17.9m euros).

The 20-year-old - who in 2015 became the youngest Champions League captain of all time in a match with Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv - signed a five-year contract and is reunited with former Porto coach Nuno Espirito Santo.

Palace boss De Boer proud to be part of Premier League

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London (AFP) – New Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer believes his disappointing spell as Inter Milan coach has prepared him ideally for the ultra competitive Premier League.

The 47-year-old Dutch footballing great - who was capped 112 times and won the 1995 Champions League with the outstanding Ajax side under Louis van Gaal - told ‘The Times’ he is proud to be crossing swords with the likes of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, both of whom he knew when he played for Barcelona.

Mendes bolsters Lille’s Brazilian contingent

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Lille (France) (AFP) – Brazilian Thiago Mendes has signed a five-year deal with French club Lille from Sao Paulo, the Ligue 1 outfit announced Saturday.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who had played for Sao Paulo since 2015, recently extended his contract until 2021. In 147 games he scored 12 goals and contributed 11 assists.

Schedule of soccer friendlies on US TV and streaming for 2017 summer

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In the next few weeks, there are over 40 friendlies that’ll be shown live on television and streaming to viewers in the United States featuring many of the best teams from Spain, England, Mexico, Germany, Italy and the United States.

We’ve compiled the most up-to-date list of summer friendlies that’ll be shown.

Barcelona-target Verratti apologises to PSG over transfer talk

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Paris (AFP) – Italian international midfielder Marco Verratti has apologised to Paris Saint-Germain officials and fans in a video posted by the Ligue 1 side over the furore whipped up by his desire to leave the club.

“I’ve been here for five years, and if I’ve become a good player it’s thanks to Paris Saint-Germain, who believed in me from the start.

Toulouse pick up free agent Sanogo

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Toulouse (France) (AFP) – Former Arsenal striker Yaya Sanogo has signed a three-year deal with Toulouse, the Ligue 1 club announced on Friday.

The 24-year-old French player became a free agent when he was released by the Gunners last week.

Sanogo was much maligned in England as he scored just once in 20 appearances for Arsenal and failed to find the net at all in his 21 Premier League games, which included an ill-fated loan spell at Crystal Palace.

AC Milan make Conti seventh summer signing

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Rome (AFP) – AC Milan continued their summer spending spree on Friday with the signing of Italian right-back Andrea Conti from Serie A rivals Atalanta on a five-year deal.

The Chinese-owned northern outfit described the Italian under-21 player as “one of the most interesting talents” in Serie A last season, when he helped Atalanta to fourth.

Athletic Bilbao squad shave heads in solidarity with cancer-stricken teammate

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Madrid (AFP) – The entire Athletic Bilbao squad have shaved their heads in solidarity with teammate Yeray Alvarez, who is undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer.

The team surprised the 22-year-old midfielder, who was forced to withdraw from the Spain Under-21 side last month after suffering a relapse, with their new look as he arrived at the club’s dressing room for a visit.

Football’s Gold Cup blow for Mexico as coach banned for six games

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Lausanne (AFP) – Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio has been banned for six matches for insulting officials during the recent Confederations Cup which means the nation’s Gold Cup title defense will be disrupted.

“Mr. Osorio used insulting words towards the match officials while displaying an aggressive attitude towards them,” FIFA said of heated words used after Mexico’s third-place play-off against Portugal on July 2.

PSG relaunch starts with Berchiche signing

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain signed Spanish left-back Yuri Berchiche from La Liga outfit Real Sociedad on Friday, making him the first recruit in their drive to win back the French title.

The 27-year-old is a direct replacement for the retired Brazilian veteran Maxwell and has joined for a fee of around 15 million euros ($17.

USA vs. Panama preview, TV times and team news

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It was a good June for the USMNT and July has certainly started the same way as the US beat Ghana 2-1 in a tune-up for the upcoming Gold Cup. When the US roster was released, it was Dom Dwyer who grabbed all the headlines and it was Dom Dwyer who grabbed all of the headlines from the Ghana game with a goal in his first appearance for the US (a rather splendid goal it should be said).

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for June 28-July 2, 2017

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A total of 3 million viewers watched Germany lift their first ever Confederations Cup title as they defeated Chile 1-0 Sunday afternoon. Just a few hours earlier, Portugal defeated Mexico in the third-place match before an audience of nearly 1.2 million Americans. Throughout the tournament, Telemundo averaged 1.

Defoe’s ‘best mate’ Bradley Lowery dies

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London (AFP) – Bradley Lowery, who became one of the iconic images of last season’s Premier League through his friendship with then Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, has died aged six, his family revealed on his Facebook page.

The devoted Sunderland supporter suffered from a rare form of cancer neuroblastoma and had of late been receiving palliative care at his home.

Messi tax fraud sentence reduced to fine

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Barcelona (AFP) – A Spanish court said Friday it had replaced Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s prison sentences for tax fraud with fines.

The Argentine, one of the world’s best-paid players, and his father had been convicted of hiding image rights royalties in offshore accounts and had been given jail terms of 21 and 15 months respectively.

Ferroviario, Zesco benefit from Sudan football ban

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Ferroviario Beira of Mozambique and Zesco United of Zambia qualified for CAF club competition quarter-finals Friday after Sudan were banned from competing internationally.

FIFA suspended the east African nation over government interference after national federation president Mutasim Gaafar Sir Eklkhatim was illegally replaced.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 19 of the 2017 season

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Photo credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the ten things we learned from Week 19 of the 2017 MLS season.

1. The Fourth of July Massacre

There were plenty of entertaining and important games in MLS’ midweek, fourth of July-centered Week 19 slate.

Jermain Defoe’s ‘best mate’ Bradley Lowery dies

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London (AFP) – Bradley Lowery, who became one of the iconic images of last season’s Premier League through his friendship with then Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, has died aged six his family revealed on his Facebook page.

The devoted Sunderland supporter suffered from a rare form of cancer neuroblastoma and had of late been receiving palliative care at his home.

PlayStation Vue raises prices and removes cheapest streaming package

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In another blow to soccer fans who subscribe to PlayStation Vue just weeks after beIN SPORTS was removed and access to non-TV Premier League games were blocked, Sony has announced that it has removed its cheapest entry-level streaming package and raised prices across all subscription packages.

Lionel Messi tax fraud sentence reduced to fine

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Barcelona (AFP) – A Spanish court said Friday it had replaced with fines the prison sentences handed down for tax fraud to Barcelona star forward Lionel Messi and his father.

Messi, the best-paid footballer in the world according to the club, and his father had been convicted of hiding image rights royalties in offshore accounts and had been given jail terms of 21 and 15 months respectively.

FOX Sports reveals commentators and studio analysts for Gold Cup coverage

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FOX Sports has announced their broadcast team for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which kicks off on Friday July 7.

The most important news is that Landon Donovan will return as a co-commentator to team up with John Strong and Stu Holden for the US Men’s National Team games. In the group stage, the US plays Panama, Martinique and Nicaragua.

China football captain banned in latest punishment salvo

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Shanghai (AFP) – China’s national captain Zheng Zhi and Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz were both banned for several games as the Chinese FA dished out another round of draconian punishments.

Brazilian internationals Oscar and Hulk and their Shanghai SIPG manager Andre Villas-Boas are all already suspended over a separate incident and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) late Thursday stepped up its crackdown on bad behaviour on the field.

Manchester United target Lukaku trains with Pogba

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London (AFP) – Manchester United’s bid to sign Everton’s Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku for a record fee between British clubs of £75million ($97m, 85.5m euros) looked nearer to completion Friday as photos emerged of him training with Paul Pogba.

Lukaku, 24, was pictured on United star Pogba’s Instagram account training with his close friend - who has the same agent Mino Raiola - in Los Angeles where they are on holiday together.

Messi is world’s best paid player: Barcelona president

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Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona’s Argentinian striker Lionel Messi, who recently extended his contract with the Catalan club, is “the best paid player in the world,” club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Friday.

Barcelona announced Wednesday that Messi had agreed to extend his contract until 2021, in a deal that will keep the five times winner of the Ballon D’Or at the club until he is 34.

FIFA suspends Sudan for ‘government interference’

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Lausanne (AFP) – FIFA said Friday it had suspended Sudan with immediate effect due to government interference in the Sudan Football Association (SFA).

The decision bans the Sudanese national team from playing international matches and bars the country’s clubs from all continental competitions.

Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana action returns to US TV with FOX Deportes

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After a brief break, Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana action returns to US TV this week with coverage on FOX Deportes as well as legal streaming providers.

Here’s the TV and streaming schedule for the month of July. All kickoff times are listed as Eastern United States:

Thursday, July 6

The Strongest vs.

Improvements FOX Sports can make to ace their World Cup coverage: World Soccer Talk Podcast

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World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 34, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• Our thoughts on how FOX Sports can improve its World Cup coverage given that we now know what their blueprint is,

• Discussion of FOX’s coverage of the FIFA Confederations Cup final,

• Details on how you can enter to win tickets to el Clasico Miami between Real Madrid and Barcelona,

• Plus questions from YOU, the listeners and much more.

Top Swiss court confirms Platini ban

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Geneva (AFP) – Switzerland’s highest court has rejected former UEFA chief Michel Platini’s appeal against a four-year suspension from football, ending his efforts to overturn the penalty, the ATS news agency reported Thursday.

Platini, 61, was hit with the penalty over a $2 million payment he received in 2011, authorised by then FIFA chief Sepp Blatter for work he did a decade earlier, with no contract to show for the deal.

PSG to sign Sociedad left-back Berchiche

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Madrid (AFP) – Spanish left-back Yuri Berchiche is set to leave Real Sociedad for Paris Saint-Germain, the Basque club said on Thursday.

The 27-year-old would be PSG’s first signing of the close season and a replacement for Brazilian Maxwell, who retired at the end of last season.

Defoe breaks down over terminally ill Lowery

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London (AFP) – England striker Jermain Defoe burst into tears at his unveiling by Premier League side Bournemouth on Thursday, as he revealed his ‘best friend’ Bradley Lowery had only a matter of days to live.

Defoe, 34, and six-year-old devoted Sunderland fan Bradley were one of the bright lights of the Premier League last season with the close relationship they formed.

Premier League schedule on NBC Sports for opening weeks of the 2017/18 season

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We have the TV and streaming schedule for most of the Premier League matches from the opening weekend of the 2017/18 season through the first several weeks.

NBC Sports still has to confirm the schedule, but now that the Premier League has determined which kickoff times will be changed to accommodate the UK TV broadcasters, we know when and where most of the Premier League games will be shown on US television for the opening weekend through early October.

United set to smash British record for Lukaku: reports

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London (AFP) – Everton striker Romelu Lukaku is set to join Manchester United for a record fee between British clubs of £75 million ($97m, 85.5m euros), according to media reports Thursday.

Both the BBC and Press Association reported the deal was all but done for the 24-year-old Belgian international, who will be reunited with Jose Mourinho, who sold him to Everton in 2014 for £28m when the Portuguese coach was in his second spell as Chelsea manager.

CAF Confederation Cup holders Mazembe must win to ensure survival

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Johannesburg (AFP) – CAF Confederation Cup title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo must defeat visiting Horoya of Guinea this weekend to be sure of a quarter-finals place.

Every Group D match between leaders Mazembe, Horoya and third-place SuperSport United of South Africa has been drawn, setting the scene for a thrilling finale.

US, Mexico to try new football talent at Gold Cup

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Los Angeles (AFP) – The United States and Mexico are hoping to unearth a new crop of talent as they attempt to extend their reign of dominance when the CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on Friday.

The biennial football championship for North America, Central America and Caribbean gets under way at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey with French Guiana taking on Canada before Honduras face Costa Rica.

New South Korea football coach slams predecessor’s lack of strategy

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Seoul (AFP) – South Korea’s new football coach criticised his predecessor Uli Stielike on Thursday, accusing the veteran German of lacking strategies and blaming communication difficulties with the players for poor results.

Stielike, 62, won the European Championship and was a World Cup runner-up with Germany as a player, and went on to manage Switzerland and Ivory Coast, along with a series of clubs, before taking the reins in Seoul.

Nothing can stop us, insists Zanaco coach

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Coach Mumamba Numba insists “nothing can stop” Zanaco of Zambia reaching the CAF Champions League quarter-finals this weekend when they tackle Wydad Casablanca in Morocco.

The Lusaka-based outfit top hotly-contested Group D, two points ahead of former champions Wydad and three in front of record eight-time title-holders Al Ahly of Egypt with one round left.

Holders Mazembe must win to ensure survival

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Johannesburg (AFP) – CAF Confederation Cup title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo must defeat visiting Horoya of Guinea this weekend to be sure of a quarter-finals place.

Every Group D match between leaders Mazembe, Horoya and third-place SuperSport United of South Africa has been drawn, setting the scene for a thrilling finale.

Podolski arrives with promise to boost Japan game

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Tokyo (AFP) – German World Cup winner Lukas Podolski Thursday vowed to bolster enthusiasm for Japanese football after arriving to join Vissel Kobe, bucking a trend of big-name players moving to cash-rich China.

“I know the J-League is the strongest in Asia and I am determined to enliven (the league) with my team,” Podolski told a news conference shortly after he arrived in Kobe, near Osaka, to join the city’s J-League club.

Wayne Rooney linked with return to Everton

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London (AFP) – England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney could be set for a return to Everton, the club where he made his name, according to the British media.

The 31-year-old who flourished at Everton - bursting onto the scene as a teenager and scoring 15 goals in 67 appearances - has become a peripheral figure at Manchester United since Jose Mourinho took over last year.

Romelu Lukaku ‘set for move to Manchester United’

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London (AFP) – Everton’s Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku is set to join Manchester United instead of champions Chelsea for a fee of £75 million ($97m, 85.5m euros), according to the British media.

Both the BBC and Press Association reported the deal was all but done for the 24-year-old Lukaku, who will be reunited with Jose Mourinho, who sold him to Everton in 2014 for £28m when the Portuguese coach was in his second spell as Chelsea manager.

Torres extends Atletico deal for an extra year

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Madrid (AFP) – Striker Fernando Torres will stay at Atletico Madrid until the end of next season after signing a contract extension, the La Liga club announced on Wednesday.

The former Spain international’s contract had run out, but he will now stay at Atletico until June 30, 2018.

ESPN Deportes to broadcast Emirates Cup featuring Arsenal, Benfica, Sevilla and RB Leipzig

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ESPN Deportes will broadcast the ninth edition of the Emirates Cup to viewers in the United States.

Hosted by Arsenal, this year’s tournament will feature three of the top teams from Europe including RB Leipzig (Germany), Benfica (Portugal) and Sevilla (Spain). The matches will be played across the weekend of July 29-30, live from Emirates Stadium in north London.

Arsenal break club record to clinch Lacazette deal

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Lyon (AFP) – Arsenal signed France striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for a club-record fee that could rise to 60 million euros ($68m, £52.56m), the two clubs confirmed on Wednesday.

The transfer fee is also a new record sale for the Ligue 1 outfit, worth an initial 53m euros, according to a statement on the Lyon website.

Barcelona’s football star Alba steps into Gulf crisis

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Doha (AFP) – Barcelona star Jordi Alba has become the latest Spanish footballer to enter the Gulf diplomatic crisis after he was shown signing a T-shirt of Qatar’s leader on Wednesday.

A video of Alba autographing the image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, which has become the symbol of Qatari resistance during the month-long row between Doha and neighbouring countries, was posted on Twitter.

Arsenal break club record to clinch Lacazette in football deal

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Lyon (AFP) – Arsenal agreed a deal to sign France striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for a club-record fee that could rise to 60 million euros ($68m, £52.56m), the two clubs confirmed on Wednesday.

The transfer fee is also a new record sale for the Ligue 1 outfit, worth an initial 53m euros, according to a statement on the Lyon website.

Real buy French teenager Hernandez from Atletico

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Madrid (AFP) – French left-back Theo Hernandez, 19, completed a cross-city transfer from Atletico to Real Madrid for a reported fee of 30 million euros ($34 million) on Wednesday.

The announcement ends a drawn out struggle for one of Europe’s up-and-coming talents, with the European and Spanish champions Real prising the youngster away from their city rivals.

Football: ‘Indian Spiderman’ escapes drug ban

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New Delhi (AFP) – India’s anti-doping agency Wednesday revoked the suspension of veteran goalkeeper Subrata Paul after the footballer proved he had taken a banned drug unintentionally.

Paul, dubbed the “Indian Spiderman”, was provisionally suspended after testing positive to banned drug terbutaline during a random test by the National Anti-Doping Authority (NADA) in March.

Nico Cantor interview: Paving his way to success as a soccer commentator

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Nicolas “Nico” Cantor, the son of the most famous soccer television announcer in the United States regardless of language, was hired by Univision Deportes in January 2017 as as the English-language play-by-play voice of Liga MX matches on the Univision Deportes Facebook page and Major League Soccer (MLS) matches on the Second Audio Program (SAP) of Univision Deportes Network (UDN).

How often your club will be on Premier League Pass in 2017/18 season

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With NBC Sports deciding to charge soccer fans to watch the games that aren’t shown on television in the United States for the 2017/18 season onwards, every fan needs to be asking whether it’ll be worth it to sign up for Premier League Pass or not.

At the end of the day, it depends on who you support.

Lionel Messi commits to Barcelona until 2021

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Barcelona (AFP) – Lionel Messi has agreed to stay at Barcelona until 2021 in a deal that all but commits the star striker to ending his top-flight career at the Spanish giants.

The megastar who joined Barcelona as a teenager 17 years ago will remain at the club until he is 34 under the new deal, the Catalan club announced Wednesday, ending months of speculation about the future of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Besiktas sign Pepe from Real Madrid

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Istanbul (AFP) – Portuguese international defender Pepe on Wednesday signed for Turkish champions Besiktas of Istanbul from Real Madrid on a two-year deal.

Pepe, 34, landed in Istanbul before dawn aboard a private plane and was given a rousing welcome by hundreds of fans who had waited overnight at the airport.

Real Madrid’s Luka Modric questioned over alleged false testimony

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Zagreb (AFP) – Croatian prosecutors on Wednesday questioned Real Madrid’s Luka Modric over his alleged false testimony at the trial of Dinamo Zagreb’s powerful former boss, Zdravko Mamic.

“I came here to present my defence and tell the truth as every time so far,” Modric told reporters after the questioning in the eastern town of Osijek, where the trial is being held, the state-run HINA news agency reported.

Enzo Zidane insists: ‘I’m different from dad’

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Madrid (AFP) – Enzo Zidane insisted Wednesday that he was a “different player” from his father Zinedine, after being unveiled at La Liga club Deportivo Alaves.

“I don’t think much about that,” the 22-year-old attacking midfielder said when asked about comparisons with Zinedine Zidane, a 1998 World Cup winner feted as one of the finest talents of his generation.

Chinese football champs fine captain for handshake snub

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Shanghai (AFP) – Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande fined captain Zheng Zhi for failing to gather all his players to shake the hands of match officials after the dramatic weekend defeat at Tianjin Quanjian.

The Chinese international midfielder becomes the latest major name to hit disciplinary trouble in the Chinese Super League (CSL), with the Shanghai SIPG quartet of Oscar, Hulk, Wu Lei and manager Andre Villas-Boas all serving bans.

Indonesia to lead SE Asian 2034 World Cup football bid

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Jakarta (AFP) – Indonesia is set to lead a consortium of South East Asian countries in an ambitious bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, the country’s football association said Wednesday.

Joko Driyono, the vice-president of the Indonesia’s football association, PSSI, said the country had proposed to lead the South East Asian consortium at an Asian Football Federation (AFF) council meeting in Vietnam earlier this month.

Besiktas set to sign Pepe from Real Madrid

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Istanbul (AFP) – Portuguese international defender Pepe on Wednesday arrived in Istanbul to join Turkish champions Besiktas from Real Madrid on a two-year deal.

Pepe, 34, landed in Istanbul before dawn aboard a private plane and was given a rousing welcome by hundreds of fans who had waited overnight at the airport.

Barcelona extend Messi contract until 2021

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Barcelona (AFP) – Spain’s FC Barcelona have extended the contract of star striker Lionel Messi until June 30, 2021, the club announced Wednesday, just days after he wed his childhood sweetheart in Argentina.

“The deal will be signed in the coming weeks, when Messi returns to the team for pre-season training,” the club said in a statement.

Messi commits to Barcelona until 2021

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Barcelona (AFP) – Lionel Messi has agreed to stay at FC Barcelona until 2021 in a deal that all but commits the star striker to playing out the rest of his top-flight career at the Spanish giants.

The megastar who joined Barcelona as a teenager 17 years ago will remain at the club until he is 34 under the new deal, the Catalan club announced Wednesday, ending months of speculation about the future of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Huddersfield sign Montpellier striker Mounie

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London (AFP) – Newly promoted Huddersfield have signed 22-year-old Montpellier forward Steve Mounie, the club announced Wednesday.

The Benin international who also has French nationality has agreed to a four-year contract with the Premier League club.

Mounie scored 14 goals in Ligue 1 last season and Huddersfield boss David Wagner said the player had “a very exciting combination of attributes that makes him a very attractive proposition as a young striker.

PSG starlet Edouard gets suspended sentence for air gun shooting

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Toulouse (France) (AFP) – Teenage football star Odsonne Edouard on Tuesday received a four-month suspended sentence for shooting a random passer-by with an air gun.

The 19-year-old was also fined 6,000 euros ($6,700) and ordered to pay the victim 2,000 euros ahead of a court hearing on civil damages set for February.

Derby winger Tom Ince signs for Huddersfield

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London (AFP) – Winger Tom Ince, son of former England midfielder Paul, has quit Derby and signed a three-year deal with Huddersfield Town, the newly-promoted Premier League club said Tuesday.

Ince, 25, is Huddersfield’s fourth summer signing and the third new player to arrive since they secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time.

Germany’s Ginter quits Dortmund to join Moenchengladbach

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Berlin (AFP) – International defender Matthias Ginter, fresh from helping Germany win the Confederations Cup, has quit Borussia Dortmund to join Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“Matthias Ginter came to us and expressed his desire to leave due to the competition for places in defence.

Shin gets nod as new South Korea coach

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Seoul (AFP) – Former under-20 boss Shin Tae-Yong was given the task of rescuing South Korea’s teetering World Cup qualifying campaign when he was named as the country’s new national team boss on Tuesday.

Shin replaces Uli Stielike, 62, South Korea’s longest-serving coach, who was axed last month after a shock defeat to Qatar left them in danger of missing direct qualification to Russia 2018.

Brazilian midfielder Gustavo joins Marseille

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Marseille (AFP) – Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo on Tuesday signed a four-year deal for a reported eight million euros to join French side Marseille from Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen.

“Experience, versatility and strength of character are his main strengths,” Marseille said in a statement, adding that Gustavo brought a “solid reputation as an aggressive and skilled link man.

Motta extends Paris Saint-Germain contract

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Paris (AFP) – Italian international Thiago Motta has signed on for an extra season at French giants Paris Saint-Germain, the club announced Tuesday.

Motta, 34, joined PSG in January 2012 from Inter Milan and his contract was set to expire on June 30, but it has been extended until June 30, 2018.

Ginter quits Dortmund, joins Borussia

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Berlin (AFP) – International defender Matthias Ginter, fresh from helping Germany win the Confederations Cup, has quit Borussia Dortmund to join Borussia Moenchengladbach.

“Matthias Ginter came to us and expressed his desire to leave due to the competition for places in defence.

Telemundo Deportes averaged record 1.2 million viewers for Confederations Cup tournament

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Telemundo Deportes’ exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the FIFA Confederations Cup averaged 1.2 million total viewers and 605,000 adults 18-49, and delivered 46 million streaming minutes on digital platforms.

The coverage reached over 16 million viewers on television, outperforming Univision networks’ broadcast of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, which aired in similar time periods by +47% and +29% respectively, according to Nielsen.

Spaniard Sanchez appointed Qatar coach

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Doha (AFP) – Spaniard Felix Sanchez has been officially named as Qatar’s coach, replacing Uruguayan Jorge Fossati, to become the third manager of the country’s national team in less than a year.

A statement posted on Twitter by the Qatar Football Association on Monday confirmed Sanchez had been “formally appointed” as head coach.

England defender Keane joins Everton

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London (AFP) – Everton have signed promising Burnley defender Michael Keane on a five-year deal which could reach a club record £30 million (35 million euros, $34 million), the Premier League club announced on Monday.

The 24-year-old, who came through Manchester United’s youth system, has played twice for England and becomes the club’s fifth summer signing after Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Henry Onyekuru and Sandro Ramirez.

Malian Yatabare in custody over alleged police assault

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Bobigny (France) (AFP) – Malian international footballer Sambou Yatabaré was detained in police custody Monday after allegedly punching an off-duty police officer in the carpark of Paris’s main airport, judicial sources told AFP.

Yatabare, a French-born midfielder who plays with German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, was being questioned for alleged violence against a person in public authority.

Manchester United home jersey for 2017/18 features new button-up collar design

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Manchester United has officially unveiled their new home jersey for the 2017/18 season, which will be worn for the first time when the club plays the LA Galaxy on July 15 during their preseason tour in the United States.

Celebrating the club’s third year with adidas, the new home kit will be worn by the likes of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera.

Real Madrid’s Coentrao questioned in tax fraud probe

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao, accused of evading nearly 1.3 million euros in income from the tax man, was questioned in court on Monday, a judicial source said.

He appeared in court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of the Spanish capital where many footballers live, said a spokesman for the high court of the Madrid region - which oversees all other courts in the area.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 18 of the 2017 season

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If you’ve been following MLS attendance for a while, it should come as no surprise at the poor attendance numbers in Colorado and Dallas. I was also surprised by the relatively weak number in Philadelphia.

New York City FC’s number was also weak, but it’s possible that they are reaching their true level after 2½ seasons.

Chelsea legend John Terry signs for Aston Villa

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London (AFP) – Long-serving Chelsea captain John Terry signed a one-year contract with second tier English side Aston Villa on Monday.

Terry, 36, who left Premier League champions Chelsea after 22 trophy-laden years at the end of last season having lifted the Premier League title, is reported to have agreed a weekly salary of £60,000 (68,300 euros, $77,700) with the club that is owned by Chinese businessman Tony Xia.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 18 of the 2017 season

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Photo credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the ten things we learned from Week 18 of the 2017 MLS season.

1. Get Cincinnati to MLS

The game of the year in American club soccer was played – get this – in the U.S. Open Cup round of sixteen on a warm Wednesday night in June in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Capello hits rock-bottom in Chinese Super League

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Shanghai (AFP) – Fabio Capello’s Jiangsu Suning slumped to the bottom of the Chinese Super League at the weekend after a defeat to a Shanghai SIPG side missing their banned star players and manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The Italian coach was left still searching for his first league victory since being appointed last month at Jiangsu, who have spent heavily on midfielder Ramires from Chelsea and attacking midfielder Alex Teixeira.

Confederations Cup shows Russia ready to host World Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Germany’s Confederations Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew and FIFA president Gianni Infantino have led the calls for giving Russia the seal of approval to host next year’s World Cup.

Lars Stindl’s first-half goal in Sunday’s final sealed Germany’s 1-0 win over Chile, bringing down the curtain on the 2017 Confed Cup - a warm-up for next year’s World Cup finals.

USA’s jersey for Gold Cup features unique red and blue hoop design

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Debuted in the friendly win against Ghana, the US Men’s National Team has unveiled their official jersey for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The jersey features distinctly American design elements: bold red and navy hoops across the body of the shirt and tonal obsidian stars throughout.

Soaked Loew hails Germany’s rising Confed Cup stars

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Joachim Loew has hailed Germany’s next generation of stars after beating Chile 1-0 in Sunday’s Confederations Cup final - but says the challenge is to defend the World Cup next year.

Lars Stindl’s simple tap-in was enough to seal Germany’s victory in Sunday’s final in St Petersburg as the youthful world champions lifted the Confed Cup for the first time.

Stindl tap-in wins Germany Confederations Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Lars Stindl’s simple tap-in, following a costly first-half blunder by Marcelo Diaz, was enough to give Germany a 1-0 win over Chile in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday.

Diaz’s momentary lapse in concentration let Timo Werner rob him of possession, draw the goalkeeper and pass to Stindl, who scored into an empty net on 20 minutes in Saint Petersburg.

Germany beat Chile to win Confederations Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Lars Stindl scored the only goal of the game in the first half as Germany beat Chile 1-0 in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday.

This is the first time Germany, the reigning world champions, have won the Confederations Cup title in the eighth edition of the World Cup warm-up tournament.

Football veteran Pizarro released by Bremen

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Berlin (AFP) – Veteran Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro has been released by Werder Bremen, the German Bundesliga side have confirmed.

The 38-year-old made his debut in the German top flight 18 years ago and has had three separate spells at Werder and two stints at Bayern.

“Due to the big competition in attack and the young talent we have, whose development we don’t want to hinder, we decided to not extend Claudio’s contract,” said Werder sporting director Frank Baumann.

West Brom sign Saints’ Rodriguez

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London (AFP) – West Bromwich Albion have signed Jay Rodriguez from Premier League rivals Southampton, the England striker’s new club confirmed Sunday.

The 27-year-old has long been linked with a move to The Hawthorns and West Brom chose an unusual away to confirm the deal.

Responding to a tweet from a fan asking if they had signed anyone ahead of the new season, Midlands club Albion replied with a four-second clip of Rodriguez saying “yes we have”.

Portugal beat Mexico to finish third at Confed Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Adrien Silva scored an extra-time penalty as Portugal recovered from a goal down to beat Mexico 2-1 in Sunday’s third-place play-off at the Confederations Cup in Moscow.

Luis Neto bundled into his own net to hand Mexico a 54th-minute lead, but Pepe stabbed home a stoppage-time equaliser to force an extra 30 minutes at Spartak Stadium.

Juventus away jersey for 2017/18 season features bold yellow and blue colors

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Juventus has released their new away jersey for the 2017/18 season. Inspired by one of the club’s golden eras and the city colors of Turin, the new yellow and blue away jersey for the 2017/18 season has been designed with the Bianconeri’s classic away shirts from the 1980s in mind.

The jersey comes at a time when the club is once again re-inventing itself, so the retro style from the ‘80s has been given a modern revival to match with the club’s new logo and redesigned identity ‘Black and White and More.

Portugal beat Mexico to finish third at the Confederations Cup

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Moscow (AFP) – Adrien Silva scored an extra-time penalty as Portugal recovered from a goal down to beat Mexico 2-1 in Sunday’s third-place play-off at the Confederations Cup in Moscow.

Luis Neto bundled into his own net to hand Mexico a 54th-minute lead, but Pepe stabbed home a stoppage-time equaliser to force an extra 30 minutes at Spartak Stadium.

Spurs unveil home jersey for 2017/18 season designed by Nike

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Tottenham Hotspur has unveiled their brand-new home jersey for the 2017/18 season, which is designed - for the first time - by Nike.

Nike’s first season with the club will see the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris outfitted in Nike Vapor kits as they embark on a campaign at the highest level both domestically and on the continent.

Blatter regret at overstaying FIFA tenure

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Geneva (AFP) – Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, forced out as head of world football’s governing body amid a corruption scandal in 2015, admitted on Sunday he regretted not stepping down earlier.

The 81-year-old was banned over ethics breaches, bringing an end to his 17-year reign as FIFA chief, following a suspect two million Swiss franc ($2 million, 1.

4 quality signings that would improve Arsenal

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Summer transfer season is certainly a strange time for both soccer clubs and fans. Wild rumors, millions of dollars being thrown around, and even some player transfer requests fill the summer months heading into the long haul of a new season. One club that is particularly in the midst of a hectic summer is Arsenal.

Where to find Chile vs. Germany Confederations Cup final on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch Chile vs. Germany in the Confederations Cup final, you’ve come to the right place.

This is it. The final between Chile, the Copa America champions, versus Germany, the current World Cup champions. Will it be South America or Europe that will be crowned the best in the world today?

Where to find Mexico vs Portugal Confederations Cup third-place final on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch Mexico vs Portugal in the Confederations Cup third-place final, you’ve come to the right place.

In what would have been a dream final for many, Portugal and Mexico will play it out to determine who will end in third and fourth place in the tournament in an early kick off from Russia.

Debutants strike as US down Ghana

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Washington (AFP) – English-born striker Dom Dwyer scored a goal on his international debut as the United States defeated Ghana 2-1 in a friendly international on Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City forward Dwyer, who became a US citizen three months ago, lashed home a first-half volley to fire the Americans ahead as they build towards this month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Telemundo outperforming FOX Sports by 229% in Confederations Cup viewing numbers

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Telemundo Deportes is running all over FOX Sports in the race to reach as many viewers as possible for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Through the semi-finals of the competition, which in many ways is a dry run for next summer’s World Cup, Telemundo Deportes’ exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the FIFA Confederations Cup has reached over 11 million total viewers, averaging 1.

Infantino hails VAR ‘great success’ at Confed Cup

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino hailed the video assistant referee (VAR) system as a “great success” at the Confederations Cup, but admitted it still needs improving.

World football’s governing body is testing the system in Russia and Infantino said the six game-changing decisions the VAR has so far picked up meant “more justice and fair play”.

Portugal without Ronaldo for Mexico play-off

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Moscow (AFP) – European champions Portugal will have to make do without captain Cristiano Ronaldo as they seek the consolation of a third-place finish in Sunday’s Confederations Cup play-off against Mexico.

The Real Madrid star was excused from the squad for the game in Moscow following Wednesday’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Chile in the semi-finals, returning home to meet his newborn twins.

Chelsea snap up veteran keeper Caballero

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London (AFP) – Premier League champions Chelsea signed Argentinian goalkeeper Willy Caballero on a free transfer on Saturday to provide back-up to Thibaut Courtois.

The 35-year-old had been a free agent since Manchester City let him go at the end of last season and Chelsea had a spare goalkeeping spot after Asmir Begovic left for Bournemouth.

Where to find Mexico vs. Paraguay on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch Mexico vs. Paraguay, you’ve come to the right place.

After losing to Chile in the Confederations Cup semi-final, Mexico’s national team will be focused on tonight’s friendly against Paraguay with a team made of young up-and-coming youth players who could be the future of this El Tri team.

Chile can prove they’re best in the world – Vidal

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) – Midfielder Arturo Vidal says Chile can prove they are the world’s best team, and throw down a marker for next year’s World Cup, by beating Germany in Sunday’s Confederations Cup final.

Copa America champions Chile take on World Cup holders Germany in St Petersburg with the teams having already drawn 1-1 in the group stages.

Where to find USA vs. Ghana on US TV and streaming

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If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. Ghana, you’ve come to the right place.

The US Men’s National Team will be focused on today’s game against Ghana to get vital playing time and confidence before they begin play in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Bruce Arena’s team will be facing a very good Ghana team who have faced the US in many World Cup tournaments.

Football star Messi weds childhood sweetheart

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Rosario (Argentina) (AFP) – Lionel Messi said “I do” to childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo Friday in his Argentine hometown Rosario, where footballers and celebrities including pop singer Shakira had gathered for the “wedding of the century.”

Following the private ceremony the couple appeared happy and relaxed as they walked a red carpet before hundreds of media at a hotel and casino complex, Roccuzzo donning a tight, mermaid-style gown by the Spanish designer Rosa Clara.

Marquinhos extends PSG deal to 2022

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Paris (AFP) – Brazilian international defender Marquinhos has penned a three-year contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain that runs until 2022, the Ligue 1 club announced Saturday.

“I have always said I’m happy to play for Paris Saint-Germain, and this contract extension is further proof of my commitment to the club,” said Marquinhos, who joined PSG from Roma in 2013.

Watford make double signing

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London (AFP) – Spanish defender Kiko Femenia and Austrian goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann signed for English Premier League side Watford on Saturday.

Femenia, 26, is a former Spanish youth international and joins on a four-year contract from La Liga outfit Alaves, whom he helped to finish ninth last season.

Pellegrino makes Bednarek first signing as Saints manager

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London (AFP) – Poland Under-21 international defender Jan Bednarek became new Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino’s first signing on Saturday.

The 21-year-old centre-back - who has been on duty for his country at the European Under-21 championships - signed a five-year contract with the Saints paying a reported £5-million ($6.

Saul extends Atletico deal until 2026

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez on Saturday signed a contract extension that will keep him at the La Liga outfit for another nine years.

The 22-year-old joined Atletico’s academy in 2007, and extended his stay in the capital by a further five seasons, despite reported interest from other European clubs.

Defoe’s mum decisive factor in Bournemouth return

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London (AFP) – England striker Jermain Defoe admitted his mind was made up about a return to Premier League side Bournemouth when he saw his mother’s reaction.

The 34-year-old scored 19 goals, including in a club record 10 successive matches, during his previous spell at the then third-tier club on loan from West Ham United in 2000/2001.