News Update

US Soccer

USMNT players in Gold Cup camp

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We start the soccer news with the USMNT players joining up in Nashville in advance of the 2017 Gold Cup. Bruce Arena's roster has some interesting names, the result of his choice to give the regulars playing club soccer in Europe a break. That doesn't mean a squad without European-based talent, with several players trying to break in.

USMNT stays 3rd in the Hexagonal

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The rest of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers played out on Tuesday night, with the USMNT remaining in 3rd-place in the Hexagonal. World Cup qualifying resumes in September.

Panama and Honduras drew 2-2 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez. Romell Quioto put Honduras up on the road in the 6th minute with Blas Perez equalizing in the 41st.

Bruce Arena’s game plan

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The soccer news starts with USMNT coach Bruce Arena not keeping it a secret that he had his plan for Mexico worked out weeks ago. "We told the team on day one of this camp that we would play that way in this game," Arena said of a strategy that required shuffling the starting eleven and giving up a lot of possession.

Three points for the USMNT

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The soccer news starts with the USMNT shutting out Trinidad & Tobago for three points in the Hexagonal table. The USMNT had the early game, waiting on the two later results to learn what those three points would mean. Costa Rica did the USMNT no favors, playing out a scoreless draw at home to Panama.

Borussia Dortmund wants more under Peter Bosz

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the details on Peter Bosz's transfer from Ajax to Borussia Dortmund. It's always interesting when there's a transfer fee for a coach. Dortmund paid Ajax €5m euros for the pleasure of Bosz's company. Setting aside Ajax not doing a lot to shirk their reputation as a selling club by selling their coach, Borussia Dortmund comes complete with significant expectations.

Playing the youth World Cups

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Tuesday's soccer news wonders if it's really worth the trouble trying to draw overarching conclusions from the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. There's an argument that FIFA doesn't do the teams much of a favor by selling international broadcast rights to what used to be the youth championships. In terms of relative obscurity, it might be worthwhile to let these tournaments enjoy them.

Borussia Dortmund makes a change

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The DFB Pokal celebrations didn't last long for Borussia Dortmund. The Bundesliga club made a coaching announcement in Tuesday's soccer news, parting ways with Thomas Tuchel.

"We would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his coaching staff for the sporting success they have brought to BVB...." read Borussia Dortmund's official statement.

English Premier League

The power of the Premier League

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Friday's soccer news starts with another example of how much things have changed in the Premier League. Crystal Palace, far down the list of Premier League clubs in general and London Premier League clubs in particular, is closing in on a new manager. Frank de Boer left Ajax for Inter Milan last season, losing that Italian job after three months.

Pick a super club

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It's the 2016-17 Champions League final on Saturday and it's Juventus as the underdog against Real Madrid. It's easy enough to question how the Serie A champions are anybody's underdog, but that's the situation against a team like Real Madrid. They spend to win, and they do it well.

Juventus is once again in an interesting situation.

Arsenal sticks with Wenger

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with what was as close to an obvious conclusion as is possible with a super club. Arsene Wenger will still be the manager of Arsenal for the 2017-18 season and beyond. According to reports, the club made the decision after finishing in 4th-place in the Premier League, winning the FA Cup, and majority owner Stan Kroenke meeting with Wenger.

Mourinho games the Europa League

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Not too long ago, there was a push to add some kind of meaning to the Europa League. On the surface, it was easy to dismiss the tournament as close to irrelevant. Winning meant lifting a trophy, sure, but few confused that with an overwhelmingly successful season. The Europa League was what it was, Europe's second-tier competition.

The cost of the Championship

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with an item that isn't exactly a surprise. David Moyes is no longer the manager of Sunderland, one of the new members of the Championship. According to reports, Moyes had indicated a willingness to stay with the club a league down. He officially resigned on Monday.

Sunderland's relegation became official a couple of weeks ago, capping a tough season in the Premier League that began with only two points from ten games.

Arsenal’s problem

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Monday's soccer news starts with Arsenal not getting the ending they wanted to the 2016-17 Premier League season. Needing a win and help on the final match day, they handled their business with a 3-1 win over Everton at the Emirates Stadium. Unfortunately for their last ditch effort to qualify for the Champions League, so did Liverpool.

Mourinho and Manchester United point to the schedule

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Once again, it's Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho asking questions about the Premier League. This time, it's scheduling a game for Sunday when his team plays the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Even though the Premier League wants all of the finales to at the same time, Mourinho certainly has a point.

MLS, Europe, and that summer soccer schedule

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Tuesday's soccer news decides to play nice with the idea that MLS is a growing league with only bright days ahead. That makes it easier to overlook the kind of things that don't play nice with the better examples from professional soccer leagues in the rest of the world.

As the European and Mexican seasons come to a close, it's tough to downplay the kind of things that are still works in progress in good old Major League Soccer.

Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the Championship

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with Middlesbrough's relegation. A 3-0 loss to Chelsea made their drop to the Championship official with two games left to play. That fills two of the three relegation spots in this season's Premier League, with 18th-place Hull City still battling to stay up at the expense of 17th-place Swansea, 16th-place Crystal Palace, or an unlikely scenario involving the 14th or 15th-place teams.

The Premier League problem

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The soccer news starts with an open question about the 2016-17 Premier League season. Has it been any good? Chelsea's prolonged slog to the title continues later today against Middlesbrough (3pm ET - NBCSN) with the feeling that at least one team should've been able to press them if not overtake them.

Nobody respects Chelsea

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Monday's soccer news starts with an interesting twist to this Premier League season. Plenty of people want to talk about what the big name clubs aren't doing in their pursuit of the title. Fewer are interesting in building up the league leaders as a legitimate power.

Chelsea has had a lock on the top of the table since November.

The Manchester derby doesn’t impress

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Friday's soccer news starts with the Manchester derby. City and United played out a cliche of professional soccer with a 0-0 draw at Etihad Stadium. It was the kind of game most people would want to forget while watching it, much less at the final whistle. For City fans in person, that meant encouraging their team to hurry up with a stoppage time corner kick.

Serious issues for English clubs

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When the tax authorities come calling to seize information and make arrests, it's never a good day at the office. That was the scenario for West Ham United and Newcastle United yesterday, calling into question how both clubs conduct their businesses.

The Independent's Jack de Menzes has some of the details on the accusations the clubs now face.

Eintracht takes their place in the DFB Pokal final

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with Timmy Chandler's Eintracht advancing to the DFB Pokal final. Eintracht knocked out Borussia Gladbach on penalties. Eintracht took the lead on the road when Taleb Tawatha scored in the 15th minute. Jonas Hofmann equalized for Gladbach in first-half stoppage time.

Newcastle United close in on the Premier League

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If you designed an optimal Premier League, it would be tough to exclude Newcastle United. The biggest club from the biggest city in England's North East makes the same kind of sense as adding Aston Villa, the biggest club in the second biggest metropolitan area in the country.

As we all know, English soccer doesn't work that way.

MLS plays its All-Star Game

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MLS announced its opponent for the 2017 All-Star Game. Real Madrid headlining Chicago surprises no one, with MLS tipping their hand by already announcing Soldier Field as the venue.

There's certainly the feeling that the only thing likely to change the All-Star Game format is an inability to get people to show up to watch the opponent.

FIFA

Questioning instant replay

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the growing complaints about how instant replay is working at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The quick take is that it isn't, at least not enough to convince that it's worth the effort.

Instant replay, which of course FIFA would prefer the soccer world refers to as "video assistant referee", has been a long time coming.

Getting excited about the Confederations Cup

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Friday's soccer news starts with the Confederations Cup. It's easy to dismiss an international tournament that doesn't involve the USMNT. Easier still if you want to jump on board with those who think it's a bit much for FIFA to run a mini-World Cup the year before the main event. Both are fair points, to some extent.

Germany in the Confederations Cup

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Thursday's soccer news starts with the Confederations Cup. FIFA's World Cup warmup starts on Saturday in Russia, and it's not a safe assumption that even the participating countries really care. Germany, for instance.

The defending World Cup champions are having issues filling stadiums for friendlies at home, partly because their results seem like a foregone conclusion.

2017 mls season

What’s wrong with DC United?

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with games on the MLS schedule. DC United hosts Atlanta United with another chance to try to turn their season around. DC is bottom of the Eastern Conference, six points behind 7th-place Atlanta with both teams about to play their 16th game of the season.

With DC sitting on 10 goals scored, the worst in MLS.

David Villa’s goals

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Monday's soccer news starts with NYCFC's David Villa hitting his 50th and 51st MLS goals. Villa scored from the penalty spot and the run of play in the 2-1 win over Seattle. It's easy enough to point to that as proof that a designated player works in Major League Soccer. Villa joined MLS in a familiar situation.

Comeback in Liga MX, win for Chicago

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Friday's soccer news starts with the scores. The Liga MX Clausura final opened with Tigres coming back against Chivas to draw 2-2. Tigres fell behind at home to an Alan Pulido goal in the 23rd minute. Rodolfo Pizarro doubled Chivas's lead in the 42nd. Andre Pierre Gignac scored for Tigres in the 85th and equalized three minutes later.

Philadelphia turns it around

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The Philadelphia Union is on a five-game undefeated streak with three wins in a row, enough to turnaround an MLS season by week 12. The Union was the poster child for troubled clubs early on, with predictions of a coaching change and questions over the scope of the team. Fair enough considering the results.

Wins for Toronto and Sporting KC

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Thursday's soccer news starts with last night's MLS action. At BMO Field, Toronto beat Orlando City 2-1. Seb Giovinco put Toronto up in the 9th minute with Jozy Altidore assisting and doubled the lead in the 38th. Kaka pulled a goal back for Orlando in first-half stoppage time.

"First and foremost we are really disappointed with the loss," Orlando coach Jason Kreis said.

Champions League

Real Madrid adds another Champions League trophy

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Real Madrid did as expected in the Champions League final, though nobody could've predicted the one goal they allowed. Trailing 1-0, Juventus's Mario Mandzukic scored one of the best goals in the history of the final in the 27th minute. It was video game stuff, but that was it. Real Madrid took over, taking the title 4-1 to close out the 2016-17 European season.

The focus is on the Champions League

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Thursday's soccer news starts with reports that UEFA and the European Professional Football Leagues. Inside World Football's Andrew Warshaw reports that the two groups may figure out a way to not botch the biggest moneymaker in club soccer.

That would be the Champions League, the competition that will crown another winner on Saturday.

Juventus vs Real Madrid in the Champions League final

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Real Madrid did as expected in the Champions League, knocking out city rivals Atletico to book a date with Juventus. It's no knock against the competition that super clubs make it through. That is the point after all. Atletico is certainly in that category, spending the requisite amounts of money to remain a contender across multiple seasons.

Pressure in MLS

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Two views on the MLS experience starts Wednesday's soccer news. The Mirror's Alex Smith has Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger's comments about quality of play in MLS. FC Yahoo's Leander Schaerlaeckens talks to Atlanta United coach Tata Martino about lower pressure in MLS.

The MLS expansion standings

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St Petersburg, Florida voted in favor of letting Tampa Bay Rowdies owner Bill Edwards revamp Al Lang Stadium. Edwards wants to spend his own money to continue converting the former baseball park into an 18k-capacity MLS venue. It's worth noting that Edwards also paid for Tuesday's special ballot initiative, driving home the point that he doesn't expect public money.

More on the Borussia Dortmund bus attack

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Friday's soccer news starts with a bizarre twist to an equally bizarre incident. AP's Frank Jordans reports that the motivation behind the bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund bus prior to their home game in the Champions League last week wasn't terrorism. Instead, it was an attempt by the perpetrator to lower the stock price of the soccer club.

Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League run ends

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In a series that won't be remembered for what happened on the field, Borussia Dortmund exited the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage. Dortmund lost 3-1 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate.

Monaco opened the scoring in the 3rd minute at Stade Louis II, adding a second goal in the 17th.

The Champions League officiating

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The officiating took over the story in Real Madrid's win over Bayern Munich in the quarterfinal round of the Champions League. Rather than Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick in the 4-2 win on the night, it was how many of Real's goals were offside. Two clearly, changing the complexion of the game.

"We played like men and showed that we're worthy of playing for FC Bayern," Thomas Muller said.

The Rest

MLS expansion season has issues

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Tuesday's soccer news starts with MLS expansion. MLS might have interested parties in bringing a team to their cities, but that doesn't necessarily obligate local governments. That was the story a few months ago in St Louis, and it's a scenario playing out in San Diego and Charlotte.

San Diego's city council isn't interested in holding special elections for ballot measures this year, according to a report by The San Diego Union Tribune's David Garrick.