Preview: USMNT vs Bolivia

USMNT running. The last time the USMNT played Bolivia gave us a glimpse of what Christian Pulisic could mean for the United States. As multiple social media channels have reminded us this week, he scored his first international goal in the 4-0 win in Kansas City on May 28, 2016. Fast-forward two years and Pulisic is a superstar with transfer rumors linking him with a major move this summer. Pulisic is back with the USMNT for the first time since the October World Cup qualifiers. Joining him are a mix of players that speak to the state of flux the USMNT is currently in. "Like all of the matches we’ve played since November, the expectation is that the players respond well to the challenges they’ll face on the day against a team that will punish your mistakes," USMNT interim coach Dave Sarachan said. "The hope is that we continue the form that Continue reading "Preview: USMNT vs Bolivia"

Mutual admiration from Klopp, Zidane as Real and Liverpool prepare for final

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
Kiev (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp expressed his admiration for Zinedine Zidane a day before he leads Liverpool into the Champions League final hoping to stop the French legend’s Real Madrid side from winning the trophy for a third year in succession. Zidane has led Real to victory in each of the last two campaigns, and will enter the history books if he becomes the first coach to win Europe’s premier club competition three years in a row. Real beat Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich in the knockout rounds on the way to the final. Yet Zidane’s detractors consider him to be a supervisor of a supremely talented squad, spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo, rather than a tactical genius. “If a lot of people think Zinedine Zidane doesn’t have much knowledge of tactical things — because a lot of people think that about me — that would be really funny,” Klopp Continue reading "Mutual admiration from Klopp, Zidane as Real and Liverpool prepare for final"

Liverpool bid to get stranded fans to Kiev fails

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
London (AFP) – Liverpool’s mayor said his bid to get stranded football fans to Kiev for the Champions League final against Real Madrid failed on Friday after he was unable to find crew for back-up planes. “We regret to say that we have been unable to achieve a resolution that will satisfy everyone. We now must accept the fact that some fans who have tickets may not be able to make the game,” said Mayor Joe Anderson in a statement. “Our hearts go out to all those who will undoubtedly be left bitterly disappointed by this turn of events.” Hundreds of supporters are now expected to miss the showpiece match in Ukraine on Saturday after operator Worldchoice Sports cancelled three flights because it did not have sufficient landing slots at Boryspil Airport. Anderson initially said he was working with Kiev’s mayor, former world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, to find Continue reading "Liverpool bid to get stranded fans to Kiev fails"

Real Madrid ready for chaos in Champions League final, says Zidane

• Madrid manager says pressure brings best from his team
• ‘We have had chaos before and we will have tomorrow, for sure’ As his Real Madrid side arrived in Kiev to face Liverpool in the Champions League final, Zinedine Zidane admitted that he is ready for chaos and insisted that if there was pressure, they would be all the better for it. “Today and tomorrow will never happen again; we will live other experiences, but never this, so we have to make the most of it,” the Frenchman said. “And if there’s a bit of pressure, no problem. It’s life, it’s better like that – a bit of emotion. We’re humans and humans are pure emotion. With pressure it’s even nicer.” Continue reading...

Cinderella stories in the 2018 US Open Cup

US Open Cup soccer ball. By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (May 18, 2018) US Soccer Players - The Cinderellas are arriving at the US Open Cup ball in full regalia as the venerable, yet underappreciated, the tournament moves on to the Fourth Round. Wednesday night’s third round delivered a handful of upsets and set the stage for the David versus Goliath matchups that can make the competition so compelling. The Fourth Round is when MLS clubs enter the tournament, finishing the process of introducing every eligible club to the Open Cup’s 2018 field. The Third Round featured dominance by USL clubs and the emergence of a single true Cinderella. The PDL and NPSL still have one team each in the competition, but that title can only go to the NTX Rayados out of Texas. The Rayados, a club based in the Dallas area, knocked of FC Wichita of the NPSL 3-2 in Texas in Continue reading "Cinderella stories in the 2018 US Open Cup"

Ronaldo lives for Champions League final stage – Zidane

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
Kiev (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo is fit and ready to shine again in a Champions League final, believes Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane as the Spanish giants go for a third straight European Cup against Liverpool on Saturday. Ronaldo can join an elite group of just 10 other players to win five European Cups should Madrid win in Kiev. The Portuguese became just the second player after legendary Real forward Alfredo di Stefano to score in three different finals by netting twice in a 4-1 rout of Juventus last season to deliver Madrid’s 12th European crown. And he shrugged off fears over an ankle injury picked up in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Barcelona earlier this month by scoring on his return against Villarreal as Madrid wrapped up a disappointing domestic season in La Liga last weekend.  “He’s fine. If he is just 140 percent it’s no problem,” said Continue reading "Ronaldo lives for Champions League final stage – Zidane"

Ukraine a ‘special place’ for Real skipper Ramos

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
Kiev (AFP) – Kiev has attracted a wave of negative publicity due to the problems faced by supporters wanting to get there for Saturday’s Champions League final, but Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos insists it will always have a place in his heart. Fans of Madrid and Liverpool have had their plans for attending the game thrown into turmoil, with some hotels cancelling previously-made bookings to put the same rooms up for sale at exorbitant rates. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed that 1,000 Real supporters had handed back their tickets because it had become too expensive to get to the Ukrainian capital. But Ramos is returning to the city, and to the same Olympic Stadium, where he won the Euro 2012 final with Spain against Italy. “The truth is that Ukraine is a special place for me and brings back great memories,” he told media on Friday ahead of the Continue reading "Ukraine a ‘special place’ for Real skipper Ramos"

Juventus veteran in discussions with Arsenal over potential summer switch

Juventus veteran Stephan Lichtsteiner – according to The Guardian – has supposedly held discussions with Arsenal over a potential summer switch to north-London, a possible acquisition which would be Unai Emery’s first as the club’s newly appointed head coach. Lichtsteiner, 34, has been at the Bianconeri since 2011 and consummately claimed 7 Serie A titles […]

‘Fighter’ Zidane as good a coach as he was a player – Klopp

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
Kiev (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp is in no doubt that Zinedine Zidane has shown himself to be as good a coach as he was during a wonderful playing career, as the two men prepare to lead their Liverpool and Real Madrid sides into Saturday’s Champions League final. “If a lot of people think Zinedine Zidane doesn’t have much knowledge of tactical things — because a lot of people think that about me — that would be really funny,” Klopp told media at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium on the eve of the game. Zidane finds himself in a position to win a third Champions League title despite only becoming Real coach in January 2016. If he does that, the 45-year-old would equal Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti as the only coaches to have won the European Cup three times. Despite that, Zidane’s detractors see him more as a supervisor of a supremely Continue reading "‘Fighter’ Zidane as good a coach as he was a player – Klopp"

Underdogs Nigeria eye World Cup knock-out rounds

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
Uyo (Nigeria) (AFP) – Nigeria can surpass expectations at the World Cup finals by demonstrating the same fighting spirit and teamwork that got them to Russia, captain Mikel John Obi said on Friday. The Super Eagles are currently 47th in the FIFA world rankings — the lowest of their opponents in Group D, Argentina (5th), Croatia (18th) and Iceland (22nd). But former Chelsea star Obi said that could spur the Super Eagles on and beyond their previous tournament best of reaching the round of 16. “Being underdogs is good for us. It means we have to do more, we have to be humble,” the experienced midfielder, who is set to play in his second World Cup, told a news conference. “That means we can do better than what people expect us to do.” He added: “We have to do better than we have ever done. It will be tough Continue reading "Underdogs Nigeria eye World Cup knock-out rounds"

Brighton sign Romania striker Andone

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
London (AFP) – Brighton completed the signing of Deportivo La Coruna striker Florin Andone for an undisclosed fee on Friday, the Premier League club announced. The Romania international will join the Seagulls on a five-year contract when the window for international transfers opens on June 8. The 25-year-old scored 19 goals in 69 appearances during his two seasons with Spanish side Deportivo, who were relegated at the end of the Spanish league season. Albion manager Chris Hughton said Andone, who reportedly signed for a fee of £5.25 million ($7 million, 6 million euros), had been a long-term target. “We are delighted that Florin has agreed to join us. He is a player that we have tracked for some time and he will add a new dimension to our attacking options,” Hughton told the club’s official website. “He is a very hard-working player, and has proven his quality at the Continue reading "Brighton sign Romania striker Andone"

Liverpool bid to get stranded fans to Kiev ‘not looking good’

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
London (AFP) – Liverpool’s mayor says his bid to get stranded football fans to Kiev for the Champions League final against Real Madrid is “really not looking good” after he was unable to find a crew for a back-up plane. Hundreds of supporters face missing the showpiece match in Ukraine after operator Worldchoice Sports cancelled three flights because it did not have sufficient landing slots at Boryspil Airport. Mayor Joe Anderson said he was working with Kiev’s mayor, former world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, to find a solution for all those who face missing out. He posted several messages on Twitter on Thursday and Friday promising he was trying to find a solution to the fiasco by sourcing a carrier to provide flights from John Lennon airport. But he was later forced to admit that a plan he had hatched with Klitschko looked domed to failure. He said: “No final Continue reading "Liverpool bid to get stranded fans to Kiev ‘not looking good’"

Mohamed Salah can become modern great like Messi and Ronaldo, says Klopp

• Liverpool manager says forward can become a modern great
• Sergio Ramos says Messi and Ronaldo are ‘in another orbit’ Jürgen Klopp has said Mohamed Salah can follow Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as a modern great but that the forward’s only ambition must be sealing a phenomenal campaign for Liverpool with a starring role in the Champions League final. Salah has scored 44 goals in his debut season as a Liverpool player, three short of the all-time club record set by Ian Rush in 1984. The Egypt international has one more chance to catch Rush against Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday when Liverpool aim to win the European Cup for a sixth time. Continue reading...

Liverpool mayor ‘working hard’ to get stranded fans to Kiev

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
London (AFP) – Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said Friday he was “working really hard” to help football fans who face missing the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Kiev due to a flights fiasco. Around 1,000 fans were left stranded when operator Worldchoice Sports cancelled three flights because it did not have sufficient landing slots at Boryspil Airport in Kiev. Anderson said he was working with Kiev’s mayor — former world heavyweight champion boxer Vitali Klitschko — to find a solution for all those who face missing out. In a video posted on Twitter on Friday, he said: “We’ve had more discussions this morning with Mayor Klitschko and also the director of the airport. “Now they’re trying to do a couple of things for us — they’re trying to look and see if we can use an airport nearby either to get an Airbus in there or some smaller Continue reading "Liverpool mayor ‘working hard’ to get stranded fans to Kiev"

How to watch the Champions League final in Spanish on US TV & streaming

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> The whole world will be watching Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. And if you live in the United States and want to watch the game with Spanish-language announcers, there’s only one place you can see it: ESPN Deportes. While many of us will be looking forward to being mesmerized by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mo Salah, Gareth Bale, Roberto Firmino and others tearing up the pitch, not all of us have ESPN Deportes (plus many of us no longer have a cable or satellite subscription either). One option to consider is signing up for Sling Orange plus the Best of Spanish TV package so you can watch the game and a ton of other channels for free with their 7-day trial. For soccer fans, the Sling Orange plus Best of Spanish TV offers an attractive choice of soccer leagues and competitions including: • Univision (for
Continue reading "How to watch the Champions League final in Spanish on US TV & streaming"

Liverpool to refund cup final tickets for fans with cancelled flights

Club will reimburse 650 people who cannot make Champions League match in Kiev Liverpool have offered full refunds on tickets for the upcoming Champions League final in Ukraine to 650 fans whose flights have been cancelled, but ticket-holders called the travel problems an “absolute joke”. Two flights to Kiev were cancelled by the tour operator Worldchoice Sports on Thursday after Boryspil airport could not allocate landing slots for the planes due to leave the UK on Friday and Saturday. Continue reading...

Trailer for Nossa Chape documentary by FOX Sports is chilling [VIDEO]

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> We can never forget the tragedy that happened to the Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense following the plane crash where 71 people died in 2016. The tragic story is going to be retold in a brand-new documentary by FOX Sports entitled Nossa Chape, which will debut on the over-the-air FOX Network on June 23. The documentary is directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, best known for their incredible documentary The Two Escobars. Judging by the trailer, this one looks like a must-see soccer documentary. Before the documentary premieres on FOX, it’ll debut at select movie theaters across the country from June 1.     The post Trailer for Nossa Continue reading "Trailer for Nossa Chape documentary by FOX Sports is chilling [VIDEO]"

European success in Liverpool’s DNA – Henderson

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
Kiev (AFP) – Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson urged his team-mates to take “one more step” to write themselves into the club’s storied history in European competition by winning the Champions League for a sixth time on Saturday. To do so Liverpool must end Real Madrid’s reign as European champions as the Spanish giants go for a third straight title and 13th European crown in Kiev. Despite their tradition in the tournament, Liverpool are back in the final for the first time in 11 years. “We’ve done fantastically well to get to this point,” Henderson said on the eve of the game in the Ukrainian capital. “We want to go one step further and be remembered for the right reasons and that is winning the Champions League.” Liverpool’s return among the European elite is largely attributed to Jurgen Klopp’s impact as manager since taking over at Anfield in 2015. However,
Continue reading "European success in Liverpool’s DNA – Henderson"

The Fiver | Occasions like these are not to be missed

Sign up now! Sign up now! Need to re-subscribe because of this GDPR business? Sign up now! It has been a financial, logistical and physical nightmare but The Fiver has finally completed its journey and all that remains is to fritter away 24 hours or so before kick-off in Saturday’s Big Cup final. The overland trek was gruelling, there have been outrageous bribes, costly misunderstandings and a particularly heated argument over the state of our accommodation, not to mention of our personal hygiene, but all that matters is that when the players of Liverpool and Real Madrid stride out on to the pitch in Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium, The Fiver will be roaring them on from our favourite stool at The Lengthy Barf. Occasions like these are not to be missed! And where else would we be? Continue reading...

Arsenal in talks with defender Stephan Lichtsteiner over free transfer

• Unai Emery targets 34-year-old Switzerland captain
• Lichtsteiner departing Juventus as a free agent this summerArsenal are in talks to sign Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free when his contract at Juventus expires this summer, with the right-back among Unai Emery’s targets. The 34-year-old, who is expected to captain Switzerland at the World Cup in Russia, could become the Arsenal head coach’s first signing. Related: Chelsea sound out Maurizio Sarri over replacing Antonio Conte Continue reading...