‘I saw my friends die in the street’: Mohamed El-Munir’s journey from Libya to LAFC


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The defender has forged a professional career after leaving the chaos of his homeland. But his thoughts are always with those he has left behind

When the Libyan revolution started, Mohamed El-Munir was a 19-year old playing for Al-Ittihad Tripoli. “Nobody expected it,” the Los Angeles FC defender tells the Guardian. “It just happened so fast. We just finished the first half of the season, so we were getting ready to play the second half. The problems started and they said, ‘We’re going to stop the league for a week or 10 days until we solve these problems.’”

Chaos quickly ensued. “I had to see many of my friends die in the street,” the 27-year-old says. “If I had to go out, I wouldn’t know if I was going to come back. We didn’t have electricity from 7 o’clock to 12, 1 o’clock. In June or July, it Continue reading “‘I saw my friends die in the street’: Mohamed El-Munir’s journey from Libya to LAFC”

Why NBA stars like James Harden and LeBron James invest in soccer clubs


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Even though MLS clubs cannot compete with the other US sports leagues in terms of income, soccer is seen as a growing market for wealthy athlete-investors

James Harden’s summer of soccer continues. Earlier this month, the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player had a kickaround at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. And he was at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, enjoying Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over Real Madrid while his new club picked up three points in Toronto. Two days prior, the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash announced that Harden has purchased a minority stake in the group that controls the MLS and NWSL clubs and their 22,000-capacity stadium.

In simpler and less lucrative times, sports stars might have been content to open a memorabilia-filled steakhouse or bar in the cities where they became local legends. Now they are so wealthy – Harden’s salary for the coming season is $38m – that Continue reading “Why NBA stars like James Harden and LeBron James invest in soccer clubs”

Liverpool v Sevilla: pre-season friendly – live!


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Christen Press responds to criticism over partnership with Barstool Sports


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  • USA star posted video to Barstool’s official Instagram account
  • Barstool has history of crude humour and sexist jokes

USA star Christen Press has responded to questions about her involvement with Barstool Sports, a website with a history of misogyny.

Press linked up with Barstool during the US women’s team World Cup victory celebrations in New York City last week, posting videos of the parade to the website’s Instagram page. Columns in both the Guardian and Deadspin questioned the partnership given the US’s team fight for gender equality. One Barstool article claimed that “The USWNT Loves Barstool”.

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Arsenal 3-0 Fiorentina: International Champions Cup – as it happened


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Sergiño Dest: the accidental USA star aiming to become Ajax’s Marcelo


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The 18-year-old attacking full-back was born in the Netherlands to an American father. And his international career is blooming for the States

There is a new generation of US stars emerging at Europe’s elite clubs. And among this talent-rich class is a player who – in soccer terms at least – is American only by chance.

Sergiño Dest, an 18-year-old full-back who signed his first professional contract with Ajax in December last year, was born and raised in Almere in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and a US serviceman father. He hadn’t even visited the States until a trip to New York City – his father’s hometown – in 2014, and hadn’t considered representing the US until the possibility came up in a phone call.

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Bob Bradley recovers from Swansea nightmare as LAFC take MLS by storm


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The former USA coach admitted he ‘failed’ during his brief stay in the Premier League. But his new team are close to unstoppable this season

Los Angeles already had the most successful franchise in Major League Soccer history. A team that have won more championships (five) and made more MLS Cup finals (nine) than any other. Between 2011 and 2014, three titles were delivered by an array of global superstars and a coach once dubbed the Sir Alex Ferguson of American soccer.

LAFC’s unashamed aim was always to usurp the Galaxy when they made their MLS debut last year. The way they saw it, Los Angeles didn’t even have a team, with the Galaxy playing their games out by the tennis courts and suburban communities of Carson. LAFC, on the other hand, play so close to downtown that the skyline is visible between the stands of the Banc of California Continue reading “Bob Bradley recovers from Swansea nightmare as LAFC take MLS by storm”

USA’s Allie Long says key to New York was stolen in hotel room burglary


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  • Midfielder says wedding ring and key to New York were taken
  • Long, 31, made long-awaited World Cup debut against Chile
  • De Blasio promises city will replace symbolic key on Twitter

The celebration was cut short for a member of the World Cup champion United States women’s soccer team after she discovered someone had burglarized her hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Los Angeles.

Allie Long tweeted on Thursday it happened after the team was honored at the ESPY awards on Wednesday night.

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Police investigate possible hate crime after slurs aimed at Megan Rapinoe


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  • Posters of USA star were defaced on New York subway
  • Footballer is an advocate for women’s and LGBT rights

New York City police are investigating a possible hate crime directed at Megan Rapinoe after posters of the World Cup champion were defaced with homophobic slurs.

The defaced posters, which were at a Manhattan subway station, were reported early on Monday morning. The US had won the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, and were given a victory parade in New York on Wednesday. Rapinoe, who is gay, finished as the top scorer in the tournament and is a vocal advocate for women’s and LGBT rights. She has also clashed with Donald Trump. Before the World Cup she said she would not visit the White House if the US won the tournament, and on Sunday she accused the president of excluding large sections of the US population.

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After a brilliant World Cup victory, US stars return to their day jobs


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It’s been a non-stop party since Megan Rapinoe and Co won the World Cup. But now the task is to see if they can grow the domestic league

It’s been a non-stop party for the US women’s national team since they won the World Cup on Sunday. The champagne started flowing in the locker room immediately after the US beat the Netherlands and, from the charter flight home to a ticker-tape parade in New York City, players’ Instagram accounts have featured bottle-popping, dancing and singing ever since.

Once the celebrations stop, however, the players have to return to their day jobs. That means the National Women’s Soccer League, a fledgling competition now in its seventh season. If fans want to keep up with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, they will have to watch Reign FC and Orlando Pride. The question, of course, is whether that will happen. There was Continue reading “After a brilliant World Cup victory, US stars return to their day jobs”

Jill Ellis: where does a women’s football coach go after two World Cup titles?


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The USA coach defied critics – including some in her locker room – to triumph in France. But she is unlikely to find a bigger job than her current one

Jill Ellis is the most successful manager in women’s football. With back-to-back Women’s World Cup trophies, Ellis goes down in history as the only coach to win the title twice, and the only one to have never lost a game in the tournament. But with her contract set to expire in less than three weeks, what’s next for Ellis?

She could continue in her current job to the next World Cup but no coach has ever lasted that long at the helm of the US women’s national team. And there’s a pretty important reason for the constant in-and-out of coaches: the players typically push them out, and in 2017 some select veteran players staged an unsuccessful coup to get Continue reading “Jill Ellis: where does a women’s football coach go after two World Cup titles?”

‘It’s just the start’: how World Cup victory affects USA’s fight for equal pay


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The US secured the World Cup trophy on Sunday. And they also won something just as valuable for their lawsuit against US Soccer: public goodwill

Just after the US sealed their fourth Women’s World Cup on Sunday a chant broke out around Stade de Lyon: “Equal pay! Equal pay!”

It may have taken the players a while to discern what the fans were shouting, but eventually they understood. The supporters in the stadium – or the vocal ones at least – had sided with the team in the gender discrimination lawsuit that has lingered in the background of the Women’s World Cup, and is now waiting for the players as they return to the US.

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Fifa’s VAR bumbling hurt a World Cup in which the women’s game shone | Hope Solo


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The greatest US team I have seen held off opponents who are rapidly closing the gap. Meanwhile, the game’s governing body hit a low

I had to wipe away a few tears as the final whistle blew on Sunday. It was emotional watching friends and former teammates win this World Cup. I understand what it means and I know first-hand the time and effort that every team member put into the end result.

Related: USA carried social and sporting burdens at the World Cup. They won anyway

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Women’s World Cup – the best shots by female photographers | Picture essay


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Our picture editor looks back at a captivating tournament in France through the work of six exceptional female photographers

While the 2019 Women’s World Cup brought global attention to the talents of the world’s best female footballers, it also shone a light on the skills of the many female photographers who cover the beautiful game. From their positions on the sidelines, they’ve captured the joy and despair – not to mention the many VAR controversies – during the past month in France.

Here are our favourite pictures from five outstanding photographers: Naomi Baker, Hannah Peters, Charlotte Wilson, Catherine Ivill, Maja Hitij and Marianna Massey.

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The US men’s team are now a punchline. Which is a little unfair


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There were always going to be comparisons after the US women’s team won the World Cup. But Gregg Berhalter’s team are showing signs of promise

Sunday started and ended with an American team meeting expectations. It’s just that one of those sides is the best in the world while the other isn’t even the best on its continent.

Predictably enough, the US women’s team were poised and in command as they retained the World Cup; the men were profligate in the first half and ragged in the second as they failed to keep hold of the Concacaf Gold Cup later in the day.

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USA carried social and sporting burdens at the World Cup. They won anyway


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Complacency, attacks from Donald Trump and the battle for equal pay were supposed to catch up with the Americans. They still lifted the trophy

There were plenty of reasons to expect the US wouldn’t repeat as Women’s World Cup champions. Most teams only need to beat their opponents. For the Americans, meanwhile, it often seemed like they had to accomplish that task while taking on their president as well as social inequality.

Yes, the US were used to pressure. They had won the World Cup in 2015, but clinching back-to-back World Cups is exceedingly rare – it had only happened once on the women’s side and twice on the men’s. It’s far too easy for complacency creep in — just look at how Germany stumbled in the men’s World Cup last year after winning in 2014.

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Jonathan dos Santos’s strike seals Gold Cup final win for Mexico over USA


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  • El Tri take home Concacaf title after 1-0 victory in Chicago
  • Mexico win their eighth Gold Cup with Sunday’s victory

The US couldn’t make it two titles in one day. Hours after the US women’s team won the World Cup final, the men lost to old rivals Mexico in the deciding match of the Gold Cup. Jonathan Dos Santos scored in the 73rd minute of the final for the Mexicans on Sunday night as El Tri won a record eighth Concacaf title.

Despite missing their top three forwards, El Tri dominated possession against an American team playing in their first tournament under new coach Gregg Berhalter. Christian Pulisic, the Americans’ 20-year-old star midfielder, was by far the best US player and his pace and skill created chances for the home team. Jordan Morris beat goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa with a 6-yard header from Pulisic’s corner in the 51st minute, but Continue reading “Jonathan dos Santos’s strike seals Gold Cup final win for Mexico over USA”

Women’s World Cup 2019: how USA became four-times champions – video


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USA have defended their Women’s World Cup crown by claiming another title in style after a heated 2-0 win over the Netherlands. 

From a record-breaking run, to the fight for equality via Megan Rapinoe’s tiff with Donald Trump – here’s a look back at the USA’s road to glory

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How does Rose Lavelle’s goal compare to other World Cup final classics?


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The USA midfielder sealed her team’s fourth title with a wonderful strike. Here are a few other classics from down the years

Rose Lavelle, the diminutive USA midfielder, watched the last Women’s World Cup final in a pizza shop. On Sunday she scored one of the best World Cup final goals of recent years. With the score at 1-0 to the US, and the result still in question, Lavelle scored what proved to be the game-sealing goal with a marvelous effort. She meandered down the pitch and, with two Dutch defenders closing in, thumped the ball past Sari Van Veenendaal.

ROSE. LAVELLE.

A beautiful solo effort doubles the @USWNT‘s lead in the #FIFAWWC final! pic.twitter.com/ToznvQiuxb

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USA’s band of sisters have used their unity to gain a crucial edge


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The factions that have often existed in US World Cup teams of the past seem absent this time around in France

It wouldn’t quite be fair to say that the US have been the best team for the entirety of this World Cup. Even after they beat France in the quarter-final, players from both teams agreed that the hosts played better football. But they have consistently had the edge in one thing: mentality. The Americans have played with a ruthless streak that other teams simply haven’t matched in this World Cup – at least not yet.

“At its core, this is a team that has grittiness, fight and a never-say-die attitude,” says defender Kelley O’Hara, who on Sunday will play in her third consecutive World Cup final. “That was something we had to make sure we were instilling in the young players coming up. It was something the older players Continue reading “USA’s band of sisters have used their unity to gain a crucial edge”