TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp: Pulisic to Chelsea? Another…by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has offered his opinion on Chelsea’s deal for Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic.Liverpool had been in competition with the Stamford Bridge club to land the American this January, but Klopp cooled his interest in the forward and the Blues swooped.Chelsea opted to loan the American back to Germany until the end of the season, at which point the 20-year-old will link up with his new team.And Klopp said: “[He’s] a really good player, another good player for Chelsea. “I’ve known him for a while and followed him [in his career]. Another really skilled boy playing in England.”
TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Malta Tourism Authority deny value of Man Utd dealby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveMalta’s minister for tourism, Konrad Mizzi, has denied reports claiming the department will pay close to €20 million (US$22 million) over three years for its sponsorship deal with Manchester United, reports, www.sportspromedia.com/.The Premier League outfit agreed a deal with the Maltese government and the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) earlier in September to promote the country as a tourist destination. The agreement will see the Visit Malta brand given advertising space at Old Trafford, United’s home stadium, and also publicity via the club’s digital marketing channels,It was first reported by the Times pf Malta on 23rd September that the contract is valued at €20 million over three years.However, Mizzi has branded the report as ‘fake news’ in a series of posts on social media, while also describing the valuation of the deal as ‘meaningless and extraordinary’. The MTA has since released its own statement refuting the Times report.’The article is clearly based on the journalist’s own speculation and assumptions, in an attempt to create a negative aura around the partnership agreement concluded between the MTA, Visit Malta, and Manchester United,’ the statement read.’Although the cost of the actual partnership is commercially sensitive, the figure invented by the said journalist is a complete fabrication and nowhere close to the actual committed funding, which is in line with the Malta Tourism Authority’s marketing budget.’According to the Times of Malta, a source told the newspaper that the deal was ‘directly negotiated between the MTA officials and Manchester United’s commercial arm and no agents were involved’.
Liverpool boss Klopp: We don’t have fringe players hereby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he has no fringe players in his squad.It’s a busy period for the European champions who will have played seven times between September 14 and October 5 before breaking off an international round of fixtures. Klopp, though, isn’t bemoaning a hectic fixture list.He told the Liverpool Echo: “We don’t have fringe players here, we only have first team players and a few young guns. We now play a lot Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, so we will have to see about [changes].”We don’t just play a lot of football we travel a lot, but you know that. Every team has to do that, we don’t go for excuses. Other teams have difficult situations, as well, it is like that.”You want to play Champions League, desperately and then it starts, you don’t say ‘oh my God, look at all these games’ that makes no sense. It is good.”The cup competitions are really nice and I am sure it will be a tough game against MK Dons because they are obviously pretty good as well. It will be interesting. We live for that so we should use these opportunities.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Tierna Davidson, McCall Zerboni and Kelley O’Hara have returned from injuries to make the U.S. women’s national team roster for friendlies against France and Spain.The U.S. will kick off 2019 with a pair of matches in Europe – at World Cup host France on Jan. 19 and at Spain on Jan. 22. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has named a 26-player roster for those matches, which includes three key players returning from injuries. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Davidson, a rising defensive star, fractured her ankle in September, while Zerboni broke her elbow in September. O’Hara has been out since having ankle surgery in October. The U.S. will have a one-week training camp in Portugal before heading to France and then Spain. “It’s a real positive to start the year with this training period in Portugal and then play two top teams in France and Spain away,” Ellis said in a federation release.”Finding ways to be successful against European teams in Europe is something every team in the World Cup will have to do to advance deep into the tournament, so this is an essential trip in our prep for the summer.” Following the two friendlies, the U.S. will take on Japan, England and Brazil in the SheBelieves Cup in late February and early March as they continue preparing for the 2019 World Cup. USWNT roster (caps/goals)GOALKEEPERS (4): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3/0), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 38/0)DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 30/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 12/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 75/24), Emily Fox (UNC; 2/0), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 149/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 26/0)MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 81/6), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 73/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 62/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 20/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 41/8), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 7/0)FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 142/25), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 265/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 3/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride;153/98), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 106/46), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 43/12), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 145/41)
In the 2017-18 La Liga season Real Madrid scored 94 goals, but this was down to 63 in 2018-19 as Los Blancos went through multiple managers. Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and finally Zinedine Zidane all attempted to make up that 31-goal void, but could not magic goals out of nothing.Coincidentally, but also tellingly, 31 was the number of goals Cristiano Ronaldo was involved in during his final league season in Madrid, scoring 26 times and assisting on five more goals.Mariano Diaz was bought for €30 million (£27m/$35m) and inherited Ronaldo’s number seven shirt, but had none of the traits of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, finishing the season with just three league goals. Madrid were able to convince Zidane to return to Real, but replacing Ronaldo’s goals still remains their biggest priority. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Karim Benzema was far and away the club’s most potent player, finishing with 30 goals in all competitions, his second-best season in 10 years at Santiago Bernabeu. He scored exactly a third of Real’s goals in La Liga, finishing with 21. No other player finished in double figures.The French forward turns 32 this year, so is approaching the end of his career and the end of his successful spell in Madrid. He can still be relied upon by Zidane, but the coach needed someone new to take over and provide the goals the team has been desperately lacking.Enter Luka Jovic.On Tuesday, Eintracht Frankfurt confirmed the Serbian striker is joining Madrid this summer on a five-year contract, pending a successful medical.The 21-year-old is seen by Zidane as a possible partner for Benzema like Ronaldo was, or even as a lone striker thanks to his excellent all-round ability and hold-up play.However, he won’t come cheap for Los Blancos, with Eintracht Frankfurt receiving around €70m (£62m/$79m) for his services after signing him for just a tenth of that price from Benfica.Jovic helped Eintracht reach the semi-final of the Europa League last season, where they were only beaten on penalties by eventual winners Chelsea. He was the competition’s second top scorer, with 10 goals in 14 games. He also finished joint-third in the top scorer race in the Bundesliga, netting 17 times in 32 games for Frankfurt as they qualified for the Europa League once more.As a result, it is not surprising that Zidane singled the young forward out as the player who can bring goals back to Santiago Bernabeu. Frankfurt legend Jan-Age Fjortoft has watched Jovic up close on many occasions and believes he will be the perfect fit at the Liga giants, backing him to improve even more with better players around him.”He is one of the most talented young strikers in the world at the moment,” Fjortoft told Goal. “Those kinds of clubs should always be interested in those kinds of players. Jovic has scored more than 20 goals, he’s young, he’s powerful.”He will certainly develop even more. He will get more mature. He is a guy that will score goals wherever he goes. Being in a team like this, he will score goals.”Jovic also assisted five goals for his team-mates in one of Europe’s most dynamic attacks. Together with Ante Rebic and Sebastien Haller, they fired their way through Europe, exceeding all expectations under new head coach Adi Hutter following the departure of Niko Kovac for Bayern Munich.The striker will find himself in a similar situation at Madrid, where strong striker Benzema could play a similar role to his partner Haller. Rebic usually slotted in behind the duo, but was given a licence to roam by Hutter, opening up defences to allow Jovic to get into space and get on the scoresheet.Zidane’s Madrid have plenty of players capable of unlocking opponents but need to be more clinical up front if they are to return to the glory days of his first spell at the club. Jovic is exactly the sort of ruthless attacker needed to be the missing link for Los Blancos. He is able to score all sorts of goals, adept with both feet or with his head, timing his runs perfectly into the area to meet crosses and even willing to shoot – and score – from long range if there are no better options available.Everyone who has played with him or against him tells the same story, describing how lethal Jovic is when the goal comes into range. Former team-mate Alexander Meier was impressed with the young Serb from the moment he arrived in Frankfurt. “He is the best finisher I ever played with,” Meier told the Guardian. “Nobody from our team really knew him when he arrived. But in training you could see immediately that he’s just amazing in front of goal. He has everything. Heading, shooting, left foot, right foot. Inside the box he knows exactly where the ball will fall down. He was so young but already so cool and confident; you could tell he would score many times.”Former Serbia international Savo Milosevic called Jovic a “natural-born killer”, while current international boss Mladen Krstajic said the forward Jovic most closely reflects is Barcelona’s Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan finished with 21 La Liga goals this season beside Lionel Messi’s 36. If Jovic can provide similar numbers at Barcelona’s main rivals, then he may finally prove to be the worthy replacement Real need for Ronaldo.
Nick Lima has endured some serious highs and lows in 2019, but he could be primed for what could be the biggest high of his career to date.The San Jose Earthquakes defender heads into the Concacaf Gold Cup expected to be the U.S. national team’s starting right back, stepping into the void left by injuries to stars DeAndre Yedlin and Tyler Adams. He will have the task of trying to handle the hybrid role Gregg Berhalter has created, one which combines the right back and defensive midfield roles into a demanding, but potentially influential role that could make Lima a key figure at the Gold Cup.Lima having any role at all at the Gold Cup didn’t look like a sure thing as recently as three months ago, when he was in the midst of the low point of his 2019. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? His year began with the high of impressing in his first look with the U.S. national team, starring in the team’s early friendlies, sparking talk that he could be a strong option at right back for the full team.The good vibes from that strong start quickly disappeared when he rejoined the San Jose Earthquakes, and saw his playing time diminish along with his hold on his natural right back role. That played a part in Lima failing to see any playing time in the U.S. national team’s March friendlies, which came right before he was benched by Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda.”It was easy at first to look at it as you’re being the victim in a situation that you shouldn’t be in,” Lima told Goal. “But that’s also the last way you should see it because then it stacks up on top and instead of two games not starting, or three games not starting, maybe it’s eight games or 10 games and you miss a whole season or half a season.”Anyone in that situation is going to be taken aback by it,” said Lima, who was benched for three matches before regaining a starting role, though at left back, for San Jose. “You’re going to be emotional, it just depends on how much. After I was, then it was ‘This sucks, I don’t want to be in this position, not starting’, and you have to just be able to step away from the emotions and make decisions that will put you in a place where you’re starting again.”I just had to buckle down, it was a challenge, no different than when I went to January camp.”Lima’s 2019 began with a call-up the USMNT’s January camp as the third right back on the depth chart, behind Reggie Cannon and Keegan Rosenberry. He was even tried out as a central defender in a three-man setup, but when given the opportunity to play in Berhalter’s hybrid right back role, Lima stood out. He surpassed Cannon and Rosenberry on the depth chart, and wound up starting both friendlies following the camp, earning man-of-the–match honors in a 3-0 win against Panama, then impressing in front of his home San Jose fans at Avaya Stadium in a win against Costa Rica.Those games showed what Lima could do in Berhalter’s system, qualities that stood out once again in the USMNT’s recent loss to Venezuela, where Lima earned another man-of-the-match nod. His ability to handle the right back-specific portion of the role didn’t come as a surprise given how well Lima has performed at right back in his years with the Earthquakes, but his ability to transition into the defensive midfield side of the role is what has been even more impressive, and what makes him the best available candidate to fill a spot that was originally earmarked for Tyler Adams before he was forced to miss the Gold Cup.”It’s a big role because you’re moving inside, you’re able to break lines and make dangerous passes, but you’re also able to attack the width, be dynamic on the outside going in, on the inside going out,” Lima said. “Obviously you’re a defender shutting things down, but also creating transition moments. You can have an impact in all aspects of a game, so whomever is in that role in the system is an important player.”Lima also knows the Gold Cup could help boost his stock on the international market, with foreign scouts sure to take in the tournament in search of talent. Lima has made no secret of his desire to eventually make a move to Europe, and a strong showing in the Gold Cup could help facilitate a move.”It’s a big platform, a big stage, and my first opportunity and I’m extremely excited about being able to help the team any way I can,” Lima said. “As a kid, you always dream of representing your nation in tournaments, along with also playing for the biggest clubs in the world and playing in Europe. Those are the goals, and this Gold Cup is my first chance to realize that experience.”On a team with plenty of big names, such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Michael Bradley, Lima isn’t generating much hype heading into the Gold Cup, but given the role he’ll play, and the fact he’s stepping in for standouts like Yedlin and Adams, Lima could wind up as one of the USMNT’s breakout players.”You’re talking about two of the top players in the nation, so it’s big shoes to fill, but at the same time it’s next time up for whoever it is,” Lima told Goal. “It’s an exciting opportunity, and if it’s me I’ll absolutely be ready to grind.”
Edinson Cavani thinks Neymar can grow as a person after a summer spent in the limelight and believes he still has a lot to offer at Paris Saint-Germain.The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move away from PSG, with a sensational return to Barcelona on the cards.He has at times fuelled this speculation himself and some have suggested that he may well have burned some bridges in Paris – but Cavani thinks it is an experience that can help Neymar. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “I hope that everything that has happened to him will give him the experience to grow as an individual,” he told Le Parisien.“I think he still has a lot to give PSG, until the last day he is here as a player. He has a lot to give to football as well.”Cavani is generally the least heralded of PSG’s fearsome front three, and he may have been feeling a little left out this summer with rumours swirling around his teammate Kylian Mbappe as well.Mbappe had suggested that he could be looking for a fresh challenge away from Paris, but recently reaffirmed his commitment to the club and apologised for his comments.“Playing with great players like him, like Kylian, I really enjoy it,” Cavani added. “Now it’s time to find the connection between us, to create a good team, a good working atmosphere of work, sacrifice and professionalism.”When Neymar first joined PSG in the summer of 2017, there was plenty of evidence that he and Cavani didn’t get on.Early in the 2017-18 season, the pair fought over who would take a penalty against Lyon. Cavani had been the penalty taker the previous year, but Neymar assumed the responsibility following his world-record transfer from Barca.Later in the season, Neymar was booed by some PSG fans after taking another penalty. 7-0 up and with the Brazilian already having a hat-trick under his belt, Cavani was only one goal from breaking the club’s all-time scoring record. Once again, Neymar took and scored the spot-kick.”A lot of things have been said about us,” Cavani said.“It’s true that we had some differences in the first few months after his arrival, but it’s good to come together and talk it over.“After that, the social networks, the external communication… it has been exaggerated, a lot of things have been said that aren’t true.”
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Two college football players were reportedly arrested over the weekend following an incident at a nightclub on early Saturday morning.The two Hawaii football players, linebacker Jahlani Tavai and running back Kaiwi Chung, were reportedly arrested for third-degree assault. They were reportedly arrested for an altercation with a man after he allegedly shoved a woman into the ground.The crime is a misdemeanor.Hawaii News Now has more details:Linebacker Jahlani Tavai and running back Kaiwi Chung were arrested for third degree assault after they were involved in an altercation with a man who allegedly pushed a woman to the ground, according to law enforcement sources.It happened at The District nightclub on Kona Street.Tavai and Chung are believed to have been in the vicinity of the initial incident and subsequently went after the man. They were later arrested for the misdemeanor crime.Tavai was one of the best linebackers in the Mountain West Conference last season. He’s a potential NFL Draft prospect.Chung played sparingly in the 2017 season and was expected to be a bigger contributor this fall.You can view the full report here.
GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 31: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 31, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)Urban Meyer should learn his status as the head coach of Ohio State’s football program at some point within the next couple of hours. The Buckeyes’ Board of Trustees meeting is taking place at 9 a.m. E.T.The meeting, which is open to the public, will quickly break off into an “executive session” that will take place behind closed doors.There’s quite a crowd for this morning’s meeting, unsurprisingly. There are dozens of media members inside the building, awaiting word on a decision.There are live streams for those who want to watch:HAPPENING SOON | The media is ready as Ohio State trustees will meet at 9 a.m. to deliberate on #UrbanMeyer’s coaching future. We are streaming live coverage HERE: https://t.co/1JalV0LgFQ pic.twitter.com/nTgFgXj108— WKYC Channel 3 News (@wkyc) August 22, 2018Here are some photos that reveal what the scene is like for this morning’s meeting:Scene at the Ohio State Board of Trustees meeting, which will discuss Urban Meyer’s fate. Board will break from here to executive session. There’s no timetable on when a final decision will come from President Michael Drake. (Essentially this is a dramatic photo op). pic.twitter.com/aoWzfBXNC0— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 22, 2018Former chair of the SEC Mary Jo White, who led the investigation into Urban Meyer. pic.twitter.com/E2WzHd9lNv— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) August 22, 2018The Board of Trustees has already moved into its executive session to “discuss the employment, compensation and discipline of public officials.”Board of Trustees has already moved to executive session “to discuss the employment, compensation and discipline of public officials.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) August 22, 2018Stay tuned.