Player Tobin Heath holds her arm in a cast during a training session of the United States women’s soccer team Thursday, March 1, 2012, in Ferreiras, southern Portugal. Heath injured her arm Wednesday during their Algarve Cup first round match against Denmark. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
A roundup of international friendlies as 16 North, Central and South American and Caribbean nations prepare for the 2016 Copa America Centenario…
Argentina 1-0 Honduras
Gonzalo Higuain, who recently set a brand new record for most goals scored in a single Serie A season (36 goals in 35 games played), continued his scintillating 2015-16 season by scoring the only goal in Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Honduras in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday (WATCH HERE).
The result obviously takes a backseat to news that Lionel Messi left the game injured midway through the second half. Following a corner kick that was cleared from the Honduras penalty area, Messi took a blow to the lower back and/or hip on his left side. The Barcelona superstar tumbled to the ground in a heap. He walked off the field under his own power, but was clearly in a great deal of pain before deciding he couldn’t continue.
That says Messi suffered an injury to his left side and that tests (MRI) are being done to determine the severity of the knock. La Albiceleste will kick off their Group D campaign against the reigning Copa holders, Chile, on June 6 in Santa Clara, Calif.
Uruguay 3-1 Trinidad and Tobago
With Luis Suarez currently on the shelf injured, it’s Edinson Cavani’s time to shine for Uruguay. The Paris Saint-Germain frontman — who’ll coincidentally also be “the man” for his club side with Zlatan Ibrahimovic heading for the exit door — bagged a first-half brace in La Celeste‘s 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Trinidad and Tobago. His first came from the penalty spot in the 26th minute, followed not long after by another from open play in the 40th minute. Matias Vecino added the third for Uruguay in the 52nd minute. T&T took an early lead through Jomal Williams’ opener on 7 minutes.
Cavani scored 19 goals in 32 Ligue 1 appearances this season, making him the league’s third-highest scorer, behind Zlatan (38) and Alexandre Lacazette (21). Suarez, on the other hand, won this year’s La Liga Golden Boot after scoring 40 goals in 35 league games. Uruguay will begin their Group C campaign against Mexico on June 5 in Glendale, Ariz.
Chile 1-2 Jamaica
No longer content as CONCACAF’s best-kept secret, Jamaica are took their upsetting ways to a different level on Friday, knocking off South America’s reigning champions, 1-2 in Viña del Mar, Chile.
Clayton Donaldson and Simon Dawkins scored for the Reggae Boyz either side of halftime before Nicolas Castillo pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute. Winfried Schäfer’s side will join Uruguay and Mexico in Group C, along with Venezuela, their tournament-opening opponents on June 5 in Chicago, Ill.
Elsewhere in international friendlies
Costa Rica vs. Venezuela (underway)
MADRID (AP) The rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola is about to be renewed.
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After years of spats and high-profile games between the two rival coaches in Spain, they are set to face off again — this time in England.
Guardiola, who used to thrive with Barcelona, will begin his stint at Manchester City next season. Jose Mourinho, who succeeded with Real Madrid, is on his way to Manchester United after his appointment on a three-year contract was announced Friday.
There was plenty of controversy when the two met while coaching the Spanish powerhouses in the early 2010s, with incidents on and off the field.
Barcelona was doing well under Guardiola when Mourinho arrived at Real Madrid in 2010, and in the first game between the two, Barcelona thrashed Madrid 5-0 at the Camp Nou.
In the Copa del Rey final later that year, Real Madrid won the title and Mourinho took his first stab at Guardiola.
After the Barcelona coach lamented a close offside call that ruled out a goal by forward Pedro, Mourinho said that a “new era in football was beginning, one in which coaches criticize the correct decisions made by referees, not the wrong ones.”
Guardiola said he knew Mourinho well and the Portuguese coach was only trying to provoke him. He said such antics would not work, and he would answer them at an appropriate time.
The response came before Barcelona and Real Madrid played in the semifinals of the Champion League in 2011.
“The teams will meet tomorrow on the pitch, but off the field he has already won, he has won his own Champions off the field,” Guardiola said of Mourinho, using an expletive. “In this press conference room, he is the (big) boss, he is the one who knows it all. I don’t want to even start competing against him here.”
Guardiola said he was surprised by Mourinho’s animosity toward him considering they worked together for four years at Barcelona, when Guardiola was a player and Mourinho an assistant coach.
“He knows me and I know him,” Guardiola said. “If he prefers to pay more attention to the point of view of the (Madrid-friendly) media and not to the relationship that we had, then he can do it. It’s his decision and it’s his right.”
Later in 2011, during a brawl in a Spanish Super Cup game between the rival teams, Mourinho was caught by television cameras poking the eye of Tito Vilanova, then an assistant to Guardiola at Barcelona.
Guardiola’s Barcelona won most of the “clasicos” against Mourinho’s Madrid during the three seasons the Portuguese coach was in Spain.
In addition to winning the league in 2011-12, Mourinho also won the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup titles before ending his stint with Madrid. He and the club parted ways after what Mourinho called his worst season ever in 2012-13.
He was without a job since December after leaving Chelsea following a poor start to the season.
Guardiola won nearly every title possible with Barcelona before leaving the club to join Bayern Munich in 2013.
Sadio Mane has been an extremely in-demand commodity since last summer, when Manchester United and a handful of other Premier League and foreign clubs failed to pry the Southampton winger away from the South Coast in either one of the summer or January transfer windows.
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Great players will always be in demand, though, which means another summer full of transfer rumors linking the ever-dangerous 24-year-old to clubs across England and Europe.
Enter stage left: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who’s eager to undertake his first summer transfer window since taking the Anfield job last October.
Mario Gotze is said to remain Klopp’s no. 1 target this summer — the 23-year-old has said he intends to remain at Bayern Munich and fight for his place under new manager Carlo Ancelotti, but the Bayern hierarchy (Ancelotti included) perhaps see it differently — with Mane a not-so-terrible Plan B should Gotze remain at the Allianz Arena or land elsewhere. Gotze has scored just 22 Bundesliga goals in three seasons at Bayern (36 in all competitions) since making a big-money move from Borussia Dortmund three years ago.
After a promising debut in England saw Mane score 10 goals in 30 PL games two seasons ago, the Senegalese dynamo followed up with an 11-goal haul in the PL season just completed (15 goals in all competitions), much of which was shrouded in transfer rumors and clear discontent at St. Mary’s Stadium. Mane will cost anyone a great deal more — think 10 to $15 million more — than the $30 million Bayern hope to recoup in their sale of Gotze (they paid roughly $40 million for him in the summer of 2013).
A roundup of international friendlies as 24 European nations prepare for EURO 2016…
England 2-1 Australia
Roy Hodgson seems to have one of those good dilemmas on his hands: with Danny Welbeck already out for EURO 2016, and Daniel Sturridge injured yet again, does he take 18-year-old Marcus Rashford to France next month? The Manchester United striker is certainly making his case after a breakout finish to the 2015-16 Premier League campaign, which he followed up on Friday with a goal all of three minutes into his England debut (WATCH HERE).
Wayne Rooney doubled England’s lead 10 minutes after he entered the game as a halftime substitute (WATCH HERE), extending the England and Man United captain’s record goal haul to 52 in his international career. Eric Dier scored an embarrassing header to pull one back for the Australians in the 75th minute (WATCH HERE).
England will host Portugal at Wembley Stadium next Thursday in either side’s final pre-EURO friendly.
Ireland 1-1 Netherlands
The Dutch aren’t headed to EURO 2016 themselves, but the Irish certainly are, and Martin O’Neill’s side picked up a bit of positive momentum in the form of a 1-1 draw with the 2014 World Cup semifinalists.
Southampton’s Shane Long put the Irish ahead when he cleaned up a goal-line scramble on the half-hour mark, but former Newcastle United striker Luuk De Jong turned home a free kick to equalize for the visitors with five minutes remaining in regular time.
Elsewhere in international friendlies
Northern Ireland 3-0 Belarus
Croatia 1-0 Moldova
Czech Republic 6-0 Malta
Slovakia 3-1 Georgia