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Progress on a stadium in Boston? We’ll see …

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Finding suitable places to play in Boston and Washington, D.C., continues to hover near the top of Major League Soccer’s to-do list.

Putting a new stadium polish on these two weathered franchises, once the bell cows of MLS, is every bit as vital to league progress as getting that new franchise up and running in New York, or adding No. 20 elsewhere.

Come to think of it, short of turning up more revenue in the next round of TV negotiations or perhaps putting a tourniquet on the steady blood flow from refereeing wounds, developing facilities in these two markets should probably represent league priorities No. 1 and No. 2.

So, we all rejoice seeing stories like this, where establishment officials around Boston are at least engaging the issue. This all looks like complex stuff, negotiations attached to multiple cities and entwined with other projects, primarily ongoing negotiations with a casino. So, while it does represent possible movement, it’s laborious progress at best. Don’t hold your breath.

While many have (and will continue) to doubt the Kraft family’s true commitment to movement, the front office seems to sense the urgency, at least.

What New England Revolution president Brian Bilello told ace soccer reporter Kyle McCarthy:

Every year this goes by, it’s another year we feel like we’re behind. We would have like to have built this thing in 2006 [in Somerville, a Boston suburb] and that project didn’t work out. I think for us, we recognize where we are at and the urgency of how important the stadium is. We’re going after it as quickly as we can.”

McCarthy is a Boston-based freelance writer, so he’s been on top of this thing for years. His latest on the latest in New England’s stadium chase is here.

Meanwhile, even though this is serious stuff, I couldn’t help but chuckle over this line from the report on the latest news (Read it in Seth Meyers, Weekend Update voice from SNL, you’ll see what I mean):

“Revolution president Brian Bilello confirmed that the team is in preliminary talks with city officials regarding the possibility of building a soccer-specific facility in the urban Boston core.”

When you start stringing together your “preliminaries” with and your “possibilities,” well, I believe we can all agree that shovels aren’t going into the ground anytime soon.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.

Agent: Liverpool contacted Klopp only after Rodgers firing

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Jurgen Klopp arrives to be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC at a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.

However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.

“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”

Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”

It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.