Charlie Davies 2

The latest in Charlie Davies’ long, sad saga

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It really is amazing how little we talk about Charlie Davies now.

Three years ago, some U.S. Soccer supporters, blinded surely by passion, were certain this guy was about to lead a march on the World Cup trophy.

But real life intervened, including some very serious matters, literally of life and death. Then came the long period of recovery, conflicting accounts of his bit for career resumption that sometimes put him at odds with U.S. Soccer, a re-introduction into professional soccer and finally a slow, painful fall out of the limelight and onto the fringes of the pro game.

Now, a U.S. roster will is days from release – and among those who are reasonably well educated on the current U.S. Soccer pool, no one has talked about Davies for months.

Until recently, many U.S. fans held fast to fading hopes that Davies was still or could once again be a force, a meaningful player and perhaps even a game-changer in the never-ended U.S. stretch for power and acclaim in the world’s game.

Along the way, Davies filed a high-profile, $20 million lawsuit against the establishment at the center of his spiral from professional grace. It was the moment where Davies “lost” public support, what he still had of it. In the court of public opinion, Davies seemed tone deaf to his own complicity in his downfall, to breaking curfew on the eve of a huge match, to his own poor decision to climb into a car that would crash, kill one person and probably wreck his professional career.

It really did look untoward to a lot of us, including me.

Now, a settlement has been reached in the suit.

Parties are bound by a confidentiality agreement to decline discussing terms of the settlement. But details of the ordeal are in The Washington Post piece linked above.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
Liverpool Football Club/Getty Images
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.