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.

Football leaks: French police raid PSG HQ, 3 players’ homes

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PARIS (AP) A French official says police investigating suspected tax fraud linked to the soccer industry have raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of three Argentine players in France.

The official said anti-corruption police units searched the homes of PSG players Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore, and that of Nantes forward Emiliano Sala on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Real Madrid signs $50m teen ]

Police also raided the head offices of PSG at Parc des Princes and other offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside the French capital, the official said.

The official, familiar with the case, declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

The national financial prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in December after so-called “football leaks” reports allegedly detailed tax arrangements by top players, coaches and clubs.

Real Madrid signs most expensive Brazilian since Neymar

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Real Madrid didn’t wait long after learning Vinicius Junior was healthy.

The 16-year-old Flamengo star is committed to the Bernabeu after passing a physical, and Real Madrid announced Tuesday that they’ll have their new player no later than July 2019.

The reported fee is $50 million, which would be the most money spent on a Brazilian player since Barcelona landed Neymar for about $64 million in 2013.

[ VOTE: Premier League Goal of the Season ]

The forward has made two appearances for Flamengo, and turns 17 on July 12. He has 19 goals in 22 appearances for Brazil’s U-17 side.

Here’s Real’s announcement:

Real Madrid C. F. and Clube de Regatas do Flamengo have reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the federative rights of the player Vinicius Junior from July 2018. The player will remain at his current club until July 2019, although he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it.

VOTE: 2016-17 Premier League Goal of the Season

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Okay, so you have 1064 to choose from, so choose wisely…

[ MORE: Full 2016-17 PL season reviews

The 2016-17 Premier League season is over but you can vote for your favorite goal of the campaign up until June 1.

Simply click on the video above to watch the contenders compiled by Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, and then you can vote by clicking here.

Enjoy!

Ex-Barcelona president Rosell held in money laundering probe

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MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities say former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and his wife have been detained in a probe over his businesses in Brazil.

[ MORE: Full 2016-17 season reviews

The detentions early Tuesday are part of a money laundering investigation related to buying television rights for past matches of Brazil’s national team.

Three other people have been detained, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.

Police raided offices, homes, and businesses in Barcelona and other locations in Spain as part of “Operation Rimet,” in reference to former FIFA President Jules Rimet.

Authorities said the operation used information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015.

Rosell is already standing trial for fraud and corruption charges involving the 2013 transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar.