Sometimes Luis Suarez swats ‘em in, sometimes Luis Suarez swats ‘em out

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There’s a lot of ground to cover with the latest Luis Suarez brouhaha, so let’s get started:

The Liverpool striker has kicked up a real “cheat storm” with a goal in Sunday’s FA Cup win over tiny Mansfield Town from English soccer’s fifth tier. Yes, that’s fifth tier.

So Suarez’s goal today is being greeted with special indignation, for it shattered the dreams of a semi-professional team and scuttled the possibility of a ginormous upset, the very kind of giant-killing that we get periodically in FA Cup play – the type that makes so many people love this annual tournament.

Mansfield Town was very much in the match with storied Liverpool when Suarez doubled his team’s lead (to 2-0) in the second half, clearly using his right hand to propel the ball into the home team’s goal.

Mansfield Town chief executive Carolyn Radford put the cherry on this messy parfait one quite nicely: “It feels a bit like the result was stolen from us. Whether it was deliberate or not, it should be sorted out. It is very unfortunate that the referees and officials can’t pick up these things.”

Adding accelerant to the latest Suarez handball fire were two penalty appeals denied to Mansfield Town. So, final count of officiating controversy broke down like this: three important handball decisions inside the penalty areas, three decisions that went the way of the (far, far) bigger club. You can see why that’s going to raise a stink.

Suarez didn’t help matters by kissing his right wrist following the goal. This is something Suarez does regularly … but he probably would have been wise to skip this part of his celebratory routine for this  one, eh?

Finally, there’s Suarez’s history of handball shenanigan.

During World Cup 2010 in South Africa, playing for Uruguay, Suarez intentionally used his hand to prevent a late Ghanaian goal during extra time of a quarterfinal. He was ejected, but it proved to be the “right” choice, for Ghana missed the ensuing penalty kick and was eliminated during a subsequent penalty kick tiebreaker.

Here’s the goal in question from Sunday:

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U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.