Even with one of the Netherlands’ top scorers in camp with the United States, the Costa Ricans may have had the game’s most dangerous player on Friday. We know that Jozy Altidore hasn’t been able to replicate his Eredivisie output for Jurgen Klinsmann, and we also know what Alvaro Saborio’s capable of doing in the heights of the Rocky Mountains. The U.S. patchwork defense was going to have their hands full with the Real Salt Lake star, even if Omar Gonzalez and Geoff Cameron are very familiar with the Costa Rican No. 9.
I say “was going to have their hands full” because the RSL striker picked up a knee injury today in practice. He’s a doubt for Friday’s qualifier in Denver.
Costa Rican outlet Deportes Repretel was one of the first to report the news, via their Facebook page. Rough translation:
Sound the alarms for the national team. Alvaro Saborío has picked up a left knee injury, and Jorge Luis Pinto confirms he’s doubtful to start Friday against the United States.
As Major League Soccer points out, Saborío is undefeated in four meetings against the United States (3-0-1). He has scored once and assisted on another. While Pinto has a number of other options for goals — Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz, Christian Bolaños, and Jairo Arrieta — there isn’t a good like-for-like replacement for Saborío. If he’s out, Costa Rica may have to change their approach.
All of which will be a reprieve for the American defense. Gonzalez can handle Saborio, and Cameron’s no slouch, but Saborio is more than just a guy who’s going to butt heads with central defenders. Even the wide guys, whomever they are, will get a reprieve from Saborío’s absence …
If that happens. It’s only Wednesday. Saborío could wake up on Friday and be right as rain, though we should know more tomorrow.
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.
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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 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.
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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.
Okay, so you have 1064 to choose from, so choose wisely…
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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.
MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities say former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and his wife have been detained in a probe over his businesses in Brazil.
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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.