Leeds appoint McDermott as new boss

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Brian McDermott’s dismissal by Reading last month was one of the most reprehensible Premier League firings of the season. And the competition for that dubious honor is usually pretty fierce.

But the 52-year-old wasn’t out in the cold for long. Today, second-division Leeds United appointed McDermott on a three-year deal as the successor to Neil Warnock, who resigned on April 1 after a defeat by Derby County effectively ended the club’s hopes of a return to the Premier League this spring.

Leeds used to be one of the Premier League’s top clubs, regularly challenging near the top of the standings. But an epic financial collapse (private jets! Robbie Fowler! Goldfish!) prompted relegation in 2004.

McDermott’s first task is to keep them clear of the npower Championship drop zone. Leeds are five points above the bottom three clubs with five fixtures to play. They have lost their past four matches and tomorrow face Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

“Obviously the immediate aim is a return as soon as possible to the Premiership. Brian’s success in taking Reading to the Premiership last year was a key factor in our decision to hire him,” said Leeds director David Haigh in a statement.

One of the calmer and least ego-driven coaches around, McDermott doesn’t generate many headlines – but he clearly knows how to handle life in the Championship. He took charge of Reading during the 2009-10 season and led the club into the Premier League last year, tasked with keeping them in the division despite a mediocre, low-budget roster.

It sums up the volatility of soccer management that he was named Premier League manager of the month for January – and fired just 34 days later.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.