Are Spurs putting the “For Sale” sign on Clint Dempsey?

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In the interest of journalistic “telling it like it is,” let us state right away that this piece came out of nowhere and that its source, The Mirror, frequently falls on the dubious side where hard-sourced information goes.

Disclaimers out of the way, no one who follows U.S. Soccer can like to see this: The Mirror reports that Tottenham would not turn down a reasonable offer for U.S. international Clint Dempsey.

The story is not about Dempsey alone. It’s about Tottenham engaging in something of a house cleaning as they strive to improve their EPL finish by one spot – albeit one massive and quite lucrative spot. Andre Villas-Boas and his Spurs just finished fifth, one place out of Champions League, which was the most reasonable, high-value target being chased in north London this year.

Thus, the club may be willing to entertain offers for Dempsey, Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker, perhaps gathering up a little bank account to help pursue a Christian Benteke or a David Villa or a Lisandro Lopez.

(MORE: DaMarcus Beasley staying fit and sharp in Fort Lauderdale)

Dempsey did not have a bad season, exactly, around White Hart Lane. In fact, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann was recently effusive with praise for his top attacker of the moment and the U.S. forward’s just-completed campaign.

But it was a little shrunken when held up against that previous breakout campaign at Fulham. Remember that? Just a year back? When my kind could not find enough superlatives to help describe his golden season at Craven Cottage?

So, heads-up on this one. Maybe it’s The Mirror being the The Mirror. But you’ve been warned, at least.

(MORE: Spurs set to re-sign Gareth Bale)

(MORE: Additional U.S. national team news and notes)

2-year doping ban upheld for Finland, CSKA Moscow player

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

[ MORE: Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.

[ MORE: Vertonghen says Spurs need to “level up” like rest of PL contenders ]

The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.

Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.

Webb says De Jong would have been sent off with video review

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NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.

The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.

Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”

Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.

39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!

86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Brad Guzan

Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)

Report: Man City adding Mendy to continue backline restoration

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Fresh off of completing a record deal to help bolster the club’s back line this summer, Manchester City is back at it with the Premier League season looming.

[ MORE: Alvaro Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

The Citizens are reportedly on the brink of signing Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy to yet another world-record fee — which will total over $67 million.

Confirmation of the deal has yet to be announced by either team, but L’Equipe is reporting that the Citizens are hot on the 23-year-old’s trail in adding to their pricy back four.

Manager Pep Guardiola and Man City have not been shy readjusting their defensive unit over the past year, adding expensive first-team choices John Stones and Kyle Walker.