Fagundez

Revs look to make it three straight today against the Galaxy

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The New England Revolution look to extend their two match winning streak today when they welcome the LA Galaxy to Gillette Stadium.

The Revs (4-4-4, 16 points) come into the match winners of their last two in the league and their last three overall. The two league wins came by virtue of a pair of 2-0 victories against Houston and Toronto, with Diego Fagundez (pictured) and Juan Agudelo each scoring in both contests. The victories put New England 7th in the Eastern Conference table, just one point behind Columbus and three points adrift of Philadelphia.

Jay Heaps’ men continued their fine form this past Wednesday when they smashed the Rochester Rhino’s 5-1 in US Open Cup action. Kelyn Rowe scored twice and Andy Dorman, Jerry Bengtson and Chad Barrett also added goals.

The Galaxy (6-4-2, 20 points) enter the match on a one game winning streak after putting four past Seattle Sounders in a shutout victory at The Home Depot Center. Robbie Keane led Los Angeles with a hat-trick and an assist on Sean Franklin’s goal, which opened the scoring after only 12 minutes. The victory provided Los Angeles with some reassurances following their 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls on May 19th, moving Bruce Arena’s men to fourth in the Western Conference, on 20 points from 12 matches.

Just as things looked to be improving, however, the Galaxy were blanked 2-0 by the Carolina Railhawks in US Open Cup action at WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday night. The NASL side’s goals came just after the hour mark through Brian Shriver and Austin da Luz.

It will be all to play for today as this is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs. They’ve done battle 36 times in the past, with the Revolution claiming 14 victories and the Galaxy 16 while six have ended up as draws. Nine of those 14 victories for the Revs have come in Foxborough, where the Galaxy have only claimed all three points on six occasions.

Last year when these two sides met in Los Angeles it was New England coming away with the 3-1 victory, putting an end to three straight winless meetings with the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. If Arena’s side is to come up with the win today they’ll have to do it without hat-trick hero Keane, who is away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, as well as Omar Gonzalez, who is away with the U.S. Men’s National Team, and Oscar Sorto, who is on duty with the U.S. Under 20’s. Jack McBean is also out with a fractured clavical.

For the Revs, international duty won’t be claiming any of the players but Kevin Alston (illness), Dimitry Imbongo (groin), Clyde Simms (knee), and Donnie Smith (hamstring) are all out while Ryan Guy (calf) is questionable to feature.

The match kicks off at 4:30pm on the NBC Sports Network, directly following ESPN’s coverage of the friendly match between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Germany.

OTHER NOTES

  • Fagundez, New England first-ever Home Grown Player, has been on fire of late, scoring in each of the last three consecutive games, the first Revs player to accomplish the feat since Saer Sene in May 2012.
  • Chris Tierney has come into his own as a wing back of late, recording two assists in the last three matches.
  • Saer Sene earned his first assist last match as he came off the bench for the seventh time in eight matches.
  • The Galaxy have scored four goals three times this season – last week against Seattle, the week prior against Philadelphia and on opening day against Chicago.
  • Robbie Rogers made his Galaxy debut against Seattle, entering the match in the 77th minute. Rogers was acquired from Chicago on a swap deal for Mike Magee.
  • Galaxy Home Grown player Gyasi Zardes made his first MLS start against Seattle and was dangerous the entire match, earning his side a penalty.

Thibaut Courtois committed to Chelsea despite links to PSG

WATFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Watford and Chelsea at Vicarage Road on February 3, 2016 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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Thibaut Courtois has denied reports he could leave London for Paris Saint-Germain this summer after a disappointing season at Chelsea.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper missed a large portion of the season through injury and failed to regain his top form when healthy as the Blues struggled throughout the year.

With a new manager in Antonio Conte taking over in June, some believed Courtois would be sold to allow the Italian to bring in a goalkeeper of his choice.

[ MORE: Atletico Madrid reach UCL final ]

Despite recent reports linking Courtois with a transfer to PSG that would make him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world, the Belgian international does not fancy a move to France.

Speaking to French newspaper Le Parisien, Courtois said he is happy at Chelsea and will “100-percent” be back at Stamford Bridge next season.

I have never had any contact with PSG. I have played a lot against PSG recently – twice last season, again this season in a friendly and twice more in the Champions League this year.

They are a good club who win their league easily. Me, I like playing in England. Paris is a very good club but I am happy at Chelsea.

I have a contract for three years, so I will say 100 per cent [be staying at Chelsea]. Rumours affect any club where things are going badly. People think the top players want to leave because they are not in the Champions League.

Those words show quite a change from Courtois’ opinion a few months ago, when he cast doubt over his Chelsea future.

At just 23, Courtois has already made more than 200 appearances in his career for Atletico Madrid and Chelsea. Although he did not have a standout season this year, Courtois has shown his talent as a potential top-five goalkeeper in the world and Conte would be wise to keep him.

Former CONMEBOL president has petition to stop extradition rejected

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ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) Paraguay’s top court has rejected a petition by Nicolas Leoz, the former head of the South American football confederation, to halt his extradition to the United States.

Leoz is being held under house arrest in Paraguay. He is accused of receiving millions in bribes and kickbacks and was among dozens of top officials indicted in the FIFA corruption scandal.

[ FOLLOW: Leicester City’s miracle ]

Leoz’s lawyer Ricardo Preda told The Associated Press that his petition was turned down, but that he would continue to appeal against the extradition.

Leoz was the head of CONMEBOL from 1986 until 2013 when he resigned, and was replaced by Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay.

Figueredo is under house arrest in Uruguay on similar charges. Figueredo was replaced by Juan Angel Napoul of Paraguay, who is under house arrest in Miami.

Cristiano Ronaldo back healthy for Real Madrid; will play vs. Man City

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 03:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Valdebebas training ground on May 3, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo is “100-percent” for Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal match against Manchester City.

Ronaldo missed the first leg at the Etihad while recovering from a thigh injury, which ended a scoreless draw.

[ MORE: UCL semifinal preview ]

The Champions League’s all-time leading scorer with 93 goals, Ronaldo has not featured for Real since suffering the injury in a La Liga match against Villarreal on April 20.

Real Madrid had the better of chances in the first leg in Manchester, but Joe Hart’s heroics stopped Zidane’s side from grabbing an all-important away goal. However, Ronaldo’s absence was clearly visible and his return is a massive boost for Real.

[ RELATED: Atletico Madrid eliminate Bayern Munich, advance to UCL final ]

Even if Ronaldo is not 100-percent fit as Zidane claims, his inclusion in the lineup is still vital for Real’s success. A threat in so many different aspects of the game, his presence alone can throw off opposing defenses, leaving more time and space for his teammates to expose a City back-line that has its flaws.

Premier League chairman: Leicester City made mugs of all of us

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 03:  Leicester reacts to Leicester City's Premier League Title Success on May 03, 2016 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
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Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore has been around football for a long time, but even he can’t explain Leicester City’s miraculous title run.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Leicester coverage ]

With the Foxes now officially champions of England, Scudamore hailed the achievement as “the biggest sporting story ever.”

Speaking to BBC Sport, the Premier League’s top exec said Leicester’s run has silenced all the bookmakers and critics who said it could never happen, but that he wouldn’t want it any other way.

It’s probably the biggest sporting story ever and the biggest sporting achievement ever.

Nobody saw it coming and even when it was halfway through the season nobody said it could be sustained.

We don’t know what the future holds because we’ve all become completely hopeless at predicting anything, including the bookmakers and everybody else – because this one nobody saw coming.

It’s made mugs of all of us and that is just the most fantastic feeling.

If the bookmakers had it as a 5,000-1 event, you would imagine you should achieve these type of things once every 5,000 years. It gives us 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years of being able to say: ‘Leicester 2016. Just remember Leicester 2016.’

Pegged as pre-season favorites for relegation, Leicester defied the odds (5,000-1 odds) and claimed the most unlikely of championships. A top executive with the Premier League since 1999, even Scudamore had to admit he had a bit of egg on his face.

[ VOTE: What is the top moment from Leicester’s fairytale run? ]

Scudamore may not have believed in the Foxes, but few outside the city really did. One thing the chairman did have right though, is that we will all remember ‘Leicester 2016.’