Fresh of a huge win – one that might not ordinarily reach “huge” status, but does in season gone sideways, where measures of success must surely be recalibrated – there are fresh concerns to deal with.
Foremost is the concussion injury to Chris Pontius, who will apparently miss Saturday’s home match with Toronto FC. Defenders Ethan White and James Riley are also out. Defender Dejan Jakovic and midfielder Kyle Porter are questionable, all as reported by The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.
Jakovic, a starting center back, would be the most significant loss. We could debate the impact of missing Pontius, a talented midfielder-forward who is having a wickedly tough go of it this season.
Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup win was good and bad news. The “good” was achieving some relief from the lack of success; the team is still riding that 12-game winless streak. And Dwayne De Rosario’s breakout, a hat trick in the club’s 3-1 win over Philadelphia, propelling the team into the tournament quarterfinals, will put a smile on every La Bara Brava man and woman.
But even that come with this bit of temperance: “De Ro” is 35, and you have to wonder how quickly he’ll recover, how much he will have for Saturday’s critical contest against Toronto. Same for the rest of the club; Toronto will come in far more fresh, playing in its first match in 14 days.
Some Wigan Athletic fans got a little too excited following the club’s shock 1-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup, and the police are now investigating alleged crimes that happened on the field and outside of the stadium.
Police confirmed to the BBC that two supporters were arrested outside the stadium on suspicion of assault while the police are working with both Wigan and Man City to investigate what happened pitch side after the final whistle.
[READ: Wigan bounce 10-man Man City]
Man City striker Sergio Aguero was involved in an altercation with a fan on the field after the game, and it appeared that Man City supporters threw down advertising hoardings onto the field.
“Football is a family event and the disruption that players and fans alike faced will not be tolerated,” Greater Manchester police chief superintendent Stuart Ellison told the BBC. “As soon as people were on the pitch, we immediately deployed our resources to the front of the stands, where they were able to keep the two groups of supporters apart and prevent any further disruption.”
For the third time in the past four months, Ruben Semedo has found himself in trouble with the law.
According to a report from Spain, the Villarreal centerback was arrested Tuesday morning at his home on charges of assault, kidnapping and robbery. A complaint filed to the police by a victim alleges that Semedo and two others tied the victim up and locked the victim in a room in Semedo’s home.
Semedo and the others then allegedly took the victim’s keys and went to the victim’s house, where they allegedly stole money and/or other valuable items.
[READ: Wigan shock Man City in FA Cup]
Villarreal has yet to respond to the latest incident off the field, which has marred Semedo’s season and the club’s reputation. Semedo has only played four times this year as he’s currently recovering from a right leg injury, and he’s been sidelined with a variety of injuries since joining from Sporting Lisbon for around $17.3 million last summer.
This is Semedo’s third time in trouble with the law. Last October, after a long night of partying, Semedo allegedly smashed a bottle over someone’s head. In November, in the early hours of the morning following an all-night session at a night club, Semedo pointed a gun at a member of the night club’s security staff after an argument earlier in the evening forced Semedo to leave.
For the latter crime, the local prosecutor is pushing for two years in prison. If the current allegations can be proven true, Semedo could face even more time behind bars.
As of right now, it seems incredibly unlikely that Semedo could feature for Portugal in the World Cup, as he’ll have more important matters to deal with.
MOSCOW (AP) Russian authorities in two cities say they have issued hundreds of fines after finding many hotels were illegally hiking prices for the World Cup.
The Rospotrebnadzor consumer regulator says one Moscow hotel raised prices up to 570 percent above what is allowed by a government decree designed to prevent excessive profiteering during the tournament.
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The regulator’s Moscow branch says it issued fines totaling 5.95 million rubles ($105,000) to 198 legal entities and 181 people.
In the Ural mountain city of Yekaterinburg, where Mexico and France will each play a group game, the regulator said it fined seven hotels, some of which were charging almost three times the allowed rate for rooms.
Russian authorities have taken a hands-on approach to regulating hotel and travel costs during the tournament to prevent the negative publicity of visiting fans being charged large sums.
MADRID (AP) Spanish police have dismantled a match-fixing scheme involving players and clubs in the country’s lower divisions.
Authorities said more than 20 people have been detained as part of the police operation launched on Monday, including players, although no names were immediately disclosed.
The matches under suspicion were in the third and fourth divisions this season and last season.
The match-fixing scheme reportedly involved Chinese betting sites.
The Spanish league said the operation was based on information collected by its analysts about suspicious activities.