Ancelotti promises “most spectacular football” at Real Madrid

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After being unveiled as Real Madrid’s new manager earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti has promised good times will return to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 54-year-old Italian manager was officially announced as José Mourinho’s successor yesterday, Ancelotti arrives fresh from guiding Paris Saint-Germain to their first French league title since 1994.

Amongst the hectic scenes at the press conference earlier, Ancelotti looked calm and calculated when talking excitedly about his upcoming tenure as Real Madrid manager.

“The challenge is very clear,” Ancelotti said, “the most prestigious club in the world obliges us to try to win playing spectacular football. I want a team that controls the play, that has a nice idea of attacking football, that has good balance. I don’t think it will be difficult to play offensive football with lots of possession.”

Another big piece of news to come from the press conference, was that former World Player of the Year and Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane will be part of Ancelotti’s coaching staff.

“Zidane will be on the bench. The problem is that he won’t be on the pitch,” Ancelotti laughed. “Zizou was a great player and now he wants a coaching role. I am very happy to have him alongside me.”

So with Zizou on one side and Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez having chased and admired Ancelotti for some time, all seems well in the Spanish capital.

(MORE: Ancelotti arrives as Real Madrid manager, while Blanc takes over at PSG)

However their was a brief mention of the man who Ancelotti takes over from. “I respect Mourinho a lot but we are different. He has his character, mine is different. Our situations cannot be compared.”

And that was that. Ancelotti is now in the hot seat at one of the worlds biggest clubs. He has the stature and ability to succeed. Will a united Real Madrid be European soccer’s new conquerors? Ancelotti hopes so.

BONUS: Below you can watch Ancelotti’s first English interview with Real Madrid TV, as he speaks about the club wanting to taste Champions League glory once more.

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire

Late action (10:30 p.m. ET kick off)

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.