EURO 2016 logo revealed in France…

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With so many different tournaments going on right now, this announcement from Europe drifted under the radar.

Confederations Cup, U-20 World Cup, Gold Cup and plenty of other soccer tournaments have taken any limelight away from EURO 2016, which seems like an age away.

But the French Football Federation (FFF) unveiled their logo for the 2016 European Championships in Paris this afternoon.

President of UEFA, former French superstar midfielder Michel Platini, was delighted with the launch of the branding. While Noël Le Graët, FFF president, hailed the unveiling of the tournaments brand.

“It’s a great moment for France. We want to make people feel, in our towns and our villages, that this sport brings people together, to show that an event like this is for everyone.”

Well, what do you make of the logo? Umm, yeah, it is smart. But it does look very similar to the South Korean flag.

Anyway, haven’t we had just about every design possible for a World Cup, European Championship or Copa America? There is only so much you can do with a trophy and a soccer ball.

I’m sure budding designers will tell me otherwise but I’ve yet to see any design that has really pushed the boundaries in the world of soccer tournament logo’s.

Some of the past European Championship logo’s to stick out in my mind are the EURO 1996 in England, EURO 2000 in Holland and Belgium and the flowers design in Ukraine and Poland was pretty snazzy last time out at EURO 2012.

UEFA said the EURO 2016 design was from the theme of ‘Celebrating the art of football’, and it was unveiled in the suave surroundings of Paris’s Pavillon Cambon Capucines.

So maybe the logo has got you in the mood for EURO 2016? If so, here is some slender info (all that is available) on the tournament that will begin in three years time. Make sure you visit the tournaments page on the UEFA site too. Start saving up for those tickets…

Host Cities

Nice, Lille, Lens, Stade de France (Paris), Parc des Princes (Paris), Bordeaux, Lyon, St. Etienne, Toulouse, Marseille

Draw dates

Qualifying – Nice; 23 February 2014, Final tournament – Paris; December 2015

Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training (video)

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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Among my most quoted coaching lines comes from former University at Buffalo and current Canisius College men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon (and pretty sure it didn’t originate with him).

“It’s more about Jims and Joes than x’s and o’s.”

[ MLS: Seattle wins | Stalemate in Ohio ]

So if Everton rebounds from its rough start to the season to reach its preseason potential, there’s a good chance we’ll credit the return of one of the most electric attackers in the game and not necessarily their new boss.

Yannick Bolasie returned to training on Wednesday, and not a moment too soon following a near one-year layoff due to an ACL tear.

There’s no guarantee the 28-year-old Bolasie will have the same burst, of course, but he has the potential to be a season-changer.

Everton was 5-4-4 when Bolasie went down with his injury last season, and improved on the mark the rest of the way, but are a moribund 3-3-6 this season.

Player faces unsporting conduct charges for shoving ball boy

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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Adelaide United defender Michael Marrone has been cited for unsporting conduct for shoving a ball boy during the late stages of his team’s 2-1 loss to Sydney FC in the FFA Cup final.

Football Federation Australia on Wednesday issued a disciplinary notice to Marrone for “engaging in serious unsporting conduct,” with a hearing date to be set.

[ MORE: Liverpool fan trouble in Sevilla ]

Marrone knocked over the ball boy, reported by local media to be aged 10, while trying to get the ball to take a throw-in during extra time in the Tuesday night match.

The ball boy and his father were later allowed to take part in the trophy presentation ceremony.

“Just thankful that nobody was hurt,” FFA chief executive David Gallop said at a news conference Wednesday. “Perhaps some lessons for a few people in that one. Glad that it didn’t detract too much from what was a really exciting finish to the game and glad that the boy and his father got to share in the celebration at the end.”

While there are no precedents in Australia for such charges, Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard was banned for three games for violent conduct after kicking out at a ball boy in 2013.

In other countries, clubs have been fined if their ball boys have been found to be deliberately slowing play.

Miguel Almiron knew nothing about MLS, everything about Tata

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Miguel Almiron’s future is going to be a big part of the story for as long as he’s in Atlanta United, but his past is in focus following another cool post in The Players’ Tribune.

It’s a cool read, for sure, to examine Almiron’s rise from “too skinny” kid without a club to one of the top prospects this side of the Atlantic Ocean, but the story of why he came to Atlanta is an argument for the “big name” manager (Tata Martino in this case).

[ MORE: Liverpool fan trouble in Sevilla ]

Before the Paraguayan youngster was the talk of the transfer market, MLS Newcomer of the Year, and the No. 1 jersey sale in the league, he was being recruited to the Georgian expansion outlet.

“I didn’t know much about MLS. I didn’t know where Atlanta was. I didn’t know anything. But Tata was manager, and that was all I needed to know.”

Given that Martino arrived not too long before Almiron, the following Tweet makes the point I’ve been trying to make as well as anyone:

Sevilla manager reportedly told team of cancer diagnosis at half

AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti
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When it comes to locker room tales, few compare to this one.

Any big comeback, especially one as high profile as Sevilla’s stunning second half against Liverpool, inspires the question, “What was said in the team room at halftime?!?”

Down 3-0 at halftime and in danger of bowing out of the UEFA Champions League, Sevilla manager Eduardo Berizzo gave his team some very serious news.

[ MORE: Liverpool fan trouble in Sevilla ]

According to Spanish reports relayed by The Telegraph, Berizzo informed his players of his prostate cancer diagnosis.

Sevilla confirmed that Berizzo is battling adenocarcinoma, saying, “Future medical tests will determine a course of treatment. Sevilla FC wants to show maximum support to its manager in these moments and wishes him a prompt recovery.”

It adds extra weight to Ever Banega’s postgame comments:

“We have to go out there with that attitude, for the fans that always back us and for the coach who has turned this around. He is the most important of all of us, he has us on the right path and we are with him to the hilt.”

Our best to Berizzo, and — sorry Reds supporters — it’s pretty cool Sevilla was able to rally after such stunning news.