You’ve asked all year. “How is Chivas USA allowed to do this?” Potentially discriminatory practices. Reported hiring preferences. If it’s not Mexican or Mexican-American, it’s not Chivas USA, we’ve come to understand. How exactly does that jive with state and local law? And even if it does, why is Major League Soccer allowing this to happen?
It looks like HBO is going to get to try to get to the bottom of it. On this month’s edition of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, reporter Soledad O’Brien digs into the controversy, with a minute of the show teased via the network’s YouTube channel (and embedded, above).
Consider this is a pretty main stream news magazine. For soccer stories to trickle into the “MSM,” they usually have to involve Messi, political unrest, organized crime, or the kind of brutality that makes us ask “is that the only reason you care?”
This story has the potential to be told with the same kind of sensationalism, and rightly so. For any company in the U.S., let alone a soccer franchise, the type of discrimination alleged to be taking place would be headline news. And if the issue made it into an edition of Real Sports, surviving the cutting room floor, there’s probably a story to tell.
If all publicity is really good publicity, Major League Soccer may be in good shape. However, if there are some things for which you don’t want to be known, the league’s can’t be happy to see O’Brien’s work generating this kind of buzz.
The full episode airs tomorrow night, so come Wednesday morning, you’re sure to hear more about what HBO’s uncovered. The next move will be MLS’s.
In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.
[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]
Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.
Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.
Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.
Emre Can has recovered from an ankle injury and will be in Liverpool’s squad for their Europa League semifinal against Villarreal on Thursday night.
The German international has not played since April 14 when he was forced off in the Reds’ wild 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund.
[ MORE: Liverpool prepping for Villarreal ]
Giving his team update on Wednesday, manager Jurgen Klopp said Can is back in the team, although captain Jordan Henderson is still out. The Reds enter the second leg trailing 1-0 on aggregate.
Another positive note out of Melwood was the return of Danny Ings to first-team training. The 23-year-old striker signed with Liverpool last summer, but managed just eight appearances before having his season end to a torn ACL in October. Ings is still far away from his full return, but it was a good sight to see him back on the pitch and making progress in his recovery.
Manchester City put in an uninspired performance against Real Madrid on Wednesday, losing the match 1-0 and falling out of the UEFA Champions League.
[ RECAP: Real Madrid 1-0 Man City ]
The match was decided by just one goal, but the scoreline was flattering to City as they failed to create any kind of real chances at the Bernabeu. Over the two legs, City managed just two shots on target.
While City were wildly disappointing in the second leg, manager Manuel Pellegrini did not think the match was that one-sided, saying both teams struggled on the attack.
I am disappointed because I think that was a very close game with two teams who did not create many chances. The two teams were working with no-one making a difference.
It is not the best thing changing a defender very early but I don’t think we had any problems in defence, we had problems creating, same as Real Madrid. They did not create many chances.
Real Madrid was not in top form, but they still could have scored three or four goals on Wednesday. Joe Hart had to come up with some big saves to keep things close, as the England goalkeeper was by far City’s most valuable player throughout the tie.
[ MORE: Liverpool preparing for Europa League match vs. Villarreal ]
The absence of David Silva through injury certainly hurt City’s attack, but there was very little service moving forward from the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure. The poor play in the midfield left Sergio Aguero stranded alone up top, nearly invisible in the second leg.
Without service, Aguero was forced to track back to try and find the ball himself, leaving City no options to hit on the counter. For a tie between two of the most expensive teams in the world, neither side was truly impressive, but City surely disappointing.