Chelsea announce 25 man squad for International Champions Cup

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Chelsea have announced the 25 man squad that will compete in the 2013 Guiness International Champions Cup in the United States.

The Blues will be boosted by the return of six players who missed the club’s three match tour of Asia trip due to their Confederations Cup commitments this summer: Brazil’s David Luiz and Oscar, Spain’s Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta and Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel.

The inclusion of Luiz, Mata and Torres will be a relief for Chelsea fans as the three have been the subject of transfer speculation throughout the summer.

Luiz and Mata had been linked with Manchester United in a swap deal for Wayne Rooney, while Torres has been pegged to go anywhere from Napoli to Atletico Madrid to Valencia.

Despite the rumors, manager Jose Mourinho has stated his intent of keeping all three players in the squad.

The Blues landed in Washington DC today to prepare for the first of three matches in this year’s ICC. That match, set to be played gainst Mourinho’s former club Inter Milan, will kick-off in Indianapolis on Thursday. The Blues then face either AC Milan or Valencia on Sunday, August 4th in New York before traveling to Miami for a final fixture on August 7th or 8th.

Chelsea will then conclude their U.S. tour on August 10th in a friendly match-up against AS Roma in Washington DC.

Here is the complete 25 man roster for Chelsea’s trip to the U.S.:

Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, Henrique Hilario, Jamal Blackman; Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertrand, David Luiz; John Mikel Obi, Michael Essien, Oscar, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Marco van Ginkel, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Victor Moses, Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne; Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, Demba Ba.

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

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Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

FIFA bans Colombia midfielder Cardona 5 games for gesture

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.

FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.

Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”

Spurs’ Alderweireld won’t return until February

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Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.

That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.

Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.

Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.