Reports out of France indicate that U.S. international Alejandro Bedoya will soon be signing with Ligue 1 side FC Nantes.
The source, Ouest France, claims that Bedoya is poised to sign a three year deal with Nantes, arriving from Swedish champions Helsingborgs IF after his contract expired. Bedoya is expected to arrive at the Pays de la Loire club tomorrow to finalize the deal.
Assuming all goes smoothly, Bedoya will become the seventh American to play in Ligue 1, following David Regis (Strasbourg 1993-96, Lens 1996-97, Metz 1998-02, Troyes 2002-05), Greg Vanney (Bastia 2002-2005), Quentin Westberg (Troyes 2006-2010, Evian 2010-2012), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes 2008-2010, Saint Etienne 2010-2011), Freddy Adu (Monaco 2008-2009) and Charlie Davies (Sochaux 2009-2012).
For Nantes, Bedoya represents a great signing. Les Canaris won promotion to Ligue 1 this past season after finishing third in the Ligue 2 table behind winners AS Monaco and second place Guingamp. Last season Nantes were led by 25 year old Serbian international striker Filip Dordevic, who scored 20 league goals in 34 appearances.
For Bedoya, signing with a newly promoted Ligue 1 side may not be the most ideal move but one that he must nevertheless capitalize on. Since the expiration of his Helsingborgs contract he has been without a club, which is a dangerous situation for any player looking to make an impact in a World Cup year. At Nantes, Bedoya should be able to earn consistent playing time, a key component in USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s selection process.
Bedoya heads to France in what is arguably the best form of his life. The attacking midfielder was instrumental in this summer’s Gold Cup, assisting on both of Landon Donovan’s goals in the semifinal 3-1 victory over Honduras and setting up the game-winner in the 1-0 victory over Panama in the final.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
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No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
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Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday