Mesut Ozil is confident of winning trophies at Arsenal

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Mesut Ozil has revealed that he chose Arsenal for their style of play and is confident the club will win trophies.

Speaking with Arsenal’s official website in his first interview as a Gunner, Ozil addressed why he chose to sign with the North London side. “I chose Arsenal because they are one of the top clubs in England,” Ozil said. “The coach is a world-class manager – he’s demonstrated that for years. A lot of players have developed under his guidance in the past and that’s why I decided to join Arsenal.”

Ozil also noted his admiration for Arsenal’s slick passing, free flowing style of football. “I want to improve myself further and I’m looking forward to the style of play. Arsenal are well known for the strength of their technical game and their desire to play attacking football. I think I will fit perfectly into that.”

The general consensus is that Ozil will play as the central attacking midfielder in Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 scheme. That means Tomas Rosicky, who has performed admirably in that role during the opening of the season, will likely be dropped to the bench. Flanking Ozil on the left will be Santi Cazorla and on the right, Theo Walcott, with Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey playmaking from the rear.

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Mesut Ozil’s vision, skill and affinity for the short passing game should fit right in with Arsenal’s style of play.

It’s that combination of skill, creativity and pace that Ozil claims drew him to Arsenal. “Arsenal are one of the technically strongest teams in the world,” Ozil explained. “The manager always wants to play attractive and attacking football. I think I fit into that because I enjoy playing quickly – that ’one-touch football’.”

The 24 year old is well aware of Arsenal’s eight year trophy drought and has his sites set on extinguishing that blemish. “In the last few years, Arsenal haven’t been so successful but we want to become more successful. We want to win trophies. I think the fans are looking forward to that too. We have a very strong and a very young team that can improve a lot under the manager. I think we will win trophies because we have the potential [to do so].”

The presence of countrymen Per Mertersacker and Lukas Podolski should go a long way to helping reduce Ozil’s adjustment period. Podolski told the London Evening Standard on Thursday that he is relishing playing alongside his Ozil.

“Mesut will help us in any situation,” Podolski said. “Our system and game at Arsenal will fit very well to him. Definitely Mesut and I will rock Arsenal. It is our great goal to have success in London.”

For Ozil, it comes down to wanting to prove himself. After being told he no longer figured in the plans of Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti following the signing of Gareth Bale, Ozil decided to reinvent himself in the Premier League.

“I’m happy to be playing in the Premier League because everyone knows it’s the strongest league in the world,” Ozil said. “There are simply a lot of top teams. I want to prove myself there. It’s a new challenge for me, a new task. I’m looking forward to that. I want to improve further under the boss and in the team. I’m really excited about it.”

Ozil’s first match with Arsenal kicks off Saturday September 14th at Sunderland.

Brazil’s Gremio wins Recopa Sudamericana in penalty shootout

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PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) Brazil’s Gremio has won the Recopa Sudamericana, beating Argentina’s Independiente 5-4 in a penalty shootout Wednesday night.

The two-legged final ended 1-1 on aggregate, with no goals scored after 120 minutes in the second.

The winners of last year’s Copa Libertadores overcame the holders of Copa Sudamericana after goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe stopped the last penalty of the series, taken by Independiente’s striker Martin Benitez.

The Recopa is played between the champions of South America’s two most important tournaments.

Independiente played most of the match down to 10 players after defender Fernando Amorebieta was sent off after 38 minutes.

The Brazilians made most of the pressure until the end of extra time, but failed to score.

Gremio also won the Recopa in 1996.

CCL wrap: FC Dallas disappoints; Club America struts (video)

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The CONCACAF Champions League returned Tuesday with Toronto FC’s 2-0 quarterfinal first leg win in Colorado, and a trio of ties began Wednesday across Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Tauro 1-0 FC Dallas

Veteran striker Edwin Aguilar scored a big goal, and goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane did plenty of good things as the Panamanian side struck a wild first blow against its MLS visitors.

Here’s a random fact underscoring how remarkable of a failure this would be for FC Dallas: Only six of Tauro’s roster members have their own Wikipedia page.

Deportivo Saprissa 1-5 Club America

Cecilio Dominguez and Mateus Uribe each bagged a brace, and Renato Ibarra also scored as the tournament’s top team sauntered into and out of Costa Rica on Wednesday. Club America has been to seven CCL finals, and one every single one.

Motagua vs. Club Tijuana — 10 a.m. ET

Honduran hosts hope to have a leg to stand on — pun intended — once the tie heads to Mexico.

West Ham to friendly neighbors Dag & Red: “Will help save our club”

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English Conference Premier side Dagenham and Redbridge has seen better days, and is getting a hand from a Premier League pal.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

West Ham United will pay a visit to Dag & Red as part of the latter’s #SaveTheDaggers campaign, and the March 21 date will cost fans between $7 and $21 to see a top flight side at 6,000-seat Victoria Road.

Dagenham and Redbridge chairman Paul Gwinn said, “It really will help save our club.”

“So please come on down to the Chigwell Construction Stadium for an additional night of football. Bring a friend, or two, or more and we can use the gate takings to help get us back on track,” reads a press release.

Dag & Red was founded in 1992 and climbed as high as League One in 2011, and plays just 2.5 miles from West Ham United’s training ground. Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are among Dag & Red alums in the Premier League.

It’s a terrific gesture from West Ham, and is even more impressive in the United States where the growing club game is increasingly cutthroat (especially between non-synced leagues).

Angry Di Francesco extremely quotable after Roma loss

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AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco absolutely roasted his charges after i Lupi tossed aside a Cenzig Under-inspired lead to fall 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday.

Di Francesco had praise for Edin Dzeko, who assisted Under’s goal, as well as goalkeeper Alisson, but was mostly enraged by his side.

[ MORE: Recap + Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Rather than construct a narrative, we’re going to point out our five favorite selections from Di Francesco’s post-match talk.

4) “The difference was that in the first half we tried to hurt them while in the second we were looking to hold on – to what? I don’t know.”

— “To what? I don’t know” is hilarious. Di Francesco’s side has posted some serious wins this season, including killing off Chelsea 3-0 at home and coming back from 2-0 to draw the Blues at Stamford Bridge. He doesn’t preach sitting back.

3) “There were far too many schoolboy errors – even by players with a wealth of international experience.”

— Schoolboy errors!

2) “I saw two completely different teams out there today. There were lots of players I should have taken off after we conceded the first goal.”

— Again, one mistake by a number of players on Facundo Ferreyra is enough for Di Francesco. He’s not just happy to be here.

1) “I can’t imagine we’d get arrogant just because we’re winning an important game. It’s not as if Roma are used to reaching the final every year.”

— When you’re willing to essentially rip an entire club’s history — Roma’s been to just two UCL quarterfinals since losing the final to Liverpool in 1984 — you’re putting your footprints in new cement.