Willian seeks the trust of Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea fans

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Chelsea’s new signing, 25 year old attacking midfielder Willian, faces a difficult road to earn playing time at Stamford Bridge.

The Brazilian, who penned a five year deal with the West London club after completing his transfer from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala for a fee of $40 million (£25.5m), is well aware of the competition he faces. The key, he claims, will be to earn “the trust of the manager and the fans.”

Thus far Blues manager Jose Mourinho has favored an attacking three of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Kevin De Bruyne but has also utilized the likes of Juan Mata, Ramires and Andre Schurrle. Willian, therefore, becomes the seventh man in Mourinho’s attacking scheme, meaning the competition for playing time in 2013-14 will be fierce.

From the sound of it, Willian appears to be taking a modest approach and keeping an open mind. “I know that I haven’t secured my spot here,” he told ‘Globo Esporte’. “I’ll do my best to achieve that place, while respecting the other players. I’ll train, play and do my best to get the trust of the manager and of the fans.”

Willian’s drive for playing time exceeds his desire to prove himself to the Chelsea faithful as he is not currently involved in the Brazilian National Team. For him, the need to be playing in next summer’s tournament is a source of extra motivation.

“There is no doubt English football is very big, with huge visibility,” he added. “I hope that helps me to be called up for the national team – but of course that depends on me.

“I’ll have to play and prove I deserve that spot. I first have to become a regular starter [with Chelsea], then play well and be called up [by Brazil]. This is my goal.”

Despite having yet to appear for the Blues, Willian remains fresh on the minds of supporters after he impressed for Shakhtar Donetsk during last year’s Champions League group stage matches against Chelsea. Willian’s slick skills and precise passes helped Shakhtar win 2-1 at home but were not enough to prevent the Ukrainian side from losing 3-2 in the away fixture. To his credit, Willian scored both goals in his club’s losing effort.

After the move to Anzhi in the January transfer window, William made 15 appearances for the Russian club before joining Chelsea. “Things just happened,” Willian said. “Chelsea came with an offer and everyone knows that I wanted to play for the club since I was at Shakhtar. It shook me but I didn’t think twice.”

Only time will tell if Willian develops reservations over the move. With the string of world-class attackers at Mourinho’s disposal, one thing is sure – it won’t come easy.

FOLLOW LIVE: Timbers host Sounders in PNW showdown

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They don’t get much bigger, or more heated, than this one in MLS — it’s Portland versus Seattle, the Timbers versus the Sounders, tonight at Providence Park (10 p.m. ET).

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Timbers vs. Sounders ]

To keep up-to-the-second informed on proceedings in Portland this evening, hit the above link, or click right here.

Seattle won the first meeting between these sides, 1-0 back on May 27, on their home turf at CenturyLink Field. Cristian Roldan, who’ll depart for U.S. national team camp following Sunday’s game, scored the only goal that afternoon in Seattle, a 4th-minute header from three yards out.

Mustafi: Arsenal players powerless, hope “brilliant” Sanchez will stay

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Shkodran Mustafi admits that he, along with his Arsenal teammates, feels helpless with over the ongoing transfer saga of Alexis Sanchez.

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]

The Chilean superstar is linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer, as the Gunners fell out of the Premier League’s top-four and the 28-year-old’s contract is set to expire next summer. Perhaps most importantly, Sanchez hasn’t so much as publicly stated a desire to remain at the club, which, from the outside, appears to have left his future in even greater doubt.

Mustafi admits he hasn’t a clue how things will shake out in the coming weeks, but he’s quick with a pleading sales pitch for Sanchez to stay — quotes from Goal.com:

“I have no idea. Obviously the other players cannot make that decision, he has to make that decision.

“I’m not too much involved. I hope he stays because he is a really brilliant football player but there’s nothing in my hands that I can do.”

[ MORE: De Boer set to be named new Crystal Palace boss ]

Arsenal would likely have to double (if not more) Sanchez’s current $180,000 weekly wages in order to convince him to forego a season in the UEFA Champions League and commit his long-term future to a club presently trending in the wrong direction.

Report: Frank De Boer accepts Crystal Palace job

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Frank de Boer is widely expected to be named new Crystal Palace manager this week, as he has reportedly accepted the job after having been offered the position this week.

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]

The 47-year-old Dutchman has been out of work since he was fired by Inter Milan in November. He lasted just 84 days at the San Siro, where he managed to win just five of 14 games. Inter Milan is Inter Milan, though, and that’s something worth remembering when critiquing Palace’s impending appointment of De Boer.

Palace are also widely expected to back De Boer in the transfer market this summer, in a big way. Kelechi Iheanacho is the biggest name linked with a move to Selhurst Park, as the 20-year-old Nigerian striker is reportedly unwanted by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

5th-place San Jose parts ways with Kinnear after 2.5 seasons

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Dominic Kinnear is out after two and a half seasons as head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, despite leading the club to a hugely improved standing 17 games into the 2017 season.

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The move comes 17 hours after San Jose put to bed a three-game winless skid with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, a result which propelled them into fifth place in the Western Conference, just two points off second place. After seventh- and ninth-place finishes in Kinnear’s first two seasons back in Northern California (he managed the club in 2004 and 2005 before the club was relocated to Houston, where he would remain for nine seasons, through the 2014 season), this year’s team seemed to be moving in a positive direction quicker than most had previously expected.

[ MORE: Accam scores a backheel (video) | Opara scores a CB bicycle ]

The club has named Chris Leitch head coach and Alex Covelo as assistant coach. Current assistant coach Steve Ralston and goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley will remain in their current roles.

“First and foremost, we would like to thank Dominic for his hard work, professionalism and contributions to this club over the years,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a release. “He worked hard this year and was a first-class person all the way. This decision was made after a lot of thought and evaluation. We decided that we wanted to go in a different direction as we continue to build the identity of this club.”

Kinnear is the second MLS coach to be relieved of his duties this season, suffering the same fate as RSL’s Jeff Cassar, who lasted just three games before being fired in March.