American coach Ziggy Korytoski takes over top-flight Guatemalan club

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Jeff “Ziggy” Korytoski gave up coaching college soccer for another chance at the professional game this year. Last week, it landed him a job with a first-division club in Guatemala’s Liga Nacional.

He took over Deportivo Coatepeque after just one season as the head coach of University of Hawaii at Hilo in NCAA Division II. Before that, he led Antigua GFO to promotion from the third to second tier of the Guatemalan pyramid, coached the Northern Mariana Islands national team and spent time as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

On a recruiting trip to Guatemala when he was on staff at Cal Poly, Korytoski met Antigua sporting director Ricardo Arenas, who played collegiately at Rutgers.

“He asked me what my dream job would be, and I told him I’d always wanted to coach professionally,” Korytoski told The New York Times in 2011. “He called me a month later and told me he’d taken over as the sporting director, and there might be a chance for me. These opportunities come around very, very rarely, especially if you haven’t played at the highest level.”

His new boss, president of Coatepeque Ronaldo Samayoa, wants Korytoski to take his club to the CONCACAF Champions League in the next few years. Although Cal Poly is known for its atmosphere in the college game, it is still a far cry from Estadio Saprissa on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.

“I’d like to make Coatepeque a winner first,” Korytoski told American Soccer Now. “I’d like to take a team into CONCACAF. I think Champions League would be a fantastic opportunity. I think I’m one of the few American coaches to be coaching abroad, and to be able to go back and be able to go up against some of the teams in MLS and Canada and Mexico around CONCACAF would be a fantastic opportunity.”

In Korytoski’s first game in charge, the club lost 2-1 to first-placed Comunicaciones. Coatepeque sits in 11th place in the 12-team league, with just one win in 14 matches so far.

“They’ve got the largest attendance base in the country,” Korytoski said. “It’s a team that’s at the bottom of the table right now, in the relegation zone, and the question is: is this team good enough to survive in Liga Mayor?”

If it does, and if Coatepeque can climb into the top regional competition under Korytoski, then Bob Bradley will no longer be the only American coach making an impact abroad.

Raiola: Zlatan to “100 percent” stay in Europe for two seasons

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.

Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:

“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”

It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.

But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

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Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.

Celtic secures trophy treble, ends Scottish season unbeaten

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.

Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.

Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.

No China for Costa: It’ll be Chelsea or Atletico Madrid

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Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.

The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.

Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.

[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]

The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.

Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following: