England Press Conference

Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge appear fit for Germany match

Leave a comment

Big statement match for England on Tuesday when they face Germany at Wembley.

The Three Lions head into the match following a disappointing 2-0 loss to Chile on Friday where Roy Hodgson‘s men were outplayed for significant portions of the match.

Germany, who drew 1-1 in Italy on Friday, will provide a much sterner test for England and Hodgson is keen to turn the tides. “Germany will ask massive questions of us,” said the England boss.

“But I am pretty sure that all of the XI who go out on Tuesday night will be anxious that they put any comparisons (with Germany) to bed,” Hodgson continued. “They will show they are every bit as good and that is what I believe they will be.”

England’s confidence was boosted on Monday with news that England captain, Steven Gerrard, strikers Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert, and defender Kyle Walker were all confirmed fit to face Germany after missing the Chile clash last Friday.

Sturridge, however, was the only one of that quartet who was unable to complete a full training session with England after suffering a thigh injury while on duty with club side Liverpool. The striker trained for 45 minutes with team-mates before leaving the field with the physio Steve Kemp. He nevertheless claimed he was “happy” to play against the Germans.

Tuesday will also mark the return of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who failed to feature in the loss to Chile as Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster earned the call. Hodgson spoke highly of Hart and the opportunity he has to claim his top spot.

“[Joe] will be anxious to seize his chance and anxious to show everyone that he is still a very good goalkeeper,” said Hodgson. “Joe is in the right frame of mind to play. He is ready. The Chile game was Fraser Forster’s chance to show what he can do but (Hart) knows it’s his chance on Tuesday night.”

Monday’s training session gave an indication of what to expect in Tuesday’s match as Hodgson split the squad into two teams. Walker, Chris Smalling, Phil Jagielka and Ashley Cole lined up in front of Hart with a midfield of Gerrard, Tom Cleverley, Adam Lallana and Andros Townsend and Wayne Rooney playing behind Sturridge up top.

The Starting XI of Germany manager Joaquim Low will be more difficult to foresee. Low will be without a number of key players, including goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, captain Philipp Lahm and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil.

Mourinho’s agent: Coach paid $27 million in taxes in Spain

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United stands alongside his substitute Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on December 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MADRID (AP) Jose Mourinho’s agent says the Manchester United manager paid more than 26 million euros ($27 million) in taxes when he lived in Spain from 2010-13.

The information was made public on Tuesday by Gestifute, a company run by Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes.

[ MORE: Pulisic wanted by Arsenal, Spurs ]

The Portuguese company has been releasing details about its clients’ tax declarations after European media outlets published what they claimed were details of apparent tax arrangements made by top soccer players and coaches, including Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.

Gestifute, which also has Ronaldo as a client, has already published documents allegedly showing that Spanish fiscal authorities have certified that Mourinho and Real Madrid star Ronaldo are “up to date on … obligations.”

Mourinho coached Real Madrid from 2010-13 and took charge of United this season.

Staying in Dallas: New contract for MLS Defender of the Year Hedges

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 12:  Giles Barnes #10 of the Houston Dynamo battles for the ball with Matt Hedges #24 of FC Dallas during their game at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 12, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Leave a comment

This is going to turn out to be one of the most exciting years of Matt Hedges’ life.

The FC Dallas man lead one of the best back lines in Major League Soccer to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.

[ MORE: PST talks with Hedges, Zimmerman ]

He’s also likely set for a chance to return to the USMNT fold under new coach Bruce Arena, as Hedges is one of the best players to be largely ignored by Jurgen Klinsmann.

Hedges, 26, was named the MLS Defender of the Year and made the Best XI, and now he’s inked a new long-term deal with FC Dallas.

The four-year deal will keep Hedges in Dallas through his 30th birthday. Capped once, Hedges has 159 appearances with 11 goals for FCD.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Two more Pulisic suitors in North London? USMNT teen in demand

Dortmund's Emre Mor, left, celebrates with Dortmund's Felix Passlack and Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, right, after scoring during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and SV Darmstadt in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Dortmund defeated Darmstadt with 6-0. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Christian Pulisic is one of the most exciting young prospects in the world.

It’s a statement that isn’t often said without hyperbole when it comes to American standouts, but the 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund man has seen his names in the gossip pages a few times this year.

While Liverpool has often been the destination, Italian site Calcio Mercato says Premier League interest is wider than Merseyside. The clubs? Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

[ VOTE: Who should win USMNT player of year? ]

Dortmund doesn’t want to sell the youngster, who is locked up through 2019. The whispered price has been $31 million at a minimum, but perhaps BVB would be tempted given their wealth of young attacking options.

Pulisic has made 27 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, nabbing four goals and six assists. He has 11 caps and three goals for the USMNT as well.

Follow @NicholasMendola

Real Madrid asks for “utmost respect” to Ronaldo following tax drama

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 03:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts after missing a chance during the La Liga  match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on December 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cristiano Ronaldo had been linked with massive tax evasion, but Real Madrid would ask you to kindly go back to treating him like a king now that he’s proven his innocence.

In a move usually reserved for politicians aiming for high office, Ronaldo’s agent released some of his tax documents to prove everything’s above board.

It all looks good, unlike what befell Neymar and Lionel Messi, so back off, huh?

[ MORE: Wednesday’s Champions League preview ]

From Real Madrid:

In view of the stories published over recent days and in consideration of the certificate issued by the Spanish Tax Agency which confirms that our player Cristiano Ronaldo is up to date with all of his tax obligations, Real Madrid C. F. call for the utmost respect to be shown towards Cristiano Ronaldo, whose conduct has been absolutely exemplary throughout all of his time at our club.

Only the utmost for CR7.

Real Madrid hosts Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in a match which will decide Group F of the UEFA Champions League.

Follow @NicholasMendola