Gary Lineker and Tim Howard to host on-site studio show for Arsenal v. Chelsea

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Gary Lineker will join Everton and US Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard to host NBCSN’s first live on-site Premier League studio coverage for today’s match between Arsenal and Chelsea.

The special edition of Premier League Live kicks off today at 2:00 pm ET and will feature match commentators Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux as well as Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle and Kyle Martino from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Connecticut.

Lineker and Howard will anchor on-location coverage from Emirates Stadium in North London where third-place Arsenal take on fifth-place Chelsea.

The on-site event marks Day 3 of “The 12 Days of Premier League,” where from Saturday, December 21st, through New Year’s Day, January 1st, NBC Sports Group provides live coverage of 40 matches.

source:  Lineker, the former star of Leicester City, Everton, Barcelona and Tottenham, is no stranger to NBC’s coverage of the Premier League, appearing weekly as a special contributor in Premier League Goal Zone and Match of the Day.

Since retiring from the game in 1994, the former England international has enjoyed a stunning career as a pundit, and later, presenter, in a number of BBC football programs, including the UK version of Match of the Day.

Monday’s on-site studio show is the latest broadcast endeavor that Howard will be taking on, having already joined White in calling Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City on October 27th and Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United on December 1st.

Monday’s on-site show comes just one day after Howard led Everton to a 2-1 win over Swansea City, vaulting his side into the Premier League’s Top 4.  With just 16 goals conceded over a 17 match span Everton boasts the best defense in the league, a feat made possible by the stunning form of Howard who, at 34-years-young, is arguably playing the best soccer of his career.

With Premier League Live beginning at 2:00pm ET and Arsenal v. Chelsea kicking off an hour later, Monday promises to be a very special third day in “The 12 Days of Premier League.” All programming can be seen live on NBCSN and, as always, the match will be streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images
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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

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The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.

Report: USMNT’s Arriola drawing transfer interest abroad, in MLS

AP Photo/LM Otero
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Paul Arriola’s motor was constantly running as the United States men’s national team claimed its sixth Gold Cup title, and it could drive him all the way from Club Tijuana to Europe or a prime spot on an MLS roster.

There’s a snag, though.

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Arriola is reportedly wanted by Real Salt Lake and clubs in both the Netherlands and Portugal, but the LA Galaxy has what Goal.com describes a “dubious homegrown player” claim on Arriola, who participated in a minimal of practices with the Galaxy when he was younger.

As you’ll see below, there isn’t much “homegrown” about it and, to its critics, it is peak MLS monopolized tomfoolery. Here’s how Goal describes it:

“He was already a U.S. youth national team player when he traveled the 120 miles from Chula Vista to take part in a handful of training sessions with the LA Galaxy academy and eventually the Galaxy first team.

“The Galaxy are believed to hold a homegrown player claim on Arriola, and would have the right of first refusal on making Arriola an offer if he comes to MLS. The Galaxy’s current salary-cap situation might not allow them to make a serious bid for Arriola.”

But… here’s how the Galaxy described his choosing to sign for TJ instead of a pro deal from LA in 2013:

“It’s a little disappointing,” Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday. “He went through our system, we offered him a contract and he decided to move on and go somewhere else. But that’s going to happen. It’s something that has happened before, and it’s something that will happen again.”

Arriola’s response in the same article? “I thank the Galaxy for giving me a wonderful opportunity to train with their first team and be a part of their first team which really taught me a lot.” That doesn’t read as much like he “went through their system.” He played in at least one U-18 game, debuting in October 2012, did more training with TJ in December 2012, and signed for the Mexican side in May 2013.

Should that qualify him as Homegrown?

https://www.transfermarkt.com/paul-arriola/leistungsdaten/spieler/189876

Did Arriola spent significant time with LA, or is it possible the Galaxy might reap rewards from having an already established youth national teamer to practice when he was a kid? Whether you’re okay with that or not, consider that it encourages clubs to pilfer rights without actually registering or training the player.

Not to mention there is no guarantee that playing in the Netherlands or Portugal will be better for his development than MLS. Benfica or Ajax and potential action in European tournaments? Maybe. NAC Breda or Tondela? Maybe not.

Nevermind the quagmire that is American youth soccer clubs’ not earning money from transfer fees, the Arriola drama seems baseless. We don’t know the Galaxy will hold the player hostage, but they would actually be depriving MLS of a talent, as LA would theoretically get nothing should TJ sell him to a European club.

In any event, check out Arriola’s use chart from Tijuana and you’ll see why he’s valued by Bruce Arena as well as his suitors. He’s a Swiss Army Knife. Here’s hoping Tinseltown doesn’t stop him from a proper next step (assuming he’s ready to leave Liga MX).