Giuseppe Rossi’s knee injury not as bad as feared, definitive results to come

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The BBC is reporting that Giuseppe Rossi has sprained ligaments in his right knee meaning the injury is not as bad as initially feared.

Although Fiorentina are still waiting to learn how long Rossi will be out for – the extent will only be clear once he has visited a specialist – it appears his season may not yet be over.

When the American-born striker went down in Viola’s 1-0 win over Livorno on Sunday, things looked bleak. Rossi was attempting to attempting to play the ball when Livorno defender Leandro Rinaudo raked him down from behind in the 71st minute.

The Italian international managed to leave the pitch under his own power but the awkwardness of the fall and the obvious pain that resulted had most believing that, for the third time in the last three years, Rossi had ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Rossi first tore the ACL in his right knee in 2011 and, after making a full recovery, re-tore the ligaments in training six months later. The injury kept him out of the 2012 Euros and after Sunday’s incident, fears raged that Rossi would be missing the biggest international tournament of all – this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

If that worry proved true,it would be a massive blow to Rossi and the Italian National Team. Since returning from his second ACL injury last summer, Rossi has been on fire scoring 14 goals in 17 Serie A matches. The form not only placed Rossi tops in the scoring charts but also prompted Italy manager Cesare Prandelli to discuss the mouthwatering possibility of pairing Rossi with Mario Balotelli in Brazil 2014.

Fearing the worst, that chatter came to an abrupt halt Sunday evening. But with the initial diagnosis now being a sprain rather than a tear, a glimmer of hope exists. Upon leaving the hospital Rossi’s agent, Andrea Pastorello, said “we are more optimistic.” The club, however, is playing this one cautiously.

“For a correct valuation of the extent of the damage and the outlook, a visit to a specialist will take place in the next few days,” read a club statement.

As we await to hear the full extent of the injury, Prandelli’s remains positive. “Because of what’s happened, Giuseppe has a great strength of character,” Prandelli said. “He knows how much we value him. I’ll say now: stay strong Giuseppe, we’re waiting for you.”


Brazil to play Austria in final warmup game for World Cup

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VIENNA (AP) The Austrian soccer federation says Brazil will play its final warmup game for the World Cup against Austria on June 10, a week before the five-time world champions take on Switzerland in their Group E opener.

[ MORE: USMNT adds Kekuta Manneh to roster ahead of friendly ]

The match will be played in Vienna at Ernst Happel Stadium, the same venue where both teams last met in a 2014 friendly, which Brazil won 2-1.

Brazil has further build-up games against World Cup host Russia (March 23), world champion Germany (March 27) and Croatia (June 3) ahead of the June 14-July 15 tournament, where it also meets Costa Rica and Serbia in the group stage.

Austria failed to qualify for the World Cup but will also play friendlies against Russia on May 30 and Germany on June 2.

Fiorentina renames training ground for Davide Astori

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Fiorentina’s training ground has been renamed “Centro Sportivo Davide Astori” in honor of the club’s deceased captain.

[ MORE: Manneh added to USMNT squad ]

Davide Astori died in his team hotel room on March 4, shocking the Italian soccer world and triggering tributes around the world of soccer.

The respected Italian national team center back has had number retired by both Fiorentina and former club Cagliari.

Thousands packed a Florence piazza to salute the player en route to his funeral, and the club won its first match after his passing following vivid pre- and in-match tributes.

Kekuta Manneh added to USMNT roster for Paraguay game

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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CHICAGO (AP) Mexican league midfielder Kekuta Manneh was added to the U.S. roster Monday for a March 27 exhibition against Paraguay at Cary, North Carolina.

The 27-year-old was born in Ghana and became a U.S. citizen two years ago while playing with Vancouver. He was traded to Columbus in March 2017 and signed with Pachuca in December.

[ MORE: Southampton momentum? ]

He is among eight players on the 23-man roster who could make their national team debuts. The others are goalkeeper Alex Bono; defenders Shaq Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown and Antonee Robinson; midfielders Marky Delgado and Tim Weah; and forward Andrija Novakovich

Four others have played just once: goalkeeper Zack Steffen, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielders Weston McKennie and Kenny Saief.

After failing to qualify for the World Cup, the U.S. will not play a competitive match until this summer.

The revised roster:

Goalkeepers: Alex Bono (Toronto), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland, Denmark), Zack Steffen (Columbus).

Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Ipswich Town, England), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, England), Matt Miazga (Vitesse, Netherlands), Shaq Moore (Levante, Spain), Erik Palmer-Brown (Kortrijk, Belgium), Antonee Robinson (Bolton, England), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna, Mexico), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle, England).

Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Marky Delgado (Toronto), Kekuta Manneh (Pachuca, Mexico), Weston McKennie (Schalke, Germany), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta), Cristian Roldan (Seattle), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht, Belgium), Wil Trapp (Columbus), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain, France).

Forwards: Andrija Novakovich (Telstar, Netherlands), Rubio Rubin (Tijuana, Mexico), Bobby Wood (Hamburg, Germany).

Further crowd trouble could see Lyon’s European ban made active

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Lyon has not enjoyed sportsmanship on and off the pitch this season.

You’ll remember an ugly incident between its players and Everton fans this season, but it’s been Lyon’s support which has had the Ligue 1 club under the microscope for some time.

[ MORE: (Very) Fresh faces for USMNT ]

Lyon had a two-year ban suspended in April, and antics before Thursday’s Europa League match versus CSKA Moscow could see the French side’s suspension from European competition put into action. From the BBC:

Lyon have been charged with racist behaviour, crowd disturbances, throwing objects and setting off fireworks and blocking stairways.

Police say up to 150 ultras attacked officers outside Lyon’s stadium on Thursday.