Sunderland v Stoke City - Premier League

Americans Abroad Review: Cameron dependable in upset, Agudelo picks up assist

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Fresh off Jurgen Klinsmann’s thoughts on regular playing time and European-based players, here’s another edition of the Americans Abroad Review.

We’ve dealt with Clint Dempsey’s struggles at-length here, but as a refresher: Fulham’s dropped all four Premier League matches since he’s arrived on loan and sit in last place in the table. Knowing all this and adding in his failures on the match-losing FA Cup fourth-round goal versus Sheffield United and… well, life’s not great.

Geoff Cameron again played a solid 90 minutes for Stoke City as the Potters engineered a 2-1 upset of Manchester United. Stoke has begin a spate of brutal dates on their fixture list but the win over the Red Devils is encouraging in many ways for both the embattled club and Americans fans.

Sunderland’s Jozy Altidore was a handful for Newcastle and was receiving plaudits over the duration of the game progress for his strong and steady play up front. He’s still struggling to find the net or register assists, but making an impact is something some will high-five.

Brek Shea went all 98 minutes for Barnsley in their 1-0 loss at Sheffield Wednesday. His most remarkable moment was the two-footed tackle put on him that saw Jermaine Johnson sent off. It was a chippy affair that saw three red cards over the duration of the match, but the open field couldn’t help Shea and the Reds find the net.

Tim Howard was between the sticks for Everton’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa, which of course played American understudy Brad Guzan. The No. 1 beat the No. 2.

Juan Agudelo is on his game at FC Utrecht, where he’s on loan from Stoke City. The young Yank picked up an assist and played 90 minutes in a surprising 1-1 draw against Ajax. His headed flick found the foot of Steve de Ridder for the game-tying goal.

Ale Bedoya again found his Nantes side on the losing end of a Ligue 1 match. He played 60 minutes in the midfield, on the right side, but Sochaux was able to pick up the only goal of the encounter.

American supporters got a big scare when Aron Johannsson was forced from AZ Alkmaar’s 2-0 win over Vitesse after scoring a goal and pressuring his opponents into an own goal, but Yanks Abroad has the news that the thigh injury is not serious.

Klinsmann’s beloved Jermaine Jones is leaving Schalke on loan for a spell at Turkish club Besiktas. Match time, you know?

Timmy Chandler got two shots off in Nurnberg’s 3-1 stomping of Hertha Berlin, playing 90 minutes in the process.

Jose Torres features in MLSSoccer.com’s wrap of all things American in Mexico. Read more here.

Bayern’s Vidal says “ugly” Atletico not deserved UCL finalists

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Juanfran of Atletico Madrid and Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich argue during the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.

Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.

They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.

The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.

Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.

[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]

Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.

Europa League preview: Liverpool, Shakhtar look to overcome Spanish foes

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - APRIL 28:  Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal is watched by the Liverpool defence during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool at Estadio El Madrigal on April 28, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0

Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.

[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]

Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw 

Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Men in Blazers podcast: Celebrating Leicester’s title with Arlo White

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In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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European police say Russian mafia infiltrating soccer clubs

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 04:  Sporting Lisbon fans celebrate after their team score a goal during the Portuguese Liga match between Sporting Lisbon and Uniao Leiria at the Alvalade XXI Stadium on November 4, 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.

[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]

Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.

Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.

Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.