Reports: Toronto FC to grab Brazilian national team ‘keeper Julio Cesar on loan

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Up in Toronto, they continue to make big moves over the Major League Soccer offseason, as another big name could be on the way if you believe reports out of Brazil.

On Friday various reports from suggest Ryan Nelsen’s Toronto FC have struck a deal with his former club Queens Park Rangers for Nelsen’s ex-teammate Julio Cesar, Brazil’s starting goalkeeper.

TFC’s President and CEO Tim Lieweke is really backing Nelsen this offseason, that’s for sure.

Cesar, 34, has been out of favor for QPR this season as they battle it out at the top of the Championship to get back into the Premier League at the first time of asking. Last season he dazzled in the PL, but has since lost his spot to Robert Green after QPR tried to ship Cesar out of the club over the past two transfer windows to get his huge wages off their payroll. It’s not that he is a bad player, far from it, but manager Harry Redknapp needs him out of the club to ease the already bulging wage bill.

(MORE: Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe unveiled at Toronto FC)

However now an option that would suit everyone may have been found, as Cesar could join TFC on loan for the 2014 MLS season and play a few months before he jets off to his homeland to be the host nations starting GK. Cesar needs regular soccer, Toronto could do with a top class ‘keeper to compliment the huge signings of Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe earlier this offseason, and QPR would love to get a good chunk of Cesar’s salary off the already hefty wage bill at Loftus Road.

Everyone’s a winner.

The long-time Inter Milan ‘keeper, who has 77 caps for Brazil and excelled in the Confederations Cup victory last summer, would be a real feather in the cap for Nelsen and no disrespect to Joe Bendik, Cesar would be a huge upgrade between the sticks. But can Toronto really pull off yet another stunning signing? If Cesar does join, he would be one of, if not the best, goalkeepers in MLS. No doubt.

Lets see how this one pans out, but Nelsen and Leiweke aren’t messing around up in Toronto, are they?

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.