Race row with Evra reignited: Why Luis Suarez should keep quiet and let his goals do the talking

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Luis Suarez has reignited an issue that threatened to ruin his soccer career.

Why?

Liverpool’s star striker, currently the Premier League’s leading scorer with 23 goals, has told Uruguayan radio station Sport890 AM that racist allegations made by Manchester Untied defender Patrice Evra were ‘all false,’ after the incident that happened two years ago.

By speaking out about this topic, Suarez has risked reopening the race row which saw him banned for eight games back in February 2011 after he was found guilty of racially abusing United left back Evra by the English Football Association.

Since then 27-year-old Suarez bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last season, which he admitted regretting in the same radio interview where he talked about Evra, along with regretting another separate biting incident that occurred while he was playing for Ajax in 2011.

As for the incident with Evra, the Uruguayan goalscoring machine showed no remorse. This is what he had to say.

The case with Evra was all false. I was accused without proof. But that’s in the past. I was sad at that moment, but I’m happy today. I have grown up. I have thought more about things before doing them. Now people in England can’t talk about me because I’m not doing anything wrong. They have to talk about me only as a footballer.

We love to talk about you as a soccer player Luis, so please keep it that way.

But I fear that with this outburst against Evra and the Liverpool star hitting out at allegations of racism thrown towards him, we may be chatting about Suarez’s off-field issues and previous discrepancies instead of focusing on what a wonderful player he really is. Let’s not drag the past up. It should be all about there here and the now, because Suarez has been sensational this season.

(MORE: Suarez claims Patrice Evra race allegations were “all false”)

Despite missing the opening eight games of the PL campaign, after being banned for biting Ivanovic last season, Suarez leads the PL with 23 goals in just 18 games. He has been sensational ever since he returned and is a big reason why Liverpool are just four points off top spot with 12 games to go. Suarez, believe it or not, is a shoe-in to win the PFA Player of the Year award and is likely to be in the Premier League Team of the Year too.

There’s only thing that can scupper him picking up all of those individual accolades at the end of the season… his mouth.

Zip it shut, Luis. You really don’t need to talk about anything that has happened in the past, no matter how much injustice you feel. Let your boots do the talking, keep banging in the goals and get your head down to help Liverpool qualify for the UEFA Champions league, or potentially win the PL title, and Uruguay do well in the World Cup.

Talking, or doing other things with his mouth, has only got Suarez in huge amounts of trouble in the past. Now won’t be any different.

New York Red Bulls introduce space at RBA for autistic families

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HARRISON, N.J. (AP) The Red Bulls have announced plans for a permanent sensory-friendly space at their stadium for families impacted by autism.

Formerly executive offices, the space overlooking midfield is a calm area that is free from the crowds and the noise of Red Bull Arena during matches. Families can use it for free.

The team announced the new space on Saturday before the Red Bulls were set to host the Chicago Fire. It was Autism Awareness Night at the stadium.

“Families deserve to feel welcome and comfortable each time they step foot into Red Bull Arena, not just one night a year,” Red Bulls GM Marc de Grandpre said in a statement released by the club. “We hope all sports teams and entertainment venues are inspired to take similar action to provide comfort for families with loved ones on the autism spectrum.”

League Two game restarted in empty stadium after fans storm field

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LONDON (AP) An English soccer game restarted in an empty stadium after a pitch invasion led to the crowd being told the fixture had been abandoned.

There were five minutes remaining in Leyton Orient’s fourth-tier game against Colchester on Saturday when a sit-down protest was staged on the pitch by Orient fans against Italian owner Francesco Becchetti.

It forced the referee to take the players off the field. The protests lasted for more than an hour before the crowd was told the game had been abandoned and the stadium eventually cleared. The teams came out and finished the game.

Leyton Orient lost 3-1 a week after its relegation from the English Football League was confirmed after 112 years.

“A decision was taken with the police to announce that the game had been abandoned as it was felt this would help clear the pitch, which proved correct,” the EFL said in a statement. “However, it was deemed appropriate that the game needed to be played to a conclusion in order to maintain the integrity of the competition.”

La Liga: Barcelona, Real Madrid hold serve in tight title race

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Super-duper Sunday preview — North London derby, plus 6 of top 7 ]

Espanyol 0-3 Barcelona

Barcelona are doing all they can do — win — in their bid to usurp Real Madrid in the race for the title. While they entered the weekend — and still are — ahead of their El Clasico rivals based on head-to-head results this season, Los Blancos still have a game in hand which will surely decide whether Madrid claim their 33rd top-division title, or a 25th for Barca.

On Saturday, Luis Enrique’s side had more than just the title at stake — also at stake: the Derbi Barceloni, against fellow Catalan side Espanyol.

For 45 minutes, the home side held firm and refused to break, but once Luis Suarez put the Blaugrana ahead in the 50th minute, that was all she wrote. Ivan Rakitic doubled the advantage in the 76th minute, and Suarez completed the scoring 11 minutes later.

Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia

By the time the derby kicked off, Madrid had already applied the pressure and gone three points clear with a 2-1 victory that was a whole lot closer than the final score indicates.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark, and Zinedine Zidane’s side was well on its way to victory. Ronaldo followed up his opening goal with a missed penalty kick 10 minutes into the second half, and Daniel Parejo pulled the visitors level with a sensational free kick just eight minutes before the end of regular time. Points looked sure to be dropped, and the door opened wider for Barca, but Marcelo was prepared to play the part of hero on the day, and the Brazilian left back bagged one of the season’s more improbable goals, a right-footed strike from the top of the box, in the 86th minute.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Las Palmas 0-5 Atletico Madrid
Real Sociedad 2-1 Granada

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Osasuna vs. Deportivo La Coruña — 6 a.m. ET
Real Betis vs. Alaves — 10:15 a.m. ET
Eibar vs. Leganes — 12:30 p.m. ET
Celta Vigo vs. Athletic Bilbao — 2:45 p.m. ET

Monday’s La Liga schedule

Malaga vs. Sevilla — 3 p.m. ET

Championship Focus: It’s all about the playoff places now

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With Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United having already clinched the Championship’s two automatic promotion places, all eyes turn to the four teams behind them still jockeying for playoff positioning…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s coverage of the Championship ]

3rd — Reading — 82 points, +2 GD
4th — Sheffield Wednesday — 81 points, +16 GD
5th — Huddersfield Town — 81 points, +1 GD
6th — Fulham — 77 points, +27 GD

First of all, the Championship remains the least sensible league in the world. Disagree? Just try to explain the above wildly varying points totals and the corresponding goal differentials. Go ahead, I’ll wait

As for the weekend’s results, Reading and Wednesday did themselves major favors in the race for third with victories over Wigan Athletic (1-0) and Ipswich Town (1-0), respectively, while Huddersfield, who entered the weekend in that top playoff place, played 67 minutes with a man advantage against Birmingham City, and lost 2-0. All three of Reading, Wednesday and Huddersfield have clinched their place in the promotion playoffs, which begin two weeks from Saturday, on May 13.

[ MORE: PL Sunday preview — North London derby, plus 6 of the top 7 play ]

Given Leeds United’s 3-3 draw with Norwich City, a win would have clinched the fourth and final playoff place for Fulham, but the Cottagers dropped a pair of points themselves in a 1-1 draw with Brentford at Craven Cottage. Still, Fulham are all but into the playoffs with a three-point lead on Leeds, and a goal differential that’s 13 goals better.