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Instant reactions to news that Major League Soccer has purchased Chivas USA

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A truly turbulent chapter in Major League Soccer is nearing a merciful conclusion as Major League Soccer has announced the purchase of Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes.

It’s. About. Time.

There will be much, much more to say about this in the coming days and weeks. And, who knows, maybe even the coming months or years – unless Stan Kroenke acts quickly! For now, here are the quick hits of what we know, with a few reactions:

  • MLS will assume clubs operations, which is nothing new for the league. It has run a team in some time, but going way back the league ran several clubs. Nothing changes for the 2014 season, competition-wise.
  • Today’s MLS release says recently named coach Wilmer Cabrera will retain his position, soon to report to an unnamed club president.
  • Rejoicing is high among MLS devotees (and writers like myself), who have long lamented how Chivas dragged down league attendance, league quality and had been – if we’re being honest – reduced to something of a league punch line.
  • Don’t forget, MLS commissioner Don Garber recently told SI.com’s Brian Straus the Chivas mess was the biggest setback of his time in charge.
  • Garber held a media teleconference call at 5 p.m. on Thursday, discussing the announcement and the Chivas USA situation.

(MORE: MLS commissioner confirms Kroenke won’t buy Chivas USA, gives details on future plan)

  • In the end, this might be the bigger shoe to fall. From today’s press release: “In the coming months, the league will resell the club to a new ownership group that will be committed to building a new stadium and keeping the team in Los Angeles.  The league has had initial discussions with a number of very qualified potential owners and intends to finalize an agreement with a new group sometime this year.”
  • Feel free to connect the dots on that statement to recent news of Kroenke’s recent purchase of land in Los Angeles and reports from abroad of a new club in the works that would be named the L.A. Gunners. Kroenke, of course, is a shareholder with the big Gunners, the ones who play in North London, in addition to owner of the Colorado Rapids. But in his conference call, Garber later quashed any hopes of an L.A. Gunners franchise starting up. Read more, here.
  • Maybe more light bulbs should have gone up with inklings from a few days ago that a Chivas USA rebrand was in the works. Apparently, trademarks had been filed on Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles F.C.
  • Finally! Writers like myself can stop going on and on about the sorry state of this thing, truly an outright league embarrassment. We’ve been banging the drum on this one for years. Like here.

Look for more on this later at ProSoccerTalk.

Pep Guardiola: “Maybe I’m not good enough”

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Pep Guardiola has admitted he “may not be good enough” for his players at Manchester City.

Ahead of City’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) Guardiola has been defended his squad after severe criticism from the media.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

City were hammered 4-0 at Everton last weekend, their worst league defeat since 2008 and Guardiola’s worst-ever league defeat as a manager.

With plenty pointing the finger of blame at goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and City’s defense, their manager put himself in the firing line.

“They are good players. I have respect for the guys, so why would I say the guys are not good? So I don’t understand the lack of respect for the professionals when they have been amazing players, and [people saying] they are not good enough for me. Maybe I am not good enough for them,” Guardiola said. “They are Manchester City players, top players. They have a lot of quality. They have shown that many times in the past and this season.”

Mind games.

Guardiola, 46, is no doubt facing the biggest challenge of his season as City look to at least seal a top four spot in this his debut season in England. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has already “said goodbye to the title” and if they lose against red-hot Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium then more questions will be asked of his tactics and if they can work in the Premier League.

So far the possession-based slow build up style has been hot and cold for City, with plenty of counter-attacking teams in the PL (Chelsea, Spurs, Everton, Leicester etc.) having a field day against a shaky defense.

Despite being 10 points off the pace, Guardiola is sticking by his philosophy. One thing really sticks out to me from his first few press conferences in England: “We will see if my style of play can work in the Premier League.”

So far, it’s not.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Swansea City (Lineups, Stream)

SWANSEA, WALES - MARCH 16:  Kyle Naughton of Swansea City is closed down by Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on March 16, 2015 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Liverpool host Swansea City to Anfield on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with the Reds aiming to stretch their unbeaten run at home in the Premier League to 18 games.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Jurgen Klopp is a little concerned with the number of games his team have had to play over the past few weeks, but a victory against the struggling Swans would momentarily move his side just four points behind leaders Chelsea who play on Sunday.

As for Swansea, new manager Paul Clement knows a win would take his team out of the relegation zone and with new signings arriving that would be a massive boost. It would also be a massive ask for the Welsh side to get anything at Anfield but this may be a good time to play Liveprool after their midweek trip to Plymouth in the FA Cup and the EFL Cup semifinal second leg against Southampton coming up on Wednesday.

In team news Liverpool start with Philippe Coutinho once again, while Joel Matip is on the bench after the Reds finally settled the dispute with Cameroon. Swansea hand debuts to new signings Martin Olsson and Tom Carroll.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino. Subs: Karius, Sturridge, Moreno, Lucas, Origi, Matip, Woodburn

Swansea City: Fabianski; Olsson, Mawson, Fernandez, Naughton; Cork, Carroll, Fer; Sigurdsson, Llorente, Routledge. Subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Amat, Fulton, Dyer, Borja, McBurnie

Viktoria Plzen set to sign midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz

Obafemi Martins, Oniel Fisher, Andreas Ivanschitz
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
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PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.

Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.

Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.

[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]

No financial details were given.

The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.

Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.

FIFA allows Matip to represent Liverpool during AFCON

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Joel Matip of Liverpool heads to score his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on October 29, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images
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Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.

The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.

[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]

Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.

He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.