United States to host Copa America Centenario in June 2016

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CONCACAF and CONMEBOL have confirmed that the United States will host the 45th edition of the Copa America Centenario in the summer of 2016.

The tournament, marking the 100th anniversary of the inaugural 1916 tournament, will run from June 3rd through 26th and will mark the first time the Copa America is played outside of South America.

As reported by Pro Soccer Talk’s Nicholas Mendola last month and again last Monday via MLSSoccer.com, this “historic announcement” will feature 10 nations of CONMEBOL (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) plus the United States, Mexico and four other CONCACAF nations.

The two CONCACAF nations joining the USMNT and El Tri will be decided by two of the four semifinalists from the 2015 Gold Cup. The Copa America will also run in 2015 with Chile hosting, and 2019 with Brazil hosting. The 2016 tournament will serve as a special off-year edition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the event.

According to the Miami Herald venues being considered are the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida and Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. The competition is not yet on the FIFA calendar, which would provide a hurdle to securing clubs’ top players for the tournament. It is also going to overlap significantly with Euro 2016, which runs from June 10-July 10.

A few hurdles need to be cleared between now and the 2016 Copa America, chiefly getting this tournament on FIFA’s schedule, which will help secure top players’ availability for the tournament. In addition, the timing of the tournament abuts a number of potential conflicts including the 2016 Summer Olympics, World Cup qualifying matches, the Major League Soccer schedule and Euro 2016.

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.