Arturo Vidal losing race to be ready for Chile’s opener

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When Arturo Vidal underwent knee surgery on May 7, the procedure was supposed to help the Chilean midfielder for the World Cup, correcting a problem that had lingered throughout the Serie A season. At least, that was one theory. Any time you get cut open, you never know.

One of those never knows has bitten Vidal, though. Now nearly five weeks after the procedure that tried to address his meniscus problem, the 27-year-old Juventus star is still experiencing inflammation in his right knee. Unable to train with his team in Belo Horizonte, Chile’s best player is a major doubt for his team’s June 13 opener against Australia.

From FIFA’s web site:

He made a surprise comeback in last Wednesday’s 2-0 friendly victory over Northern Ireland, playing 15 minutes, but has not since been able to train with his team-mates. Tests carried out on Saturday revealed he had inflammation under his right kneecap.

Vidal trained apart with some light jogging during the 15 minutes Chile’s training session was open to the media, before kicking a ball, but only with his left foot.

Chile will still be favored to beat the Socceroos without Vidal, but the absence of La Roja’s best player would increase the upset’s odds. If that absence Vidal more effective against the Netherlands and Spain, however, that risk may be worth it.

At this point, it’s not even a choice, though. With his star unable to train, Jorge Sampaoli can’t play Vidal. Given how long this problem’s lingered, it’s unclear when that will change.

For a team many are picking to make it out of the tournament’s “Group of Death,” Vidal’s injury could be a tournament-defining blow. Even before the ball has started, Cinderella’s having trouble fitting her glass slipper.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.