What should Liverpool do with Luis Suarez after latest biting incident?

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With the attention of the world fixed on Luis Suarez’s latest act of cannibalism, most are focusing on the impact this will have on Uruguay’s chances at the World Cup.

How about Suarez’s club side, Liverpool?

The 2013-14 Premier League runners up now have one heck of a dilemma on their hands, as soccer’s serial bad boy is their pride and joy. Their view on Suarez’s bite on Giorgio Chiellini, during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy on Tuesday, is crucial to his future at the club and in soccer.

After standing by Suarez during his last high-profile bite back in April 2013 (that one was on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and resulted in a 10-game ban for Suarez) it remains to be seen as to what stance the Reds take on the Uruguayan’s latest deplorable act.

[ OFFICIAL: FIFA charges Suarez for biting Chiellini ]

[ RELATED: How long should Luis Suarez be banned after his THIRD bite? ]

[ RELATED: Suarez reaction on Twitter 

[ RELATED: Where does Suarez’s bite rank in WC’s most shocking moments? ]

Suarez, 27, was vilified by the British media for that bite on Ivanovic — it was his second bite on the soccer field after an earlier incident whilst playing for Ajax in 2010 saw him banned for 7-games — and vowed to walk away from Liverpool after putting in a transfer request and trying to pull out all of the stops to leave the Premier League.

However Liverpool blocked transfers and weren’t willing to sell Suarez at any price. That decision, and that faith they had in Suarez despite him turning his back on the club and his adoring fans, paid off last season. Massively. Suarez was the leading scoring in the PL with 29 goals, he won ever single Player of the Year award going and established his profile among the worlds top three players alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

With Suarez starring a maximum 24-month ban in the face after FIFA opened up their investigation into the bite on Chiellini, it is likely Liverpool will have to match whatever ban FIFA imposes on Suarez. The ban by FIFA would only stop Suarez from playing in their competitions but Premier League executives and Liverpool’s directors would have to be seen to take the issue as seriously as FIFA does, and would be forced to dishing out a similarly lengthy ban to Suarez.

source: Getty Images
Suarez bite Italian defender Chiellini on Tuesday, as the Uruguayan bit another player for the third-time in his career.

If Suarez is banned by FIFA, as is widely expected, and that results in him missing games for Liverpool, the club can sue Suarez under ‘breach of contract’ as his act of misconduct will directly impact the Anfield club.

They have two options if all of this comes to fruition: stand by their man who is one of the most talented soccer players in the world, but loves to act like a vampire. Or, they sell him and recoup whatever kind of cash they can for a supreme, yet flawed, talent.

Suarez has long been linked with a move to either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona in Spain and if Liverpool want a quick-sale, it seems as though both would be willing to snap him up. No pun intended. That said, the Reds would take a hit on the transfer fee. No doubt.

After Suarez’s stellar 2013-14 campaign, it’s hard not to imagine him being worth any less than the world record transfer fee of $130 million which Real paid Tottenham for Gareth Bale back in September 2013.

Now though, after his latest bite and a lengthy worldwide ban heading his way… maybe Liverpool could ask for $60-75 million tops for their striker, if they are looking to offload him. Yet there is such a huge dilemma here, as Suarez tore the PL apart last season and has dragged Liverpool back into the UEFA Champions League next season. The reason he initially wanted to leave Liverpool was that they couldn’t offer him UCL soccer, now that he has helped to deliver that, would Liverpool really be willing to give up “King Luis” and diminish their chances of challenging for the PL title and in Europe next season and beyond?

After all, where are you going to find another player like Suarez? With his talent comes the baggage but a THIRD bite on an opposition player on the pitch may be a step too far. Even for him.

For so long Suarez has called the shots on his Liverpool career, as he has tried to engineer moves away and signed long-term deals when he wants to. Now, all the power is with the club.

How should Liverpool treat their star striker Suarez? Should he stay, or should he go?

MLS at Week 8: Galaxy host Atlanta, NYCFC aims to stay unbeaten out west

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A full weekend of MLS action kicks off on Friday night with two of the Western Conference’s elite, while Saturday and Sunday feature a number of quality matchups.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy have been quite the attraction since the Swede made his move to MLS a few weeks ago, but Sigi Schmid’s side will be in for another early-season test on Saturday when they take on a red-hot Atlanta United.

[ MORE: Sweden not keen on Zlatan’s World Cup return ]

Both sides currently sit in second place in their respective conferences, while Atlanta boasts the second-highest goalscoring total in the league to this point, with 15 goals in six games.

Western Conference leaders Sporting KC have gone unbeaten in their last six matches since their opening day defeat to New York City FC, and Matt Besler and Co. will have another opportunity to put their stamp on the conference with a crucial match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who sit third in the West.

NYCFC and FC Dallas remain on the only two unbeaten clubs left in 2018, although the latter has been far less convincing in its first five matches.

Patrick Vieira and NYCFC are coming off of a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Atlanta last weekend, and now head west to take on the Portland Timbers.

Meanwhile, Dallas plays host to the Philadelphia Union, who have taken just one win out of their first five games.

Here’s a look at the full slate of matches around MLS in Week 8.

Friday

Sporting KC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps — 9 p.m. ET

Saturday

Montreal Impact vs. Los Angeles FC — 1 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC — 3 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire — 3:30 p.m. ET
Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution — 7:30 p.m. ET
Orlando City vs. San Jose Earthquakes — 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union — 8 p.m. ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids — 9 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. Atlanta United — 10:30 p.m. ET

Sunday

Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United — 4 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC — 6 p.m. ET

Atletico defeat leaves Barcelona 1 win from title

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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid lost 3-0 at Real Sociedad on Thursday, leaving Barcelona one victory away from clinching the Spanish league title.

Barcelona, which drew 2-2 at Celta Vigo on Tuesday without most of its regular starters, can secure its 25th crown at Deportivo La Coruna on April 29.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Burnley, trails Spurs by five points in UCL race ]

The Catalan club faces Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.

Barcelona has a 12-point lead over Atletico, with five matches left, and is 15 in front of third-place Real Madrid, which needed a late goal by Cristiano Ronaldo to draw 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

Another loss for Atletico on Sunday against Real Betis would leave Diego Simeone’s team out of contention for the title because Barcelona holds the head-to-head advantage between the clubs.

Willian Jose shot Sociedad ahead in the 27th minute at the Anoeta Stadium. Juanmi Jimenez made it 2-0 in the 80th after a perfect backheel from Jose before Jimenez scored again with an injury-time header.

It was a third straight win for Sociedad, which stayed 11th in the standings. Atletico hadn’t lost in three consecutive league matches.

GIRONA WINS

Girona ended a four-match winless streak with a 2-1 victory at Alaves, staying in contention for a Europa League spot next season.

Aleix Garcia opened the scoring for Girona in the 59th minute and Cristhian Stuani added a penalty in the 86th, moving the team within one point of seventh-place Sevilla.

Tomas Pina struck in the 90th minute for Alaves, which is 15th.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Leicester 0-0 Southampton: Saints lose chance to gain relegation ground

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Leicester City and Southampton finished scoreless at the King Power Stadium on Thursday, as the latter failed to pick up three critical points in a heated Premier League relegation race.

The best opportunity on the day likely came in the second half when Marc Albrighton‘s brilliant volley was deflected over the crossbar by Saints keeper Alex McCarthy.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Burnley with Moses’ second-half strike ]

Southampton boasted many of its regulars as they prepare to stave off being dropped down to the Championship next season, although Mark Hughes‘ side features in a big FA Cup semifinals clash over the weekend against Chelsea.

Chances were at a minimum in the opening stanza, with Leicester the more dominant of the two sides in attack, although it didn’t amount to much on their various counterattacking opportunities.

Kelechi Iheanacho threatened early on for the Foxes, coming close in the 15th minute with a strike that narrowly missed the far corner. This came briefly after he followed up on his own blocked attempt moments prior.

The Saints now sit four points behind 17th place Swansea City, while Leicester remains in eighth place — trailing Arsenal and the top six by 10 points.

Burnley 1-2 Chelsea: Moses rescues Blues all three points

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With four matches remaining in the Premier League season, Antonio Conte‘s side has everything to play for in the final weeks of the campaign.

[ MORE: Leicester, Southampton finish scoreless at King Power Stadium ]

Chelsea picked up a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Burnley on Thursday afternoon at the Turf Moor behind Victor Moses‘ second-half finish.

Moses was active throughout the match for Chelsea, playing a hand in both goals.

Ashley Barnes pulled a goal back for the Clarets in the 64th minute, but it wasn’t enough for the seventh place side to steal points off the Blues for the second time in 2017/18.

Alvaro Morata’s struggles continued on the day, as the Spanish international had a quality breakaway chance to seal the game early in the second half, but put his right-footed attempt wide of the goal.

The Blues went in front in the 20th minute after Burnley defender Kevin Long put the ball into his own net off of a dangerous cross from Victor Moses on the righthand side of the box.

Olivier Giroud made heavy claims for a penalty in the eighth minute, when the striker went to ground after having been contacted by Long.

The Frenchman started the match paired with Alvaro Morata up front as Antonio Conte looked to rest Eden Hazard and Willian ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup semifinal against Southampton.

The victory for the Blues puts Conte and Co. within five points of Spurs with four matches remaining in the PL campaign. Tottenham currently occupies the fourth Champions League position in England’s top flight.