Mexico v United States

Seattle Sounders release statement on DeAndre Yedlin transfer rumors


After his superb performances for the U.S. national team at the 2014 World Cup, it’s no wonder European giants are sniffing around DeAndre Yedlin.

The 20-year-old Seattle Sounders right back proved his talent on the world stage in three cameo appearances off the bench on the right flank for the U.S. and he certainly turned plenty of heads with his speedy displays.

Reports from England have him heading to Liverpool on trial, apparently Roma are interested in taking him Serie A. The kid who has just one full Major League Soccer season under his belt is suddenly one of the hottest properties in the right back slot. Many were questioning Jurgen Klinsmann for taking him to the World Cup. Not now.

Addressing the increased speculation surrounding their star speedster, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer released the following statement on Sunday. For now, Yedlin will remain a Sounder but Hanauer didn’t exactly reassure Seattle’s fans that a move to Europe is out of the question for their academy product.

“DeAndre has had a very good season in Seattle and obviously had a fantastic World Cup. This has drawn lots of interest for him from leagues around the world,”  Hanauer said. “For now, DeAndre is in Seattle and we need him to help us win our upcoming games against Portland. If something transpires with a foreign team, we will announce it.”

Would this be a good or bad thing for Yedlin’s development?

Who knows. You only have to look at other U.S. international moving abroad, such as Brek Shea, Maurice Edu, Tim Ream and countless others, to see that joining a European club isn’t always the best option. That said, if Roma or Liverpool do come calling, it would be hard for Seattle to stand in Yedlin’s way.

That is essentially what Hanauer is saying in his statement. The Sounders will likely get a very sizeable transfer fee for a player they produced. Yedlin can kick on his career at a top European side and the U.S. will have a young full back ready who’s ready to star at right back for a decade to come.

Everyone’s a winner… right?

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia