According to a report in MARCA, the Court of Arbitration for Sport may be receptive to reducing the punishment received by Luis Suárez when he bit Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s World Cup match with Italy.
The punishment handed down by FIFA prevents Suárez from playing in the next nine games for Uruguay, and sees him banned from soccer for the next four months. The forward is also prevented from training and is prohibited from attending all football-related events — a prohibition which meant Barcelona could not introduce him at a crowded Camp Nou when he completed his transfer from Liverpool.
A CAS judgment will be handed down in the next three weeks, but there is already speculation that Suárez will see his punishment lessened. Sources say he is likely to be cleared to train with Barça, as well as take part in football-related events, meaning they may be able to properly present the Uruguayan. What’s likely to stick, however, is the nine-match ban from international games.
It’s the four-month ban that seems most up in the air. Apparently, there are those at the CAS who wonder if, because the incident occurred while Suárez was on international duty, should Barcelona be punished for it? That sort of thinking could lead to a reduced ban, and Suárez could be playing his first La Liga match sooner than most believed possible.
Yet for those of us who are not Barcelona fans, this line of thinking seems questionable at best. Barcelona were well aware of Suárez’s ban when they brought him on board, and it was likely the reason the deal with Liverpool came to such a rapid conclusion. Perhaps if Barcelona had bought the forward prior to the World Cup, this thinking would make sense.
Finally, the punishment is meant to hurt Suárez. This is a man that’s bitten an opponent on three separate occasions. If he’s ever to learn his lesson (biting people = not acceptable), it’s tough to see it happening if the CAS hands down a reduced ban.
The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
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The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.
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In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.
Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.
The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.
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Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.
With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.
Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:
What a special moment in my professional life!
Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.
I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.
Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.
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While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.