Jermaine Jones reportedly turns down latest offer from Chicago Fire

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Jermaine Jones definitely wants to come to North America, but part of that is the potential to cash in, a la Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley. While Jones doesn’t see himself in that category, make no mistake about it: The long-time Schalke mainstay isn’t moving to Major League Soccer for purely patriotic reasons. He wants to be one of the handful of players that make European money playing in the U.S.’s league.

Unfortunately for the American international, nobody’s willing to step up to the plate, with Frank Yallop and the Chicago Fire coming closest to meeting the 32-year-old’s demands. According to one outlet’s reports, however, close hasn’t won Jones’s heart.

From reporting by Goal USA:

Sources have confirmed to Goal USA that the U.S. World Cup star has rejected a 2.5 year, $6 million guaranteed contract from the Chicago Fire, leaving his club future in doubt, and limiting his options as the summer transfer window enters its final month.

The Chicago Fire laid out a sizeable contract offer that would have made Jones one of the highest-paid players in MLS, but the 32-year-old German-American decided to pass on the deal and wait for other options to emerge. Just where those new options will be remains to be seen.

In the face of the report, Jones took to Twitter to express his appreciation of Chicago’s offer, though he refuted Goal’s details:

In the world of MLS, it’s not surprising to hear sources disagree on the details. Goal may be reporting full compensation. Jones may be thinking of the offer’s base salary, a figure that often doesn’t include likely incentives or commercial considerations. If Goal’s number is correct, it’s probably the high end of the range.

The bottom line: Whatever Chicago’s offering is not enough. Jones’s reference point appears to be Bradley and Dempsey, and while he may not expect $6 million per season, getting less than half may not entice him to jump the pond.

You can see both points of view. Jones may not be in line for a big contract in Germany or Turkey, but there other places that can afford to pay a prominent American from this summer’s World Cup. But from Chicago’s point of view, Jones isn’t the type of player that’s going to get people to drive to Bridgeview. There’s only so much you can invest when a player won’t create that buzz.

The one thing that always creates a buzz is winning, and in that department, there’s no question Jones will help. But will he help enough to make the Fire a draw? Chicago may not want to bet $3 million per season on that notion.

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.