Thomas Tuchel to Arsenal? Dortmund coach in the dark

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Multiple reports claim that Arsenal are lining up potential successors for Arsene Wenger if the Frenchman decides to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer.

[ MORE: Mourinho on transfer plans ]

Wenger, 67, revealed last weekend that he has been offered a two-year extension to stay on.

However, with criticism mounting on his side as they slipped 12 point behind leaders Chelsea to all but end their hopes of winning the Premier League for yet another season, maybe Wenger will simply walk away.

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If so, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri have both been linked with being offered the Arsenal job, but now we have a new name.

The Daily Mirror reports that current Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel is the front-runner lined up Arsenal to take over, plus Bayer Leverkusen’s Roger Schmidt and Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim are also in the running.

However when asked about the speculation on Friday, Tuchel played it cool.

“Arsenal rumors? I can’t say anything about that because I don’t know anything about it,” Tuchel said. “I’m on a contract with Dortmund and I’m happy here.”

Tuchel has just over 12 months left on his current contract and will not meet with Dortmund’s directors until the end of the current season to discuss a possible extension.

Dortmund currently sit in fourth place in the Bundesliga, 12 points behind leaders Bayern Munich (cue jokes about Tuchel being “perfect” for Arsenal) and although he’s cultivated a young, exciting team to watch with teenagers Christian Pulisic, Ousmane Dembele and Emre Mor coming through, Tuchel has seen his side fall behind Bayern, RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga table.

According to reports, Dortmund are looking at Hoffenheim’s 29-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann to possibly replace Tuchel in the summer.

For Arsenal, it seems highly likely that Wenger will remain in charge but it would also be rather odd for them not to be drawing up a shortlist of possible contenders should the Gunners get knocked out of the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in embarrassing fashion and suffer a collapse in the Premier League over the final few months of the season.

That would lead to Wenger perhaps walking away altogether.

Look, Arsenal is an incredibly attractive proposition for any coach. You get to live in London. Work in the Premier League. Coach star names like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Plus, it is a well run club which has money to spend on top quality players and will likely have UCL action to offer.

Still, it seems like apart from Simeone and Allegri, the names on the shortlist to replace Wenger are a little underwhelming.

Perhaps that’s exactly why he’s been offered a two-year extension to stay on…

Weekend soccer games called off after Mexico earthquake

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexico’s soccer federation has canceled all first-division games this weekend as stadiums are being used as relief centers after the country’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

[ MORE: Sporting KC claims its fourth U.S. Open Cup crown ]

The federation announced Wednesday that there would be no games in the 10th round of the Apertura tournament or any other professional competition, including the women’s league.

“All the clubs are doing their bit,” Mexican league president Enrique Bonilla said in an interview on Fox Sports before the decision to cancel all matches was announced. “We would like to bring people a moment of joy, but it is a more complex decision, and we need to have all the information from authorities.”

The postponed league games will be played in mid-October, including the derby between Chivas and America.

Sporting KC claims its fourth Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (video)

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Latif Blessing and Daniel Salloi scored as Sporting KC held on to beat New York Red Bulls 2-1 in the 104th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final on Wednesday at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas.

Bradley Wright-Phillips blasted a Gonzalo Veron rebound beyond Tim Melia in the first minute of stoppage time to set up a nervy final five minutes. It was the Red Bulls’ second final, and second loss.

The win marks KC’s fourth title, tied for the most amongst active clubs, and its third in six tournaments.

KC now qualifies for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.

[ MORE: Pulisic scores 10th BVB goal ]

Sporting KC could’ve been down a man within five minutes, as referee Hilario Grajeda was handing out a yellow card to Seth Sinovic when Diego Rubio inexplicably kicked Felipe Martins in the ankle. It went unseen, and VAR is not a part of the final.

Gerson arrived on the doorstep with the ball and instead side-footed a pass that never got to Benny Feilhaber, a huge let-off for the Red Bulls.

Sacha Kljestan ripped a shot through traffic that forced a save out of Tim Melia in the 14th minute.

KC went ahead when Graham Zusi’s cross was somehow missed by a trio of Red Bulls defenders, allowing Blessing to pound a header home.

Benny Feilhaber committed a pair of fouls to allow a Red Bulls free kick from just outside the 18 and the end line, but the chance was blocked. A counter attack pass from Blessing sprung Gerso on a breakaway, but Ryan Meara blocked the shot.

Meara made another save after the first ball off the ensuing corner cranked off the cross bar.

Feilhaber then cued up Salloi for the insurance marker, before tournament leading scorer Wright-Phillips pulled one back for New York.

Ike Opara ripped down Wright-Phillips in the sixth of six stoppage time minutes, earning a yellow card and giving RBNY a free kick from 23 yards. Felipe skied his effort over the bar.

MLS Snapshot: Toronto FC 3-5 Montreal Impact (video)

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The match in about 100 words: Well, here’s a formula for ending Toronto FC’s 11-match unbeaten run –

  1. Hope they don’t use Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco, and Victor Vazquez.
  2. Have your best player ball out of control.

Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti did just that, scoring twice and adding an assist in the first half alone. A 42nd minute own goal from Montreal opened the door to home hope, but Anthony Jackson-Hamel continued his breakout campaign with two goals in four minutes. Tosaint Ricketts scored a pair of late headers to complete the score line.

Toronto FC’s home crowd didn’t see arguably its three top performers of the season, and did see something it hadn’t this year: a home loss. That it was a derby loss won’t feel good for the Reds, who also gave oxygen to their rivals’ flickering playoff hopes.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap | La Liga | Serie A ]


Three moments that mattered

12′ — Michael Bradley clears TFC’s runway — Not the finest moment for Captain America, as Marco Donadel opens up his laser and fires.

24′ — “When defenders fall down” — …And when they do it in front of Nacho, inside the 18.

47′ — AJH puts it to bed — It wasn’t Toronto’s night, and a bad back pass met tepid decision-making and one of the sleepy breakout players of MLS in Anthony Jackson-Hamel.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the Match: Piatti

Goal scorers: Piatti (10′, 24′), Donadel (12′), Boldor (o.g. 42′), Jackson-Hamel (47′, 51′), Ricketts (77′, 79′).

MLS Snapshot: Atlanta United 4-0 LA Galaxy (video)

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The match in 100 words (or less): Somewhere, Atlanta United is still scoring now with 19 goals in its last five outings. The “Five Stripes” fired at will for the second-straight game, leading 3-0 before Jermaine Jones made it academic with a silly red card. Yamil Asad had two goals and two assists in the first half, while Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez also scored. For Martinez, it’s seven goals in seven days. LA has quit, and Tata Martino’s Atlanta may just pose a threat to Toronto FC’s presumed MLS Cup Final spot.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap | La Liga | Serie A ]


Three moments that mattered

13′ — Maaaaayyyybe defend, LA? — It’s one thing for Rafael Garcia to back off and back off and back off and back off Yamil Asad. It’s another thing to fail in any attempt to mark the hottest scorer in MLS: Josef Martinez.

20′ — Three goals in seven minutes — About that “defending”… woof. This is a straight-up passing drill for ATL.

39′ — Jermaine Jones rolls back the years (not in a good way) — The combustible midfielder showed that vibes haven’t settled in LA despite Sigi Schmid’s presence, taking an easy red considering VAR’s abilities for dragging his cleat in the direction of a fellow human’s spine.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the Match: Asad

Goal scorers: Martinez (13′), Asad (16′, 20′), Almiron (43′)