Manchester City

Man City confirm deal for USWNT star Carli Lloyd

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The captain of the U.S. women’s national team has moved to England to play for Manchester City.

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Carli Lloyd, 34, will arrive in Manchester in March after she plays for the USWNT in the 2017 She Believes Cup and it is expected she will head back to the U.S. by June.

Man City are the reigning champs of the FA Women’s Super League (they went the entire season undefeated) and Lloyd will help them in the Spring Series, FA Women’s Cup and their UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign, the final of which is on June 1. If they the UCL final, Lloyd confirmed she will play in it. It is thought she will then return to her current club, the Houston Dash of the NWSL, for the remainder of the 2017 season which is due to begin in April.

The two-time reigning World Player of the Year has never played professionally outside of the U.S. in her storied career which has seen her make 232 appearances for the USWNT, scoring 96 goals which included the famous hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final when the U.S. beat Japan 5-2.

Speaking about her move to City, Lloyd is excited for a new challenge.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining Manchester City, a Club which is leading the development of women’s football both on and off the pitch,” Lloyd said. “Having played in the US throughout my career, the chance to fulfill a long held ambition to test myself in a new footballing environment, as well as playing in the Champions League, is something I am relishing. With the challenge of the Spring Series and the FA Women’s Cup ahead of us too, I really can’t wait to pull on my City shirt in front of our fans and make them proud.”

[ MORE: England women’s boss Mark Sampson on growth of the game

Lloyd is now one of three American players to move over to England and become part of the WSL, with her U.S. teammate Heather O’Reilly signing for Arsenal and Crystal Dunn joining Chelsea Ladies.

The full 2017-18 FA WSL campaign will run from September until May, marking the first time it has ever taken place during the winter months. Hence why there is a Spring Series to help bridge the gap.

It will certainly be intriguing to see if these top U.S. players will attract more fans to watch the WSL in England and Wales, as the league has been growing steadily in recent years.

STREAM LIVE: West Brom-Palace, Liverpool-Leicester in PL Asia Trophy

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It’s a incredibly early kickoff for the third place game of the Premier League Asia Trophy tournament, at least here in the States, where West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace duke it out at 6 a.m. ET. in Hong Kong.

West Brom lost to Leicester City in its semifinal when youngster Sam Field missed the side’s seventh attempt in penalty kicks. Jay Rodriguez scored the Baggies goal in regulation of a 1-1 draw.

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Palace fell 2-0 to Liverpool in its semifinal.

The final will be staged at 8:30 a.m. ET, when Liverpool will hope to build on a win paced by Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke goals.

2-year doping ban upheld for Finland, CSKA Moscow player

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

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CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.

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The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.

Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.

Webb says De Jong would have been sent off with video review

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NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.

The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.

Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”

Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.

39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!

86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.

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Man of the match: Brad Guzan

Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)