Getty Images

Watch Live: Everton vs. Leicester City (Lineups & Live Stream)

Leave a comment

Just six weeks after firing Claudio Ranieri, his replacement Craig Shakespeare and Leicester City have the chance to push into the top half of the table as they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton at 11 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

The Foxes sit just a point back of 10th placed Watford, and could leap the Hornets with a sixth consecutive league win today. Everton, however, presents a tough barrier towards that goal, with three wins in the last six for the Toffees, and the two losses in that span coming to top-three sides.

[ WATCH LIVE: Everton vs. Leicester City live online at NBCSports.com ]

Captain Wes Morgan remains out for the Foxes, with 30-year-old Yohan Benaloune earning his fourth straight start in place of his injured teammate. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel takes Morgan’s place as captain, no surprise to earn the armband as the club’s vice-captain. Midfielder Nampalys Mendy is out injured, but was not first-choice anyways after losing his spot to Wilfred Ndidi.

That man Ndidi is not in the squad as the Champions League becomes the more important front as Leicester pushes towards more assured league safety, and Riyad Mahrez is on the bench, also rested ahead of Wednesday’s meting with Atletico Madrid.

For Everton, the Toffees are without Ashley Williams who was sent off against Manchester United back on Tuesday, so 22-year-old Matthew Pennington starts in his place along the back line. Morgan Schneiderlin returns from a calf problem to reclaim his spot in midfield, but James McCarthy and Aaron Lennon remain out injured.

There have been just six victories between these two sides in the last 16 league meetings, with each side winning three. A win for Leicester City today would see Craig Shakespeare equal the Premier League record for consecutive wins to start a managerial tenure with six.

LINEUPS

Everton: Joel, Bainres, Jagielka, Pennington, Holgate, Davies, Schneiderlin, Gana, Mirallas, Barkley, Lukaku.
Subs: Stekelenburg, Barry, Valencia, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman, Kenny, J.Williams.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Benalouane, Huth, Chilwell, Albrighton, King, Drinkwater, Gray, Slimani, Vardy.
Subs: Zieler, Musa, Simpson, Ulloa, Mahrez, Wasilewski, Kapustka.

Cristiano Ronaldo announces birth of twin sons via surrogate

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Portugal’s third-place match at the 2017 Confederations Cup this Sunday.

He has bigger things to sort out.

Ronaldo, 32, was released from Portugal’s squad late Wednesday after their defeat on penalty kicks to Chile in the Confed Cup semifinals in Russia.  The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar will now travel to visit his new twin sons, who were born via a surrogate earlier this month, with Ronaldo set to meet them for the first time after captaining Portugal in Russia over the past few weeks.

According to reports from Portuguese TV channel SIC, the surrogate mother was based on the west coast of the U.S. (I can already hear you guys asking ‘does that mean they’re eligible to play for the USMNT?’). Ronaldo is now the father of three children after already having a seven-year-old son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr.

Reports also suggest that his 22-year-old girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez is five months pregnant, so soon he could be a father for the fourth time. He would then be able to field a five-a-side team of Ronaldo’s for indoor games…

Below is the post from Ronaldo confirming his departure from Portugal’s squad, which the national team also confirmed, as he is set to meet his new children for the first time.

“I was in the service of the national team, as always, body and soul, even though my two sons were born. Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve the main sporting objective that we wanted, but I am sure we will continue to give joy to the Portuguese.

“The President of the Portuguese Football Federation and the national picker have today had an attitude that has touched me and I will not forget. I’m very happy to finally be with my children for the first time.”

Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

Twitter/@naslofficial
Leave a comment

While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

Twitter
Leave a comment

City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
1 Comment

The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.