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MLS at Week 15: Three matches go on despite international window

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As they say in show business, the show must go on.

That’s the case this weekend as three MLS matches will be played despite the international window taking center stage for a multitude of World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies.

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Here’s a look at the six teams taking to the field as part of a concise MLS Week 15.

Chicago Fire vs. Atlanta United — Saturday at 4 p.m. ET

It’s fair to say both clubs are very different from when they met on March 18 — a 4-0 thrashing in favor of Atlanta. With a game in hand, the Chicago Fire to move to within a point of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC on Saturday, a position that few thought was possible for the Fire based on their struggles over recent seasons. In 2016, the Fire had just 31 points all season (think about that for a second!). To this point, Veljko Paunovic and Co. have accumulated 25 points in their first 14 matches. Meanwhile, Atlanta sits on 18 points and is coming off of a loss on the road to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Sporting KC vs. Montreal Impact — Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

Peter Vermes’ Sporting KC side has been up and down as of late but the West leaders managed to pull things together last weekend with a comfortable 3-0 win over Minnesota United to get back to winning ways. The Impact on the other hand have had more struggles this season and sit second-to-bottom in the East through 12 matches. The Canadian side has had their share of difficulties on the road to this point, taking just six out of a possible 18 points away from Saputo Stadium.

Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas — Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET

These are hands down two of the top sides out west and possibly in MLS. Even without Darlington Nagbe, who is off on USMNT duty, the Timbers boast one of the top attacks in the league, while Dallas is not too far behind. This fixture hasn’t been friendly to the Timbers over recent times though, with Oscar Pareja’s side winning three of the last five encounters and the other two ending in draws.

VIDEO: A sneak peek of Everton’s Europa League journey – Part 2

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In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.

[ MORE: Live Europa League scores

[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ] 

http://www.nbcsports.com/video/everton-unseen-part-2-everton-host-mfk-ruzomberok-europa-league

FIFA to send in emergency team to run Cameroon football

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.

The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.

FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.

CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.

FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham complete signing of Sanchez, Clucas joins Swansea

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Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.

The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.

It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.

Here’s some more transfer news from across England:

(more…)

Liverpool bombard Hoffenheim with three-goal first half

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Liverpool got off to a flying start in the second leg of its UEFA Champions League tie with Hoffenheim.

With the loyal Anfield crowd behind the team, the Reds scored three goals in the first 21 minutes, two of them from Emre Can to put Liverpool well in control of the tie.

Can’s opener was followed by a goal from Mo Salah before the German international scored a wide-open goal at the back post to make it 3-0 and 5-1 on aggregate. Sadio Mane played a big role in both of Can’s goals.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann went to the bench right after the third goal and brought on Mark Uth, who promptly scored to bright a little hope back to the German club.

Here’s a look at the flying first half of goals for Liverpool.

Emre Can 10′

Mohamed Salah 18′

Emre Can 21′

Mark Uth 28′