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Pochettino furious over Guardiola’s “disrespectful” Kane comments

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Could there be a budding rivalry between Premier League managers?

It may not be at that point yet, but Mauricio Pochettino certainly didn’t take too kindly to recent comments made by his managerial counterpart at Manchester City.

[ MORE: Mourinho speaks ahead of big Man United-Liverpool clash ]

Man City boss Pep Guardiola referred to Tottenham as the “Harry Kane team” prior to the international break, which Pochettino saw as “disrespectful,” despite the former considering Spurs legitimate title contenders alongside the Cityzens, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Pochettino didn’t hesitate to make his unhappiness known ahead of this weekend’s clash against Bournemouth.

“It was funny when I heard him the other day because I know Pep very well. When it’s exciting after an amazing victory against Chelsea, sometimes [he] can struggle to keep his position and be a gentleman,” Pochettino said.

“That didn’t affect me but the reality is it was very disrespectful for many people and it’s difficult to understand because he was part of the big success at Barcelona with Messi at his best, and I never said it was ‘the Messi team.’ I always said it was Barcelona or Pep Guardiola.”

The Spurs manager quickly turned his attention to the rest of his squad, which he feels has done a fantastic job thus far in the early going of the 2017/18 Premier League season.

Tottenham currently sits third in England’s top flight on 14 points in seven matches, trailing leaders Man City and Man United by five points.

“I think everyone deserves to be recognised as part of the success of the team. But I think many people took those words as very disrespectful for the club, and for many players here I think it’s a strange situation. Personally I didn’t take it in a bad way. It wasn’t disrespectful for myself. Only I express my feeling that, for a lot of people, it wasn’t necessary to say that.

“But I think we need to move on. For me, Harry Kane is one of the best strikers — it doesn’t change anything. And it’s important that our position is clear, to be calm and not be aggressive with our opponents. Our responsibility is massive. But I think it’s important to respect every single opinion and I respect his opinion.

“I think everyone knows how Tottenham is, how Manchester City, how was Barcelona, how Argentina is. It’s a collective sport. Everyone needs to do his job. Of course sometimes it’s difficult, because in the media the temptation is to be focused on some players.

LIVE, FA Cup: Swansea v Tottenham kicks off quarterfinals

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Swansea City host Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (8:15 a.m. ET) at the Liberty Stadium with both teams perhaps having an eye on other things rather than winning the FA Cup.

[ LIVE: Follow Swansea-Spurs ] 

Carlos Carvalhal‘s main aim for the Swans is to avoid relegation from the Premier League, while Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham will be fully focused on finishing in the top four.

In team news both Jordan and Andre Ayew miss out for Swansea as Carvalhal makes five changes, while Spurs are without the injured Harry Kane and make seven changes to their starting lineup with Hugo Lloris, Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli on the bench.


Swansea City: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Bartley, Mawson, Olsson, Ki Sung-Yeung, Carroll , Clucas, Dyer, Abraham. Subs: Mulder, Roberts, Fernandez, Britton, Byers, Routledge, Narsingh

Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Sissoko, Lamela, Eriksen, Lucas, Son. Subs: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Foyth Dembele, Alli, Moura, Llorente

Retailer removes T-shirt from sale over Hillsborough links

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LONDON (AP) A British retailer has withdrawn a T-shirt from sale in its stores and online following complaints that its design could be associated with the Hillsborough soccer disaster.

[ MORE: Liverpool, Man City drawn in UCL quarterfinals ]

Topman had on sale a red shirt with a large “96” on the back and the phrase “what goes around comes around” underneath. The word “Karma” is written on one of the sleeves.

Ninety-six people were crushed to death in the Hillsborough stadium disaster, which happened in Sheffield in April 1989 at an FA Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Topman said it “apologizes unreservedly for any offense caused by this T-shirt” and that the “garment has been removed from sale online and in stores.”

The retailer said the design was inspired by a Bob Marley track, with the number referring to the year of the re-release.

Cosmos, Miami FC petition USSF for 2018 U.S. Open Cup entry

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NASL’s decision to cancel the 2018 regular season has caused significant ramifications, with the latest forcing several clubs to be excluded from the U.S. Open Cup.

The New York Cosmos and Miami FC — both of whom participated in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup have not been named among the eligible teams for the 2018 edition following NASL’s cancellation of the league season.

Now, the two teams have petitioned to U.S. Soccer and its new president, Carlos Cordeiro, to rethink its decision and allow the clubs to play despite not belonging to a professional league.

Both clubs do boast reserve teams though — New York Cosmos B and Miami 2 — which is the lead argument from each organization as to why U.S. Soccer should grant the teams an exemption and a spot in the tournament.

Cosmos B and Miami FC 2 will both play in the NPSL once again in 2018, with both rosters largely comprised of senior team players.

As it stands, 94 teams have been placed in the 2018 Open Cup field, as announced by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday.

Both open letters from the respective clubs can be found below.

Brazil’s Luis could miss World Cup after leg fracture

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MADRID (AP) Brazilian left back Filipe Luis has a leg fracture that could stop him going to the World Cup in Russia.

[ MORE: Arsenal draws CSKA Moscow in Europa quarters ]

Atletico Madrid said Friday that Luis sustained the injury to his left leg in the second half of the Spanish team’s 5-1 rout of Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League round-of-16 match on Thursday.

The club did not say how long Luis will be sidelined. Similar injuries have required at least six weeks of recovery time and longer if surgery is required.

The 32-year-old Luis was called up by Brazil coach Tite for friendlies against Russia in Moscow on March 23 and against Germany in Berlin on March 27. Brazil’s first game at the World Cup is against Switzerland on June 17.

Luis was injured while trying to prevent Lokomotiv forward Eder taking a shot from inside the area in the 60th minute. He successfully cleared the ball but his leg was hit from behind.

Luis left the field on a stretcher and tests Friday in Madrid confirmed the fracture in his lower leg.

Atletico advanced 8-1 on aggregate after the victory in Russia.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga