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What now? Everton’s Davies cheers on American juco

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It’s a small world, this footballing one.

It’s also not every day a Premier League player tosses out best wishes to a junior college in the United States of America.

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So it raised our eyebrows when Everton youngster Tom Davies, he of the 19 appearances this season, proffered a shoutout to the Indian Hills Community College men’s soccer team ahead of its NJCAA Tournament debut on Tuesday.

It turns out IHCC sophomore midfielder Adam Garner’s quite close with Davies’ older brother Liam, a left midfielder at National League side Chester FC.

“Basically I grew up with his brother,” said Garner, who’s played 20 matches this season for IHCC. “Tom’s only two years younger. I started to get to know him really well on a holiday with his family when he was 16. Since then, him and his brother have been like my best mates.”

Garner was taken aback after his freshman season, when he returned to home in December to find his buddy Tom’s career had exploded during the festive season. And as an Everton supporter, Garner’s witnessed his friend become one of the players on his favorite club.

“It’s my second year here,” Garner said. “When he broke through, it was when I went home at Christmas. I didn’t realize how big he’d become, so it was kinda mind-blowing.”

So while Garner’s supporting Everton, Davies has some love for coach Jon Fridal’s Warriors. IHCC won its first tournament match 1-0 over Louisburg and can advance to the semifinals with a win over Tyler College on Wednesday.

“We had a goal at the beginning of the season, and after last year our coach improved the squad a lot,” Garner said. “With the qualities brought in, we just took it game-by-game.”

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.