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Garber still confident of MLS future in Miami

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It’s been months since we’ve heard anything concrete regarding Major League Soccer’s return to Miami, but MLS commissioner Don Garber believes that David Beckham’s ownership group is closer to its goal of a soccer-specific stadium, paving the way for an expansion franchise.

In an interview with ESPN, Garber said that he was confident “something is coming together” regarding Miami’s MLS future and that the major issues over the proposed stadium and ownership group have been resolved.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

“I’ve been saying all along we need a number of things to go forward with David Beckham and his option: a solid ownership group — one that hopefully could be very connected locally — and a finalized stadium plan,” Garber told ESPN. For many years now, we’ve not been able to close the loop on those two issues. I believe we are getting closer, and I believe we’ll have a team in Miami. Actually, I believe something is coming together rather soon.

“We had a meeting last August in which we presented an opportunity to the MLS Board of Governors, which they approved us pursuing, and we’re still trying to finalize the details of that.”

Just last week, Beckham’s ownership partner Tim Lieweke expressed doubts that the stadium come to fruition, with complaints from residents in the stadium neighborhood and a pending lawsuit from a local resident in the Miami area over a three-acre block of land that Miami-Dade County is selling to Beckham.

And with every month that passes, momentum for the ownership group and the potential franchise wanes, especially as folks still have hard feelings over how the former Miami Marlins ownership fleeced the city for their new stadium, only to put a poor product on the field.

So it remains to be seen how much longer Beckham, and MLS, is willing to wait for a stadium deal to formalize, before the league moves on to other cities who are vying for expansion franchises.

Video: Fekir’s brilliant free kick has Lyon leading PSG

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Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]

Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.

The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.

The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.

That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie injured in Schalke draw

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Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.

American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.

McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.

To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.

More to follow…

Watford announces Gracia as Silva replacement

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Watford’s replacement for fired manager Marco Silva is indeed veteran Spanish boss Javi Gracia.

[ MORE: Watford fires Silva, blames Everton ]

The Hornets announced the 47-year-old’s hiring on Sunday, hours after firing Silva and blaming Everton’s pursuit of the manager for the club’s fall from European contender to the fringe of a relegation battle.

Watford is still four points clear of the drop following Southampton’s draw with Spurs on Sunday.

Gracia led Malaga to eighth and ninth place finishes in La Liga between 2014-16 before spending last season at Rubin Kazan.

Gracia, 47, has led promotion campaigns in Spain and has plenty of experience with perceived smaller clubs battling the drop zone.

Watford will hope the Hornets don’t reach that point after flirting with the Top Seven for the first quarter of the Premier League season.

Pochettino on sloppy Spurs draw, dismisses Malcom “rumor”

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Mauricio Pochettino knows St. Mary’s well, and the ex-Southampton boss has managed a rainy, sloppy match or three there in the past.

[ RECAP: Saints 1-1 Spurs ]

So he knows it’s possible to play well in those circumstances, leaving him feeling like Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday was a wasted opportunity against a struggling Saints side.

“It is temporary that Southampton are in the relegation zone, for sure they will push up the table,” Pochettino said. “It is two points we are going to miss at the end of the season because it is so tough between six or seven teams.”

[ MORE: Bertrand reacts to draw ]

So why couldn’t Spurs find their foothold? Well, aside from sickness keeping Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris out of the lineup, a bug that may’ve affected more on the team, Spurs just weren’t up to snuff.

“We struggled to play,” Pochettino said. “It was in possession, we made mistakes which allowed them to play. To win the game we should do better and play better. It wasn’t great.

Pochettino was also asked about Spurs’ reported pursuit of 20-year-old Bordeaux star Malcom, who has seven goals and five assists in Ligue 1 this season.

“That is a rumor and I don’t want to speak about it. I am happy with our squad. We are open to quality players but you know very well it is difficult in this transfer window.”