Daniel Karell

Class of 2012 graduate of Indiana University with a major in Journalism.
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Report: Man United confident Mourinho will stay

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Jose Mourinho has flirted with departing Manchester United after just two years, but the club don’t seem too worried that he could be out the door soon.

According to The Telegraph, Man United are confident that Mourinho will see out his three-year contract with a personal option and potentially that he could extend his stay longer.

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This comes after rumors of Mourinho’s interest in coaching Paris Saint-Germain and thoughts that he could leave after butting heads with management.

Mourinho has notably rarely lasted more than three seasons as head coach of a club, either moving to a new club or facing the sack. For him to extend with Man United longer, that could be a sign he is ready to settle down at a big club.

Mourinho and Man United started the season very strongly but have lost two of its last three Premier League matches, dropping the team eight points back in second place.

Report: Burzaco paid Messi, other Argentines $200,000 to play in friendlies

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Testimony continued in the FIFAGate trials in Brooklyn Thursday, and cooperating witness Alejandro Burzaco dropped another bombshell in court.

According to multiple reports, Burzaco, the former CEO of Argentine sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias, claimed on the witness stand that he provided a payment of $200,000 to Lionel Messi and other Argentine National Team players in order for them to appear in friendly matches, which likely helped he and others associated promote the match to sponsors and fans.

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According to La Nacion, the money was given to Messi and distributed to other players. Burzaco did not clarify which players exactly received this alleged payment. The massive claim came during cross examination from the defense lawyers of defendants Manuel Burga and Juan Angel Napout.

Argentina’s FA has been notoriously corrupt for years, with the problem finally coming to a head since 2015. After former president Julio Grondona passed away and a new president was set to be elected, the vote was declared invalid after a 38-38 tie, despite there only being 75 representatives voting.

The disfunction at the FA even caused Messi to briefly retire from international play after the 2016 Copa America, where he led Argentina to the final despite a laundry-list of administrative miscues in organizing the team’s travel and training.

In addition to paying Messi, Burzaco confirmed he paid a number of Argentine football and political officials bribes. However, he said he did not pay bribes to current President Mauricio Macri, former President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Anibal Fernandez, former cabinet chief of Kirchner.

Chapecoense survives relegation one year on from tragedy

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Chapecoense has completed likely one of the most improbable feats in soccer history.

Nearly one year since a tragic plane crash killed nearly all of the first-team squad, Chapecoense on Thursday confirmed that the club would stay in Brazil’s Serie A with a 2-1 win over Vitoria, ensuring it wouldn’t be relegated. In addition, Chapecoense could still qualify for the Copa Libertadores, as it only sits four points behind the last Copa Libertadores place in the standings with three games remaining.

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The team has relied a lot on loaned players from other Brazilian clubs, while other veterans such as former Lille striker Tulio De Melo have returned to Brazil to help keep Chapecoense up and the dream to win a European competition alive. De Melo scored the game winning goal against Vitoria to ensure the club would remain in the top flight.

CONCACAF announces League of Nations, replacing friendlies

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We may be seeing a lot more of the U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico and less of the USMNT vs. Portugal in the coming years.

CONCACAF on Thursday announced the creation of a “League of Nations,” taking a page from UEFA’s idea to replace friendlies with matches against similar-ranked opponents, with promotion and relegation across three separate divisions. Matches are expected to begin in September 2018, with the schedule released in early 2018.

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The League of Nations was an idea championed by new CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, declaring a focus back on soccer after too much focus on making money in the past.

“This is a watershed moment for CONCACAF.  By focusing on football to provide all our teams with year-round, quality competition, the League of Nations platform means everyone wins,” Montagliani said.  “This new tournament is highly beneficial to all our Member Associations and fans everywhere, since it provides significant opportunities to play important competitive matches with increased regularity throughout the year.”

While this looks like it will have a great effect for smaller CONCACAF nations like Aruba, the Bahamas and the U.S. Virgin Islands, giving them more regular games to grow their national teams, it could hurt the USMNT, Mexico and Costa Rica in the long run, with no international dates available to face European or South American sides that could provide great challenges and tests to up and coming players.

Perhaps with the UEFA League of Nations snapping up any of the European nation’s available friendly dates, CONCACAF figured they may as well ensure that the big nations play each other more often, but it could hurt the overall growth of the national teams.

Jurgen Klinsmann once said he’d rather play Belgium one time than El Salvador 100 times, and he’s probably right if U.S. fans want to see their players test themselves against some of the best in the world.

Leicester City’s Silva still stuck in limbo after CAS decision

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Adrien Silva received some bad news on Thursday afternoon.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport denied the Leicester City midfielder’s initial claim for relief in order to force through his international transfer certificate, which would clear him to play for the English club. Silva completed a $29 million transfer deal with Leicester City on August 31 shortly before the transfer deadline but the paperwork didn’t make it through in time, keeping the Portuguese international stuck in limbo as a signed Leicester City player but unable to play matches until January at the earliest.

CAS gave Silva a small win in the decision though, saying that proceedings will continue over his ITC issue after a hearing is held.

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The decision is a frustrating one for both Leicester City and Silva. The paperwork was reportedly 14 seconds late, which while technically after the deadline, perhaps there could be some leniency shown here so that the player isn’t punished.

Meanwhile, seven months before Portugal heads to Russia for the 2018 World Cup, Silva, who would certainly be in play to make the final squad if not start the opening match, must continue to sit on the sidelines and lose match fitness ahead of the tournament.

On the bright side, if he can earn his way back into the Portugal side, he’ll be much less tired than the rest of his teammates, which will be at the end of a grueling club season. Perhaps with a full hearing, CAS will come around and give Silva a chance to play before January.

Even with the tough news, Silva appears to be keeping a positive outlook.