Demba Ba

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Hazard and Co. set up NASL club in San Diego

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Soccer in SoCal continues to boom.

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The North American Soccer League (NASL) announced Monday that San Diego will have a second-tier team for the 2018 season as professional soccer returns to San Diego County.

In a statement from the NASL it was revealed that San Diego’s new expansion franchise is owned by star players Eden Hazard, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Moussa Sow, as well as executives with experience of the San Diego market.

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Hazard, a star for Chelsea and Belgium, revealed exactly why he believes San Diego deserves a soccer team.

“San Diego is a beautiful place and the love and passion that the people have for soccer made this an easy choice for us,” Hazard said. “My friends and I are honored to turn this dream into a reality and we can’t wait to get started and win some games.”

The quartet do not have a name, logo or colors for the team, but that is expected to be announced in the coming months. Bob Watkins will serve as the club president and Ricardo Campos, former technical director for thew New York Red Bulls, will serve in the front office alongside Katy Temple as the pieces are put in place for another new soccer team in California.

NASL will have 10 teams for the 2018 season with Orange County also joining the league — California added another team to NASL in 2017 in the San Francisco Deltas — which currently shares second-tier status with the much-larger USL who boast 30 teams.

With Orange County and San Diego arriving in NASL in 2018, LAFC to join Major League Soccer in 2018 and a consortium led by former USMNT star Landon Donovan hoping for an MLS expansion team in San Diego (based at the impressive Soccer City complex) in the years to come, soccer in SoCal is booming.

How involved Chelsea star Hazard, Crystal Palace midfielder Cabaye, Shanghai Shenhua striker Ba and Al-Ahli forward Sow get remains to be seen but they’ve obviously seen a gap in the market in San Diego.

DONE DEALS (so far): Early deals on transfer deadline day

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It’s. Transfer. Deadline. Day. (Finally.)

Following the conclusion of seven Premier League fixtures (at roughly 5 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, be sure to tune in to the live transfer roundup show, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.

The following deals have already been completed and confirmed, as of 8:30 a.m. ET…

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundupSunday | Saturday | Friday ]

  • A pair of Toffees, Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo (for a combined fee of more than $10 million), have traded Goodison Park for the Stadium of Light, where they’ll rejoin former Everton boss David Moyes, now in charge of relegation-threatened Sunderland. Fellow former Toffees to also move to Wearside this season include Steven Pienaar and Victor Anichebe.
  • Hull City have acquired 28-year-old center back Andrea Ranocchia, via loan from Inter Milan until the end of the season.

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  • Former Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace striker Emmanuel Adebayor (free agent) has signed for Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir.
  • Former Newcastle United and Chelsea striker Demba Ba will join Adebayor in Turkey, where the 31-year-old has opted for a return to Besiktas, on loan from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenua.

[ MORE: Four things to look forward to in midweek PL games ]

Despite horrific broken leg, 31-year-old Demba Ba says he will not retire

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At 31 years old, a nasty broken leg would more often than not end a player’s career, but Demba Ba so far is in the minority.

Just two days after suffering the gruesome injury after an awkward step, the former Chelsea and Newcastle striker told Radio Monte Carlo from China, “This is a really bad injury but I know I can overcome it. I won’t call time on my career, that’s for sure.”

Ba suffered a fractured tibia during league play while in action for Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League on Sunday. The Senegalese international was in fine form before the injury, scoring a total of eight goals across six straight matches over the course of June and early July, putting him atop the Chinese Super League scoring chart. He took the captain’s armband for a home match against HZ Greentown and proceeded to bag a hat trick.

He said in the interview that he wished to be moved back to Europe before undergoing the required surgery, but after finding out that wasn’t an option, a French surgeon is being flown in to perform the operation.

Ba also referred to an injury earlier in his career, when he broke his leg in late 2006 while playing for Belgian club Mouscron, requiring eight months of recovery.

“There are other players who have returned from similar injuries, like Hatem Ben Arfa,” Ba said. “Something similar happened to me earlier in my career and the treatment options are much better now. I think I’ll make a speedier return this time. The season here ends in November and the new one starts in March. I’ll do my best to return in time for the season after that.”

Demba Ba’s career may be over after horror leg break, say Shanghai Shenhua

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Following a horrific injury during the Shanghai derby on Sunday in the Chinese Super League, Demba Ba‘s career may be over.

His coach at Shanghai Shenhua, Gregorio Manzano, was distraught after seeing Ba’s horrendous leg break following a coming together with Shanghai SIPG’s Sun Xiang in the second half of Shenhua’s 2-1 win.

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It appeared Xiang kicked Ba’s shin as the duo tussled for the ball but the challenge was pretty innocuous and more of a tangling of legs.

It was only when Ba fell to the ground that the realization arrived as to the severity of the injury with his bone clearly sticking out of his shinguard and sock.

The diagnosis is a fractured tibia and fibula with Ba’s recovery time expected to be at least eight months as he continues to recover in hospital.

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French outlet RMC quoted Manzano as saying that he feared this could be the end for Ba.

“It’s maybe the end of his professional career,” Manzano said. “I would have preferred to lose the match than lose Demba Ba. God is unfair. Ba is too good to have this happened to him.”

The towering Senegalese striker, 31, has scored 14 times in 18 CSL games this season and has been a revelation since arriving in China from Besiktas.

Judging by the comments from his manager, the early prognosis is not good for the former West Ham United, Newcastle United and Chelsea striker.

Below you can see an x-ray image of Ba’s left leg.

We will not show you a video clip or pictures of the image itself because it is stomach-churning and horrendous to see a player suffering that much pain.

Demba Ba suffers stomach-churning leg break in Shanghai Derby

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No, we’re not going to show you the video. It’s that disturbing.

Shanghai Shenhua’s Demba Ba suffered one of the worst, most stomach-churning leg breaks you’ll ever see in Sunday’s Shanghai Derby.

Shanghai Shenhua beat local rivals Shanghai SIPG 2-1 thanks to a late Fredy Guarin goal, but lost a star striker in the process.

[ MORE: Chelsea needs to “recover” Hazard ]

Ba, 31, was involved in a collision with Sun Xiang when their legs got tangled. In slow motion, it appears the SIPG captain kicked at Ba’s shin.

The leg snaps, and is left dangling at the whim of gravity as Ba crumpled to the turf. It is honestly one of the worst injuries I’ve ever seen, and I wouldn’t encourage you to look it up. Trust my description.