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International Champions Cup: El Clasico, Manchester Derby headed for U.S.

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The Manchester Derby is officially headed for the United States, one of several massive-named matches in the 2017 International Champions Cup this summer.

The Mancunian foes will square off at a to be announced location on July 20, with United then facing both Real Madrid (Santa Clara) and Barcelona (Landover). United previously announced that it would play in Santa Clara, Salt Lake, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and a fifth location.

[ MORE: Cameron pumped for USMNT return ]

Man City is scheduled to play in L.A. on July 26, and United will be in Santa Clara on July 23, but don’t pencil Salt Lake City in yet. It’s likely organizers will want to put the game in the biggest venue it can, so maybe City doubles up at the Coliseum? Could Seattle be in the cards?

A Stateside El Clasico had already been reported as set for July 29, and that is confirmed by the ICC release.

Also heading to the U.S.? Roma, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and Tottenham Hotspur.

Wednesday, July 19 — Roma vs. PSG
Thursday, July 20 — Manchester United vs. Man City
Saturday, July 22 — Juventus vs. Barcelona at MetLife Stadium (NJ)
Saturday, July 22 — PSG vs. Spurs at Camping World Stadium (Orlando)
Sunday, July 23 — Real Madrid vs. Manchester United at Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara)
Tuesday, July 25 — Spurs vs. Roma at Red Bull Arena
Wednesday, July 26 — Barcelona vs. Manchester United at FedEx Field (Maryland)
Wednesday, July 26 — PSG vs. Juventus at Hard Rock Stadium (Miami)
Wednesday, July 26 — Man City vs. Real Madrid at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Saturday, July 29 — Man City vs. Spurs at Nissan Stadium (Nashville)
Sunday, July 29 — Real Madrid vs. Barcelona at Hard Rock Stadium (Miami)
Sunday, July 30 — Roma vs. Juventus at Gillette Stadium (Boston)

La Liga: Ronaldo turns playmaker to lead Real Madrid past Bilbao

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo turned into Real Madrid’s playmaker by setting up two goals to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on Saturday and keep on track to reclaim the Spanish league title.

Ronaldo passed for Karim Benzema to open the scoring at San Mames Stadium.

Bilbao equalized through Aritz Aduriz’s header in the 65th, but three minutes later Ronaldo flicked on a corner kick for Casemiro to finish off.

“We won at a very difficult ground. We had to dig in but we played with real character,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said.

Madrid, which hasn’t won the league since 2012, leads second-placed Barcelona by five points. Barcelona hosts Valencia on Sunday. Madrid has a game in hand.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Real Madrid 27 20 5 2 71 28 43 11-3-0 9-2-2 65
 Barcelona 27 18 6 3 77 23 54 9-3-1 9-3-2 60
 Sevilla 27 17 6 4 51 31 20 10-2-1 7-4-3 57
 Atlético Madrid 27 15 7 5 49 22 27 9-2-2 6-5-3 52
 Villarreal 28 13 9 6 39 20 19 8-3-3 5-6-3 48
 Real Sociedad 28 15 3 10 42 39 3 7-3-4 8-0-6 48
 Athletic 28 13 5 10 35 32 3 10-3-2 3-2-8 44

The loss ended Bilbao’s unbeaten home streak at 13 games in the league, one short of the club record in 1992.

Madrid spent long stretches in its half absorbing Bilbao’s pressure brought by wingers Inaki Williams and Inigo Leque.

But Madrid’s efficiency proved the difference. As Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde put it: “They beat us with two moments of brilliance.”

Midfielder Casemiro played a part in Benzema’s goal when he spotted Ronaldo breaking down the left. Ronaldo received his long pass and squared the ball for Benzema to slot in.

Benzema moved into the top-10 La Liga scorers in Madrid’s history, with 119 goals in 237 matches. Ronaldo had the club record of 280.

Madrid had little trouble repelling Bilbao’s crosses until Williams forced Keylor Navas to make a difficult save early in the second half.

Shortly after, Williams sped past Marcelo and crossed for Raul Garcia to head the ball back to the center of the six-yard box where Aduriz nodded it home.

Bilbao’s push was deflated by Ronaldo, however, when he headed on a corner kick for Casemiro to control and tap in uncontested.

“I know what my duties in the team are and that’s not scoring goals because there are more gifted players than me playing further forward,” Casemiro said. “Having said that, if I can score, then all the better.”

Deyverson’s goal just before halftime secured Alaves a win over regional Basque Country rival Real Sociedad.

Sociedad was left with 10 men from the 67th after Esteban Granero picked up his second yellow card.

With a second consecutive loss, Sociedad missed the chance to move into fifth place and lost ground on the top four spots that earn Champions League berths.

Enrique Garcia headed in Pedro Leon’s cross for Eibar in the 20th, and Espanyol midfielder Jose Jurado equalized shortly after halftime.

The splitting of the points did little to help both sides’ hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.

Bottom-side Osasuna is staring at relegation after its winless streak reached 20 rounds.

Betis eased to victory from Rafa Navarro’s first career goal in the league followed by Ruben Castro’s strike.

UCL: Atletico Madrid hold off Bayer Leverkusen, reach 4th straight QF

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MADRID (AP) Goalkeeper Jan Oblak made a series of great saves as Atletico Madrid held Bayer Leverkusen to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the fourth straight season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Champions League coverage ]

Oblak came up big every time Leverkusen got close to his goal, proving crucial for Atletico as it protected its 4-2 first-leg victory in the Round of 16.

Oblak made three spectacular consecutive saves midway through the second half to end Leverkusen’s hopes of overturning the defeat in Germany.

[ MORE: Leicester overcome deficit to Sevilla, reach UCL QFs ]

Leverkusen was trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since it lost to Real Madrid in the 2002 final. The German club was eliminated by Atletico at this same stage in a penalty shootout two seasons ago.

[ MORE: Juventus see off Porto to reach round of eight ]

Atleti join Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Leicester City, Monaco and Real Madrid in Friday’s quarterfinal draw.

Guardiola reportedly interested in Real Madrid GK Navas

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Keylor Navas has had a few pretty wild years.

The Costa Rican goalkeeper saw his stock skyrocket when he starred in the 2014 World Cup, earning a move away from Levante when Real Madrid activated his $11 million release clause.

He sat behind Iker Casillas for a season as Real backstop, but took over in 2015-16 as the side won the UEFA Champions League. Navas has since caught some heat for a blunder or two in the Real goal, and his job status is in question under Zinedine Zidane.

[ MORE: What’s the best UCL draw for Leicester? ]

If Navas is unwanted in Madrid, it turns out several suitors would be happy to snap him up. We’re not talking minnows, either, and now AS is reporting that Pep Guardiola would like to bring Navas to Manchester City. Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, and Arsenal are also mentioned.

The move would be Guardiola’s second attempt to bring a high-profile keeper from La Liga, as current No. 1 Claudio Bravo has not improved City’s goalkeeping from previous backstop Joe Hart.

Sevilla boss admits hope of Alexis Sanchez reunion

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Jorge Sampaoli can’t help but hope Alexis Sanchez does leave Arsenal, and that the Chilean striker wants a return to La Liga.

Sevilla’s manager, who is gearing up for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League second leg at Leicester City, coached Sanchez with Chile from 2012-16 and is hoping for a reunion at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

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Sanchez, 28, is out of contract in the summer of 2018, and has not committed his future to Arsenal. His future at the club has been debated nearly as often as Arsene Wenger‘s, and Sampaoli admitted he’d love to have Sanchez at Sevilla.

From Sky Sports:

“If only, yes, it would be great to have the chance one day [to coach Sanchez],” said Sampaoli. “He is a top, top player. One of the best forwards in the world I would say.

“I was lucky to share a time with him in the national team. We went to a World Cup together, we won the Copa America with him in the side as well, it was a very satisfying period of my career and it was great to share it with Alexis.”

Sampaoli is one of the top managers in the world, and it would be a coup for Sevilla to snag the ex-Barcelona, Udinese, and River Plate striker. He’s averaging 15-plus goals per season in the Premier League and has never spent more than three seasons at a single club.