Everton’s new badge draws ire of supporters

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Gross. Hideous. Tragic.

These are only a few of the words that describe Everton’s newly designed badge (pictured, at right), which has come under heavy criticism by fans of one of English football’s founding members.

The original badge, created by club secretary Theo Kelly in 1938, featured a tower wrapped by a fence line. Over the years the fence line has disappeared and each adaptation has included additional towers, wreaths and the club motto, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum (“nothing but the best is good enough”). The new creation is the first in Everton history with just one of those defining characteristics (the tower).

The current design, released yesterday, has removed all of these iconic symbols but for a single, plain tower. The biggest complaint concerns the removal of the wreaths and the motto, aspects that the club – in a meeting between Everton and their Shareholders’ Association- described as signifying heritage, history and tradition. The decision to keep the club’s founding date (1878) and the word “Everton”, have been kept as the club pursues new marketing directives.

Fans, however, see the club’s marketing goals as being strong evidence of a club that’s growing increasingly out of touch with its fan base. Making matters worse, Everton’s official site claims that the new “modern” design was allegedly created “following an extensive consultation process with fans, supporters’ groups and branding experts,” which includes Season Ticket Holders, Supporters’ Club officials, Corporate Members, Shareholders, fans from the Everton Disabled Supporters Association, Nike and Kitbag.

This claim has drawn the massive ire of the fans who, upon the leak earlier this spring, voiced strong opposition to the badge’s comical nature. Disregarding these opinions, the club nevertheless released the new badge. Since the unveiling more than 10,000 supporters have taken to a vote over fansite Toffeeweb with 91% disliking the new design (64% hating it, 27% did not liking it, 7% liking it and 2% loving it).

And while rumors exist that the club may be open to new changes, it’s highly unlikely anything will change before next season as the new shirts and merchandise have already been ordered.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the design in the poll below, comments, and/or by sending the club a message over Twitter @Everton.

El Tri star Lozano staying focusing amid Barcelona rumors

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Hirving “Chucky” Lozano was a player everyone needed to pay attention to heading into the 2018 World Cup, and through two matches, the El Tri star has been every bit the price of admission for his country.

[ MORE: Group scenarios heading into the final group stage matches ]

Mexico sits atop Group F with six points at the moment, and much of the team’s success can be attributed to Lozano’s endless motor and creative attacking vision when he finds space down the wing.

The PSV Eindhoven attacker has been linked with various big clubs, including La Liga giants Barcelona, but that hasn’t halted Lozano’s pursuit of guiding Mexico to an unprecedented run at the World Cup.

“The important thing is to focus on the next [Mexico] game, do as well as possible and go step by step,” Lozano said.

Despite winning their first two games, El Tri needs at least a point in its final Group F match to ensure qualification without any complications.

Mexico will take on Sweden on Wednesday, as Juan Carlos Osorio’s side aims to remain perfect in the group stage.

Meanwhile, Andres Guardado — who has been a mainstay of the Mexican national team for years — only confirmed the work ethic of his teammate and hopes that a dream move becomes a reality for Lozano in the near future.

“It makes me very proud to say he is a kid that is very centered, despite everything he is going through,” said Guardado after Saturday’s 2-1 win over South Korea. “He is conscious that he has to continue like he’s not achieved anything.”

“He’s the same kid I met the first time he came with us,” continued Guardado. “Hopefully he stays like that and the rumors about a possible transfer to a big team become reality. It would be marvelous, he’s a great teammate.”

Video: Salah lob has Egypt off and running in first half

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Egypt’s run at the World Cup didn’t go according to plan, but the Pharaohs are looking in control on Monday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Mohamed Salah‘s second goal of the tournament has given the Egyptians a 1-0 lead over Saudi Arabia in their Group A finale.

After a Saudi giveaway in the attacking half of the field, Salah latched onto a beautiful long ball from Abdallah Said, before lofting a shot over goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem.

Video: Suarez gives Uruguay early lead over hosts Russia

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It only took Uruguay 10 minutes to break through, and the South American side could be on its way to capturing a third consecutive victory at the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Barcelona star Luis Suarez scored his second goal of the tournament on Monday, as the veteran striker gave Uruguay the lead early on against hosts Russia.

Suarez stepped up for a free kick just outside the penalty area, and slotted the ball brilliantly past the Russia goalkeeper at his near post.

Both teams have already advanced out of Group A after winning their first two matches, however, Monday’s victor (if there is one) will likely decide who tops the group.

Argentine players likely selecting lineup for Nigeria match

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The Albiceleste entered Russia among the favorites to win the World Cup, but now Argentina is on the brink of disaster and possibly crashing out of the group stage.

Through two Group D matches, Argentina sits on one point, and needs a victory over Nigeria to have a shot at advancing to the knockout phase.

Drastic changes appear to be coming for the CONMEBOL nation, after relations with manager Jorge Sampaoli have soured significantly over the last week-and-a-half.

Rumors have suggested that Lionel Messi and the elder players in the squad will select the starting XI for Argentina’s do-or-die fixture on Tuesday, with Sampaoli simply staying on as manager to avoid further embarrassment to the federation.

Sampaoli is expected to still be on the sidelines for the match, though.

Meanwhile, Argentine television outlet TNT Sports LA revealed a potential lineup ahead of Tuesday’s Group D finale against Nigeria.

The starting XI, if true, would feature four changes from the Albiceleste’s 3-0 defeat to Croatia last Thursday, including the introduction of River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani for Chelsea’s Willy Caballero.