Fulham and QPR battle it out for Tottenham’s Scott Parker

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By the end of his career, 32-year-old Scott Parker may come close to playing for every professional team in London.

No joke.

Reports this morning suggest that the tenacious Tottenham Hotspur star could well be on his way to West London, with Queens Park Rangers and Fulham fighting it out to land the industrious central midfielder.

QPR are said to have the advantage, with Spurs apparently accepting a second bid from the Loftus Road side as they aim to bolster their Championship squad for an instant return to the Premier League.

But PL side Fulham may want Parker to lead the way at Craven Cottage. And that could be problematic for Harry Redknapp and QPR. So, Parker has down the rounds in London, working his way across the capital through various moves over the years.

He came up through Charlton Athletic’s ranks and shone as a youngsters coring spectacular goals. He then got a $15 million move to Chelsea in 2004. Following an ill-advised move to Newcastle, Parker returned to the capital and becoming club captain and fans favorite at West Ham United after a $11 million switch in 2007. He stayed there for four years before joining Tottenham for $9 million in 2011. Parker certainly loves to play in his hometown but where will he go? QPR or Fulham?

(MORE: Roberto Soldado’s arrival takes Tottenham’s summer spending past $75 million)

Parker has some affinity to Redknapp. He signed him at Spurs and often lauded his impact, leading to Parker featuring prominently for England at Euro 2012. There’s no doubt Parker likes playing under Redknapp but does he really want to drop down to the Championship at this stage of his career?

One more chance to establish himself at yet another London club in the Premier League would appeal to Parker. It’s the dream of every player to play in the PL week in, week out.

Fulham are good at drafting in former internationals who are coming towards the end of their careers. The likes of John Arne Riise, Danny Murphy, Dimitar Berbatov and others prove that. Small transfer fees and big wages have been their specialty in the past, will new owner Shadid Khan keep that trend going?

But back to Parker, rewinding to before AVB arrived at Spurs and even for most of last season he was an integral part of a side pushing for the top four. Yet Parker’s 2013-13 season was ravaged by injury and the arrival of Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli this summer will see him move further down the pecking order at White Hart Lane.

Wherever the England international ends up, looks like Parker will play for his fifth professional team in London. There aren’t many players who can say they’ve done that. Some achievement.

Nothing to separate Portland and 10-man LAFC

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There was entertainment value in Los Angeles FC’s potential playoff preview with the Portland Timbers on Sunday in the City of Angels, but all that arrived was a scoreless draw.

[ MORE: Atlanta 1-1 Seattle ]

Both Giovani Savarese’s Timbers and Bob Bradley‘s nickname-free expansion club remain in the West’s Top Four. PLAFC remains unbeaten at home during their maiden voyage through Major League Soccer.

Adama Diomande came close for the hosts, who finished with 10-men when Lee Nguyen went studs-up on Sebastian Blanco‘s thigh for a pretty easy red card (though it took some time for Silviu Petrescu to produce the red).

VIDEO: France stars projected onto Arc de Triomphe

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If France’s players had any doubt about the level of import their World Cup title had back home, it was erased when their photos were projected onto one of the most celebrated monuments in the world.

The photos of Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and company made their way onto the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, hours after France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup Final.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Arc de Triomphe honors those who died in the French Revolution and early 19th century wars, and sits above France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

How humbling must it be for those players to grace such a heavy monument (both in weight and substance).

Dalic: In one day, Croatia went from lucky to unlucky

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Ante Cacic’s Croatia was on pace to miss out on the World Cup.

Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia rallied the troops to second place in their qualifying group, a playoff defeat of Greece, and a run to the World Cup Final.

Pretty decent stuff.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

And surely the 51-year-old will reflect on that, probably even this evening, but he’s more focused on a letdown after Sunday’s 4-2 loss to highly-favored France.

Key to the match was a penalty awarded to France when a partially-obscured Mario Mandzukic handled a ball inside the 18, leading to Antoine Griezmann’s pivotal goal.

The PK was awarded via VAR, and France went up 2-1 en route to a three-goal lead. From the AFP:

“I never comment on referees but in a World Cup final you do not give such a penalty,” said Dalic.

“It in no way diminishes France’s win. We were a bit unlucky. Maybe in the first six games we were favored by luck and today we weren’t.

“I have to congratulate my players. Maybe today we played our best game at these championships. Against such a strong side as France you must not make mistakes. We are a bit sad but we must also be proud of what we’ve done.”

Croatia had two-thirds of the ball and doubled France’s shot attempts, and Dalic isn’t the least bit controversial in wondering whether the match is much different if that penalty goes unawarded by referee Nestor Pitana.

Atlanta comes back to draw 10-man Seattle (video)

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A scrappy if not downright venomous affair between the lowly Seattle Sounders and high-flying Atlanta United ended in a 1-1 draw in Georgia on Sunday.

The Sounders went ahead through a Nicolas Lodeiro penalty kick, awarded via VAR a la this morning’s World Cup Final, but Atlanta leveled the score with a highlight which show every bit of the game story.

[ MORE: FIFA awards Golden Ball, Golden Glove ]

Just check Josef Martinez’s barking at Stefan Frei, who made an uncharacteristic error on the play, after his 19th goal of the season (Nice cross, Julian Gressel).

Martinez needs nine more goals to break the MLS single season record, and he has 13 games to score them.

Jordan McCrary was sent off for Seattle in the 63rd minute for a second yellow, but Seattle navigated the final half hour or so to scoop up an unlikely point.

Atlanta still sits first with its earned point but opens the door for New York City FC to reach the top of the table when it plays its match-in-hand, while Seattle is now 11 points back of the West’s final playoff spot.