USA defender Crystal Dunn, right, fights for the ball against Australia forward Lisa De Vanna during the second half of an international friendly women’s soccer match Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in San Antonio. USA won 4-0. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.
[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]
Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.
Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.
It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.
Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.
Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.
Or at all.
[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]
The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.
Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.
“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”
Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).
How much for Hazard?
Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.
[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]
The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.
Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.
The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.
Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.
A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in MLS…
Philadelphia Union 1-3 Portland Timbers [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Just when everyone had begun to take the Union seriously — to give them the respect befitting a first-place team — Jim Curtin’s side fell flat on its face and fell out of the Eastern Conference’s top spot. Saturday’s defeat to the suddenly streaking — and homeward bound — Timbers snapped Philadelphia’s six-game unbeaten run (four wins).
24-year-old attacker Brian Fernandez, signed as a Designated Player earlier this month, made his first MLS start and marked the occasion with two first-half goals (31st and 36th minutes). Diego Valeri added the third (87th) after Kacper Przybylko pulled the Union back to 2-1 in the 47th.
Now, with 14 points from their 12-game road trip to start the season, Portland heads home for 17 of their final 22 games to be played inside a newly renovated — and expanded — Providence Park. The gap between themselves and a Western Conference playoff place is just four points.
New England Revolution 1-1 D.C. United [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
With the Union slipping up and dropping all three points, D.C. United made the most of their opportunity to return to the top of the East on the back of Wayne Rooney‘s 90th-minute penalty kick to snatch a 1-1 draw with (what will soon be) Bruce Arena’s Revolution.
Juan Agudelo put the home side ahead with a header in the 61st minute, and the lead held firm for nearly the final half-hour. Alas, video review reviewed a handball late in the game, which presented Rooney the chance to play the part of hero. He duly obliged and hammered his spot kick past backup goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who replaced Matt Turner following his 56th minute red card for cleaning out Rooney.
Arena is expected to take charge of Revs training this week and make his debut as head coach next Sunday, when his new side visits… his old side, the LA Galaxy.
Colorado Rapids 3-2 Columbus Crew SC [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Don’t look now, but the Rapids have won two straight games under interim head coach Conor Casey and appear set on clawing their way out of the league’s basement.
Sure, they blew a pair of leads at home, but they also hit back with another goal of their own every time Crew SC drew level, culminating in a stunning winner from Nicolas Mezquida.
The gap between Colorado and 23th place is now just three points, as expansion side FC Cincinnati come closer and closer on the horizon.
Elsewhere in MLS
Chicago Fire 1-1 New York City FC [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 FC Dallas [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
FC Cincinnati 0-2 New York Red Bulls [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Minnesota United 1-0 Houston Dynamo [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Sunday’s MLS schedule
Sporting Kansas City v. Seattle Sounders — 6 p.m. ET
Toronto FC v. San Jose Earthquakes — 7:30 p.m. ET