Gunfire delays start of Coppa Italia final; one person in critical condition

Leave a comment

The Coppa Italia final is finally underway, but as officials met in the wake of pre-match violence in Rome, Fiorentina and Napoli’s chance to claim silverware was in anger of being postponed. With one person in critical condition after gunfire rang out amid conflicted outside the Stadio Olimpico, Napoli fans wanted the game delayed until the health of supporters could be confirmed. Electing to proceed with the match after a delay, officials are overseeing a final overshadowed by potentially tragic events off the field.

According to Sky Sports and La Repubblica, the conflicts took place in the Tor di Quinto area outside the stadium, with confrontations between opposing fans leaving between four and six people injured, including a police officer. Three Napoli fans were reportedly shot, with one fan in critical condition at nearby Villa San Pietro hospital

Another person, a firefighter, was injured inside the stadium by fireworks thrown by fans. “Firecrackers and other objects” were also thrown between fans outside the stadium.

From our partners at Soccerly:

Representatives of Napoli, Fiorentina and the Italian football authorities took part in discussions in the middle of the pitch, while Partenopei captain Marek Hamsik approached the Napoli fans in the curva in an attempt to calm the situation.

After a shower of flares rained from the Napoli supporters, Hamsik and the leader of the Ultras seemingly came to an agreement and the player made his way to the tunnel with an announcement moments later that the game will be played.

The fate of the game remained up in the air until 14 minutes after the planned kick off when it was decided to play the match.

Three Napoli supporters had suffered gunshot wounds in a violent prelude to Saturday’s Italian Cup final against Fiorentina in Rome, Italian media reported.

According to the Ansa news agency, one of them, a man in his 30s, was fighting for his life in hospital while the two other fans suffered light injuries.

After 19 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico, Napoli is current in front, 2-0.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man United plans Joe Hart move and more

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pro Soccer Talk takes a glance at some of the biggest transfer rumors on Sunday…

[ MORE: Bale brace guides Real to third straight UCL title ]


We start in Manchester, where the Red Devils are reportedly interested in raiding their cross-town rivals for a back-up goalkeeper.

Man United is said to have interest in Manchester City’s Joe Hart, who missed out on being called up to England for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Hart has spent the last two seasons on loan from the Citizens, spending 2016/17 in Serie A with Torino and this past season with West Ham United.


Sticking with United, the Red Devils are preparing a new contract for Anthony Martial, according to the Sun.

Martial has become a regular for United since joining from Monaco in 2015, scoring 36 goals in all competitions.


Finally, Danny Rose could be making a Merseyside move if Everton has it their way.

The Toffees are eyeing up the Tottenham left back, although Manchester United has also expressed its interest in the England international.

Rose missed a significant portion of the 2017/18 season due to a knee injury, and the 27-year-old could be on the move this summer despite spending the last 11 seasons in London with Spurs.

Tammy Abraham rescues England in Toulon opener

Twitter/@TournoiToulon
Leave a comment

It took a late finish to nab three points on Sunday, but England’s title defence at the Toulon Tournament is off an running.

[ MORE: Bale brace guides Real Madrid past Liverpool ]

The Three Lions’ Under-21 squad picked up a 2-1 win in their Group A opener against China, after having fallen behind to the Asian nation inside the opening half hour.

England, winners of the last two editions of the competition, conceded in the 20th minute to Yan Dinghao, and went into the halftime break behind 1-0.

Manager Paul Simpson and his side came out strong in the second stanza, though, and found an equalizer five minutes in through Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry‘s header.

It seemed as though England would be destined for a point, however, Tammy Abraham‘s tap-in finish in the 85th minute ensured a crucial victory to open the tournament for the Three Lions.

England will round out Group A with matches against Mexico and Qatar on March 28 and June 1, respectively.

At the Toulon Tournament, the three group winners automatically reach the semifinals, while the best second-place nation also receives a bid into the final four.

Ben Olsen confirms mutual interest from both sides for Wayne Rooney

Peter Byrne/PA via AP
Leave a comment

As a move to Major League Soccer becomes more of a reality, D.C. United’s manager has confirmed the team’s interest in a legendary Premier League goalscorer.

[ MORE: Armenteros scores twice, as Timbers win sixth straight ]

Following Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Los Angeles FC, Ben Olsen told media that there is legitimate interest from him and his side in Wayne Rooney, who traveled to the United States earlier in the week to visit Washington D.C. and the club’s new Audi Field.

“There is interest in Wayne Rooney from our end and I think there is interest from his end too,” Olsen said. “I hope it can get over the line because he’s a very good player who can help us. He would be a great player for this league.”

Although ongoing negotiations appear to be progressing in a positive manner, no deal has been struck between D.C. and Rooney’s camp yet, to which Olsen said he and his team have to continue as they have until the Everton forward completes a move.

“Nothing is done, so I don’t want to get into talk of arrival until he actually arrives,” Olsen added.

“Nothing is ever done in this world and when you’re looking at a deal of this scope and size. We’ll see, but hopefully we can get it done.”

Armenteros scores twice, Timbers win 6th straight

Twitter/ @fanly_timbers
Leave a comment

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) Samuel Armenteros scored twice and the Portland Timbers extended their franchise-record winning streak to six with a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

[ MORE: Techera hat-trick for Whitecaps; Gordon plays hero for Fire ]

Armenteros flicked Sebastian Blanco‘s pass around defender Danny Wilson and then beat him to it for a chip finish that opened the scoring for Portland (6-3-2) in the 29th minute.

Julio Cascante gave one back to Colorado (2-7-2) in the 31st with an own goal on a stab attempt to clear away Edgar Castillo’s cross.

Armenteros made it 2-1 in the 37th minute, heading back Tim Howard‘s attempt to punch away Blanco’s cross.

Diego Valeri settled Blanco’s diagonal cross and slotted one past Howard in the 57th minute to make it 3-1.

Yannick Boli cut Colorado’s deficit to one with a penalty kick in the ninth minute of stoppage time but referee Sorin Stoica blew the final whistle before allowing play to resume.

Colorado has lost six in a row, its longest such streak since losing seven straight in 2014.