Manchester United topped Liverpool in final; Did it raise ICC profile?

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A trophy was kissed after a championship match played between Liverpool and Manchester United on Sunday in Miami, a title tilt played as part of the two clubs’ preseason tours of the United States. United claimed a 3-1 decision in the final game of the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup (Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard scored for Manchester, while Steven Gerrard scored for Liverpool).

And despite 51,000 fans in attendance at Sun Life Stadium, the question remains: how far away is the tournament from having relevance outside of big names and big crowds?

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There’s no question the tournament itself was a success in terms of attendance and promotion of the clubs branding in America. And many of the matches were a good watch, as fans got to check out superstars plying their trade for major clubs.

And, as mentioned, on the one hand, there were the championship photos and celebrations…

…but on the other hand there are the post match comments like these:

The tournament is by invitation, not qualification, and features managers trying to try out new faces while be limited in selections by transfers, international duty and fitness. And certainly a major tournament for van Gaal doesn’t include subbing out Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Jonny Evans.

Manchester United: De Gea, Evans (Blackett 45), Smalling, Jones, Valencia (Shaw 8), Herrera (Lingard 78), Fletcher (Cleverley 45), Young, Mata (Kagawa 69), Rooney, Hernandez (Nani 69).

Liverpool: Mignolet, Kelly, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho (Toure 74), Gerrard (Lucas 62), Allen (Can 62), Henderson, Coutinho (Peterson 77), Lambert (Ibe 62), Sterling.

It’s enough for the tournament to be a fun summer run-up for fans and a showcase in America, but wouldn’t it be neat if we were talking about the first notable trophy of the new club season being won in America? Is this possible within 10 years? 20? Perhaps not, as managers make snide comments about their preseason scheduling, but it’s fun and easy to imagine the significance growing.

Scenes from around the UCL final

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We’re just hours away from kickoff in Kiev, Ukraine, and the streets are lined with football supporters ahead of the year’s biggest club final.

Liverpool and Real Madrid will meet at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Saturday, as the latter aims for its fourth UEFA Champions League crown in five seasons.

Let’s take a look at the sights around Ukraine and abroad ahead of the UCL final.


Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox took to Twitter to show their support for the Reds, with both teams owned by John Henry.

Los Blancos go for an unprecedented fourth UCL title in five years, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. aim to assert their dominance once again.

Reds legend John Arne Riise took part in Liverpool’s last UCL title in 2004/05, and holds the giant piece of silverware once again.

Supporters from both sides are out in full force in Kiev, with the Reds hoping to spoil yet another UCL triumph for Madrid.

Supporters all over the world will have their eyes on the most important club competition in football, with the Champions League hosting viewing parties in Shanghai, London and Rio de Janeiro.

Report: Napoli’s Sarri in as next Chelsea manager?

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Antonio Conte hasn’t been relieved of his managerial duties at Stamford Bridge; at least not yet, however, reports out of Italy are suggesting the Blues are in line for a new boss.

Gazzetta del Sport is reporting that Chelsea is preparing to hire Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri, who remains under contract with the Serie A side.

The report says that Sarri is preparing his staff to make the move to London, although both managers are currently tied to their clubs.

Additionally, Sky Italy has stated that an agreement in principle has been reached between Sarri and Chelsea, assuming Conte leaves the Blues.

Chelsea wouldn’t have to pay Sarri’s $9 million release clause if they wait until after Thursday to complete a deal.

Conte endured an up-and-down 2017/18 season with the Blues, however, Chelsea did manage to close the year on a high note with an FA Cup title.

Meanwhile, Sarri has held his post at Napoli since 2015, guiding the club to top three finishes in all three seasons in Italy’s top flight.

Video: Modric, Milner show off in training ahead of UCL final

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The UEFA Champions League final hasn’t even kicked off yet, and Liverpool and Real Madrid are already trying to show each other up with some gorgeous golazos.

[ MORE: Everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s UCL final ]

Both sides had their final training sessions on Friday, and there were several unforgettable moment for each club.

We start with Real, who even got manager Zinedine Zidane involved in a crossing and finishing drill with some of his players.

This is where Luka Modric’s stunning volley came into play (below).

Meanwhile, in an inter-squad scrimmage amongst Liverpool’s team, James Milner unleashed this brilliant curling effort into the top corner (below).

LIVE: Aston Villa, Fulham battle for Premier League promotion

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The task is quite simple for the two sides competing at Wembley Stadium on Saturday; win and you’re back in the Premier League.

Aston Villa and Fulham will battle it out for the third and final promotion spot into the PL (12 p.m. ET) after boasting tremendous 2017/18 campaigns.

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For both clubs, there is a significance about restoring their role as a PL club, with Fulham last competing in the top flight four seasons ago and Villa two seasons removed.


Aston Villa: Johnstone; Chester, Snodgrass, Grealish, Hourihane, Jedinak, Hutton, Terry, Elmohamady, Adomah, Grabban. Bench: Whelan, Hogan, Bree, Onomah, Bjarnason, Kodjia, Bunn.

Fulham: Bettenelli; Fredericks, Sessegnon, Odoi, McDonald, Johansen, Cairney, Ream, Targett, Mitrovic, Kamara. Bench: Button, Fonte, Ayite, Norwood, Piazon, Christie, Kalas.