With much of Europe competing on the field rather than in the transfer market, Saturday was a fairly quiet day of transfer dealings as Monday’s deadline looms large.
[ MORE: All of PST’s transfer rumor coverage ]
In the day’s biggest transfer news, Roma announced the signing of 27-year-old forward Seydou Doumbia from CSKA Moscow for the price of $16 million. Doumbia fills the hole in Roma’s squad left by Mattia Destro, who on Thursday completed a loan-to-permanent move to AC Milan.
Doumbia, who is currently with the Ivory Coast national team, will return to Moscow following his run at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations before joining his news teammates in Rome, he confirmed via his Instagram page on Saturday. Doumbia score 61 goals in 95 league appearances for CSKA, with another 10 goals in 15 appearances in UEFA Champions League competition.
[ MORE: All of Friday’s DONE DEAL transfer action ]
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal announced on Saturday that Darren Fletcher’s move to West Ham United has been cancelled, despite the player having a medical in London on Friday. According to van Gaal, the original deal was for a permanent transfer, but West Ham tried to pick the player up on loan at the last moment.
The game in 200 words (or less): Melodrama took center stage in Atlanta United’s 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, as Matias Almeyda, Chris Wondolowski and Cristian Espinoza were all sent off on Saturday. Josef Martinez, six games away from tying Lionel Messi’s world record for most consecutive goals, left the field in 79th minute following an injury, ending his MLS-record run at 15 games. Playing with 10 players from the 34th minute onwards, the Quakes held on to the draw up until the 90th minute. Unmarked inside the box, Emerson Hyndman rocketed the ball past Daniel Vega, who recorded nine saves throughout the night. In stoppage time, Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez was rewarded for his stellar performance with a goal of his own. With a game at hand, Eastern Conference leaders, NYCFC, are three points ahead Frank De Boer‘s side. The Quakes, on the other hand, have internal fires to put out as they have lost six of their last eight, and are only a point above the red line with three games to play.
Three moments that mattered
27′ — Great run by Espinoza, greater ball by Vega — Daniel Vega and Cristian Espinoza were players that San Jose were desperately missing last season. This sequence says it all.
90′ — Emerson Hyndman wins it for the Five Stripes — Hyndman, with no one near him, seals three points for the home side.
90′ + 2 — Martinez takes advantage of broken San Jose — Martinez’s goal was only salt in San Jose’s fresh wound.
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Man of the match: Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez
Goalscorers: Meram (4′), Guzan (27′ – OG), Hyndman (90′), Martinez (90′ + 2)
ZURICH — Soccer’s governing body FIFA says an inspection visit to Iran has shown “no noteworthy operational obstacles” to lifting the country’s 40-year ban and letting women attend a World Cup qualifying game next month.
After meeting government and soccer officials in Tehran this week, FIFA says it will work with Iran’s soccer body to also open domestic league games to female fans.
FIFA wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums which breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.
Global attention on the ban followed the death this month of a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire outside a courthouse. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a soccer stadium in Tehran and faced six months in prison.
Ahead of Iran hosting Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10, FIFA says the visit on Thursday focused on “international relations, security and ticketing matters.”
Iranian officials were told of FIFA’s “firm and clear position that women need to be allowed to enter football matches freely” with tickets sold to as many who wanted to attend.
Eight games in seven hours, now that’s a jam-packed MLS Saturday.
[ FOLLOW: MLS scoreboard, for the next 7 hours ]
Things kickoff with Matias Almeyda’s San Jose Earthquakes visiting red-hot Josef Martinez’s Atlanta United, and comes to a close in Los Angeles, where league leaders LAFC host Toronto FC and LA Galaxy, who look to continue moving up in the Western Conference standings, host Montreal Impact.
In between, the New England Revolution look to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff picture as they welcome Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake, while the Chicago Fire hope to jump level with the Revs in the standings as they take on FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium.
Saturday’s full MLS schedule
Atlanta United v. San Jose Earthquakes — 3:30 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps v. Columbus Crew — 5 p.m. ET
New England Revolution v. Real Salt Lake — 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Cincinnati v. Chicago Fire — 7:30 p.m. ET
Sporting Kansas City v. Colorado Rapids — 8:30 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo v. Orlando City — 8:30 p.m. ET
LAFC v. Toronto FC — 10:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy v. Montreal Impact — 10:30 p.m. ET
Week 5 of the Bundesliga season looked a lot like so many others since Robert Lewandowski arrived in the country from Lech Poznan in 2010.
He scored, and his team won.
[ MORE: Man City hangs 8 on Watford ]
It wasn’t enough to put Bayern Munich atop the league, as the Bavarian side also saw RB Leipzig get a win and could sit third once Lewandowski’s first German team, Borussia Dortmund, plays on Sunday.
Bayern Munich 4-0 Koln
Robert Lewandowski is humming along, scoring two more goals to give him nine in Bayern’s first five matches of the Bundesliga season. The 31-year-old Polish superstar scored at midweek in the Champions League, and has scored in all seven matches he’s played since being skunked in the DFL SuperCup loss to Borussia Dortmund.
Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic also scored for Bayern, who will finish the weekend no lower than third on the table. A 59th minute red card to Koln’s Kingsley Ehizibue came with Bayern already leading 2-0, so it was a bit snoozy in terms of drama at the Allianz Arena.
Werder Bremen 0-3 RB Leipzig
A 64th minute red card to Konrad Laimer couldn’t slow down the table leaders, as Leipzig added a goal after going down to 10-men in the win.
Willi Orban and Marcelo Saracchi scored for the visitors, and Marcel Sabitzer scored a terrific free kick in the win.
American teenager Josh Sargent started and played 80 minutes for the hosts, covering 9.63 kilometers and getting a lone shot on goal.
Schalke 2-1 Mainz — Friday
Freiburg 1-1 Augsburg
Hertha Berlin 2-1 Paderborn
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Union Berlin
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Borussia Dortmund — Noon ET Sunday