World Cup standout Bryan Ruiz “not happy at Fulham”

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Bryan Ruiz has expressed his serious displeasure at his current club situation in a way most players refrain from doing in the media.

Speaking to Argentinian newspaper La Naicon, Ruiz flat out said he’s extremely displeased to still be playing in the Championship after relegation last season.

“I am not happy at Fulham, and they know it,” Ruiz said.I am a professional and I will fulfill my contract in the best way possible. They know that I signed here to play in the Premier League and not in the Championship. This league is not for my style of play, but I‘m stuck here.”

Those are some seriously strong words. Ruiz has wanted out since fans soured on his play earlier last season, often finding himself on the butt end of (somewhat unjust) boos and jeers at Craven Cottage. He went on loan to PSV in the Eredivisie for the second half of last season and was not around to see the club relegated from the Premier League for the first time in 10 years.

He then went on to impress at the World Cup, proving to be a creative force during Costa Rica’s surprising and entertaining run to the quarterfinals. Back at Fulham from Brazil, the 29-year-old was hoping to secure a permanent move away from Craven Cottage but could only find himself out on another loan, or so he thought.

“It seems incredible, but this is part of football.” Ruiz said when asked if it’s disappointing to play so well on the world stage and then return to the English second division. “In this situation the club decides what happens to me, and it’s complicated, but we must accept it.”

FIFA blocked a completed January loan move for Ruiz to Spanish side Levante on Deadline Day, saying that paperwork arrived too late. Levante president Francisco Catalan was furious with Fulham, blaming the London side for the delay and ultimately failed move. Ruiz himself said it was hard to convince Fulham – who also wanted a permanent move – to agree to a loan, but ultimately got the club to reluctantly concede.

“[Fulham] agreed to sell me, but when the loan option came they did not want it,” Ruiz explained. “At the end I talked to them and made them see that it was beneficial, and I managed to convince them, but they never wanted to accept a loan.”

“I am not sure what happened [between Fulham and Levante], I do not know if Fulham was at fault or not. Each club is responsible for sending the documentation, only they know what happened.”

Ruiz also expressed a touch of remorse for signing at Fulham in the first place. Having signed from Twente in the summer of 2011 for around $10 million, he never truly fit in, and was often described as a ruby in a world of garnets – a luxury Fulham could not afford. His flowing style of play was often blunted by the physicality of the English game, and Ruiz clearly was more comfortable on a World Cup pitch – or even one in the Netherlands – than he was on an England field.

“After four years where things have not always gone right, where the team is relegated and they force me to honor my contract, it is difficult to assess,” Ruiz said.Maybe it was better to wait and see another option [when I signed], but hey, if I had the opportunity to see the future maybe I would have made different choices. At that time I thought it was the best option I had.”

Remorse or not, it appears Ruiz will have to finish out the season at Craven Cottage, where his contract expires at the end of the year. He also did mention the possibility of playing in Major League Soccer in the future, but said despite the rumors, “My priority is to stay in Europe until the [2018] World Cup in Russia.”

UEL, LIVE — Arsenal meets Eintracht before Man Utd, Wolves play

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The Europa League group stage begins play on Thursday, with Arsenal in Germany to face Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Bundesliga side is missing a lot of familiar faces after a tumultuous summer saw Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller, and Ante Rebic.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

Arsenal will follow suit with some youth, as Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka, and Joe Willock drawing starts.

Kickoff is at 12:55 p.m. ET, with Manchester United and Wolves set to kick-off their respective matches against Astana and Braga at 3 p.m. ET.

Full slate

12:55 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Lazio
LASK v. Rosenborg
Getafe v. Trabzonspor
PSV Eindhoven v. Sporting Lisbon
Basel v. Krasnodar
APOEL Nicosia v. Dudelange
Copenhagen v. Lugano
Standard Liege v. Vitoria SC
Qarabag v. Sevilla
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Arsenal
Rennes v. Celtic
Dynamo Kiev v. Malmo

3 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Oleksandriya
Espanyol v. Ferencvaros
Rangers v. Feyenoord
Porto v. Young Boys
Slovan Bratislava v. Besiktas
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Wolfsberg
Partizan v. AZ Alkmaar
AS Roma v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Gent v. Saint-Etienne
Manchester United v. Astana
Wolves v. Braga
Ludogorets Razgrad v. CSKA Moscow

Report: Man City’s David Silva in “likely” Inter Miami move

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Arguably the greatest player in Manchester City history could become the first star player of Inter Miami.

That’s the story coming out of England, where The Independent reports that David Silva will “likely” join Inter Miami CF for its inaugural MLS run in 2020.

It’s well-known that Silva is leaving Man City this summer after one last-go at his first UEFA Champions League title.

[ MORE: Man City bests Shakhtar ]

David Beckham has been recruiting some of the top names in the game, and has been linked with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Silva, 33, checks all the boxes. The Spanish star won two EUROs and a World Cup, and is still playing at a very high level. He has five assists in six matches for City this season.

If healthy, it would be foolish to expect anything but dominance out of Silva, though beware the think pieces out there about how he “might find it tougher than he thinks.” We’re talking about a world beater who posted 10 goals and 14 assists for City last season.

Even at his age, he’d carry one of the top resumes of any player to join Major League Soccer (Beckham, Steven Gerrard, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would like a word).

He has 71 goals and 134 assists in 402 matches for City, and would eventually line up against fellow City Football Group club NYCFC.

NBC Sports’ Premier League Fan Fest heading to Austin

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Everything is bigger in Texas. And this will be no different.

NBC Sports and the Premier League have announced details for the first Premier League Mornings Live Fan Fest event of the season, and we are heading to Austin, Texas in October.

Just like the events in Washington D.C., New York City and Boston last season, fans will be able to watch all of the PL action together with the live studio show taking place in front of them.

This time it takes place at Scholz Garten in downtown Austin.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live

The two-day celebration of Premier League fandom will take place on Saturday Oct. 26 and Sunday Oct. 27. The Scholz Garten venue is inclusive of a full street closure, courtyard space, and indoor bar.

All sections of the venue will be packed with fun activities and of course plenty of viewing areas for fans to watch all of the action.

The event will feature the NBC Sports studio broadcast live onsite with special appearances throughout the day. We’ll also have free merchandise and giveaways throughout the day, plus food, drink and plenty more.

Premier League Interim Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said: “After a successful season of Premier League Mornings Live, we are delighted to be visiting Austin, Texas, for the first event of 2019-20. Last year we saw how passionate our American fans are, as we brought the Premier League experience to Washington D.C., New York and Boston.

”This season we are once again working with NBC Sports and bringing many of our clubs, partners and some famous faces to unique locations in different cities. Those attending in Austin can expect some great activations and I am sure there will be plenty of entertaining football for them to enjoy as we have some exciting fixtures taking place over the weekend.”

Report: Newcastle United tracking Atlanta United’s Martinez

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A report out of Newcastle says the Magpies may be returning to Atlanta United’s ranks for a January transfer swoop.

MLS record goal scorer Josef Martinez is the name mentioned as among Newcastle’s targets, though journalist Lee Ryder says there may be trepidation given Miguel Almiron’s failure to find goals at St. James’ Park.

[ MORE: Hex watch sees Canada move closer ]

Martinez, 26, scored twice more Wednesday evening for the Five Stripes, including a sensational solo goal. He has scored in 15-straight league matches and is five goals away from matching his MLS single season record set last season.

Atlanta signed Martinez through the 2023 season. Transfermarkt puts his market value around $11 million, comparing him with players like Jurgen Locadia, Yoshinori Muto, and Manolo Gabbiadini.

Newcastle broke its transfer record to land Almiron last season, then smashed it sign Joelinton from Hoffenheim in August. The Magpies have also splashed cash on Allan Saint-Maximin and there’s a clear focus on upgrading the attack.

Maybe the Magpies would view the move as a bargain which could help Almiron get back to his form of last season, but it seems there would be numerous hurdles to clear before a firm bid would be made for Martinez. If Saint-Maximin or Almiron finds form, would there be room for Martinez running underneath Joelinton? Or maybe we’re wrong and Mike Ashley is ready to spend to provide adequate depth?

Lots of questions here.