Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho fail to shake hands, as Gunners boss finally prevails

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LONDON — Following Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho had the opportunity to shake hands but the two managers pulled away.

[ MORE: Three things we learned ]

With Wenger beating Mourinho for the first time in 14 attempts, the duo let their bitter feud get in the way as both tried to brush off the incident in their post-match press conferences.

[ VIDEO: Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stunner wins it

First up, Wenger was asked if some of Mourinho’s comments in the past, such as him being a “specialist in failure,” their touchline spat at Stamford Bridge last season and his comments on Arsenal’s transfer policy, led to no embrace between the managers.

“I shoke a few hands today after the game. There’s nothing special there. That’s it,” Wenger said. “I believe in a job where you have to respect people and respect everybody. It’s a difficult job. I think it is vital that manager’s respect each other.”

As for Mourinho, he stood and shook the hands of every Arsenal player as they walked up to collect their winners medal, and was unperturbed by what he considered a snub from Wenger with the Arsenal boss walking behind him.

“Well I was doing what the status of my club and my status as a manger, I think what I have to do for myself and my club which was to be there for the winners and wait there for them at a point that if you want to miss me, you will miss me,” Mourinho said with a grin. “It was the easiest thing to do because I was just there. If other people didn’t come in my direction, that is not a problem. That is not a story. That is not the end of the world. No more comments on that. I did my job. The job my club deserves me to do and my status as a manger.”

Wenger’s side were defensively sound as they sat back and soaked up Chelsea’s pressure following Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stunning first half goal which turned out to be the winner, but Mourinho accused the Gunners of abandoning their philosophy.

“It depends on the perspective because normally you [the media] like to say that the team who defends very well doesn’t deserve to win and I have to go in your direction and say the best team lost and the defensive team won,” Mourinho said. “But I also have my opinion. My opinion is that the team that defends very well and the team that leaves their philosophy in the changing room and changes their philosophy and leaves 10 players behind the ball and play the whole second half with nine players in front of the box. This is football, this is very good tactical organization. In that perspective they scored one goal, they deserved to win.”

But the last word should be reserved for Wenger, as he finally got the monkey off his back and beat Mourinho, with many observing that the Frenchman beat his Portuguese rival at his own game: defending solidly and being opportunistic in attack.

“I must honestly say that it didn’t play on my mind at all. As long as I get it served every time in press conferences it can have an impact on the team,” Wenger said. “Certainly the way my team behaved during some periods in the game, it helped. It was important for them to get that hurdle out of the way.”

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

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It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.

From Goal.com:

“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.

Clark County “declines to prosecute” Ronaldo for rape

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.

An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.

[ MORE: Bayern keen on Zaha ]

Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.

From News3LV.com:

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”