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MLS Snapshots: NE Revs 3-1 Crew SC | Toronto FC 1-0 Fire (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Narratives are easily one of the worst things in sports, but sometimes you just can’t help feeling as if you’re living a Hollywood script so predictable that you can’t help but shake your head and wish you’d chosen a better way to spend two hours of your life. When Kei Kamara‘s name showed up in the starting lineup Saturday night, you just knew he was going to score in his first game against his former team, Columbus Crew SC, after the two parties’ nasty breakup in May. Kamara’s goal came late in the second half and served as the insurance goal in the New England Revolution’s 3-1 victory over Crew SC; a result that pushes Jay Heaps’ side (22 points) up two spots in the Eastern Conference table, into sixth place for the time being, a point clear of the playoff cut line. As for Crew SC (16 points), only the league-worst Chicago Fire reside below them in the East.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of the MLS weekend ]

Three Four moments that mattered

3′ — Nguyen goes upper-90 with his volley — With a first touch and the audacity required to pull this off, there’s simply no place for Nguyen on the USMNT. Stunning goal.

34′ — Trapp pokes it into his own net for 2-0 — Kamara enjoyed playing his part in the Revs’ second goal. Probably a little bit way too much.

42′ — The other Kamara pulls one back for Crew SC — Way too easy for Tony Tchani and Ola Kamara here. This is precisely the Revs’ problem week after week.

71′ — Crew SC concede worst goal in soccer history — Chad Barson and Waylon Francis got this one all kinds of wrong. So wrong that collusion actually crossed my mind, even if only briefly so.

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Man of the match: Lee Nguyen

Goalscorers: Nguyen (3′), Trapp (34′ – OG), O. Kamara (42′), K. Kamara (71′)


The game in 100 words (or less): With their two best midfield players, Michael Bradley and Will Johnson, sidelined for the next month or more — and Jozy Altidore having not played a game in nearly two months — Toronto FC are very much in “keep our heads above water and scrape together whatever points we can” mode, and they’re making it look pretty good right now. Following a draw the Seattle Sounders last week, Greg Vanney’s side grabbed an ugly but deserved 1-0 victory over the lowly Chicago Fire Saturday night at BMO Field; a result that sends the Reds two places upward in the Eastern Conference standings, up to fifth, two points clear of the playoff cut line. Until the other stars return, Sebastian Giovinco will have to keep willing his team to points.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of the MLS weekend ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Giovinco feeds Morrow for the opener — Here’s the thing about Giovinco: as good as he is, even when he’s not the one scoring goals, he commands opposition attention to the point where his teammates get chances like this.

64′ — Igboananike hits the crossbar from a tight angle — Kennedy Igboananike nearly scored from a ridiculous angle, but the crossbar was very unkind to the Nigerian.

70′ — Giovinco smashes the post with a free kick — When Giovinco is standing over a free kick, you stop what you’re doing and watch intently, because you never know when (near-)brilliance is about to occur.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Morrow (9′)

VIDEO: Breaking down some celebrated Premier League derbies

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The kickoffs aren’t coming back soon, so we’re finding solace in anticipating the biggest matches on the Premier League calendar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Certain rivalries are circled on the fixture list when it arrives each summer, the sort of games that seem to level the playing field regardless of the gulf in class.

Is Arsenal struggling? No better way to bounce back than Spurs.

Liverpool sliding a bit? It’ll snap back to form when Everton hits Anfield.

PST lead writer and editor Joe Prince-Wright has prepped up for several of these derbies over the years, and here’s a cheat sheet for those new and a tasty summation for those missing their hated foes.

Liverpool-Manchester City

Arsenal-Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool-Everton

Manchester City-Manchester United

Chelsea-Tottenham Hotspur

Bournemouth’s Howe takes voluntary pay cut, first PL manager to do so

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Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the first Premier League manager to take a pay cut due to the coronavirus suspension.

Howe joins Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, and assistant manager Jason Tindall in taking “significant, voluntary” pay cuts.

Howe is the longest-serving manager in the PL. He started with Bournemouth’s academy in 1994 and spent just a few short seasons away from home (Portsmouth and Swindon Town) during his playing career.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The club has also furloughed employees throughout the organization. From a Bournemouth statement:

There is no script for moments like this. No tactics and no set plays to find a winning formula. But as a board we are continually looking at ways to ensure the future of the club and our employees is protected when the season returns.

We have also advised a number of staff across all areas of the club that they will be temporarily furloughed, as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

These measures have been taken to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period, not only in football but for businesses in all industries across the world.

Surely Howe won’t be the last during this uncertain time for clubs and businesses all over the world.

Ex-Marseille president first coronavirus-related death in Senegal

Pape Diouf
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) Pape Diouf, a former president of French soccer club Marseille, died Tuesday in Senegal after contracting the coronavirus. It was the West African country’s first COVID-19-related death, according to the health ministry. He was 68.

Diouf, who was president of Marseille from 2005-09, had been treated since Saturday in intensive care in Dakar, health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr said.

Senegal President Macky Sall wrote on his official Twitter account that he had followed Diouf’s health closely after he was admitted for treatment.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

“I pay tribute to this great figure in sport,” Sall wrote. “I pay tribute to the medical staff at Fann Hospital who spared no effort to save him.”

Relatives said Diouf was meant to be moved to France. He had recently traveled to several countries in the West Africa region.

In its most recent count, Senegal has reported 190 cases of the coronavirus, with 45 of those having recovered.

Diouf was a charismatic and popular leader who was close to the fans and players at Marseille, the only French team to win the European club title.

“Pape will forever remain in the hearts of Marseille people and (is) one of the great architects of the club,” Marseille wrote under a photo of Diouf.

Shortly before his time at the club ended, Diouf signed Didier Deschamps as the new coach and Deschamps won the French league title and League Cup in his first season in charge. It was Marseille’s first league title in 18 years.

Deschamps, who coached France to World Cup success two years ago, described Diouf as “a man of convictions, a spirited man, passionate about football” adding that his “sudden and brutal death deeply saddens me.”

“I could measure his popularity, which was immense with the Marseille people whose hearts he had won,” Deschamps said on L’Equipe’s website.

The French soccer league called Diouf’s death “a moment of immense sadness for French soccer.”

Diouf was born in Chad to Senegalese parents. After arriving in Marseille at the age of 18, he became a sports journalist and then a players’ agent.

Diouf was not afraid to take risks in signing unheralded players, such as the diminutive Mathieu Valbuena from third-tier side Libourne in 2006 when he was 21.

The 1.67-meter (5 feet, 5 inches) Valbuena went on to prove Diouf right, and all the doubters wrong, playing 52 times for France.

“A great man with a great heart,” Valbuena said. “We were hypnotized by his speeches, he had a lot of charisma.”

Diouf was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal in 2012, one of the country’s highest honors.

Pugmire reported from Paris. AP reporter Babacar Dione in Dakar, Senegal contributed.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Griezmann plus cash could finally get Neymar back to Barcelona

Neymar
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Neymar’s long-rumored return to Barcelona hasn’t quite reached the point of exhaustion, but it’s close.

A new report has said Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain may be coming to terms with what’s been a fairly obvious swap deal for some time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

According to Sky Sports, PSG would send Neymar to Barcelona in return for French hero Antoine Griezmann and money.

The $167 million price tag attached to Neymar is significantly more than the $110 million on Griezmann, and there’s no doubt the former is more of a gamechanger at this point on their careers.

While Neymar gets both the #whenhealthy and #whenavailable tags to his rep, he’s scored 18 times with 10 assists in 22 matches across all competitions this year.

Before the full phrase ‘Ligue 1’ exits your lips, he’s scored against Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Galatasaray, Liverpool, Anderlecht, and Red Star Belgrade in his three seasons with PSG.

Griezmann is a full year older than Neymar and, while one of the world’s elite attackers, he’s a step below the Brazilian’s tier. He’s also said to want to keep finding his way at Barca, with Gerard Pique and others ready to lend support.