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So… where does Swansea City turn now?

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Swansea City are in dreaded company after firing Bob Bradley on Tuesday, with none of the last three clubs to fire two managers inside one Premier League season holding onto its top flight status.

[ MORE: Bob Bradley speaks to PST on firing ]

Swans have two massive matches in the next seven days, six-pointers against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, with caretaker manager Alan Curtis at the helm.

After that, it’s a brutal run of matches which includes Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton, and Manchester City.

Given the instability at the club, Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins will have a hard time convincing a big name to take the helm. Francesco Guidolin was given the job after keeping the team safe but not allowed final say on transfers, and Bradley didn’t even get one window despite leaving his job at Le Havre.

[ MORE: Firing Bradley pre-window is baffling ]

Swansea simply have to open up the war chest and their trust tree for the new boss. Another Andre Ayew or Ashley Williams cannot be sold without a tested replacement. And frankly, Swans fans should be worried that players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente could ask to leave the mess behind.

Already the same names are being recycled as possibilities to take the job: Welsh heroes Ryan Giggs and Chris Coleman, as well as recently fired Palace boss Alan Pardew.

It’s worth noting that, in addition to only being first chair on a caretaker basis at Manchester United, Giggs has never been in a relegation campaign as a player or coach anywhere… ever.

Coleman would be a worthwhile risk and has hero status after guiding Wales in EURO 2016, but would he leave the national team gig despite his goal of helping them to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Pardew is available and will certainly believe he could handle the job. But his penchant for leading streaky teams should probably cool Swansea’s interest. It’s big risk/reward with “Pardiola”.

Other candidates tabbed for the gig are Roy Hodgson, who could go head-to-head with fellow ex-England boss Sam Allardyce in a relegation race, and many seem to think former Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett could be the man for the job.

And how about this one? Former USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann is listed by the oddsmakers as an option to replace Bradley. Surely that would also be deemed to big of a risk, as Klinsmann is another man who’s not afraid to ruffle his players and also hasn’t been involved in too many relegation skirmishes.

Then again, can’t you hear the phone calls from Wales to Germany?

“Timmy Chandler, it’s me, Jurgen… I’m getting the band back together.”

 

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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.”