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Atletico Madrid to report Barcelona to FIFA over Griezmann

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Atletico Madrid are to report Barcelona to FIFA over an alleged illegal approach for star striker Antoine Griezmann.

It has been widely reported that Atleti are preparing to make a formal complaint the governing body of world soccer about Barca contacting people connected to the French international, including his family members.

Griezmann, 26, almost left Atletico last summer but decided to remain in the Spanish capital and signed a new deal until the end of the 2021-22 season. It has been widely reported that he will join Barcelona next summer, with a director for the Catalan club, Guillermo Amor, revealing earlier this week that there could well have been an approach.

That has sparked this action by Atletico.

Contacting those close to Griezmann clearly breaks the transfer rules and recently we have seen teams across Europe becoming more willing to complain to the necessary parties when such instances take place.

Southampton complained to the Premier League and FA in the summer when they alleged that Liverpool had contacted Virgil Van Dijk illegally and the Reds then apologized in a statement and ended their pursuit of van Dijk immediately.

Griezmann has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as Barca, from Atletico and what this may do is boost the chances of either United or PSG signing Griezmann in the summer.

With Atletico out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage, some suggest Griezmann could leave in January but it would be much more likely he will remain with the Spanish club until the summer transfer window when he will put himself in the shop window at the 2018 World Cup with the French national team.

Either way, it seems like Barca will have some serious questions to answer to, and for a club who only recently came out of a 12-month transfer ban for breaking regulations regarding the signing of youth players, you’d think they would be doing everything by the book these days.

If found guilty, Griezmann’s move to Barcelona would be in serious doubt and further sanctions could be imposed by FIFA. Atletico know all about those as they’re currently under a transfer ban for also breaking rules in signing overseas youngsters.

With the news coming in the lead up to El Clasico on Saturday where Barca take on Real Madrid, plus ahead of Jan. 1 when Atletico can begin to sign new players, it appears that Atletico are trying to turn up the heat on Barcelona as they sit in second place and six points behind Barca.

Lopetegui, Casemiro, Marcelo react to Super Cup loss

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Real Madrid fell apart in extra time of the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday, losing 4-2 at the hands of cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid.

And new manager Julen Lopetegui says it was not down to desire, even considering how many trophies Real has lifted in recent seasons.

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“These players have won a lot of titles but I do not think that their hunger for titles was missing tonight,” he said. “Last year in La Liga things did not go right for them. We want to get the best out of the team and start picking ourselves up after losing this title. We were all excited for this trophy.”

Losing his first serious match doesn’t bode well for Lopetegui, though his club sold Cristiano Ronaldo, didn’t start Luka Modric, and still came close on Wednesday.

Marcelo didn’t want to talk about transfers.

‘”We need to change our mindset because we have a whole season ahead of us,” he said. “I don’t make the signings. The squad looks good to me. We are united as a group. We played a good game until extra time.”

Casemiro has his coach’s back.

“Any team is bound to miss Ronaldo,” he said. “He is a great player, but he left and we cannot talk about him now, the same with Zidane. We have to talk about the coach, Lopetegui, he is doing a great job. We did good things and we must improve other aspects. The players here are trying to do our best to win titles for Real Madrid.”

Rooney bags two more, including free kick (video)

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Wazza has done it again.

The 32-year-old DC United forward scored for his MLS side against the Portland Timbers, days after producing the tackle/cross heard ’round the world (or at least England and MLS).

Rooney’s perfect run met a terrific ball from Yamil Asad and restored a deadlock between the two sides.

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And this one, well, it doesn’t need much explanation (except to ask if the walls and goalkeeping in MLS are that substandard?

Report: NISA to join USL D-III in applying for USSF sanctioning

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The National Independent Soccer Association will join the USL D-III in applying for Division III sanction from United States Soccer Federation sanctioning by the Sept. 1 deadline for Fall 2019 play, according to Soc Takes.

The nascent league has been quiet since founder Peter Wilt left his post in order to run the new USL D-III side in Madison, Wisconsin.

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The report says there will be as many 10 clubs, and that the league will utilize the European soccer calendar.

Where will the teams be, Soc Takes has some clues:

Soc Takes was previously provided a list of eight cities with their identities embargoed. Three of those cities were in California, while the other five were spread across the country. NISA may have “As many as 10” teams in their application. The source remains confident of a submitting a successful application.

Soccer in America is going to be a complicated follow soon, as NISA is one of at least three groups attempting to compete against the very strong MLS-USL-USL3-PDL alliance. Get your proverbial popcorn ready.

Porter: I should be “in the mix” for USMNT job after Vermes

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Caleb Porter is feeling recharged after a season away from soccer, and would be interested in the United States men’s national team job if the federation is interested in hiring him.

The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio spoke with Porter about leaving Portland, his decision to decline the Orlando City job, and the vacant USMNT.

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As for his level of interest, the canny operator only put the thinnest veneer on it. Look no further than his endorsing Peter Vermes, who has signed a new Sporting KC deal since the American job opened up. From The Athletic:

“If you’re going American, Peter Vermes, for me, he is the guy that deserves the shot,” Porter says. “I believe that. That guy deserves to carry the torch of our national team. Peter Vermes, in my opinion, based on what he’s done in our league, he’s proven it as an American coach. If you don’t go with Peter Vermes, I think, based on what I’ve proven, I’m in the mix with another two or three guys who deserve consideration and I’d be open to talking.”

Porter says he doesn’t know what his next job is, though he’s assumed it will be in club soccer, and used some salty language to say there’s only job he wouldn’t take: Portland’s Cascadian rival, the Seattle Sounders.

The club that lands the MLS Cup and NCAA College Cup winner will have a fantastic and inspired coach, but let’s hope that USMNT general manager Earnie Stewart goes in a different direction. Porter may ultimately succeed in such a role, but already carries USSF baggage after failing to lead the U.S. U-23s into the Olympics before he took the Portland job.