Carmen Jaspersen/dpa via AP

Bundesliga wrap: Hoffenheim, Bremen improve table hope

Leave a comment

Bayern Munich destroyed Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Saturday, scoring five first-half goals and eviscerating any level of doubt regarding the top side in the Bundesliga.

[ MORE: Arsenal beats Stoke ]

The league’s interest lies on escaping relegation and chasing Champions League spots. Both of those races saw movement over the weekend.

Hoffenheim 6-0 Koln

Koln’s hopes of a miraculous run out of the relegation zone were dashed at the hands of Hoffenheim, which got a blowout win with the help of another Bayern Munich man. Loanee Serge Gnabry scores twice to give him seven goals and six assists on the season as Hoffenheim stayed on the outskirts of the UEFA Champions League race.

Werder Bremen 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

An awful to start to the season has been almost completely remedied, as Zlatko Junuzovic was involved in both goals (including the below own goal) to lift Werder Bremen 10 points clear of the relegation playoff spot and hamper the visitors’ (probably expected) move into a tie for third. USMNT striker Aron Johannsson subbed into the match for the final 14 minutes, moments before Bremen scored the winner.

Elsewhere
Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Augsburg
Schalke 2-0 Freiburg
Hertha Berlin 0-0 Wolfsburg
Mainz 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Hannover 96 2-3 RB Leipzig
Stuttgart 1-1 Hamburg

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 28 22 3 3 72 20 52 12-2-0 10-1-3 69
 FC Schalke 04 28 15 7 6 43 30 13 8-4-2 7-3-4 52
 Borussia Dortmund 28 13 9 6 54 39 15 7-4-3 6-5-3 48
 RB Leipzig 28 13 7 8 43 37 6 8-4-2 5-3-6 46
 Bayer Leverkusen 28 12 9 7 47 35 12 6-5-3 6-4-4 45
 Eintracht Frankfurt 28 13 6 9 39 32 7 7-3-4 6-3-5 45
 1899 Hoffenheim 28 11 9 8 52 41 11 8-4-2 3-5-6 42
 VfB Stuttgart 28 11 5 12 26 31 -5 8-3-3 3-2-9 38
 Mönchengladbach 28 10 7 11 36 42 -6 6-4-4 4-3-7 37
 FC Augsburg 28 9 9 10 37 36 1 5-4-5 4-5-5 36
 Hertha BSC Berlin 28 8 12 8 32 32 0 4-6-4 4-6-4 36
 Werder Bremen 28 9 9 10 32 33 -1 6-4-4 3-5-6 36
 Hannover 96 28 8 8 12 35 42 -7 6-3-5 2-5-7 32
 SC Freiburg 28 6 12 10 26 46 -20 5-6-3 1-6-7 30
 VfL Wolfsburg 28 4 14 10 28 37 -9 2-7-5 2-7-5 26
 FSV Mainz 05 28 6 8 14 29 46 -17 5-3-6 1-5-8 26
 1. FC Köln 28 5 5 18 27 55 -28 3-3-8 2-2-10 20
 Hamburger SV 28 4 7 17 20 44 -24 3-4-7 1-3-10 19

6 clubs fined, risk FIFA transfer bans for debts to players

Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images
Leave a comment

ZURICH (AP) Clubs from Russia and Qatar are among six fined by FIFA and warned they risk one-year transfer bans for failing to settle debts to players.

[ MORE: Steffen to England? ]

FIFA says the clubs also face deductions of six league points if they fail to pay the debts in 30 to 90 days.

The clubs are: Kuban of Russia; Al Arabi and Al Kharaitiyat of Qatar; Zamalek of Egypt; Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates; and Mersin Idman Yurdu of Turkey.

FIFA says all failed to comply with rulings by FIFA or the Court of Arbitration for Sport “to pay significant overdue amounts of money to players.”

They were fined between 15,000 and 30,000 Swiss francs ($15,000 and $30,000).

FIFA says national soccer federations face disciplinary cases if they fail to enforce the verdicts.

Premier League friendlies: Liverpool meets BVB; Everton in Portugal

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Premier League is three weeks and one day from opening its 2018-19 slate, when Leicester City will visit Old Trafford for a Friday afternoon match with Manchester United.

The end of the World Cup has eyeballs trained on friendlies, with 19 Premier League teams doing work over the weekend.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

The International Champions Cup has a pair of matches on the docket.

Friday sees Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, sans many of their World Cup stars, mixing it up with Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund in Chicago.

Then Sunday will see Borussia Dortmund switching gears and time zones, tangling with Liverpool in North Carolina as Pulisic renews acquaintances with old pal Jurgen Klopp.

Manchester United takes on San Jose on Sunday, two days after facing Club America.

Other marquee friendlies of the weekend include Bournemouth facing American back Shaq Moore and Levante on Friday, with Fulham hosting Lyon on Saturday, and Everton meeting Lille and Porto on consecutive Portuguese days Saturday and Sunday.

Friday

Bournemouth vs. Levante
Burnley vs. Macclesfield Town
Burnley vs. Curzon Ashton
Cardiff City vs Torquay
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund (in Chicago)

Saturday

Brighton and Hove Albion vs. AFC Wimbledon
Crystal Palace vs. Oxford United
Everton vs. Lille
Fulham vs. Lyon
Huddersfield Town vs. Real Betis
Huddersfield Town vs. Roy-Weiss Essen or Werder Bremen
Leicester City vs. Notts County
Southampton vs. Derby County
Watford vs. Fortuna Dusseldorf
West Ham United vs. Preston North End

Sunday

Everton vs. Porto
Huddersfield Town vs. Darmstadt
Liverpool vs. Borussia Dortmund (in North Carolina)
Manchester United vs. San Jose Earthquakes (in Santa Clara)
Wolverhampton vs. TBD

Transfer rumor roundup: Japan, South Africa strikers to Premier League

Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
1 Comment

Percy Tau’s name isn’t yet widely known outside of South Africa, what with Bafana Bafana absent from the World Cup.

But the 24-year-old Mamelodi Sundowns winger may soon get to test his skills on a much bigger stage.

[ USMNT: More accolades for Pulisic ]

Tau, who has five goals in 12 caps, will reportedly join Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League if a medical goes well, with Sky Sports saying it’ll will be the biggest transfer fee yet for a South African Premier League player.


Yoshinori Muto could be bringing his 25 caps to the Premier League.

The 26-year-old striker made just one appearance at the World Cup, but has had a nice run with Mainz since joining from FC Tokyo. He’s bagged 23 goals in 71 appearances.

Bild report says there have been no formal offers for Muto, but that Newcastle United and West Ham are interested in the striker. Newcastle badly needs a striker, but West Ham has been spending money and Magpies owner Mike Ashley hasn’t green lit much in recent seasons.

Open Cup draw postponed as Portland protests LAFC win

AP Photo/Chris Carlson
Leave a comment

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup draw is not going as planned, as the Portland Timbers protest the roster of victorious LAFC.

[ RECAP: Four USOC semifinalists minted ]

Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston were the other sides to get a place in the final four teams.

LAFC’s victory had already been marred by Adama Diomande‘s claims of a racial slur hurled his way, and now their victory may be in question altogether as U.S. Soccer issued a press release saying Thursday’s scheduled draw was postponed.

From a U.S. Soccer press release:

The decision comes as a result of a protest filed by the Portland Timbers in relation to the number of foreign players fielded by Los Angeles Football Club during Wednesday night’s Quarterfinal at Banc of America Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.

The rule says a maximum five players without green cards can be in the 18. Portland started only two Americans, Jeff Attinella and Zarek Valentin, but have green cards for many others and rules are rules.

Will the Timbers take a semifinal berth via protest?