Getty Images

Report: FIFA may not approve La Liga matches in U.S.

Leave a comment

It’s looking more and more likely with every passing day that La Liga matches won’t be taking place in the U.S., or out of Spain in general, any time soon.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated and the Washington Post during a visit to Washington D.C., FIFA president Gianni Infantino expressed displeasure with the announcement from La Liga that they intend to take league matches to the U.S. and other countries abroad in the future. La Liga announced last week a landmark 15-year marketing rights deal with Relevant Sports, organizers of the International Champions Cup.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

“I think I would prefer much more a great MLS game in the U.S. rather than La Liga being in the U.S.,” Infantino reportedly said, adding that although he is “only” the FIFA president, FIFA would need to approve a league match played abroad, as would the Spanish football federation, U.S. Soccer, UEFA and CONCACAF. It appears that if just one of those governing bodies refuses to approve the decision, any official match abroad would be called off.

While attendance lagged in the U.S. this year, the ICC has been an overall success, expanding from just matches in the U.S. to also matches in East Asia and across Europe with more than a baker’s dozen of Europe’s top clubs. The marketing success of these friendly and exhibition matches surely formed the basis of La Liga’s decision to partner with Relevant Sports to try and bring official matches abroad. A decade ago, the Premier League considered a “39th game” played in cities across the world, but it was instantly met with harsh criticism from all over England, and the Premier League tabled the idea.

With international travel improving every year, it could be possible one day to see La Liga matches played in the U.S. or elsewhere. But it’s a slippery slope. If U.S. Soccer approves that, what’s to stop every other European league from requesting to play games in the U.S. to make a quick buck at the expense of the local fans, some of who go to every game, home and away.

In terms of when and where games are played, considering the NFL season takes place during the fall and winter and most soccer teams would prefer to use the massive NFL stadiums in this country, it’s likely that matches would have to take place either in late spring in Northern or Midwest U.S. cities or in the winter in cities like Miami, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Houston.

Watch Live: PL Asia Trophy – Newcastle v. West Ham, Man City v. Wolves

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers aim to collect a bit of silverware on the second Premier League Asia Trophy match day of the summer.

But first, a pair of Uniteds look to get off the map after beatdowns in their tournament openers.

Newcastle United and West Ham United were both walloped in Nanjing, and old hands Steve Bruce and Manuel Pellegrini would be happy to massage a victory out of their men.

Then Pep Guardiola and PL champions City get a taste of Wolves before their Oct. 5 meeting in league play.

Below is the full schedule for Saturday’s games in Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium.

Newcastle United v. West Ham United – 5 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Man City v. Wolves – 7:30 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

WATCH: Zlatan stunner answers Vela’s opener in El Trafico

Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images
1 Comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is walking it like he talks it, not that that’s anything new.

A few days after claiming superiority over LAFC superstar Carlos Vela, Ibrahimovic and his Galaxy trailed early in El Trafico via a Vela penalty.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Naturally, Zlatan took it upon himself to answer the bell with his 14th goal in 17 games.

Ibrahimovic chests a long ball onto his right foot, cooking Eduard Atuesta by pushing it into position for a tremendous lash into the LAFC goal.

And if you haven’t been following LAFC’s amazing season, Atuesta’s probably been the side’s best player after Vela, who now has 20 goals in 20 games.

Wizard stuff.

Borussia Dortmund tops Liverpool 3-2 at Notre Dame

Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune via AP
Leave a comment

A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.

Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.

Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.

Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.

Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.

It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.

Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.

Eriksen offered big Spurs wages, but Atletico Madrid lurks

Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Christian Eriksen may trade London for Madrid after all, but Marca claims it’ll be Real Madrid’s rivals who earn the services of Tottenham’s Danish playmaker.

Eriksen, 27, scored 10 goals with 17 assists for Spurs in all competitions last season, and was reportedly ready to spread his wings for Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Kean to Everton? ]

But pro-Real site Marca says Zinedine Zidane doesn’t want Eriksen at the Bernabeu, and that Diego Simeone feels differently… should Atletico Madrid fail at landing his prime option.

That’s James Rodriguez, who remains property of Real and that’s a problem.

So Eriksen to Atleti, helping to replace Antoine Griezmann? It’s possible.

From Marca.com:

Just last November, the London club put a 250 million euro price tag on his head, but now appear keen to move him on. The next few days will likely reveal a lot about what’s to come.

So we may get an idea of whether this report has any guts to it by next week. There could be some sense to it, but Metro claims that Spurs are offering Eriksen an “enormous” contract to keep him in North London.

Enormous means a doubling of Eriksen’s wages, and the Dane is said to be happy in England. Might Spurs hold off the finest of La Liga and Serie A after all.