Reports: Sarri’s fate rests on Europa League success

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With a second crushing Premier League defeat in the space of three games, it’s looking increasingly likely that Maurizio Sarri will have to do something drastic on the field to keep his job for next season – or even the rest of this campaign.

According to multiple reports in England, following Chelsea’s 6-0 thrashing defeat at Manchester City, Sarri has to get Chelsea to advance in the Europa League knockout round, or else he faces an early dismissal into his three year contract. Chelsea face Malmo in the Europa League Round of 32 on Thursday and then February 21.

[READ: Eales: Almiron transfer “set the table” for future MLS transfers]

Although Chelsea sits just a point behind Manchester United for fourth place and the final UEFA Champions League spot, it’s looking more likely that Chelsea’s only way into the Champions League next season will be by way of winning the Europa League.

By Chelsea’s standards, it’s been a poor season, with the club falling to rivals Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham twice this year. Sarri has taken a lot of criticism for moving N’Golo Kante out of his role as a holding midfielder, moving him to become a box to box midfielder and having Jorginho play the point of attack. In each of Chelsea’s big losses, Jorginho has been labeled the weak point and has been overrun in his position on the field.

As such, Chelsea has dropped to sixth place and with Eden Hazard and others likely to leave with another season outside of the Champions League, the next two weeks before season-defining for the club.

In Sarri’s defense, Napoli refused to let him leave until July, and Sarri barely had time to take training before the Premier League’s early transfer window shut. Although he acquired Jorginho, he’s basically playing with a number of players who don’t fit his system of play, which has led to many mistakes.

2030 World Cup bidding heats up with joint bids

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A World Cup across the southern half of South America is very much in the cards, according to multiple reports.

Chile has joined Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina in the bid to host the 2030 tournament.

[ MORE: McKennie, Adams star in Germany ]

Once 2030 hits, the World Cup will not have been hosted in South America since 2014 (three World Cups) and Europe since 2018 (two).

Here’s what Chilean president Sebastian Pinera said in a Friday Tweet.

“A few months ago I proposed to the presidents of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to incorporate Chile, and jointly, to apply for 2030. They agreed to present their joint candidacy to organise the 2030 World Cup.”

Joint bids look to be the way of the future, with Canada, Mexico, and the United States hosting in 2026 and partners potentially joining Qatar in 2022. South Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup.

Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Serbia are considering a combined bid for the 2030 tournament, with England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland also in play.

An expanded field would mean given each of the hosts a place in the tournament wouldn’t be as detrimental to qualifying (though it would make for a bizarre CONMEBOL qualifying field should all three South American teams host).

Americans Adams, McKennie have big Bundesliga days

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USMNT youngsters Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie put in elite but very different performances for their Bundesliga clubs on Saturday.

Adams continues to take RB Leipzig by storm, the Major League Soccer export easily adjusting to an upgrade in league through the Red Bull system.

[ MORE: Brighton beats Derby County ]

The New York Red Bulls Academy product, 20, has started four matches for his new Bundesliga side, and RBL has won all four by a combined score of 11-1.

Adams picked up his first Bundesliga assist on Saturday in creating Youssef Poulsen’s 12th goal of the season in RBL’s 3-1 win at Stuttgart.

He covered the third-most ground in the game, at 12.65 kilometers, registering a game-high 39 sprints. His 109 runs were 19 more than anyone else, and he won 13 tackles. And while some of those big numbers are typical for that position on the pitch, there’s no denying his impact on a Champions League side.

Meanwhile, fellow American midfielder McKennie had a different task on Saturday, going 90 minutes and starting at right back as 10-man Schalke gutted out a 0-0 draw with Freiburg.

McKennie, 20, covered the fourth-most ground of anyone in the game at 11.56 km, winning a game-high 13 tackles and putting a pair of shots on goal.

Notably, he completed 34 of 35 passes.

McKennie is a half-year younger than Adams, but the similarities are there.

FIFA transfer reforms target $400M for lower-tier clubs

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ZURICH (AP) — FIFA believes it can direct up to $400 million each year toward clubs worldwide entitled to a share of transfer fees paid for their former players.

FIFA says a key part of intended transfer market reforms will “ensure clubs are adequately rewarded for training players.”

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

Since current transfer rules were updated in 2001, clubs have been due training compensation and solidarity payments from transfers paid in the careers of players they helped nurture.

FIFA acknowledges the “overly complicated and burdensome” system of calculating payments is understood by too few clubs.

A clearing house will aim to process transfer payments more efficiently.

FIFA research suggests tens of millions of dollars were paid to clubs last year instead of their entitlement of at least $350 million.

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

Brighton outlasts Derby despite Ashley Cole goal (video)

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Despite a late scare, dominant Brighton and Hove Albion put an end to Frank Lampard‘s run in the FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat of Derby County at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia scored in the final dozen minutes of the first half for the Seagulls, who will learn their quarterfinal foe on Monday.

[ MORE: Lingard, Martial injured ]

Substitute Ashley Cole scored in the 80th minute for the Rams, who were heavily outshot in the match.

It was Cole’s first goal in England since 2012, when he bagged a Premier League marker for Chelsea against Stoke City.

Locadia was injured just before the Seagulls conceded, and looked to be in considerable pain with an ankle injury.

American attacker Duane Holmes started up top for Derby but was subbed after 45 minutes. The 24-year-old Columbus-born man has become a regular starter under Lampard.