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Justification in the air amid Man City’s historic treble

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LONDON — Until their name is cleared by UEFA, questions will remain about Manchester City’s incredible domestic treble. Justification was in the air at Wembley on Saturday.

[ MORE: Man City win FA Cup

Moments after hammering Watford to win the FA Cup to complete something no other men’s team in English history had achieved, Pep Guardiola was asked questions, rightly so, about City’s achievements on the pitch being diminished by ongoing investigations off the pitch.

It is something you just can’t ignore.

At the final whistle at Wembley, a Man City fan somehow burst into the press seating area and as he was being escorted away by security he accused the media of ignoring Man City winning the domestic treble, saying that “Mo Salah will be on the back pages” tomorrow. That exchanged summed up the feeling of a large portion of Man City fans right now. Just check their responses on social media.

City are a club in full justification mood as they celebrate the most glorious season in their history.

With UEFA opening up another investigation into allegations of City deliberately circumventing financial fair flay (FFP) rules, a decision on what punishment they will receive is imminent after UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) has referred City to the CFCB adjudicatory chamber.

A minimum one-year ban from the Champions League has been reportedly recommended, and Guardiola is ready for any punishment coming their way.

“We are not guilty until proven,” Guardiola said. “When I say this squad make the first step forward with Sheikh Mansour, definitely. You can’t do that without top players. No way. Money helps to buy the incredible players we have. After that, we wait. If we are punished we will accept it. But I listen to my chairman and listen to my CEO and they give me the arguments why they are under investigation, and I trust them. When they tell me that we absolutely followed the rules, I believe them. If the opponent and contenders believe just money does that, it is okay.”

Guardiola was then asked about allegations that Roberto Mancini received separate payments from Abu Dhabi while he was in charge of Man City, and if he himself had ever been involved in similar payments, something he hadn’t answered previously when asked.

City’s boss wasn’t a fan of being asked that question minutes after completing the League Cup, Premier League and FA Cup treble.

“Do you know the question you are asking to me? Do you know the question you are asking me? If I received money from another situation right now, today. Honestly,” Guardiola fumed. “Do you think I deserve to have this type of question, what happened with Roberto I don’t know, the day I win the treble about if I received money in other situations…”

These questions will go on and City will continue to see their amazing victories, performances and trophies won on the pitch undermined until they are proven once and for all not guilty of the allegations brought about by the investigations brought up again after more details were released via Football Leaks.

Their fans feel like the achievements of their team aren’t lauded enough by the media, and the strong statements of the club against UEFA have put up a fence between themselves and the rest of the soccer world.

Guardiola’s achievement of winning the treble this season should not go without huge praise. Finances aside, he has created a remarkable team which is capable of ripping up the record books once again next season.

The Spanish coach admitted that this season wasn’t his best as a manager (that title will surely go to the 2008-09 campaign when he won the treble, including the Champions League, at Barcelona), but did take a shot at Liverpool and Tottenham reaching the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1, as City were denied a chance to win an even more historic quadruple.

“I wouldn’t say the best, but one of the best, sure,” Guardiola said. “In 10 months, to play in all competitions, and the fact that none of the other incredible teams have done this in this country, to be the first means that if one team is able to do that, another team is going to be able to repeat. We were the first and it means to be consistent every three days. I love the Champions League, but to do this is more difficult than winning the Champions League. We did it.”

Pep is following City’s fans and officials in feeling the need to add extra justification to their historic season.

Report: Inter Miami first in line to sign USMNT’s Boyd

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Inter Miami’s first big signing could turn out to be a player who just announced himself to mainstream U.S. Soccer fans.

According to a report in The Athletic, Inter Miami has gained the discovery rights to sign U.S. Men’s National Team winger Tyler Boyd. The 24-year-old only recently came to U.S. Soccer’s attention due to only having played in friendly matches for the New Zealand National Team, and the New Zealander-American filed his one-time switch in May to be eligible for the USMNT during the Gold Cup.

[READ: Terry backs Lampard for Chelsea manager job]

He immediately opened his account with two goals against Guyana and five shots, two on target in the USMNT’s 6-0 thrashing of Trinidad and Tobago.

Boyd is currently under contract with Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes, but he’s played little for them since joining in 2015. He spent the 2017-2018 season with Tondela in the Portuguese Liga and then spent the last six months in Turkey with MKE Ankaragücü, scoring six goals in 14 games to help them stave off relegation. According to multiple reports, Boyd is down to the final year of his contract with Guimaraes, and it’s possible that he could be off to Turkey again – reports in Turkey state Besiktas is interested – or potentially elsewhere.

That’s where Inter Miami come in. With the club expected to launch in the 2020 season, it could sign Boyd this summer – as a Designated Player or use Targeted Allocation Money to pay down his salary and transfer fee – and loan him out for six months before beginning life in the Miami area when the team begins play next season. There’s plenty of precedent for this, including with what New York City FC did with Frank Lampard and to an extent, David Villa, as well as what FC Cincinnati did in a sense – signing Fatai Alashe and Fanendo Adi and loaning them to the team competing in USL in 2018.

Based on the little we’ve seen for Boyd, he would surely be a success in any system that gives him the freedom to attack down the wing and cut in, creating shooting lanes for him and his teammates. Of course, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter may prefer for Boyd to play in Europe and test himself against a higher-level of opposition.

Terry: Lampard ‘will have an impact on young players and improve them’

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It’s not a surprise that John Terry is supporting his longtime teammate and fellow club legend Frank Lampard for the open Chelsea managerial role.

However, it is interesting why Terry thinks Lampard is right for Chelsea.

[READ: Derby County confirm Chelsea approach for Lampard]

With Lampard the bookies favorite to become the new Chelsea manager, Terry has come out in support of the former midfield great, stating that Lampard can finally fully open the pipeline between the Chelsea academy and the first team.

“For some time, perhaps only myself and Ruben Loftus-Cheek had come through the academy to become regulars and that has probably left many young players questioning their future,” Terry told the Daily Mail. “Callum Hudson-Odoi will be assured he has a big role to play at Chelsea. Having Frank in charge and the transfer ban will give young players throughout the academy belief that there is a genuine pathway into Chelsea’s first team.

“Frank and Jody have tremendous knowledge of the youth set-up. I guarantee they will watch as many Under-23 and Under-18 matches at Chelsea as possible and open potential opportunities for the academy players. In fact I think it will be an exciting time to see what can happen.”

Chelsea is currently appealing a transfer ban from FIFA for signing underage players, but even if the transfer ban is imposed this summer, the club has dozens of players out on loan that could potentially come into the first team. These include Mason Mount, who starred for Lampard at Derby County last season, and American defender Matt Miazga, though he still has a long way to go until he’s ready for regular Premier League matches.

Other players like Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Kurt Zouma, and Tiemoue Bakayoko could also potentially return to the club and add to the strength in depth.

Of course, some of Chelsea’s youngsters didn’t come through the academy, but with Eden Hazard gone, Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek out long term and a need for some fresh talent in attack – to go with Christian Pulisic of course, Terry believes that Lampard could trust, and empower, some young players as Chelsea looks to build on a third-place finish this year.

Report: FIFA to consider disciplinary actions for Cameroon after Women’s World Cup outburst

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It didn’t help that refereeing decisions had gone against them, but Cameroon’s meltdown at the Women’s World Cup could cost the team, and potentially the federation in the future.

Per a report in the BBC, FIFA has begun investigating Cameroon for “team misconduct, offensive behavior and fair play breaches.” Specifically, Cameroon’s players appeared to lose their emotions surrounding two incidents that involved video assistant referees, or the VAR.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

In the first case, just before halftime, England’s Ellen White was initially ruled offside on a goal she scored, only for VAR to overturn the assistant referee and rule White’s goal could stand, because she was onside by about two feet. After that instance, Cameroon’s players appeared to make an on-field protest, and it wasn’t clear if the game would restart.

In the second half, Cameroon had a goal that was somewhat harshly disallowed after Ajara Nchout had scored to make it 2-1 for England and cut the deficit in half. Gabrielle Onguene, who played the pass into Nchout, was ruled by the VAR to be offside but only by the absolute slightest of margins, her heel.

Again, following this decision, players lost their emotions on the pitch and it took five minutes to restart the game.

Afterwards, Cameroon coach Alain Djeumfa criticized the officiating, calling the game a “miscarriage of justice” as Cameroon were knocked out of the World Cup.

England coach Phil Neville meanwhile said that he was disappointed with the match for all the young generations of fans watching, and it’s possible that FIFA is looking at it from this angle to potentially send a message that everyone must act professional on the field from start to finish, even if tempers run high.

Picking the Copa America knockout stage

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The Copa America has eliminated four nations, including the two Asian visitors, and now the stage is set for the final eight teams to battle for the title.

The field is wide open as the traditional powers Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and even perfect Colombia and Uruguay have all struggled at times in the competition. With that in mind, here are the picks for our PST writers, and as you can imagine, it’s all over the place in what promises to be an entertaining and exciting final eight. A potential Brazil v. Argentina semifinal matchup would be mouth-watering, while Colombia and Chile meet in the quarters in a matchup that tells you just how brutal this competition can be.

Who do you have going all the way in the South American tournament? Will Lionel Messi carry Argentina to his first major international title? Will James Rodriguez or Alexis Sanchez reignite their career? Can Luis Suarez best his Barcelona teammate and help Edinson Cavani to the crown?


Kyle Bonn

Quarterfinals:
Brazil def. Paraguay
Venezuela def. Argentina

Chile def. Colombia
Uruguay def. Peru

Semifinals:
Brazil def. Venezuela
Chile def. Uruguay

Final:
Brazil def. Chile


Joe Prince-Wright

Quarterfinals:
Brazil def. Paraguay
Argentina def. Venezuela

Chile def. Colombia
Uruguay def. Peru

Semifinals:
Brazil def. Argentina
Chile def. Uruguay

Final:
Brazil def. Chile


Daniel Karell

Quarterfinals:
Brazil def. Paraguay
Venezuela def. Argentina

Colombia def. Chile
Uruguay def. Peru

Semifinals:
Venezuela def. Brazil
Uruguay def. Colombia

Final:
Uruguay def. Venezuela


Nick Mendola

Quarterfinals:
Brazil def. Paraguay
Argentina def. Venezuela

Colombia def. Chile
Uruguay def. Peru

Semifinals:
Argentina def. Brazil
Uruguay def. Colombia

Final:
Argentina def. Uruguay