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Mexicans abroad: Weekend Roundup

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Scoring a goal for Napoli against Juventus in a seven-goal thriller, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s Serie A debut lived up to the hype.

In England, despite Wolves’ slow league start, Raul Jimenez continues to rack up his goal count. His combined Premier League and Europa League qualifying goal count now stands at eight goals throughout 10 appearances.

Elsewhere, Chichairto, who didn’t feature for West Ham on Saturday, is on the verge of signing with Sevilla. If the reported $10 million transfer follows through, he will become the fifth active Mexican in La Liga, and the third to play for the Spanish club.

Here is a list of several other Mexico national team affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) outside of Mexico this weekend.

Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — It’s the Lozano signature special: scoring in debuts. Like in his debuts for Pachuca and PSV Eindhoven, Chucky opened his Napoli account in his first appearance. On Saturday, the 24-year-old scored 23 minutes after coming on at halftime; however, Gli Azzurri would go on and lose 4-3 in the final seconds following a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Wolves’ miserable Premier League start continues, falling 3-2 to Everton. Jimenez, who played all 90 minutes, scored his second of a young season.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, West Ham — With a return to La Liga expected to be announced on MondayChicharito was inactive this weekend for West Ham. Recognizing that the 31-year-old was on his way out, Manuel Pellegrini cited that an injury was the root of his absence.

La Liga

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — La Liga is three weeks in and Hector Herrera has yet to make his La Liga debut. It’s not the start the 29-year-old expected, surely.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis — Los Verdiblancos’ captain started and played 90 minutes in Betis’ 2-1 win against Leganes. The Jalisco native recorded 81 touches, four key passes and one shot on target.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old didn’t dress for Saturday’s bout.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Throughout 76 minutes, Araujo recorded five interceptions and two clearances in Celta’s 1-1 draw against Sevilla.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — Gutierrez started and played 56 minutes for PSV on Sunday in their 3-1 win over RKC Waalwijk. In the 51st minute, the midfielder was shown a yellow card. 

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Like Lozano and Jimenez, Alvarez, too, is flourishing in Europe. Midweek, Alvarez scored his first goal for the Dutch side in their Champions League qualifying victory over APOEL. On Sunday, the 21-year-old started and played all 90 minutes in Ajax’s 4-1 walloping of Sparta Rotterdam. 

Primeira Liga

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Deployed as a right back, Corona continues to excel in Sergio Conceicao’s scheme. On Sunday, in Porto’s 4-1 win against Vitoria, he assisted Moussa Marega, who opened the scoreline.

Jupiler Pro League

Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — All is well for Govea in Belgium. The midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Zulte Waregem’s 2-0 victory against Royal Antwerp.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa   On Friday, Moreno started and played all 90 minutes in Al Gharafa’s 0-0 draw.

Juan Gerardo Ramirez Alosno, Roda JC — The 21-year-old fullback was left on the bench in Roda’s 1-0 loss.

Carlos Fierro, San Jose Earthquakes – Matias Almeyda has yet to hand the 25-year-old his first start. On Saturday, Fierro played the final nine minutes of San Jose’s convincing 3-0 win over Orlando City.

Carlos Vela, LAFC – LAFC take on Minnesota United on Sunday.

Jonathan Dos Santos, LA Galaxy – Dos Santos has been as reliable as they get. On Sunday, the midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Galaxy’s 4-3 loss to Seattle.

Uriel Antuna, LA Galaxy – A favorite of Tata Martino, Antuna scored a goal against the Sounders. It will play to his advantage as he and the rest of his national team prepare for Mexico’s upcoming friendlies against the USMNT and Argentina, respectively.

Berhalter made almost as much as Ellis in first few months

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NEW YORK (AP) American men’s soccer coach Gregg Berhalter earned nearly as much from the U.S. Soccer Federation in his first four months as women’s counterpart Jill Ellis took home in 12.

[ MORE: Messi says Barcelona is “home,” but he “sees weird things happening” ]

Berhalter, hired on Dec. 2, 2018, had compensation of $304,113 from the USSF in the year ending last March 31, according to the tax return released by the federation on Wednesday. That figure included a $200,000 signing bonus.

Ellis, who became women’s coach in May 2014, had compensation of $390,409 in the fiscal year. She went on to lead the Americans to their second straight World Cup title, was voted FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year, then left in October. Any bonus she earned as a result of the title likely will be listed on the next year’s tax return.

Her base salary was raised to $500,000 in late 2018, a person with knowledge of her contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the USSF has not announced that.

The USSF has said she was the highest-paid women’s coach in the world.

Tab Ramos, who was the men’s under-20 team coach before leaving in October to become coach of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, outearned Ellis with compensation of $460,772.

Ellis did earn more than Earnie Stewart ($291,667), hired as men’s general manager in June 2018, and Dave Sarachan ($241,869), interim men’s national team coach from October 2017 until Berhalter was hired.

[ MORE: Guardiola will not leave Man City: “Truth will prevail” ]

Jürgen Klinsmann, fired as men’s coach in November 2016, was paid $1,475,000 on Feb. 1, 2018. He received $3,354,167 in the year ending March 31, 2018.

Bruce Arena, who replaced Klinsmann and led the men’s team through its failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup , was not listed on the latest return. He received $1,249,348 in the year ending March 31, 2018, which included what was listed on that return as a $300,000 settlement.

Earnings were listed for several of the players on the U.S. women team, including Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd (both $313,390), Crystal Dunn ($312,142), Lindsey Horan ($304,142) and Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher and Megan Rapinoe (all $304,140).

Their salaries ranged from $164,642 to $171,140 and include $100,000 for time with the national team. The remainder is what the federation pays for the time with clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Bonuses were from $133,000 to $146,000 and include per match fees and the payment for qualifying for the 2019 World Cup.

Women’s national team players have filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF that is scheduled for trial starting May 5 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The top two salaries of the administrative staff were chief executive officer Dan Flynn ($899,440) and chief commercial and strategy officer Jay Berhalter ($779,765), the coach’s brother. Flynn retired in September and the federation said Jay Berhalter is leaving at the end of February.

Messi says Barcelona is ‘home,’ but he ‘sees weird things happening’

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Lionel Messi is not sure what to make of recent allegations that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is responsible a social media campaign which set out to criticize the club’s top players while also aiming to rebuild his own reputation.

[ MORE: Pep’s not-so-subtle warning to Barcelona: “Don’t talk too loudly” ]

Messi once again called Barcelona his “home,” though he also admitted that he “sees weird things happening,” presumably referring to statements made in recent months and weeks by members of the Barca hierarchy, including Bartomeu and sporting director Eric Abidal.

For a club of Barcelona’s size and stature to be airing this much dirty laundry for the world to see is certainly weird, to say the least. Messi sounds like he’s desperate to remain at the club and finish his career there, though it’s beginning to sound as if certain individuals have other ideas — quotes from the Guardian:

“I was a little surprised because I was not present, I was traveling. When I arrived, I discovered it all bit by bit. The president told us the same things he said in public, the same things he said at a press conference — what was the situation, what had happened. And I cannot say more.

“The truth is that I see weird things happening. But, it was also said that there would be evidence. We will have to wait to see if it is true or not. We can’t say much and we have to wait and see what happens. Frankly, the subject seems strange to me.”

“I love Barcelona, although I miss Rosario very much.

“This is my home, I was here longer than in Argentina. I love Barcelona, the place where I live, Castelldefels, and I live a life that I like very much.”

Pep’s not-so-subtle warning to Barcelona: ‘Don’t talk too loudly’

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Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are currently neck-deep in legal troubles after UEFA handed the Premier League side a two-year European ban last week, leading a handful of clubs and figures from around the continent to delight over their current predicament.

[ MORE: Guardiola will not leave Man City: “Truth will prevail” ]

Guardiola’s message for those folks, including some longtime friends and former co-workers at Barcelona? Essentially, don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.

Earlier this week, allegations were made that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who voiced his full support of the punishment handed down by UEFA, was involved in a campaign to bash a number of key players and figures at the club while also attempting to boost his own reputation.

“I don’t know if they spy me, but they know me. It is not necessary to spy me. If they are happy we are suspended, I say to the president of Barcelona, give us two appeals. I ask right now the people trust what they have done. Don’t talk too [loudly], Barcelona. That is my advice because everybody is involved in situations. We are going to appeal and hopefully in the future we can play Champions League against Barcelona.”

Players ‘absolutely dead’: Mourinho finds no faults in Spurs’ performance

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Jose Mourinho can find few, if any, faults in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday, as he is simply making do with the very limited and exhausted tools presently at his disposal.

[ MORE: Spurs fall under nonstop pressure from RB Leipzig (video) ]

“[Lucas] Moura was absolutely dead, [Steven] Bergwijn was absolutely dead, [Giovani] Lo Celso was absolutely dead,” Mourinho said as he ran through the list of players forced to play all 90 minutes despite desperately needing a reprieve.

Given his side’s current injury list — Harry Kane, Son-Heung Min, Moussa Sissoko and Juan Foyth are all out, while Lo Celso, Erik Lamela and Ben Davies have only just returned to the team in recent days — Mourinho was emphatic in stating his players “did everything they could do” — quotes from the BBC:

“What do you mean by ‘the real Spurs?’ Come on, let’s be loyal to the boys and tell them they did everything they could do.

“Lamela — you know how many training sessions with the team? Zero. Direct from injury to recovery with physios and then direct to 20 minutes in the Champions League.

“There are two perspectives — an amazing group and amazing guys, but another side you see how we are at the moment. It’s a situation like going to fight with a gun without bullets.

“You can say we had luck in some moments, but a great goalkeeper made two magnificent saves. I’m not worried with the 1-0. We can go there and win. What worries me is that these are our players for the next however many matches.

“Moura was absolutely dead, Bergwijn was absolutely dead, Lo Celso was absolutely dead. We are really in trouble. If it was just this game I’d say no problem but we have FA Cup and Premier League games.

“I know Lamela could only give us 20 minutes and I knew Ndombele could not play for 90 minutes. I tried to manage the pieces I had. Don’t tell me Lamela and Ndombele could have started the game, they couldn’t have started the game.

“Here we go, Chelsea [Spurs’ opponent at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday], drinking sparkling water with lemon. Saturday morning [looking at the interviewer — the game was moved for television coverage] — thank you very much for the choice.”

Tottenham’s recent “winter break” was reduce from 14 to 10 days when they were forced to face Southampton in a fourth-round FA Cup replay two weeks ago today.