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Carli Lloyd ‘seriously considering’ offer to kick in NFL

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Well, this escalated pretty quickly.

Carli Lloyd has revealed she is seriously considering an offer to play in an NFL preseason game as a kicker.

One unnamed team has offered Lloyd, 37, the chance to kick for them in their final preseason game on Thursday.

The USWNT play Portugal in a friendly on the same day, which was previously thought to be holding Lloyd back, but in an email to Martin Rogers of Fox Sports she revealed she’s keen to give it a go.

“This has all been so wild. Can’t believe how big this has become,” Lloyd said. “I am having discussions with my husband and James about the reality of playing in the NFL. They both feel that I could do it and should consider it. So I’m seriously considering it, as it’s a challenge (and) I would probably enjoy it.”

How did we get to this point with the 2015 Women’s World Player of the Year?

A video of Lloyd kicking a 55-yard field goal went viral last week and now NFL teams are interested.

According to her trainer, James Galanis, there is serious interest in Lloyd, 37, after she trained with the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens in a joint session and was filmed making a field goal attempt with the Ravens players.

Let’s see how this all plays out and if this gig could last longer than just one preseason game.

Bury on the brink; Bolton have hope

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The future of both Bolton Wanderers and Bury remains in serious doubt ahead of a English Football League deadline set for 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Unless something drastic happens both will be liquidated, have their licenses revoked by the EFL and be expelled from the Football League.

A late bid from from C&N Sporting Risk to buy 134-year-old Bury collapsed, and that news spread around their Gigg Lane stadium as it was being cleaned by volunteers ahead of a possible weekend fixture against Doncaster Rovers.

C&N released a statement detailing how hard they had tried to save Bury, who have won the FA Cup twice in their history and had been promoted to their third-tier over the summer.

“We are grateful to the EFL for the short extension they granted to us so that we could continue with due diligence, and for their acceptance of our proof of funds capable of mounting a credible takeover… The complexities involved in each of these matters escalated and continue to do so. It is therefore with regret that we have decided not to proceed with the takeover of Bury FC. This decision has not been taken lightly. We fully understand the importance of the club to the community and it is with this in mind that we have informed the EFL of our decision at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The EFL released the following statement after hearing that C&N had pulled out of the deal to save Bury.

“The League announced at the weekend that it was working exclusively with the club and C&N in an attempt to finalise a change of control at the club. However, following a period of due diligence, C&N have opted not to progress matters. The League continues to be in discussions with Bury FC in advance of today’s 5pm deadline and will provide a further update as appropriate.”

As for Bolton, their situation remains dire as a potential takeover appeared to collapse on Monday.

However, Bolton’s administrator Paul Appleton released a more positive update on Tuesday ahead of the deadline.

“Following my statement of yesterday morning, I am glad to report there is continuing dialogue between the parties whose positions will ultimately decide the fate of the club,” Appleton said. “Myself and my team will continue to do everything possible to facilitate a deal and we will work tirelessly to get this finalised for the club, fans, staff and wider community. The future of Bolton Wanderers is still in doubt but I have to believe there can be a positive outcome before today’s 5pm deadline set by the EFL.”

The Trotters had been fielding their youth team in League One games so far this season, but their most recent matches were called off due to fears over the players’ health.

Bury have yet to play a game this season, as they sit bottom of the third tier on -12 after reaching a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which triggered an initial 12 point penalty. Bolton are second from bottom on -11 points.

Koscielny refuses to go on Arsenal’s U.S. tour

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Arsenal’s captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel with the team on their preseason tour of the USA.

Koscielny, 33, has one year left on his current Gunners deal and the likes of Rennes, Bordeaux and Lyon in his homeland want to sign him.

It is believed Koscielny asked to be released from his contract a year early to head back to France, but that request was turned down and Arsenal’s captain has now decided to take this drastic step.

Arsenal have slammed Koscielny in an official statement, as the club have now opened disciplinary proceedings against the French international.

“Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour. We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions. We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

Flying out to California on Thursday, Arsenal will play against the Colorado Rapids in a friendly, then take part in the International Champions Cup with games against Bayern Munich in Los Angeles), Fiorentina in Charlotte and Real Madrid in Washington D.C. before heading back to the UK.

Koscielny’s decision to not turn up for preseason will surely see him stripped of the captaincy, but it also gives Unai Emery an unwanted headache. Last season Emery dealt with Mesut Ozil being unhappy and the Spanish coach was all about unity and having a collective spirit following Arsene Wenger‘s departure.

This decision from Koscielny will no doubt have a huge impact on the locker room.

Shokdran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Callum Chambers, Dinos Mavropanos and Sokratis are Arsenal’s current options at center back, but there’s no doubt Koscielny would have been a starter alongside Sokratis this season.

The Gunners are closing in on a deal to sign French youngster William Saliba from Saint-Etienne for $34 million then loan him back to the Ligue 1 club. Considering this situation with Koscielny, they may try and keep Saliba for the upcoming season instead.

Koscielny has been a fans favorite since he arrived in 2010 and his rise from the lower French leagues to the Premier League and UEFA Champions League while also captaining Arsenal is a great story.

However, in recent years injuries have hit him hard and although nobody really points the finger towards him with regards to Arsenal’s recent defensive frailties, Koscielny has been to blame with some major errors.

Arsenal should probably cut their losses here and let Koscielny leave on a free, as overall he’s been a good servant to the club and they are unlikely to receive that much for him in terms of a transfer fee. Then again, you cannot let one player dictate your transfer dealings as they sets a poor precedent.

What a mess. Koscielny hasn’t conducted himself well here, and Arsenal putting this out in the open has escalated the seriousness of the situation.

U.S. Soccer Federation, USWNT tentatively agree to mediate lawsuit

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REIMS, France (AP) U.S. Soccer and players for the women’s national team have tentatively agreed to mediate a lawsuit that accuses the federation of gender discrimination and seeks equitable pay.

The federation and representatives for the players confirmed the agreement, first reported in the Wall Street Journal, to pursue mediation following the Women’s World Cup.

“Here to win a World Cup, lawyers are at home to do their thing, so we both have our jobs,” defender Kelley O’Hara said Saturday. “This team has always been good at compartmentalizing. We focus on the task at hand and I haven’t paid any mind on anything that’s been going on. That’s something we’ll pick back up when we get home but right now my only focus is winning the World Cup.”

[ MORE: USMNT faces T&T for first time since Couva ]

The United States, the defending champion and three-time World Cup winner, won its first three games of the tournament and is set to play Spain on Monday in the knockout stage. The championship game is set for July 7 in Lyon.

Twenty-eight members of the current player pool filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in March. The lawsuit alleges “institutionalized gender discrimination” that includes inequitable compensation when compared with their counterparts on the men’s national team.

“While we welcome the opportunity to mediate, we are disappointed the plaintiffs’ counsel felt it necessary to share this news publicly during the Women’s World Cup and create any possible distraction from the team’s focus on the tournament and success on the field,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement.

The federation has maintained the differences in pay are the result of different collective bargaining agreements that establish distinct pay structures for the two teams. Those agreements are not public. Court documents said decisions surrounding the teams have been made for “legitimate business reasons and not for any discriminatory or other unlawful purpose.”

The lawsuit was an escalation of a long-simmering dispute over pay and treatment. Five players filed a complaint in 2016 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleged wage discrimination by the federation. The lawsuit effectively ended that EEOC complaint.

The federation and the team reached a collective bargaining agreement in April 2017. The agreement, which runs through 2021, gave the players higher pay and better benefits.

Defender Ai Krieger said she hasn’t given the lawsuit any thought.

“Right now we’re so focused on the game against Spain, and that’s what’s important for us right now,” she said.

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

USOC wrap: Saint Louis, New Mexico knock out MLS sides (video)

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USL sides delivered the drama on Wednesday night and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup got five more quarterfinalists to join Atlanta United and Minnesota United.

Still to come Thursday, LAFC and San Jose will decide the eighth slot and a date with Portland Timbers.

[ MORE: VAR will not review GKs on PKs in PL ]


DC United 1-2 New York City FC

Wayne Rooney‘s 32nd minute goal gave the hosts a lead which would only last six minutes, as Alexandru Mitrita and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi made it 2-1 before halftime on the way to an away win at Audi Field.

Portland Timbers 4-0 LA Galaxy

Three goals in nine first half minutes helped spring Portland to an easy win over disinterested LA. Guillermo Barros Schelotto didn’t bring the majority of his first choice stars to Oregon, and the Timbers routed their Western Conference opposition to the tune of a 19-7 edge in shots.

Saint Louis FC 1-0 FC Cincinnati

They won’t be forgetting this any time soon; Saint Louis got a stoppage time goal from Sam Fink against their old USL rivals to book a place in the USOC quarterfinals.

Orlando City 2-1 New England Revolution

What began with stars on the bench and a 0-0 score line through 90 minutes really escalated quickly in extra time. Benji Michel and Tesho Akindele gave Orlando a 2-0 lead through 15 minutes of extra time, but Carles Gil set up Justin Rennecks early in the second frame to up the drama. Ultimately, Nani‘s men had enough despite New England’s 22 shots.

FC Dallas 1-2 New Mexico United

FC Dallas took the lead through U-20 World Cup star Brandon Servania, but Kevaughn Frater scored again, and ex-Colorado Rapids draft pick Sam Hamilton added the match winner.