Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Bravo suffers Achilles tendon tear; Could miss season

Leave a comment

It’s not quite like losing Kevin De Bruyne, but Manchester City has lost another component to a significant injury.

This one could be season-ending, as second-string shot stopper Claudio Bravo ruptured his achilles tendon in training on Monday.

[ MORE: Liverpool tops Palace ]

Bravo tweeted that “life will go on” regardless of the injury, but City has a headache in terms of what it may ask of first choice keeper Ederson.

City sold goalkeepers Angus Gunn to Southampton and Joe Hart to Burnley this summer, and sent Arijanet Muric on loan to NAC Breda. Twenty-year-old Daniel Grimshaw signed a new deal with Man City this summer.

Who’s on the free agent wire? It’s a thin herd, with former Liverpool and Fluminese backstop Diego Cavalieri and twice-capped Argentina goalkeeper Oscar Ustari on the list (Ustari has not played since a serious leg injury for Atlas in November).

Lazio ultras want to ban women from “sacred space” in stadium

Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images
2 Comments

ROME (AP) Lazio’s “ultra” fans have caused outrage by telling women to avoid their “sacred space” in the club’s Stadio Olimpico.

The die-hard supporters distributed flyers ahead of their team’s Serie A opener at home to Napoli.

[ MORE: Juventus win on Ronaldo’s goal-less debut; Napoli chasing again ]

“The Curva Nord represents for us a sacred space, an environment with an unwritten code to be respected,” read the flyer. “The first few rows, as always, have been experienced like the trenches. In the trenches, we do not allow women, wives and girlfriends, so we invite them to position themselves from the 10th row back.

“Those who choose the stadium as an alternative to a carefree and romantic day in (Rome’s) Villa Borghese (gardens), should go to other sections.”

Lazio spokesman Arturo Diaconale told Italian news agency Ansa on Sunday that “it is not the position of the club, we are against any discrimination.”

He added: “Moreover, there is an enormous number of Lazio fans, this instead is an initiative from a few fans. We can’t always intervene to avoid politically incorrect displays like this.”

[ MORE: Edin Dzeko starts Roma off right with stunning winner ]

Some Lazio fans caused outrage last season when they littered the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with images of Anne Frank — the young diarist who died in the Holocaust — wearing a jersey of city rival Roma. Lazio was fined $63,000 by the Italian soccer federation because of the anti-Semitism displayed by the team’s fans.

It was the latest in a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents, with Lazio previously having its stadium fully or partly closed for European and domestic matches as punishment.

Serie A: Dzeko starts Roma off right with stunning winner

Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Snday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Juventus win on Ronaldo’s goal-less debut; Napoli chasing again ]

Torino 0-1 Roma

Roma left it late — very late — before collecting their first points of the season, but Edin Dzeko came through with the moment of unforeseen brilliance in the 89th minute to put Eusebio Di Francesco’s side level with fellow scudetto hopefuls Juventus and Napoli.

Justin Kluivert beat two defenders down the right wing before lofting the ball high across the penalty area, where it came down to Dzeko about 10 yards out and well wide of the far post. The first-time finish couldn’t have been much more difficult for the Bosnian, who had a defender draped all over him, while moving away from goal, and having to strike the ball with the inside of his left foot. It mattered absolutely none, though, as the ball floated over the head of Salvatore Sirigu and found the inside netting.

It’s worth noting — given the way he was criticized during the second half of his spell at Manchester City — that Dzeko has been one of the most prolific goal scorers in the world for over a decade now, bagging nearly 250 goals (all competitions) since he joined Wolfsburg in the summer of 2007. He has scored 179 in league play during that period, and could very well reach the 200-goal mark this season should he remain healthy for Roma.

Sassuolo 1-0 Inter Milan

The expectation this season is that Inter Milan would follow up last season’s fourth-place finish (Champions League qualification) with an even better campaign this time around. It’s only one game, but 2018-19 isn’t off to a great start for Luciano Spalletti’s side as they lost away to Sassuolo on Sunday.

Domenico Berardi scored the game’s only goal, from the penalty spot, in the 27th minute after Federico Di Francesco was dragged down by Miranda inside the penalty area. Mauro Icardi had Inter’s best chance to equalize late in the second half, but the Argentine skied his first-time finish from no more than three yards out.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Chievo 2-3 Juventus (Saturday) — MORE
Lazio 1-2 Napoli (Saturday) — MORE
Parma 2-2 Udinese
Bologna 0-1 SPAL
Empoli 2-0 Cagliari

Monday’s Serie A schedule

Atalanta vs. Frosinone — 2:30 p.m. ET

Magic Man City rout Huddersfield

Leave a comment
  • Aguero scores 13th Man City hat trick
  • Silva scores on 250th City appearance
  • Man City top of the league
  • Two defeats from two for Huddersfield

Manchester City beat Huddersfield Town 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with David Silva pulling the strings on his 250th appearance for the club.

Sergio Aguero scored twice and Gabriel Jesus grabbed another in a rampant spell in the first half, while Silva curled home a superb free kick in the second half and Aguero flicked home to complete his treble. Leroy Sane then came on and his shot deflected in off Terrence Kongolo to finish off the scoring for the reigning Premier League champions.

Huddersfield had pulled a goal back just before half time through Jon Stankovic but David Wagner‘s men were totally outclassed. It’s two defeats from two for Huddersfield (albeit against Chelsea and Man City) to start the season and City have a 100 percent record and are top of the Premier League.

With no Kevin De Bruyne for the next three months, it seems like City may be able to cope just fine without their magic attacking midfielder.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Man City dominated the game from the start and went close on several occasions as Huddersfield almost sliced into their own net and David Silva was pulling the strings as per usual.

Then three goals arrived in a seven-minute spell to basically seal the win for City.

The opening goal of the game arrived from a familiar source as Aguero wriggled free after a wonderful ball over the top from City’s goalkeeper Ederson. Aguero then dinked the ball over Ben Hamer and into the net to make it 1-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Before half time the chances kept coming for City with Aguero smashing just wide and then it was 2-0. Benjamin Mendy‘s surging run forward created havoc and Jesus drilled home a low effort to double City’s lead.

It was 3-0 to City before the break as Mendy’s routine cross from the left was spilled by Hamer and Aguero reacted fastest to tap home his second and City’s third. The rout was on.

Huddersfield pulled one back before half time as Stankovic tapped home from close range as he marked his return from a long-term injury with a goal. 3-1. Guardiola will not have been happy with the slack marking from John Stones in particular as Stankovic reacted first to a near-post flick from a long throw in.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

At half time Laurent Depoitre came on for Huddersfield as they switched up their formation to a 4-4-2. That didn’t help the Terriers as they were soon 4-1 down. Silva curled home a majestic free kick with his left foot to mark his 250th appearance for City in style.

Aguero then went inches away from grabbing a hat trick as he hit the inside of the post from outside of the box and then smashed wide.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Late on City searched for a fifth and it arrived as Aguero flicked home Mendy’s cross to complete his hat trick and Sane’s effort deflected in to make it 6-1. Bernardo Silva had a chance to make it seven late on but City had to settle for six.

Two wins from two at a canter for Guardiola’s boys.

Report: David Moyes could become new USMNT boss

Getty Images
1 Comment

David Moyes is reportedly a frontrunner to be named as the new head coach of the U.S. men’s national team.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live

The Times is one of a few outlets in the UK who claim that Moyes is interesting U.S. Soccer officials, with Dave Sarachan still in charge on an interim basis after he took up that role last November following Bruce Arena stepping down.

Here’s more from The Times on Moyes potentially heading to the U.S.

“It is understood that United States Soccer Federation officials have been alerted that the former Everton, Manchester United and West Ham manager would be interested in becoming the permanent replacement for Bruce Arena. Former Chicago Fire coach David Sarachan was put in interim charge after Arena was fired last October for failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. Moyes, 55, increased his stock last season in a short-term deal with West Ham when he led them to safety, finishing in 13th place in the Premier League.”

Pro Soccer Talk contacted U.S. Soccer about this report and they said they “will not be commenting on any candidates during the process.”

Moyes, 55, has restored his reputation somewhat after keeping West Ham in the Premier League last season after inheriting a precarious situation mid-season. But is he really the right man to turn the USMNT’s fortunes around?

The former Everton, Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland boss has endured mixed fortunes since taking charge of United in 2013. He was fired by United less than a year into the job after being hand-picked by Sir Alex Ferguson and he was then fired by Sociedad and left Sunderland after they were relegated from the Premier League in 2016-17.

From his time at Everton, we know that Moyes can organize teams and make them better defensively and that’s something the USMNT need moving forward. However, with no experience of Major League Soccer or the CONCACAF environment it is tough to see the new hierarchy in charge of U.S. Soccer appointing someone like Moyes.

Would new USMNT General Manager Earnie Stewart look to someone like Moyes to revive the fortune of the U.S. national team? It seems like a coach with experience of MLS or someone with a better track record of developing youngsters would suit the current needs of U.S. Soccer better.

Moyes is currently out of a job and cynics amongst us would suggest these reports could be about getting his name back out there and in the frame for another position. There is a lot of negativity around Moyes after he struggled at United five years ago, but we must not forget his penchant for setting up teams with a solid foundation. That’s not the most desirable skill for a manager to have these days but it would be a valuable asset as the USMNT aim to qualify for the 2022 World Cup after the debacle of not reaching the tournament in 2018.

With a young squad set for a gruelling schedule of friendlies over the next few months, Sarachan could still be handed the reins for the U.S. on a permanent basis. It’s more likely that the USMNT will appoint a new permanent boss after the friendlies against Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, England and Italy over the next few months.

Until then the likes of Juan Carlos Osorio, Gregg Berhalter, Tata Martino, Caleb Porter and Peter Vermes will continue to be linked with the role. You can add Moyes to that list too.