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Matias Almeyda named new San Jose Earthquakes head coach

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The last place San Jose Earthquakes have a new direction for the future.

With Mikael Stahre sent packing less than a month ago, San Jose announced the hire of former Chivas Guadalajara head coach Matias Almeyda. The 44-year-old Argentinian won the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League with Chivas, qualifying for the 2018 Club World Cup, but departed after clashes with the front office regarding offseason player recruitment and the planning of the preseason schedule.

However, Almeyda left his mark on Chivas. Joining in 2015, the club was nearing relegation. He won the Copa MX in his first year in charge, and won the Supercopa MX in 2016. He won the Copa MX yet again in 2017, and then earned the league title with a 4-3 aggregate score over Tigres, giving Chivas its second-ever double, the first club to achieve that multiple times.

San Jose hopes that Almeyda can replicate that success he had at Chivas with the Earthquakes.

“What we saw in Matias was a coach that brought success by creating a culture we strive to emulate,” Earthquakes GM Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement. “He has demonstrated leadership qualities in Argentina with River Plate and Banfield, as well as in Mexico with Chivas. He has always had a winning mentality, both as a player and a coach, and most importantly, he is someone that knows how to redirect a team in a difficult situation with a commitment to a distinct style of play and youth development.

“Matias came here because he welcomes the challenge of helping our organization open a new chapter after a grueling season. He had several other opportunities available to him from clubs and national teams around the world, but made it very clear the Earthquakes were the one he wanted to lead.”

During the height of his playing days, Almeyda played for River Plate, Lazio, Sevilla, and Inter Milan. He made 35 appearances for the Argentinian national team and featured in two World Cup squads.

BUNDESLIGA 2018-19: Guide to the promoted teams

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BERLIN (AP) A look at Fortuna Dusseldorf and Nurnberg, the promoted teams preparing for their return to the Bundesliga this weekend.

Dusseldorf hosts Augsburg and Nurnberg visits Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

[ MORE: Americans in Bundesliga 2018-19 ]

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

Dusseldorf is back as second-division champion after beating Nurnberg 3-2 on the final day of last season.

Experienced coach Friedhelm Funkel stabilized the side after arriving in March 2016 and led the club to a sixth promotion in his second season.

Founded in 1895, Dusseldorf last played in the Bundesliga in 2013. The club’s fortunes have been mixed since it won the German championship in 1933. Its best days came with German Cup wins in 1979 and 1980. Of all the sides in the Bundesliga, only Hertha (1892) and Stuttgart (1893) have been around longer.

Rouwen Hennings finished as the team’s leading scorer last season with 13 goals in 33 appearances. The club has not made any big signings, but forward Dodi Lukebakio has arrived on loan from Watford, striker Marvin Ducksch was signed from Holstein Kiel and midfielder Matthias Zimmermann from Stuttgart.

NURNBERG

Eight-time German champion Nurnberg is back in the Bundesliga after a four-year absence.

Michael Koellner is enjoying his first coaching role after being promoted from Nurnberg’s reserve side in May 2017. A qualified dental assistant, the 48-year-old Koellner worked for 15 years with the German soccer federation before turning to coaching. He also co-write a book, “Your way to becoming a football professional,” for young players, parents and coaches.

Nurnberg captain Hanno Behrens is the team’s driving force, chipping in 14 goals last season from midfield. Swedish striker Mikael Ishak added another 12 for a team that finished with 12 different scorers.

Added to the mix for this season is Japanese striker Yuya Kubo, signed on loan from Belgian side Gent.

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

Report: USL side Cincinnati acquires Adi, Alashe from MLS clubs

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Taylor Twellman is reporting that FC Cincinnati is loading up for the end of their final USL season while preparing for life in Major League Soccer.

FCC has a six-point lead atop the USL Eastern Conference table, and is coming off a 3-2 loss to La Liga’s Espanyol which included a 1-0 lead and 2-2 equalizer in the corner of the hosts from Ohio.

[ MORE: Mitrovic in, Rondon out at NUFC ]

Twellman says the club is set to acquire Portland striker Fanendo Adi and San Jose midfielder Fatai Alashe for the stretch run of the USL season and beyond.

Jamie Goldberg reported that Saturday night was Adi’s last match as a Timber, and the 27-year-old Nigerian striker has 60 goals in 144 career appearances for Portland.

Alashe had a falling out with San Jose coach Mikael Stahre, whose club is bottom of the West, and the 24-year-old Michigan native is moving a lot closer to home.

Capped thrice by the United States at the U-23 level — he’s also eligible to represent Nigeria — Alashe has five goals and two assists in 87 MLS matches.

What will come the way of San Jose and Portland in return? Probably little in the case of the latter, as the move will open up significant salary for the Timbers. San Jose on the other hand may be getting money or future considerations.

Anyone willing to bet against FCC in the USL Playoffs?

 

Transfer rumors: Man Utd after pair of midfielders; Liverpool eyes Lascelles

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The transfer rumors continue as players hope to have their futures sorted ahead of next month’s World Cup.

Manchester United is being linked with a pair of big money midfielders.

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

Anderson Talisca, 24, could be leaving Besiktas to join United following a $47 million offer, according to Metro. His 14 goals were fourth in the Turkish Super Lig and his seven assists tied for the team lead. He scored four more times in eight UEFA Champions League matches.

And then there’s highly-sought box-to-box midfielder Jean Michael Seri of Nice, linked with United as well as Manchester City. Club president Jean-Pierre Rivere hinted that the 26-year-old would certainly be headed somewhere this offseason.

Mika Seri is … a very good player who has brought a lot to the club and can legitimately have that desire to go and play abroad.”

— Liverpool could really strengthen its center back situation by buying captain Jamaal Lascelles from Newcastle United, though the hinted fee of $19 million seems low for an integral part of the Magpies’ back line (especially given that English players usually net higher fees on account of being English).

And Lascelles has said Newcastle “is the right club for me at the right time. We have a huge fanbase, an amazing manager, and this club is massive. It has so much history.”

The Chronicle also said Liverpool is also looking at Burnley star center back James Tarkowski, and that Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has his eye on 19-year-old Sevilla mid Alejandro Viedma.

— A wild rumor out of Diario Gol says Alvaro Morata is set to fight for his starting role at Chelsea and is encouraging Real Madrid buddy Marco Asensio to join him at Stamford Bridge. The report says Asensio would be an important part of any Chelsea sale of Eden Hazard.

— Cardiff City is said to be signing Hamburg striker Sven Schipplock when his Hamburg contract expires in June. He did not score for HSV last season.

MLS Three Things: Portland, Atlanta stay hot; Galaxy not-so-much

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Big names young and old were part of Saturday night’s late MLS scoreboard, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara, Ezequiel Barco, and Diego Valeri all featuring in the scoring.

[ MORE MLS: NY is Red, Piatti on fire ]

Barco on the board as Five Stripes go first

Ezequiel Barco is one of the most talked about buys in recent history, and Atlanta United’s 19-year-old Argentine is on the board.

Barco scored in his fourth MLS appearance and third start, running into the left side of the box to meet the fine work of Miguel Almiron and turn a shot inside the near post.

Atlanta moves two points clear of NYCFC for first place in the East, and the Five Stripes have played one fewer match than its rival. Its 2.44 points-per-game is nearly a half-point more than the closest competitors (NYCFC, Orlando City, Sporting KC, and LAFC).

Red-hot Valeri makes it three-straight for Savarese’s Portland 

Diego Valeri stayed red hot in artistic fashion, spinning this critical free kick home to record his fourth goal of the season as Portland continued its brutal, away-heavy opening run to the season on Saturday.

The 32-year-old celebrated his birthday week (May 1) by making it four goals and three assists in his last five matches, as Portland has now won three-straight for new boss Gio Savarese.

The Timbers have played just two of eight matches at home, with Saturday providing their first away win. Savarese’s men are 3W-3L-2T. That’s outside the Top Six on goal differential, but two points shy of third as the West works on sorting itself out.

The loss gives coach Mikael Stahre the worst points-per-game in this early season, as the Quakes sit 11th out West.

Galaxy keep allowing (a lot of) goals

Sigi Schmid will be fuming after his LA Galaxy wasted a pair of equalizer when Jose Rodriguez scored a 90th minute goal to give the Houston Dynamo a 3-2 win on Saturday.

The Galaxy have lost four of five matches since their stunning late win on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut.

But Houston will be relieved, picking up a third win in five home matches to move above the red line and into sixth place despite tossing aside two leads. Romell Quioto had a goal and an assist for the Dynamo, the helper coming on Alejandro Fuenmayor’s second minute opener.

For the Galaxy, Giovani Dos Santos had a goal and an assist, Ola Kamara also scored, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic recorded an assist in the loss.

Kamara claimed the blame for Houston’s first goal, and said LA has “to be harder to beat.”

We could show the Marx Brothers’ level bad fortune defending of Houston’s winner, but instead we’ll show some close to vintage Ibrahimovic spatial awareness as he got the hockey assist on Kamara’s late and brief equalizer.

Elsewhere
Sporting KC 1-0 Colorado Rapids
LAFC 1-1 FC Dallas
Columbus Crew 0-0 Seattle Sounders