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LeBron James praises Liverpool, Kylian Mbappe

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LeBron James, minority owner in Liverpool Football Club, has praised Kylien Mbappe.

That sound you can hear is Liverpool fans everywhere furiously typing out #Mbappe2020 once again.

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The legendary NBA star hosted an Instagram chat on Monday and was asked about his favorite soccer players. Here was the answer James gave.

“Favorite soccer players … I got a few,” LeBron James said. “First of all, every player on Liverpool. Straight up. Every player on Liverpool. Mbappe, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, those guys are legends, I love those guys. Those are just a few of them.”

James also gave praise to Lionel Messi and someone else said Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Zlatan? His crazy ass. He crazy, but he damn good, though,” LeBron James responded. 

It is unlikely Liverpool would sign Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo but the fact James mentioned Mbappe as one of his favorite players is intriguing.

Look, it’s not like James has any say in who Liverpool sign and their transfer policy. Of course he doesn’t. However, with Liverpool moving to Nike as their kit sponsor from this summer, James could be popping up at lot more at Anfield and Mbappe is also sponsored by Nike.

Did somebody say, synergy? Could Liverpool afford Mbappe? Probably not anytime soon. Still, the rumblings about him coming to the Premier League one day continue.

LeBron James is a keen soccer fan and when his playing days are over in the NBA, you could certainly see him branching out and owning a team, maybe in Major League Soccer, maybe in Europe. Who knows?

It remains to be seen if Liverpool fans everywhere will now start to send the Mbappe to Liverpool rumors into overdrive again.

Borussia Monchengladbach players forego wages to help club staff

Borussia Monchengladbach
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Borussia Monchengladbach’s players are foregoing their wages during the coronavirus suspension in order to help the club’s staff.

Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl says the players have inspired the clubs’ coaches, directors, and CEOs to join the effort.

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“The players know what’s going on,” Eberl said in a Q&A on Gladbach’s site. “It’s their job, they have already informed themselves and thought about what they could do. The team has offered to forgo salary if it can help the club and its employees.

I am very proud of the boys. It’s a clear signal that we stand together for Borussia, in good times and in bad. They want to give something back to the club and therefore also to all the fans who support us. The coaching staff have followed suit, as have our directors and CEOs.

Eberl played for Gladbach from 1999-2005 as part of a 14-year playing career also spent with Greuther Furth, VfL Bochum, and Bayern Munich.

Cheers to Die Fohlen, who are showing their strong season has more than a little off-field character behind it.

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

Fiorentina raising money for hospitals; Ribery gives $55K

Rocco Commisso
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Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso says his club has “8-10 positive cases” and that he’s focused on helping Italy’s embattled medical community fight the coronavirus.

The Italian American, 70, bought the Serie A club in June. He also owns the American club New York Cosmos of the National Independent Soccer Association.

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Players Dusan Vlahovic, Patrick Cutrone, and German Pezzella previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Commisso is stuck in the United States, but has tried to raise funds to battle back home. He says the club has already brought in around $470,000 including about $55,000 from star Franck Ribery.

From Football-Italia.com:

“We both feel so at home in Florence, as we were given such a warm welcome by the people here,” said Commisso of Ribery and himself. “The situation in America isn’t as serious as in Italy, but I’ve been closed in my home for the last five days with my wife and daughter. (Fiorentina director) Joe Barone and my son Giuseppe are holed up in their hotel.”

La Viola sits 13th in Serie A with 30 points, five points clear of the bottom three and nine back of the final European qualification spot.

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

USL extends suspension of Championship, delays start of League One

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The United Soccer League is prolonging its season suspension of the USL Championship and delaying the start of USL League One.

The Championship was originally suspended for 30 days in the wake of the coronavirus. That’s been extended through May 10, while the third-tier League One was set to begin March 27.

Wednesday’s move signals a shift that could reverberate in American soccer, as it explicitly cites the Center for Disease Control’s weekend recommendation not to gather in groups of more than 50 for eight weeks.

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League One postpones seven match days, while the Championship stands to miss out on nine total match days.

From a USL Championship press release:

We will continue to monitor ongoing events, receive guidance from local, state and national health authorities, and participate in a national task force comprised of other professional sports leagues and organizations from around the country.

The USL announcing a move like this independent of Major League Soccer is interesting, especially as numerous national and regional leagues eye their summer calendars in suspense.

The CDC guidelines may loom large, and the USL has set a precedent in wisely following them.

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Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez: ACL surgery went well

Josef Martinez
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Atlanta United star striker Josef Martinez says his ACL surgery was success.

Martinez posted a photo from his hospital bed following surgery to repair the ACL torn in the Five Stripes’ season opener versus Nashville SC.

He’s expected to miss six months, but the coronavirus suspension may not give him the chance to return to the club this season.

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According to the Associated Press, Martinez’s surgeon Freddie Fu is credited with saving Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s career following a 2017 ACL tear.

Martinez turns 27 in May. He’s had an explosive career in Atlanta, and had two goals and two assists in three 2020 matches spread between MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League.

He’s posted 90 goals and 12 assists in 103 matches for the Five Stripes following time with Torino, BSC Young Boys, Caracas FC, and FC Thun.

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In the midst of the humanitarian crisis we are all living through, in which more than ever we need to think about and take care of each other, just wanted to share that I'm blessed that my knee surgery today went well. I want to personally thank UPMC in Pittsburgh, doctors Freddie Fu and Volker Musahl (pictured), @atlutd , my teammates and most of all the city of Atlanta for the unconditional support. Also, everyone in Venezuela and around the world for the good wishes and support. God bless and protect us all in these challenging times 🙏❤️. En medio de todo lo que está padeciendo la humanidad, que nos tiene aferrados en cuidarnos, protegernos y orando por quienes más lo necesitan, quisiera hacer un paréntesis para anunciarles que gracias a Dios todo salió bien hoy en la operación de rodilla a la que fui sometido. Agradezco al Hospital UPMC de Pittsburgh; a los doctores Freddie Fu y Volker Musahl (foto); al @atlutd y a la ciudad por el apoyo constante; a mis seres queridos; y a todos ustedes mi gente querida de Venezuela y desde muchas partes del mundo por sus buenos deseos, muestras de cariño y darme fuerzas en la recuperación. Dios nos bendiga y proteja a todos por estos días que tanto lo necesitamos 🙏🏻❤

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