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Mings won’t face suspension for bloody Oliviera injury

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Tyrone Mings‘ return to the stamping plant is not going to cost him further punishment.

Mings left Reading striker Nelson Oliveira‘s face a bloody mess in Aston Villa’s 0-0 draw at the Madejski Stadium this weekend.

[ MORE: Top Six fixtures, side-by-side ]

After getting tangled up at midfield, Oliveira was face-up on the turf as Mings brought his foot down squarely on the Reading player’s face.

The pictures, which you can find elsewhere, show Norwich City loanee Oliveira as a bloody mess with three deep cleat marks in his face. Those scars will be visible next time you see him in action.

The Aston Villa man, 25, is on loan from Bournemouth, and has been given little benefit of the doubt due to his history. You’ll probably remember Mings receiving a five-match ban for stepping on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s head in a 2017 Premier League match between Manchester United and Bournemouth.

Mings, who has been defended by some Villa fans for being off balance and not looking at the stamp the same way some Cherries’ support backed him two years ago, will not face any more discipline because the referee saw the incident and did not proffer a card.

He is a fortunate, fortunate man.

‘Pity’ Martinez arrives in U.S., even with no official ATL UTD announcement

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Atlanta United hasn’t officially announced the signing of Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez, but the talented Argentine attacker is in the U.S. now anyway.

Martinez posted a selfie of himself at Times Square in New York City, likely getting his first taste of anonymity after a star-studded run with River Plate in Buenos Aires.

[READ: Bielsa admits to spying all his “rivals”]

Following the rescheduled second leg of the Copa Libertadores final, Martinez and River Plate both confirmed to media post game that he was departing River Plate for Atlanta United, but despite this, the MLS club still hasn’t made the new official on their end. It’s unclear what the hold up is, whether it is transfer fee, agents fee, or Designated Player related. For the record, the LA Galaxy announced in December that it was re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a Designated Player contract, knowing all along that they couldn’t start the next MLS season with more than three DPs.

Previous reports out of Argentina have stated that Martinez’s transfer to Atlanta United could cost the club as much as $14 million including the base transfer fee to River Plate, agents fees, and potential add-ons.

A year ago, Atlanta United announced its club record signing, Ezequiel Barco, then-19, during the MLS Superdraft, but there was no Designated Player announcement at the league’s annual weekend symposium this year. Atlanta United has a challenge on its hands if Miguel Almiron isn’t sold to Europe this offseason. Under current MLS rules, it can’t have more than three players signed to Designated Player contracts.

Perhaps it could loan Barco, who struggled at times last season, or loan Martinez elsewhere, because Josef Martinez seems a lock to be in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.

Either way, Pity Martinez’s arrival in the U.S. could be a sign that an announcement could come soon from Atlanta United.

Report: LA Galaxy agree terms with Boca Juniors boss Schelotto

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s new boss has a pretty nice resume.

The LA Times’ Kevin Baxter says the LA Galaxy have reached an agreement with a new manager: longtime Columbus Crew star and recent Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

[ RECAP: Brighton 1-1 Arsenal ]

The 45-year-old Argentine won the Primera Division in both seasons with Boca, leading Lanus to the Copa Sudamericana in 2013.

A former MLS MVP, Schelotto is tasked with restoring one of the biggest clubs in league history to glory. The Galaxy have lost ground not only in the league, but in their town. LAFC made the playoffs in its first season while the Galaxy failed to make the postseason.

From the LA Times:

When Schelotto joins the Galaxy for the opening of training camp in Carson in 3½ weeks, he will become the team’s fifth head coach in 26 months. Bruce Arena, a five-time MLS Cup winner, left in November 2016 after leading the Galaxy to its last playoff berth. He was replaced by Curt Onalfo, coach of Galaxy II, the team’s United Soccer League affiliate. Onalfo was fired after just 20 games and replaced by Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history.

Schmid (narrator voice) failed badly with a talented, veteran-laden team which included Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara, and both Jonathan and Giovani Dos Santos.

Zlatan signs new deal with LA Galaxy

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sticking around at the LA Galaxy.

[ MORE: Mourinho fired by United ] 

Ibrahimovic, 37, has agreed a new one-year deal with the Galaxy as his debut season in MLS was a huge success on a personal level, even though his team failed to make the postseason with a defeat on the last day of the season.

It had been rumored that Ibrahimovic would move back to Europe amid strong links with a return to AC Milan, but he has decided to stay in North America for at least another 12 months as his contract has now been restructured to make him a Designated Player for his second season in MLS.

Speaking about his decision to sign a new deal for the 2019 season, Zlatan was typically understated about the whole thing…

“I’m not finished yet with MLS. I started good. I did good but I’m still not satisfied with the outcome,” Ibrahimovic said. “I still have things to do and I see my first year as warming up. My second year will be a big difference because now I know the league. My first year I was warming up. The second year I come to finish.”

New Galaxy GM Dennis te Kloese praised Zlatan’s impact in 2018.

“We are very pleased to sign Zlatan to a new contract that will see him return for the 2019 season,” te Kloese said. “He showed his value last season and we look forward to him representing our club next year. With Zlatan returning, we will continue to improve our team in advance of the season.”

Zlatan scored 22 goals and added 10 assists in just 27 regular season appearances, and although LA missed the playoffs due to their dramatic 3-2 defeat to the Houston Dynamo on the final day of the season, you have to think this season they will have a stronger squad after hiring te Kloese.

The fact that Zlatan has signed a new DP contract now means that LA will have to restructure other deals as Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos are both on DP contracts, and so too is Romain Alessandrini. The likelihood is that LA can use TAM to back Alessandrini off a DP contract, but it will be intriguing to see how this squad is rebuilt.

And, oh yeah, the Galaxy still need a new head coach. At least whoever does come in knows that scoring goals will not be a problem next season. Sorting out the defense and midfield has to be the priority.

Arsenal, Chelsea placed in UEFA Europa League Round of 32 draw

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UEFA conducted its second knockout stage tournament draw on Monday morning, as Arsenal and Chelsea learned their next opponents.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Arsenal drew BATE Borisov out of Belarus while Chelsea were drawn with Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s former club Malmo in Sweden. Since both Arsenal and Chelsea were seeded, they’ll travel east for the first legs and host the second legs, though they’re not allowed to be hosted on the same night. Matches will take place on February 14 and February 21, with the exception of Arsenal-BATE and Sevilla-Lazio, since Real Betis, Sevilla’s second club, is playing in this stage of the competition as well.

It’s the second-straight season in which Arsenal and BATE will play, after the pair were placed together in the group stage of the 2017-2018 Europa League. Both Arsenal and Chelsea may have an advantage, as both the Belorussian and Swedish top divisions run from spring to winter, taking a long break from December through March due to the weather conditions.

Here’s a look at the full Europa League draw: