Kyle Lynch

Hull City’s Moses Odubajo ruled out six months with knee injury

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Moses Odubajo was looking forward to playing in the Premier League, but that dream will be put on hold as the Hull City full-back had been ruled out for up to six months with a knee injury.

The 22-year-old defender ruptured his medial patellofemoral ligament in a preseason match against League Two side Grimsby Town on Friday. While surgery is still necessary, Odubajo avoided any damage to his other ligaments, with the club hopeful of his return in early 2017.

[ REPORT: Mourinho looking to sell ]

With less than a month until the new season begins, manager Steve Bruce was very disappointed in losing such an important player.

First and foremost, it’s desperately disappointing news for Moses.

He was exceptional for us last season as we won promotion back to the Premier League and we expect him to be a top player for many years to come.

I know how much he was looking forward to testing himself in the top-flight of English football and to now have to sit out the first half of the season is a big blow – both for him and for the Club.

Odubajo was key in helping Hull City earn promotion to the Premier League last season, featuring in 42 of the Tigers’ 46 matches.

Report: Spurs set to sign Marseille winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou

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Tottenham are expected to complete a move for Marseille winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou in the coming days as Mauricio Pochettino strengthens his squad ahead of the upcoming Premier League season.

According to The Guardian, the two clubs have agreed on a transfer fee of just more than $14 million, with a five-year deal expected to be signed after a medical.

[ MORE: Cuadrado in Conte’s plans ]

Nkoudou is a 21-year-old winger who scored ten goals in all competitions for Marseille last season. He previously played at Nantes, where he was teammates with USMNT international Alejandro Bedoya.

Should to deal go through, Nkoudou would join Dutch striker Vincent Janssen and former Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama as Spurs’ summer signings.

While neither Tottenham or Marseille have commented on the rumors, it looks as if Nkoudou’s barber may have some insider info…

Juan Cuadrado in Conte’s plans at Chelsea

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Juan Cuadrado is still on vacation after featuring for Colombia at the Copa America, but he will be returning to the Chelsea camp soon and that’s where he will stay.

After spending last season on loan at Juventus, new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has said that the Colombian winger is in his plans Stamford Bridge next season.

[ MORE: Kante key for Chelsea ]

Cuadrado was signed by Jose Mourinho during the January transfer window in 2015, playing in 14 matches down the stretch as Chelsea won the Premier League title as well as the League Cup.

However, after making one appearance in the 2015-16 season, he was sent on a season-long loan to Juventus, where he won Serie A and Coppa Italia titles. Conte, who managed Juventus from 2011-14, told Chelsea’s club website that he has been a fan of Cuadrado’s for years and is excited to have him join up with the squad.

Juan Cuadrado is a Chelsea player. He will come back very soon. He’s in our squad, I’m very happy to have him and train him.

I wanted him when I was a coach at Juventus and he will come back very soon and train and play with us. Now, he’s a Chelsea player and he’ll stay with us. If something changes you’ll know.

Pedro‘s arrival in London last summer pushed Cuadrado out, although the move did not necessarily work in Chelsea’s favor. Having played nearly his entire career in Italy, Conte may see Cuadrado as a player who can adapt to his system quickly and make an immediate impact in the side.

Spurred by field flap, NWSL players sounds off

Jeff Kassouf/@JeffKassouf

Anger over a narrow field used for a National Women’s Soccer League match last weekend is drawing attention to larger issues as players fight for respect.

U.S. national team and NWSL stars Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe were among those using social media to declare the field unacceptable. More broadly, Solo, the U.S. national team and Seattle Reign goalkeeper who has been vocal about gender equity in her sport, took to her website to decry conditions for players in the NWSL, now in its fourth season and widely considered one of the world’s strongest women’s leagues.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USWNT coverage ]

Solo posted photos of fields with crooked lines, sad locker rooms and cleats that she said had melted after practice on an unwatered artificial turf field on a sweltering summer day.

“The `We know things aren’t up to par, but we’re going ahead with them anyway,’ attitude, quite honestly, is a fairly accurate reflection of how the NWSL has functioned during the four years of its existence,” Solo wrote. “It’s far past time that the women in our league start being treated like professional athletes – otherwise, we might as well just admit that the NWSL is just a semi-pro league, and stop pretending like it’s the best women’s league in the world.”

The NWSL did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment on Solo’s blog.

Saturday’s match between the Western New York Flash and Reign was played at Frontier Field in Rochester, New York, a minor-league baseball stadium. The Flash had to move the match because of a concert at their regular field.

The field measured 100 yards by 58 yards, which is within FIFA minimum standards. But NWSL standards call for a width of 70 yards.

Images of the soccer field – angled in the outfield – quickly spread over social media, attracting the attention of U.S. national team players who had earlier in the day defeated South Africa in an exhibition to prepare for the Rio Olympics. National team players are allocated across the NWSL, but weren’t with their club teams this weekend because of the match.

[ MORE: Infantino to be interviewed by FIFA ethics committee ]

Lloyd, who plays for the Houston Dash, called the field “shocking and embarrassing” on Twitter. Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) and Rapinoe (Reign) also weighed in, calling it unacceptable.

Christine Sinclair, who plays for the Canadian national team and the NWSL’s Portland Thorns, posted: “How is this ok? Not good enough for professional soccer. 6v6 field?”

NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush said in a statement following the match that the league had signed off on the move, but admitted it was the wrong decision in retrospect.

“As a professional league, we need to ensure that the integrity of the game is always respected both on and off the field,” Plush said. “We did not do that tonight and we apologize to the NWSL players, coaches and fans.”

No other women’s professional league in the United States has lasted as long as the NWSL. It gets support from the U.S. and Canadian soccer federations, which pay the salaries of the national team players. But the league continues to experience growing pains – including ongoing efforts to attract big-name sponsors.

[ MORE: Barcelona, Real Madrid unveil new purple away kits for 2016-17 ]

The field issue comes at a time when female players have been rallying for better treatment.

Before the Women’s World Cup last summer in Canada, former U.S. forward Abby Wambach led a group of player in protesting the artificial turf playing surface for the event. Players consider artificial turf inferior to natural grass.

The group filed a complaint in Canadian court, arguing that staging the event on the surface amounted to discrimination because the men play the World Cup on grass, but it was ultimately dropped before the tournament so that players could continue preparations.

Earlier this year, national team players filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming wage discrimination. The women, who are currently in contract negotiations with U.S. Soccer, maintain that the men’s national team players are paid far more in some cases.

Morgan also called attention to shoddy accommodations in one NWSL city last season, complaining that bed bugs were found in the team hotel. Solo’s blog expanded on where she feels the league has fallen short, including low salaries for players who aren’t stars or on national teams.

Mancini rules out Yaya Toure reunion at Inter Milan

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Yaya Toure’s future at Manchester City is uncertain, but Roberto Mancini is sure Yaya won’t be coming to Inter Milan.

Having been sold by Pep Guardiola at Barcelona in 2010, Toure’s future at City was put into doubt when the Spaniard was appointed boss. One club that has continuously been linked with Toure is Inter Milan.

[ MORE: Conte introduced at Chelsea ]

Inter manager Roberto Mancini has been vocal about his admiration for Toure, as the two won a Premier League title and FA Cup trophy during Mancini’s tenure in charge of Manchester City from 2009-13.

Mancini has previously spoken about his desire to bring Toure to Serie A, although he has now changed his tone, telling Sky Sports that he no longer thinks a move could be made.

I say that [Yaya] remains one of the greatest midfielders around in the game. But I think there is no chance he will be joining Inter.

We have no regrets, though.

With Inter now out of the picture, it seems more and more likely that Toure will remain at City. Under contract for one more season, Toure could continue to collect his massive wages before moving on a free transfer next summer.