Transfer rumor roundup
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Transfer rumor roundup: Weghorst loves Liverpool, Estupinan in demand

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From the Netherlands to Germany and now, just maybe, England, Wout Weghorst has held a flame for one Premier League club.

That’s not news, as the Wolfsburg free scorer has spoken up his love for Liverpool in the past.

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Well now the 27-year-old is angling for a move to the Premier League as he restarts his second season in Germany with 33 goals and 12 assists in 70 matches so far.

Will his beloved Reds answer the bell? Who knows, but he’s not being shy about it so we should assume Everton and Manchester United may not enter into the equation should Jurgen Klopp lack interest.


“I always found Liverpool very special. I still get goosebumps from ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. There are other great English clubs too, and I always liked Milan because so many Dutch played there. I am ambitious and want to get ahead. Maybe at some point play at another club, whether in Germany or in England? But at the moment it is still far away. I feel good and try to achieve the maximum here.”

Wolfsburg opens play Saturday at Augsburg, and the club is in shouting distance of a return to European football. Wolfsburg is a point back of sixth-place Schalke, and seventh place will likely be a European spot if Bayern Munich, Borussia Monchengladbach, or Bayer Leverkusen win the German Cup and avoid a precipitous drop below sixth.

Watford may have a hot commodity on its hands, if indeed they are willing to sell left back Pervis Estupinan.

Once-capped by Ecuador, the 22-year-old has impressed on loan to Osasuna in La Liga. He has a goal and three assists this season, averaging 1.3 key passes and 1.9 successful dribbles per outing. Defensively, he has averaged 2.7 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 1.5 clearances (WhoScored).

Estupinan was in the Watford family since 2016, having left Quito for Udinese, who is owned by the father of Watford owner Gino Pozzo.

This is his fourth loan away, having spent time with Granada, Almeria, and Mallorca.

A report by the Sport Witness says Manchester United is hoping to purchase the player from Watford and loan him elsewhere in England for more experience.

Left back is an in-demand spot almost anywhere, so Estupinan may want to try his hand at impressing a new boss at Watford or any of the other suitors linked in the report: Barcelona, Spurs, and Atletico Madrid.

The price tag is said to be around $8 million, and that seems like it could be a good value even if the plan is for well into the future.

Ecuador unveils new logo with striking video, announces new men’s coach

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Ecuador unveiled its new crest in spell-binding fashion this week.

Rather than roll out a graphic and point to each part of the logo with an explanation of what it represents, the federation chose a more artistic route.

The Andean condor is no longer perched atop the crest, rather represented in the lettering (see below).

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The federation has also announced the hiring of Jordi Cruyff as its latest manager. Three of its last four coaches have overseen four or fewer matches.

Cruyff, the son of legendary Johan, represented the Netherlands and Catalonia as a player, and has managed Maccabi Tel Aviv and Chinese side Chongqing Dangdai Lifan.

The men’s national team is bidding to qualify for its fourth World Cup in six tries after missing out in 2018. Their Copa America 2020 group includes Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Qatar.

Ecuador’s future has promise; Its U-20 side finished third at this summer’s World Cup after eliminating the U.S. in the quarterfinals.

Here’s the aforementioned video.

Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

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Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

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And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7

Alexis Sanchez secures win for Chile over Ecuador

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Chile wasn’t exactly at its attacking best they displayed against Japan in the opener, but it got the job done as Alexis Sanchez and Jose Fuenzalida provided the firepower in a 2-1 win over Ecuador. The three points moved Chile into sole possession of the lead in Group C and secured a spot in the knockout stage for the defending champions.

The game had an edge from the opening whistle as Sebastian Mendez, newly installed into the Ecuador midfield after riding the bench for the opening loss to Uruguay, received a third minute yellow card for barging through the back of Charles Aranguiz. That spurred Chile on and they opened the scoring before the 10-minute mark, the second early goal Ecuador has conceded in its two Copa America matches.

Fuenzalida was the man to finish it off as a corner swung in and the ball pinged around the box until it rolled out to the 34-year-old where he fired a shot that found the inside of the far post. It put Ecuador behind early again after they shipped a sixth-minute opener to Nicolas Lodeiro and Uruguay a few days ago.

The game ground to a halt past the 20-minute mark as Chile settled in with the lead, but Ecuador found a moment with Chile a bit too relaxed. With Jefferson Orejuela on the ball in midfield and staring at acres of space down the middle, he burst forward and lofted a ball over the top to Romario Ibarra. The Minnesota United frontman lifted his leg up to tap the ball out of the air and to his teammate Mendez charging into the box. With Gary Medel left in Mendez’s wake, Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias came out of net and looked to smother the chance but instead chopped down Mendez and the referee awarded the clear penalty. Enner Valencia stepped up and blasted the ball through for Ecuador’s first goal of the tournament, leveling the game at 1-1.

In a tournament marred by constant VAR controversies, the problems continued as the referee initially gave nothing for a clear dive by Romario Ibarra under pressure from Arias. In a replay review that took nearly five minutes, the referee decided to change his decision and give a yellow card to Arias instead of carding Ibarra for simulation. All in all, it was the first yellow for Arias after he was not cautioned for the penalty earlier – which he should have been – so the farcical VAR booking thankfully did not see him sent off.

The second half started drab, but Chile bided its time and grabbed the lead in the 51st minute as an Aranguiz cross came in from the end line right of net and sailed the scrum in front of goal, only to fall at the back post where Alexis Sanchez was waiting. The Manchester United attacker delivered a pinpoint volley that chipped Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez and found the top-right corner.

Both sides had chances after Chile went ahead, but the defending champions looked more likely to score. Erick Pulgar nearly put Chile 3-1 up in the 65th minute but his bullet header off a corner was athletically saved by Dominguez with a diving stop to keep the ball from sneaking in under the crossbar. With time winding down, Ecuador’s job became monumental after Gabriel Achilier was sent off with a straight red card after a stray forearm caught Arturo Vidal in the head on an aerial challenge, and the referee immediately had his decision made.

Ecuador had little left to offer as Chile successfully saw out the game and picked up its second win of the group stage, securing a spot in the next round and eliminating Ecuador. Chile will round out the group stage with a match against Uruguay that will mean something for their opponents who have not yet secured a spot in the knockouts after slipping to a draw with Japan.

WATCH LIVE: Chile takes on Ecuador in Copa America

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Chile looks to continue its hot start as the defending Copa America champions meet Ecuador in Salvador.

[ WATCH LIVE: Chile vs. Ecuador ]

The tournament favorites topped Japan 4-0 in their opener four days ago and now have the chance to snatch sole possession of first place in Group C after Uruguay’s slip against Japan last night.

Eduardo Vargas scored a double against Japan and he leads the lines again tonight supported by Alexis Sanchez and Jose Fuenzalida. Chile boss Reinaldo Rueda makes no changes to the side that won its opener in convincing fashion, looking for the blistering start to continue.

For Ecuador, they hope for a stark turnaround after being blitzed by Uruguay 4-0 in the opening match. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez has made heavy changes to the starting lineup, most notably benching Antonio Valencia and bringing Sebastian Mendez off the bench into the midfield. He has also brought Sao Paulo center-back Robert Arboleda into the side in place of Arturo Mina who had an own-goal in the loss to Uruguay.

Ecuador has gone five matches without a win, and Gomez received a vote of confidencee from the head of the Ecuadorian federation. “We are not understanding the reality of our football and that is not the fault of one or two people,” FEF president Francisco Egas told Ecuadorian radio station La Radio Redonda on Thursday. “If we believe that the crisis of the national team is the product of one person, we make a mistake already.  Today, we are paying for things that have not been done well for several years.”

Nonetheless, a shock victory over Chile would right the ship in a heartbeat and set Ecuador up for a shot at a knockout stage slot.