Eredivisie

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UEFA Champions League qualifying preview

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Six slots remain in the UEFA Champions League’s 2019-20 group stage, and the 12 teams hoping to fill them begin the final round of qualifying on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There are a pair of Americans in the bunch of hopefuls, with Sergino Dest of Ajax and Ethan Horvath of Club Brugge in action on Tuesday.

The fortunes of those players have changed dramatically in recent months.

[ MORE: Julian Green flying high ]

Horvath, 24, was the starter for 34 matches across all competitions last season and the first two matches of this domestic season but has seen nothing but bench since Brugge scooped up Simon Mignolet from Liverpool.

Will Mignolet allowing three goals to Dynamo Kiev have changed anything for manager Philippe Clement? Seems unlikely, but we’ll still keep an eye on the lineup against Austrian side LASK. Ghanaian national teamer Samuel Tetteh is an intriguing player for the hosts, on loan from Red Bull Salzburg.

Dest is still 18 until November and has started Ajax’s last two games at right back. He made his debut at left back in a 2-0 defeat of PSV Eindhoven to start the season, and Ajax is 4-0 with him on the field this season.

While we’re talking Yanks in the UCL, the group stage already has Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, Lille’s Timothy Weah, RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams, and Red Bull Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch.

Canadian winger Alphonso Davies is with Bayern Munich.

Full schedule

All matches at 3 p.m. ET

Tuesday
APOEL Nicosia v. Ajax
CFR Cluj v. Slavia Prague
LASK v. Club Brugge

Wednesday
Dinamo Zagreb v. Rosenborg
Olympiacos v. Krasnodar
Young Boys v. Red Star Belgrade

Report shows cause of AZ Alkmaar stadium roof collapse

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) A preliminary report into the collapse of part of the stadium roof at Dutch team AZ Alkmaar says that weld connections failing led to a section of the roof falling onto seats below.

The stadium was not in use at the time of the Aug. 10 collapse and nobody was injured. Top-tier AZ is now playing its home matches at ADO The Hague’s stadium.

[ PL PREVIEW: Man City-Spurs ]

The Dutch Safety Board reported Friday that it also found weaknesses in the part of the stadium roof that remained intact. The board has called on the club to check the structure and strengthen it where necessary.

The club says it will check the welds as part of an ongoing investigation it ordered after the collapse and draw up a recovery plan. The stands will remain closed to the public until safety can be guaranteed.

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

USMNT left back prospect Gloster chooses Eredivisie path

Chris Gloster
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The United States men’s national team record with left backs is not ideal. One of its top hopes to flip the script has just found a new home.

Chris Gloster is moving from Hannover 96 to PSV Eindhoven, trading the second team of a 2.Bundesliga side for the U-21 outfit of one of the Dutch powers.

[ MORE: USSF promotes Stewart, hires USWNT GM ]

Gloster, 19, joins fellow American youth national teamer Richie Ledesma and also proffers plenty of shade to the clubs back home. From PSV.nl:

“I have chosen to continue my career in Europe because the clubs give more opportunities to the younger players, whereas in the USA they look for experienced and physically strong players. Age is not an issue in Europe. When you are a good player, it does not matter how young you are.”

Gloster debuted in USL at age 16 for the New York Red Bulls II and headed to Hannover in 2018.

He played 16 teams for Hannover 96’s second team, recording three assists and raising his profile at the U-20 World Cup. He played five times for the U-20s on the opposite side of Sergino Dest, who is oddly enough a right back at Ajax.

Dest, 18, made his Eredivisie debut this weekend, playing 36 minutes off the bench (He can also play left back).

The path for Gloster will take a bit more work, as Czech international Michal Sadilek has played nearly every minute of PSV’s season at left back. Sadilek is just 20, young like Valencia loanee Toni Lato and summer purchase Oliver Boscagli, formerly of OGC Nice, who are also above Gloster on the depth chart.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man City, Leicester look to Ake

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With Harry Maguire en route to Old Trafford, the long-anticipated knock-on effect will be felt through the Premier League.

[ MORE: Sane injured ]

Leicester City is being linked with a trio of players, including one from manager Brendan Rodgers‘ old club Celtic.

Burnley’s James Tarkowski, Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, and Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer are being noted as targets to replace Maguire.

Both of the PL center backs have been outstanding on their respective sides, with Tarkowski attached to a rumored $49 million price tag following another strong season in which he hoofed 6.7 clearances per match and scored three Premier League goals.

While Burnley may be preparing for life without the 26-year-old Tarkowski, it’s difficult to believe Bournemouth would sanction the sale of Ake.

The 24-year-old Dutchman has played in all 76 matches for Eddie Howe over the course of the last two seasons, starting 75 and scoring six goals while completing a sterling 85 percent of his passes.

Ajer, however, has a low $18 million price tag attached by reports, which may be due to his league more than his quality as Arsenal has taken a while to stump up Celtic’s asking price for Kieran Tierney.

Back to Ake, a report says $49 million is the fee as well. But Man City is also being linked with the player, and he absolutely fits the bill of what Pep Guardiola seeks in a defender.

It would be a suave bit of business for Guardiola, as Chelsea has a reported $49 million buyback clause on Ake it cannot activate while under transfer ban.

Ajax is going to look very different next season following its outstanding run to the Champions League semifinals.

The Dutch side has already sold Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) and Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), and now could move on from Donny van de Beek and David Neres.

Van de Beek could be “hours away” from a $60 million move to Real Madrid, according to Marca, while Neres has earned a reported $54 million bid from Manchester United.

Van de Beek had a goal and an assist in Ajax’s season-opening draw at Vitesse on Saturday, while Neres played just eight minutes. American fullback Sergino Dest was an unused sub.

Live, UCL: PSV v. Basel headlines second qualifying round

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The UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds continue to roll on, and there are some mouthwatering clashes across Europe on Tuesday.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

That’s right, the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons pretty much rolled into one.

The pick of the second qualifying round first leg ties on Tuesday sees Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven host FC Basel in the Netherlands, with Mexican national team stars Hirving Lozano and Erick Guttierez hopeful of playing in the UCL group stage this season.

Welsh champions The New Saints host Danish champs FC Copenhagen, with TNS the heavy underdogs but their illustrious opponents will not relish their trip to Wales amid sweltering conditions in the UK.

Dinamo Zagreb will fancy their chances of advancing past Georgian minnows Saburtalo, while Olympiacos head to Czech giants Viktoria Plzen in another tasty encounter.

The third qualifying round sees the likes of Ajax, FC Porto and Dynamo Kiev enter the competition, so things will continue to get tougher for any minnows who sneak through this round.

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, with the second legs played next week. Click on the link to follow all of the action live.

UCL second qualifying round, first leg – Tuesday, July 23

Plzen v. Olympiacos – 1 p.m. ET
Saburtalo v. Dinamo Zagreb – 1:30 p.m. ET
The New Saints v. Copenhagen – 2 p.m. ET
PSV Eindhoven v. FC Basel – 2 p.m. ET
FK Sutjeska v. APOEL Nicosia – 2:15 p.m. ET