FC Copenhagen

Getty Images

Report: NYCFC’s Medina was set to sign for Copenhagen; agents intervened

Leave a comment

New York City FC’s newest Designated Player wasn’t supposed to be playing in MLS this year.

That’s if you believe FC Copenhagen coach Ståle Solbakken, who told BT in Denmark that a deal was in place to bring Jesus Medina in for the upcoming Danish league season, only for agents to intervene and bring Medina to NYCFC.

“We have been caught by some South American agents, so we have to see what happens in the last part of the transfer window,” Solbakken said. “I do not want to tell who it is. You can figure it out yourself. But it was the football world at its worst. Agents only think about themselves and how much they can get. Not on player development.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

“We had a deal with the player and we almost had a deal with the club. It was just about how the payment should take place. It’s about that there are some who got a lot of money in their own pocket. And then, what was first out of date for the player was suddenly the best. It may happen and I do not think you get the player to say anything, but it was a very nauseating process. To the player it is sad if he had not lied to us three to four weeks before.”

The 20-year-old Paraguayan midfielder joined NYCFC from Libertad, where he just finished his second season as a first-team regular, scoring 17 goals in league matches over the last two years. Medina also is a star for Paraguay’s U20s, scoring twice in four games for them at the 2017 South American U-20 Championships.

According to multiple reports, Manchester City showed interest in Medina and snapped up the $4 million transfer via City Football Group, sending him to NYCFC for seasoning before a move to Manchester. It’s likely that price-tag that caught the agent’s eyes, and wallets.

Europa League: Man United through, Schalke comes back, Roma out

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United cruised into the Europa League quarterfinals by knocking off a depleted FC Rostov side w1-0 at Old Trafford. The Russian side was so banged up, they could only name four players on the bench, and it showed, falling 2-1 on aggregate.

United pressed immediately, with Ibrahimovic hitting the post in just the fourth minute, and Juan Mata eventually struck in the 71st minute as he touched home a brilliant back-heel assist from Zlatan. There was a blow for the English side, however, as they lost Paul Pogba early in the second half to what appeared to be a hamstring injury, as the expensive midfielder limped down the tunnel in the 48th minute, replaced by Marouane Fellaini. Sergio Romero was required to preserve the lead, making a brilliant save with 11 minutes to go on a flicked header by Aleksandr Bukharov, and again on the final whistle to keep out a fantastic free-kick.

Borussia Monchengladbach coughed up a position of advancement as Schalke moved on to the quarters on away goals with a 3-3 aggregate scoreline. The match was highlighted by Mahmoud Daoud’s stunning goal from a great distance in front of the box, scored just ticks before halftime to give Gladbach a 2-0 lead. But Schalke came back to level things at 2-2 on goals from Leon Groetzka and Nabil Bentaleb in the second half, seeing them through thanks to the pair of away goals. Gladbach also suffered a key injury in the win, with American midfielder Fabian Johnson limping off as well, a big blow to the United States national team should he miss time.

Italian side AS Roma crashed out of the Europa League at the hands of Lyon despite a 2-1 home win. The French club advanced largely thanks to their 4-2 first leg win, allowing them room for error in Italy. Kevin Strootman scored for Roma, and the eventual winner came on a Lyon own-goal, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback, and Lyon moves on to the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere, Besiktas advanced over Greek giants Olympiacos with a 4-1 home leg, winning 5-2 on aggregate. Vincent Aboubakar scored after just 10 minutes, and the Turkish side got a double from Ryan Babel to put them safely through. Aboubakar was sent off after 40 minutes for a headbutt, but instead of crumbling with the lead, Besiktas added two man-down goals to push them into the quarterfinals.

Ajax topped Copenhagen 2-0 to complete a comeback after falling 2-1 in the opening leg. Bertrand Traore scored 23 minutes in and Kasper Dolberg struck from the spot moments before halftime to put the Dutch side through. Belgian side Anderlecht moved on after backing up their first-leg clean sheet by winning 1-0 at home on a second-half goal by Frank Acheampong.

Spanish side Celta Vigo eased into the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win on the road in Russia. Hugo Mallo and Iago Aspas both scored for the Spaniards as they down Krasnodar 4-1 on aggregate. Finally, Racing Genk topped KAA Gent 6-3 on aggregate with a 1-1 draw in the all-Belgian matchup. Genk had gone up big 5-2 in the opening leg on the road, and they hit cruise control with Timothy Castagne’s 20th minute strike plenty to see them through.

Leicester City 1-0 Copenhagen: Foxes remain unbeaten in UCL behind Mahrez finish

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Even with limited opportunities to score in the first half, Leicester City made the most of their chances during their 1-0 win over Copenhagen on Tuesday.

[ WATCH: Mahrez provides Leicester with halftime lead ]

Riyad Mahrez provided the winner for the Foxes in the 40th minute, following a headed pass from fellow Algerian attacker Islam Slimani inside the Copenhagen penalty area.

Both sides did well to limit the match’s chances, but the Foxes especially kept the Copenhagen attack in check, allowing just two shots on target throughout the match.

The victory keeps the Foxes unbeaten in Group G play on nine points through three matches. Meanwhile, Copenhagen sits five points off the pace set by Leicester, but currently holds the second spot in the group.

Mahrez gives Leicester halftime lead vs. Copenhagen

Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chances were far and few in the opening half, but a clever finish from Riyad Mahrez has given the Foxes the lead at the King Power Stadium.

After a lofted cross in from Danny Drinkwater on the left wing, Islam Slimani nodded the ball into the center of the penalty area for Mahrez to knock Leicester City into the lead against Copenhagen just before the halftime break (watch the goal below).

The Copenhagen backline will surely be frustrated with its defending in the situation but it was a lovely understanding between the two Algerian international players to give the Foxes a cushion in the 40th minute.

Report: USMNT’s Kitchen could be in Denmark or Germany within weeks

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
1 Comment

Steven Goff has been all over the Perry Kitchen saga at DC United, and the Washington Post reporter spilled some more beans on Tuesday.

Kitchen, 23, has been unable to agree to a big-money contract with DC despite being offered a hefty raise and is being ticketed for a move to Europe.

[ WATCH: Liverpool loanee juggles past defenders, belts home goal ]

And now Goff is reporting that it’s a two-team race between a Danish power and a league that houses several USMNT hopefuls.

Kitchen would theoretically be behind Danish vice captain William Kvist at Copenhagen, and joining a 2.Bundesliga side with promotion hopes could be a quick route to the top-tier. Kvist, oddly enough, was rumored for Philadelphia last season.

Also in Germany’s second flight? Terrence Boyd is at RB Leipzig, Bobby Wood is at Union Berlin, Andrew Wooten is at Sandhausen, and ex-U.S. U-20 man Caleb Stanko is at Freiburg.

It’s fairly clear that Kitchen wants to ply his trade overseas, and we’d like to see more established players stick their feet in the water if it means a clear upgrade in competition level with legit hopes for playing time.