Valencia

La Liga recap
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La Liga: Granada stings Getafe, late thrills in Valencia-Levante

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La Liga followed up its Thursday return with two more matches Friday, and one lived up to the wait.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

Granada produced a thrilling comeback in the front of a Spanish doubleheader, though the follow-up from Valencia and Levante wasn’t much for the eyes until very late

Valencia 1-1 Levante

It was even stevens for this one, though the last quarter-hour gave the hosts hope thanks to a second yellow card shown to Levante forward Roger Marti in the 74th minute.

The hosts took an 89th minute lead through a Jose Gaya pass to Spanish national teamer Rodrigo, but 10-man Levante found an equalizer deep in stoppage time through a VAR-awarded penalty converted by Gonzalo Melero.

The draw keeps Valencia seventh, two points ahead of Granada and three points back of the top four. Levante’s European hopes are cooked, as the visitors’ 33 points is nine points off seventh.

Granada 2-1 Getafe

Granada improved its hopes of European football by coming back to beat fifth-place Getafe on Friday.

A 70th-minute own goal was joined by Carlos Fernandez’s 79th-minute winner to send Granada eighth on 41 points. Granada is four points back of sixth-place Atletico Madrid.

Getafe’s top four hopes take a major hit, though its goal from David Timor was a pretty bit of consolation.

Still to come this weekend

Saturday
Espanyol v. Alaves
Celta Vigo v. Villarreal
Leganes v. Valladolid
Mallorca v. Barcelona

Sunday
Athletic Bilbao v. Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v. Eibar
Real Sociedad v. Osasuna

LIVE: Bundesliga, Coppa Italia, La Liga

Coppa Italia how to watch
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Three countries have big games on display Friday, headlined by the second leg of the Coppa Italia between Juventus and AC Milan.

The tie is level at one from the first leg in Milan, where Ante Rebic and Cristiano Ronaldo traded goals.

The winner of the 3 p.m. ET kickoff will meet the winner of Napoli and Inter Milan, who play their second leg on Saturday.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

Over in Germany, USMNT mainstay Tyler Adams begins on the bench when Leipzig heads to Hoffenheim with a view to clamping down on a top four spot.

Hoffenheim has caretaker boss Marcel Rapp looking over his first match as the hosts aim for better Europa League footing in a 2:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

Finally there’s a La Liga doubleheader, with Grenada and Getafe beginning things at 1:30 p.m. ET before Valencia and Levante tangle at 4 p.m. ET.

All four teams harbor hopes of either the Champions League or Europa League, so stakes are high in Spain.

How to Watch Hoffenheim v. RB Leipzig

  • When: 2:30 p.m. ET Friday
  • TV Channel: FS2
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • USMNT players in action: Tyler Adams

How to watch Juventus v. AC Milan

  • TV Channels: N/A
  • Stream Live: ESPN+
  • When: 3 p.m. ET Friday

La Liga schedule, how to watch Friday

  • TV Channels: beIN Sports USA
  • Stream LiveVia beinSports
  • When: 1:30 p.m. ET (Grenada v. Getafe)
    4 p.m. ET (Valencia v. Levante)

El Tri star Montes “ready” for Europe amidst Valencia report

Cesar Montes to Valencia
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Mexican defender Cesar Montes is ready to make the jump to La Liga, and he’s excited to be linked with Valencia.

Monterrey star Montes, 23, stands about 6-foot-3 and has 10 caps for Mexico.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

He has 182 senior appearances for Monterrey, almost all of them at center back, and has chipped in 11 goals at the other end.

Reports earlier this week said Valencia was ready to bid $5 million and let Monterrey have 50 percent of any sell-on rights for the El Tri star.

Valencia has ex-Man City man Eliaquim Mangala, ex-Arsenal back Gabriel Paulista, and former Lyon defender Mouctar Diakhaby as center backs under contract next season.

From Marca’s Mexican outlet:

“It is a great leap and I am ready. I am 22 for 23 years old and since I was a boy I am fighting for this and I have a clear goal of playing in Europe.

“(Valencia is) a great team to go to play in Europe. … My agents will continue working on their own. It is clear that Valencia is one of the greats in Europe.”

Montes went 79 minutes against Liverpool at the Club World Cup, subbing off with the match tied at one (Roberto Firmino won it in stoppage time).

You can see him here bodying up Mohamed Salah before the Egyptian makes a silly pass to Naby Keita for an early Liverpool lead.

European giants eye Bayern’s American center back

Chris Richards
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A report in Germany says four of the world’s biggest clubs are looking at FC Dallas export and Bayern Munich II defender Chris Richards.

Two of those clubs play in the Premier League, the others are from La Liga.

Richards celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday and was set to star in the U.S. Olympic team should it had qualified for Tokyo 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic changed the schedule.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Bild claims that Arsenal, Chelsea, Valencia, and Barcelona are monitoring Richards, who also plays right back.

Three of the four have experience with Americans in the fold, including current Chelsea man Christian Pulisic and budding Barcelona starlet Konrad de la Fuente. Gedion Zelalem was a highly-touted Arsenal prospect and now plays with New York City FC.

The report also speculates that it will not be too long before Richards gets called into regular training with the first team, noting that Richards went 45 minutes in January against for Bayern’s first team.

Richards has started 22 of 23 matches for Bayern II, scoring twice and playing nearly 2000 minutes. Bayern II sits seventh, six points back of leaders MSV Duisburg.

The pathway to Valencia’s first team might be a bit easier to walk, but Richards will have a big battle to get into the first teams of all of the aforementioned teams. Staying with Bayern may make the most sense.

Atalanta-Valencia match labeled ‘Game Zero’ by some medical experts

Coronavirus
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They’re calling it Game Zero when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, but could a Champions League match in Italy really be the “biological bomb” that sent COVID-19 through two countries?

Associated Press writers Tales Azzoni and Andrew Dampf wrote a sprawling story of Atalanta’s Round of 16 first leg against Valencia in Milan last month.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Atalanta is from Bergamo and the match was widely considered the biggest in club history. Around one-third of Bergamo’s population traveled to Milan’s San Siro to catch the event, won 4-1 by the hosts.

Now authorities are wondering whether the match, with thousands of Italians and a number of visiting Spaniards, helped send the virus back west.

From The Associated Press:

“We were mid-February so we didn’t have the circumstances of what was happening,” Bergamo mayor Giorgio Gori said this week during a live Facebook chat with the Foreign Press Association in Rome. “If it’s true what they’re saying that the virus was already circulating in Europe in January, then it’s very probable that 40,000 Bergamaschi in the stands of San Siro, all together, exchanged the virus between them. As is possible that so many Bergamaschi that night got together in houses, bars to watch the match and did the same. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have known. No one knew the virus was already here. It was inevitable.”

Atalanta won the first leg and then dedicated the second leg to medical workers and suffering people back home, which by then was dealing with an escalating crisis.

A journalist in Valencia attended the game and later became the second person to test positive for COVID-19 in Spain. Valencia center back Ezequiel Garay was one of five club members to test positive for coronavirus as well.

It’s certainly no one’s fault, but the validity of the hypothesis alone shows why experts are begging everyone to abide by social distancing measures.

Atalanta remains hopeful of competing in its first ever UCL quarterfinals should the competition continue later this year.