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Joe Allen to miss Euro 2020 with ruptured Achilles

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Wales international Joe Allen will miss Euro 2020 after rupturing his Achilles tendon in Stoke City’s 5-1 win over Hull City, the club confirmed on Saturday.

Allen went down on the stroke of halftime after a challenge from Dan Batty saw the Stoke midfielder stretchered off the field.

“It’s not good news unfortunately, it looks like Joe has ruptured his Achilles which would obviously rule him out for the rest of the season,” Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill said after the match. “I’m devastated with that because he’s been fantastic since I came to the Club. Not only in terms his importance to the team and his importance to the Club, but what he has to look forward to in the summer as well at EURO 2020 with Wales. It’s really disappointing news to hear.”

The 29-year-old midfielder debuted for the national team in 2009 and has been a mainstay in the Wales midfield since first earning a starting role in 2011, with 53 total caps for the national team. He played nearly every minute of Wales’ run to the Euro 2016 semifinals in what was the country’s first appearance at a European final tournament.

“He’s been terrific and is a terrific player,” O’Neill said. “He’s everything you want in a player, he takes responsibility and as a leader, without being particularly loud and vocal, he leads by example in terms of the way he plays the game. Things like that you don’t want to see happen to any player, but particularly a lad like Joe, so I’m a bit upset and disappointed, as well as gutted for the player.”

Allen has been an absolute workhorse for Stoke City since joining from Liverpool in 2016. The former Swansea City youth product has made at least 36 league appearances for the Potters in every season since joining the club, accumulating at least 2,900 league minutes in every season. He racked up a whopping 4,132 minutes last Championship campaign, which is just eight minutes shy of a perfect full season of 46 90-minute performances.

Klinsmann barred from returning to role on Hertha Berlin board

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Jurgen Klinsmann’s acrimonious exit as Hertha Berlin coach, where he slammed the club for “difficult conditions” where he “disagreed on many things,” has potentially cost him a position on the club’s board of directors.

During a press conference on Thursday, club owner Lars Windhorst, president Werner Gegenbauer, and general manager Michael Preetz stated that Klinsmann would not be allowed to transition back into a role on the Hertha Berlin board for the time being, until their differences are settled.

“Unfortunately, I must say that the way Jurgen Klinsmann resigned makes a further working relationship with him on the board of Hertha BSC impossible,” Windhorst said during the press conference. “Unfortunately, the way he left is so unacceptable that we cannot continue a constructive collaboration between him and the other people in charge.

Windhorst said that it would be possible for Klinsmann to return to the club, but not before time for the animosity to dissipate. “If we can count on him and his guidance in some other form in the future after all the dust has settled, we will see,” he said. “I am neither shutting any doors, nor am I knocking anyone out as it has been written today.”

“I believe he regrets the decision,” Windhorst said of Klinsmann’s resignation. “I’m sorry that we couldn’t fix things to keep hold of him, because even in the short time he was here, we noticed the effect on sponsors, advertising and income that his name had, that it could have led to big financial gains for Hertha.”

“There are different views [between Klinsmann and me] on how the job of a head coach is defined,” Preetz said. “It is correct that we could not agree until he resigned. However, things that I heard yesterday, that I am sitting on the bench and show up on the sideline, were never discussed between the two of us. If there are problems and conflicts then I am used to discussing them and to try and find a solution. You can’t do that if you turn around and run away.”

Klinsmann spent just 79 days in charge of Hertha Berlin, taking charge of nine matches distributed evenly among wins, draws, and losses. A 3-1 home loss to FC Mainz was the final straw.

The former U.S. national team coach took to Facebook to suggest a rift with the club hierarchy as the reason for his resignation. “Things are different in Germany, where everyone gets to have their say, everyone plays a role, the whole management structure,” Klinsmann said, suggesting he had bugs in his ear during his short tenure. “In the end only one can decide, and I feel it has to be the coach. And we disagreed there. Unfortunately we disagreed on many things.”

Klinsmann ruffled feathers during his short stint, demoting goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry upon arrival, which was a bad look given Petry’s critical comments of Jurgen’s son Jonathan during the latter’s stint at Hertha over a decade ago. He botched paperwork for his coaching license and closed training sessions to media and fans, a decision which was labeled a “misunderstanding” and reversed by the club the next day.

The 55-year-old was still expected to return to his position on the board after his departure as coach, a position which he left to take over the coaching role a few months ago. Klinsmann’s relationship with Hertha now seems teetering on the edge, if not entirely destroyed.

Scottish manager reports himself for breaching gambling rules

Scottish manager breaches gambling rules
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GLASGOW, Scotland — A manager in Scotland’s top division reported himself to the country’s soccer federation for breaching gambling rules.

Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice has struggled with a gambling addiction in the past, and said Monday: “My disease has returned.”

Rice was charged by the Scottish Football Association for breaching rules in each of the past five seasons and faces a hearing on Jan 30.

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“I have apologized to those at the club in whom I have sought counsel,” Rice said, “and I apologize today to the players, fans and colleagues I have let down through my gambling addiction.”

Rice, who has coached Hamilton since last January, said he reported himself “to remove the stigma attached to this horrible, isolating disease, in the hope that those involved in Scottish football who are similarly in its grasp feel they can seek help.”

“After committing to recovery, I cannot believe that I have found myself back in the grip of gambling addiction but this disease is not cured with a finite course of treatment,” he said. “You are an addict for life and through my commitment to the 12-step recovery program, I am confident I can stay on top of this disease one day at a time.”

Hamilton is in 11th place in the 12-team Scottish Premiership.

U.S. U-23 men learn group opponents for Olympic qualifying

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The United States knows the opponents on its path to a first men’s Olympic berth since 2008.

Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica will be the Yanks’ group stage opponents between March 20-26 in Mexico.

Honduras, Haiti, Canada, and El Salvador comprise Group B.

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Jason Kreis’ U-23 side will need to finish first or second in its group and then win its semifinal to clinch a spot in Tokyo 2020.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Richie Ledezma, and Jonathan Lewis were in Kreis’ last group of call-ups, while players like Miles Robinson, Josh Sargent, and Timothy Weah are among the eligible.

Andreas Herzog’s Yanks cruised through group play in 2015 before being stunned by Honduras in the semi, then losing a two-legged playoff with Colombia.

The U.S. didn’t even escape the group stage in 2012 under Caleb Porter.

Women’s qualifying begins Jan. 28 in the United States, the ladies facing Costa Rica, Panama, and Haiti in group play.

Spurs recall USMNT center back Carter-Vickers from Stoke loan

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Tottenham Hotspur has recalled USMNT center back Cameron Carter-Vickers from his loan at Championship side Stoke City.

The loan stint started off with promise, and CCV played in 10 of 11 games while starting nine of them between Sept. 14 and Nov. 4.

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Carter-Vickers made just two appearances, both at right back, since manager Michael O’Neill took over on Nov. 8.

He turns 22 on Tuesday, and would seemingly be a candidate for another loan or a sale. A report earlier this month said Spurs would want $5 million for the American.

Carter-Vickers has four first team appearances for Spurs, but 83 between loan stops at Swansea City, Ipswich Town, Sheffield United, and Stoke.

He has eight USMNT caps, but only an 18-minute cameo under Gregg Berhalter.

Jack Clarke and Kazaiah Sterling were also recalled, and will join CCV at Spurs HQ on Jan. 2.