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Laurent Blanc: Links to United States job nothing more than ‘rumours’

Sebastian Salazar joins the guys for a heated debate about the U.S.’s World Cup failure, who’s to blame and how to recover. Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez debate whether U.S. players need to be held responsible for their World Cup failure. Sam Allardyce has emerged as the first manager rumored to be interested in the vacant USMNT job. Laurent Blanc has distanced himself from speculation that he could become the new coach of United States, but did admit he is ready to take a job in football again. Blanc, 51, has been linked to the vacant post by France Football after Bruce Arena resigned following his failure to guide the team to next summer’s World Cup finals. Blanc won three successive Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain, added to his success at Bordeaux and wi...

Radja Nainggolan stayed at Roma ‘to win something’ despite Chelsea links

Edin Dzeko and Eden Hazard both scored a brace for their sides as the two top teams of Group C battle to a 3-3 draw. Edin Dzeko and Eden Hazard both scored a brace for their sides as the two top teams of Group C battle to a 3-3 draw. Chelsea let a two-goal lead slip against Roma before settling for a draw, while Benfica’s goalkeeping gaffe gifted Man United a win. The experts at the ESPN FC desk talk Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Roma as Antonio Conte’s men have let in five goals in all competitions since coming back from the international break. Radja Nainggolan says he stayed with Roma to win a trophy despite being linked with Chelsea. Belgium midfielder Nainggolan, 29, showed his quality in Roma’s 3-3 draw at Chelsea on Wednesday and — despite appearing to hint h...

Borussia Dortmund hopeful that Marco Reus will agree to sign new contract

Peter Bosz discusses the tactical change he made at halftime of Borussia Dortmund’s loss to RB Leipzig. Borussia Dortmund want attacker Marco Reus to a new deal and said they see him playing for the club “in the long term.” Reus had fuelled speculation that he could leave when he said in recent weeks that “there are four or five international clubs who interest me.” The Germany international, under contract until 2019, is recovering from knee surgery after sustaining a partial ligament tear during the DFB-Pokal final in May. Speaking to GQ earlier this month, Reus said he had not made up his mind whether he would stay beyond 2019 and, given that he will be 30 by then, it would be his “final opportunity to try something different.” However, BVB spor...

Izham Tarmizi aims to make amends for JDT mistake in Malaysia Cup

ESPN FC’s Jason Dasey and Stanley Bernard preview the Malaysia Cup semifinals as Mehmet Durakovic’s Perak face JDT. Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi is determined to erase the heartache of allowing an own goal, ahead of the second leg of their Malaysia Cup semifinal against Perak at Larkin Stadium on Saturday. In the first leg, Izham was left flat footed as Mohamad Hasbullah Abu Bakar’s attempted clearance nestled in the bottom corner in a 1-1 draw last Sunday. Izham, who is a regular between the sticks following Farizal Marlias’ eight-month suspension by the Asian Football Confederation, is determined to make amends. “We have to forget the [own goal] incident in that forgettable first half on Sunday. It is time for the team to give thei...

Liverpool knew goals would come after barren spell – Georginio Wijnaldum

Liverpool blasted Maribor 7-0 and thanks to Sevilla’s loss, now top Group E. Jurgen Klopp revels in Liverpool’s seven-goal output at Maribor, a club record for a European away match. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored twice and provided an assist as his side cruised to a 7-0 win over Maribor. Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has said the players always believed the goals would return despite a frustrating run of form. Since beating Arsenal 4-0 on Aug. 27 to take their early-season tally to 14 in five matches, Jurgen Klopp’s side then scored eight in eight, with three of them coming in one game against Leicester. But Netherlands international Wijnaldum, speaking after Liverpool scored seven at Slovenian side Maribor in the Champions League on Tuesday, said: ...

Harry Kane delighted with Cristiano Ronaldo shirt swap after Madrid draw

Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane talk the finer points of Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against Real Madrid. The FC panel see Spurs’ draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu as a statement that they can compete in the Champions League. Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas each put on a show between the sticks as Real Madrid and Spurs battled to a draw. Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane said he had swapped shirts with “role model” Cristiano Ronaldo after the 1-1 Champions League draw at Real Madrid on Tuesday. The game at the Bernabeu was billed by some as a showdown between Kane and Ronaldo, two of the top scorers in Europe this calendar year. Kane was influential in Tottenham’s opener, pressurising Raphael Varane into an own goal, while Ronaldo equalised from the penalty spot. The ...

Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik open to Chievo loan move as he continues recovery

Arkadiusz Milik has suffered injury problems since joining Napoli in 2016. Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik has said he will consider a loan move in January, with Chievo tipped to sign him until the end of the season. Injuries have blighted Milik’s time at the club, and he is currently recovering from a knee ligament problem. Earlier this week, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed that he had discussed a loan move with Chievo, and Milik said he would be open to that idea. “I won’t exclude it,” he told Polish television station WP. “It would be a way of recovering quickly and getting back to 100 percent fitness sooner.” Milik underwent surgery for the second time in a year on Sept. 23 and is expected to return to action in January. “I had ...

Brendan Rodgers says Europa League progress for Celtic after Bayern loss

Jupp Heynckes notches his first win in the Champions League after his return to the Bayern sideline. Jupp Heynckes notches his first win in the Champions League after his return to the Bayern sideline. Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers will not resort to pragmatism despite suffering a 3-0 defeat to German giants Bayern Munich in their Champions League clash in the Allianz Arena. The Northern Irishman had promised to play on the front foot in the Group B encounter and in an open game, skipper Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 17th minute before right-back Joshua Kimmich headed in a second in the 29th minute. Mats Hummels headed in a third six minutes after the break and although the Scottish champions threatened more in the second half it was a comfortable win for the star-studded home side...

1, 2 and 56372: Numbers from the U-17 World Cup

Lassana Ndiaye (in yellow) now has a good chance to win the Golden Boot award. The round of 16 at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup was completed on Wednesday and the tournament now has its eight quarter-finalists — Mali, Ghana, U.S., England, Spain, Iran, Germany and Brazil. Here’s a look at the key (and other) numbers from the 44 completed matches so far:    5 With five goals apiece, France’s Amine Gouiri and Mali’s Lassana Ndiaye are the leading contenders for the tournament’s Golden Boot award. With Gouiri out of the competition, Ndiaye will now fancy his chances of topping the scoring charts, especially if he can keep up his record of having scored at least one goal in each match played by his country. 151 The total number of goals scored, at an average of 3.43...

Adrian Mierzejewski ‘looking good’ to play in Sydney Derby – Graham Arnold

Sydney FC faced a tougher match than was expected as they clawed away a 3-2 win against the Wellington Phoenix. Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson break down week 3’s fixtures in the A-League headlined by the Sydney derby. A run on Thursday for star winger Adrian Mierzejewski has Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold hopeful his Polish international will play in Saturday’s A-League Sydney derby. Mierzejewski suffered a hamstring issue in last weekend’s win over Wellington, a performance Arnold thinks his side can improve on by 70 percent. “We’ll leave it right up until kick-off to decide, but he’s looking good at the moment,” Arnold said.

Brazil, Russia set for pre-World Cup friendly in Moscow

Gabriel Jesus and Brazil ended Chile’s World Cup hopes with a convincing 3-0 win in Sao Paulo. Kyle Walker tweets a tribute to teammate Gabriel Jesus, a fan smuggles a pig into a match in Brazil and more in the Sweeper. The FC crew examine the World Cup playoff draw in Europe and Italy’s chances of qualifying for Russia. Brazil will play Russia in March in a pre-World Cup friendly in Moscow. The Brazilian soccer confederation says its Russian counterpart hasn’t yet chosen a stadium for the March 23, 2018 match. Brazil was the first team to qualify for the tournament in Russia. The five-time World Cup champions finished at the top of the CONMEBOL table and have yet to lose an official match under coach Tite, who took over last September. Brazil will also play Japan, Englan...

FIFA helping Australia, Honduras, New Zealand, Peru with playoff travel costs

The FC panel caution Australia not to underestimate a gritty Honduras side in the intercontinental playoff. Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson assess Australia’s keys to defeating Honduras and advancing to the 2018 World Cup. FIFA will pay $600,000 to help teams travel to two intercontinental World Cup playoffs next month. FIFA says it will contribute $150,000 each toward travel costs for the soccer federations of Australia, Honduras, New Zealand and Peru. New Zealand media this week reported that soccer officials made their case to FIFA for financial help toward chartering a plane. There are no direct flights to get the All Whites team from the first leg in Wellington on Nov. 11 to the return game in Lima on Nov. 15. Honduras hosts Australia in San Pedro Sula on Nov. 10, and the second ...