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LAFC’s Adama Diomande says he was called racial slur in Portland Timbers game

LAFC striker Adama Diomande says he was subjected to racial abuse during Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup match against the Portland Timbers.

Diomande, who joined LAFC in May, reacted angrily during the second half of his team’s 3-2 win at home, and wrote on Instagram after the game that someone called him by a racial slur.

“Today was the first time in my professional career that I was called the ‘N’ word on the field,” Diomande wrote. “They will say sorry to me after the game and please let it go, but If I don’t say anything racism will just continue to grow.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

“No matter which country, color, religion or which language [you’re] speaking we all are human being and we should respect each other no matter what! #saynotoracism”

Diomande did not specify if the slur came from a player or from the crowd, though he was involved in an incident with Timbers players late in the game.10

Diomande had words with a number of Timbers players in the 90th minute after a hard foul on his teammate Carlos Vela. They had to be separated and Diomande then attempted to state his case to the referee while Timbers players tried to calm him down.

Then a few minutes later, Portland’s Julio Cascante was booked for a late tackle into Diomande’s back, and the LAFC man squared up with a number of Timbers players again.

ESPN FC on Thursday morning reached out for comment to both teams and U.S. Soccer, which organizes the U.S. Open Cup.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

The Timbers, who are also protesting the game’s result over the number of LAFC’s foreign players, issued a statement saying the club would investigate the incident.

“The club is aware of the accusations posted on Instagram following Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup game and is in direct communication with LAFC management, league officials and internal staff to gather more information,” the Timbers’ statement said. “At this time, we are awaiting more details as we actively continue to investigate the matter. The club will provide further information when it becomes available.

9

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren expected to miss Premier League opener

Jurgen Klopp claims he had to convince Jordan Henderson to go on holiday following England’s semifinal run at this summer’s World Cup and expects to be without him and Dejan Lovren for Liverpool’s Premier League opener against West Ham.

Henderson and Croatia defender Lovren both helped their countries to the semifinal and final, respectively, in Russia, and Klopp has given each player time to recover before rejoining Reds training. Henderson will report back Aug. 5 and Lovren will be back the following day, giving the duo less than a week to be fit for the Aug. 12 match against the Hammers.

However, Klopp said the former Sunderland midfielder needed some coaxing to take the time off.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

“It was a hard fight to convince him that he needed a holiday,” Klopp said on Thursday. “I knew it would happen. On the phone, I said ‘crazy’.

“Jordan needs a holiday, so that means Aug. 5 he will be back. Dejan had a party in Croatia and played a day later [than Henderson at the World Cup], so he will be back on Aug. 6.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, who travelled to Russia but played in just one match, is a different story, Klopp added.9

“With Trent, I have a special agreement,” he said.

“He wanted to be in earlier as well. As he’s very young, I said ‘OK, have two weeks’ holiday and then we’ll speak and see.’

“If you asked Trent, he would be good to join us in Evian [for their training camp].

“But I’m not sure I will do that. I want to have them desperately but the season is really long.”

Klopp warned of the toll the international schedule is taking on players and their clubs.

Klopp said: “I don’t want to get too football political but if they don’t stop with these games — they are now making it the Nations Cup to make it more important — then all these players who played at the World Cup have to go there again.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

“We had four players in the [World Cup] semis, which is OK, we can deal with that. Tottenham had nine players in the semis. I have no clue how they will do it. That’s a big challenge. It’s a really tough thing to deal with, and in the future we have to change it.

“They play the World Cup, then the Nations Cup, next summer is the final of the Nations Cup, which is really crazy. Everything is now so important in football and we have to collect their bones afterwards, more or less.”

12

Tottenham’s Harry Kane targets quick return to Premier League

England captain Harry Kane is confident he can recover from the fatigue of a taxing World Cup campaign as he aims to return to action in Tottenham Hotspur’s opening Premier League fixture against Newcastle United on Aug. 11.

After 48 appearances across all competitions for Tottenham last term, the 24-year-old forward continued his prolific form at the World Cup, scoring six goals in as many matches to lead England to the semifinals and win the Golden Boot award.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Kane returned home with the rest of his England teammates on Sunday and has less than a month of downtime but is already focused on a return with Spurs.12

“I want to be playing in four weeks’ time,” Kane said. “We’ll have to talk to the gaffer [Mauricio Pochettino] at Spurs. It will be a couple of weeks [off].

“The most important thing is mentally [to be ready]. Physically, this has been our preseason. We tick over and are not going to just do nothing for two weeks. We will ease our way into it.

“Physically your body will take you where you never thought it would. It’s always mentally. We train all year round… With the season starting soon it will be hard, but that’s something we have to deal with.”

Kane, the Premier League’s top scorer in two of the last three seasons, has already set targets for a goal-scoring return to action.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“I will hopefully be back for the first game and hopefully try and score in August [for the first time in the Premier League] this year,” he added.

11

Wilmar Barrios: Boca Juniors will only consider offers in January

Wilmar Barrios has suggested he would only leave Boca Juniors in January amid links to Tottenham and other Premier League clubs.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Barrios, 24, played for Colombia at the World Cup this summer but will now return to his Argentine club in time for the Copa Libertadores knockout stage.11

Boca Juniors open the round of 16 in August and the tournament runs through November, and it is only at that point which Barrios says the club would be willing to entertain offers for his services.

“It is possible that an offer will come in and our club president, Daniel Angelici, has been clear; if something comes in, he will study it with the idea that I would leave after Libertadores,” he told Clarin.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“Right now I am focused on Boca, in working and helping the team for what is coming up. After that, we will see what happens. I will have to meet with my agent and with the president.”

Barrios has been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham, but reports in recent days have also suggested interest from Everton as well as Chelsea.

12

U.S.’s Bobby Wood looking forward to Hannover after ‘most difficult year’

United States striker Bobby Wood no longer wants to look back on “the most difficult year” in his career following his loan move from relegated Hamburg to Hannover.

Earlier this week, Wood, 25, joined Hannover on an initial one-year loan with a view to a permanent transfer, after only scoring three goals in 25 appearances for Hannover in all competitions last season.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“It was not a positive year,” Wood told reporters of his final year at Hamburg. “It was the most difficult year in my career. I was not able to perform the way I hoped for, and the same applies for many players.”12

After years of struggles in the top flight, Hamburg, the only team to have played in all Bundesliga seasons, suffered their first-ever relegation from the top flight.

“It happened, and I must look ahead now,” Wood said. “Naturally, that’s not that easy. But as an athlete you must write it off as soon as possible. If you allow this to drag you down, you can’t perform.”

At Hamburg, the club he joined from second-tier side Union Berlin in 2015, Wood scored just seven goals in 52 league games, but he hopes he can return to form at his new club and live up to his potential.nfl nike jerseys cheap

“I am aware it wasn’t a good performance last season. But I scored nine goals across all competitions in my first year at Hamburg,” he said. “I am a striker, and I just want to score as many goals as possible.”

11

England didn’t match pregame hype vs. Croatia – Ivan Rakitic

Ivan Rakitic said England were wrong to believe they had the edge over Croatia in Wednesday’s World Cup semifinal and that Gareth Southgate’s side didn’t live up to fans’ expectations.

Emphasis was placed before the game on the fact Croatia had needed extra time to see off Denmark and Russia and that England, who beat Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinal, were considered fresher — and were younger — going into the game.

However, that didn’t prove to be the case, with more-experienced Croatia getting stronger as the match progressed and coming from behind to win 2-1 after extra time.

“All I can say is that they asserted that they were going to be much better physically, that they were superior in that aspect,” Rakitic told Mundo Deportivo when asked if England talked too much before the game.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“But, in the end, it was the opposite. It was we who imposed ourselves and played better in the second half and in extra time. We deserved to win. We imposed ourselves because we were the better team.”

As well as playing 120 minutes twice in the week before the game, Rakitic had a fever on the eve of the England clash.11

The Barcelona midfielder, who has coeliac disease, managed to shake it off just in time to help his country reach their first World Cup final.

“The day before the game my temperature was 39 degrees,” he said. “I was in bed and I was thinking I wasn’t going to be able to take part in a game as important as a [World Cup] semifinal.

“I lost four kilograms during the game because of the effort I then put in. I ran 14 kilometres. I don’t know where the strength came from, but you do it. It comes from inside you.”
Rakitic’s partnership with Luka Modric has been key to Croatia’s progress in Russia, with the duo putting the Barca-Real Madrid rivalry to the side.

The two could have ended up as teammates at club level, too, if Modric, who Rakitic said was a Barca fan when he was younger, had joined the club when he had the chance.

“We all had our favourite team when we were kids and it’s no secret that Luka pulled for Barca,” Rakitic told MD. “But I can say now, the great professional that he is, that we have ‘lost’ him. He’s 100 percent Madrid. You just have to see how he plays in Clasicos. It’s difficult to find someone more Madrid than him.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“Sometimes, when we’re playing against each other, I joke when we change shirts at full-time: ‘Now you have the shirt you always wanted to take home.’ It’s a shame he never ended up at Camp Nou, but it’s also an honour to play against him in La Liga and the Champions League. It’s really special for Croatia to be able to enjoy a player of his level.”

10

France celebrate reaching final: Pamela Anderson, water fight with Macron and tears

President of France Emmanuel Macron enters the team’s dressing room. It is only a few minutes after Les Bleus beat Belgium and reached their third World Cup final.

The place is not going totally bonkers yet. But it won’t be long. First, Macron congratulates the players: “Well done. You have made your country proud and the French people happy. The country is going mad with happiness thanks to you,” he says.

It was his first game in Russia with the team and he will be back on Sunday for the final. One by one, he shakes the players’ hands with a little word for each of them.

Benjamin Mendy, the former Marseille player and official joker of the squad, has to do something to recognise Macron, himself a big OM supporter.

“And for the president …” he starts the song and in a dressing room full of laughter, everyone else follows.nfl replica jerseys cheap

“And for the president …”

A water fight starts, everyone jumps everywhere and shouts: “We are in the final, we are, we are, we are in the final!”

A few minutes before, coach Didier Deschamps also compliments his men: “I am proud of you,” he says. “You played the perfect game. Well done! But it is not over. In a World Cup, we only remember the winners.”10

The music is blaring, they sing, they dance. Mendy, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba are leading the way, obviously. Lucas Hernandez and Presnel Kimpembe are missing it all because they are at the anti-doping test.

The younger players still can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the achievement. “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it,” whispers Benjamin Pavard, still only 22 with a mere 11 caps and a final to play in his first-ever World Cup.

Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are quite incredulous. “It is the best day of my life,” says Mbappe, 19, who doesn’t have his driving licence but will play a World Cup final on Sunday.

The more experienced ones, those who went through the huge disappointment of the 2016 European Championship and the heartbreaking loss in the final against Portugal, have crucial words.

“This is nothing. We have not won anything. It is not over,” shouts Matuidi in the tunnel on his way back towards the dressing room.

“We can’t do like in 2016. There is one more game to go, we stay calm, win it and then we enjoy,” says Pogba.wholesale nfl jerseys cheap

The players are checking their phones and discover the incredible scenes back home, the Champs Elysees rammed with fans, the millions of people celebrating all around the country in the streets. They can’t believe what they are seeing.

9

England must make World Cup run the start of something big, not another false dawn

For England, this was so much better than anyone could have possibly expected. But in the end, it wasn’t enough.

That’s the problem with progress. People will always want more and, having been within 22 minutes of playing in their first World Cup final since 1966, England must now prepare for a third-place playoff against Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, when they really wanted to be playing in Moscow 23 hours later.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Croatia, in the end, were simply too good and too streetwise in the semifinal and their 2-1 victory was deserved, despite England’s impressive start to the game.

But defeat still stings for Gareth Southgate and his overachieving players.9

“Did we feel we would be in this position?” Southgate asked after the game. “Realistically, I don’t think any of us did.

“But when you get to this point and play as well as we did in the first half, you want to take those opportunities in life, so the dressing room is a very difficult place at the moment.”

England’s shortcomings, the fault lines that have consumed them long before the semifinal stage in previous tournaments, remain the same as ever. Southgate has done well to mask his team’s flaws and give them a renewed sense of confidence and identity, but the problems that cost them against Croatia were the same that almost handed victory to Colombia in the round of 16.

England don’t have a Modric — few teams do — but they have to learn how to control games better against top-class teams. Had Southgate’s players faced a Brazil, France, Uruguay or Portugal before this stage, they might not have made it so far because the lack of service to Harry Kane would really have told against such high-quality opposition.

Southgate is keen to remind people that England’s squad was the least experienced in Russia. This journey to the semifinal will certainly help his players and make them more confident in the future, but their lack of nous at this level did show against Croatia.nfl replica jerseys cheap

“We played extremely well in the first half, given the size of the game, and I was really pleased with the way we controlled possession,” Southgate said. “But when you’re in charge of the game and have the chances we had, you have to take a second goal at that point.

34

Brighton sign Brazilian defender Bernardo from Leipzig

Brighton & Hove Albion have brought in Brazilian defender Bernardo from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on a four-year deal, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The transfer fee for the 23-year-old full-back, the club’s fourth signing of the close season, was undisclosed but local media said Brighton had paid £9 million.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“I chose the club because they showed a big interest in me and my goal has always been to play in the Premier League because it’s the biggest league in the world,” Bernardo told the club’s website.

Manager Chris Hughton added: “He is a strong, committed defender who can play on the left or right, and so his versatility gives us good options at the back.”

Brighton finished 15th last term in their first season back in the top flight since 1983, when they were FA Cup runners-up.34

Bernardo joined Salzburg at the start of 2016, playing 13 games as the Austrians retained their league title.

He moved to sister club Leipzig at the end of that campaign and has played 49 times in the last two seasons, including three games in the Champions League and five in the Europa League.

Bernardo’s father, also called Bernardo, played over 300 league games for Sao Paulo, Santos and Corinthians, and featured four times for Bayern Munich. He played 19 games for Brazil.

Brighton had already signed Romania striker Florin Andone (Deportivo La Coruna) and Nigeria international Leon Balogun, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Mainz, plus goalkeeper Jason Steele (Sunderland).nfl nike jerseys cheap china

33

Sweden can beat England and win World Cup – Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Sweden can beat England in Saturday’s quarterfinal and eventually win the World Cup in Russia if they can handle the pressure, former captain and record goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said.

The LA Galaxy striker said the stakes are getting higher in the knockout stages, but his nation stand a good chance after seeing off Switzerland in the round-of-16.

“Now it’s not just about how good you are. Now there are a lot of emotions in the picture, because it’s about quarterfinals,” he said. “The team that can handle their feelings best will have an advantage.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“Yes, I think Sweden can become world champion, just like I said before the World Cup started. They beat Mexico, which was strong, and then they defeated Switzerland as well. So they have had success, as nobody thought they would.”33

Ibrahimovic scored 62 goals in 116 games for his country and a debate raged about whether or not coach Janne Andersson should have brought him back into the squad for the World Cup, but they seem to be doing well enough without him.

“Now it’s about England on Saturday and we are all there with our full support behind them. All the Swedes in the world are proud of our national team and they will continue to be proud, regardless of how it goes,” Ibrahimovic said.

Ibrahimovic, who scored a spectacular overhead kick against England in the first game at the Friends Arena in Stockholm in 2012, also had a good-natured dig at another high-profile figure with an LA Galaxy connection and an interest in the game.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“I’m Swedish and I believe in Sweden against England, so we’ll see what David Beckham says when I talk to him,” he said.