By FRANCO PANIZO
The 2016 Copa America Centenario may happen, after all. It just might not take place in the United States.
CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout gave an interview with a Paraguayan radio station on Wednesday in which he said that the location of the centennial tournament was in question. The planned 2016 Copa America was originally scheduled to be played in the United States, but allegations of $100 million in bribes that are part of the highly-publicized FIFA scandal have put that in jeopardy.
Still, Napout sounded optimistic that it will be played. He just is not 100 percent sure where.
“The 100th anniversary will have a celebration and this will be on the field,” said Napout, who is Paraguayan. “We want to have a Copa Centenario. It’s on the FIFA calendar, and the idea is for it to be played. Whether it will be in the United States? We have to wait for some things to happen, review some things.”
By IVES GALARCEP
Fans of Manchester United and Chelsea are smiling wide, while Manchester City fans are once again wondering why the UEFA Champions League draw is so cruel to them.
Manchester City was drawn into what is being widely regarded as the Group of Death, joining Juventus, Sevilla and Fabian Johnson’s Borussia Moenchengladbach in Group D after Thursday’s Champions League draw.
The draw produced several high-profile match-ups, including Paris St. Germain facing Real Madrid and Bayern Munich squaring off against Arsenal.
In terms of draws, Manchester City and Chelsea wound up in two of the easier draws possible, avoiding powerhouses.
There are plenty of storylines in the group draw as well, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic facing off against his first pro club, Malmo, and Jose Mourinho leading Chelsea against FC Porto, the team with which he won his first Champions League title as manager.
Here is a look at the full draw:
By FRANCO PANIZO
Jose Torres may have only lasted 45 minutes on Wednesday, but that still did not stop him from making an impact.
Torres helped Tigres grab a road result in CONCACAF Champions League play with a first-half assist in a 1-1 draw with Costa Rican side Herediano. Torres fed teammate Antonio Briseno in the 14th minute with a soaring free kick that was whipped in almost flawlessly. Tigres relinquished its early lead through a first-half penalty kick and went down a man four minutes into the second half, but still escaped with a valuable road point that has it even on points with Herediano after two games in Group B.
Torres was not the only American to set up a goal on Wednesday. Gedion Zelalem enjoyed a successful debut for Rangers by assisting on a pair of tallies in a 5-0 rout of third-division side Airdrieonians in the Scottish League Cup. Zelalem, who just joined Rangers this week via a loan, started and went the distance in the match.
Another notable performance came from a fellow U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team player, as Amando Moreno came off the bench at halftime to provide a spark for Club Tijuana in Copa MX action. Moreno did not get on the scoresheet during his 45-minute shift, including on a good look late, but he buzzed around the field while earning mostly positive reviews in Tijuana’s 4-3 win over Necaxa.
Here is how the Americans Abroad peformed on Wednesday:
Photo by Mike DiNovo/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Shaun Maloney’s brief tenure with the Chicago Fire has come to an end.
The Fire announced Monday that Maloney has departed the club via a transfer to English Championship club Hull City. The transfer fee received by the Fire was not disclosed.
“This was a very difficult decision to make but one that I felt I needed to make for various reasons,” Maloney said. “I’d like to thank Andrew Hauptman and Frank Yallop for the initial hard work they put into bring me to Chicago in January.
“Although my time at the club was brief, I feel very fortunate for the experience to play for the Chicago Fire and would like to thank in particular my teammates for the time I spent with them and hope that in the future the club can become successful on the pitch once again.”
The Scottish international joined the Fire as a Designated Player just this past January in a move from Wigan Athletic. Continue reading
Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
The Seattle Sounders’ won last week’s CONCACAF Champions League matchup with Olimpia by overcoming an early deficit with a pair of last-minute goals. On Wednesday night, the Sounders had no such luck.
In front of a racaus crowd in Tegucigalpa, Honduras the Sounders were defeated by Olimpia by a score of 1-0. The game’s lone finish came in the 60th minute via Alberth Elis, the same player who scored Olimpia’s lone tally in last week’s dramatic 2-1 loss.
Elis’ finish showed composure, as the 19-year-old forward collected a loose ball in front of net by taking a touch before firing past Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who was off his line. The shot deflected off a Sounders defender and into the back of the net, providing the crucial goal in a virtual must-win for Olimpia.
With the victory, Olimpia remains one point behind the Sounders with a game in hand. If the two teams were to finish level, Olimpia would now advance via the away-goal tiebreaker. Continue reading
By DAN KARELL
Peru could be without one of their top players when they take the field on September 4 against the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Just 16 minutes into Flamengo’s Copa do Brazil match against Vasco da Gama, forward Paolo Guerrero was stretchered off the field after suffering what was later determined to be a sprained right ankle. Guerrero, 31, has been a key member for Flamengo since arriving at the massive Brazilian club last May, starting seven league games and scoring three goals.
Formerly of Bayern Munich and Hamburg, Guerrero has more than 60 international caps to his name and if fit, would likely start against the USMNT next week. According to Flamengo’s official Twitter account, Guerrero will be re-evaluated on Thursday to find the full extent of his injury.
Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday: