News Roundup

Wednesday Roundup — May 23, 2018

News Roundups are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning with quick hits on what you may have missed and what is still to come in The Beautiful Game.

Here’s what you may have missed and what is still developing. And, as always, here’s to helping bring you, the Fan, up to speed and Ahead of the Game.

ICYMI:

Philly Football Daily’s Premier League and Liverpool columnist Cal Dymowski previewed the Red’s upcoming Champions League Final clash against Spanish giants Real Madrid, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Check it:

Cal’s Corner: Previewing the Showdown in Kyiv

PFD’s Major League Soccer columnist Noah Barnes named his Top-10 MLS teams for the previous matchweek. See who Barnes’ has pegged In Form after what the columnist is calling “Matchweek 11.” Check it:

In Form — Barnes’ MLS Power Rankings: Matchweek 11

And, finally, be sure to check out the latest installment of PFD’s coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia this Summer, with a comprehensive preview of Group B — Iran, Morocco, Portugal, and Spain.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the preview, which will be released tomorrow evening.

Let’s kickoff.

Philadelphia Union

Dockal Named MLS TOTW, Herbers Named USL TOTW

Philadelphia Union playmaker and Czech Republic international Borek Dockal put in a Man of the Match-worthy performance in his previous outing, recording a goal and two assists in the Union’s 4-1 victory on Saturday, against Real Salt Lake.

For his performance, Dockal was named to Major League Soccer’s Team of the Week on Tuesday. It is the second time this season the Union’s big, offseason signing has earned a place in the TOTW.

Dockal currently leads the club in assists with four posted so far this season.

Union midfielder Fabian Herbers, who is currently on loan to affiliate club Bethlehem Steel FC of the USL, also earned TOTW honors on Tuesday, after scoring in Steel FC’s victory over rivals New York Red Bulls II and setting up a goal in their draw against Indy Eleven.

Herbers is the third Union-loanee to have earned TOTW honors, joining First-Team teammates Adam Najem and Jake McGuire.

Major League Soccer

Vieira Denies OGC Nice Deal 

New York City Football Club head coach Patrick Vieira is in the news again, with new rumors circulating about the Frenchman leaving New York for a coaching position with OGC Nice of Ligue 1, the French first division.

For the last few months, Vieira has been the subject of rumors linking the NYCFC boss to the now-vacant Arsenal managerial position. Now, the Frenchman is reported to have flown to his home country, to meet with Nice officials.

According to a recent report by L’Equipe, Vieira and his agent flew to France in order to finalize a two-year contract with Nice, after former manager Lucien Favre left the club and took the helm at German club Borussia Dortmund.

Vieira confirmed that he was in France over the weekend, citing family matters as the purpose of his brief stay.

And, on Tuesday, the NYCFC boss addressed questions regarding the recent rumors linking him to jobs in England and France.

“Things that I can control are being here, having my head, my energy to this football club and then everything going out is out of my hands,” Vieira said. “I can’t control what’s going on in France, what’s going on England or what’s going on anywhere else.”

Vieira also took time to reassure City fans of his commitment to the club.

“I have a fantastic relationship with the people of this football club,” Vieira said. “We’ve always been clear with each other. For me this is the most important. The other things, I let people do what they need to do or say what they need to say.”

NYCFC’s manager is out of contract with City Football Group in December. However, according to sources close to ESPN FC, the MLS club is reportedly working on extending the Frenchman’s stay in The Big Apple.

Rumor: Torres to Sign For Chicago

Former Liverpool star and recent Europa League winner Fernando Torres has also been the subject of rumors, with reports linking the Spanish forward to the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer.

On Tuesday, FOX Sports MX reported that Torres is set to sign for the Fire, after scoring twice for Atletico Madrid in their Europa League triumph over Marseille, last Sunday.

Ricardo Garcia Ochoa, a FOX reporter based in Mexico, cited “very reliable sources” who claim that El Niño is “very close” to a Summer move away from his boyhood club.

Torres, 34, would be unable to officially join Chicago until the secondary transfer window, which opens on July 10.

Adams “Close” to Joining RB Leipzig 

According to a report by Kristian Dyer of Metro New York, budding New York Red Bulls and United States Men’s National Team midfielder Tyler Adams is closing in on a move to the German Bundesliga and NYRB’s sister club, Red Bull Leipzig.

Adams, 19, is considered one of the brightest prospects in American soccer, and is reportedly close to securing a transfer away from MLS and NYRB, in a deal that is rumored to be finalized after the MLS Cup Playoffs this Fall.

However, according to sources close to Dyer, there is a possibility that Adams’ proposed move happens as early as this Summer, with the teenager moving to Europe within the next few months.

New York has declined to comment on the rumors surrounding Adams, who has featured in all but two matches for the club this MLS season.

US Soccer

Pulisic: “Focus” to Blame For USMNT World Cup Failure 

On Monday, United States National Team and Dortmund star Christian Pulisic joined in on the blame-game currently being waged by past and present National Team players and coaches.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC, Pulisic, who was in Los Angeles for Dortmund’s friendly against MLS newcomers Los Angeles Football Club on Tuesday, ruled out team chemistry as part of the USMNT’s failure to qualify for the upcoming World Cup in Russia.

Instead, the Hershey, PA native strayed from recent comments made by the likes of former manager Bruce Arena and insisted it was a lack of focus that ultimately ended the National Team’s qualifying campaign.

“There could be a lot of small pieces. It’s hard to say exactly,” Pulisic said. “I think we put ourselves in a good spot and we made a mistake in the final game. That’s how it went. We weren’t focused. We weren’t ready to come out and finish the job. That’s really all there was.”

Pulisic is set to travel to Philadelphia for the USMNT’s upcoming friendly against Bolivia on May 28, which will be played at Talen Energy Stadium, the home of the Philadelphia Union.

Global 

AC Milan in Danger of Missing Europa League 

AC Milan, who qualified for the Europa League after finishing sixth in Serie A this season, might miss out on next year’s European club-competition after being accused of breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

Milan has been under the microscope since 2017, when the Italian club was purchased by Chinese investors Rossoneri Sport for more than £600 million. Milan then spent more than £200 million on new players in the Summer transfer window.

According to FFP, which was introduced in 2011 to tackle European football’s chronic debts and over-spending, clubs must “break even,” or spend only as much as they bring in.

Although some additional investment from owners or investors is allowed, questions have been raised regarding whether or not Milan’s new owners will be able to repay the loans taken out to finance the purchase of the club.

It is reported that American hedge fund Elliott Management loaned the Rossoneri Sport group more than £250 million. Apparently, these loans are required to be repaid, together with more than £40m in interest, by October.

Milan president Li Yonghong, who is the head of Rossoneri Sport, attempted to strike a voluntary agreement with UEFA, the European footballing body, to restructure the club’s finances, but Yonghong’s olive branch was rejected in December.

On Monday, UEFA’s investigatory chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) addressed Milan’s current financial situation.

“After careful examination of all the documentation and explanations provided by the club, the CFCB investigatory chamber considers that the circumstances of the case do not allow the conclusion of a settlement agreement,” the CFCB said in a statement.

It added that the adjudicatory chamber will make a decision “in due course” and the investigatory chamber will announce whether it will move forward in pursuing cases against any other clubs next month.

UEFA’s CFCB has a bevy of sanctions it can levy, including bans from participating in European footballing competitions such as the Europa League.

How Much is a Premier League Promotion Worth? £160 Million. 

Saturday’s English Championship Playoff Final between Aston Villa and Fulham Football Club could potentially be worth a lofty £160 Million to the winner of the game.

Villa and Fulham will vie for the final Premier League promotion spot on Saturday at Wembley Stadium in London, in what is a true winner-takes-all matchup.

According to figures released by Deloitte, Saturday’s winner will benefit from future additional revenue of the latest, record-breaking three-year television rights deal that is currently in its second year.

And, here’s the kicker, although at least £160m is guaranteed across the next three seasons, it could rise to in excess of £280m if the newly promoted club survive their first season in the Premier League.

Aston Villa and Fulham will both look to join Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City, who have already secured promotion to the Premier League for next campaign.

Thanks for reading Wednesday’s News Roundup. Check back here, on Friday morning, for the latest happening in The Beautiful Game. Until then, Cheers.

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