News Roundup

Wednesday Roundup — July 25, 2018

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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. 

Philadelphia Union

Open Cup Tickets On Sale Today

On Monday, U.S. Soccer conducted a draw to decide which two clubs would host matches for the semi-final round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament.

Philadelphia and Houston were drawn to host the next round of the competition, with the Union hosting the Chicago Fire and the Dynamo hosting LAFC on Wednesday, August 8.

Kick off for the Union’s match against the Fire is set for 7:00 P.M. ET and will be streamed live on the club’s website.

It will be the fourth time in club history that the Union have played in an Open Cup semi-final, with the club’s last appearance coming in 2015 when Philly fell (6-7) on penalties to visiting Kansas City.

Today, at 10:00 A.M. ET, tickets for the semi-final clash at Talen Energy Stadium were made available to fans. Accordingly, the club is offering a special discount for its Season Ticket Members who are able to purchase their usual seats at a discounted rate.

Union, Dynamo Match Preview

Tonight, the Union will face off against a potential opponent in the Open Cup Final, should Philly and Houston both come out on top in the teams’ respective semi-final games.

Kick off is slated for 9:00 P.M. ET and will be streamed on the Union’s website. 

Houston Dynamo (7W, 6L, 6D) currently sits in eighth place, a similar position as the Union (7W, 10L, 3D) in the Western Conference table. Houston has been defeated just twice at home this season, with Philadelphia having won the same amount of games away from home in 2018.

Forward Mauro Manotas leads the Dynamo in goals scored with 10 while his teammate and strike partner, Honduran forward Romell Quioto, has assisted on 11 goals this year.

Houston is currently enjoying a five-game unbeaten run, with the Dynamo’s last league loss coming on Saturday, June 23 to Sporting Kansas City, a 3-2 loss away from BBVA Stadium.

Philadelphia dropped its last contest, 3-1, against a star-studded Los Angeles Galaxy team. Union forward C.J. Sapong was the lone scorer for the Blue and Gold, with No. 17 finally ending his scoreless run in the league that lasted more than two months.

Philly has won just twice on the road so far this season. July 11 was the last time the Union won away from home, with struggling offseason signing David Accam scoring in stoppage time against his former club, Chicago Fire, to notch the 4-3 win at Toyota Park.

Major League Soccer

Done Deal: Davies Transfer to Munich Agreed Upon

On Tuesday, sources confirmed the Vancouver Whitecaps had agreed to sell teen-sensation Alphonso Davies to German giants Bayern Munich for a MLS-record $13 million, with a reported extra $6 million in add-ons.

Davies, 17, will reportedly remain with the Whitecaps until the end of the current MLS campaign, as the Homegrown product is not allowed to play in an official match for Munich until he turns 18.

A Canadian international with six caps already under his belt, Davies becomes the second teenager from MLS to join the Bavarian outfit this summer, with Dallas’ Chris Richards, 18, also signing for the German champions.

Davies has three goals (including this one) and eight assists in 20 matches played for Vancouver so far this season.

Done Deal: Dallas Signs Chilean Midfielder

Vancouver wasn’t the only MLS club busy on Tuesday, with FC Dallas announcing a replacement for Argentine playmaker Mauro Diaz, who departed the club earlier this month for Shabab Al-Ahli of the United Arab Emirates.

Chilean midfielder Pablo Aránguiz, 21, signed for Dallas from Union Española of Chile’s Primera Division, which is ironically the club that Diaz spent a year on loan with before joining FCD.

Aránguiz, the younger brother of Chilean National Team midfielder Charles Aránguiz, bagged five goals and assists this season for Española. Last year, the midfielder was named the U-20 Player of the Year in Chile.

Highlights of Dallas’ newest signing. Warning: explicit language is used in the background music of the video. 

LAFC reportedly offered somewhere in the region of $1.5 million for Aránguiz in January, but were unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with both the player and the club.

Global 

Shortlist For FIFA Best Men’s Player Award

On Tuesday, the shortlist for the best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award was announced.

Following FIFA’s split with the Ballon d’Or in 2016, the Men’s Player of the Year Award was created.

FIFA will recognize a standout player from July 3, 2017 to July 15, 2018, with the global football body narrowing the list to three players in September, before the awards ceremony that will take place on September 24 in London, England.

Done Deal: Barcelona Hijacks Roma, Malcom Deal

On Tuesday, Spanish giants FC Barcelona competed the signing of touted Brazilian forward Malcom from French side Girondins de Bordeaux, snatching him from the clutches of Italian club AS Roma at the 11th hour.

It was announced on Monday by Roma that the club had reached an agreement with Bordeaux to sign Malcom, 21, but Barcelona made a late offer of more than €41 million, with an additional €1 million in potential add-ons, that was also accepted.

Roma, reportedly offered €32 million, which was significantly less than Barcelona’s offer. Malcom never flew to Italy, and instead the coveted Brazilian changed course to Catalonia.

Henry to Villa Speculation Grows 

Speculation continues to mount regarding Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry and his proposed move to become the manager at English Championship outfit Aston Villa.

Henry, who served as an assistant for the Belgium National Team that finished third at this year’s World Cup in Russia, has been the subject of recent rumors claiming the Frenchman has “verbally agreed” to replace current Villa boss Steve Bruce.

Bruce, on the other hand, is reportedly scheduled to meet later today with the new owners of Aston Villa, Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and the American businessman Wes Edens. Then, Bruce will reportedly learn his fate at the club.

Thank you for checking out Wednesday’s News Roundup. Check back here, on Friday morning, for all the latest happening in The Beautiful Game. Until then, Cheers.

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