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Thu, 02 Jun 2016 04:01:18 -0400
Soccer-Del Bosque confident of Spain - chances at Euro 2016

By Gwladys Fouche REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland's soccer team are helping to bring back national pride and unity to the country having qualified for this month's European Championship finals in France. With a population of 332,000 -- about the size of English city Leicester, the home of the Premier League's surprise champions -- Iceland is the smallest nation ever to qualify for the Euros. The national team is now so popular that an estimated 10 percent of Icelanders -- about 30,000 people -- are expected to travel to France to support the


Thu, 02 Jun 2016 04:01:18 -0400
Soccer-Del Bosque confident of Spain - chances at Euro 2016

By Gwladys Fouche REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland's soccer team are helping to bring back national pride and unity to the country having qualified for this month's European Championship finals in France. With a population of 332,000 -- about the size of English city Leicester, the home of the Premier League's surprise champions -- Iceland is the smallest nation ever to qualify for the Euros. The national team is now so popular that an estimated 10 percent of Icelanders -- about 30,000 people -- are expected to travel to France to support the


Thu, 02 Jun 2016 00:37:38 -0400
Soccer-US championship results and standings

Brazilian great Pele said he was putting more than 2,000 items up for auction, including his three World Cup medals and a one-of-a-kind Jules Rimet trophy, in order to raise funds for charity and his former club Santos. The three-day auction, which opens on Tuesday in London, will feature memorabilia from the 75-year-old's illustrious career with Brazil, Santos and the New York Cosmos and could fetch up to $1 million, auctioneers sai


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 21:04:25 -0400
Soccer-US championship results and standings

Chris Pontius had a goal and an assist and the Philadelphia Union beat the Columbus Crew 3-2 on Wednesday night to extend their Eastern Conference lead. Philadelphia (6-3-5) is unbeaten in its last eight games - with three wins and five draws - to tie a franchise mark. In the second half, Pontius connected with Vincent Nogueira in the 57th for a 2-1 lea


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 17:01:06 -0400
Soccer-Late Lukaku equaliser saves Belgium from loss to Finland

Romelu Lukaku scored two minutes from time to give a dominating Belgium only a 1-1 draw against Finland and avoid a major upset ahead of the European Championship. After relentless attacking to avoid a humiliating home defeat, Dries Mertens sent a in a cross that finally fooled standout goalie Lukas Hradecky, who could slap the ball only onto the chest of Lukaku right on the line. Earlier, sloppy defending by Thomas Vermaelen and Axel Witsel in the 53rd minute allowed Kasper Hamalainen to sneak through the center to latch on to a cross and easily beat goalkeeper Thibault Courtoi


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 15:52:41 -0400
Soccer-Sloppy Iceland slump to defeat in Norway friendly

Iceland slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Norway in a friendly on Wednesday as the islanders prepared for their first major tournament at the European Championship. Stefan Johansen scored with a first-minute volley as Norway, which didn't qualify for Euro 2016, dominated its opponent. Sverrir Ingi Ingason leveled for Iceland in the 36th minute, before Pal Andre Helland scored Norway's second with a free kick in the 41s


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 13:59:55 -0400
Everybody needs money: Pele cashes in on memorabilia

INNSBRUCK, Austria (AP) -- Striker Tomas Necid set up one goal before scoring a last-minute winner as Czech Republic came from behind to beat Russia 2-1 in a friendly Wednesday between two sides preparing for the European Championshi


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:43:34 -0400
Soccer-Russia World Cup safe from economic threat - Infantino

SALZBURG, Austria (AP) -- Forwards Manuel ''Nolito'' Agudo and Alvaro Morata each scored twice as Spain routed South Korea 6-1 in a warmup game Wednesday ahead of the European Championshi


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 11:30:37 -0400
From Euros organizers to players, there - something to prove

Stadium construction for the 2018 World Cup is on time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, contradicting recent reports of delays and cost increases. Russia has been working to avoid a repeat of the problems that complicated preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Of the 12 stadiums for the tournament in Russia, nine have significant construction work remainin


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 11:18:32 -0400
Soccer-Rooney backs Rashford to make an impact for England

For some, just reaching the European Championship is enough. Purists reacted badly to UEFA adding another eight teams to make it a 24-team tournament for the first time. A spate of drab first-round games in France could see calls for the expanded tournament format to be reassessed, especially with most third-place teams advancing from the four-team groups to the new round of 1


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 11:11:17 -0400
Benzema accuses Deschamps of bowing to racist pressure

Lionel Messi's lawyers have tried to show the court that he was not familiar with the tax issues that led to fraud charges against him. Witnesses called to testify on the second day of his trial say the Argentina forward had little knowledge of the corporate structures that authorities say were created to lower the player's tax burden in Spai


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 05:45:07 -0400
Soccer-Well-balanced England squad has confidence set in Stones

Keeping everyone guessing about his next move, Zlatan Ibrahimovic brushed aside rumors linking him to Manchester United or hometown club Malmo on Wednesday. Speculation about his next move has been rife since Ibrahimovic left Paris Saint-Germain after scoring a career-high 38 league goals this season. Commenting on the risk of attacks during the tournament in France, he said security had been stepped up considerably since the ''tragic events'' in Paris on Nov. 13 when 130 people died in shooting and bomb massacre


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 04:36:26 -0400
Ibrahimovic says he - too good for Swedish league

Karim Benzema has accused Didier Deschamps of giving in to pressure from racists when the France coach decided not to include him in the squad for the European Championship. Deschamps has been a long-time supporter of Benzema, who has been suspended from the national team because of his involvement in an extortion scam over a sex tape involving France teammate Mathieu Valbuen


Wed, 01 Jun 2016 03:52:52 -0400
Soccer-Man Utd - Memphis vows to return stronger next season

By Adam Jourdan SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's Suning Commerce Group is leading a race to buy UK-based Stellar Group, one of the world's leading soccer agencies, a person with knowledge of the talks said, even as the retail giant is set to also invest in Italian club Inter Milan. Reuters reported last month that at least four Chinese investor groups, including model car maker Rastar, were interested in buying Stellar, which has masterminded some of soccer's biggest transfers including Wales international Gareth Bale's record 86 million pound ($126 million) move to Real Madrid. Other Chinese suitors for Stellar, which could fetch around 900 million yuan ($136.6 million), include property developer Evergrande Group and private investors, according to the person and documents reviewed by Reuter


Tue, 31 May 2016 21:52:45 -0400
US Soccer asks EEOC to dismiss wage discrimination complaint

The cousin-in-law of Alan Pulido has been detained for his role in allegedly masterminding the kidnapping of the Mexican soccer player, authorities in northern Mexico said on Tuesday. Pulido, a Mexico national team striker, was kidnapped after leaving a party on Saturday night, but managed to escape by punching a guard, snatching a cell phone, and calling for help from the house where he was held in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas. Police had already detained a captor, one of at least four involved, who belonged to a criminal gang, authorities said on Monda


Tue, 31 May 2016 21:21:43 -0400
Soccer-Ronaldo leads Portugal squad for Euro 2016

The U.S. Soccer Federation asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to dismiss a complaint of wage discrimination made by members of the World Cup-winning women's national team. Five players filed the EEOC complaint in March, claiming members of the team make in some cases up to four times less than their male national team counterparts. The USSF's response was contained in a position statement sent Tuesday to EEOC's Chicago office by Latham & Watkins, a law firm representing the federatio


Tue, 31 May 2016 18:57:02 -0400
Soccer-Embarrassing Alaba own goal takes gloss off Austria win

LONDON (AP) -- Lucas Vazquez has never played for Spain. Marcus Rashford is fresh from his England debut. Joshua Kimmich has only one Germany ca


Tue, 31 May 2016 17:13:47 -0400
Soccer-Argentina wont be withdrawn from Copa over row - FA boss

CORK, Ireland (AP) -- Ireland lost its final warm-up game before traveling to the European Championship, beaten 2-1 Tuesday by a Belarus side which hasn't qualified for the tournament in Franc


Tue, 31 May 2016 16:41:56 -0400
Rafinha and Ederson miss Brazil squad for Copa America

KLAGENFURT, Austria (AP) -- Early goals by Marko Arnautovic and Alessandro Schoepf helped Austria beat Malta 2-1 in a warmup match Tuesday for the European Championshi


Tue, 31 May 2016 15:44:40 -0400
Crew-Union Preview

The head of the Argentine Football Association said Tuesday that the national team will play at the Copa America in the United States as planned, dismissing reports that it might withdraw. AFA President Luis Segura was responding to Argentine media reports that the team might pull out of the 16-team tournament as a protest against the national government, which is trying to assert control over the AFA. ''I'm not going to resign and the national team will not depart from the United States,'' Segura sai


Tue, 31 May 2016 14:57:21 -0400
Soccer-In-form Alibec named by Romania but Maxim misses out

Riccardo Montolivo has been left out of Italy's squad for the European Championship after failing to recover from injury in time, but fellow midfielder Thiago Motta was judged fit enough to be included in the 23-man squad. Coach Antonio Conte announced his final squad in a live television show on Tuesday. Italy is already without injured midfielders Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratt


Tue, 31 May 2016 14:16:50 -0400
The Latest: No surprises in final injury-hit Belgium squad

Lionel Messi's lawyer said the Argentina star and his father were both feeling calm and ready to counter the charges against them as their tax fraud trial opened on Tuesday in a Barcelona court. Messi has had to leave Argentina's preparations for the Copa America in the United States to defend himself from accusations that he failed to properly pay taxes for part of his earnings received from the Spanish club. Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud and could be sentenced to nearly two years in prison if found guilty of defrauding Spain's tax office of 4.1 million euros ($4.5 million) from 2007-0


Tue, 31 May 2016 09:52:48 -0400
The Latest: Ledley in Wales squad 3 weeks after breaking leg

May 31 (Reuters) - Injured midfielder Joe Ledley was named on Tuesday in the Wales squad for next month's European Championship while Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett missed out. Ledley, 29, had been a doubt for the tournament after he fractured his leg in Crystal Palace's 2-1 win over Stoke City this month. He missed the FA Cup final loss to Manchester United. "With this type of injury, he's ahead of the curve. We think he's got a good chance for that (Slovakia) game (on June 11)," manager Chris Coleman told reporters on Tuesday. .


Tue, 31 May 2016 09:47:32 -0400
Marco Reus out of Euro 2016, Schweinsteiger in Germany squad

Three weeks after breaking his left leg, Joe Ledley was included in the 23-man Wales squad for the European Championship. The midfielder sustained the fracture playing in the Premier League for Crystal Palace on May


Tue, 31 May 2016 09:33:30 -0400
Soccer-Zinchenko named in Ukraine Euro 2016 squad

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus was dropped from Germany's European Championship squad on Tuesday, and captain Bastian Schweinsteiger made the final cut despite injury. Reus, who had been struggling at the team's training camp in Ascona, Switzerland, was omitted from the final list of 23 players, along with Hoffenheim defender Sebastian Rudy and Bayer Leverkusen players Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi. ''The doctors could not give a clear prognosis,'' Germany coach Joachim Loew said of Reu


Tue, 31 May 2016 09:26:28 -0400
5 Matches Not to Miss at the European Championship

Luis Suarez and Barcelona topped the season-ending Associated Press Global Football 10 poll on Tuesday, receiving the highest amount of points over the season. Suarez took player of the season honors after scoring 60 goals in 55 appearances for Barcelona, which as a team won the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey. Cristiano Ronaldo was second to Suarez after scoring 51 goals, while 2015 winner Lionel Messi was thir


Tue, 31 May 2016 09:21:03 -0400
Soccer-AS Roma makes Rudiger loan deal permanent

GENEVA (AP) -- Every fourth summer, football lovers tune in to what many see as the tournament for the purists on the global calenda


Tue, 31 May 2016 08:57:28 -0400
Soccer-Lionel Messi misses first day of tax fraud trial

Hooliganism is making a comeback, and the timing could be bad with four high-risk matches in the first week of the European Championship in a country where the police force is already under huge strain. Police forces in France have been stretched since last November's deadly terror attacks that killed 130 people. At the French Cup final, fans managed to sneak flares and objects into the Stade de France, despite a two-meter high security wall and triple security checks, while others tried to invade the pitch, raising serious concern ahead of Euro 2016, where the opening match between France and Romania takes place on June 1


Tue, 31 May 2016 08:11:49 -0400
Soccer-Costa Rica goalkeeper Navas ruled out of Copa America

Jose Mourinho says he won't let his past rivalry with Pep Guardiola get in the way of his new career at Manchester United. With Guardiola taking charge at Manchester City, the pair will face off in the Premier League next seaso


Tue, 31 May 2016 07:20:04 -0400
Soccer-Unlucky Reus left out of Germany Euro 2016 squad

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus was dropped from Germany's European Championship squad on Tuesday, and captain Bastian Schweinsteiger made the final cut despite injury. Reus, who had been struggling at the team's training camp in Ascona, Switzerland, was omitted from the final list of 23 players, along with Hoffenheim defender Sebastian Rudy and Bayer Leverkusen players Julian Brandt and Karim Bellarabi. ''The doctors could not give a clear prognosis,'' Germany coach Joachim Loew said of Reu


Tue, 31 May 2016 05:21:17 -0400
Soccer-AS Roma makes Rudiger loan deal permanent

Three players from Real Madrid and three from Atletico Madrid will compete for the final four spots in Spain's squad for the European Championship. Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has announced a list with 19 players who will make it to France, leaving the final four spots available to the players who participated in Saturday's Champions League final between Madrid and Atletico. Seven players from the Madrid clubs had been included in the preliminary list released two weeks ago, but Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal was ruled out of the tournament because of a muscle injury sustained in the final in Mila


Tue, 31 May 2016 00:05:30 -0400
Mexican soccer player beats up kidnapper to free himself

UEFA is set to decide in December on changing the Champions League as Europe's top clubs chase a new format and bigger share of the competition's billion-dollar annual income. Closed-door meetings of European soccer leaders in Milan around Saturday's Champions League final, making slow progress shaping the competition for the three seasons from 2018, The Associated Press was told. Talk of a breakaway Super League was fueled in January by some wealthy members of the European Club Association (ECA) who saw uncertainty over UEFA's leadership during the FIFA presidential electio


Mon, 30 May 2016 18:21:37 -0400
Soccer-AFC Wimbledon promoted to English third tier

By Natalie Ann Schachar MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The authorities billed it as a rescue, but Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido escaped his kidnappers by punching the one guarding him, snatching a cellphone and calling for help, a top official in the country's violent northeast said on Monday. State security forces located Pulido within minutes of his call from a safe house in the restive city of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state, as they were scouring the area nearby, state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla told local radio. The 25-year-old Mexico national team striker who also plays professionally with the Greek team Olympiakos disappeared in his hometown on Saturday night, when he was intercepted by gunmen after leaving a party with his girlfrien


Mon, 30 May 2016 17:17:01 -0400
Soccer-Coman grabs limelight in France win over Cameroon

NANTES, France (AP) -- Dimitri Payet scored a brilliant last-minute free kick as European Championship host France beat Cameroon 3-2 in a friendly Monda


Mon, 30 May 2016 12:46:04 -0400
Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido rescued after kidnapping

LUGANO, Switzerland (AP) -- Switzerland has three 19-year-olds in its final European Championship squad of 23 players that features new Arsenal signing Granit Xhak


Mon, 30 May 2016 11:54:27 -0400
Soccer-I will retire if no interesting job offers - Pellegrini

AFC Wimbledon, an English soccer club created in 2002 by disgruntled supporters after their original team was controversially relocated and rebranded, continued its rise up the league pyramid by getting promoted to the third division on Monday. The south London team beat Plymouth 2-0 in the League Two playoff final at Wembley Stadium. AFC Wimbledon began life in the ninth tier of the English game 14 years ago, after the ''original'' Wimbledon FC was moved 90 kilometers (56 miles) to Milton Keynes, a commuter town north of Londo


Mon, 30 May 2016 10:03:38 -0400
Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido rescued after kidnapping

Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido was rescued within a day of his kidnapping in the restive northeastern state of Tamaulipas after he was able to make a phone call and alert authorities of his location, a state official said on Monday. The 25-year-old Mexico national team player and striker for the Greek soccer team Olympiakos disappeared in his hometown of Ciudad Victoria on Saturday night, when he was intercepted by gunmen after leaving a party. "The most important thing is that is he is here with us," Tamaulipas Governor Egidio Torre Cantu told reporters in footage broadcast on local television, standing next to Pulid


Mon, 30 May 2016 09:32:38 -0400
Soccer-Rashford signs long-term contract with Man United

Marcus Rashford signed a new contract with Manchester United through June 2020, a reward for the teenage striker's breakthrough this season that could earn him a place in England's European Championship squad. United announced the deal on Monday, saying Rashford has an option to extend the contract by a further year. The 18-year-old Rashford was plucked from the youth teams and given his senior debut in February because of an injury crisis at Unite


Mon, 30 May 2016 08:50:23 -0400
Soccer-Deportivo sack coach Sanchez

Mexican police have rescued kidnapped soccer player Alan Pulido, who appeared with a bandaged hand at a brief press conference Monday to declare that he was fine. Police and other officials said Pulido, a 25-year-old forward with Greek soccer club Olympiakos, was freed in a security operation Sunday shortly before midnight in the northeast border state of Tamaulipas. Pulido had been seized by gunmen as he left a party Saturday nigh


Mon, 30 May 2016 03:43:14 -0400
Soccer-Terry backs Mourinho to succeed at Manchester United

(Reuters) - Chelsea captain John Terry expects Jose Mourinho to be a success at Manchester United, saying the Portuguese is the right manager to lead the 13-time Premier League champions back into contention for major honors. Mourinho, who was named as Louis van Gaal's successor on Friday, will hope to usher in a return to the glory days the club's fans took for granted until Alex Ferguson ended his trophy-laden 26-year tenure with his retirement in 2013. Terry won eight trophies under Mourinho during the 53-year-old coach's two spells at Stamford Bridg


Mon, 30 May 2016 00:10:14 -0400
Soccer-Gabigol scores on debut as Brazil beat Panama 2-0

(Reuters) - Teenage striker Gabriel lived up to his nickname 'Gabigol' on Sunday when he came off the bench to score on his debut in Brazil's 2-0 win over Panama. The 19-year-old replaced Jonas after 62 minutes of the friendly match in Colorado and slotted home Brazil's second with his left foot 10 minutes later. Jonas had opened the scoring in the second minute for a compact and solid Brazi


Sun, 29 May 2016 23:09:42 -0400
Soccer-Villa blunder opens door for Orlando

(Reuters) - David Villa's embarrassing miss from the penalty spot came back to haunt New York City FC on Sunday as Orlando took full advantage of the let-off to fight back for a 2-2 draw in Major League Soccer. With hosts New York leading 2-0, Villa had the perfect chance to make the game safe in the 70th minute but slipped just as he was about to shoot and ballooned the ball high and wide of the Orlando goal. Orlando were quick to capitalize on the miss with Julio Baptista pulling a goal back two minutes later, and Kevin Molino headed the equalizer four minutes into stoppage time at Yankee Stadiu


Sun, 29 May 2016 19:29:15 -0400
Mexican police mount big hunt for kidnapped soccer player

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kevin Molino scored in second-half stoppage time to give Orlando City a 2-2 tie with New York City FC on Sunda


Sun, 29 May 2016 17:38:43 -0400
Soccer-Ukraine beat sloppy Romania 4-3 in penultimate Euro warm-up

Two second-half goals in seven minutes from Raphael Guerreiro and Eder helped Portugal to a 3-0 win over Norway in a warmup game Sunday for the European Championship. Ricardo Quaresma put the Portuguese ahead with a spectacular dipping shot in the 13th. Missing Cristiano Ronaldo, who played in the Champions League final the previous day, Quaresma was Portugal's standout playe


Sun, 29 May 2016 17:30:01 -0400
Soccer-Ronaldo targets more Real glory after San Siro success

By Richard Martin MILAN (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo is hungry for even more silverware with Real Madrid after winning the Champions League on Saturday for the third time. The prolific Portuguese did not look fully fit and was far from his best in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid but he slammed home his team's decisive fifth penalty in the shootout to seal Real’s second Champions League final success over their local rivals in three years. Ronaldo cited tiredness for his underwhelming display in the final, the last game of another gruelling season in which he played 48 competitive games and scored 51 goals, the sixth straight season in which he has netted over 50 time


Sun, 29 May 2016 14:58:37 -0400
Soccer-Greek championship champions league play off results and standings

Germany's European Championship preparations had a setback Sunday in a 3-1 thunderstorm-interrupted defeat to Slovakia. Goals at the end of the half from Marek Hamsik and Michal Duris gave Slovakia a 2-1 lead at the interval in the Euro 2016 warmup before the storm peppered the pitch with large hailstones and heavy rain. The unmarked Juraj Kucka, who earlier conceded the penalty from which Mario Gomez opened the scoring, made up for it in the 52nd minute with a volley to Patrik Hrosovsky's corner, sending the wet ball through the unfortunate Marc-Andre ter Stegen's hands and leg


Sun, 29 May 2016 12:45:41 -0400
Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido kidnapped in border state

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Alan Pulido, a Mexican striker for the Greek soccer team Olympiakos, was kidnapped in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, authorities said according to local media reports on Sunday. A relative of Pulido also told Milenio TV that he had been kidnapped. Pulido was kidnapped after leaving a party in the state capital of Ciudad Victoria, media outlets reported. (Reporting by Veronica Gomez; Editing by Phil Berlowit


Sun, 29 May 2016 12:36:13 -0400
German nationalist slammed over black soccer player comment

Mexican soccer star Alan Pulido was kidnapped Sunday in the northern border state of Tamaulipas, a state official said. Pulido is a forward for Olympiacos of Greece and was part of Mexico's 2014 World Cup team, though he wasn't called up for the Copa America tournament that starts this coming week. The official said the 25-year-old player was kidnapped after leaving a party near his hometown of Ciudad Victoria, the capital of a state that has been plagued by organized crim


Sun, 29 May 2016 10:55:55 -0400
Soccer-Swedish championship results and standings

A top member of a rising German nationalist party drew sharp criticism Sunday for reportedly saying that many people wouldn't want Jerome Boateng, a key player on Germany's national soccer team whose father was born in Ghana, as their neighbor. Alexander Gauland, deputy leader of Alternative for Germany, was quoted as telling the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper: ''People find him good as a footballer. Germany's national team has long reflected varied ethnic background


Sun, 29 May 2016 06:30:38 -0400
Germans would not want soccer star Boateng as neighbour, politician says

Tens of thousands of fans endured rain to greet Real Madrid players as they returned home early Sunday to celebrate the Champions League title. Many waited all night after celebrating the team's win over crosstown rival Atletico Madrid in a penalty shootout on Saturday in Milan. The players arrived in Madrid at about 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) and traveled on an open bus to the club's traditional celebration spot, the Cibeles fountain, where an estimated 30,000 supporters mark the club's 11th European titl




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