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Macron will attend World Cup if France reach semi-finals
Macron will attend World Cup if France reach semi-finals

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said he would travel to Russia for the soccer World Cup if France reach the semi-finals, turning a deaf ear to calls from human rights groups to boycott the tournament. Human rights groups calling for the boycott over Russia's involvement in Syria's civil war met with Macron's advisers earlier this week, saying it would send a strong symbolic message if the 40-year-old leader did not attend the World Cup.

Pulisic on USMNT dream; Premier League rumors
Pulisic on USMNT dream; Premier League rumors

Christian Pulisic hasn't played for the U.S. men's national team since last October but next Monday he will step out onto the pitch for the Stars and Stripes once again, and he will be less than a few hours away from his hometown of Hershey, Pa. It will be quite the homecoming for Pulisic, still just 19 years old, as the Borussia Dortmund star plays for the USMNT in a friendly against Bolivia at Talen Energy Stadium, close to Philadelphia. In an exclusive chat with Pro Soccer Talk, Pulisic revealed that he is ready to be a leader, if that's what is asked of him, as the USMNT continue rebuilding after their World Cup qualification nightmare eight months ago.

Reuters Sports Schedule at 1400 GMT on Thursday

Reuters sports schedule at 1400 GMT on Thursday: SOCCER World Cup preview package We are moving the final part of our World Cup preview package at 1400 GMT (10 AM ET), with pieces on the teams in Groups G and H. For each of the teams we will be sending

Why PSL Awards are a big thing for Cape Town City
Why PSL Awards are a big thing for Cape Town City's Thabo Nodada

After bagging the club's 2017/18 Player of the Season award, Cape Town City midfielder Thabo Nodada has expressed delight after being nominated for another top accolade. The 22-year-old nippy midfielder is among the players who stand a chance of claiming the MTN8 Last Man Standing gong. This was confirmed by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Monday when nominees for PSL end of the season awards were announced.

Argentina
Argentina's World Cup bid is made easier by Messi - Mascherano

Argentina defender Javier Mascherano has claimed that their World Cup bid is aided significantly by having an in-form Lionel Messi in the squad

Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final
Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

On June 4, 1998, Joe Juneau scored the biggest goal in the history of the Washington Capitals. In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, Juneau attacked the crease and shot in a rebound past a helpless Dominik Hasek in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres and win the Eastern Conference. Alex Ovechkin's name was already etched in the history books for the Capitals several times over, but on Wednesday he added it again with the biggest goal of his career.

Key takeaways: Emery
Key takeaways: Emery's first Arsenal press conference

Unai Emery was unveiled as the new head coach of Arsenal on Wednesday and the Spanish coach spoke to the media at the Emirates Stadium soon after the news was official. The former PSG, Sevilla and Valencia coach spoke in limited English and answered some questions in his native tongue as he explained his vision for the Gunners AW (after Wenger) while sat alongside Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis. Below is a look at five key takeaways from Emery's first presser as Arsenal officially have a new boss for the first time in almost 22 years.

Transfer Rumors: Seri to Arsenal; Vagnoman to Chelsea
Transfer Rumors: Seri to Arsenal; Vagnoman to Chelsea

Nice's Jean Seri is reportedly Unai Emery's first target as Arsenal boss. A report from the Daily Mail states that Seri, 26, is available for $46 million and although both Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund are interested, the Ivorian midfielder is a long-time target of the new Arsenal boss. Seri almost signed for Barcelona in the past and Emery tried to sign him in January while he was in charge of PSG.

Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Man City near £60m Mahrez deal
Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Man City near £60m Mahrez deal

Man City near £60m Mahrez deal Manchester City are nearing a deal to sign Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, with Patrick Roberts heading the other way, reports Metro.  The Premier League champions will pay £60 million (€69m/$80m) for the Algerian

Carrick: Haven
Carrick: Haven't entertained possibility of Pogba leaving Man Utd

Michael Carrick is hammering the idea of a Paul Pogba exit from Manchester United. Pogba's had his problems with manager Jose Mourinho, but recently praised the boss for the season's education. [ MORE: Napoli hires Ancelotti ] But is an exit is just

Agent confirms Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United interest in Luc Eymael
Agent confirms Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United interest in Luc Eymael

The Free State Stars mentor had been linked with the two Gauteng clubs for a while, but he consistently denied being contacted for the two vacant positions. "We haven't had formal talks, but I can confirm that Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United are interested in Luc.

"First-choice" Emery reveals his plans for Arsenal
"First-choice" Emery reveals his plans for Arsenal

Unai Emery spoke to the media for the first time as Arsenal manager on Wednesday, with the Spanish coach detailing his vision for the Gunners as more details emerged about the managerial search. Emery, 48, was named as Arsenal's new "head coach" with the former PSG coach replacing Arsene Wenger and edging ahead of Mikel Arteta in the battle to take charge at the Emirates Stadium. Sat alongside Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis, Emery spoke to reporters at Arsenal's home stadium on Wednesday and although his English is limited he seemed excited by the challenge ahead.

Soccer-Costa Rica World Cup factbox

Costa Rica will be appearing in their fifth World Cup four years after their best finish with a run to the quarter-finals in Brazil, where they lost to the Netherlands on penalties. Few expected Costa Rica to get out of a group featuring three former World Cup winners -- England, Italy and Uruguay. Oscar Ramirez: The 53-year-old took over the national team reins in 2015 when he was promoted from his role as assistant to Paulo Wanchope when the former Manchester City player stood down after he was involved in an altercation with a fan.

Soccer-Costa Rica need to rediscover spirit of 2014 to thrive

Costa Rica were one of the surprise packages of the 2014 World Cup but, having failed to build upon that success, it is hard to see Oscar Ramirez's side performing similar heroics in Russia. Four years ago, 'Los Ticos' defied all predictions by finishing top of a group featuring three former World Cup winners in Italy, England and Uruguay, emerging unbeaten in all three games. Then, inspired by goalkeeper Keylor Navas, the Central Americans battled past Greece on penalties to take their place in the last eight for the first time.

Soccer-Martens: "I was told women couldn't play football. Now I can laugh at them"

BARCELONA, May 23 (Reuters) - "I had a dream that didn't exist," says Barcelona and Netherlands forward Lieke Martens as she recalls her adolescent aspirations to be a professional player when women's football was a far cry from the booming sport it is today. Martens, 25, is one of the most famous female players in the world after inspiring the Netherlands to win the European Championships on home turf last year. "A lot of people were laughing at me when I was young and I said I wanted to be a professional footballer, they said it was only for boys," Martens tells Reuters in an interview at Barcelona's Joan Gamper training ground.

Transfer News: Manchester City Lines up Kompany Replacement, United Prepared to Let Star Leave
Transfer News: Manchester City Lines up Kompany Replacement, United Prepared to Let Star Leave

Manchester City won the Premier League title at a canter, but Pep Guardiola is already looking at strengthening his team ahead of next season. According to The Guardian, the Spaniard has identified Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt as the ideal replacement for Vincent Kompany, who featured in only eight of City's final 14 games due to a series of injuries.

Unai Emery - manager profile
Unai Emery - manager profile

Find out all you need to know on Arsenal's newly-appointed manager, Unai Emery.

No Liverpool players would get in Real Madrid team - del Bosque
No Liverpool players would get in Real Madrid team - del Bosque

Former Real Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque has claimed that no Liverpool player would get in the current Real Madrid side

Brighton adds Nigerian World Cup defender from Mainz
Brighton adds Nigerian World Cup defender from Mainz

Brighton and Hove Albion has added some depth to their center back pairing of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy. Leon Balogun has arrived from Mainz, the 28-year-old Nigerian heading to the World Cup and then hitting the Amex Stadium on a free transfer. [

The Latest: Group to redo soccer star Brandi Chastain plaque
The Latest: Group to redo soccer star Brandi Chastain plaque

The president of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco says the organization will redo a plaque of soccer star Brandi Chastain after a social media uproar. Bay Area news station KTVU-TV quotes Kevin O'Brien as saying he spoke to Chastain on Tuesday and offered to revamp the plaque if she sent a new photograph of herself. On Twitter, fans compared the likeness on the plaque to former President Jimmy Carter, actor Gary Busey and others.

Horoya AC 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns: Brazilians squander lead away to Horoyaa
Horoya AC 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns: Brazilians squander lead away to Horoyaa

Razak Brimah and Gaston Sirino made their return to the starting line-up as Sundowns looked to return to winning ways after losing 3-1 to Barcelona having opened their group stage campaign with a 1-1 draw against Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca at home two weeks ago. Horoya saw most of the ball in the opening stages of the game as they searched for an early goal, but Sundowns' defence looked solid and organized. Dauoda Camara's glancing header was well-saved by Sundowns goalkeeper Brimah.

Ronaldo retains top spot as world
Ronaldo retains top spot as world's most popular athlete: ESPN

(Reuters) - Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo topped the ESPN World Fame 100 list for a third straight year, pipping American basketball player Lebron James and long-term Argentine rival Lionel Messi. Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, was named the most popular athlete

On a winger and a prayer: the miraculous rise of Mountain Top FC
On a winger and a prayer: the miraculous rise of Mountain Top FC

One of Nigeria's biggest evangelical churches was on to a winner when it set up a football club -- backed by millions of dollars and the power of prayer. Just over a decade later, Mountain Top FC or MFM FC are now in the Nigerian Professional Football League and among the best sides in the country. At the Agege Stadium in Lagos, the ritual is the same before every match: players in their all-purple strip gather round a pastor in the dressing room to be blessed.

West Ham name Manuel Pellegrini as new manager
West Ham name Manuel Pellegrini as new manager

West Ham have confirmed the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager.

Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal
Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal

Santi Cazorla hasn't played a match for the Gunners since suffering a gruesome Achilles injury back in October 2016. [ MORE: No World Cup for Spanish Chelsea trio ] And unfortunately for the Spaniard, Cazorla won't feature for Arsenal again after six

Montreal Impact 0 LA Galaxy 1: Ibrahimovic sent off for slapping opponent
Montreal Impact 0 LA Galaxy 1: Ibrahimovic sent off for slapping opponent

Ola Kamara's goal earned a 1-0 MLS win for LA Galaxy away to Montreal Impact on Monday, the visitors having been reduced to 10 men in the first half after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for slapping Michael Petrasso. The former Manchester United striker struck his opponent in the head after Petrasso appeared to back into the Swede and tread on his foot. Following the intervention of the video assistant referee (VAR), on-field official Ismail Elfath booked Petrasso and showed a straight red to Ibrahimovic for violent conduct.

Injuries aren
Injuries aren't halting Red Bulls from proving to be MLS' top club

It would have been understandable if the New York Red Bulls dropped their heads in agony last month after the club's disappointing CONCACAF Champions League defeat to eventual tournament winners Chivas de Guadalajara. Sunday night's 3-1 win over Atlanta United proved once again in 2018 that this season's Red Bulls are the class of MLS for a number of reasons. The team's 7-3-0 start is its best in modern Red Bulls history, which dates back nine seasons to when Red Bull Arena was first opened in 2010.

Former Liverpool CEO Ayre hired by MLS
Former Liverpool CEO Ayre hired by MLS' Nashville expansion

Former Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has been hired for the same role with Major League Soccer's expansion franchise in Nashville. The 55-year-old became Liverpool's managing director in March 2011 following the club's purchase by Fenway Sports Group and was promoted to CEO in May 2014. Ayre left in February 2017 to become managing director of second-division 1860 in Munich but lasted just three months, quitting the day after the club was relegated to the third tier.

Unai Emery
Unai Emery's PSG Timeline

Unai Emery's two-year spell at PSG was full of spectacular triumphs and shocking losses - check out the timeline of his spell in France.

Emery set to be appointed by Arsenal - reports
Emery set to be appointed by Arsenal - reports

Former Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery is set to be named the new Arsenal boss, according to reports in England. Although the Gunners refused to confirm the news on Monday, the Spaniard appears to have won the race to succeed Arsene Wenger. Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri had initially been considered among the leading candidates to replace the Frenchman, whose 22-year tenure came to an end this season.

Emery set to replace Wenger at Arsenal
Emery set to replace Wenger at Arsenal

Unai Emery will be the next man up for Arsenal, with the BBC calling it a "unanimous choice" from Arsenal's search committee. [ MORE: Nashville hires ex-Liverpool CEO ] The BBC's David Ornstein is reporting that Arsenal will appoint the ex-PSG and

UPDATE 4-Superliga Summaries

May 21 (OPTA) - Summaries for the Superliga on Monday (start times are CET) Championship Round ................................................................. Brøndby (0) 1 Scorers: B. Röcker 89 Yellow card: Jung 73 Subs used: Halimi 46 (Fisker), Mensah 52 (Pukki), Bruus 55 (Mensah) AaB (1) 1 Scorers

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool's desire can overcome Real Madrid's Champions League experience

Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, says his players' desire and ambition will counter the disadvantage of facing a Real Madrid side that has made a habit of winning Champions League finals. As a club, five-time winners Liverpool are hardly novices as they prepares for a fifth European final in 17 years. As a squad their medal haul is no match for a Real Madrid side pursuing a hat-trick of Champions League victories, and a fourth in five years.

Pogba: Mourinho "made me progress in leadership"
Pogba: Mourinho "made me progress in leadership"

Paul Pogba says "we are never sure of anything but contractually, it's sure" that he'll remain at Manchester United. There was a lot of talk, people thought it wasn't working out," Pogba added. In a candid talk, the 25-year-old Pogba was asked about Paris Saint-Germain and told French television that he'd be open to representing the club in the future despite the fact that his parents are Marseille supporters.

Russia
Russia's doping capital gears up for World Cup

Nestled on the edge of the forest outside the Russian city of Saransk is the home of one of the most successful doping programs in history. Athletes from the V.M. Chegin Olympic Training Center dominated race-walking for over a decade, winning nine Olympic and 18 world championship medals between 2004 and 2016, when head coach Viktor Chegin was banned for life amid a blizzard of doping cases. Now Saransk - like Russia itself - wants to rebuild its reputation by hosting World Cup soccer games.

Champions League: Ramos reveals Real Madrid
Champions League: Ramos reveals Real Madrid's plan to stop Salah, Firmino

Ahead of Real Madrid's clash with Liverpool in the final of the Champions League encounter on Saturday, Sergio Ramos has explained how they intend to stop Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. The Egypt international has forged a good partnership with Firmino and Sadio Mane with the three contributing a huge chunk of the goals scored by Jurgen Klopp's side this season.

Salah is
Salah is 'definitely' world's best - Lovren

Dejan Lovren says team-mate Mohamed Salah is "definitely" the best player in the world as Liverpool prepare to take on a Real Madrid side boasting Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final. Salah has had a sensational first season on Merseyside, scoring 44 goals in all competitions and claiming the Premier League's Golden Boot with 32.

Nashville MLS expansion club snares ex-Liverpool CEO Ayre
Nashville MLS expansion club snares ex-Liverpool CEO Ayre

Former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre is moving from Merseyside to the Music City. The Tennesseean's Joe Rexrode says Ayre is set to take the reins of Nashville SC as the first CEO in club history when it makes its debut in the 2020 MLS season. Liverpool hired ex-EA Sports executive Peter Moore to replace Ayre in 2017 after the latter, 54, spent six years with the club as managing director and then CEO.

UK PM May
UK PM May's spokesman says cannot comment on Russian billionaire's Abramovich visa delay

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Monday the government could not comment on why Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's visa was yet to be renewed. Abramovich, best known in Britain as the owner of Premier League soccer club Chelsea, is in the process of

Man City will continue to improve under Guardiola - Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Man City will continue to improve under Guardiola - Khaldoon Al Mubarak

Man City's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak believes the club will continue to improve under Pep Guardiola but insisted they must be careful not to break the winning formula with signings.

Soccer: Lopetegui blends youth and experience in Spain World Cup squad
Soccer: Lopetegui blends youth and experience in Spain World Cup squad

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spain coach Julen Lopetegui named his 23-man World Cup squad on Monday with a rich blend of youth and experience, as well as some high-profile absentees. Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was left out after a disappointing season in England, as was his team mate Marcos Alonso, with

The long goodbye: Iniesta sits alone in Camp Nou after final Barcelona match
The long goodbye: Iniesta sits alone in Camp Nou after final Barcelona match

Andres Iniesta was pictured sitting alone on the Camp Nou pitch after playing his final match for Barcelona on Sunday. The powerful images showed the 34-year-old bidding his own personal farewell to the famous stadium after 22 years at the club. Iniesta played 81 minutes of the 1-0 LaLiga win over Real Sociedad before being substituted to tumultuous applause from the crowd.

UPDATE 2-J-League Summaries

May 21 (OPTA) - Summaries for the J-League on Sunday (start times are JST) Kashima Antlers (0) 1 Scorers: Y. Suzuki 85 Yellow card: Ogasawara 43, Endo 78 Subs used: Inukai 46 (Ogasawara), Suzuki 46 (Nakamura), Abe 81 (Doi) Vegalta Sendai (1) 2 Scorers: N. Ishihara 2, K. Itakura 65 Yellow card: Itakura

Liverpool players can change their lives in Kiev, says Gerrard
Liverpool players can change their lives in Kiev, says Gerrard

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says Jurgen Klopp's team could change their lives by winning the Champions League final. The Reds take on holders Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday in a bid to be crowned champions of Europe for the sixth time. Gerrard inspired Liverpool to their dramatic triumph over AC Milan in 2004-05, the last time they won the trophy, while he also tasted defeat to the same opponents in the final of 2006-07.

Rakitic lost for words as Iniesta heads for Barcelona exit
Rakitic lost for words as Iniesta heads for Barcelona exit

Ivan Rakitic admitted it was difficult to find the words to describe Andres Iniesta's final match for Barcelona on Sunday. The 34-year-old played 80 minutes of the 1-0 LaLiga win over Real Sociedad before being substituted to a standing ovation from a packed Camp Nou crowd. Rakitic has won every major trophy available since joining Barca in 2014, including three league titles and the Champions League, all while playing alongside Iniesta at the heart of the midfield.

Johnston: Liverpool can
Johnston: Liverpool can't lose Suarez, Coutinho AND Salah!

Liverpool great Craig Johnston said Jurgen Klopp's Reds cannot afford to lose goalscoring sensation Mohamed Salah amid links to Real Madrid. The Egyptian star scored a record 32 Premier League goals to scoop the Golden Boot, while he also claimed the PFA Players' Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season. Salah's exploits, however, have not gone unnoticed with European champions Madrid - Liverpool's opponents in Saturday's Champions League final - reportedly interested in the 25-year-old.

East Bengal: Bastab Roy ducks question on his role at East Bengal
East Bengal: Bastab Roy ducks question on his role at East Bengal

Former ATK assistant Bastab Roy was named as the new head coach of East Bengal last Friday. It is well-known that Bhowmick is the captain of the ship and even Roy's recruitment as the head coach was carried out at the behest of the ASEAN Club Cup-winning coach. When Roy was quizzed about his role at EastBengal, he chose to beat around the bush and finally ducked the question.

Matic: Man Utd needs more experience in its squad
Matic: Man Utd needs more experience in its squad

Nemanja Matic would like to see a bit more veteran bravery in his Manchester United side. The title-winning 29-year-old midfielder finished second in the Premier League this season, his first with the Red Devils after a strong run with Chelsea. [ MORE

Iniesta bids farewell to Barcelona, Torres to Atletico
Iniesta bids farewell to Barcelona, Torres to Atletico

First it was Fernando Torres, then Andres Iniesta. The league season in Spain ended Sunday with two Spanish soccer idols bidding farewell to their clubs. Torres ended his storied career with boyhood club Atletico Madrid by scoring twice in the team's 2-2 draw against Eibar.

MLS Things: Shuttleworth, Quintero somehow get Loons a point vs. SKC
MLS Things: Shuttleworth, Quintero somehow get Loons a point vs. SKC

Entering the day, no one was arguing that hosts Minnesota United were a better side than Sporting KC. The Loons were 11 points and 19 goals worth of differential behind Western Conference-leading KC. Oregon State product Khiry Shelton has been wonderful for Sporting KC this season, but the striker just hasn't found the back of the goal.

Top News: Soccer

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