|Soccer-Southgate happy with new England system (Reuters)
Gareth Southgate's desire to break England free of the shackles that have held them back for so long proved a qualified success in a 1-0 friendly defeat against Germany on Wednesday. In his first match in charge since being given the manager's job on a full-time basis -- having undergone a four-game audition -- England went down to Lucas Podolski's second-half strike, but reaction back home has been supportive. Former under-21 manager Southgate spoke pre-match about the need for England to emerge from the "island mentality" and embrace new styles and he was as good as his word as he set his team up in a new 3-4-2-1 formation.
Soccer-Toure's return top priority for new Ivory Coast coach (Reuters)
Ivory Coast boss Marc Wilmots has made trying to persuade Yaya Toure out of international retirement one of his top priorities after taking over as coach of the former African champions this week. "I’ve seen the last two games that he played for Manchester City in a defensive midfield position.
Soccer-Germany striker Werner to miss Azerbaijan qualifier (Reuters)
BERLIN, March 23 (Reuters) - Germany striker Timo Werner, who earned his first cap against England on Wednesday, has been ruled out of Sunday's World Cup qualifier at Azerbaijan with a muscle injury, the team said on Thursday. The 21-year-old Werner had to be taken off in the 77th minute of their 1-0 friendly win over England in Dortmund and further checks showed he had torn muscle fibre in his left thigh. It was not yet clear how long the RB Leipzig forward, who has scored 14 times in the Bundesliga this season to keep his club in second place, would be out of action. ...
Croatia PM appeals for no hooliganism at Ukraine game (The Associated Press)
Croatia's prime minister appealed to soccer fans to behave during Friday's World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine. Andrej Plenkovic urged all state institutions to make sure that the game in Zagreb passes without incidents. It is the first time Croatia fans will be allowed into a home match in this World Cup qualifying program.
Soccer-Defender Olsson leaves West Brom for Sweden's Djurgarden (Reuters)
Defender Jonas Olsson has left West Bromwich Albion for Sweden's Djurgarden IF, the English Premier League club said on Thursday. The 34-year-old, who has spent nine years at West Brom, reached an agreement with the club to terminate his contract so he could join the Stockholm-based side in time for the start of the Swedish top-flight season in 10 days. "It's all happened so quickly I've not had chance to say a proper farewell to so many people," Olsson, who has made nine appearances in all competitions this season, told the club website (www.wba.co.uk).
Russia's World Cup CEO mulls FIFA Council spot (The Associated Press)
MOSCOW (AP) -- The man in charge of organizing the World Cup in Russia is considering running for a spot on the FIFA Council after the country's deputy prime minister was barred from standing.
Soccer-Simeone says he rejected 35 million euro offer to leave Atletico last year (Reuters)
Diego Simeone said on Thursday he considered quitting Atletico Madrid last summer following defeat to city rivals Real Madrid in the 2016 Champions League final, and turned down a 35 million euro offer from another club to leave. At the time, he told a news conference: "I'm thinking I have to start thinking about it." In an interview with Spanish sports daily AS published on Thursday, Simeone explained his thought process and gave details of a lucrative offer to leave Atletico. "I got to the press room and had to go through the area where Real Madrid were celebrating and I felt a lot of pain, and I started to think that this was going to be a difficult year and it would be hard to motivate my players again," he said.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:44:42 PDT