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Football / Soccer News from the World:

Set Piece podcast: Zlatan on his way to L.A.
In the very first “Set Piece” pod, which is shorter more focused on one topic, the FC Yahoo crew breaks down the superstar's impending move.

Usain Bolt quick off the mark in Borussia Dortmund trial with goal and crowd-pleasing nutmeg
Usain Bolt showed glimpses of flair and even scored a goal in a training match during his Borussia Dortmund trial on Friday morning. The eight-time Olympic gold medallist ended a record-breaking athletics career last year and has this week signalled his intention to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer by linking up with the Bundesliga side. There were few trademark sprints from the 100m and 200m world record holder but he showed his aerial prowess by heading home from Germany midfielder Mario Gotze's ball over the top in a half-pitch game involving several first-team players, not on international duty, and youth players.

Alexis Sanchez says he “expected better” from himself at Manchester United
The Chilean superstar has scored just one goal for the Red Devils in 10 appearances since joining from Arsenal, and the club has lost three of those games and has been knocked out of the Champions League by Sevilla. Speaking with Chilean media on national team duty in Sweden, Sanchez said he expects more of himself and that he’s so far let himself down. “As I am self-demanding, I expected something better,” Sanchez said. “After my arrival at United, it was hard to change everything very quickly.

Can says he wants to play for “very big club” next year
Liverpool swing man Emre Can – whose contract expires this summer – has not yet found a club to sign with yet, and the future free agent is playing up his own talents while looking for a new home. “I have the self-confidence to say that my qualities

Ligue 1 breaks viewing record in China
Ian Holyman A record 1.6 million people in China tuned in to watch stars such as Mario Balotelli, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe go head-to-head when Nice faced Paris Saint-Germain in last Sunday's Ligue 1 game, the French Football League (LFP) has announced. The game, which PSG won 2-1 thanks to a late Dani Alves goal, was scheduled at the earlier kick-off time of 13:00 CET in order to be available in prime time in China. It was broadcast live by two stations, and taken either live or on a slight delay by four others, giving it an audience 16 times bigger than any other Ligue 1 match. The game also won over the French public with nearly 1.2 million watching, 1.5 times the audience that tunes

What Oscar Pareja noticed about FC Dallas' discipline before and after win over Sounders
FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja was pleased with how his team reacted to Dempsey's red card, lauding the team's discipline both after the match and before the players returned to training Tuesday. "That was the highlight of the game, and obviously just knowing that we got the three points and scored goals, but I saw the discipline of the team during the 90-plus minutes that we played," Pareja said. "It's great to see how they kept their level in spite of the man advantage and also the result. We spoke about it [Tuesday], also, that we like to see a team always knowing that duty and having a good mentality." While several players had said that Seattle's midweek CONCACAF Champions League defeat against

Wilshere could have left Arsenal last August
It’s hard to imagine an Arsenal team without Jack Wilshere on the books, but it nearly came to be during last summer’s transfer window. Speaking openly in England’s training camp this week, Wilshere detailed how Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger approached him one day in August and told him the England international wasn’t in Wenger’s plans. “It was an honest conversation,” Wilshere told The Guardian.

Alisson can become the world's best goalkeeper - Taffarel
1994 World Cup winner and Brazil goalkeeper coach, Claudio Taffarel, believes Selecao gloveman Alisson can become the world's best goalkeeper.

It is not going to be easy against Gor Mahia in Caf Confed Cup, says SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo
SuperSport United interim coach Kaitano Tembo is wary of the task at hand following the Caf Confederation Cup draw that was conducted earlier this week. After beating Angolan outfit Petro de Luanda, Matsatsantsa were thrown into the mix to see who they would need to overcome in order to progress into the Confederation Cup group stages for the second successive year. As expected, at this round of the competition the men will be separated from the boys as SuperSport have been pitted against Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia.

USWNT Top FIFA Rankings, England No. 2
ZURICH (AP) The United States remains at the top of the FIFA women's rankings after winning the SheBelieves Cup, and England moved ahead of Germany into second. The Americans went unbeaten in the four-team round-robin tournament they hosted this month

Wilshere not fit for England, Pickford to start vs. Netherlands
Jack Wilshere will miss England's friendly against the Netherlands in Amsterdam after aggravating a knee injury in training with Gareth Southgate's squad. The England manager also confirmed that Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will start in goal against the Dutch. The Arsenal midfielder had been expected to win his first cap on Friday since playing in the Euro 2016 defeat against Iceland almost two years ago. But Southgate has admitted that the player has stayed behind in England in a bid to recover in time to face Italy at Wembley next Tuesday. "It's Jack's knee, but nothing too serious," Southgate said. "We could have brought him here, but wanted to let it settle, so have decided to keep

Report: Ibrahimovic to sign with MLS next week, LA Galaxy likely landing spot
It appears Zlatan Ibrahimovic will finally be taking his talents to the United States. According to a report from ESPN FC, Ibrahimovic has played his last game for Manchester United, with the club ready to let the Swede out of his contract in order for him to sign in Major League Soccer. While it’s not 100 percent clear where Ibrahimovic will end up, the report states the Galaxy are the leading contenders for his services.

Mkhitaryan wins seventh straight Armenia award
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been named Armenia's Footballer of the Year for a seventh time in succession. Arsenal midfielder Mkhitaryan won the vote by a huge margin, collecting 190 points, with second-placed Tigran Barseghyan, who plays in the Macedonian league, getting 35. "It is a great honour because it means you've achieved something," the official Arsenal website reported him as saying. "You've accomplished something important for the country and your followers. I am very happy to be the children's hero. "I was a kid too, so I know what those feelings are. I too had heroes, I wanted to be like some football player or a hero." Former Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United player Mkhitaryan also

USWNT appears set for 2019 World Cup qualifiers in North Carolina and North Texas
The U.S. national soccer team’s road to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France looks as if it will pass through central North Carolina and North Texas this fall. According to multiple people familiar with the situation, the group stage of the eight-team Concacaf qualifying tournament is tentatively planned for WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., and H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Tex., with the semifinals, third-place game and final at Toyota Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Frisco. Contracts have not been finalized and there is a small chance one of the group locations could change. But at the moment, the world champion Americans are slated to play three first-round matches in Cary and, if they advance,

Rohr wants answers from Nigeria in Mikel absence
KweséESPN Reporter Gernot Rohr is hopeful that Nigeria's senior players will step up in the absence of John Obi Mikel, who's missing for the Super Eagles' international friendly against Poland on Friday. The West Africans' captain is the only active Nigerian player to have won the Champions League, and boasts the kind of experience that is unparalleled elsewhere in the squad, having lifted the African Cup of Nations in 2013 and spent over a decade with Chelsea. Work permit problems with leaving and returning to China, where Mikel currently plays his football with Tianjin TEDA, have ruled the 30-year-old out of Friday's friendly in Wroclaw, and Rohr has called on his team to find an answer to

West Brom: Players cried after Bournemouth defeat
Some West Bromwich Albion players cried in the dressing room after Saturday's Premier League defeat at Bournemouth, says captain Jonny Evans. Bottom side Albion conceded twice in the final 13 minutes to lose 2-1, leaving Alan Pardew's side 10 points from safety with seven games left. "There was a lot of hope and optimism that we would get something from it. We were upset," said 30-year-old Evans. But he insists the squad still does not believe relegation is a formality. The Northern Ireland international also denies their problems have worsened since an ill-fated trip to Barcelona. He was one of four players - along with Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill - who were questioned but not

Mamelodi Sundowns unhappy with scheduling of their Nedbank Cup match with Cape Town City
Both Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City are reportedly unhappy with the scheduling of their Nedbank Cup quarterfinal fixture. According to TimesLive, both clubs had initially requested to play their clash at the Cape Town Stadium on the Saturday, March 31, but that idea was turned down by the Premier Soccer League (PSL). Reports in the media further suggest that Sundowns are likely to make their grievances known by writing a letter to the relevant authorities.

Liridon suspended, Baddrol warned in latest disciplinary verdicts
The Malaysian FA (FAM) Disciplinary Committee on Friday announced its verdicts on a number of disciplinary cases following their meeting on Wednesday, March 21. Kedah players Liridon Krasniqi and Baddrol Bakhtiar have been suspended and warned respectively, for their conduct in their Super League match against Perak on February 7. Kedah captain Baddrol meanwhile has been found guilty for breaching Article 59 of the FAM Disciplinary Code, after he was found to have behaved in an insulting manner in the Perak match.

Jan Oblak: No developments on new Atletico Madrid contract
Jan Oblak has said he cannot say what his situation will be next season as he waits on a new contract offer from Atletico Madrid. Slovenia international Oblak, who has kept 86 clean sheets in 149 games since joining from Benfica in 2014, is reported to be interesting Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Liverpool. Chelsea and Manchester United have also been mentioned as potential payers of his reported €100 million release clause. Teammates Antoine Griezmann, Koke and Saul Niguez all signed long-term deals last summer, but in August Oblak said he could commit to just one more year after it was reported that talks had failed to reach a conclusion. Speaking to Slovenian paper Ekipa, the 25-year-old

Injured Emre Can won't play for Germany against Spain
Germany boss Joachim Low confirmed that Emre Can will not play in the team's friendly against Spain on Friday. Can, 24, left Germany training early on Wednesday with a back problem, but a press officer called it merely a precautionary measure. He was also substituted in Liverpool's 5-0 win against Watford last weekend. Low told reporters: "Emre Can will not be in the squad tomorrow because of the back problem he brought with him from Liverpool. "He tried to train yesterday but broke it off because it was pinching a bit. "Maybe Saturday he can return to training and hopefully play a role against Brazil [on Tuesday]."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins the LA Galaxy
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joined the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy announced the move on Friday morning with a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times. On Twitter, Ibrahimovic appeared in a short video with a lion .

Perez return to Depor hasn't worked
Adriana Garcia Lucas Perez's decision to leave Arsenal to return to Deportivo La Coruna on a season-long loan "was not the best step," his agent has said. Perez, under contract at Arsenal until 2020, has scored four goals in 26 La Liga appearances for a Deportivo side that is in the relegation zone. He was booed by an element of the home crowd when he was substituted in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Las Palmas. "You don't regret it [returning to Deportivo], but obviously it was not the best step," agent Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle told Cadena Cope radio. "It's true that, looking at the situation, it was not the best decision. "I still think he would have taken the same decision because he is a Deportivo

Malaysian FA Cup quarter-final dates confirmed
BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter Malaysian domestic competitions organiser Football Malaysia LLP has revealed the dates of the FA Cup quarter-final matches. Klang Valley rivals who also share the same home ground; Kuala Lumpur

Argentina Messi's team not mine, admits Sampaoli
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli accepted on Thursday the two-time world champions' chances at the World Cup in Russia will depend far more on Lionel Messi than his own influence. Sampaoli was drafted in for Argentina's final four matches of a faltering qualifying campaign, but it was Messi's brilliant hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Ecuador in their final qualifier that ensured they didn't miss out on the World Cup. "This is going to be his team," said Sampaoli, ahead of Friday's friendly against Italy at Manchester City's Etihad stadium.

Dembele: I will not stay in football after retirement
Ian Holyman Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele says there is "no chance" of him pursuing a career in football when he hangs up his boots. The Belgium international remains an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino's plans at Spurs, making 23 Premier League appearances already this season. Dembele has a number of years at the top level ahead of him, but when he does finish playing, he has no intention of remaining in the game. "No chance. You won't see me back in football anytime soon," Dembele told Sport/Foot. "I'm not excluding it 100 percent, but even at 18 I was already saying that I wouldn't stay in the business when my career ended. I still say it. "Not as manager, not on television

Nigeria friendly good for Poland’s World Cup preparation - Wojciech Szczesny
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has stated the importance of Poland’s pre-World Cup  friendly game against Nigeria. Poland will begin their 2018 Fifa World Cup campaign against Senegal at the Otkritie Arena on June 19. “We [Poland] definitely lack experience when it comes to playing with teams from Asia and Africa,” Szczesny told Polsat Sport.

Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane: 'I had no desire to be a coach' after retiring
Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane said he changed his mind over time about coaching as when he retired as a player in 2006, he had "no desire at all" to take over a team. Zidane was one of the greatest players of his generation, winning the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France and the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2002, as well as the Ballon d'Or in 1998 and FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003. Although an inspirational captain and leader of his team during games, he was generally a quiet figure in the dressing room and away from the pitch. Speaking to AS at a legends event in Limoges, France, Zidane said it had taken him some time to realise that coaching would be his

In the snow without Neymar, Brazil brace for Russia
Training between mounds of snow without Neymar, Brazil may be forgiven for feeling out of their element as they prepare to face hosts Russia in their penultimate World Cup warmup. The most expensive football player on the planet is back home, celebrating his sister's birthday with his famous right foot recovering from surgery in a protective boot. Coach Tite will try to make sure his superstars have learned from the unmitigated disaster of their 7-1 drubbing by Germany, whom Brazil play on Tuesday, on home soil back in 2014.

Zambia vs. Zimbabwe - Football Match Report - March 21, 2018
Get a report of the Zambia vs. Zimbabwe 2018 International Friendly, International Friendly football match.

Malaysia 2 Mongolia 2: Abysmal Malayan Tigers held by tiny Mongolia
It was another lacklustre display from Malaysia after they were handed a rude awakening by minnows Mongolia at Bukit Jalil National Stadium. Tan Cheng Hoe's first match as the head coach of the national team would end up not being a fond one to remember by as his team failed to live up to their favourites billing in the tie. Elsewhere the line-up was as expected with debuts being given to the duo of Haziq Nadzli and Ignacio 'Natxo' Insa.

Bolt thanks Dortmund for footballing chance
Athletics legend Usain Bolt has thanked Borussia Dortmund for giving him a chance to pursue his new goal of making it as a professional footballer

Ex-Barcelona star Ronaldinho joins conservative political party in Brazil
Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho has joined a conservative political party ahead of upcoming elections in his native Brazil. The two-time World Player of the Year was at the headquarters of the Brazilian Republican Party (PRB), which is linked to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, on Tuesday along with his brother and manager Roberto de Assis Moreira. It is not clear if Ronaldinho plans to run for office, however. "I am happy to be able to participate in a project that aims at the best of our country and that brings modernity, joy and health to the entire population," said the 2002 World Cup winner. His brother Assis added: "We are Brazilians, we live in Brazil and we are concerned about

Messi begins road to Russia as Argentina chase World Cup glory
Lionel Messi begins his road to World Cup redemption on Friday as Argentina take on Italy in a glamour friendly, desperate to win a major international prize to crown his glorious career. In Barcelona's colours, Messi has experienced nothing but success, winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns, while earning FIFA's Ballon d'Or award five times. Rarely able to hit the same heights with Argentina that he routinely scales with Barcelona, Messi has endured stinging criticism from albiceleste fans at times.

Premier League player Power Rankings
With the Premier League players on international duty this week before the league resumes on March 31, now seems like a good time to take stock of which stars are shinning brightest. [ MORE: Power Rankings archive ] Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham

Everton midfielder to miss key Manchester City and Liverpool games
Eagle-eyed Everton fans would have noticed that something was amiss with Idrissa Gueye last weekend. He seemed a step off the pace at snowy Stoke City, and most of us dismissed it as the midfielder was coming back from illness that caused him to miss the previous weekend against Brighton & Hove Albion. However, it now appears that the player had suffered a muscle tear at some point that he played through but showed up when Gana went through medicals after arriving at Senegal’s training camp for the international break. Speaking during a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s friendly against Uzbekistan, the Lions of Teranga manager Aliou Cisse said (via SportsMole) - “My squad is almost complete,

Heynckes definitely leaving at end of season, claims Ze Roberto
Former Bayern Munich midfielder Ze Roberto insists that Jupp Heynckes has no intention of extending his contract with the club for another season. Heynckes signed a short-term deal when he was appointed as the replacement for Carlo Ancelotti in October 2017. Ahead of the international break, he has guided Bayern to a 17-point lead at the Bundesliga summit and a Champions League quarter-final clash with Sevilla in his fourth spell in charge of the club.

Zambia 2–2 Zimbabwe (5-4 pens): Zambia beat Zimbabwe to set up a date with Bafana Bafana
Wedson Nyirenda, the Chipolopolo head coach, targeted nothing, but a win which would book a spot in the final stage to meet South Africa, who beat Angola on penalties in the semi-final match in the afternoon. Nyirenda started with Orlando Pirates attackers Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga upfront. For the Warriors, coach Sunday Chidzambwa had the same mission and he started with the experienced George Chigova between the goal posts.

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