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Pep urges City players to prove critics wrong

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has urged his players to prove their critics wrong as they came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Luton Town on Sunday. Luton scored with a Elijah Adebayo header on the stroke of halftime, but City fought back with two goals three minutes apart from Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish to return to four points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool. – Stream on…

Why Infantino, FIFA’s interest in women’s soccer, World Cup feels like an act

In less than six months FIFA will, at long last, award hosting rights to the 2027 Women’s World Cup. Now that South Africa has withdrawn from the field of bidders, just three potential hosts remain. On Dec. 8, joint bids from the United States and Mexico; Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands; and a solo effort by Brazil, have been formalized for FIFA’s member nations to vote on May 17, 2024.…

Talk cheap for Ten Hag as Bournemouth embarrass Man United

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United have been keen to present a unified front this week, but the thing about telling everyone you’re in it together is that it’s not enough to talk about it — you have to show it. The 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday was supposed to be evidence that this is a team fighting for each other and their manager, Erik ten Hag, but there was…

Copa America group-stage draw reaction, predictions, keys, more

The stage is now officially set for the 2024 Copa America! Following Thursday’s draw for the group stage, next summer’s 16 participants (two of which have yet to be determined) can begin their preparation for the highly-anticipated CONMEBOL tournament that will be hosted in the United States. Seeking back-to-back Copa America trophies, World Cup-winners Argentina were given a fairly straightforward path through the group stage, but in a possible knockout…

Belgium, Netherlands, Germany in joint WWC bid

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have submitted a joint bid to world football governing body FIFA to host the Women’s World Cup in 2027, the countries’ football associations said on Friday. The three countries will be competing with Brazil to host the tournament after the South American country submitted their bid last month while the United States and Mexico have also expressed their interest. – Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga,…

Santos relegated from Brazil top tier for 1st time

One of the most exciting seasons of the Brazilian league ended Wednesday with the most stable team of the season defending its title and the club that was home to the late Pelé relegated for the first time. Palmeiras drew 1-1 at Cruzeiro to be crowned Brazilian champion for the 12th time. The 18-year-old Endrick scored his 11th goal of the season to give Palmeiras an early lead and Nikao…

Jakub Jankto talks coming out as gay, being a reluctant role model, Euro 2024 hopes and more

CAGLIARI, Italy — Jakub Jankto just wants to play football, like he always did. The Czech midfielder sits by his locker in the dressing room at Unipol Domus, Cagliari Calcio’s temporary home while the Stadio Sant’Elia silently awaits reconstruction next door. A small red-and-blue shirt cut from cardboard marks his place, with No. 21 printed on it. To the right, Paulo Azzi; to the left, Nicolas Viola, a leader who…

What now for England women after tough post-World Cup results?

GLASGOW, Scotland — England spent the final moments of their 2023 schedule huddled ’round a phone, in the middle of a freezing Hampden Park pitch trying to work out what was going on in Tilburg, where the Netherlands were playing Belgium. It capped a roller-coaster year that saw them reach the final of the Women’s World Cup, but also lose out in a spot in the semifinals of the Nations…