Diego Costa accuses Chelsea of being unfair and treating him like a criminal

Diego Costa has accused Chelsea of treating him like war criminals and exposed he will not return to the club, who he hopes will allow him to return to Atltico Madrid

Diego Costa has accused Chelsea of treating him like war criminals and revealed he will not return to the club, which he still hopes will sanction his return to Atltico Madrid.

The 28 -year-old striker, who has been informed by Antonio Conte he has no future at Stamford Bridge, told the Daily Mail that the Chelsea manager absence charisma and that he is happy to continue accepting penalties for refusing to train with the reserves at the clubs Cobham training base. They want me to be there training with the reserves, Costa said.

I wouldnt be allowed access to the first-team dressing room and I would have no contact with the guys. Im not a criminal. I dont think it is fair after all I have done to be treated like that. I am not in the wrong here. So, if they need to fine me, let them fine me. I take the make each week but Im not driven by money. You know that the manager doesnt want me. I am waiting for Chelsea to define me free. I didnt want to leave. I was happy. When the manager does not want you, you have to go.

Costa made a text conversation with Conte in which the Italian informed him his Chelsea career was over public knowledge in June , insisting he would have to find a way out of the club. But Costa, who scored 20 Premier League goals to help Chelsea win the title last season, said he was close to agreeing a new contract as recently as January at Stamford Bridge but believes Conte intervened before he could put pen to paper.

I was on the brink of renewing my contract and they put the brakes on it, he said. I suspect the manager was behind it. He has his own opinion and that will not change. I respect him as a great coach-and-four. He has done a good job and I can see that. But as a person no. He is not a coach-and-four who is very close with his players. He is very distant. He doesnt possess … charisma.

Costa remains hopeful of securing a return to Atltico, where he played for four years between 2010 and 2014 before joining Jos Mourinhos Chelsea. Costa acknowledges the Manchester United manager has contacted him to check I am OK and insists he never had any problems with the Portuguese.

He adds he has informed the Chelsea director, Marina Granovskaia, of his intentions to depart for La Liga and that he has rejected offers to leave Chelsea, who he accuses of trying to sell him to Chinese clubs. I want the deal with Atltico resolved this month, added the Spain striker. My idea would be to go to Madrid, train there, get into the best physical shape and be ready to fire ahead of the World Cup.

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Morocco to challenge North American joint bid to host 2026 World Cup

Morocco announced a last-minute challenge to the joint proposal of the United States, Mexico and Canada for the right to host the 2026 World Cup

Morocco has announced it will bid to host the 2026 World Cup, positioning itself as a last-minute challenger to the joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The Moroccan football federation unveiled the bid on Friday with a brief two-sentence statement, corroborating it had submitted a formal application to the relevant Fifa committees. The announcement came hours before Fifas deadline for countries to confirm their intention to bid, and denies the North American bid an unopposed victory at the eleventh hour.

The US-Mexico-Canada bid, first reported by the Guardian and formally announced at an April news conference in New York City, remains the overwhelming favorite to win hosting rights for the 2026 tournament. A successful joint bid would mark the first time the Football world cup has been hosted by multiple countries since the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.

Under the proposal, the US will host 60 games including every match from the quarter-finals onwards with Mexico and Canada dividing the remaining 20 fixtures equally. The United States previously hosted the Football world cup in 1994, and that 24 -team, 52 -match tournament still holds the attendance record( with nearly 3.6 million spectators ), despite a subsequent expansion of the format to 32 squads and 64 matches.

Mexico hosted the tournament in 1970 and 1986, while Canada hosted the womens World Cup in 2015.

In May, Fifa announced a four-stage bidding process for the 2026 tournament with a final decision in May 2020. It later confirmed that the previous two World Cup hosts, Europe and Asia, will not be eligible to host the tournament.

That left North Americas Concacaf( which last hosted in 1994 ), Africas CAF( which last hosted in 2010 ), South Americas Conmebol( Brazil in 2014) and Oceanias OFC( never ).

The CAF offered its backing to the Moroccan bid last month, and Morocco could spring an upset if it can broker an adequate voting confederation. Europe has 55 members in the Congress, Africa 54, Asia 46, Concacaf 35, Oceania 11 and South America 10.

Fifa will now inspect the two finalists bids and report to the governing bodys member associations by March. The final referendum will take place at the Fifa congress in June.

Weve always been prepared for the fact that other countries could also decide to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement on Friday. Competition is good, and overall it shows the value and importance of the World Cup.

Over the next eight months weve got a lot of work to do.

The North American bid is bolstered by a fleet of gleaming new NFL stadia built over the past two decades that are suitable for international matches, which puts it in step with the cost-conscious, infrastructure-ready leanings of the day.

But Morocco, which would become only the second African nation to host a World Cup after South Africa in 2010, has six soccer stadiums with 45,000 seats or more already in use, meaning it would not require as much new construction as previous host nations.

The North African country with long coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea previously bid for the Football world cup in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010.

Two years ago, the Daily Telegraph reported that Morocco had, in fact, won the vote to host the 2010 competitor even though Fifa awarded the tournament to South Africa. Morocco also came close in its campaign for the 1998 tournament, losing to France in the final round by a margin of 12 to seven.

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Sleeperbot is the best place to host your fantasy football league this season

Sleeperbot, which has raised about$ 2M in seed funding from Birchmere VC and Expa, and boasts hundreds of thousands of users, calls itself Slack for sports.

Its basically an app( and website) that lets sports fans have dialogues around different topics theyre passionate about. These debates happen in channels some of which are created by the company and are general topics like fantasy advice, and some are created by users like an Eagles fan club.

And now they are adding another feature that is sure to make it even more useful for sports fans fantasy athletics. Starting with NFL this season, Sleeperbot is adding is supportive of season-long fantasy athletics right inside its app.

This move induces total sense because season-long fantasy athletics, unlike daily fantasy sports, is a very social activity.

Most people play in leagues with friends they have known their whole life and the social/ chat element can be just as important as the actual gameplay. Thats why it doesnt make sense for casual player to utilize sites like ESPN or Yahoo fantasy anymore who wants to make a trade in one app then switch to iMessage or GroupMe when its time to talk to the rest of the league when you can do it all from one place?

So Sleeperbots fantasy product is very focused on social in fact almost every screen in the app has an embedded chat so you can talk to your league. Theres also a feature to power in-person drafts, which is something important in most serious fantasy athletics leagues among friends.

While the fantasy product is just launching, Sleeperbot as a chat app has been around for a bit and seen some pretty good traction. Users open the app 4-5 times a day and spend 3-5 minutes per session and on peak game days average users to be able to spend up to 30 minutes in the app talking athletics with their friends.

Sleeperbots free NFL fantasy product launches this season, and other sports will roll out afterwards this year. You can download their app on theiOS App Store here and Google Play Store here,or play on the web.

Seeded Liverpool could face Mario Balotelli in Champions League draw

Liverpool could be drawn against Nice, who have Mario Balotelli in their ranks, when the depict for the Champions League play-off round takes place on Friday

Jrgen Klopp has said Liverpool make preparations for the Champions League play-offs but must be ready psychologically for the critical early test in their season.

Liverpool will be seeded in Fridays play-off draw alongside Sevilla, Napoli, CSKA Moscow and Sporting Lisbon. They will avoid an all-British tie against Celtic, and a reunion with their former manager Brendan Rodgers, after the Scottish champions beat Rosenborg on Wednesday in the third qualifying round to procure their place in the seeded half of the draw.

Liverpool can be drawn against Mario Balotellis Nice, Steaua Bucharest, Young Boys of Berne, Istanbul Basaksehir or Hoffenheim, the former club of Roberto Firmino, in the play-offs, to be staged on 15 -1 6 August and 22 -2 3 August.

It were critical how you prepare and what state of mind you are in for games like this, the Liverpool manager said in Munich, where his team lost the Audi Cup final to Atltico Madrid 5-4 on penalties after the match objective 1-1. If you want to win you want to draw a smaller foe but we played against Bayern Munich last night and played much better than we did against Atltico.

We appeared very tired tonight. We want to make life very difficult for our adversaries but all that happened tonight is the fact that we conceded a aim. We had 20 shots. For many players it was a real experience. It is a perverse situation you bring players into a situation where they have to play a game they shouldnt play. Im happy we dont have to play again tomorrow.

Liverpools unbeaten pre-season ended in a low-key finale to the Audi Cup. Klopp built nine changes to the team who started the 3-0 win over Bayern Munich 24 hours earlier and in a subdued first half the 19 -year-old Albanian midfielder Keidi Bare headed Diego Simeones team ahead after Danny Ward had tipped Angel Correas shot on to the bar.

Firmino equalised with an 83 rd-minute penalty to take the final to a shootout. Only Jordan Henderson failed to convert as Miguel Moy saved low to his left.

Klopp said: We wanted to win criminal penalties shootout but that is not the important situation. The sons played very well and did very good in their preparations. They could not have had a more difficult test than against Atltico Madrid, who are a squad that only gets outcomes, outcomes, results.

It was not easy. When we confessed we didnt quite see the situation or believe straightaway. The formation was not 100%. One lost ball at a header shouldnt mean you go behind.

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Manchester United end US tour with underwhelming display in loss to Barcelona

Manchester United shut their pre-season tour of America on a dissonant note by losing 1-0 to Barcelona in what was a pedestrian reveal from Jos Mourinhos outfit

Manchester United closed their pre-season tour of America on a dissonant note by losing this fifth outing in what was a pedestrian present from Jos Mourinhos outfit.

The manager has serially emphasized outcomes do not matter and Uniteds time here is all about fitness and team gelling. Thus he will return home content with the five matches that are really kick-started that process.

Mourinho was however unhappy at his rearguard. It was an open game, we didnt defend well, he told. Im not happy. But in the second half lots of changes for them and for us, but both teams play for the result we tried to equalise, they tried to keep the ball, possession and defend well so in second half the match was positive.

United are due back in Manchester early on Thursday morning and will touch down with four victories under their belt as thoughts turn to the Uefa Super Cup meeting with Real Madrid in Macedonia on 8 August. Mourinhos side face Vlerenga and Sampdoria in their final warm-ups before the trip to Skopje.

As Ernesto Valverde started with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Surez up top, Ivan Rakiti and Sergio Busquets in midfield, and Javier Mascherano and Marcelo as part of his defence, this was the strongest opponent United faced during their 18 days away.

So after those four previous wins the mission to achieve a clean sweep required what would be Uniteds most impressive victory of the trip.

The challenge began promisingly. Marcus Rashford, operating on the right of Uniteds 4-2-3-1, reached Romelu Lukaku with a ball that skidded towards the striker as he raced into the region. Lukaku connected but the ball was skied over Jasper Cillessens goal.

From here Barca dominated for most of the half though United had their moments. First up was Neymar who followed a dribble by hitting a shot straight-out at David De Gea. Next, Neymar fed Messi and he did the same the No1 spilling this time before recovering.

Suarez now became the most recent Barca player to find space between Uniteds lines. When he violated through the endeavor this time tested De Gea and he saved well, conceding a corner. Messi ran far closer when given another chance, the No10 beating De Gea but not the goalkeepers left post.

United saw Barcas ultra quick pass-and-go hard to stem. They are not the first and will not be the last to do so. And to their credit when they managed to wrest the ball into their possession and rove forward questions were asked of Valverdes unit.

Rashford and Paul Pogba, in particular, were keen to take the contest to Barca. The latter stimulated one buccaneering run down the right that stretched the turquoise rearguard and earlier Pogba had turned Carles Alena neatly before blazing at Cillessen, the keeper beating ball away.

Rashford Uniteds best moment of the stanza. From a position on the left he raced toward objective, beat Surez and Samuel Umtiti, and at close range smacked the ball at Cillessen, who repelled it.

Given Barcas technical superiority, the last thing United wanted was to concede the ball needlessly. Yet they did so by clumsy occur and decide, on occasion, to hoof the ball in the air from a goal-kick.

This, as Pep Guardiola argues, often means it comes back at you quickly. So it was that from a De Gea clearance Neymar was almost instantly in on the Spaniard and United were fortunate they did not concede.

Yet this giving away of ball led to Barcas winner. This time United lost it near the Catalans area and defence quickly turned into attack. Daley Blinds attempted pass went awry, Barca zipped forward, Surez fed Messi, he threaded the ball into Neymars path inside the area, Antonio Valencia hashed a tackle, and the No11 built no mistake.

United went close to allowing a second before half-time via a similar mix-up. Blind again was culpable, this time for a contaminate that dedicated away a free-kick when he downed Messi. The Argentinian took this and flipped the ball towards Surez. Victor Lindelof did well to set his head on the pass but the purposes of the act confounded Chris Smalling and United only just escaped.

Bara deserved the advantage and started the second half holding a result they would not resignation. For Uniteds final 45 minutes Stateside, Mourinho switched the same three players in defense as during the infringe of the 2-0 win over Manchester City in Houston.

Out ran Lindelof, Blind and Smalling, and in arrived Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and Matteo Darmian. Sergio Romero also replaced De Gea and Marouane Fellaini was on for Michael Carrick.

The good news for United was that the Messi-Surez-Neymar trident was also totally removed. The bad news was proceedings absence their previous stardust. If this killed the high-quality that had been on display, Barca still managed to pulling United around to put Darmian under pressure, the left-back punting the ball into touch.

Andres Iniesta was on for Bara and a genius of a midfielder will have been dismayed at the manner in which one pinpoint pass rebounded off Arda Turan another substitute for momentum to be lost.

To try and pull the match around Mourinho attained two more changes on 62 minutes. Andreas Pereira took the anonymous Henrik Mkhitaryans place and Anthony Martial did the same regarding the similarly ineffective Jesse Lingard.

As De Gea had been, Romero was the busiest of the two keepers. The Argentinian was called into action when Paco Alcacer could shoot from a few yards and he was able to keep his side only a strike behind. At the other end Pereira twice took purpose but could nor beat Cillessen.

At the demise, Rashford might have nicked an equaliser but this would not have been deserved.

Barcelona ( 4-3-3 ): Cillessen; Nelsinho, Umtiti, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Alena; Messi, Suarez, Neymar.

Manchester United ( 4-2-3-1 ): De Gea( Romero, ht ); Valencia( Tuanzebe, 84 ), Lindelof( Jones, ht ), Smalling( Bailly, ht ), Blind( Darmian, ht ); Pogba( Fellaini, ht ), Carrick; Rashford, Mkhitaryan( Pereira, 62 ), Lingard( Martial, 62 ); Lukaku.

Yellow: Pogba( 39 ), Fellaini ( 83)

Attendance: 80,162

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Manchester United beat Real Madrid after farcical penalty shoot-out

Jos Mourinhos men predominated on penalties in Santa Clara after Jesse Lingards opener had been cancelled out by Casemiro

Despite Julia Roberts, an Oscar-winning member of Hollywood royalty, measuring her excitement beforehand, there was an under-capacity turnout for this International Champions Cup encounter in Santa Clara, three years after Manchester United and Real Madrid described 109,318 to Michigan Stadium for a pre-season friendly.

Levis Stadium seemed perceptibly under its 68,500 capacity on Sunday, despite the official attendance being given as 65,109. Given Reals, and to a lesser extent Uniteds, appeal to Californias large Latino population, “theres been” questions about why this was not sold-out. That 2014 match in Michigan involved Cristiano Ronaldo who, despite merely entering near the end of the match, was still a describe for US football fans. The forward is not here this time, instead he is in China doing promotional work for Real.

After the match, Jos Mourinho referred to the Santa Clara crowd: I dont know what to say[ about the attendance] – is Sunday the best day? … The cost of tickets? I dont know, Ronaldo not here? I dont know what to say.

On the field United headed into half-time on Sunday 1-0 ahead, courtesy of some dazzling run from Anthony Martial. The broad human careered into Reals area, left Daniel Carvajal and Luka Modric like statues, and squared the ball to Jesse Lingard, who passed the ball past Keylor Navas in Reals goal. The objective lighted up a half that had flitted between either aim, and went moments after a 41 st -minute Lingard shooting flamed wide of Navass left post.

He is a young player, still time to learn, still time to improve, still time to develop, and its also his personality, I can say he is training better than before, hes working harder than before, its a question to bring his talent more in a consistent way, told Mourinho of the 21 -year-old Martial, who is an undoubted talent, but fought last year.

Obviously we want more consistency in his talent, I think today was positive for him, thats why I left him for 90 minutes on the pitching, he was enjoying[ video games] and trying things, its important to try things in these friendly matches so its good for Anthony and his confidence.

Real are always a menace with the ball and when Lucas Vazquez took on Phil Jones in a foot-race towards Sergio Romeros goal the centre-back could be pleased with how he killed the peril. After an early Andreas Pereira corner amounted to nothing for United, Real roved forward for the first time. Carvajal cut into the opponent region and the United defence were alleviated to scramble the ball away.

This was Reals opening game of their tour, while United were on their fourth. Mourinhos men had won all of their previous three, 5-2 against Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1 against Real Salt Lake, and 2-0 against Manchester City.

Zinedine Zidanes outfit appeared sharp despite their lack of match practise. Gareth Bale sold Marouane Fellaini a dummy and set Carvajal in along the right. Modric buzzed through midfield and pulled strings. And Karim Benzema, the No9, displayed a deft touch.

For United Lingard forced a sharp save from Navas, the No14 lining up along the right. Inside him was Pereira, the Belgian-born Brazilian get a chance at No10, though in a fluid system he and Lingard often interchanged.

On 18 minutes the Ronaldo-less Real burst into life as Benzema and Bale traded flicks and back-heels and divide United open down the left. Afterward in the half, the two combined in similar way. Matteo Darmian may have caught some inspiration from his adversaries: the left-back threaded a trequartista-like ball in behind. Lingard was the intended recipient but he failed to capitalise.

For the second half Mourinho stimulated wholesale changes so that only Martial, Darmian and Fellaini remained. The administrators mood may have soured six minutes in when one replacing, Ander Herrera, limped off with what appeared a hip problem. Mourinho has already lost Juan Mata to an ankle problem on the trip-up so he will hope there is no serious harm to one of his first-choice midfielders.

The Portuguese said: At least[ it must be] very painful because for him to come out it has to be painful, I want to wait but I say to the players no danger in friendly matches, if you feel something, that something is coming, a muscular injury, get out, the result is not important. But he was[ in pain ], maybe a muscle, I dont know.

Scott McTominay, Herreras replacement, was involved in a melee of bodies that led to a Real free-kick near Uniteds area. When the ball rebounded Henrikh Mkhitaryan broke and United seized the initiative. Play moved on and Daley Blind chipped an inviting ball into Romelu Lukaku but the centre-forward could only manage an air-shot.

That incident was typical of video games. The contest was played at a reasonable tempo but quality was often deficient. So, too, was the challenge Victor Lindelf administered on Theo Hernandez in Uniteds area after 69 minutes. The centre-back hacked the No15 down and Kevin Stott, the referee, pointed to the spot. Up stepped Casemiro to rifle the ball into the roof of David de Geas net.

Next Smalling confessed a fouled just outside his area, to the left. Up stepped Luis Miguel Quezada who aimed directly at De Gea, the No1 having to be alert to beat teh ball away and keep the score level.

By the shut Fellaini could look back on a golden opportunity that would have given United victory. McTominay swept in a sweet ball from the right. The Belgians run was clever; his awkwardly booted broad volley was not.

The International Champions Cup rules forced a penalty shoot-out. This proved a curates egg as Martial skied over, Mateo Kovacic missed, McTominay missed, Oscar missed, Mkhitaryan rolled the ball in, Quezada scored, Lindelof missed, Hernandez missed, Blind scored and Casemiro missed.

It meant United won the spot-kick showdown 2-1, though Zidane stated he was satisfied. His squad next take over Manchester City in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Real Madrid( 4-2-3-1 ): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric; Vazquez, Isco, Bale; Benzema

Manchester United( 4-2-3-1 ): Romero( De Gea ); Fosu-Mensah( Blind, ht ), Bailly( Lindelof, ht ), Jones( Smalling, ht ), Darmian( Valencia, 78 ); Carrick( Herrera, ht( McTominaym 52 )), Fellaini; Lingard( Mkhitaryan, ht ), Pereira( Pogba, ht ), Martial; Rashford( Lukaku, ht)

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Jose Mourinho guarantees David De Gea is staying with Manchester United

Uniteds directors says he is 100% certain De Gea is not leaving for Real Madrid or any other club

Jose Mourinho has guaranteed 100% that David De Gea will not be sold by Manchester United to Real Madrid or any other club for the coming season.

The manager was speaking in Californias Palo Alto before Sundays tour meeting with Real in San Jose. De Gea virtually moved to the Spanish club two years ago before the transfer breakdown on the final day of the 2015 summertime window.

United are bracing themselves for a further bid so Mourinhos statement could be a message intended for Real.

I can guarantee that hes not going this season, that I can, and my impression is it will be very difficult for him to go. Because hes a very honest boy, very straight, he told.

Mourinho indicated United permitted De Gea, who has two years left on his words, the choice of whether to move to Real.

He was contacted for a very long time[ by Real ], the 54 -year-old said. The club was shut, then we open because I always have this feeling of when a player has a desire to go I dont like to stop players to run because in the end you dont get what you expect from them if they want to move and they dont.

I dont think the impression from him[ towards Real] is very good. I find him very happy and focused and running better than ever so for me 100% he stays with us.

Of Reals Gareth Bale, a potential target for United, Mourinho said: Same[ as Cristiano Ronaldo] he was never on my list. I never felt a desire from him to leave.

Of when those players who have long-term traumata might return, the manager said: Luke Shaw in September, Ashley Young October, Marcos Rojo in December[ or] even January.

He added that Timoth Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe, Matteo Darmian and Demi Mitchell will all definitely feature against Real.

United have won all three pre-season encounters so far 5-2 against Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1 against Real Salt Lake and 2-0 against Manchester City.

After the Real encounter United move onto Washington DC for their final match against Barcelona on Wednesday before flying back to Manchester.

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Manchester Citys 44.5m bid for Benjamin Mendy rejected by Monaco

Manchester City have had a 50 m( 44.5 m) bid for the left-back Benjamin Mendy repudiated, with Monaco demanding a fee closer to the 50 m plus add-ons paid to Tottenham Hotspur for the right-back Kyle Walker

Manchester City have had a 50 m( 44.5 m) bid for the left-back Benjamin Mendy repudiated, with Monaco demanding a fee closer to the 50 m plus add-ons paid to Tottenham Hotspur for the right-back Kyle Walker.

City are confident of sealing Mendys transfer and will return with a higher offer. The 23 -year-old was due to have a medical on Tuesday but haggling over the fee could not be resolved in time.

Mendy is a France international and Monaco believe he is worth at the least as much as the 27 -year-old Walker, given an inflated transfer market.

If Mendy is signed and he is joined by Real Madrids Danilo, another prospective buy for City, Guardiola would end his summertime aimed at providing full-backs. The head coach-and-four would view Danilo, more often a right-back, as a left-back too. The Brazilian would also be deployed as a holding midfielder so Guardiola would not buy another player in the position.

The forward Jadon Sancho was amazingly left behind by Guardiola for Citys pre-season tour of America, creating doubts about the 17 -year-olds future. It may inspire Tottenham and Arsenal to increase their efforts to sign Sancho, who is considered Citys brightest prospect and was the Golden Player at this summers European under-1 7 championship, at which he helped England reach the final.

Sancho was named by Khaldoon al-Mubarak, Citys chairman, alongside Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz, as a player whom Guardiola would promote to the first team this season. Foden and Diaz have attained the trip to the US.

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USA survive biting incident to see off El Salvador in Gold Cup quarter-final

Ragged USA blank El Salvador amid humid conditions to advance to Gold Cup semi-final against Costa Rica

Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj scored late in the first half and the United States beat El Salvador 2-0 on Wednesday night in an ugly Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinal in which defender Henry Romero appeared to bite Jozy Altidore on the back of a shoulder and pull the American forwards nipple.

Canadian referee Drew Fischer, a Major League Soccer regular, did not penalise the incident, which occurred during a skirmish on the goal line in the 57 th minute ahead of a US corner kick. A furious Altidore fell to the ground but remained in the game.

Univision Deportes (@ UnivisionSports)

El Luis Suarez de la #CopaOro2017 pic.twitter.com/ lq59uLJla9

July 20, 2017

The Americans, who started five veterans added for the tournaments knockout stage, overcame shaky defensive play and poor occur, advancing to a semifinal against Costa Rica on Saturday at Arlington, Texas.

Bruce Arena changed all 11 starters for the second straight game and at 7-0-5 situated a record for longest unbeaten streak at the start of a US coaching tenure, topping Bob Bradleys 10 -0- 1 in 2007.

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Jos Mourinho says Lukaku still has to prove himself at the highest level

Jos Mourinho tells Manchester United have acquired a top player in Romelu Lukaku, but the 75 m striker still has to prove himself in big games

Jos Mourinho says Manchester United have acquired a top player in Romelu Lukaku but the manager admits the striker still has to prove himself at the highest level.

The Belgian was signed from Everton for 75 m at the start of last week and scored his first objective for United in Tuesdays 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake. Lukaku has registered 85 times in the Premier League since 2012 second only to Manchester Citys Sergio Agero but has never played in the Champions League, as he will next term.

Of Lukaku, Mourinho said: We got a big player, a player that I can compare with what he was a few years ago, because he worked with me for a few months[ at Chelsea] and his growth was very good. We have a player who is now a top player. You have to prove it at the highest level, he has to do it for United, in Champions League matches, but he has amazing qualities.

Mourinho had an interest in Real Madrids lvaro Morata but the striker is set to move to Chelsea for around 58 m. Im not interested in what Chelsea FC does, truly, the Portuguese told. Chelsea it was obvious they were going to sign a striker after the[ unhappy] situation with the manager and striker[ Diego Costa ].

Ideally Mourinho wants more new players, with Victor Lindelof, a central defender, his other fresh signing so far this close season. These would be an attacking player likely Internazionales Ivan Perii and a defensive midfielder, Tottenham Hotspurs Eric Dier or Chelseas Nemanja Mati.

But the manager stated he would settle for one, with Perii being the most likely. He pointed to the 45 m initial fee paid by Manchester City to Spurs for Kyle Walker, a right-back, as an indication of how difficult the market is.

The transfer fees dont surprise me, really. I kept telling there is big economic power at every club. It allows clubs to say no. To say pay what I want or you dont get it, he told. I can imagine City would like to pay 25 million for Kyle but they were told this is the price.

The option is to pay or not. I am used to the club paying big amounts for big players. Now everybody pays big quantities for good players. There is a difference between good players and big players.

The problem is we have four players that cannot play football now , not even training[ the injured Marcus Rojo, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw and Ibrahimovi, who is a free agent ]. So it looks like our group is big but it is not and the time for their recovery is really long. Marcos has no chance before December as an example, so our squad is not so big.

Everybody knows because I told I would like four players and Im ready to go from four to three because the market is difficult, some clubs guess the market differ from others. We are not a club that is ready to pay what the clubs want us to pay so Im ready to go from four to three.

Mourinho stated that while Rashford can play alongside Lukaku he is not a playmaker. I dont suppose Marcus is a number 10, hes a pure assaulting player, the manager told. Not with that quality to play between the lines, and assist, I think hes an attacking player who can play in a two or one, he can play anywhere and you demand a little more defensively, he can play with Lukaku after played with Zlatan.

Rashford is placing greater pressure on himself to improve next word on last seasons 12 strikes. This season I will put more pressure on myself to do so and greater responsibilities, he told. Last season was a different experience. I experienced things I hadnt experienced the year before. It sets you in good stead for the future. It impacts you quite a lot how you recover from that. Thats what I was looking at.

United face City at Houstons NRG Stadium on Thursday night in the first Manchester derby staged overseas. Yet Mourinho played the fixture down. Its nice for US and US fans, its very good for the event that deserves everything from us because of the phenomenal preparations, I think its very good for both clubs and there is always a little bit of rivalry, a bit of an extra ingredient, he told. But for me its a friendly, Im not going to leap to celebrate a objective, or sobbing if we confess, its preparation for me, European Super Cup is a match, West Ham is a match.

But we feel a responsibility to the American people who love soccer and United fans and we couldnt play City in China but here the conditions are phenomenal, the organisation is phenomenal.

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