MLS

MLS: Fontana helps Philadelphia close gap to Crew, Inter Miami lose again

By Sports Desk September 12, 2020

Philadelphia Union closed the gap to Columbus Crew, while Inter Miami fell to another defeat in MLS on Saturday.

Eastern Conference leaders Columbus produced a late comeback to draw with Chicago Fire, but their lead is now just three points after Philadelphia enjoyed a win.

Philadelphia left it late to overcome New England Revolution 2-1 at Subaru Park.

With the game locked at 0-0, New England were reduced to 10 men when Matt Polster was shown a second yellow card in the 56th minute.

Just 17 minutes later and Philadelphia took the lead, Anthony Fontana chipping in from close range.

But a fine equaliser from Tajon Buchanan appeared to have New England set to earn a point.

However, there was late drama as Fontana drilled in a wonderful goal from 25 yards in the 95th minute.

Columbus appeared set for their second defeat of the MLS season when they fell 2-0 behind in Chicago.

But Fatai Alashe pulled a goal back for the Crew before Gyasi Zardes' 88th-minute equaliser.

At the bottom of the conference, Inter Miami slumped to a 2-1 loss to Orlando City.

Coming off a win over Atlanta United, Inter suffered their seventh loss in 11 games this season.

Elsewhere, the New York Red Bulls recorded a 2-0 win over DC United and New York City edged Cincinnati 2-1.

Nashville enjoyed a 4-2 win over Atlanta United, Dallas beat Houston Dynamo 2-1 and the Colorado Rapids thrashed Real Salt Lake 5-0.

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    A letter released on behalf of Jamaica’s national football players has described recent information circulating in the media, regarding specifics of ongoing negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), as ‘inaccurate’ but were unable to set the record straight due to contractual obligations.

    The details of the report caused bulging eyeballs, with claims the national team’s representatives had requested a few eye-watering sums for the upcoming campaigns.  Among the standout details was a US$7000 ($1,053,791.20) per player, per match request, in addition to a US$1,000 (150,541.60) win bonus, for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. 

    With an assumed squad of 22 players, at that rate, excluding the bonus, the JFF could be forced to fork out US$154,000 ($23,183,406) per match for the 14 match qualifiers.  In total, the bill would amount to US$2,156,000 ($324,567,689) for the period and that would be the wage bill, exclusive of other expenses like travel and accommodation.  If the reports are accurate, the parties remain miles apart as the JFF has insisted the most it can offer is US$2000 ($301,083) per match.

    In addition, the information released claimed the players have requested US$5,000 ($752,708), for an international friendly, which includes a US$1,000 dollar win bonus.  For the CONCACAF Nations League, that amount would fall to US$3,000 ($451,624.80).

    According to the release issued by the players’ attorney, negotiations remained ongoing and it was premature to offer details on the issue.

    “The players have indicated that it would be premature to make comments on an ongoing negotiation of such national importance,” the release read.

     “The players, upon request by the JFF through their attorney, were asked to keep details of the current negotiations confidential. The players are therefore exercising this responsibility and will not dishonour that request.

    The players consider qualification to the World Cup and maintaining Jamaica's top 50 rankings as an important responsibility and remain committed to an amicable resolution with the JFF.

     They look forward to continuing meaningful discussions with the JFF around a number of outstanding issues, including, but not limited to, match remuneration.”

     

     

  • Bartomeu 'provisionally released' after Barcelona office raids Bartomeu 'provisionally released' after Barcelona office raids

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    Bartomeu and ex-director Jaume Masferrer exercised their right not to testify on Tuesday when answering to charges of unfair administration and corruption of business.

    The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) confirmed the case was still open.

    "The court of instruction 13 of Barcelona, within a case opened in May 2020 for crimes of unfair administration and corruption in business, has taken a statement today from the former directors of FC Barcelona, Josep M Bartomeu and Jaume Masferrer, as investigated," a TSJC statement read.

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    Los Mossos searched Barca's offices in July 2020 in relation to the claims, although the club hired Price Waterhouse Coopers to investigate the matter and the global auditing firm found in their favour.

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  • Koeman implores Barca to 'focus on the football' Koeman implores Barca to 'focus on the football'

    Ronald Koeman implored his Barcelona side to focus on the football after admitting the events of the past couple of days are "not good for the club's image".

    On Monday, Los Mossos d'Esquadra carried out several searches of the club's premises, prompting Barca to say have "offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation."

    According to Spanish news agency EFE, former Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu was taken into custody as part of the probe carried out by the economic crimes department of the Catalan police. EFE said on Tuesday Bartomeu has been provisionally released under charges of unfair administration and corruption of business.

    The investigation is thought to centre around the "Barcagate" scandal, in which it was alleged social media company 13 Ventures were paid by Barcelona to smear club greats such as Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Gerard Pique and ex-president Joan Laporta during Bartomeu's leadership.

    In July 2020, Barca's offices were searched by Los Mossos in relation to those claims, although the club hired Price Waterhouse Coopers to investigate the matter and the global auditing firm found in their favour.

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    Bartomeu stepped down as Barca president in October ahead of a vote of no confidence in his leadership, a move that followed a close season of turmoil in which Messi attempted to leave Camp Nou.

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    It has long-been suggested that a new regime will look to install club legend Xavi as head coach, rumours Koeman says he has no time to focus on.

    "I'm not worried about Xavi. I have a contract," he added.

    "When we know who the president is, we will have to speak and [he will] show me his way. This week only plays tomorrow's game."

    For Koeman the immediate focus is on attempting to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Sevilla, a team they defeated by the same scoreline in LaLiga on Sunday.

    "We know we have a bad result to come back from, but I think we have a chance. The team is very hungry," he said.

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    "All clubs go through difficult times. A lot has happened to us this season. We are fighting to win things. In the end what counts is the field, the games, being with the group.

    "This is the best place for me, until the last day I will try to do my best for Barca. How long will I be here, it doesn't influence me."

    Pedri offered Koeman a pre-match boost by resuming training following the leg injury he sustained during the weekend meeting with Sevilla, but defender Ronald Araujo remains a doubt after a setback when returning from an ankle problem during the same match.

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