Gio Reyna Becomes Youngest American to Play in the Champions League

Gio Reyna’s name has been etched in the soccer history books…

The 17-year-old part-Argentine American soccer player made his Champions League debut on Tuesday for Borussia Dortmund against Paris Saint-Germain, becoming the youngest American to play in Champions League at 17 years and 97 days.

Gio Reyna

Reyna was promoted to the Dortmund senior squad in January after only having joined the club’s academy in the summer of 2019 and has since gained game time in every match. 

A member of the U.S. squad at last year’s Under-17 World Cup, Reyna made his senior team debut for Dortmund on January 18 in a Bundesliga match at Augsburg.

Reyna had already scored in Dortmund’s German Cupdefeat at Werder Bremenearlier this month, but was instrumental for his side on Tuesday as he set up Erling Haaland’s second goal in a 2-1 first-leg win over PSG.

At 17 years, 3 months. 5 days, Reyna bettered the mark for youngest American set by Gedion Zelalemwhen he played for Arsenalat 17 years, 317 days old. Chelsea star Christian Pulisicwas four days shy of his 18th birthday when he made his Champions League debut while with Dortmund in a group phase opener at Legia Warsawin 2016. Pulisic started and assisted on Dortmund’s fifth goal in a 6-0 win.

His father, USMNTgreat Claudio Reyna, appeared in eight Champions League group phase matches for Glasgow Rangersin 1999 and 2000 and also scored a key goal in a Champions League qualifier in 1999 against UEFA Cupchampion Parma. Claudio scored eight goals in 112 appearances for the U.S. from 1994 to 2006, appearing in three World Cups. Gio Reyna’s mother, Danielle Egan Reyna, scored one goal in six appearances for the U.S. women’s side in 2003.

Speaking to reporters after Tuesday’s match, Gio Reyna said he was proud the team got such an important victory and of his assist to Haaland for the winner, only two minutes after Neymar levelled the score.

“A lot of emotions are going through my head right now,” he said. “To get my Champions League debut against Paris was a dream come true for me. To get an assist was even better.

“We knew Paris are such a good team. And the result is the most important thing. The way we fought as a team was so impressive,” he said. “Our work ethic and our will to win games really showed tonight.”

“It’s a super pass from Reyna,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favresaid of the ball that set up Haaland’s goal. “He plays it in brilliantly. He orients the ball very, very quickly.

Pablo Mari to Join Arsenal on Loan

Pablo Mari is headed to Londontown…

The 26-year-old Spanish professional footballer, currently a central defender for the Brazilian club Flamengo, has agreed a move to Arsenal on loan until the end of the season, with the option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Pablo Mari

The move ends what turned out to be a topsy-turvy transfer deal that initally stalled and saw the defender return to Brazil.

The clubs seemingly agreed to the deal last weekend, with Mari traveling from Rio de Janeiro to London to undergo a medical and sign with the Premier Leagueside.

However, negotiations suffered a setback on Mondaywith Mari then returning to Brazil.

Mari put pressure on the Flamengo’s hierarchy to accept Arsenal’s offer and sources told ESPN the deal was never dead despite Flamengo putting out a statement criticizing Arsenal’s attitude.

Nonetheless, the deal now sees Mari reunite with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. Mari was on Manchester City‘s books between 2016 and 2019 — where Arteta served as an assistant for Pep Guardiola— but never actually played for the first team.

He’s due to return to London now that the deal is agreed and become Arteta’s first signing at Arsenal.

“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality,” Arsenal technical director Edusaid.

“We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season.

“Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”

Mikel Arteta Agrees to Become Arsenal’s New Manager

It’s official… Mikel Arteta has some new arsenal

The 37-year-old Spanish professional football coach and former player has agreed to become Arsenal‘s new manager and will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal as soon as the paperwork is finalized, according to ESPN.

Mikel Arteta

The club hopes to announce his appointment on Thursday and his first game will be the Premier League test against Everton on Saturday at Goodison Park, where he played between 2005 and 2011.

As previously reported, Arteta was the only candidate the club wanted to replace Unai Emeryand take the place of interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg.

Talks between Arteta and his former club, whom he played for between 2011 and 2016, have gone on since Sunday and a final agreement was found on Wednesday.

His final interview with Josh Kroenkeon Tuesday went very well. The Manchester City coach got reassurances on the direction of the club as well as a transfer budget.

It will be Arteta’s his first experience as manager of a club’s first team after three-and-a-half years working alongside Pep Guardiolaat City.

Arteta, who will be under contract until June 2023, is now working on building his coaching staff. Ljungberg should be part of it, as should City coach Rodolfo Borrell, sources said.

Arteta will say farewell to City after their Carabao Cupgame at Oxford Unitedon Wednesday evening where he will be on the bench alongside Guardiola.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola, who has been a friend of Arteta’s since they were 15, has encouraged him to take the job.

Mikel Arteta Reportedly to be Named Next Arsenal FC Manager

Mikel Arteta could be leading the Arsenal Football Club in the near future…

The 37-year-old Spanish professional football coach and former player, the current Manchester City assistant, is set to be named the next Arsenal manager in the coming days, according to ESPN, despite the Etihad club’s disappointment with the way the Gunners have pursued their former club captain.

Mikel Arteta

Chief negotiator Huss Fahmyand managing director Vinai Venkateshamtraveled to Manchester after Arsenal’s defeat to City over the weekend and spent more than two hours at Arteta’s home in Cheshire, discussing the job.

Arteta was set to meet with Josh Kroenke, the son of owner Stan Kroenke, on Monday. The American was at the game on Sunday and was set to interview the Spaniard alongside Raul Sanllehi, the head of football at the club, and Venkatesham and Fahmy.

City have not yet received a formal approach for Arteta and were left bewildered by the images appearing to show the Sunday meeting at Arteta’s home. And sources have told ESPN that City bosses were surprised they were not approached for talks — either formal or informal — on Sunday despite spending the day at the Emirates, although they will not stand in the way of the Spaniard if he decides to take the job at the Emirates.

Should Arteta be offered the job and decide to succeed interim manager Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal would have to pay a substantial compensation fee, believed to be seven figures.

Arteta spent five years at the Emirates under Arsene Wenger(2011 to 2016) before spending the past three and a half years as Pep Guardiola‘s assistant at the Etihad. He has a contract with City until 2021 but is keen on rejoining Arsenal.

Arteta was nearly handed the job 18 months ago, but Unai Emerywas preferred by then-CEO Ivan Gazidis.

Freddie Ljungberg has been interim manager since the sacking of Emery last month, but the Swede, who pleaded with the club to resolve its manager situation quickly, has struggled to have an impact. The former Gunner could remain in Arteta’s staff, though, if the Spaniard does indeed replace him.

Arteta certainly lacks managerial experience, as he has never been in charge of a club’s first team, but he is highly thought of by the Arsenal hierarchy and by the people who have worked with him at Manchester City.The Gunners are in crisis at the moment with just one win in their past 12 matches in all competitions. Yet, they are still only seven points from fourth place in the table. and sources say Arteta believes he can turn things around once in charge.

Ander Herrera & Manchester United Still Trying to Finalize New Deal While Other Teams Circle

Ander Herrera’s popularity is on the rise while he attempts to finalize a deal with his current team… 

The 29-year-old Spanish professional soccer star and Manchester United are facing a race against time to find an agreement to keep the midfielder at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season, according to ESPN FC.

Ander Herrera

Both parties are keen to agree a new contract that would see Herrera stay at United but, according to sources, there’s still a significant gap to be bridged before a deal is sealed.

Meanwhile, ESPN FCreports that Paris Saint-GermainArsenalJuventusInter Milanand Barcelona are among the clubs ready to sign Herrera on a free transfer if fresh terms are not agreed upon.

If the stand-off continues, Herrera will officially become a free agent on June 30.

Herrera would like to remain at United, but so far the club, who also want him to stay, have refused to meet his demands and a compromise is yet to be found.

There is a willingness of both sides to come to an agreement but there is also an acknowledgement that the clock is ticking and Herrera may soon be forced to seriously consider other options — especially with some of Europe’s biggest clubs circling.

Herrera is closing in on 200 games for United since arriving from Athletic Bilbaoin a £29 million deal in 2014. He was named player of year in 2017 and has played a key role in the revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the Norwegian’s appointment as caretaker manager in December.

Alexis Sanchez ThisClose to Being Revealed as a Manchester United Player

It looks like Alexis Sanchez is preparing for a big reveal…

The 29-year-old Chilean soccer player is reportedly about to be unveiled as a Manchester United player after passing a medical, according to ESPN FC.

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez was at the club’s Carrington training headquarters on Sunday to tie up the final details of his move from Arsenal.

He’s set to be announced as United’s latest signing — with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading to the Emirates — in the next 48 hours.

After flying to Manchester on a private jet and visiting Carrington, Sanchez was also at Old Trafford on Sunday to film segments for his unveiling while wearing United’s No. 7 shirt.

And pictures have leaked on Twitter of the player in his new kit, the images taken by someone watching on from the stands.

He’s expected to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal with Man United, while both Mkhitaryan and Sanchez will need new work permits before the deal can be completed.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the agreement between United and Arsenal is a straight swap with no additional fee involved.

According to sources close to the deal, it has been especially complicated because talks with Sanchez and Mkhitaryan have had to run simultaneously.

Jose Mourinho has given his players two days off following their 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday. Mourinho said after the game that the move is “so close.”

Sanchez is in line to train with his new teammates on Tuesday before a debut against Yeovil in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night.

Pereira to Spend Next Season with La Liga’s Granada

Andreas Pereira is heading to España…

The 20-year-old Brazilian footballer and Manchester United midfield prospect is set for a loan switch to Granada Club de Fútbol in La Liga after the two clubs agreed on a season-long transfer.

Andreas Pereira

Pereira, a Brazil Under-23 international, will spend the campaign in Spain with Paco Jemez‘s side and should gain the first-team experience required in one of Europe’s top divisions.

After making 13 appearances during Louis van Gaal‘s time in charge, the Pereira scored in Jose Mourinho‘s opening pre-season friendly at Wigan Athletic with a superb drive.

“I love Andreas Pereira as a player and I would love to have him in my squad,” said Mourinho at Friday’s press conference. “But he will go to Granada.”

Granada already have a number of players currently on loan, including Jeremie Bogie and Victorien Angban from Chelsea and Arsenal‘s Jon Toral.

Arteta Joins Coaching Staff at Manchester City

Mikel Arteta is headed back to the field in a new role…

The 34-year-old retired Spanish professional footballer, a former captain for the Arsenal Football Club, is joining Pep Guardiola‘s coaching staff at the Manchester City Football Club.

Mikel Arteta

The midfielder’s contract with Arsenal expired on June 30 after a five-year stint at the club, and he had already stated that he expected to take up a coaching role next season.

His move to Manchester City had been widely expected, with Guardiola keen on making him part of the new backroom staff at the Etihad as the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach prepares for his first season in the Premier League.

“The opportunity to join Pep Guardiola and his team was an amazing opportunity for me and I am incredibly excited for the future,” Arteta wrote in a statement he posted on social media.

Arteta captained Arsenal over the last two seasons but struggled with injuries over the last year and was rarely part of Arsene Wenger‘s first-team squad.

He came on as a late substitute for a farewell appearance in the final game of the Premier League season in May and was given a rousing send-off by the Emirates crowd.

He leaves the club having won two Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) titles, and also spent the last couple of years working on his coaching badges at Arsenal as he prepared for life after his playing career.

“Throughout my career I have always been interested in more than just the playing side and have had a passion for helping progress and develop the team outside of just my own role as a player,” Arteta said.

“Coaching has always been something I’ve been keen to go in to and over the past few years I’ve worked hard off the pitch as well as on it to develop my skills in order to put me in a position to be able to pursue a coaching role once I finished playing.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play under some amazing coaches and managers during my playing career and I hope to use elements of everything I’ve learnt from them as well as experience from my own playing career to help City achieve success.”

Arsenal Prepared to Make Sanchez the Club’s Highest-Paid Player

It looks like Alexis Sanchez may be part of the arsenal for much longer…

Arsenal Football Club officials are ready to sit down and offer the 26-year-old soccer star a lucrative, new long-term contract, according to ESPN FC.

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez enjoyed a stellar debut campaign with the Gunners last season, helping them win the Emirates Football Association Challenge Cup, known as the FA Cup, following his big-money arrival from Barcelona.

Sanchez has established himself as one of manager Arsene Wenger‘s key players and the club is keen to reward him for the impact he has made with a new contract.

Sanchez’s current deal expires in 2018, but the Arsenal are ready to offer him improved terms as they do not want their top stars entering the final two years of their contracts.

The Gunners are so determined to keep the forward in North London that they are prepared to make him the highest-paid player at the club.

Talks are expected to take place between Arsenal and Sanchez’s advisers before Christmas as they look to tie him to a new deal as soon as possible.

After a slow start to the season following a summer in which he helped Chile win the Copa America, Sanchez has been back to his best in recent weeks — he followed up his hat trick against Leicester with a goal against Olympiakos and a brace in the 3-0 win against Manchester United earlier this month.

Sanchez Helps Propel Chile to Copa America Title Win Over Argentina

Alexis Sanchez is kicking his way into the history books…

The 26-year-old Chilean soccer player, who plays for English club Arsenal and the Chilean national team, helped lead his country to its first Copa America title on Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez

Chile defeated Argentina 4-1 in the penalty shootout, which followed two hours of scoreless action on the field.

Sanchez gave his country the win after Argentines Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega failed to convert from 11 meters (36 feet), ending a drought of nearly 100 years for La Roja in the oldest international continental soccer competition.

The final at Santiago’s National Stadium was a clash of titans, an intense battle that was characterized more by the teams’ effort and hustle than artful play.

Chile won the possession battle from the outset, imposing its ball-control style against a side that also typically dominates in that facet of the game.

That led to a golden opportunity in the 11th minute for Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, who received a ball that had been lobbed in the air on a deflection by an Argentine defender and nearly booted it past goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who was forced to make a diving save.

Fourteen-time Copa America champion Argentina also had some chances in the first half, including a header at point-blank range by Sergio “Kun” Agüero that Chilean Claudio Bravo was able to deflect out of play.

In the second half, Argentine midfielders Lucas Biglia and Javier Mascherano struggled to impose any order in their team’s attack, rendering super-striker Lionel Messi unable to work any playmaking magic.

With the Chilean crowd urging them on, Jorge Sampaoli’s squad aggressively sought out the winning goal and was nearly rewarded for their efforts when a shot by Sanchez barely missed the mark in the 82nd minute.

Then on the final play of regulation, Argentina had its best scoring opportunity of the match when Ezequiel Lavezzi received the ball on the left side from Messi and sent a pass that scooted past Bravo and found Higuain, but the Argentine forward received the ball too close to the goal line and could only slam a shot into the side of the net.

The extra period was mostly uneventful, with both teams wary of making a costly error, although a miscue by Mascherano nearly ended in a goal for Sanchez in the 15th minute.

Argentine’s offensive ineptness continued in the penalty shootout, with Higuain sending his shot far over the crossbar and Bravo denying Banega’s attempt, leaving Messi as the only member of the Albiceleste to score.

Sanchez put the finishing touch on the historic victory with a soft strike that slowly bounded into the left half of the goal after Romero had dived to the other side.

Chile finally won the Copa America title match in its fifth appearance to end nearly a century of frustration at this event, which was known as the South American Championship between 1916 and 1967.

La Roja finished runner-up in 1955 (when it was also the host nation), 1956, 1979 and 1987.