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French freak-out all about nothing

France entered Matchday 7 of its 10-game World Cup 2018 qualifying with some concerns. A shock loss to Sweden in June had dropped the Bleus into second place in Group A, and a slip-up against the Netherlands at home on Thursday would have dropped them into third place. Concerns about the French -- in particular, their high-priced attack -- proved ...
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Uruguay-Argentina at the Centenario: both teams under enormous pressure

Uruguay-Argentina is one of the great rivalries of the world. Thursday's World Cup qualifier at Montevideo's famed Estadio Centenario is made all the more dramatic because neither team -- both two-time world champions -- is assured of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
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Is Pulisic's starting spot safe despite BVB's $30 million buy?

Christian Pulisic, who started the Bundesliga season with two successful spells on the right wing vacated by Barcelona-bound Ousmane Dembele, now faces competition at that position after Borussia Dortmund's $30 million purchase of Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko.
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Dembele, Neymar's successor, jumps into Barca hot seat

No player will be under more pressure this season than 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele. Two years ago, he was still playing for Rennes' second team in the equivalent of the French fifth division. On Monday, he was introduced as Barcelona's new signing, the second most expensive signing in history for a transfer fee of $176 million.
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Dream comes true for David Villa

Three years ago, David Villa's international career appeared to end when Spain, the defending champion, exited the 2014 World Cup in the first round and he moved to MLS.
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Soccer for kids: getting them to 10,000-hour mark

We sometimes walk in the neighborhood. We see fathers playing football or baseball with their kids in the street. We see parents shooting at the hoop in front of the garage with their kids. We never see fathers or mothers playing soccer with their kids in the neighborhood. We never see kids playing soccer in the backyard with their siblings ...
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Mbappe's reasons for joining PSG are more than just monetary

Paris St. Germain is about to strike again. After the world record transfer fee of $261 million for Neymar, PSG is believed to have finally convinced Monaco to part with 18-year-old French star Kylian Mbappe.
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Barcelona's image takes a hit with Neymar aftermath

Barcelona is suing Neymar for "breach of contract," seeking 8.5 million euros -- $10 million -- plus an additional 10 percent payment for it what it claims was a delay in its demands being met, but the move will only exacerbate what's been a bad summer for the Catalan club.
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Germans heap praise upon Pulisic

That's right, an 18-year-old American stole the show when the German Bundesliga kicked off its season last weekend. Christian Pulisic's performance in Borussia Dortmund's 3-0 win at VfL Wolfsburg earned him "Man of the Matchday 1" honors -- and heaps of praise.
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Bayern goal points out how VAR can increase scoring

The era of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Bundesliga started Friday with the system providing a penalty kick to Bayern Munich, which beat Bayern Leverkusen, 3-1, in the season opener.
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What will become of Julian Green?

Eleven players who were raised in Germany played for the U.S. national team during the Jurgen Klinsmann era. One of the more intriguing was Julian Green, who was only 18 when he switched his allegiance from Germany to the USA while trying to break through at Bayern Munich.
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Pulisic becoming ever more important for Borussia Dortmund

The trajectory of Christian Pulisic's career has been unprecedented for a young American - and impressive by any standard. Still only 18 years old while entering his third Bundesliga season, Borussia Dortmund's personnel issues will present opportunities - and add pressure.
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Abundance of U.S. stadium options evident on World Cup 2026 initial list

The announcement that the United Bid Committee will target 37 stadiums in 34 U.S. markets for its bid to host the 2026 World Cup immediately sparked lots of local interest. The bid committee will have plenty of options for the likely 12-15 U.S. venues it will use if FIFA awards the USA, Mexico and Canada the hosting rights.
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Ronaldo five-game ban overshadows strong Real Madrid performance

The first official Clasico of 2017-18 did not go well for Cristiano Ronaldo. He was on the field at the Nou Camp for all of 24 minutes when he was sent off for picking up two yellow cards, the second for diving. However harsh the decision might have been, the Real Madrid star made things worse.
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Quiet summer, Costa controversy cast clouds over Chelsea

As the Premier League kicks off its 26th season of spectacle and spending, is the champion in crisis? A rather quiet summer on the transfer front, a departure termed by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as a "great loss," and the disgruntlement of star-crossed striker Diego Costa have many pundits picking another team -- Manchester City -- instead of the club ...
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