Wednesday Kickoff: Tijuana draw with Palmeiras; Lampard staying at Chelsea; and more

FidelMartinezvsPalmeiras1 (EFE)

By DAN KARELL

With ninety minutes of soccer in the books, the focus turns to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, where Club Tijuana and Palmeiras will battle in their Copa Libertadores Round of 16 second-leg match on May 14.

Neither side could break the deadlock on Tuesday night as the two teams played to a 0-0 draw at Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente. Xolos forward Fidel Martinez was his sprightly self but his touch let him down in the final third all night. Fernando Arce nearly scored on a free kick, but Palmeiras goalkeeper Bruno made a terrific save to keep the score level in the first half.

In the second half, Xolos forward Duvier Riascos nearly scored on a dipping left-footed shot from the top of the box but Bruno’s reflexes again helped him as he pushed the ball over the bar. The Palmeiras ‘keeper was credited with six saves, keeping his side alive as they return back to Brazil for the second-leg match in two weeks time.

Also in Copa Libertadores action last night, Argentine side Tigre defeated Paraguayan club Olimpia 2-1 in Buenos Aires.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

CHELSEA TO GIVE LAMPARD A NEW CONTRACT

A potential move across the Atlantic Ocean for Frank Lampard may have to be put on hold for another year.

According to reports out of England, Chelsea has changed course on the future of the 34-year-old midfielder, and are willing to offer Lampard a one-year contract extension to keep him at the club through 2014. Part of the plan according to the report is that Lampard will be able to play with manager Jose Mourinho, who is very likely to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Lampard currently sits just one goal away from Chelsea’s all time scoring record and with a new contract he would have every opportunity to break it and fully cement his name at the top of the Blues record books. Despite his age, the England international has had one of his more efficient scoring seasons, bagging 13 goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season.

GÖTZE DIAGNOSED WITH HAMSTRING TEAR

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze is a major doubt for the Champions League final, after hurting his hamstring in Tuesday’s semifinal clash with Real Madrid.

The German side lost Götze in the 14th minute, but still went on to survive on aggregate and advance to Wembley for their first European final since they won the competition in 1997. After tests on Wednesday, the 20-year-old playmaker was diagnosed with a tear in his hamstring, putting serious doubt in his availability for the May 25th match.

For the time being, Götze will have to wait on the sidelines, and will miss this Sunday’s Bundesliga match against his future team, Bayern Munich. The German international, who agreed a deal with Bayern on April 23, has scored 16 goals for Borussia this season across all competitions.

QUICK KICKS

According to reports out of Spain, Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho will leave once he settles a €10 million buy-out clause in his contract with the club. (REPORT)

Just a day after a scathing ethics report on FIFA was released, another FIFA executive committee member, Vernon Manilal Fernando, has been given an eight-year ban for ethics related offenses. (REPORT)

Tottenham have once again been linked with the signing of Brazilian forward Leandro Damiao from Internacional this summer. (REPORT)

Manchester City are interested in buying £17 million valued Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho. (REPORT)

Former Chelsea midfielder Deco has tested positive for a banned substance and could face a lengthy suspension if the “B test” samples come up with the same substance. (REPORT)

Barcelona have been linked with 18-year-old defender Marquinhos of AS Roma, with the Spanish side needing to shore up their defense this summer. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Do you see Xolos winning on the road? Do you believe Lampard can continue to perform at Chelsea? How big of an impact do you see Götze’s injury having on Borussia?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Tijuana draw with Palmeiras; Lampard staying at Chelsea; and more

  1. kevin says:

    The Belgium and Germany matches just might be very scary

    • David says:

      Those are just friendly games, so other than a few headlines and money in the US Soccer coffers they don’t mean a whole lot beyond glorified training sessions. The three games after that in WCQ do mean a lot though. That said, Germany probably won’t have the Bayern Munich or Dortmund players who will be occupied through at least May 25 with the Champions League, so it won’t be a full strength team. Belgium should have their top team as they prepare for a crunch WCQ against Serbia on June 7.

      • Redneck says:

        I’m hoping that Team USA will be at full strength for the friendlies, since the wcq come immediately afterward.

      • beto says:

        +1, Germany with out the BvB and Bayern players is much more manageable! They will still have Ozil-Khedira in the middle and Draxler-Holtby in attack.. i wonder if they will bring Klose, Podolski and Mertesacker or if they will try out younger players.

        Personally i am interested/excited to see how Jurgen, Jones, FJ, Chandler, Williams and Boyd take the game; might be a bit more than a glorified friendly for them…

        • biff says:

          I am not so sure Timothy Chandler will be playing in that game. Not saying he will not be there, but would anyone be surprised if he fails again to accept an invitation. I put the chances of him being there at less then 50-50. Quite frankly, I think the Gold Cup would be a better fit for Timothy, ease him into Concacaf international competition and take some of the pressure off him.

          As for the other players, Jones will no doubt love playing against Germany, as will Terrence, while some of the others might have some mixed feelings.

    • Strider257 says:

      Got my tix for the Belgium game. Almost looking forward to seeing Belgium as much as the US! Hopefully Klinsi plays a strong team initially, there should be lots of subs, as we ramp up to the WCQ matches. Just hope no one gets injured and would be unavailable for the WCQ matches.

  2. ed - houston says:

    No Lamps for LA? This means they will just get someone better than him. No biggie.

    • scott47a says:

      I read that story. It does not say Lampard is staying. Not sure why this link does. It says Chelsea have decided to offer him another deal, not that a decision to stay has been made.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I think if you read between the lines he’s staying. Loyal CFC player since 2001, out of favor under Benitez — but then Benitez is very unpopular — perhaps not eager to play out the string that way, but now that it’s about to be Mourinho, why would he leave? Presumably Mourinho is the one who’s changed “their mind” and offered the deal. Benitez was the one who didn’t want him back but he’s about to get shown the door. We were Plan B and Plan A looks better now.

        In theory he could turn it down but I don’t see why. I assume the holdup is Mourinho is under contract at Madrid and playing a key CL game. It would be somewhere between tampering and tacky to announce anything now, and I think Lamps will be announced with or after Mourinho. It will be a popular decision although Lampard is losing it a little.

        Per the article, it also didn’t help that LA lost Lieweke. But I think that’s secondary, the real reason is the stars have now realigned at CFC. I don’t know if it helps CFC get better, or if he should really be playing more than he does, but it will be popular in SW6.

    • bottlcaps says:

      The Galaxy have an offer “on the table” that has been there for a while. Lampard asked, and LA agreed to let it sit til the end of the season. It will be interesting to see if the new Chelsea offer is commensurate with the Galaxy offer. If it’s less, and all probability it is, FL cannot be accused of taking the money and running. If he does leave, he will do right by his family and career. Either way, he has a choice.

      I would be really surprised if FL signs with the Galaxy. Instead, I think the chances of snagging Kaka are now greater than they have ever been. It was Mourinho that refused to consider offers for Kaka from Turkey, Italy and the US. But he is gone and his predecessor will want to remake RM and I think Kaka’ time is almost at an end. Couple that with his contract expiring next year and I think RM will pull the trigger with the MLS this June.

      • ed - houston says:

        man i would love to see Kaka (i still have his AC Milan jersey) in this league but, honestly, i don’t see it happening until after the world cup.

  3. MrTuktoyaktuk says:

    I’m afraid the Xolos are going to have a rough go of it at Palmeiras, even though they looked the better side after the initial 25 minutes last night at Estadio Caliente.

    • PBJOHN says:

      If the Xolos do score, the away goal tiebreaker will come in handy. I like their chances.

  4. beto says:

    dortmont should just cut Gotze.. or send him to reserve trainings for the remainder of the season..

    • biff says:

      agree. not a snowball’s chance in heck that Gotze will be playing any more games in a Dortmund shirt against his new team FC Bayern.

  5. el paso tx soccer says:

    So if Lampard aint coming to Galaxy, will it be Kaka or Ronanldinho with pre contract for next season, cuz Galaxy can actually sign some DP for one year and get Ronanldinho in 2014. On other news, expansion is getting juicer and juicer with better owners, since now Beckham wants MIAMI. I can also see foreign owners wanting to buy into MLS big markets, after ManCity era starts in MLS and at the same time, I can see American billionaires scratching their head asking their butlers, ” What is soccer, and can I buy a team in America as well” reply from butler, “Si senor, in America is soccer and in Europe football.”
    On other news, I read that MLS is thinking about changing next years season schedule, will it start late or even earlier.

    • DasDude says:

      LA really doesn’t need Ronaldinho but PLEASE GOD LET HIM SIGN WITH LA. Finally a DP worth watching in MLS

      • beachbum says:

        right, because just on LA alone Beckham, Robbie and Landon aren’t worth it. LMFAO

        Ferreira, Morales, Cahill, Garcia, Higuain…yeah right, they’re not worth watching either

        pretend what you want Dude.

      • manicmessiah says:

        If you don’t think Thierry Henry is worth watching, I would pick a new sport to watch.

    • bottlcaps says:

      Starting the season earlier or later and you will start to run into large amounts of inclement weather. What the MLS does not want is a Snow bowl like the Colorado WCQ during it;s Marquee event, the MLS cup if it’s played in Toronto, Montreal, Colorad,o Columbus or a half a dozen other cities in December.

      One possibility is starting it earlier and schedule more events in the warmer states., ie., having cities like Dallas, Houston, LA and San Jose accommodate more games in those months. perhaps even scheduling some regular season MLS matches in cities like Tucson and Phoenix, San Diego, OC or other cities in the south. Starting the season earlier would also help MLS teams that play in the CCL and in the future, the Copa Liberatores.