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Thursday Kickoff: Wilshere not for sale; Club America advances to CCL final; and more

JackWilshereArsenal1-HullCity2014EPL (Getty)


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has a message to potential suitors for Jack Wilshere: “Hands off.”

During a press conference on Thursday, Wenger denied any speculation that Wilshere could depart Arsenal, the only club he’s played for, for a team such as Manchester City this summer, who are in the market for young English talent. Wilshere is currently signed with Arsenal through June, 2018.

“You can imagine my answer and you can send it to Sky Sports News,” Wenger said, via The Guardian. “We are not in a position any more where we have to sell our best players.”

Wilshere, still just 23-years old, has missed a majority of the 2014/2015 English Premier League season with more problems to his troublesome left ankle, having not played since November 22, 2015. On the bright side for Arsenal, though, Wilshere is finally fit and is one of many long-term absences returning for Arsenal’s Saturday match against Burnley.

Also available this weekend is Mathieu Debuchy, Mikel Arteta, and even Abou Diaby, who hasn’t played a first-team minute since last September.

Here are some more stories from around the globe:


Costa Rican side Herediano probably thought that their 3-0 aggregate lead in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals over Club America would be enough to see them through to the finals.

Turns out, they were very wrong.

In less than 20 minutes, America tied the series on aggregate and went on to thoroughly thrash Herediano, 6-0, in the second-leg match at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday evening. Forward Dario Benedetto scored four goals and Darwin Quintero scored one goal and added a pair of assists in the rout.

Benedetto scored all four of his goals inside 32 minutes of the match as America completely overpowered Herediano. The Costa Ricans lost defender Edder Nelson to a straight red card in the 27th minute, cementing their exit from the competition.

America will take on the Montreal Impact in the Champions League final.


River Plate’s Copa Libertadores hopes were dead in the water until the final three minutes of action on the road in Mexico.

Conjuring up whatever energy they had left, the Argentine giants struck twice to tie Tigres UANL, 2-2, and keep River’s hopes of progressing alive. Teo Gutierrez scored in the 87th minute off a rebound from Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman on a play that included some shocking defending from Tigres, and then in second half stoppage-time, Rodrigo Mora scored a golazo from the top of the box to tie the scoreline.

With the draw, River now have four points from five games and still have a shot at advancing to the knockout stages. However, they’ll need Tigres to win on the road at Peruvian side Juan Aurich in a meaningless game for Tigres, with qualification to the next round already secured. River will also have to win at home against Bolivian side San Jose.

Elsewhere in Copa Libertadores action, Brazilian champions Cruzeiro defeated Venezuelan club Mineros de Guayana, 3-0, Venezuelan side Deportivo Tachira tied Peruvian club Sporting Cristal, 0-0, and Argentine club Huracan drew with Bolivian side Club Universitario, 1-1.


Chelsea have reportedly made a transfer offer for FC Tokyo forward Yoshinori Moto. (REPORT)

Juventus are on the verge of signing 19-year-old promising French defender Clement Lenglet from AS Nancy-Lorraine. (REPORT)

Brazilian centerback Leandro Castan returned to light training with his Roma teammates for the first time since undergoing emergency brain surgery last December. (REPORT)

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is a serious doubt for this weekend’s match due to a knee injury. (REPORT)

Boca Juniors could make a €10 million offer for club legend Carlos Tevez this summer if Mauricio Macri is elected Boca president. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you see Wilshere remaining at Arsenal for next season? Do you see America winning the CCL? What are River’s chances of qualifying for the next stage of the Copa Libertadores?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Wenger–We’re not in a position any more where we have to sell our best players. Translation–We paid off the Emirates and now the damn board is finally letting me spend some money.

  2. I was feeling pretty good about MLS’ chances this year. Not anymore. If only Herediano hadn’t chocked. Next year for sure.

    • It is crazy, absolutely crazy.

      MLS can win champions league, of course, I would have bet money it would happen soon. But not with the 2015 Montreal team

      How did this happen ?

      The answer of course is, it probably won’t.

    • They didn’t “chock” or choke. They had no chance to begin with.

      Next year, a Mexican team will win it again. Yoou fools have been saying “next year” as much as cub fans have. It will never happen. Accept it.

      Your league will never win the CCL.

  3. Montreal has their work cut out for them now! That was impressive.

    Side note: how is the Arsenal piece the leading story on this list? That could easily be moved to the ‘Quick Kicks’

    • In some ways this site is drifting towards being a “dime-a-dozen”.

      Rumors of transfers, because they are at a big English team. I can find that in about 1 million places, none of which are worth my time.

  4. But the issue, of course, is whether Jack is actually one of Arsenal’s best players. Assuming full fitness (which is always a massive assumption) I think its hard for him to get in the second team at Arsenal, let alone the first, at this time. In my mind, its no coincidence that this sparkling run of form for the Gunners occurred with Jack completely out of the team. Don’t get me wrong, Jack is a very good player — but that’s the problem — he’s good, not great. He requires too much time on the ball and tries to make too much happen relative to his abilities. Unless he changes his stripes (or develops substantially) I certainly don’t see him lasting at the new Arsenal – especially if Arsene brings in a player to challenge Coq in the middle over the summer. Not that Jack could play the defensive midfield role currently but that’s really the only spot I could see him with a chance of breaking in — is he going to supplant Ox, Ozil, Ramsey, Santi? I think not. All of those players have consistently played better than him and all of them look to be heavily involved throughout the remainder of the season and into next year. And I’m not even noting Rosicky who, at 143 years old I would still select before Jack on the team sheet.

    To be clear, its not that I don’t think Jack could help a team — its just that I don’t think that team is the Arsenal.

  5. Its the best time for MLS to win champions. Impact will go agaisnt club america, the best known team in mexico and impact has everything to beat club america, except a “team” due to MLS salary cap.
    Impact has the rowdy fans, home advantage with the concrete turf, not a big mexican population, cold weather and the language difference.
    If an mls team ever wins champions, then impact has the best scenario now to do it. Agaisnt club america, mexicos greatest and if you compare the salary of the team versus impact, its insane.

    • This has to be a sarcastic comment.

      Montreal has to be the biggest underdog in the history of this tournament’s finals. They are in last place.
      Good luck I hope they pull it off. But if you watched the last two games, they are on two different paths right now.

      • the reason I say it’s the best time to win the champions is because impact can make history.
        Impact can be the first mls team to win champions.
        Not only that but agaisnt club america, the real madrid of mexico.
        They will play in estadio azteca but close in montreal.
        Why not put them outside in the cold!!!!!!
        Ask yourself, how many club america fans or mexicans will be at the Big O. I say 5,000 or less. Thats perfect and awkward for a mexican team or giant mexican team to not have the whole MLS stadium full of support towards them. Talking about culture shock.
        Did you know club america is going through a medium size crisis. Their coach wanted to quit about 2 weeks ago and they actually give him till the end of the season to get it together. Hes job was on the line last night!!!!
        Impact might get club america heart broken by then if they dont make their league playoffs or coach gets into a hotter mess. By the way club america cant defend, they only have american ventura and he cant do it all. They spent alll their money in offense this year.

      • I’m not sure if you think Montreal is in the middle of the arctic, but it’s spring now and Montreal is averaging around 60 F for the coming weeks. Sure not as hot as Mexico, but I don’t think weather is going to factor into this.

      • Mexico City isn’t even that warm to begin with, at midday they are at like 75 F for the next weeks, 10-15 F aren’t going to change much

      • el cosmo 🙂
        its thirsty thursday.
        red beer breakfast 🙂
        havefaith in mls people. impact has the home advantage and fans just like club america. the difference is the payroll and skills of the players.

      • Except the payroll and skills don’t favor Montreal so why should we have faith? I’m not saying it’s impossible but it would be quite an upset.

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