Real Madrid 2, Arsenal 2 News and Notes: Bale, Hazard, Aubameyang, Sokratis

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Real Madrid came back from being down 2-0 to draw Arsenal in International Champions Cup action tonight in Landover, Maryland. Now because this is the ICC, and there will be winner crowned once this thing is all over, there must be a winner and loser in every single match, and on Tuesday night it was Madrid who achieved victory, via a penalty kick shootout.

That said, here are some of the news and notes items emerging from what was certainly the most compelling of the friendlies that were staged today.

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Cubs Strong Showing on Forbes List Undermines Ricketts Claims

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Hey, can you help a billionaire out and spare some change? Times are just so tough right now, especially for members of the family that founded the TD Ameritrade empire. As you will recall from this past winter, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts consistently cried and wailed about how his club had no money to spend on Bryce Harper, or any other prominent free agents this offseason.

Ricketts even backed out of his annual panel at the Cubs Convention in January, so as to not face the music from Cubs fans for their winter of discontent with the direction of the club.

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Manchester United Drop from 2nd to 6th on Forbes Valuation List

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This might actually be good news, if you’re in the #GlazersOut and/or “green and gold until the club is sold” crowd.  Manchester United may not be winning a lot of major trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, but they remain champions on almost all of the branding, valuation and marketing lists.

United continue to win the corporate balance sheets, and as long as that continues, don’t expect club leadership to drastically change course too much. The club’s financial status got humbled a bit today though, as MUFC from second to sixth on the 2019 Forbes list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports franchises.

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Christian Pulisic Makes First Chelsea FC Start; Showcases Stunning Skill Set

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Today you saw the inherent potential and special ability of Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic in action during the Blues’ 2-1 preseason win over FC Barcelona in Japan.

Pulisic made his first start in a blue shirt, played the first hour and again wore the No. 24 shirt. His official squad number for the upcoming season has still not been confirmed, but the 20-year-old but we do know that he won’t be inheriting Eden Hazard‘s No. 10 as another CFC winger, Willian, told Brazilian media that the number will be his this upcoming season.   

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How and Why Football Stadiums are Upgrading to LED Lights

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When you’re at a football stadium taking in the sights and sounds, you want to experience every precision pass, defensive maneuver, and top-shelf goal to the fullest. Unfortunately, many stadiums lack proper lighting and are unable to provide an enjoyable game for players and spectators alike. When these stadiums upgrade to high-efficiency LED lighting, the on-field product is drastically enhanced.

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Christian Pulisic Discourages Comparisons to Eden Hazard

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Christian Pulisic wants to make it known that he’s coming to Stamford Bridge to be Christian Pulisic; and not to replace the departed Eden Hazard. Pulisic arrived from Borussia Dortmund in January on a $73 million (64m Euro) move, but was immediately loaned back to BVB, and thus joined the team a couple weeks ago, after helping to lead the United States to a runner-up finish in the Gold Cup.

Hazard finally got his long awaited move to Real Madrid, on a £130 million transaction, so as one really high-priced winger departs, another high-priced winger enters.

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 7-23-19

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We have 2020 vision, NFL Draft style, right here, right now. It’s our second 2020 NFL mock draft update, and the order, for now was simply randomized. Team needs were not taken into account, as it’s just way too early to factor in those. Obviously this will be modified and reworked hundreds of times between now and 2020 NFL Draft day.

So I implore you to really not take this very seriously, and just have fun with it. Please refrain of pointless hostility and needless acrimony in the comments section. Don’t be that guy. Enjoy!

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Cristiano Ronaldo Won’t Be Charged in Las Vegas Sexual Assault Case

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Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will not face any criminal charges over the claims made against him by a Las Vegas woman last October. Kathryn Mayorga chose to go public last fall with claims that Ronaldo raped her in a Vegas hotel room in 2009. 

The DA for the district that includes Las Vegas has decided not to move forward with the case. “Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the district attorney’s office in Clark County, Nev said via a public statement:

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David de Gea Hoping to be Awarded Manchester United Captaincy

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It still remains to be seen who will be awarded the captaincy at Manchester United, but there are several players in the running, including goalkeeper David de Gea. With last year’s wearer of the arm band, Antonio Valencia, now off the team, contenders include the likes of Paul Pogba (this narrative has been covered in the media), Ashley Young and Chris Smalling.

As for De Gea, the announcement of his contract extension is reportedly imminent, and his new deal will supposedly make him both the highest paid player on the team, and the best paid shot-stopper in the world. The Spaniard has certainly earned it, winning the club’s player of the year award several times in recent years.

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Man United Transfer Talk: Harry Maguire, Ivan Perisic, Romelu Lukaku

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Happy Monday! Manchester United are currently in the midst of their International Champions Cup campaign, with a match against the current “holders” of the “silverware” Tottenham Hotspur coming up on Thursday. We have just 17 days until the transfer window closes, so let’s take a spin around the latest silly season narratives, starting first with striker Romelu Lukaku.

This is just a drawn out transfer saga that poses the possibility of running all the way until deadline day.

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Baseball History Podcast: Moses “Fleetwood” Walker vs Cap Anson

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“Let’s Get Weird, Sports” is back and the latest episode features the story of the very first African-American player in Major League Baseball history- Moses Fleetwood Walker, commonly known as Fleet Walker. He’s the hero of our story, while Cap Anson is the villain.

Anson, the 1800s “Mr. Cub” so to speak, was a vehement white supremacist, and his actions, as well as those of many others who held sway in baseball at the time (then known as Base Ball) led to the banning of black players for many decades to come. I know what you’re saying: “wasn’t Jackie Robinson the first black player in MLB history?”

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P.J. Fleck Looks to Build Gophers Culture Around Chicago Type of Players

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Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck certainly stepped up his Big Ten Media Day game from year one to year two. Although it is worth noting that Big Ten Media Days isn’t really the kind of event where you “win the press conference,” as the format and ritual grows increasingly stale and archaic each year.

Started in 1971, Big Ten Media Days is badly in need of a reboot and a revamp. As it stands, P.J. Fleck is the most entertaining personality that you’ll find at the event. Armed with an oar tie pin (expressing his desire to “restoar” with an “oar”), spouting references to Maverick and Goose from “Top Gun,” and abandoning the “year zero” nonsense from last year, Fleck took his always stellar media skills up a notch on Thursday.

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