Sports Burst - Make Way For The Champions

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By Tim Stannard

 

World Cup winners launch title defense with Thailand clash as coach makes defence against Hope Solo attack 

 

There's only one team that can shift Kevin Durant's Achilles and the NBA Finals off America's sporting front screens today - and that's the return of some world champions. 

The FIFA Women's World Cup on Tuesday sees the last match of the group stages and the first game for the defending champions, the USWNT which is on the hunt for a fourth title. Thailand will be the opponents in Reims in a game that is considered a soft start for the US team. 

"We're feeling quite left out that we are the last ones," joked Alex Morgan. The last time the two teams met was in 2016 when the US came away 9-0 winners. However, Argentina's point against Japan on Monday will serve as a warning. 

 

Naturally, sport being sport, an off-the-pitch matter also came up in Monday's media session with USWNT coach, Jill Ellis, being asked about Hope Solo's rather disparaging comments against the manager who won the 2015 title. 

"She cracks under pressure," was the verdict from the goalkeeper. "Comments are comments," was the shrugged-off response.

The USA v Thailand clash is the third game in a big day in France with New Zealand v Netherlands kicking things off, followed by Chile taking on Sweden.

Post to Post: The Soccer Show will look back at the day's Women's World Cup news. Just to head to our beIN SPORTS Facebook page at 5:30PM ET / 2:30PM PT.  

 

Pogba back on Real Madrid agenda to continue supermarket spree 

 

The transfer summer fun at Real Madrid might be about to reach another level with one more name on Coach Zizou's wish-list in the process of being ticked off. 

Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao have been signed, sealed and delivered. Lyon fullback, Ferland Mendy, is next but there could be another french midfielder joining up - Paul Pogba. 

Tuesday's Marca has gone all-in on reporting that the misfit Manchester United man is available for $170 million - a figure that is tempting Zidane - which would take Madrid's spending up nudging close to a half a billion dollars for the summer. 

Gareth Bale, Isco, James Rodriguez and Keylor Navas better start looking at some moving companies for starters. \

Should Pogba make a move to Madrid, then that could trigger Jan Oblak's departure from Atletico Madrid. The Slovenian keeper has been all Debbie Downer about Atleti's ambitions, and has apparently chosen Manchester United as the go-getting club that would fit the bill. That, and the fact that he is a life-long United fan which is as good a reason as any to move.

Sports Burst's live show with Gabrielle Amado and Jeremy St. Louis will be pouring over all this and much, much more at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page. 

 

Roma opts for attack as Fonseca takes over as DI ROSSI EYES UP LA LA LAND

 

Roma has bucked the trend of traditional, comfy PJ's, no-risk coaching signings in Italy with the appointment of Paulo Fonseca as the Serie A side's new manager. The Portuguese tactician is ending a successful spell Ukrainian side, Shakhtar Donetsk, where the 46-year-old lead the team to three league title wins in a row. 

 

Meanwhile, former Roma stalwart Daniele de Rossi, has reportedly agreed to become west coast posse by joining up with Carlos Vela at LAFC. The Italian would take up a Designated Player slot vacated by Portuguese midfielder, Andre Horta.

Staying with all things Italian and Juventus look set to miss out on the signing of Dutch defender, Matthijs de Ligt, despite the best intentions of Cristiano Ronaldo to tempt the young man to hook up with an Old Lady. No smut intended. 

PSG are currently the frontrunners with the Ligue 1 outfit reportedly willing to pay the 19-year-old $330k a week. That would probably do the trick.