By Tim Stannard
1) USA kicks off Copa quarterfinals with Ecuador test
Argentina may have the best players. Chile may have the best tattoos and facial hair. Mexico may have the best chance of winning the whole tournament thanks to the Copa America organizers pretty much handing everything to El Tri in a taco bowl (post ironic Trump pastiche intended) in terms of venues and draws. But ‘Merica has Jurgen Klinsmann, the new mastermind genius of US soccer, ready to lead the country into a new golden age. And ‘Merica has freedom too.
Or, the Copa will end in a limp defeat for the US against Ecuador with Klinsmann scoffing to journalists once again about how the media and supporters get far too fixated on fancy concepts such as results rather than the all-important notions of vibe and chakra. Could go either way.
After a rest day, the Copa America Centenario returns. And it is business time with the start of the quarter-finals with the USA leading the way in Seattle against Ecuador, the current in-form Flavor Flav’s of CONMEBOL. Find out what our experts think of the impending night of glory / disaster on the special midnight ET XTRA.
2) Leading Russian “supporter” to be deported as England fans renew charming Euro rampage
Although the Russian team could well be going home in a few days anyway after just one point from two games, the head of the official supporters group, Alexander Shprygin, will already be back in Moscow to greet them. French authorities announced on Thursday that Shprygin, who has links to far right groups in Russia, is set to be deported along with 19 others, after violence last weekend in Marseille ahead and during Russia’s Euro 2016 clash with England.
England supporters managed to do their usual table-throwing thing with police arresting 37 in skirmishes in Lille a day ahead of Thursday’s Wales clash.
3) Bale looks to lead Wales charge as Poland takes on Germany in crunch Euro clash
Russia’s continuation in the tournament in the footballing sense depends heavily on the result of the early clash in Lens with a match-up between England and supposedly Gareth Bale and 10 others. Which is a little unfair as Wales actually managed to win their opening clash and could hurl themselves into the knock-out stages with a victory over their beloved British neighbors to send Catherine Zeta Jones, Tom Jones and a bunch of other people called Jones into raptures.
The second round of Group C is gets underway on Thursday as well. Northern Ireland and Ukraine face off in what looks like a win-or-bust situation for both teams, whilst Germany and Poland go face-to-face in one of the mightiest European rivalries. Catch all the action and best analysis on the midnight ET XTRA.
But oh no! How is anyone going to be able to see Thursday’s matches as Siri has no idea of when they are being played?! Sports Burst asked about the England v Wales clash and the Apple uber brain was at a loss to help.
4) Vazquez calls for Morata return as Dortmund make another transfer swoop
The future of Juventus striker Alvaro Morata is still very much in the air with the striker apparently caught up in a Real Madrid tug-of-love triangle with Juventus that also involves Paul Pogba and Toni Kroos.
Real Madrid midfielder, Lucas Vazquez, says it would be most excellent if the forward was brought back on a buy-back clause, although that could see the end of days for Jese at the Santiago Bernabeu. “If Jese is going out on loan, I would recommend Espanyol,” said Vazquez helpfully.
Borussia Dortmund having been busy bees in the transfer market this summer. Portugal defender, Raphael Guerreiro, last seen letting Iceland through the country’s back four, is joining up with the Bundesliga outfit from French side, Lorient, for a reported $13.4 million fee. The move comes after eagle-like swoops for Marc Bartra, Ousmane Dembele, Mikel Merino, Emre Mor and Sebstian Rode.
Despite German defender, Antonio Rudiger, being out for at least six months with a cruciate ligament injury, a move to Chelsea is still on with Antonio Conte apparently preferring a near immobile stopper to John Terry. Which sounds fair enough.
5) Isco named as third participant in “Torbe” case
Real Madrid midfielder, Isco, has been named by a protected witness as the third participant in an alleged sexual assault crime involving David de Gea and Iker Muniain. Both de Gea and Muniain have previously denied any knowledge or involvement of the alleged crime.
The NBA play-offs could be all wrapped up on Thursday if the Golden State Warriors can pile on more pain for LeBron James in game 6 with GSW holding a 3-2 lead.
In golf, the US Open is underway with Jordan Spieth defending his title at the Oakmont Country Club.
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The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. SB is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.