Paris Saint-Germain held a news conference on Tuesday to preview Wednesday night’s game against Juventus at Hard Rock Stadium. As expected, the first question to coach Unai Emery was about Brazilian star Neymar, who is rumored to be heading from Barcelona to PSG in a $250 million transfer.
“We want to speak about the present,” Emery said. “We have a game Wednesday against a great team, and on Saturday we have a big game back in France against Monaco. There are times to talk about the roster, but right now, we have to concentrate on training and playing a match. Our full focus is on Saturday’s game and the game against Juventus will help us prepare.”
Asked if he’d like to play alongside a player like Neymar, PSG’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani smiled and replied: “All players like to play with great players, and right now there’s a lot of talk [about Neymar], but for me, my teammates I have are the best. If at some point another player joins, of course, we will welcome him. But our focus now is on the group of players we have.”
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MLS rejects Silva proposal
Major League Soccer last month rejected a $4 billion, 10-year media rights deal proposed by Miami FC owner Riccardo Silva, who owns international media company MP & Silva.
The deal, first reported by the Sports Business Journal, would have required MLS to institute a promotion/relegation system similar to what they use in other parts of the world. Such a system would allow the first-place team of the second-division league — right now Miami FC — to move up to the first division, while the weakest teams in the first division drop to second division.
The proposed deal would have begun in 2023, upon the expiration of the current contract with ESPN, Univision and Fox.
“We’re very fortunate that we have long-term, successful partnerships with some of the world’s leading media companies in ESPN, Fox and Univision,” MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said. ‘‘These agreements run through 2022. ... As was stated to Mr. Silva both in person and in a subsequent letter, Major League Soccer is prohibited contractually from engaging in discussions about our media rights with other distributors. Accordingly, we are not in a position, nor are we interested, in engaging with Mr. Silva on his proposal.”
“It is also important to note that since its inception, MLS, like the other North American leagues, has dealt directly with its domestic broadcast partners, rather than through agents and brokers. This ensures that the League and its partners can structure an agreement that addresses all elements, such as scheduling, marketing and digital distribution, that are required for a successful partnership.”
U.S. faces Jamaica in Gold Cup Final
Jamaica will face the United States on Wednesday night at Santa Clara, California, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. With a victory over the home team, the Reggae Boyz would claim their first championship in soccer’s North and Central American and Caribbean region.
Jamaica advanced to the final after beating Mexico 1-0 on Sunday in Pasadena on Kemar Lawrence’s 24-yard free kick goal in the 88th minute.
The Reggae Boyz have reached the final for the second straight Gold Cup, but this stunning upset at the Rose Bowl ranks among their biggest international wins. Mexico has won seven Gold Cup titles, the U.S. five and Canada one.
“That’s a cycle we want to break,” said Jamaica coach Theodore Whitmore. “That’s something we sit and discuss. It’s always Mexico, U.S. We want to be in that group. We want to be a team, a country that someone can talk about, and that’s what we’re working toward.”