Soccer

United battle Sporting KC to tie

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United battle Sporting KC to tie

Instant analysis of the 1-1 tie between D.C. United (5-1-3)  and Sporting Kansas City (3-2-5):

How it happened:

With neither team able to take control for the majority of the first half, things picked up in the last three minutes of the opening stanza. In the 42nd minute Perry Kitchen made a cross and Chris Pontius had a beautiful first touch pass to Jairo Arrieta who finished the job.

Sporting Kansas City responded just moments later in the 45th minute. Roger Espinoza threaded the needle with a pass between two defenders and Dom Dwyer’s one-timer tied the game at one.

Close call:

In the 62nd minute Dwyer slipped behind the United defense and headed a goal past Bill Hamid, but he was whistled for offsides.

Close call Pt. 2:

In stoppage time United MF Michael Farfan fired a rocket just wide of the net.

No place like home: 

With Saturday's tie the Black and Red have now gone unbeaten in seven straight and 17 straight overall at RFK since June 2014.

Look ahead: The Black and Red have a short turnaround and will host Orlando City SC on May 13.

Italy's Serie A set to resume June 20 after three-month suspension from coronavirus pandemic

Italy's Serie A set to resume June 20 after three-month suspension from coronavirus pandemic

MILAN (AP) -- Italy's Serie A is set to resume on June 20.

Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora gave the league the all-clear to resume on Thursday, although it will have to wait a week longer than it had initially hoped.

Spadafora held a meeting with Italian soccer authorities by video conference after a medical protocol for matches was approved earlier on Thursday.

“The meeting was very useful,” Spadafora said. “Now Italy is starting again and it is right that soccer starts again too.

“If the curve changes and the league has to be stopped again, the Italian soccer federation has assured me that there exists a plan B -- playoffs -- and also a plan C -- leaving the standings as they are.”

Serie A has been suspended since March 9, when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The league’s 20 teams agreed earlier this month to resume competition on June 13 in empty stadiums. But, following a government decree days later banning sports until June 14, the Italian soccer federation swiftly announced that it would comply. However, it had hoped for special dispensation.

“The league will restart June 20,” Spadafora said. “There’s then the possibility that the Italian Cup semifinals and final can be played on June 13 and 17.”

The first legs of the semifinals had already been played before the lockdown, with AC Milan drawing 1-1 against Juventus and Napoli winning 1-0 at Inter Milan.

The rights for the cup matches are owned by Italy’s RAI state television.

“It would be a good signal because you could watch three important matches free-to-air on public channels,” Spadafora added.

The medical protocol is similar to that for team training, meaning that if one person within the group -- player or staff -- tests positive for COVID-19 the entire group must go into a retreat for 14 days.

There are 12 rounds remaining in Serie A, plus four matches that were postponed from the 25th round.

Juventus, which is bidding for a record-extending ninth successive Serie A title, has a one-point advantage over Lazio. Third-place Inter Milan is nine points behind Juventus but has played a match less.

The Lega Serie A is set to have a meeting on Friday where it could formalize the calendar.

Serie B, Italy’s second division, also plans to resume June 20.

“Soccer restarting represents a message of hope for the entire country,” federation president Gabriele Gravina said. “Our project is one of great responsibility, because it involves the entire professional world of Serie A, B, C and, hopefully, also the women’s Serie A.”

In England, the Premier League announced plans on Thursday to resume on June 17.

Premier League set to return June 17 with no fans

Premier League set to return June 17 with no fans

The Premier League is just a few weeks away from resuming its season.

England's highest professional soccer division will restart the season on June 17 behind closed doors with no fans, the league confirmed in a statement on Thursday. The Telegraph was first to report the news.

Two matches will reportedly be played on June 17, with Sheffield United hosting Aston Villa and Manchester City hosting Arsenal. By the end of the weekend, a full slate of matches will be played.

The Premier League is hoping to be the second major soccer league to resume its season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Bundesliga, Germany's top division, resumed action on May 16 with no fans.

The league has been suspended since March 13. Clubs resumed training last week, and on Wednesday, they were allowed to begin contact training.

Should the Premier League want to finish a full 38-match slate, there are 92 fixtures left to be played. According to The Telegraph, the league is hoping to play all remaining matches over a condensed six-week period, concluding the season by the beginning of August.

Liverpool currently sits atop the table with a 25 point lead over Manchester City with less than 10 matches remaining. The Reds have not captured a Premier League title in 30 years. Liverpool could clinch the league title with a victory in their first match back and a Manchester City defeat.

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