05:17am CDT, 08/29/14
Soccer-Bayern complete two-year deal for Real's Alonso
* Move comes days after Alonso announced international retirement * Midfielder becomes fifth Spaniard on Bayern's books * Alonso signs two-year contract (adds detail, quotes, dateline) MUNICH, Germany, Aug 29 (Reuters) - German champions Bayern Munich have completed the transfer of former World Cup winner Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid on a two-year deal as they seek to boost their midfield options following a string of injuries. Spain's two-time European champion Alonso, who also won last season's Champions League with Real, will hold a final news conference in Madrid later on Friday to bid farewell to the club and fans. "It is now done," Bayern said in a statement.
Roma's American CEO keeps euphoria in check

Roma's American CEO keeps euphoria in checkYet recently, the word has begun popping up in animated discussions inside Rome's myriad coffee bars and on the city's impassioned sports-talk radio stations. The talk - and not only in the capital - is that Roma can put together a serious challenge for the Serie A title this season. The euphoria couldn't be further from the situation a year ago, when Roma had one of its most tumultuous offseasons in recent memory. A sixth-place finish in 2013 left Roma out of European competition and then a loss to city rival Lazio in the Italian Cup final resulted in violent protests from fans.

Soccer-Swansea City sign Nottingham's Demetriou on free transfer
Swansea City have signed Nottingham Forest striker James Demetriou on a free transfer, the Premier League side said on Friday. The 19-year-old has signed a two-year deal and will link up with the under-21 squad at the Liberty Stadium, the club said on their website (http://www.swanseacity.net).
Reuters Sports Schedule at 0600 GMT on Friday, Aug 29
Reuters sports schedule at 0600 GMT on Friday: - - - - TENNIS U.S. Open (to Sept. 8) Dream run over for Bellis as big guns advance NEW YORK - Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic were forced to take a backseat to America's latest tennis sweetheart on Thursday, as 15-year-old Catherine Bellis hogged the Flushing Meadows limelight once again. (TENNIS-OPEN/ (WRAPUP 1, TV, PIX), moved, by Steve Keating, 750 words) - - Federer, Sharapova highlight Day Five at U.S. ...
Soccer-Argentine championship results and standings
Aug 29 (Infostrada Sports) - Results and standings from the Argentine championship matches on Thursday Thursday, August 28Quilmes 0 San Lorenzo 3 Velez Sarsfield 1 Lanus 0 Banfield 1 Tigre 0 Wednesday, August 27Estudiantes 3 Boca Juniors 1 River Plate 3 Defensa y justicia 0 Atletico Rafaela 2 Newell's Old Boys 3 Rosario Central 0 Godoy Cruz 1 Tuesday, August 26Olimpo 1 Independiente 2 Racing Club 1 Arsenal 0 Atletico Belgrano 0 Gimnasia-La Plata 0 Standings P W D L F A Pts 1 Velez Sarsfield 4 4 0 0 8 1 12 -------------------------2 River Plate 4 3 1 0 10 1 10 3 Racing Club 4 3 0 1 6 5 9 4 ...
Boca Juniors fire coach Carlos Bianchi

Boca Juniors fire coach Carlos BianchiCarlos Bianchi was fired as Boca Juniors coach a day after the team lost for the third time in four games in the Argentine league. Boca president Daniel Angelici made the announcement Thursday, saying it was ''painful to rescind the contract'' of the most successful coach in the club's history. Angelici said it was a unanimous decision of club directors following a 3-1 loss to Estudiantes on Wednesday.

West Brom-Swansea City Preview
Swansea City have made an impressive start to the season and will be looking to maintain their 100 percent record as they welcome West Bromwich Albion to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday. Garry Monk's side hit the ground running in their opening fixture of the season when they beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford to spoil Louis van Gaal's first match in charge of the Red Devils. The Swans made it two wins in two Premier League games after beating promoted Burnley 1-0 at home last weekend. Winger Nathan Dyer scored the winning goal midway through the first half.
Southampton-West Ham United Preview
New Southampton manager Ronald Koeman will be in search of his first Premier League victory as he takes a new-look Saints squad to West Ham on Saturday. Koeman, who joined the Saints in June as a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino, saw his side lose 2-1 at Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season, then draw 0-0 at home against West Bromwich Albion. The Saints were denied by the woodwork in both matches but overall were far from convincing. "We lost to Liverpool and it wasn't good one against West Bromwich.
Manchester United-Burnley F.C. Preview
Louis van Gaal could hardly have had a worse start at Manchester United. Coming off an embarrassing League Cup loss, the Red Devils again try to regroup as they face newly promoted Burnley on Saturday. The biggest club in English football were expected to bounce back into title contention under the stewardship of the veteran Dutch boss, but the early signs have not been good. A 2-1 home defeat to Swansea on the opening day of the season was followed by a draw at Sunderland, leaving the Red Devils five points behind their top-four rivals.
10 World Cup vets on US roster

10 World Cup vets on US rosterCHICAGO (AP) -- U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected 10 players from this year's World Cup team to play against the Czech Republic next Wednesday.

On to Burnley, Van Gaal needs a Man United win

On to Burnley, Van Gaal needs a Man United winFrom the World Cup semifinals to a bruising introduction in Britain, Louis van Gaal's fortunes have changed rapidly inside two months. The coach who led the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the World Cup enters his fourth match as Manchester United manager still searching for his first win. After a loss and a draw in his opening Premier League games came the humiliating defeat at third-tier club MK Dons in the League Cup on Tuesday. Next up is a trip to Premier League newcomer Burnley on Saturday.

Stoke City-Manchester City Preview
Manchester City delivered a statement of intent last weekend. The defending Premier League Champions cruised past title rivals Liverpool with a 3-1 win on Monday evening, with Stevan Jovetic scoring twice, and City will be looking to build on that win with another three points against Stoke City at the Etihad on Saturday. Only goal difference is keeping City from the top of the table after two games, and manager Manuel Pellegrini believes he has the strongest group of players in the English top-flight. "Here in the Premier League you always have four or five strong teams that can win the title and if we want to continue winning titles, of course, we must improve," said Pellegrini in his pre-match press conference.
Soccer-Boca lose patience with decorated coach Bianchi
* Bianchi unable to revive former glories * Magic lost as Boca lose three out of four matches (Adds detail, background, quotes) BUENOS AIRES, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Argentine giants Boca Juniors sacked their record title-winning coach Carlos Bianchi on Thursday after a disappointing third spell in charge. Bianchi, who took over by popular demand 18 months ago having accustomed fans to titles galore a decade earlier, presided over 26 wins and 26 losses in 74 matches. "He'll never lose everything he gave us Boca supporters but the members voted for me to take decisions and although they are hard we have decided, painfully, to rescind Carlos's contract," club president Daniel Angelici told a news conference. The 65-year-old Bianchi, a former Velez Sarsfield, Stade Reims, Paris St Germain and Argentina striker, had a contract until December 2015.
Sunderland-Queens Park Rangers Preview
Three games into the season, the prospects are already looking bleak for Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers as they head into their match Saturday versus Sunderland. Beaten 1-0 by Hull City on the opening weekend, QPR were taken apart by Redknapp's former club Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday with a display that centre-back Steven Caulker described as "weak".
Red Bulls' Bobby Convey has nasal surgery

Red Bulls' Bobby Convey has nasal surgeryHARRISON, N.J. (AP) -- New York Red Bulls midfielder Bobby Convey is going to be out 3 to 5 weeks after having surgery for a deviated septum.

Soccer-Former Argentina international Cambiasso joins Leicester
Former Argentina and Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso has joined Leicester City on a one-year deal, the English Premier League club said on Thursday. Cambiasso, 34, was a free agent after being released in the close-season by Inter, where he spent 10 years and won five Serie A titles and the Champions League. He made more than 50 appearances for Argentina in an 11-year international career, and scored one of the goals of the tournament at the 2006 World Cup, finishing off a 26-pass move in an 6-0 rout of Serbia. Cambiasso began his playing career at Independiente, before having spells at River Plate and Real Madrid.
Soccer-UEFA Europa League play-off round results
Aug 28 (Infostrada Sports) - Results from the UEFA Europa League play-offs second leg matches on Thursday Play-off roundThursday, August 28, second legRio Ave (Portugal) - Elfsborg Boras (Sweden) 1-0 (halftime: 0-0) First leg: Elfsborg Boras - Rio Ave 2-1. Rio Ave win on away goals after 2-2 on aggregate.Club Bruges (Belgium) - Grasshoppers (Switzerland) 1-0 (halftime: 0-0) First leg: Grasshoppers - Club Bruges 1-2. Club Bruges win 3-1 on aggregate.Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) - Petrolul Ploiesti (Romania) 2-1 (halftime: 1-0) First leg: Petrolul Ploiesti - Dinamo Zagreb 1-3. ...
New Wembley set for lowest England attendance

New Wembley set for lowest England attendanceWembley Stadium is set to be more than half empty for England's friendly against Norway next week in a sign of public apathy following the national team's worst-ever World Cup campaign. The English Football Association said Thursday that only 35,000 to 40,000 fans are expected in the 90,000-capacity national stadium to see Roy Hodgson's side. The friendly on Wednesday will witness the lowest crowd for an England game since the new Wembley opened in 2007. ''We have got some work to do, we have to rebuild a squad which is Roy's department, and we have got to rebuild some trust with the supporters.'' England went out of the World Cup in June after losing twice and drawing once in the group stage.

Alessandro Del Piero joins ISL side Delhi Dynamos
Alessandro Del Piero has joined Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos. The inaugural ISL season runs from October to December, freeing Del Piero up for a possible move to the United States, where the Major League Soccer season starts in January. ''I am very enthusiastic about this new adventure, it fits perfectly well with the way in which I chose to move forward since I left Juventus, three summers ago,'' Del Piero said in a statement. Above all what is important is the possibility to join together the professional aspect and the role of ''football ambassador'', a chance to proudly represent in the world this wonderful sport, that has become a fundamental part of my life since the day I was born.'' Del Piero scored 24 goals in two seasons at Sydney FC, and was the club's top goalscorer in both campaigns.
Soccer-Udinese sign Brazilian midfielder Lucas Evangelista
SAO PAULO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Serie A club Udinese have signed Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas Evangelista for 4 million euros ($5.27 million), the Brazilian club said on their website (www.saopaulofc.net) on Thursday. The 19-year-old played 33 times and scored two goals for Sao Paulo but has been sidelined in recent months due to a contractual dispute between the player and Desportivo Brasil, the club that owns part of his economic rights. Sao Paulo own 60 percent of Evangelista's economic rights and will therefore make 2.4 million euros from the deal. ...
Michel Platini won't run against Sepp Blatter

Michel Platini won't run against Sepp BlatterMichel Platini won't fight Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency, though he still hopes somebody will. The UEFA president decided Thursday not to challenge Blatter in an election next May, insisting he was not dodging a battle with his former mentor. Platini denied FIFA critics a potentially bitter contest, but then urged more conflict within the Blatter-led executive committee. His decision, which was expected, leaves the 78-year-old Blatter clear to win a fifth presidential term - possibly unopposed for a third straight time.

Real Madrid gets Liverpool in Champions League

Thousands celebrate Real's Champions League titleEuropean greats Real Madrid and Liverpool will meet again in the group stage of the Champions League after a draw on Thursday that promised many reunions. Aiming to be the first club to retain world football's most coveted club trophy for 25 years, the road for ten-time winner Madrid leads to five-time champion Liverpool on Oct. 22. ''It's going to be a very tough game in their home,'' said Cristiano Ronaldo, whose Madrid team also faces Basel and newcomer Ludogorets Razgrad of Bulgaria. It's going to be good for Real Madrid.'' Madrid and Liverpool's past history includes the English team's victories in the 1981 final and a 4-0 rout at Anfield in the Round of 16 six seasons ago.

U.S. name five uncapped players for Czech friendly

U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann tosses the ball into the air it rolls over the line for a throw in during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Belgium at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador(Reuters) - United States coach Juergen Klinsmann has named five uncapped young players to his squad for the Sept. 3 friendly against the Czech Republic in Prague. With the friendly coming during the Major Leauge Soccer season, Klinsmann has opted for a selection of players mostly from Europe and Mexico with goalkeeper Nick Rimando the sole player from MLS. That means there is no call up for national team regulars Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey although 10 players from the 2014 World Cup squad are included. ...

Soccer-Holders Real face Liverpool in Champions League
* Real Madrid drawn with former champions Liverpool * Draw features familiar names and games * City, Bayern and CSKA all meet again * Fairytale club Ludogorets relish Real, Liverpool ties (Adds quotes, details) By Mike Collett MONACO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Champions League holders Real Madrid will face former European champions Liverpool, FC Basel and debutants Ludogorets of Bulgaria following the group stage draw on Thursday. The eagerly-awaited event, held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo, had a distinct air of deja vu about it.
Soccer-Champions League draw reaction
(Adds Cristiano Ronaldo reaction) Aug 28 (Reuters) - Reaction to the draw for the Champions League Group Stage made in Monaco on Thursday: Group A Atletico Madrid (Spain) Juventus (Italy) Olympiakos Piraeus (Greece) Malmo (Sweden) Atletico Madrid sporting director Jose Luis Perez Caminero: "Big teams, all of them champions of their respective leagues. We are going to meet some great players who will make it very difficult but we will compete at our top level, as we always do, to reach the last 16." Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta: "Sincerely, it's not too bad a group.
Cristiano Ronaldo wins best player in Europe award

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo kisses his Best Player UEFA 2014 Award during the draw ceremony for the 2014/2015 Champions League Cup soccer competition in MonacoMONACO (AP) -- Cristiano Ronaldo has won UEFA's award as the best player in Europe last season after scoring a record 17 goals in the Champions League.

UEFA Champions League Draw List

Uefa Champions League Group Stage Draw As it HappenedMONACO (AP) -- Draw made Thursday for the UEFA Champions League group stage:

Column: For deadly football, Algeria must face ban

Column: For deadly football, Algeria must face banFor football coach Hugo Broos, no other word is fitting for the death of his star player, Albert Ebosse. Ebosse, from Cameroon, left behind family, a fiancee and their baby daughter to earn his living in Algeria's top league and, with his goals, to offer the gift of football happiness for those same ''fans'' who seemingly now have his blood on their hands. Hit twice, according to teammate Kamel Yesli, on the wrist and back of the neck, the leading scorer in Algeria's top league last season was pronounced dead in a hospital, because of internal bleeding.

Timbers D Paparatto suspended for 1 game by MLS
NEW YORK (AP) -- Portland Timbers defender Norberto Paparatto has been suspended for a game after elbowing Seattle's Chad Marshall in the back of the head during Sunday's game.
Dynamo-Sporting Kansas City Preview
Sporting Kansas City's worst home loss in over four years cost the club a bit more than just a measure of confidence in its normally steady back line. It also knocked the defending MLS Cup champions out of first place in the Eastern Conference, something they'll try to regain Friday night at home against a Houston Dynamo club trying to correct a dismal road stretch. Kansas City (12-7-6) suffered a 3-0 loss to D.C. United on Saturday after conceding each goal during a seven-minute span in the middle of the first half. Coach Peter Vermes blamed the series of counter attacks on his well-respected defense.
Don't expect miracles from Di Maria, Van Gaal says

Don't expect miracles from Di Maria, Van Gaal saysAngel Di Maria will provide an ailing Manchester United with plenty of missing qualities following his big-money move from Real Madrid - pace, energy, incisiveness and goals. ''I hope he shall give us good results,'' Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said at Di Maria's official presentation on Thursday, ''but we cannot expect after two days' training that he is the miracle what I already read. ''No, you have to work for the miracle and he knows that.'' At its lowest ebb since the late 1980s, United is attempting to buy its way out of trouble with Di Maria's arrival for 59.7 million pounds ($99 million) taking the 20-time English champions' spending to about 130 million pounds ($215 million). After missing out on European football this season with a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Premier League in May, United slumped to a 4-0 loss to third-tier club MK Dons in the League Cup on Tuesday - one of the most embarrassing results in its history.

Despite Ebola fears, games ordered to go ahead
Despite a deadly Ebola outbreak in a fifth country, the Confederation of African Football said Thursday that qualifiers for the continent's top tournament will go ahead as planned next month, sweeping aside protests from a number of fearful teams. CAF's decision that there would be no more venue changes forces the Cameroon and Republic of Congo squads to travel to countries where people have died from the virus, and compels Ivory Coast - with big names like Manchester City's Yaya Toure - to host players and officials from Ebola-affected Sierra Leone. ''As earlier announced, CAF will reassess the situation in mid-September,'' the African confederation said in a statement, but maintained there would be ''no amendments'' to the schedule for African Cup qualifying games in the first two weeks of next month. CAF had already been forced to move early qualifiers out of Sierra Leone and Guinea, two of the worst-affected countries in a West African outbreak where more than 1,500 people have now died.
Despite 'baggage,' Rooney made England captain

Despite 'baggage,' Rooney made England captainDespite an often tempestuous relationship with fans and past concerns over his temperament, Wayne Rooney has received the symbolically-prestigious honor of captaining England. Taking over the leadership of an inexperienced squad that is recovering from the national team's worst-ever World Cup, Rooney knows the rebuilding process requires unity. ''I hope that I will have the full backing of the fans,'' Rooney said Thursday. ''I am their type of player once I am on that pitch.'' Rooney is no stranger to controversy, though, including indiscretions about his personal life that have left the Manchester United player frustrated and have led to flare-ups.

Russian football union to meet with UEFA, FIFA
The Russian Football Union plans to attend UEFA and FIFA-mediated talks next month aimed at resolving a dispute with Ukraine over the clubs in Crimea. Three clubs from Crimea, a region in Ukraine annexed by Russia in March, debuted in Russian league and cup competitions this month. UEFA has refused to recognize any matches they play, but stopped short of issuing sanctions against Russia, the 2018 World Cup host. RFU president Nikolai Tolstykh told Russian media that talks with the Football Federation of Ukraine on the issue would be held Sept. 18 at UEFA headquarters.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in training with PSG
PARIS (AP) -- Zlatan Ibrahimovic has resumed light training, and Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc will be hoping that is enough to spark a lackluster attack.
Soccer-Diego Costa injured in Chelsea training - club source
(Removes lit from headline) LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Chelsea striker Diego Costa has suffered a minor muscular injury in training but has not yet been ruled out of Saturday's league visit to Everton, sources at the Premier League club said on Thursday. The full extent of the Spain forward's injury is not yet known, with some British media reports claiming he could face up to six weeks out. Costa, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in a 32 million pounds ($53.04 million) move from Atletico Madrid, scored in Chelsea's league wins over Burnley and Leicester to start the season and any absence would be a big blow for Jose Mourinho's side.
Platini: Europe deserves 1 extra World Cup place

Michel Platini won't run against Sepp BlatterEurope deserves an extra team at the next World Cup, UEFA President Michel Platini said Thursday. Platini pledged to ask FIFA for the extra spot because Germany's World Cup victory in Brazil made it three straight titles for Europe. ''European football proved it's the leader in the world,'' Platini said. UEFA had 13 of 32 teams in Brazil, and Platini wants 14 qualifying places in 2018.

Crystal Palace-Newcastle United Preview
Crystal Palace are looking to the past to help end their problems in the present. Neil Warnock begins his second stint with Palace on Saturday when they face Newcastle at St. James' Park in a matchup of sides seeking their first Premier League triumph of the new season. One of the more outspoken and colourful managers in English football, the 65-year-old Warnock returns to guide the same south London club he went 47-39-43 with for 2 1/2 seasons while part of the second-tier Championship and before leaving in 2010 for Queens Park Rangers. In two previous managerial jobs in the Premier League, Warnock failed to keep Sheffield United up in 2007 and was fired by QPR in January 2012 before they narrowly avoided relegation.
Chelsea-Everton Preview
Which is why Everton are hoping the championship pedigree of new signing Samuel Eto'o ahead of their highly anticipated clash with Chelsea on Saturday night at Goodison Park will help reap their long-sought Champions League berth by the season's end. The Toffees (0-2-0) have opened the season with 2-2 draws against both Leicester City and Arsenal, with late slack defending the culprit - three of their four goals conceded have come in the 83rd minute and later. The Gunners escaped Goodison Park with a point by scoring both their goals in the final seven minutes, leaving Everton to lament lost points similar to their stretch run last season - when three losses in their final five matches allowed Arsenal to pip them for the last Champions League spot and condemn them to fifth place and the Europa League.
Soccer-Platini rules out running for FIFA presidency
(Refiles to clarify quote in para 20, UEFA not FIFA) * Platini will not stand against Blatter * Frenchman says he still believes change needed at FIFA * Blatter set to seek fifth term By Mike Collett MONACO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - UEFA president Michel Platini ruled himself out of the running for the most powerful job in football on Thursday, saying he "could not convince himself" that opposing incumbent Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency was the right thing to do. Instead, the former France international told a packed news conference in Monte Carlo that he would offer himself instead for re-election as UEFA president, a role he has held since 2007.
MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at San Diego Padres
Aug 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (57) pitches during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Rivera lifts Padres past Brewers 3-2 in 10 innings

Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne summed it up best. ''It was the Rene Rivera Show,'' he said.