FC Cincinnati have picked Jaap Stam as their new head coach, but the Major League Soccer outfit immediately blundered over the Dutchman's appointment.

Announcing Stam as their boss on Thursday, Cincinnati revealed the news with a picture of a man who certainly looked rather like the former Manchester United and Netherlands defender.

The man in question looked dressed for the job, in shirt, tie and a large coat, and as well as a bald head, many of his facial characteristics were comparable to those of Stam.

However, it turned out to be not Stam but a man widely identified by Dutch media as Ajax youth coach Tinus van Teunenbroek.

Red-faced Cincinnati pulled Van Teunenbroek's image from their coverage of the story once it became clear they had the wrong man.

A corrected version of the announcement was posted to Twitter, this time with an image of Stam, accompanied by the message: "Join us in welcoming our actual new head coach, Jaap Stam."

Jaap Stam has been announced as the new head coach of MLS side Cincinnati.

The former Manchester United, Milan and Netherlands defender heads to Ohio along with Said Bakkati, who has worked as Stam's assistant throughout his coaching career.

"For myself, to get the opportunity to work in America and to work in MLS for a club like FC Cincinnati, it's a dream," Stam told his new club's website.

"I've always liked the country and I've always liked the mentality of the people in the States as well in what they're trying to achieve.

"To get the opportunity to work for FC Cincinnati and this project by building the club – hopefully even further than where they already are, because I think they've already done a great job – but being a presence as a team, even more in MLS, getting results and working together with the fans and everybody already working within the club, for me it's a big challenge to do well."

Stam started his post-playing career with Jong Ajax in 2014 before spending two years in charge of English Championship side Reading.

He joined PEC Zwolle for 2018-19 before taking over at Feyenoord in June 2019, only to step down three months later after a 4-0 loss to Ajax.

"We are very happy and pleased to have Jaap Stam become FC Cincinnati's new head coach," said general manager Gerard Nijkamp.

"He has an extensive background in being part of some of the most successful clubs in the world as a player and has also proven that he can guide teams through transitionary periods as a head coach.

"I strongly believe that Jaap can lead us through our next phase, to our new stadium, and help us achieve our goals in the future, making players better and bringing his knowledge and experience inside the club. I have full confidence that he will be successful at FC Cincinnati and will be a great fit to carry out our established playing philosophy and guide the club to achieve future successes."

Cincinnati finished bottom of the Eastern Conference with six wins from 34 games in 2019, their first year in MLS following the awarding of an expansion franchise to the city in 2018.

The MLS All-Star Game, scheduled for July, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles was due to host the game between the best MLS players and a Liga MX side on July 29, but it was officially cancelled on Tuesday.

It means this year will be the first since the concept was launched in 1996 that a game will not be held.

MLS has been suspended since March due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 324,000 people worldwide.

The United States has been hit hardest, with more than 1.5 million confirmed cases and a death toll exceeding 93,000.

MLS announced the Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup had also been cancelled for this year.

David Beckham says he still misses football as he marked seven years since his retirement from the game.

The former England captain played the last match of a glittering professional career when he turned out for Paris Saint-Germain in a Ligue 1 match against Brest on May 18, 2013.

To recognise the occasion, Beckham posted a video of some of his greatest moments – including Manchester United’s 1999 Champions League triumph – along with an accompanying message on Instagram.

Beckham, now 45, cannot believe so much time has passed and still has fond memories of his playing days, with his attention now on his ownership of new MLS side Inter Miami.

"I can’t believe it's 7 years today since I played my last game as professional footballer," he wrote.

"Such great memories. I was so lucky to have played with incredible teammates and had amazing support from the fans. Still miss it. 

"Can't wait for the next chapter at Inter Miami."

As part of a 21-year professional career, Beckham also represented Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and Milan.

Tigres UANL winger Jurgen Damm said he was priced out of a move to the Bundesliga in 2016 and claimed Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg were interested in him.

The Mexico international holds a German passport and was heavily linked with a move the year after helping Tigres reach the Copa Libertadores final, which they lost to River Plate.

Damm is expected to leave the Liga MX club at the end of the season and stated he previously came close to a Bundesliga switch, though no concrete offer was forthcoming.

"My agent had close contact with Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg – they were the two teams from Germany that were interested," he told 90min.

"The issue was the release clause, which was very high. As I have said on many occasions, the price of Mexican players is very inflated.

"Of course, Borussia or Wolfsburg can pay 10 or 15 million [euros], but it's not a matter of having it but of what you are really worth."

Atlanta United have been credited with an interest in Damm, who is open to MLS for his next move. River and Tigres' rivals Monterrey are the only teams he will not consider playing for.

Asked about MLS, he said: "It is an option that we manage for my future. MLS is a very attractive league that has grown a lot in recent years," he said.

"I do not shut off any options, I just wouldn't want to play for River and Monterrey, because I am a Tigres fan."

He added: "In Argentina I like Boca a lot more, aside from us losing the Copa Libertadores final [to River]. Tigres is the team of my heart, the one I love, the one I appreciate and will be a fan off all my life."

Florida followed in the footsteps of Arizona by announcing it is open to professional sports teams amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey opened the door for sport to return to the state without fans on Saturday following the COVID-19 outbreak, which has wreaked havoc globally.

The NBA, NHL and MLS seasons have been postponed, while the start of the 2020 MLB campaign has been delayed.

But Florida's Ron DeSantis became the second governor to clear the way for sport to resume on Wednesday.

"All these professional sports are going to be welcomed in Florida," DeSantis said in a news conference midweek. "That may not be the case in every other state in this country, as we've seen.

"So what I would tell commissioners of leagues is, if you have a team in an area where they just won't let them operate, we'll find a place for you here in the state of Florida. Because we think it's important and we know that it can be done safely."

The United States has been the hardest country hit, with more than 1.4 million confirmed cases and over 85,000 deaths.

Last week's UFC 249 event was held behind closed doors in Jacksonville, Florida, while WrestleMania 36 took place in Orlando.

"Our people are starved to have some of this back in their lives," DeSantis said Wednesday. "It's an important part of people's lives."

United States star Alex Morgan has given birth to her first child.

Striker Morgan announced she was pregnant in October, just three months after helping the USA retain their Women's World Cup title.

The Orlando Pride player revealed she and husband Servando Carrasco, a former LA Galaxy midfielder, welcomed a girl, Charlie Elena Carrasco, into the world on Thursday.

"At 1130am on May 7 weighing 8lbs5oz, Charlie Elena Carrasco made her grand entrance into the world," Morgan posted on Twitter. 

"She made us wait longer than expected, but I should have known she would do it her way and her way only. My super moon baby."

As well as winning two World Cups, Morgan is also an Olympic gold medallist from the 2012 Games in London.

Few footballers have enjoyed the worldwide acclaim which came the way of David Beckham.

Originally a superstar at Manchester United, he later became a 'Galactico', an MLS trailblazer and one of England's most-capped players.

Here, on his 45th birthday, we look at the highs and lows of his career.

 

HIGH - A STAR IS BORN AT SELHURST PARK

The goal that changed everything. Back in August 1996, Beckham was a promising young midfielder who had just become a regular for United, his boyhood club.

Then he spotted Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan off his line and dispatched an arching effort over his head and into the net from his own half, raising his arms aloft in celebration as if to acknowledge he had truly arrived.

"When my foot struck that ball, it kicked open the door to the rest of my life," he wrote in his autobiography.

LOW - THAT SIMEONE KICK

An England debut followed soon after that goal and Beckham was a regular for his country during the qualifiers for World Cup 1998.

Yet at the tournament itself, one petulant kick out at Argentina's Diego Simeone resulted in a red card and meant Beckham swiftly went from hero to villain.

Glenn Hoddle's team lost on penalties in the last 16 but Public Enemy No. 1 had already been identified, with an effigy of Beckham even hung outside a pub.

 

HIGH - A TREBLE WINNER

Beckham followed up his World Cup disappointment by turning in the best season of his United career in 1998-99, when Alex Ferguson's side famously won the treble.

The midfielder had 11 assists in the Premier League and one of his six goals came in the come-from-behind win against Tottenham that sealed the title.

Later that month he would slot in at central midfield in the Champions League final, with United dramatically beating Bayern Munich thanks to two late goals which came from Beckham corners.

HIGH - SEALING QUALIFICATION AGAINST GREECE

Cometh the man, cometh the hour.

In October 2001 England were on the verge of missing out on automatic World Cup qualification when trailing Greece 2-1 at Old Trafford, only to win a last-gasp free-kick 30 yards from goal.

Beckham, by then Sven-Goran Eriksson's captain, stepped up and dispatched one of his finest, and most important, free-kicks into the net. Next stop: Japan and South Korea.

 

HIGH - REDEMPTION IN SAPPARO

Four years after Argentina had eliminated from the World Cup, England faced one of their arch-rivals again in the group phase.

And when Michael Owen took a tumble as Mauricio Pochettino dangled a leg in the box, Beckham stepped up with a chance to right the wrongs of Saint-Etienne.

He thumped the resulting spot-kick straight down the middle and celebrated with an outpouring of relief as England won 1-0.

LOW - PAYING THE PENALTY

'Golden Balls' was not always deadly from set-piece situations and it was a missed spot-kick that contributed to England's quarter-final exit against Portugal at Euro 2004.

Beckham began the tournament by missing from 12 yards when England led 1-0 against France - Fabien Barthez saving that effort - and two goals from Real Madrid team-mate Zinedine Zidane, including one from the penalty spot, meant the Three Lions were beaten.

Later in the tournament Beckham missed his third straight penalty for his country and blamed the turf for an effort that ballooned over the crossbar, with Portugal going on to win 6-5 in the shoot-out.

 

HIGH - A LALIGA TITLE FROM THE GALACTICO ERA

Beckham had left United for Real Madrid in 2003, the latest 'Galactico' to join Zidane, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Raul in the Spanish capital.

However, as he approached the end of his fourth and final season with the club, he had just a Supercopa de Espana medal to show for his efforts.

Beckham had already agreed to join MLS side La Galaxy in June 2007 when he won his first LaLiga winners' medal, though it was his replacement in the final match against Mallorca, Jose Antonio Reyes, who ultimately scored the goals which sealed the title.

 

HIGH - BACK-TO-BACK MLS CUPS

The rise of MLS in recent years owes much to Beckham's impact, the England midfielder having brought interest and respectability to the competition when he went Stateside.

It had looked like being an ill-fated spell in 2009 when Beckham was booed by Galaxy fans on his return from a loan spell at Milan which saw him miss the first half of his second MLS season.

A similar arrangement followed the next season, but Beckham would be around for the entire 2011 and 2012 campaigns, both of which ended with Galaxy winning back-to-back MLS Cups.

HIGH - BOWING OUT WITH ANOTHER LEAGUE TITLE

Not content with league titles in three countries, Beckham added a fourth with Paris Saint-Germain before he was done.

He played 10 times in the latter stages of the 2012-13 campaign having signed a short-term deal that would see his entire salary donated to a local children's charity.

Beckham was made captain for the final match of his career, a 3-1 victory over Brest on May 18, 2013, and he was reduced to tears when he was substituted in the second half.

MLS players can begin individual workouts at team training fields from May 6 provided plans comply with comprehensive safety protocols set out by medical and infectious disease experts, the league has confirmed.

Only two rounds of matches were played in MLS before it was suspended on March 12 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was hoped originally that action could resume by May 10 but last month MLS said it may have to play a shortened scheduled.

While it remains unclear when play will begin again, MLS released a statement on Friday confirming a step forward in a return to training, with all workouts on a voluntary basis.

The statement read: "Major League Soccer today announced that as of Wednesday, May 6, players may begin to use outdoor team training fields for individual workouts, in compliance with detailed health and safety protocols that were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts.  

"All individual workouts are voluntary and may not be in conflict with local public health official or government policies.

"By allowing players, on a voluntary basis, to utilise team-operated fields for individual workouts, MLS clubs will be able to provide a controlled environment that ensures adherence to safety protocols and social distancing measures for players and staff.

"The individual player workout protocol prohibits access to club facilities including but not limited to locker rooms, team gyms, and team training rooms. Team gyms and training rooms may still only be accessed by players receiving post-operative and rehabilitation treatment, as directed by the club's chief medical officer.

"The league-wide moratorium on small group and full team training remains in place through, and including, Friday, May 15."

The statement said every team must submit a club-specific plan detailing how they plan to adhere to health and safety protocols.

The criteria included the restriction of training facility access to essential staff only, plans for sanitisation and disinfection of equipment, a screening assessment for each player prior to arrival and temperature checks at the facility.

It added there should be staggered player and staff arrivals and departures with each designated parking spaces. Furthermore, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used from parking lots to the field, while staff should use PPE through training and keep a distance of 10 feet from players.

Clubs can use outdoor training facilities, with each field divided into a maximum of four quadrants and only one player per quadrant can participate per session.

All teams must create an emergency action plan for all COVID-19 related issues, which is to be approved by the club's medical staff and local disease expert before being submitted to MLS.

Gareth Bale has declared he would love to play in MLS - and revealed Luka Modric is a lousy golfer.

The Real Madrid winger has two years left to run on his Santiago Bernabeu contract and the 30-year-old has indicated he will see out that deal.

Bale ranks among the world's best-paid players and his present salary, reported to be worth upwards of £15million annually, would be out of the reach of MLS teams.

But there may come a time when Bale can be persuaded to leave Europe for the United States, and the golf courses he loves across the Atlantic could be a selling point.

Speaking on the Hat-Trick podcast, Bale said of MLS: "I really like the league. It's grown so much over the years.

"When we come over and play them now in pre-season, the games are difficult. The standard's getting a lot better, the clubs are improving, the facilities are improving, the stadiums are improving.

"It's a league that's on the up and still rising. A lot more players want to come over to America now and play and I'd definitely be interested in it.

"I love going to Los Angeles on holiday."

Asked by the US-based podcast what he enjoyed doing in Los Angeles, Bale said: "I play a lot of golf.

"I've played Pebble [Beach] a couple of times. I played Cypress Point which is a private members' club which is next to Pebble Beach - that was probably the best course I've ever played so far."

Bale faced heavy criticism in Spain after celebrating Wales' European Championship qualification with a flag bearing the now-famous slogan of 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.'

He insists it was "a bit of banter... a bit of fun", but Bale's love for golf is not something he hides from.

And when Madrid team-mate Modric proved hapless with a golf club, Bale had to laugh at the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner.

Asked to identify his worst golfing team-mate, Bale said: "Luka Modric, 100 per cent.

"We were staying in a hotel and there was nothing to do, and they had a golf course and a driving range there, so I said [to Modric], 'Do you fancy coming down to the driving range to hit some balls?'

"He's got a club in his hand and he doesn't know how to hold it really. He turns his back and he hits the floor, missed the ball.

"I reckon he hit about one ball in 20 attempts and he just gave up.

"The next day he came down and said, 'My back is in absolute agony.'"

Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry said the MLS club simply needed to be ready for whatever could be coming if the campaign resumes.

The MLS season was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 217,000 people worldwide.

Earlier this month, MLS postponed matches through June 8 as the United States, with more than one million confirmed COVID-19 cases, struggles to contain the virus.

Henry, whose team claimed four points from their opening two games, said he would be prepared for whatever followed.

"I'm sure the [MLS] commissioner and whoever's involved to take that decision are working, obviously, extremely hard, to find out what we are about to do," he told a conference call on Tuesday.

"All we can do on our side is to be focused and to prepared for whatever comes our way. They are going to take the decision, we are going to have to execute whatever they want us to execute.

"On my side, all I can try and do is keep my team, the staff, whoever, prepared to whatever is going to come our way,

"As you've mentioned I've seen that people [Ligue 1, Eredivisie] took one way and one path.

"I don't know what's going to happen with the league, we just have to wait and see and be ready for whatever’s going to come our way."

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly eager to extend Kylian Mbappe's contract, while Inter are still doing their all to keep Lautaro Martinez.

Mbappe has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid despite being contracted at PSG until 2022.

Madrid's rivals, Barcelona, meanwhile, want Martinez, but they are facing their own challenges.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE EXTENSION A PRIORITY FOR PSG AS TENSIONS RISE

Despite the coronavirus pandemic impacting clubs financially, PSG are prioritising a lucrative new deal for Mbappe, according to ESPN.

Mbappe, 21, is a reported target for Real Madrid, whose interest seemingly remains.

AS reports PSG are prepared to lose Mbappe on a free in 2022 rather than selling him to Madrid before then.

 

ROUND-UP

- It remains to be seen whether Martinez will head to Barcelona. The cover of Sport says Inter are responding to Barca's interest by offering the forward an attractive new contract, although the LaLiga club are preparing their "final assault".

- Barcelona could have other plans should they not be able to land Martinez. Mundo Deportivo reports RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, who has been linked with Liverpool, remains a serious back-up option for Barca.

- Seeking support for Casemiro, Real Madrid are apparently considering a move for Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. The cover of Marca says Madrid could pay €60million for the 17-year-old.

- Arthur is linked with a move away from Barcelona. Tottenham and Inter will chase the midfielder, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- Inter Miami have been eyeing a big-name signing. Goal reports owner David Beckham has been in contact with Real Madrid regarding potentially signing James Rodriguez.

- Loris Karius could be heading back to Liverpool. The Telegraph reports the goalkeeper is close to mutually agreeing a termination of his loan at Turkish club Besiktas and returning to Anfield.

David Beckham has offered fans the chance to play against him in a five-a-side game as he raises funds for coronavirus relief efforts.

The ex-England captain revealed the opportunity in a video on Instagram, explaining how the winner of the sweepstake - organised as part of the All In Challenge - will get a "unique experience" at Inter Miami.

Along with four friends, the lucky individual will face Beckham's squad at the training facilities of the MLS franchise part-owned by the 44-year-old. The prize also includes lunch and the chance to watch Inter Miami in action at the club's new stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"With my Inter Miami family, I want to offer you the chance to win a unique experience," Beckham said in the post.

"You and four of your friends will play against my five-a-side team at the beautiful new Inter Miami training facility.

"After the game, we will have lunch together - to gloat who has won and who has lost - and you will then be invited to watch an Inter Miami game from the owners' suite with me and my good friend and managing owner, Jorge Mas.

"You'll get a VIP tour of our stadium to see the amazing facilities we've built for our new club. Miami is a very special place and I know this will be an incredible experience."

        View this post on Instagram                  

⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ I’ve accepted the #AllInChallenge with @intermiamiCF. Go to https://bit.ly/DavidBeckham_AllInChallenge to enter. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ We are offering you and friends the chance to go up against me and my team at our training facility… and I’m not going to hold back! Spend the day with me at our stadium and after we’ve played we’ll have lunch and watch an @intermiamiCF game together. This is all for such an important cause.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ I’m hoping to see you on the pitch very soon! I’m nominating @ManchesterUnited, @RealMadrid and @PSG to go All In! Link also in bio.

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on Apr 22, 2020 at 7:36am PDT

There was a notable response to the post by the former Manchester United, Milan and Real Madrid midfielder, too.

NFL quarterback Tom Brady made it clear he wants to go up against Beckham in a different type of football, commenting: "I'm bidding on that."

However, the six-time Super Bowl champion will have to buy a ticket to see if he can be the lucky one picked out to face his fellow sporting superstar, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic used his wealth and a light-hearted death threat to scold fellow LA Galaxy players during his time in MLS, according to his former team-mate Joao Pedro.

Milan striker Ibrahimovic spent two years with the Galaxy and broke their single-season scoring record when he notched 30 times in the 2019 regular season.

He helped guide the team into the MLS Cup Playoffs that year, but they lost in the first round to Minnesota United and the former Sweden international opted against renewing his contract.

Ibrahimovic famously claimed "nobody will remember what MLS is" following his departure, and Joao Pedro has revealed the details of when the outspoken veteran rebuked the rest of the squad for throwing away a win against Houston Dynamo.

Joao Pedro told Diario Record: "[He said:] 'If you are going to come here to go to the beach, take a walk in Hollywood, just say so, but tell me now.

"I have 300 million in my bank account, an island, I don't need this at all. I'll kill the first person to open their mouth.'"

Joao Pedro, who joined Tondela on loan from the Galaxy in January, offered up another story where Ibrahimovic's personality seemingly rubbed him up the wrong way.

He said: "We were just about to have an 11-against-11 kickabout and someone asked, 'Who is kicking off?'

"The assistant coach said: 'Joao Pedro, because it is his birthday today.' Ibrahimovic turned and said: 'Every day is my birthday, give me the ball.' And he laughed."

Guillermo Barros Schelotto said Gonzalo Higuain would represent "a dream" signing for La Galaxy, who are also interested in Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira.

Higuain has appeared in all but three of Juventus' 26 Serie A games this season, starting 16 times for the league leaders, though the 32-year-old's long-term future remains unclear.

The Argentinian is under contract until the end of next season and while accepting a move to MLS is unlikely for Higuain, Schelotto would dearly love to bring his compatriot to the Galaxy.

"It would be a dream, we are talking about one of the best centre-forwards in the world," Schelotto told Tuttosport.

"But honestly, I find it difficult to bring him here immediately.

"I saw an interview with Gonzalo where he said he wanted to stay at Juventus and in Europe. Maybe it's too early for Higuain, but never say never in football.

"I personally know the whole family, his father Jorge and brother Federico. We have already brought in Ibra's [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] replacement in Chicharito [Javier] Hernandez and we are happy with him.

"In Higuain's case, it would be a separate matter. It's a dream for the future, but it won't be easy."

Higuain is not the only Juve player on Schelotto's radar, with midfielders Matuidi and Khedira potential targets too.

"Top players like Khedira and Matuidi could be interesting for us, even if it's impossible to make predictions," he added.

"Given the health emergency we are experiencing, we can't know what will happen in the summer and what kind of transfer market it will be."

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