Israeli Warplanes Hit Gaza After Palestinian Rocket Fire

A Palestinian man runs for cover during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces across the barbed-wire fence following a border demonstration east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on August 23, 2019. Said KHATIB / AFP

 

 

Israeli warplanes hit the Gaza Strip’s ruling Hamas movement early Monday in response to earlier rocket fire from the territory into Israel, the army said in a statement.

Israeli authorities also announced a punitive reduction in the flow of fuel to the strip’s main power station, meaning a deep cut in the already rationed electricity supply.

Three rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Sunday night, the Israeli army said.

“Three launches were identified from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” it said in a statement. “Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defence system.”

“In response, a short while ago, (Israeli air force) fighter jets struck a number of terror targets in a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip, including the office of a Hamas battalion commander,” a statement Monday morning added.

A Palestinian security source said there were no casualties.

A separate statement from Israeli defence ministry unit COGAT said the latest fuel cut was personally ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also defence minister.

“The prime minister and minister of defence, Benjamin Netanyahu, ordered to downsize the transfer of fuel through the Kerem Shalom (border) crossing to the power station in Gaza by half, effective this morning and until further notice,” it said in English.

Netanyahu is fighting for reelection in a potentially tough general election on September 17 with critics from his right-wing power base calling for tougher action against the Islamist Hamas.

Nevertheless, analysts say, he is anxious to avoid escalation ahead of the polls.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.

Since the start of August, an uptick in rocket fire and Palestinian attempts to cross from Gaza into Israel have been met with Israeli strikes, threatening a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Israel has also used fishing restrictions and fuel supplies as weapons, harshening and easing restrictions on the blockaded coastal strip according to circumstances.

Fuel deliveries, which are coordinated with the United Nations and paid for by Gulf state Qatar, were part of the truce agreement.

They have improved electricity supply in the enclave, where until the latest cut residents were getting around 12 hours of power a day, according to the UN.

In the past, the daily power supply was regularly as low as six hours.

AFP

Zlatan Scores Twice To Lift LA Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy kicks the ball away from Zarek Valentin #16 of Portland Timbers during the second half at Dignity Health Sports Park on March 31, 2019 in Carson, California. Katharine Lotze/Getty Images/AFP

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from injury in style Sunday, converting two penalties in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2-1 Major League Soccer victory over the Portland Timbers.

Exactly one year after the Swedish striker made his MLS debut for Los Angeles, he returned after missing two games with an Achilles tendon injury and made an immediate impact.

Denied by the post in the 14th minute, Ibrahimovic converted his first penalty in the 33rd, easily beating Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella after drawing a foul in the penalty area against Timbers defender Claude Dielna.

Jeremy Ebobisse grabbed an equalizer in the 44th, but Ibrahimovic struck again in the second half.

Having beaten three defenders to reach the edge of the box, he was fouled by Attinella.

This time from the spot he lofted a perfectly timed “Panenka” spot-kick into the back of the net as Attinella moved to his left.

In the Eastern Conference, Wayne Rooney scored on a sensational free-kick to lift D.C. United to a 2-1 victory at Orlando City that put D.C. back atop the conference standings.

A free kick from the former England star had set up D.C.’s opening goal, which was nodded in by Steve Birnbaum for his first of the season in the sixth minute.

Rooney doubled the score in the 30th, curling a free kick from just yards (meters) away from the corner flag into the top corner past Orlando keeper Brian Rowe.

Orlando coach James O’Connor called for officials to review the goal for a potential foul on Rowe by D.C. defender Frederic Brillant, but VAR confirmed the goal.

Orlando were already irked that the free kick was awarded at all since it was unclear if Dom Dwyer’s lunge at Rooney resulted in contact.

Orlando halved the deficit thanks to Dwyer’s 63rd-minute close-range header, but D.C. held them off to notch a first away win since May 19, 2018 — a streak that included 11 games and stretched back to before Rooney arrived at mid-season last year.

Dwyer’s goal was the first conceded by D.C. this season and energized the hosts, who pushed forward relentlessly in the final 30 minutes but couldn’t find an equalizer.

AFP

Galaxy Honour David Beckham On MLS Opening Day

David Beckham

 

Major League Soccer kicked off a new season on Saturday with 10 games and a tribute to football great David Beckham whose arrival in 2007 helped usher in a new era for the then upstart league.

A statue of the former England captain was unveiled by the LA Galaxy outside their stadium in an emotional ceremony prior to their 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire.

Beckham’s former Galaxy coach Bruce Arena and teammate Robbie Keane, as well as Beckham’s wife, Victoria, attended the ceremony.

“From day one when myself, Victoria, and the kids arrived in this city we felt at home and for that we will be forever grateful,” said Beckham, who is set to become an MLS club owner when expansion side Inter Miami joins the league.

“This city has always felt like home for me. My wife, my kids, my parents, and my friends, I couldn’t have had the career I had without the support from you guys.”

Beckham made headlines around the world when he moved to the United States in 2007 after an illustrious career at Manchester United and Real Madrid.

His Galaxy deal was widely reported to be for $250 million over five years, but in reality the $250 million figure was his potential earnings from salary, endorsements and club revenue. His base salary was $6.5 million a year but he was promised a percentage of Galaxy revenues.

Beckham played for the Galaxy until 2012, taking league titles in his final two campaigns, during a career that also featured a stop with England’s national team.

“He wasn’t one of the fastest players on the field, nor did he score many goals,” Arena said. “He was an outstanding passer and a great free-kick specialist.

“He was an intelligent and skillful player. He was simply a great leader and a winner.”

Said former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, “the impact he had on the sport here in America can’t be overstated. He was the first true big name to come to the States.”

Beckham helped pave the way for European star players to follow and so it was fitting that Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on a late header Saturday to lift the Galaxy to a season-opening win over the Fire.

Ibrahimovic, who was second in MLS last season with 22 goals in his debut campaign, rushed in to put his header past Fire goalkeeper David Ousted in the 80th minute.

“We are not 100 percent but we worked to get our first three points,” said Ibrahimovic.

Cincy debut

Elsewhere, Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley’s brace lifted the Canadian side to a 3-1 victory at Philadelphia in the opening game of the season.

The 31-year-old US midfielder found the goal three minutes into first-half stoppage time and again in the 62nd to put Toronto on top.

Mexico’s Marco Fabian answered for the Union in the 73rd minute but US midfielder Nick DeLeon sealed Toronto’s victory three minutes into stoppage time.

Opening day also featured the debut of expansion squad FC Cincinnati, who lost their inaugural game 4-1 to the Seattle Sounders.

It is the second straight season that Seattle has hosted an expansion team in the season opener. Last year they faced Los Angeles FC and suffered a 1-0 loss.

There was no repeat performance as Cincinnati were no match for the Sounders.

Three other early matches ended in draws with FC Dallas and the New England Revolution deadlocked 1-1, Orlando City and New York City level 2-2 and the New York Red Bulls finishing 1-1 with the Columbus Crew.

MLS Cup champions Atlanta, with a new manager and without star Miguel Almiron who decamped to Newcastle United in January, open their campaign on Sunday against Wayne Rooney and D.C. United.

Steven Gerrard To Have Scan On Hamstring Injury

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-LIVERPOOLLiverpool FC Captain, Steven Gerrard, is to have a scan on a hamstring injury as Liverpool wait to find out the extent of the problem.

The midfielder was seen limping off with an injury during a 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

Prior to this, Major League Soccer club, LA Galaxy, had confirmed that Steven Gerrard would be joining it in July on an 18-month deal.

Steven Gerrard, while expressing his excitement said “I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy.

“The Galaxy are the most successful club in Major League Soccer history and I am looking forward to competing for more championships in the years to come,” Gerrard told the MLS club’s official website.

Gerrard who is, to date, the only footballer ever to have scored a goal in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a Champions League Final, told the Liverpool Echo, that he would have agreed to continue his long Liverpool career, had the club offered him a new contract.

Meanwhile, the English club has expressed hope that Gerrard would still be able to play his usually key roles in the team’s quest for a good finish in the Premier League before his impending move to the U.S.

Liverpool Assistant Manager, Colin Pascoe, said of the injury, “Unfortunately, he felt his hamstring towards the end of the game and he is having a scan this morning and we are just waiting for results to come back.

“Hopefully the scans won’t show too much but as we’ve not got the results I can’t say too much.”

Gerrard would also be hoping that the injury is a minor one as he had declared his desire to give more to his boyhood club before departure.

“I am committed to helping the LA Galaxy compete for trophies and to having an impact in Los Angeles and I will give my all for the club.

“In the meantime, I will continue to give everything for Liverpool for the remainder of this season before joining up with the Galaxy,” said Gerrard.

The former England captain had spent his entire career at Liverpool, making nearly 700 appearances and winning the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

The 34-year-old midfielder would join a growing list of high-profile former Premier League players to cross the Atlantic in the latter stages of their careers, most notably David Beckham.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool striker, Robbie Keane, will be a teammate of Gerrard at the Galaxy while former Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard had signed for New York City FC, although he is still in England on loan at Manchester City.

Robbie Keane Beats Obafemi Martins To MLS MVP Award

Obafemi MartinsRepublic of Ireland striker, Robbie Keane, has been named Major League Soccer 2014 Volkswagen Most Valuable Player after he had a brilliant season in which he led LA Galaxy to the MLS cup final.

Keane 34, had a fantastic season and scored 19 goals and gave 14 assists contributing to half of his team’s 69 goals making them the league’s most potent club moving forward

The former Tottenham striker is used to success in LA. Since his arrival in 2011 he has won two titles with the Galaxy – and could win a third as LA Galaxy prepare for the cup final against Revolution.

He is the third LA Galaxy player to be named MLS MVP after Carlos Ruiz in 2002 and Landon Donovan in 2009.

Lee Nguyen of New England Revolution and the Seattle Sounders and Nigeria’s Obafemi Martins were the other finalists for the award.

DC United’s Bill Hamid was named goalkeeper of the season ahead of Nick Rimando, the choice of many MLS fans. Pedro Morales of the Vancouver Whitecaps was named newcomer of the year.

According to Lagalaxy.com, Robbie Keane has scored 53 goals and added 35 assists in 84 MLS appearances, with 15 game-winning goals and assists apiece. In postseason matches, he has scored eight times and added six assists in just 16 appearances while leading the Galaxy to MLS Cup titles in 2011 and 2012. He has been named to the MLS Best XI three consecutive times and an MLS All-Star for two straight seasons.

Beckham likely to bid for Malaga ownership – Report

David Beckham is considering launching a takeover bid for Spanish outfit Malaga which would make him the owner of the Primera Liga club, according to reports.

Qatari billionaire Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani took over the club two years ago but is apparently already looking to sell up.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Beckham is aiming to buy 75 per cent of the shares in Malaga with Alexi Lalas, the LA Galaxy general manager who brought Beckham to the MLS in 2007.

Despite initially ploughing money into the club, Al-Thani recently sold star players Santi Cazorla and Jose Rondon in an attempt to fall in line with the Financial Fair Play rules.

It was not enough to escape punishment from UEFA today, though, as Malaga featured in the list of 23 clubs to have prize money withheld after falling foul of the regulations.

Malaga has been forced to float shares due to mounting debts despite featuring in this season’s Champions League.

Beckham is familiar with Spanish football after spending four seasons at Real Madrid before moving to the US to play for Los Angeles Galaxy. He has played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, Milan, and the England national team for which he holds the appearance record for an outfield player.

Beckham’s career began when he signed a professional contract with Manchester United, making his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17.

During his time at Old Trafford, United won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He left Manchester United to sign for Real Madrid in 2003, where he remained for four seasons, clinching the La Liga championship in his final season with the club.

In January 2007, it was announced that Beckham would leave Real Madrid for the Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy, signing a five-year contract with them on 1 July 2007.

While a Galaxy player, he spent two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010.

On 20 November 2011, he joined an elite group of players to have won three league titles in three different countries, when Los Angeles won their third MLS Cup.

 

In international football, Beckham made his England debut on 1 September 1996, at the age of 21. He was made captain from 15 November 2000 until the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, during which he played 58 times.

He earned a much-publicized hundredth cap against France on 26 March 2008 and became the all-time outfield player appearance record holder on 28 March 2009 when he surpassed Bobby Moore’s total of 108 caps.

With 115 career appearances to date, he has stated that he does not intend to retire from international football. Having missed the 2010 World Cup through injury, Beckham has not played for England since 14 October 2009. He remains 10 caps short of the 125 caps won by goalkeeper Peter Shilton – a record number of England caps for a player of any position.

Beckham has twice been runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 was the world’s highest-paid footballer when taking into account salary and advertising deals.

Beckham was the first British footballer to play 100 Champions League matches.[5] He is third in the Premier League’s all-time time assist provider chart, with 152 assists in 265 appearances.

When joining the MLS in 2007 he was given the highest player salary in the league’s history, with his playing contract with the Galaxy over the next three years being worth US$6.5m per year.