During the first week of July, players and families from the 2005-2007 girls SFC New England club soccer teams had the trip of a lifetime in France.
As part of an eight-day trip, the players had the opportunity to see the U.S. women’s soccer team play in Lyon in both the semifinals and finals game and ultimately win the Women’s World Cup. The girls said the atmosphere in the stadium was something they will not forget.
As part of the tour the girls had the opportunity to play two local teams from France. The first match was against Lyon Duchene AS, where the SFC players were fortunate to come away with a win (6-0). For the players and the coach, Doug Garlow, the experience to play against an international team was truly an amazing privilege. What was apparent was all the girls shared a common love of soccer. Following a few days of sightseeing in Paris, the girls played their second match against UF Clichois in Clichy Sans Bois. While this game resulted in a loss for the team, it was full of local hospitality. A visit by the mayor of the city at half time and a post-game barbecue for both teams and families was the highlight for all.
SFC New England is a local club soccer group, affiliated with Winchester Soccer Club.
Neymar trained with his Paris Saint-Germain teammates on Wednesday as reports in France and Spain indicated a protracted deal to take him back to his old club Barcelona may still be reached before the transfer deadline.
The transfer window closes on Monday, September 2, leaving Barcelona in a race against time to come to an agreement with PSG that would allow the Brazilian to get his desired transfer back to the Camp Nou.
French sports daily L’Equipe reported that, after previous failed attempts, Barcelona had made a new offer of 160 million euros ($177.3m), paid in two instalments, which could convince PSG to finally sell, provided at least one player is thrown in as a makeweight.
According to Le Parisien, Barcelona are willing to pay a slightly lower fee, between 140 and 150 million euros, while also offering Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic as well as allowing Ousmane Dembele to return to France on loan.
However, the agent of 22-year-old French World Cup-winning winger Dembele insisted his client was not interested in being used as bait in a deal for Neymar.
“Ousmane is 100 percent staying. There is no chance of him leaving. He wants to establish himself at Barca and he will,” Moussa Sissoko told French television station TF1.
Dembele has endured an injury-hit two years at the Camp Nou since being signed by Barcelona for an initial 105 million euros from Borussia Dortmund immediately after Neymar’s world record 222 million-euro switch to PSG.
In Catalonia, radio station RAC1 has reported that Barcelona have taken out a loan in order to have the funds needed to pay for Neymar’s transfer, having already spent 120 million euros in the close season to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.