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Around the Forest: FIFA knew of Russian doping 18 months ago

Also: Larrys Mabiala talks goal, Atlanta United dominating All-Star voting, David Villa to missing a couple games and more!

Soccer: World Cup-Russia vs Saudi Arabia Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports


Larrys Mabiala talks about his goal and more.

Major League Soccer

Torrent makes quick impact in debut, calls NYCFC "better than they think" |
Domenec Torrent’s first 24 hours in New York City were chaotic, arriving from Spain Friday night once he received his work visa and running his first training session on Saturday morning. After his first 45 minutes on the sideline Sunday at Yankee Stadium, there was nothing but clarity for New York City FC’s new boss.

2018 MLS All-Star Fan XI presented by Target |
Atlanta United fans turned out in force to vote six of their players into this year's Fan XI, ensuring that they will be well-represented when Italian champions Juventus visit Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on Aug. 1 (7:30 pm ET | ESPN, UniMás, TSN, TVAS).

Armchair Analyst: Union's hard, TFC's soft & more from Week 17 |
We've talked about the Philadelphia Union a lot, both in this space and on Matchday Central (watch the video embedded above) over the past two years. The grand takeaways have been steady: They're a talented if naive team, filled with skilled players who want to make the right play – not just the next play – and are sometimes hamstrung by the non-linear improvement of some of the youngsters in the roster.

Torrent says David Villa like to miss 1-2 games, but touts NYCFC depth |
“It’s bad news for us because he’s a key man for our team. He has a lot of experience, especially in these kind of games,” Torrent said after the match. “It’s not good news, but we have fantastic players. I think we have a talented team and I think quickly how is the best way to win the game without David. It’s not easy for us because he’s the reference in our offensive team, but football is something like that.”

Nutmegs, newcomers and never-say-die comebacks: What you missed, Week 17 |
MLS returned from its World Cup break this weekend, marking the unofficial onset of the season’s midsummer grind, where seasons are often made or lost. Here’s a few notable flashpoints.

Peter Vermes praises Sporting Kansas City's reaction, rookie Smith's debut |
Sporting Kansas City's comeback in a 3-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night helped gloss over some costly mistakes from a usually solid backline. Yet despite one of its worst performances of the season, one that began with Ike Opara's gaffe in the second minute, coach Peter Vermes was more focused on his defense's response rather than the notion that Opara's error could represent a larger problem.

Orlando admit they're in a bad spot, but keep the faith in playoff hunt |
In the midst of a seven-game losing streak and a coaching change, the mood in the Orlando City camp has taken a notable downturn, the Lions' six-game win streak in the early part of the season now a distant memory.

Adama Diomande an instant hit for LAFC, promises there's more to come |
Adama Diomande has made an instant impact with LAFC, and he's just getting started. He netted another goal in Saturday night's 2-0 triumph over visiting Columbus Crew SC, his fourth in his last three games, and is hitting the net at a pace even Josef Martinez would envy.

World Cup

FIFA knew about the cover-up of Russia player’s positive drug test 18 months ago | Daily Mail Online
FIFA and World Cup hosts Russia are plunged into fresh doping turmoil, as The Mail on Sunday reveal new evidence of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups the world governing body have buried.

Egypt goalie, 45, saves penalty as he sets World Cup record
El-Hadary, 45, became the oldest player to play in a World Cup game, breaking the record set by Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon at the 2014 World Cup. El-Hadary got the start as Egypt and Saudi Arabia played for bragging rights in Group A.

Cristiano Ronaldo kept awake by noisy Iran fans, asks them to let him sleep (Video)
It’s a time-honored international soccer tradition: the 3 a.m. party outside the opposing team’s hotel. In some nations, it might as well be a fan’s duty. And Iranian supporters, among others, have brought it to the World Cup.

Denmark fined by FIFA over sexist banner, fan behavior
FIFA has hit the Danish Football Association with a $20,400 fine and issued a warning after Danish World Cup fans displayed a sexist banner and created crowd disturbances during Denmark’s 1-1 draw with Australia on Thursday.

How World Cup group chaos could bring lots or yellow cards into play as tiebreakers
We are through two rounds of the 2018 World Cup group stage. Each of the tournament’s 32 teams has one group match remaining. That means it’s time to prepare for convoluted scenarios, tiebreaker confusion and potential chaos.

Watch: Panama tries to sneak goal past England with strange kickoff ploy
Panama was humiliated by England at the 2018 World Cup on Sunday. It lost 6-1. And the margin could have been wider. Panama was completely overmatched.