Juventus are ready to sign Matias Soulé in January, as FIFA considers the application to sign the Argentinian 16-year-old from Velez Sarsfield. La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Juventus got their man after sending an request to FIFA last week, and now they expect Soulé to be arriving from Cordoba this winter. The youngster has been compared to Angel di Maria by the coaching staff at Albiceleste and his developments were monitored by the biggest clubs in Europe already. The Italian newspaper continue to claim that Soulé’s mother has already acted on the move to Turin by obtaining an Italian passport. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Vincenzo Montella confirms Fiorentina were in talks with Radja Nainggolan over a summer move before he joined Cagliari, but is disappointed in Giovanni Simeone. Speaking at his press conference ahead of the game against the Sardinians on Sunday, Montella revealed that a move had been possible. “I’ve been following him for some time. There was the possibility [of a move] and he was tempted, but he decided to go with his heart and went back to Cagliarl.” Cagliari have been the surprise package of the season so far, and currently sit joint fifth in the table, and Montella believes they’ve been a revelation. “They’ve been a bit of a revelation in the league. Their midfield is their strongest point and they don’t have to be envious of the other sides in Serie A. It will be a good game because they’re in a healthy state and their pitch is a little smaller than others, and this will help them. It will be a huge test for us.” Montella allowed Giovanni Simeone to join Cagliari last summer, after the striker had a difficult 2018-19 season in Florence. “Giovanni is an important player, but he was also an important player in Florence. He suffered last season, but to be honest I expected him to put more effort into changing the situation rather than just leaving the city behind. However he wanted to move, and we advised him to go to Cagliari. I am happy for him.” Midfielder Gaetano Castrovili has earned his first call-up to the Azzurri squad for the Euro 2020 qualifying games against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia after a string of impressive performances for La Viola, and Montella was delighted for him. “We are proud. We took risks because he had never played in Serie A, but he is a humble guy who makes great sacrifices.”
Red Bull’s perfect run of pole positions in Formula One this season ended on Saturday when McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton edged out Sebastian Vettel in qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.Hamilton’s time of 1 minute, 35.820 seconds was 0.222 seconds faster than Red Bull’s Vettel, who clinched his second straight F1 drivers’ championship at last weekend’s Japanese GP. Hamilton’s teammate Jenson Button was third ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber.Red Bull had taken pole in all 15 races this season – 12 for Vettel and three for teammate Mark Webber – but couldn’t keep the streak going at the Yeongam track.”I’m happy to be here and very proud of what the team has been able to achieve over the course of the last few races,” Hamilton said. For Jenson to win the last race and for us to be on the front again and the only ones competing with Red Bull, I’m very happy.”Red Bull employed a novel strategy of using the same set of super-soft tyres for both the first two periods of qualifying, meaning they have an extra set of the harder tyres for Sunday’s race, giving them more flexibility in race strategy.(From left) McLaren drivers Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and world champion Sebastian.”McLaren looked competitive yesterday and though the conditions were completely different today, they were a fair chunk ahead of everyone including us,” said Vettel, who has three more GPs to surpass Nigel Mansell’s record 14 poles in one season. “In the dry this morning, they were extremely quick, but once again we pushed them very hard in qualifying, perhaps more than they expected and we did good job in qualification.”Button, who won the Japanese GP last weekend, said a mistake at the last corner prevented a McLaren onetwo. “I lost way too much time on the last corner,” Button said. But I feel good in the car, P3 isn’t what I wanted but I’m looking forward to the race.”advertisementRed Bull team boss Christian Horner said the tyre strategy will make for an interesting race. “We elected to take a different approach to others with our tyre usage,” Horner said. “This saved us three sets of the soft tyre for tomorrow’s race, should that come into play, it’s going to be a fascinating race with strategy and pit work and hopefully, we can take the fight to the McLarens.”Button, however, said he wasn’t convinced the strategy will pay off. “It’s not a decision you can take, I don’t think, before the race starts, because we really don’t know which direction it will go throughout the race and you have to think on your toes in the race.”McLaren had topped the timesheets in all three practice sessions, at what is the team’s 700th Grand Prix.Hamilton took his 19th pole and his first grid-topping performance since Canada last year.Webber was fourth after aborting his final lap of qualifying. Ferrari teammates Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were fifth and sixth respectively.Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was seventh ahead of Renault’s Vitaly Petrov. The Force India duo of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil rounded out the top 10.As happy as he was with pole, Hamilton was focusing on Sunday’s race. The 2008 world champion finished second in this race last year to Alonso and is hoping to change his luck after a disappointing series of results including two fifth-place finishes in the last two races in Singapore and Japan.”To be back on pole is a great feeling but tomorrow is the most important day,” Hamilton said. “We’ve had some difficult races in the past but we hope we can redeem ourselves tomorrow.”McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh was pleased to see Red Bull’s run of consecutive poles end at 16, which is third-best all-time.”I have to confess we do listen to the other drivers and I have a driver button and when they (Red Bull) go on pole, I have to turn it off immediately so I don’t have to hear Sebastian whooping it up in the car,” Whitmarsh said. “Today, I wasn’t feverishly looking for that button to turn it off.”
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was a happy man after India registered a second successive and comprehensive win over England in the second One-day International in New Delhi on Monday.I’m glad we’re the winning side; it’s really good,” said Dhoni after India won by eight wickets at the Ferozeshah Kotla. “Well, of course, the series in England wasn’t a good one for us, but the team showed character not to lose their temper and still be sociable on the field.”Dhoni lauded the efforts of Virat Kohli, who scored a hard-hitting 112 not out, (Gautam Gambhir 84 not out), R Vinay Kumar (four wickets) and Praveen Kumar.It is good to see our players take responsibility. Kohli has been batting brilliantly and I hope he continues to bat the way has been batting,” he said.We needed a good start. Vinay and Praveen gave us that with early wickets. We never let them get a partnership together. Gautam played brilliantly; Virat is a stroke player. Gautam’s innings at No. 3 was crucial, the ball was still moving a bit when he got in.”Dhoni was happy with the behaviour of the pitch. “The pitch was a bit too placid. I’d prefer a bit more turn. I think a turning wicket is a sporting track in India. But this was a good ODI wicket,” he said. “For us it’s all about winning one game at a time, improving ourselves as cricketers, especially with youngsters in the side.”Kohli was elated. “(The knock was) especially satisfying playing at my home ground. I was really keen to perform at my home ground, really happy with the way I batted,” he said. “On this kind of wicket if you play good cricket shots you can get boundaries. I’m definitely hungry for more. You never know when you can hit a bad patch. I want to continue my form as much as I can, but stay humble in the process.”advertisementEngland captain Alastair Cook was despondent. “It’s bit sad to lose heavily twice. It is a concern. Losing heavily once is fine but twice is… Only players can turn this around. We have prepared well but we have to produce it in the middle,” he said.
Is it the extraordinarily long tendons in his feet or is it his ancestry that enables sport’s greatest ever sprinter Usain Bolt to lay claim to the title “fastest man on earth?” Some even speculate that it’s the percentage of high twitch fibres in his body that give Bolt that extra advantage. Can he go any faster, wonder fans of track and field? We can only wait and see.Some believe that athletes have reached their biological limits, and training regimens aren’t likely to alter their physiology and anatomy any further. Only scientific advancements and genetic interventions will be able to stretch the limits of athletic performance. A runner who aspires for Bolt’s speed, for example, could consider manipulating his DNA to code for fast type muscle fibres, as the science for this is nearly in place.From herbs in the 1800′ s to amphetamines, tranquillisers and anabolic steroids that gained popularity during Hitler’s regime in the 1990′ s, performance- enhancing drugs and technologies have kept evolving. And international drug monitoring bodies are desperately trying to keep pace. Twenty years ago, drug testing in sports was at its inception. Now, a whole industry revolves around it, and millions of dollars are spent in developing detection techniques.Still, each time someone is “caught” we are left a little more disappointed and skeptical: How much of sports performance is natural, we wonder, and how much is artificially induced? Stories of positive dope tests end up overshadowing the accomplishments of athletes. Those who watched the golden girls of the Indian track striking gold in the relay during the 2010 Commonwealth and Asian Games couldn’t help feeling let down when three of them were officially charged with doping and issued bans by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) last month.advertisementAs science advances, so will methods of doping. Medical developments will continually tempt sportspeople to opt for ways of tricking their own bodies into developing larger muscles or greater endurance.Ashwini Akkunji, Sini Jose and Mandeep Kaur face doping bans.When a drug for anaemia was developed a decade ago, a black market for it developed among those in endurance sports such as cyclists. The drug contained a natural hormone called erythropoietin which boosts blood production in the body, increasing its oxygen carrying capacity and endurance by 20 per cent. This technique of “blood doping” became rampant until a test was devised to detect this it in 2000.In the same year, high tech swimsuits were developed and improved swimming performances that had stagnated after the ’90’ s. Michael Phelps’s polyurethane laced suit helped him win 8 golds in the 2008 Olympics. But matters took a turn when professional swimmers began competing in suits made entirely of polyurethane. The added buoyancy provided by this material combined with its ability to squeeze the body into a streamlined shape led to its ban in 2010.The next generation of doping, say experts, will involve the use of highly risky genetic techniques that were originally developed to treat human diseases. A gene to make testosterone could be introduced into the body for stronger muscles, another to boost endurance, build focus and so on.The potential of gene doping is huge: Since the body ultimately creates the changes being sought at a cellular level, MRI scans and muscle biopsies were the only means of detection till recently. Now, WADA has announced that a test to catch genetic “dopers” is ready for use in the London Olympics.Where will all this end, you may wonder? In today’s culture of elite athletics it’s hard to distinguish where training ends and cheating begins. Nutritional supplements and drugs are so ingrained in fitness routines that the distinction between what is natural and what is artificially enhanced is becoming tougher to make. Is a natural supplement that can improve sports ability permissible or not? What about deer antler velvet, which is being touted as an effective way of boosting athletic performance. Is it more ethical to ingest this than opt for blood doping? PETA would say no.The answers aren’t easy. One thing we know for sure, however, is that the lying and cheating will go on as long as detection is the main objective. And the competition will simply move from the track and pool to the trickier one between technologies that enhance performance and those that detect them. The next generation of doping will involve the use of highly risky genetic techniques that were originally developed to treat diseases ===Fad diets face flak At the beginning of every year, Gwyneth Paltrow goes on a detox diet. This time she is on ‘Clean,’ a three week cleansing programme of high fibre foods, oils and pills that sends people running to the loo constantly. Both doctors and Paltrow’s fans have panned this diet, even though the actress loves it.advertisementThe tapeworm diet is another bizarre diet that has been slammed for its unhealthy impact. Offered at some places in Mexico, this involves ingesting beef tapeworm cysts. These interfere with the digestion and absorption of food, so a person can lose weight even while she keeps eating.Scientists say tapeworm infestation can result in a loss of one to two pounds per week. Once the target weight loss is reached, an antibiotic to kill the tapeworm is given.The diet can have disastrous side-effects, as the parasite competes for vitamins and other important nutrients, which may result in nutritional deficiencies. In addition, dieters will probably regain all the weight that is lost if they continue with the same eating habits after the tapeworm is expelled. ===IV vitamin therapy is back in vogue 50 years after Baltimore doctor John Myers created an injectable “Myers Cocktail” consisting of vitamins B6, B12 and magnesium for the treatment of fatigue and depression.Proponents swear that this delivers nutrients directly to the bloodstream, boosting immunity and energy levels.Drips for almost all ailments can be bought: Achy bones need the calcium-magnesium drip, and flu needs the zinc and vitamin B and C combo.===Recycled hearts offer new life It may spook you out to know that pacemakers from cadavers in the US have found takers in Indian heart patients in dire need of pacemakers which they cannot afford.A team of Indian researchers have tied up with American doctors affiliated with Stimubank and Heartbeat International, whose mission is to transport free pacemakers to poorer countries.The reason implantable devices have been largely ignored for recycling is due to the FDA’s concerns about possible infection.The 53 devices selected were rigorously cleaned and sterilised before they were sent to Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai, and are functioning effectively in those who needed them without any significant complications.
Goalkeeper Bharat Chettri was named captain of the Indian hockey team for the London Olympics on Monday.The 16-member squad and two stand-bys were announced by Hockey India (HI) after a two-day (June 6-7) trial at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.The trials were witnessed by HI selectors B.P. Govinda and Balbir Singh, with chief coach Michael Nobbs, assistant coach Mohammed Riaz, exercise physiologist David John and government observer Harbinder Singh.Sarvanjit Singh and Kothajit Singh are the two stand-bys while Sardar Singh has been named as the vice-captain.Eight-time champions India have been clubbed with Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand and Belgium in Group B. Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Pakistan, Argentina and South Africa are in Group A.India start their campaign against the Netherlands, July 30 at the Riverbank Arena. They next face New Zealand, August 1, Olympic champions Germany (August 3), South Korea (August 4) and Belgium (August 7).All the matches will be played on blue artificial turf with yellow kookaburra balls. The pitch has pink runways.The Indian team will reach London July 19 after its Europe tour of France and Spain.India, who missed the 2008 Beijing Games for the first time in 80 years, qualified for the 2012 London Games beating France 8-1 in the final match of the qualifier here earlier this year.The squad for the Europe tour:Goalkeepers: Bharat Chetri (captain) and P.R. SreejeshDefenders: V.R.Raghunath, Ignace Tirkey, Sandeep SinghMidfielders: Sardar Singh (vice captain), Kothajit Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet SinghForwards: S.V. Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Sarvanjit Singh, Shivendra Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Tushar Khandker, Dharamvir Singh, S.K. UthappaadvertisementTeam officials: Michael Nobbs (chief coach), Mohammed Riaz (coach), Clarence Lobo (coach), David John (physiotherapist), Shrikant Iyengar (manager), Hari Shanker Narayanan (video analyst)
SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Carroll shot 3 for 12 and scored 10 points and had to be helped from the floor by teammates after the final flurry near the basket. He came into the game batting rib soreness. Coach Kenny Atkinson said Carroll wanted to keep playing, but he’s going to be hurting while he does. “I think it’s very painful,” Atkinson said. “I think if you’ve ever had a rib, I think those are painful but I do think it’s something that can’t get worse, so it’s what pain level can you tolerate.”UP NEXTCeltics: Play Philadelphia on Thursday in London.Nets: Host Toronto on Monday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “He is not scared of the moment,” coach Brad Stevens said about the No. 3 pick. “Never has been.”The Nets cut it two on Joe Harris’ tip and had a bunch of chances to tie in the final seconds, but missed a series of shots near the basket, with DeMarre Carroll appearing to be injured during the sequence.Irving finished with 21 points, and Tatum added 14.Both teams shot under 40 percent, with the Celtics perhaps worn out after a draining week in which they beat Cleveland on Wednesday and Minnesota on Friday in nationally televised games at home. But they played their usual rock-solid defense, limiting the Nets to 33 percent shooting from the field and 19 percent from 3-point range.“For us as a young, developing group to really will ourselves to that win, of course there are some games where we’re not necessarily going to score over 90 points,” Irving said. “But on the flip side, we can hold teams to under 90 points so we’ll always give ourselves a great chance to win if we’re playing at a high level on the defensive end.”ADVERTISEMENT Spencer Dinwiddie had 20 points for the Nets, who were bidding for their first three-game winning streak of the season.They’re also trying to earn respect, and Dinwiddie feels they aren’t getting it yet from referees.“When you approach somebody and they shush you or they wave you off like you’re not a man, you know what I’m saying, or something of that nature,” Dinwiddie said, “that’s also frustrating to already be in a position of feeling like you’re not getting the same respect.”Harris had 10 points and 12 rebounds in his first career double-double.TIP-INSCeltics: The Celtics missed their first five free throws before Irving made the second of his two attempts in the second quarter. Jaylen Brown was 0 for 4 in the first half. Boston finished 8 for 15. … The Celtics have won the last eight meetings, including three close games this season.Nets: Jahlil Okafor had 12 points in 13 minutes, going 5 for 12 from the field in his second straight appearance. … With backup guard Caris LeVert out for a second straight game with a left groin strain and Isaiah Whitehead unavailable, Milton Doyle made his third appearance of the season and second at home. The rookie guard is on a two-way contract and has spent much of his time with the Nets’ G League affiliate.HORFORD HURTINGHorford said his knee began hurting in the second quarter of the Celtics’ victory over Minnesota on Friday night, though he didn’t recall any specific moment. He said the knee felt better after treatment overnight and Saturday and was optimistic he could play, but said the knee just didn’t feel right after his pregame workout on the court. He said he hoped to play Thursday.CARROLL CONCERN Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Tatum did most of the pushing at the end.He had a driving dunk and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, pulling the Celtics out of a late hole and leading them to an 87-85 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingPlaying without Al Horford because of a sore left knee, Boston won its sixth straight heading into its trip to London to face Philadelphia on Thursday.The Celtics were trailing by one when Tatum got the ball and drove for a powerful slam that gave them an 84-83 lead. Kyrie Irving missed on Boston’s next possession but wrestled the ball away from DeMarre Carroll and got it to Tatum in the corner near the Boston bench, and his 3 made it 87-83 with 45 seconds to play. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LeBron James has near triple-double, Cavs hold off Magic Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier, center, moves the ball around Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (33) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)NEW YORK — With a couple big wins behind them and a long plane ride ahead, the Boston Celtics knew they were in for a rough game.“I think everybody had to push through,” rookie Jayson Tatum said.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte View comments
PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Pistons stay unbeaten with Griffin, rout Blazers Three Lady Pirates finished in double-digit scoring with Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla tallying 11 each while Elainr Juanillo chipped in 10.Lyceum shot itself in the foot with 38 errors while JRU committed only 19.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “I’m very proud of my players. Of course, they worked really hard for us to make it to this point,” said JRU head coach Mia Tioseco in Filipino.“Hopefully, we get into the Final Four. At least, we’re one foot in,” added Tioseco, who steered her team to a 6-3 record in the elimination round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingShola Alvarez fired 23 points while Dolly Verzosa added 15 points for JRU, which scored 15 unanswered points to wipe out an 11-5 deficit in the fourth set.“I just told them to stay focused and not repeat our mistakes in the second set where we were really careless,” said Alvarez in Filipino. LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJose Rizal University secured at least a playoff for a Final Four spot after turning back also-ran Lyceum, 25-13, 25-23, 25-11, 25-12, in the NCAA Season 93 women’s volleyball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.The Lady Bombers are eyeing their first Final Four appearance since making their return in the tournament in 2008 and they will earn an outright berth if University of Perpetual Help knocks off College of St. Benilde in the second game.ADVERTISEMENT
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES The No. 1-ranked U.S. team landed in the same group with Sweden for the sixth time overall. Also in Group F are Thailand and Chile, which is making its World Cup debut.The U.S. will open the tournament against Thailand in Reims on June 11. Sweden, ranked No. 9, will face the U.S. on June 20 in Le Havre — the final group match for both.“I know about the history, tough games during many years,” said Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson, who took over the team after Pia Sundhage’s retirement in 2017. “We feel that we have a chance and that’s the most important thing,”The game will be a rematch of the Olympic quarterfinal in Brazil, where Sweden advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Afterward, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo called the Swedes “cowards” for bunkering on defense.“It’s a good draw for us,” said Ellis, who attended the draw. “It pits us against a couple of teams we’re not that familiar with, which I like, and then obviously Sweden. I like having Sweden in the third game because it allows us to settle into the tournament.”ADVERTISEMENT You can now mix and match your Bitmoji’s clothing United States’ Carli Lloyd waves as she stands by the World Cup trophy, during the women’s soccer World Cup France 2019 draw, in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS — U.S. national coach Jill Ellis was asked before the Women’s World Cup draw whether she thought her team would be grouped with Sweden for the fifth straight time.“Oh, we will,” Ellis laughed, recalling her reply.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel management clarifies SEA Games footballers’ kikiam breakfast controversy In spite of Washington’s sanctions, Huawei sells more smartphones than ever Australia appoints 76ers coach Brett Brown for Tokyo Olympics Read Next Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Doncic scores 11 straight, Mavs rally past Rockets Palace: Robredo back to ‘groping with a blind vision’ Turned out she was right.The defending champion Americans were grouped — again — with Sweden for next summer’s showcase tournament in France. The draw to set the group stage for the 24 teams was held Saturday at a gala event in Paris amid a backdrop of unrest in the country.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefHost France will open the World Cup on June 7 against South Korea in Paris.The Americans defeated Japan 5-2 — highlighted by Carli Lloyd’s hat trick — in Canada in 2015. The U.S. has played in every World Cup since the competition started in 1991, winning the inaugural event and also in 1999. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims View comments Lloyd was asked at the draw if she were confident the U.S. can win again.“Pretty confident, I must say,” she said. “This squad is as talented as can be, we’ve got the depth and a great coaching staff in place.”The draw was held at La Seine Musicale, a dome-shaped concert hall perched over the river Seine on the outskirts of Paris and not to be affected by the anti-government demonstrations. Tear gas filled central Paris, with riot police fighting to contain thousands of yellow-vested protesters.The groups that will play next year in France:Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria.Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa.Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica.Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan.Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands.Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden. The pots for the draw were based on the world ranking, except that No. 3 France, as host, led the first pot, followed by the U.S., Germany, England, Canada and Australia. The updated FIFA rankings were released Friday.France has gone 7-1-2 this year, the loss coming against England in the United States. This will be the fourth World Cup for Les Bleues, who landed in a group with South Korea, Norway and Nigeria.Didier Deschamps, who coached the French men to victory in the World Cup in Russia five months ago, was greeted with a roar Saturday when he walked on the stage. He said he’s confident in Les Bleues under coach Corinne Diacre.“I don’t have advice to give to Corinne, she knows women’s football far better than me,” he said. “We’ve spoken several times. She knows that I’m at her disposal. Obviously, there’s a lot of expectation from the fans and media. Corinne and her staff know what awaits, but that shouldn’t be a negative thing.”England, ranked No. 4, was grouped with No. 8 Japan, No. 20 Scotland and No. 36 Argentina. With an average ranking of No. 17 it is statistically the toughest group. England was the surprise third-place finisher in Canada and has been on the rise the past several years.The squad is coached by Phil Neville, a former Manchester United and England defender who played in three European Championships. The Lionesses have gone 7-2-3 under Neville this year.Also drawing a tough group was No. 6 Australia, which is joined by No. 10 Brazil and superstar Marta, who will be playing in her fifth World Cup. Australia defeated Brazil 1-0 in the Round of 16 in Canada.It will be the seventh overall World Cup for the Matildas, who went 7-4-6 this year.“The first immediate instinct is: It wouldn’t be a major football tournament for the Matildas unless we had to play Brazil — 2007, 2011, 2015 and now 2019, and the Olympics we’ve crossed with Brazil,” coach Allen Stajcic said. “So very exciting to be playing them again.”The U.S. went undefeated this year, finishing 18-0-2, including a 2-0 victory over Canada in the final of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. The team’s unbeaten streak is at 28 games, dating to a 1-0 loss to Australia in the 2017 Tournament of Nations.