Truth & Rumors > Soccer

FIFA unveils World Cup refs

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12:35 PM ET 01.15 | The FIFA Referees Committee met in Zurich recently, where they selected 25 referee trios and eight support duos to officiate the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. FIFA selected the referees based "on their personality and their quality in football understanding by being able to read the game and the teams' tactical approaches towards each game." United States ref Mark Geiger was the only American to get the call for this year's tournament in Brazil.

FanSided.com

Mark Geiger, Getty Images Mark Geiger, Getty Images

Is Marco Pappa headed to DC United?

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10:57 AM ET 01.11 | In anticipation of Guatemalan winger Marco Pappa's possible return to MLS, several clubs have approached D.C. United about acquiring the top slot in the allocation order, the Insider has learned. Cut loose by Dutch side Heerenveen this month, Pappa, 26, is weighing multiple options, including MLS, a source said. He played five seasons for the Chicago Fire before being sold in the summer of 2012. Because the Fire was compensated for his departure in the form of a transfer fee, the club no longer holds his MLS rights.

Washington Post

Marco Pappa, Drew Hallowell/Getty Images Marco Pappa, Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Thomas Hitzlsperger becomes first Premier League player to announce he's gay

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02:31 PM ET 01.08 | In today's day and age, we continue to wait for a NFL player to come out as an openly gay athlete. However, while the NFL has yet to break down those barriers, we have seen others around the sports world showing the courage to announce who they are. Jason Collins in the NBA may be the biggest example of a professional athlete announcing he is openly gay, but now a soccer player in Europe has also come forward and becomes the the first Premier League player to come out. Thomas Hitzlsperger, who previously played for Aston Villa, West Ham, Everton and many other squads, made the announcement to a German newspaper.

FanSided.com

Thomas Hitzlsperger, Getty Images Thomas Hitzlsperger, Getty Images

Lee Johnson: Luis Suarez is a 'dirty street rat'

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10:09 AM ET 01.04 | So much for Oldham Athletic keeping a low profile ahead of a Sunday match-up with Liverpool in the FA Cup, as Latics manager Lee Johnson has labeled in-form Reds striker Luis Suarez a "dirty street rat." Now, he means it in the "nicest way possible," which might be akin to telling someone they smell awful but that there are people in the world who enjoy awful-smelling folks.

Pro Soccer Talk

Luis Saurez, Getty Images Luis Saurez, Getty Images

Report: Malago leading John Guidetti chase

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09:58 AM ET 12.28 | Malaga are leading the race to sign injury-plagued striker John Guidetti on loan from Manchester City in January, Goal understands. Mario Husillos, the Spanish club's sporting director, watched City's 2-1 victory over Liverpool on Boxing Day and held talks with Txiki Begiristain over Guidetti on Friday.

Goal

John Guidetti, Alex Livesey/Getty Images John Guidetti, Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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