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Angels Links: Messi is really, really sorry

Plus, that CR7 bust everyone is talking about.

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Argentina at Chile Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Messi defends himself after FIFA ban

Lionel Messi has defended himself after he was suspended 4 games for abusing an official in Argentina’s World Cup qualifying game against Chile earlier this month. Argentina has appealed the ban, and now Messi has reached out personally to try and get the ban overturned by writing a letter to FIFA. Argentina will be desperate to overturn the ban, as they are in serious danger of missing the World Cup, and have been terrible with Messi out of the lineup.

Real Salt Lake announce Mike Petke as their new head coach

RSL have made Mike Petke their new head coach. Petke had previously coached the New York Red Bulls, and he lead the club to their first major trophy by winning the 2013 Supporters’ shield. He was then curiously fired the next year despite that trophy and two straight playoff appearances. Petke was hired as the coach of the team’s USL equivalent, Real Monarchs, and now takes over Real Salt Lake after Jeff Cassar was fired earlier this month.

Time to break up the Jones-Bradley pairing

The USMNT drew 1-1 with Panama on Tuesday in Panama. This was a decent result, but a far cry from the performance they put on against Honduras on Friday. One of the trouble spots was in central midfield, and Conor Dowley of SB Nation argues its time to stop playing Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones together.

Lletget out 4-6 months with injury

After scoring the first goal in the USA’s win vs Honduras, Sebastian Lletget was forced to leave the match with an injury. Now he’s found he needs foot surgery, and will be out for 4-6 months. Bummer for Lletget, as he looked to be a key contributor for the LA Galaxy and the USMNT this year.

Check out this awful Cristiano Ronaldo statue

Cristiano Ronaldo had an airport named after him in Portugal yesterday. The dedication came with a bust of Ronaldo that is truly terrible. The internet, predictably, was not kind to it. At least Ronaldo still has the airport named after him.

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