AC Milan
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6:45 PM UTC
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7:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
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Hamilton Academical
Dundee United
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
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FC Utrecht
AZ Alkmaar
(4) 3
(3) 0
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 3
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Atlanta United FC
New York City FC
9:00 PM UTC
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FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo
12:00 AM UTC May 29, 2017
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11:06 PM UTC
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European qualification, honours 2016-17


Rodgers: Spurs role a 'close shave'

Brendan Rodgers says he had a “close shave” when he turned down the chance to manage Tottenham before taking charge at Liverpool.

• Usher: Will Luis Suarez sign a new contract at Liverpool?

Rodgers has spoken out against the Spurs’ board after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as manager on Monday.

Villas-Boas left Tottenham a day after his side were thumped 5-0 at home by Liverpool in the Premier League.

And Liverpool’s boss believes the change has vindicated his decision not replace Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane last year.

Rodgers, then Swansea’s manager, was a candidate to take the Tottenham job following Redknapp’s exit.

But his interest in working for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy cooled when he studied the club’s record of changing managers.

Instead, he left South Wales to take the Liverpool job in June of last year.

Asked how he felt about Tottenham’s approach, Rodgers told the Guardian: “A close shave. They are a great club and one of the things I looked at was their history.

"They'd had 11 managers in 18 years there, so for someone like myself, who needed to create something, I needed to go to a club that was going to give that opportunity.”

Tottenham signed seven players during the summer, funding a large part of their spending by selling Wales midfielder Gareth Bale to Real Madrid on September 1 for a world-record 85.3 million pounds.

Technical director Franco Baldini was responsible for overseeing those signings, but it was Villas-Boas who lost his job with the club lying seventh in the Premier League.

Rodgers added: “It's difficult. They have had a good couple of years, they were up there under Harry Redknapp. Obviously there have been difficulties from Bale leaving.

"It shows you that when you have someone with that X-factor, sometimes eight, nine or 10 players can't replace that.

“That was why we fought like tigers to keep Luis Suarez here because he is a top player, he is a performer.

“There are many good players but very few who perform week in, week out to that level. I am more than happy with the choice I made to come here and hopefully in time it will prove to be the right one.”


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