The latest summer of soccer has officially begun with the 2016 Copa America starting last weekend in the United States (for the first time ever). Euro 2016 (think of a World Cup exclusively held for European countries) starts on Friday with the host France taking on Romania (3, ESPN). Between these two star-studded tournaments, many of the top players in the world will be competing in numerous meaningful matches in June and July which is always a good thing for soccer fans.   

 

Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic Finally Headed to the Barclays Premier League?   

One of the juiciest rumors early this off-season has been Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic going to Manchester United (England) on a one-year deal. Amazingly, he’s played professionally in Sweden, Italy, Spain and France (Paris Saint-Germain was his most recent stop from 2012-2016) but never in the BPL. In a universe filled with dull professional athletes, Ibrahimovic is not only entertaining but the 34-year-old can still play at a very high level as evidenced by his career-best 50 goals in 51 games for PSG last season.   

RELATED: 2016 Copa America schedule (TV, start time)

 

The U.S. Women Cap Off Week with Rain-Shortened Win vs. Japan

As they have proven over the last few years, Japan is the only women’s national team that can consistently hang with the U.S. and even beat them from time to time. The two heavyweights (who met in the 2015 World Cup Final) played to an entertaining 3-3 draw on Thursday in Colorado and then the Americans got the better of the Japanese with a 2-0 victory in Cleveland on Sunday in another friendly. Star striker Alex Morgan has been on fire with 11 goals in 2016 including one on Sunday (she now has 7 career goals vs. Japan, her most against any country).

 

The U.S. Men Face a Critical Match vs. Costa Rica on Tuesday

Jurgen Klinsmann’s team predictably kicked off its Copa America campaign with a thud, losing 2-0 to Colombia on Friday in Santa Clara, CA. The Americans will face a very familiar opponent on Tuesday night (8, FS1)-Costa Rica-at Chicago’s Soldier Field.  Their CONCACAF neighbors had a scoreless draw with Paraguay on Saturday in their