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The U.S. Women’s National Team wasn’t really lacking confidence heading into Friday night’s clash with Costa Rica, but the squad’s utter dominance certainly didn’t hurt things as Jill Ellis’ group gets ready to head to Brazil for next month’s Olympic Games.
The USWNT captured a 4-0 win against Costa Rica in the side’s final send-off match before the Olympics, extending the no. 1 ranked team in the world’s unbeaten streak to 15 matches.
It only took a quarter of an hour the USWNT to find the lead, but it always looked like it was coming for Jill Ellis’ group. Meghan Klingenburg made a great run deep into the Costa Rica area, and played a perfect square pass across the face of goal for Crystal Dunn to give the U.S. the lead in the 15th minute.
Mallory Pugh got her name on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute after making a brilliant darting run forward and beating the Costa Rican goalkeeper at the near post.
The U.S. pushed their advantage to 3-0 on the stroke of halftime when Becky Sauerbrunn’s free kick was headed home by Carli Lloyd in first-half stoppage time.
With a number of chances in the second half that didn’t take the right bounce for the USWNT, Christen Press made no mistake from close range in the 79th minute and gave the home nation a four-goal lead.
Dunn continues to impress on the international stage, and nearly gave the U.S. an advantage after just seven minutes. The 24-year-old gathered the ball inside the penalty box before unleashing a strong effort that struck the crossbar and stayed out.
The U.S. found another dangerous opportunity three minutes later, when Carli Lloyd was brought down from behind on the edge of the penalty area. Costa Rica defender Katherine Alvarado was shown a yellow card for the rash tackle, but the USWNT couldn’t make anything of the ensuing free kick.
While Costa Rica put in a valiant effort against their competition, the Ticas were no match for the Americans, and failed to muster up any shots on target throughout the night. The 29th ranked team in the FIFA World Rankings struggled to move the ball past midfield for most of the outing largely due to the USWNT’s constant press.Follow @MattReedFutbol
NYON, Switzerland (AP) Contenders from Slovenia, the Netherlands and Spain have entered the UEFA presidential contest to replace the banned Michel Platini.
UEFA confirmed the three national federation presidents on Friday: Aleksander Ceferin, Michael van Praag, and Angel Maria Villar.
All must pass an integrity check to be accepted as a candidate for a job which includes the role of FIFA vice president.
UEFA’s 55 member federations will vote on Sept. 14 in Athens.
Van Praag and Villar are currently UEFA vice presidents, and Ceferin is a relative newcomer to European football politics.
Van Praag stood against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency last year, then withdrew days before the vote.
Villar, who already is a FIFA vice president, has been a member of FIFA’s ruling committee for 18 years and leader of Spanish football for 28 years.
The winner will complete Platini’s third four-year presidential term which expires in early 2019.
A four-nation group of Nordic federations, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, said in June it would support Ceferin. The group also wants to co-host the 2024 European Championship.
UEFA should make that hosting decision during the current presidential term.
In a separate election due Sept. 14, there are two contenders for the UEFA position of a women’s delegate to the FIFA ruling council.
Evelina Christillin of Italy and Laura McAllister will also be subject to a FIFA eligibility check, UEFA said.
Damien Perquis has found a new home after recently leaving MLS side Toronto FC in search of a new challenge.
Nottingham Forest confirmed the signing of Perquis on Friday after making 37 appearances for Toronto dating back to the beginning of the 2015 MLS season.
Perquis, 32, began his career with French side Troyes, and played domestically in his homeland for over 10 years before moving to La Liga side Real Betis.
After playing briefly for France at the Under-21 level, Perquis opted to switch his national team allegiance to Poland and appeared in 14 matches for the White Eagles between 2011-2013.Follow @MattReedFutbol
Everton appears set to lose one of its most prized young players, albeit for a pretty penny.
The Toffees had placed a fee of roughly $65 million on Stones as more teams became interested in the young defender, but the sizable fee doesn’t seem to have swayed City’s front office from pursuing Stones.
Since taking over as the club’s new manager this summer, Pep Guardiola has been adamant about acquiring Stones, particularly with centerback being one of City’s biggest needs. Currently, the squad boasts captain Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala as their only true options to man the central defending positions.
The Citizens and their relentless pursuit for Stones will likely leave Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona searching elsewhere to improve their defenses. The Blues were favorites to acquire Stones last year, however, Chelsea had its bid of nearly $48 million turned down by Everton.Follow @MattReedFutbol