Cameron on bench, Shea left out as Stoke down Reading

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Second half goals from Robert Huth and Cameron Jerome lead Stoke City to a 2-1 win on Saturday, with visiting Reading halving the Potters’ lead thanks to a late goal from Jamaican Adrian Mariappa.

While the win kept Stoke 10th in the English Premier League, the game may have been a disappointing one for U.S. Men’s National Team fans tuning in to see Americans abroad.

Geoff Cameron, a constant throughout the season for Tony Pulis, spent 84 minutes on Stoke’s bench before making a late cameo for Andy Wilkinson. The former Houston Dynamo defender started in the U.S.’s mid-week World Cup qualifier in Honduras but was held out in the Potters’ first match since his return. It was the first time this season the fullback/midfielder has come off the bench.

Stoke’s other U.S. international, the recently purchased Brek Shea, failed to make Stoke’s 18, the former FC Dallas winger having only joined the Potters mid-week.

Expect to see Cameron back in Stoke’s team as soon as possible. Though Pulis didn’t speak to it after the match, it’s assumed Cameron’s absence was travel-related. He should be back at fullback when Stoke visit Fulham in two weeks. (Out of the FA Cup, Stoke is off next weekend.)

Shea’s status is less certain. He’s 22, coming off an injury, and trying to break into a team that has established options at his position. He provides Pulis with a great change-of-pace option off the bench, but training will undoubtedly determine how quickly Shea plays.

Ultimately, it’s not really important whether Shea plays in two weeks or two months. His first days in Stoke-on-Trent should be about a young man adjusting to his new life. Given how important that adjustment will be to Shea’s long-term success, Stoke and their new charge would be best served to take it slow.

Three seriously injured, 120 detained in Bruges hooligan riot

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BRUSSELS (AP) Authorities are investigating a hooligan riot which seriously injured three people and forced Brugge police to detain 120 following the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp.

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Local police chief Dirk Van Nuffel says one policeman was among the seriously wounded as authorities sought to contain a brawl between Belgian fans reinforced by others who had come from the Netherlands.

By Monday morning all were released but investigators were still seeking to see who was at the core of the fighting. Van Nuffel says such hooligan fighting “hadn’t been seen for years.”

Everton fires Ronald Koeman

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A 5-2 home loss versus Arsenal sent Everton into the Premier League drop zone, and that’s apparently a bridge too far for the Toffees when it comes to their managerial position.

Ronald Koeman is out at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Everton sits 18th in the Premier League with eight points, it’s minus-11 goal differential second-worst in the top flight. Its 18 goals conceded are third-worst, and only three clubs have scored fewer goals than its seven.

The Toffees won two rounds in the Europa League, beating Ružomberok and Hajduk Split, but have lost to Atalanta and Lyon while drawing Apollon Limassol in Group E play.

Everton faces Chelsea in League Cup play on Wednesday before a critical early season match at Leicester City on Sunday.

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The Best: Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi — Is there a front-runner?

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While France Football has its Ballon d’Or winner somewhere on a 30-man shortlist, FIFA’s “Best” men’s player is down to an unsurprising three ahead of Monday afternoon’s ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar are up for the award, and there was no major summer tournament outside of the Confederations Cup — only Ronaldo participated — to help tilt the scales in one’s favor this summer.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Of course, Ronaldo claimed another UEFA Champions League crown, but was far from the simple standout of the club. In international play, both Ronaldo and Messi’s World Cup qualifying campaigns came down to the wire while Neymar captained Brazil’s dominant ride through CONMEBOL.

The award, which is said to be for on- and off-field behavior, was voted on by national coaches, national captains, select members of the media and fans.

Ronaldo is the favorite according to hardware, while Messi’s numbers and Neymar’s playmaking both can lay claim to the throne.

Stats since start of 2017

Lionel Messi

Club goals: 46
Club assists: 16
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 4
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Neymar

Club goals: 24
Club assists: 21
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 2
Country assists: 3
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Cristiano Ronaldo

Club goals: 31
Club assists: 7
Country caps: 11
Country goals: 11
Country assists: 4
Accolades: Confederations Cup semifinal, World Cup qualifier, Champions League winner, La Liga winner

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Mbappe wins Golden Boy over Rashford, Pulisic, Gabriel Jesus

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Paris Saint-Germain, France, and (former) Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has claimed the Golden Boy Award over Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic, and others.

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The Golden Boy is chosen from the top Under-21 players in Europe, and the short list had the above names and 22 more including Gabriel Jesus, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Marcus Rashford.

Mbappe, still 18 until Dec. 20, has four goals and four assists this season for PSG after scoring 26 goals with 14 assists for Monaco last season. He also has a goal for France.

The teenager likely played the biggest role at the biggest club last season, though Donnarumma was exceptional at Milan, Jesus’ injury conspired against him at Man City, and Marcus Rashford was very good for United.

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