Highlights and context: Philadelphia and Toronto draw

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We talked earlier this week about strikers who just score

Two of the top early examples are Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney and Toronto’s Robert Earnshaw. They may not create a lot for others, and their off the ball movement may not slice open defenses the way someone with, say, Robbie Keane’s experience can. But get them around goal and they sure know how to finish.

Let’s cover this ground one more time while we review a 1-1 draw between Philadelphia and Toronto.

Robert Earnshaw took advantage of wobbly Philadelphia defensive moment – in soccer parlance, they Union back line “switched off” – and Earnshaw scored for the visitors at PPL Park against the run of play. Amobi Okugo seemed to be the Union man most guilty of holding Earnshaw onside, slow to pull himself in line with fellow Philly defenders.

Earnshaw’s fifth goal this year puts the first-year MLS man in a tie for league leadership with Mike Magee, who plays later tonight.

As you watch the highlights, check out the Welshman’s perfectly weighted first touch, just far enough to get himself into great shooting position, but not close enough to allow Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to gobble up the opportunity.

(MORE: He’s good, but let’s tap the brakes on “McInerney as Chicharito” comparisons)

McInerney’s third goal this year was the simplest of finishes, abetted by some egregious Toronto ball watching. On the other hand, he had the awareness to stay free at the back post rather than being drawn closer to the ball and the mayhem happening nearer to the front post.

The full highlight pack:

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Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.

Premier League vet Scott Parker calls quits on playing career

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Scott Parker has announced his retirement from soccer after a stellar 20-plus year career in England.

[ MORE: Chile bests Portugal on PKs to reach Confed Cup final ]

The 36-year-old spent almost the entirety of his career in the Premier League, and played with seven teams during his time on the pitch.

“I believe now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career,” Parker said in a statement.

“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.”

Parker began playing with Charlton after coming up through the team’s youth academy, before completing a move to Chelsea in 2004.

Throughout his career, Parker also spent time at Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham, before finishing up at Fulham this past season.