One more for U.S. striker Jozy Altidore; his game-winner guides AZ Alkmaar to Dutch Cup glory

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For the record, Jozy Altidore’s Dutch club had already qualified for Europa League action next year, a significant achievement for a smaller club in a smaller European league.

But also for the record, it is still very, very cool that U.S. international Jozy Altidore has scored the game-winner for his team in attaining Dutch Cup glory, also a massive achievement for AZ Alkmaar.

AZ was underdog to PSV in Thursday’s final of the Dutch Cup in Rotterdam. His first half goal provided the margin as the club went on to a 2-1 win, claiming its first Dutch Cup since 1982.

So the U.S. international’s current club is bound for tournament play in the continent; the KNVB Cup winner gets a Europa League berth, although PSV already has one in pocked by virtue of its impending league finish. As for the man himself …

(MORE: Altidore unlikely to be available for early U.S. summer matches)

This was almost surely one of Altidore’s final games for the lowland’s club, where his career has taken off in ways that it did not during previous, far less productive stops at Spain’s Villarreal and England’s Hull City. AZ has one more match in league play (although there’s an outside chance the club could still finish 8th and find itself in the Eredivisie playoffs.)

Either way, Altidore is elsewhere-bound this summer. And why shouldn’t he be? With 31 goals across all competitions this year, the former New York Red Bull now has 50 goals in two years for AZ.

Don’t forget, Altidore struck twice back in late February as AZ stunned heavily favored Dutch giant Ajax in the tournament semifinal:

Altidore’s goal Thursday:

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<br /><a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzq2me_altidore_sport&#8221; target=”_blank”>Altidore</a> <i>by <a href=”http://www.dailymotion.com/Counterpoint1&#8243; target=”_blank”>Counterpoint1</a></i>

Coutinho rocket helps LFC to PL Asia Trophy (video)

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Goals from Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho helped Liverpool come back from an early deficit to win the PL Asia Trophy on Saturday in Hong Kong.

Islam Slimani gave Leicester City an early lead in front of a heavy pro-Liverpool crowd at Hong Kong Stadium, but Coutinho delivered the goods on both goals in a 2-1 win.

The tournament win is Liverpool’s first in its second trip to the PL Asia Trophy Final.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

First he crossed for Salah to head home, and then he scored the above goal by cutting in from the left and lashing a shot past a flailing Kasper Schmeichel.

We’ve seen this one before from Coutinho, just not on this particular continent. The Brazilian remains a Barcelona target, but looks prepared for the season in whatever land he sets foot.

Transfer rumor roundup: Latest on Alexis, Neymar to PSG; Van Dijk

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Neymar and Alexis Sanchez to Paris? Brazil and Chile’s finest living as one? Reunited and it feels so French?

The latter’s talents will see Arsenal’s resolve tested by a $46 million bid, according to Sky Sports, though Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been adamant that Sanchez will not be sold this summer.

Reports circled last year that Arsenal was prepared to offer Sanchez and Mesut Ozil record deals to stay at the club, though PSG has reportedly met with Sanchez and his agent with ideas of incredible $650,000 per week wages at the Parc des Princes.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

A source also told Sky Sports that it would take “a miracle” for Neymar to remain at Barcelona, so that Sanchez/Edinson Cavani/Neymar trident could be coming to a theater near you.


Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino is hopeful of convincing Virgil Van Dijk to stay at St. Mary’s, but for now he’s been forced to ask the defender to take time away from the club.

Van Dijk, hopeful to engineer a move to a UEFA Champions League club, has not been in the preferred mental state for Pellegrino.

“When I was talking with him, the boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave. I need to work with a player that works at 100 percent to defend Southampton. This is the decision. I had to say: ‘OK, if you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel OK, you have to train alone until this period of time.'”

Liverpool publicly ended their interest in Van Dijk following Southampton complaints, and the club maintains it will not sell the influential center back.


West Ham’s loan move for Joe Hart could see both of its 2016-17 goalkeepers leaving the London Stadium. Multiple reports say Darren Randolph could be off to Middlesbrough, with Adrian also heading to the Northeast to play for countryman Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.

Must watch Milivojevic free kick leads Palace past WBA (video)

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Goals from Luka Milivojevic and Bakary Sako led Crystal Palace to a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the third place game of the PL Asia Trophy.

Palace had lost 2-0 to Liverpool in its semifinal, while West Brom fell to Leicester City in penalty kicks after trading goals over 90 minutes.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

Milivojevic’s free kick, won by Wilfried Zaha, was super. Whipped in with force and a wicked curl, Baggies keeper Ben Foster didn’t have a chance to reach it with his dive.

Sako created his goal with a darting move off a long dribble, though it needed a pair of deflections to get behind Foster.

The Baggies had their chances, and Julian Speroni made an outstanding save on Matty Phillips late in the match.

STREAM LIVE: Liverpool-Leicester duel for PL Asia Trophy

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Goals from Bakary Sako and Luka Milivojevic spearheaded Crystal Palace’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the PL Asia Trophy third place game, and now Liverpool and Leicester City tangle for the title.

The final will be staged at 8:30 a.m. ET, when Liverpool will hope to build on a 2-0 semifinal win paced by Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke goals.

[ LIVE: Stream PL Asia Trophy here ]  

West Brom lost to Leicester City in its semifinal when youngster Sam Field missed the side’s seventh attempt in penalty kicks. Jay Rodriguez scored the Baggies goal in regulation of a 1-1 draw.

Here are the lineups for Leicester City and Liverpool: