Abby Wambach - South Korea v United States

Wambach inches closer, US women upend Korea Republic

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Abby Wambach wants to hurry up and break Mia Hamm’s all-time scoring record so that everyone will stop talking about the chase. In the waning moments of the United States women’s national team’s 4-1 win over Korea Republic on Saturday, Wambach capped off the scoring by finishing a penalty kick drawn by Alex Morgan.

That was goal 156. Two to go to tie Hamm.

Enough about that, though. Saturday night was a night of firsts for several U.S. women — a first goal, a first cap and yes, even a first for Wambach. Here are talking points from the win, with highlights:

Mewis gets her first: Kristie Mewis, a midfielder for FC Kansas City, playing left back on the evening (Kelley O’Hara had a “minor injury,” according to U.S. Soccer) scored her first international goal in the 3rd minute of the game. It was a dream scenario for the Hanson, Mass., native to score at Gillette Stadium, just minutes from where she grew up and where she played NCAA soccer at Boston College. Mewis is one of the bright young stars (22 years old) who has the versatility to play anywhere on the flank or pushed higher in the midfield. Here’s her goal:

Another Morgan on the field: University of Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian, still 20 years old and entering her junior year in the fall, earned her first cap with the U.S. when she entered the game in the 77th minute for Lauren Cheney (who scored in the 7th minute).

Wambach adds to the tally: Wambach had never scored against South Korea until Saturday. Of course, she had never participated in a game vs. the visitors, either, having been in recovery from a broken leg the last time the teams met for a three-game series in 2008. The goal means Wambach has now scored against 31 different countries. Here’s Wambach’s goal:

Solo returns: Hope Solo played in a U.S. jersey for the first time since Feb. 13 after recovering from left wrist surgery. She entered the game at the start of the second half, making a big save within minutes but seeing generally little action after that.

Also noteworthy: Carli Lloyd hit brought about some Olympic déjà vu. When on target, her shots are extremely dangerous from long range and she showed it again on Saturday with a low rocket from about 32 yards out. It’s worth a watch:

Next up the U.S. women face South Korea again on Thursday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. and live on NBCSN and online on NBCSports.com’s Live Extra at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Ronaldo shows no sign of injury while hanging with Conor McGregor

instagram.com/cristiano/
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Cristiano Ronaldo may not be ready for the UEFA Super Cup, but he’s no longer limping around.

To explore the Real Madrid superstar’s Instagram is to see Ronaldo, sometimes clothed, hanging out with celebrities.

In the last couple weeks we’ve seen him with Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, and now his “bro” Conor McGregor.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Wait, what?

Yeah, Ronaldo is friends with the MMA star, and showed no ill form (and no brace of any kind) in several posed photos with McGregor.

Although admittedly, McGregor’s IG game is a bit better: The Irish fighter posted a photo of himself sunning in his briefs with the caption, “I’m gonna get him on the Forbes list by next year. But I’m gonna get him on the tan by next week.”

Good luck with both, bro.

Great to see you bro!!💪🏽🔝

A photo posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Jul 24, 2016 at 3:48pm PD

Bruce pens letter to Hull fans: “Desperately wanted to make it work”

YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Steve Bruce manager of  Hull City ahead of the pre-season friendly match between York City and Hull City at Bootham Cresent on July 23, 2014  in York, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
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Many Hull City fans didn’t want Steve Bruce to leave the club, and this open letter shows why.

After leaving the club by “mutual consent” on Friday — it was first widely reported that he quit — fans protested at Hull’s game on Monday.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Bruce may’ve had his problems with Hull’s ownership, but he certainly got his supporters’ feelings right down to the core.

From the Hull Daily Mail:

My biggest regret is having to walk away but it was a decision I had to make for the sake of the club. The last 12 months have been very tough and it felt like the right step for the club to move forward in a different direction and with someone else in charge.

I desperately wanted to make it work this summer and be a Premier League manager again but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, I’ve left Hull City with some fantastic memories that I’ll always cherish, including just eight weeks ago in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Class from the longtime boss, and we imagine he’ll have a job very soon if he wants it.

Report: Everton to activate release clause of Stoke’s Arnautovic

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Marko Arnautovic (1st L) of Stoke City competes for the ball against Seamus Coleman (2nd L) and Gareth Barry (1st Rof Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on December 28, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
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Everton is going to activate Marko Arnautovic‘s $16 million release clause to bring the Stoke City striker to Goodison Park, according to a report out of Austria.

Stoke had been trying to sign Arnautovic to a contract extension, but the player was reportedly prepared to play out the final year of his deal.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

The huge 27-year-old Austrian has been with Stoke since 2013, and broke through with 11 Premier League goals last season.

Arnautovic would give Everton support behind Romelu Lukaku, and insurance in case the Toffees do wind up selling their Belgian striker. Everton also has Arouna Kone as a potential target forward, but Oumar Niasse is expecting to leave after less than a year at Goodison Park.

Chelsea wins the League… of Hate; Bournemouth, Leicester not hated

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on February 27, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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A family of English newspapers conducted its annual survey of which teams are the most hated in the Premier League, and there’s a new champion.

Manchester United has dropped to second in the table to Chelsea in what the Manchester Evening News called the “League of Hate”.

[ MORE: Rooney’s England position not set ]

According to the MEN, 10,000 fans were quizzed on their love and hate:

A national survey asked fans of each top flight club which sides they hate, and which they love, and the west London club came out as the most disliked club overall.

United, who won the dubious accolade last year, have been revealed to be the next most reviled side.

It’s no surprise that the league’s more successful sides sit atop the table while newer PL clubs like Bournemouth and Burnley are not reviled. That said, Leicester’s dream story has them 19th. How much more success do they need to have before shooting up the hate table?

Here’s the Top Five, and all results:

1) Chelsea
2) Manchester United
3) Liverpool
4) Manchester City
5) Arsenal