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Wolves player of the year begs to leave as team continues to drop

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With the sad story of Wolverhampton Wanderers seeing the team relegated twice in two years, players have begun to search for greener pastures.

One of the few bright spots for Wolves last year in the Championship, winger Bakary Sako has said he expects to be heading to the Premier League and is confused why transfer talks have hit a snag.

“I was told I could speak to Fulham and now I don’t understand the delay. I would like things to be sorted out” said the 25-year-old.

Sako was awarded the player of the season last year despite the disappointment, as his pace and touch impressed not only his own club but Fulham manager Martin Jol as well.  Unfortunately for Sako, the two clubs have reportedly been haggling over the transfer fee, said to be in the £4 million ($6 million) range.

“At that first meeting, I sat with [the former Wolves manager] Stale Solbakken and Jez Moxey and they told me if we didn’t get promoted, the club would let me go” said Sako.  “I am only being ambitious. I believe the fans will understand that. In the difficult moments we had last season, they were very good to me and I hope they saw someone who gave everything back to them.”

Wolves were in the Premier League just two seasons ago, but have suffered successive relegations, prompting the chairman to release a stirring statement in May about how he has “failed the city.”

“Clearly a lot of mistakes have been made over the past two seasons” Wolverhampton chairman Steve Morgan said in the statement.  “Although every decision has been with the Club’s best interests at heart, we have clearly got some of those decisions wrong.  I understand the fans’ pain, anger and resentment towards me, the Board and the players, especially within the context of successive relegations.”

With Sako the first to take flight to avoid League One, a number of others could be out the door as well.  Morgan speculated in his statement that “quite naturally a number of players will leave in the summer, but they will only go if it is right for the Club.” Striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who was a starter during both relegation seasons, left the club with the expiration of his contract.

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS playoff scenarios ]

Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.