Red Bulls roar back after Real Salt Lake fashion comeback of their own

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A top-of-the-table matchup saw the new York Red Bulls charge back to win 4-3 and draw within one point of Sporting KC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

West leaders Salt Lake came back from a goal down into a winning position before the New York Red Bulls stunned the visitors with two goals at the death.

Fabian Espindola grabbed a brace – both on penalties – to lead New York.  All three Real scores came off the feet of Alvaro Saborio.

With the Red Bulls up 2-1 at the halftime break and the second half dragging on, Saborio went double-barrel for Sporting with two goals in quick succession in the 80th and 82nd minutes to shock Red Bull Arena.

Both goals were on the counter-attack, and the second saw a beautiful move in the box by Saborio to finish in traffic.

But New York commandeered all three points as they held nothing back and were rewarded with a penalty in the 89th minute – the third penalty of the match – and a Dax McCarty header in the fourth minute of stoppage time sealed the comeback.

Tim Cahill was the other man on the scoresheet for New York, heading in the opener (shocker) in the 10th minute.

With New York grabbing the three points in what can be certainly labeled as a signature win, they sit just a point back of first place in the East, level with Montreal but ahead on goal difference.

Those standings don’t exactly mean much until all the teams have played about the same number of matches, but to be so close will no doubt give them confidence. Montreal do have two games in hand on the other three teams surrounding them, having played 20 matches as New York, Sporting KC, and Philadelphia have all played 22.

Mendy a doubt for start of Man City’s Premier League season

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High-flying left back Benjamin Mendy‘s Manchester City takeoff has been delayed by a thigh injury.

Pep Guardiola revealed Thursday that Mendy is doubtful for City’s Aug. 12 Premier League opener at Brighton and Hove Albion despite passing a medical to push through a $68 million move from Monaco.

Saying Mendy is “a little bit injured,” Guardiola said to expect an absence of two to three weeks.

[ MORE: LAFC hires Bob Bradley ]

The depth chart behind Mendy is incomplete, though City has added two right backs this offseason in Kyle Walker and Danilo.

The latter would be the front-runner to start in Mendy’s place, as he did in a 3-5-2 as Man City beat Real Madrid 4-1 on Wednesday.

Man City follows its opener at Brighton with a visit from Everton and a trip to Bournemouth.

Roma gives new 4-year deal to Premier League target Nainggolan

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Hard-nosed midfielder Rajda Nainggolan has been linked to Manchester United and Chelsea for some time, but Thursday linked up long-term with his present club.

Nainggolan, 29, signed a new deal with AS Roma through the 2020-21 season, putting the Belgian box-to-box mid at the heart of i Lupi‘s plans to chase down Juventus.

[ MORE: Chatting with De Rossi ]

Nainggolan has been in the last two Serie A Best XIs.

The 29-times capped Belgian has six goals for his national team, and has 255 Serie A appearances between Cagliari and Roma. Nainggolan has 31 goals and 18 assists in those matches, scooping 62 yellows and two send-offs but never being handed straight red.

While it’s a perceived blow for his Premier League suitors, it’s a welcome retention for Roma. He’s arguably the reason Roma was ready to part with Michael Bradley in 2014, and you can see why: He plays right up to the line but knows right where it lies.

Too many fans: Udinese vs. Hannover friendly called off

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ST. VEIT, Austria (AP) Local authorities in southern Austria have called off Sunday’s friendly match between Udinese and Hannover as the estimated number of spectators exceeds the capacity of the stadium.

The city of St. Veit says about 4,000 fans, including 280 potential football hooligans, were expected for the game at the ground of local amateur club FC Alpe Adria, which has a capacity of 2,430.

St. Veit mayor Gerhard Mock says “it’s a shame … but security comes first.”

It’s not immediately clear whether the match between the Italian and German top-flight teams can be moved to a larger venue. Both Udinese and Hannover are having their preseason training camps in the province of Carinthia.

LIVE – Everton kick off Europa League campaign

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Wayne Rooney will play his first competitive game for Everton in 13 years.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores

That storyline will dominate Everton’s return to Europe as they kick off their 2017-18 UEFA Europa League campaign in front of a packed house at Goodison Park on Thursday.

The Toffees welcome Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok for the first leg of the third qualifying round as they aim to make it back to the group stage for the first time since 2014-15.

Click on the link above to follow not only Everton’s game but all of the Europa League qualifiers going on across Europe this afternoon with the likes of AC Milan, Fenerbache, PSV, Marseille and Athletic Bilbao all in action.

If Ronald Koeman‘s side successfully navigate their way past Ruzomberok then they will be in the play-off round which is the final hurdle before the group stage.