Premier League Roundup: Man City, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Stoke and Norwich win

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It was another Saturday full of close clashes in the Premier League, as once again we didn’t see many goal but fans across the Premier League were put through the mill in the six games so far.

In the early kickoff where Hull surprised everyone at Man City to late drama at Upton Park and St. James’ Park and relief around Selhurst Park in South London, there were so many close games in Week 3 of the Premier League.

We covered them all at ProSoccerTalk, so here are the recaps with plenty more reaction to come. And here are the Premier League standings.

Cardiff 0-0 Everton

A tough encounter at the Cardiff City Stadium as the Bluebirds dug in to see out a 0-0 draw against a frustrated looking Everton side. Roberto Martinez’ men could have had two penalties in the first half and were stopped by David Marshall in Cardiff’s goal. In the second half Craig Bellamy had a good chance for Cardiff but Everton will be disappointed they didn’t push on more late in the game.

Crystal Palace 3-1 Sunderland

The Eagles have finally landed in the Premier League after a terrific second half display against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland sealed the win. The pivotal moment came as John O’Shea was sent off and Crystal Palace were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute, as Dwight Gayle was tripped then picked himself up to score the spot kick. A wonderful evening at Selhurst Park… but not if you’re a Sunderland fan.

Man City 2-0 Hull

This was an incredible hard-fought win for Man City at the Etihad. Hull chased and pressed them for the entire game and the Tigers could have been 2-0 up after early chances were spurned by Sone Aluko and Danny Graham. However City’s classed showed in the end as substitute Alvaro Negredo headed home after 65 minutes and Yaya Toure curled in a tremendous free kick in the 90th minute. Hard work from Hull goes unrewarded.

Newcastle 1-0 Fulham

Hatem Ben Arfa was the hero at St. James’ Park as Fulham’s luck ran out in the 86th minute. The Frenchman finished superbly to give Alan Pardew’s side a much needed first win of the season, after the Magpies dominated for most of the game. It looked as though Fulham would walk away from the North East with a point but Martin Jol’s men can’t have many complaints about losing the game. Newcastle are up and running.

Norwich 1-0 Southampton

The Canaries clinched this one thanks to a terrific goal from teenager Nathan Redmond. The 19-year-old winger cut in from the left before smashing a wonderful low strike past Artur Boruc to send Carrow Road wild. Southampton came close as Adam Lallana struck the post with a fierce first half volley, but that was as good as it got. Both teams looked to force the issue in a lively second half but it was the Canaries who took all three points. Another close game, another close outcome.

West Ham 0-1 Stoke

Mark Hughes will be delighted with this win, as his new look Stoke side claimed back-to-back wins following a great performance against the Hammers. Jermaine Pennant’s free kick in the 82nd minute sent the traveling fans from Staffordshire wild, as Stoke prove they’re on the right track. Back to the drawing board for Big Sam and West Ham.

Who is Kenny Saief, and other USMNT Gold Cup personnel questions

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Kenny Saief is an 23-year-old American left-sided player with UEFA Champions League experience.

So why do we know so little about the Miami-born man?

The answer is pretty straight-forward: Saief’s entire career has been under-the-radar. After coming up through a series of Israeli teams, he moved to KAA Gent in Belgium. None of those matches, even adding in his representing the full Israel national team twice, got a ton of play on American soil.

[ MORE: Saul scores stunner for Spain U-21s ]

So when Saief filed his one-time switch to represent the United States, paving the way for a USMNT call-up for this summer’s Gold Cup, even those of us who’d followed his career from afar had put a limited amount of actual observation on match footage.

So here’s the long-and-short:

  • Saief turns 24 in December.
  • He moved to Gent from Israeli second tier side Ramat haSharon in 2014.
  • Played a total of 35 minutes in friendlies versus Serbia and Croatia.
  • Saief has 20 total appearances between the Europa and Champions Leagues.
  • Posted a UCL assist versus Wolfsburg in the 2015-16 Round of 16.
  • Had goal, 2 assists in UEL this season, played 180 mins vs. Spurs.
  • Has 15 goals, 9 assists in 107 apps for Gent.

Saief should get an opportunity to make an impact for Bruce Arena’s USMNT, perhaps as soon as Saturday’s friendly against Ghana in East Hartford.

Who else stands a chance to gain the most from this tournament?

Joe Corona — The 26-year-old made his thirst-inducing name in American soccer circles by scoring a pair of goals in the 2013 Gold Cup, but has just 17 caps to his name. His call-up over veterans like Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan either shows how high he’s risen or how far those veterans have fallen.

Cristian Roldan — Seattle’s hard-nosed midfielder was playing college ball at Washington just three years ago, and it’s not crazy to think strong performances could boost him onto the radar of bigger clubs abroad (let alone make him a mainstay along Kellyn Acosta with the USMNT).

Dom Dwyer — If Roldan’s rise is surprising, Dwyer’s really is astounding. It’s easy to forget that the Sporting KC star forward was playing junior college soccer in 2010 before spending one season of Division I soccer with South Florida. Now he has 57 MLS goals and a look at becoming the clinical finisher the American side has wanted for some time.

Justin Morrow and Eric Lichaj — The 29- and 28-year-old fullbacks would love to prove their mettle is as good if not better than Jorge Villafana, the current front-runner to start at left back should the Yanks complete their revitalized run to the World Cup. Lichaj, a Nottingham Forest veteran, is also adept at right back.

This isn’t to say that Juan Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe won’t benefit from strong tournaments, but the names above have either been rescued from soccer’s scrap heap or at least Jurgen Klinsmann’s prison.

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check out the podcast here:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.