Januzaj-Dallas Cup

It’s Adnan Januzaj’s world; the rest of us are just trying to pronounce the Manchester United sensation’s name


Manchester United’s man of the moment, 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj, savior of the Red Devils’ weekend, is all over the news these days.

The starting point for this recent starburst of awareness, of course, was his breakout Saturday, the heroic two-goal showpiece in United’s win over Sunderland. Soon dropped the lauds and plaudits, some from respected players in the game.

Even the big media properties on our side of the Atlantic quickly jumped into the dog pile on this one, as The New York Times penned this extensive piece. It’s a good place learn a bit about the 18-year-old midfielder’s national team choices – and what a difficult decision this will be.

And just as the excited chatter about which national team this talented young figure might choose, right on cue came the reports that England’s FA have contacted Manchester United manager David Moyes to request his services right soon. That report came out just earlier today.

All this for a skinny kid (really … that’s what he is right now) who was playing briefly in the United States just a few months ago. The venerable Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, long one of the world’s top youth tournament’s in terms of quality, has a lengthy list of top pros who came through as wee lads, Landon Donovan, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham included.

Januzaj was creating some of the Dallas Cup chatter in the spring as Manchester United fell just short of getting out of group play. After helping United down Mexico’s Club America, Januzaj  scored twice as his club upended the Dallas Texans  to make it two wins in two matches for the opening round. But the Belgian product sat out in the group play finale, watching as United fell to Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol, missing out on a spot in the tournament semifinal.

(The photo above is from this year’s Dallas Cup, courtesy of the Dallas Cup.)

Hilarious “Friends” spoof video ‘starring’ Messi, Ronaldo (video)

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Given the rivalry surrounding the two megawatt superstars plying their trade in Spain, you may be surprised to learn that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the best of friends.

[ MORE: Top USMNT-Mexico rivalry moments ]

At least that’s what this spoof video conveys, as the Real Madrid and Barcelona stars help each other navigate tax season and toilet troubles.

Brilliant stuff, from FootbOle:

Top USMNT-Mexico moments: Looking back ahead of Saturday

PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25:  Landon Donovan #10 of United States celebrates his goal with teammates Carlos Bocanegra #3 and Alejandro Bedoya #22  against Mexico during the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship at the Rose Bowl on June 25, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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You could argue its the biggest match between the U.S. and Mexico outside of the 2002 World Cup’s Round of 16, and there would be few arguments against you.

The United States and Mexico will tangle on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup finals in Russia.

It’s only so often that these rivals match up in a “do or die” match. Sure World Cup qualifiers carry critical import, but they don’t always become the decisive moment in the qualifying cycle.

[ MORE: Spurs’ teen shining at center back for U.S. U-23s ]

Aside from the aforementioned World Cup match and the first match in the rivalry — see 1934 below — no other match has carried as much international weight as Saturday.

So with anticipation high, let’s dance backward in time to the Yanks’ best moments in the rivalry. And let’s also imagine what would have to happen to put Saturday in the mix.

(Of course, our apologies to Mexican fans. We aren’t including the times you slapped American soccer in the face).

2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 — “Dos a Cero” to the fourth power

There is no more celebrated score line in USMNT history than the 2-0 hurting it put on Mexico in four successive home World Cup qualifiers.

2002 — World Cup Round of 16

Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan prodded an upset of the world’s then-No. 7 ranked nation, as the USMNT carried a feel of destiny through its best World Cup.

1934 — World Cup qualifier

Aldo Donnelli scored all four goals as the States won the first recorded match against Mexico, and it was a big one. The winner would go on to the 1934 tournament in Italy, while the loser would go on a tour of European friendlies. The States won, and wouldn’t win again until the qualifiers for the 1982 tournament.

2012 — First win at Azteca

It may’ve been a friendly, but Michael Orozco’s finish will go down as the Yanks’ first ever winner in the fortress of Mexico City.

1980 — World Cup qualifier

Though it meant little to the Yanks’ fate in the 1982 tournament — the U.S. finished last in a group with Mexico and Canada — it was the first win over El Tri in 46 years.