Ravel Morrison, Wilfried Zaha came close to blows in an England U-21 match

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Ravel Morrison’s developed a bit of a reputation in his young career, so for many, seeing him in a headline will inspire a reflexive “what now?” Though the 20-year-old is on the verge of a breakout for West Ham, he’s better known for the issues that drove him out of Manchester United, issues that came to mind today after news he was involved in an on-field incident with a fellow England U-21 international.

That that international is a current Red Devils player provides some coincidental context, though what happened on the field yesterday against Lithuania is enough. During England’s 5-0 win in Ipswich, Wilfried Zaha reportedly confronted Morrison about his distribution. Put plainly, it seems Zaha felt Morrison wasn’t passing the ball as quick or as often as he could. When he took up the complaint, Nathan Redmond had to intervene to separate Morrison from Zaha.

From Redmond:

“It was just a bit of a disagreement, nothing else. We got back in the changing room and sorted it out. You get that with teams everywhere, there is just a bit more of spotlight on this incident because it was for England. We sorted it out behind the scenes.”

“Rav’s a class player, sometimes he just has to move the ball a little bit quicker. Sometimes you do get a little bit frustrated with him but you just have to let Rav be Rav because of the things he is capable of.”

Morrison and Zaha did seem to have made up by match’s end, the two seen joking with each other after their team’s victory.

England U-21 coach Gareth Southgate, however, has taken note:

“It’s my job to bring them together as a group, which is going to be a test. We spoke about being a team before the game. We know the potential of the group of individuals.

“The key now is how we come together as a team and that will take time because there is a lot of focus on individuals. Sometimes there is pressure on individuals and one or two of those had a point to prove and did that very well.”

Zaha was purchased from Crystal Palace in January but didn’t join Manchester United until this summer. By that time, Morrison had already been at West Ham United for a year-and-a-half, the one-time Red Devils prospect sold to the London club after a series of off-field incidents in Manchester.

Reportedly, former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson felt Morrison, while talented, was never going to be able to succeed in Manchester, the midfielder having encountered legal trouble because of witness intimidation and a criminal damage conviction stemming from a domestic violence incident.

This season, U-21 incident aside, Morrison seems to be putting it all together. In six appearances for the Hammers, he’s already scored twice and is threatening to become one of Sam Allardyce’s more important players.

Here’s hoping today’s incident’s a one-off.

USMNT AT HALF: Dempsey, Gomez trade goals in chippy first half

AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco
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Christian Pulisic and Clint Dempsey combined for another goal, and the USMNT leads Panama 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday in Panama City.

A physical, chippy first half didn’t see many clear cut chances and was 0-0 after 38. minutes.

[ STREAM: Live on Telemundo Deportes ]

The first 10 minutes were a bit frenetic, with the U.S. focused on adventurous first touch passes when it managed to earn the ball from Panama.

That feel wasn’t aided by the officiating, as Cesar Ramos was inconsistent in a very physical opening half-hour.

Then, the breakthrough. Dempsey moved to within a goal of Landon donovan’s all-time mark thanks to Pulisic, who cooked Felipe Baloy and held off Roman Torres before laying off to the veteran. 1-0, 39′.

The lead lasted all of three minutes, as Gomez pounced on a loose ball with the Yanks’ back line at sixes and sevens off a long throw-in. Gomez turned off Jermaine Jones and lost Villafana to bury his chance behind Howard. 1-1, 44′.

STREAM LIVE: USMNT looks for 3 more points in Panama

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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The United States looks to finish the international break in an automatic qualifier spot in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table when it faces Panama in Panama City at 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

A lot of the faces are the same from the 6-0 demolition of Honduras in California on Friday, though John Brooks and Sebastian Lletget are out with injury.

Jermaine Jones replaces Lletget while Tim Ream moves into the fray for Brooks. Geoff Cameron played Friday’s match with a minor injury, and moves out of the XI for Graham Zusi.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Ream, Zusi; Bradley, Jones, Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore

Subs: Bingham, Rimando; Beasley, Besler, Camron, Zimmerman; Acosta, Arriola, Bedoya, Kljestan, McCarty, Pulisic; Wondolowski

Reyes header gives Mexico three points in T&T (video)

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Diego Reyes’ 58th minute header off a corner kick gave Mexico a lead it wouldn’t give up in a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Hasely Crawford Stadium in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

The win gives Mexico a table-topping 10 points, seven ahead of last-place T&T.

[ MORE: Honduras 1-1 Costa Rica ]

The Soca Warriors were in fine, stingy form early, and looked to have gone ahead on the counterattack when Joevin Jones belted a left-footer into the Mexico goal.

The linesman, however, ruled that Jones was offside. He almost certainly was not, as Mexico’s supreme luck in CONCACAF play continued for at least one night.

Hector Herrera hammered a shot off the far goal post early in the second half as Mexico attempted to grab control.

T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams jammed Miguel Layun’s shot over the bar moments before the breakthrough from Reyes.

Williams then saved Javier Hernandez’s 64th minute offering as Mexico looked to put three points to bed.

Joevin Jones won a free kick in the 76th minute that gave a brief moment of light to T&T’s hopes, but Jones hit the wall and Mexico cleared the ball.

Honduras holds Costa Rica 1-1

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
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Honduras did the United States a favor by taking a point from visiting Costa Rica in Tuesday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

Anthony Lozano pushed a 35th minute chance past an indecisive Keylor Navas, as Los Catrachos set the stage for a hopeful three points.

[ STREAM: T&T-Mexico, Panama-USMNT ]

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston’s haphazard defending helped allow the goal, but he scored off a late Costa Rica corner kick to ensure Costa Rica will finish the international break in second place.

With four points, Honduras moves ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States before both sides play Tuesday.

Costa Rica beat the U.S. 4-0 in 2016, while the Yanks battered Honduras 6-0 on Friday.