Wayne Rooney doubts Arsenal’s title bid, fuels fire ahead of clash with Gunners

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Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney appreciates the incredible start Arsenal have had to the Premier League campaign… but he wonders how long it will last.

Speaking to United’s website ahead of the monster clash with Arsenal on Sunday (watch live on NBCSN, 11am ET and online via NBC Sports Live Extra) at Old Trafford, the 27-year-old striker says it’s about what you do down the stretch that counts most.

Not the start.

“We’ll wait and see where they are in March,” Rooney said. “We’ve seen before that they’ve been in the top two until February or March and then faded away, so it’s down to them to try and stay there. They’re doing brilliantly at the minute and it’s up to us to catch them.”

Is there a little bit of devilment in Rooney’s words? You bet.

Mind games galore usually encapsulate this fixture, as the two famous clubs have gone head-to-head for the title in many seasons since Arsene Wenger took charge of Arsenal 17 seasons ago and during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure in charge of the Red Devils it became a classic PL rivalry.

(MORE: Check out the latest Premier League Standings here)

In recent meetings the Red Devils hold the edge over their North London rivals, with the Gunners failing to win in the league at Old Trafford since 2006.

Rooney recalls that dominance and has fired up David Moyes United troops to chase down Arsenal at the top of the table.

“We’re obviously capable of beating Arsenal, we’ve done it many times in the past,” Rooney said. “They’re on a good run of form at the moment and are top of the league, so we know it’s going to be a difficult game. But we have to go into that game confident, believing we can edge closer to them and bring us back into the mix of being at the top of the league.”

Sunday’s game was already massive.

But with these words ringing in the ears of Arsenal’s players and Rooney in fine form of late, will his boots do the talking at Old Trafford? Or are his statements predicting the Gunners downfall and United’s resurgence just hot air?

Bartra error emphasizes Dortmund’s latest Bundesliga woes

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Christian Pulisic sat out Friday’s 2-1 Dortmund defeat against Stuttgart. Coincidence? Perhaps.

However, the club’s struggles are apparent as Dortmund’s winless run extended to four matches and their gap from Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich could be up to nine points by the end of the weekend.

[ MORE: Chris Coleman steps down from Wales, expected to take Sunderland job ]

BVB was without several of its top talents for the match, including U.S. Men’s National Team star Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but it’s Dortmund’s defending that continues to be the side’s biggest issue.

Stuttgart struck after five minutes when Chadrac Akolo broke the deadlock off of an embarrassing blunder by Marc Bartra and the Dortmund defense.

Bartra attempted a routine back pass to goalkeeper Roman Burki during the early moments of the match, but his ball back proved to be way too strong and deflected off of Burki and into the path of Stuttgart forward Akolo (video below).

Dortmund atoned for the former Barcelona man’s mistake just prior to halftime when Maximilian Philipp equalized, but it took just six minutes into the second stanza for Josip Brekalo to restore the Stuttgart advantage.

Moyes: Chicharito could miss two weeks with hamstring strain

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David Moyes has given Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez assurances that he’ll have the opportunity to compete for a starting role with the Hammers, but the Mexican international will have to wait a bit for a chance.

[ MORE: North London Derby takes center stage Saturday morning ]

Hernandez, 29, is currently nursing a hamstring strain, leaving his status for this weekend against Watford in doubt.

“I think everyone knows he [Chicharito] has got a hamstring injury,” Moyes said during Friday’s press conference. “It could take a week, it could take two weeks.”

Moyes didn’t mince words recently when speaking about Chicharito and other players within the squad, essentially pointing out that no player will be awarded a starting role simply because of their stardom.

Hernandez has scored four goals in 13 matches this season for West Ham, who currently sits 18th in the Premier League. The Hammers have won just two matches to start the 2017/18 campaign and sit on nine points.

Alessandro Nesta steps down with NASL side Miami FC

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Miami FC quickly put itself on the U.S. soccer map in two short seasons, and much of the club’s success can be attributed to manager Alessandro Nesta.

[ MORE: Chris Coleman steps down with Wales, expected to take Sunderland job ]

The former Serie A defender has managed the club in its first two years of existence, but Nesta’s time in South Beach is coming to an end.

Nesta revealed on Friday that he won’t be returning to the NASL club in 2018, as he prepares to fnd a “new challenge” in his managerial career.

With NASL’s future as a league very much up in the air, Nesta could be seeking a more stable position entering 2018, especially given that his name has been thrown around with several MLS jobs over the last few months.

Orlando City raised over $300,000 in friendly for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

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It isn’t always the score at the end of the match that matters, and Orlando City proved that with its recent friendly to benefit those affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico.

[ MORE: Whitecaps announce USL affiliation with expansion side Fresno FC ]

Orlando City faced off with the Puerto Rico national team on Nov. 4, which the Lions won 6-1, but it was the club’s humanitarian efforts that proved to be the real story from the event.

The club announced that it raised $327,530 from the match, with all proceeds from the event going directly to the Puerto Rican people.

“I’m very proud of what our Club and our partners were able to accomplish,” Orlando City SC owner Flavio Augusto da Silva said in a team statement. “What we did meant more than just raising funds for Puerto Rico. Once again, we came together as a community to rally behind something bigger than us all.”