Another Everton loan for Landon Donovan? They’re talking about it again

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Whoever had Nov. 29 in the pool, it’s time to collect. That’s the day the annual Landon Donovan-to-Everton rumor was revived, with the U.S. international now “officially” linked with a third loan move to the Liverpool-based club.

The Express was the English outlet that flinched first, reporting today that Everton boss Roberto Martínez is chasing both Donovan and Spartak Moscow midfielder Aiden McGeady. If Donovan were to move in January, he’d be available for nine Premier League matches as well a many FA Cup matches Everton’s draw into in that time. Should be arrive, the U.S.’s all-time leading scorer would provide another option out wide, where Martínez has started Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar four games in a row in his 4-2-3-1 formation.

Of course, Donovan’s not the only U.S. international linked with a move to Everton. Just yesterday we heard rumblings of Clint Dempsey’s potential Merseyside sojourn. It’s certainly possible Everton’s talking to both, but it’s also possible a U.S.-friendly club is the destination of choice for tabloids trying to link popular Americans with Premier League homes.

Donovan’s link obviously makes sense, though, even if the manager the spoke so highly of him during the Galaxy star’s previous loans has since moved on to Manchester United. Though David Moyes is gone, the 31-year-old has previously spoken about his affinity for the club, claiming the Toffees as the one English club he’d consider playing for. While last season’s contract extension with the LA Galaxy seems to preclude the possibility of a permanent move, a short-term, World Cup-year reunion with fellow U.S. international Tim Howard could find Donovan back in blue.

Over two previous loan spells with Everton (2010, 2012), Donovan played a total of 17 league games, scoring twice during his 2010 stint. His performance helped silence criticism of his previous European performances, with some previously citing failed spells with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich as criticism of Donovan’s club career.

Thanks to his previous performances with Everton, those days are ancient history. If he returns to England, Donovan will be doing so trying to prepare for the World Cup while helping his second club return to Europe. There’s no longer a need for Donovan to prove himself.

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.