West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Hull City: Late goal grabs point for managerless Baggies (video)

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Beleaguered West Brom equalized late on to salvage a point against a stubborn Hull City side at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The visiting Tigers went 1-0 up in the first half after a long ball up field saw Jake Livermore played in, and the man on loan from Spurs slotted home to put Hull ahead.

However with both sides pushing and creating plenty of chances for the remainder of the game, it was West Brom who had the last laugh as substitute Matej Vydra netted his first Premier League goal to grab his side a vital point with just over five minutes to play.

Following Steve Clarke’s dismissal, the spirited display for caretaker boss Keith Downing shows the spirit and fight to survive exists in the West Brom squad.

The 1-1 draw meant the Baggies stopped the rot after four straight PL defeats and stay in 16th spot, while Hull are in 12th after another solid yet unspectacular display.

The first real chance of the game saw Hull City defender David Chester head over from a corner in the 9th minute, as the Tigers settled well at the Hawthorns.

And it was the away side who scored first as Livermore finished off a rapid counter-attack as Hull went 1-0 up.

In the 28th minute David Meyler launched a long ball up to Danny Graham who waited superbly to play in Livermore who timed his run expertly to slot it into the far corner.

West Brom tried to get back into the game but Hull hung on to their first half strike to lead at the break in wet and windy conditions at the Hawthorns.

Baggies winger Scott Sinclair went off injured at half time as youngster Saido Berahino replaced him.

The home side then had a great spell as sub Berahino forced Alan McGregor into a fine save before Youssuf Mulumbu saw his shot cleared off the line by Tom Huddlestone.

Hull midfielder Huddlestone was thwarted by Ben Foster as his rasping effort was pushed away and the England international got quickly to his feet to stop Ahmed Elmohamady with a fine stop. West Brom huffed and puffed to try and grab an equalizer as it looked as though caretaker boss Downing would taste defeat in his first game in charge.

But substitute Vydra then popped up late in the 85th minute to break Hull’s hearts, as he was played in and slotted home past McGregor to grab the Baggies a crucial point.

LINEUPS

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell (Gera, 79), Morrison, Brunt, Mulumbu, Sessegnon (Vydra, 69), Long, Sinclair (Berahino, 45)

Goal: Vydra (86)

Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Figueroa, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Sagbo (Fryatt, 89), Graham (Boyd, 80)

Goal: Livermore (26)

Photo: Flamengo supporter tattoos club jersey on body

MAURÍCIO DOS ANJOS VIA VICE
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A supporter in Brazil has taken fandom to a whole new level with a piece of body art that shows his devotion to the club.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Maurício dos Anjos, a passionate Flamengo fan, has been a life-long supporter of the Rio de Janeiro-based club, and has the tattoo to prove it.

While it may look like body paint, Dos Anjos has a tattoo on the upper-half of his body depicting the Flamengo jersey, and it’s pretty awesome.

“People ask me if I don’t find it strange that I’m always wearing a Flamengo shirt. And I just don’t,” dos Anjos told VICE. “To me, it’s normal. But it doesn’t seem like anyone I talk to about it actually dislikes my tattoo.”

In total, Dos Anjos says the body work took over 90 hours and 30 sessions to complete the tattoo.

Has the perception of MLS really changed?

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When David Beckham arrived in Los Angeles back in 2007 his presence changed the complexion of Major League Soccer for all the right reasons, and the perception of the growing league changed.

[ MORE: Go behind the scenes at NYCFC’s new training facility ]

Over the years, MLS has strived to move into the upper-echelon of the global game, in an attempt to compete with the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, but naysayers still indicate to this day that the United States’ top flight lacks the quality of the aforementioned.

Phrases like “retirement league” and “uninspired” have been used to describe MLS in the past, particularly when it comes to the league’s willingness to spend boatloads of cash on notable players well past their prime.

Examples such as Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Marquez have at times dampened the perception of MLS due to the lack of quality on the pitch from those players, along with several others that had previously boasted extensive resumes.

Now, we’re at a time where MLS has picked up its scouting, with clubs focused more on younger, more skilled talents from South America and Europe.

That has led to major signings over the past several years, such as Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Diego Rossi and Jesus Medina, to name a few.

Has that changed the overall complexion of MLS though?

On Thursday, Kevin De Bruyne‘s agent, Patrick de Koster, suggested in an interview that the Belgium international would likely “finish” his career in MLS.

“For now, he’s very happy at this club,” De Koster said. “We always look what the best solution for the player, both financially and football wise. Kevin’s future? I can see him finish at Los Angeles.”

This comes on the heels of a 36-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining the LA Galaxy in a move that has sent shockwaves across the league and the world because of the Swede’s great presence on a global scale.

It’s not to say that players like Ibrahimovic, or previous signings like David Villa and Didier Drogba cannot help the overall growth of MLS, because they certainly bring an awareness to the matches and draw attention to their respective clubs.

However, the long-term viability of MLS has been and will continue to be sustained on youth players succeeding in the league, as well as being able to draw promising young talents into the top flight of the U.S.

Report: USMNT likely to face Brazil, Mexico in September friendlies

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The U.S. Men’s National Team won’t have a busy schedule throughout the summer, but Dave Sarachan and his side will get a tiny taste of the World Cup in September.

[ MORE: Chivas’ Almeyda exhales after CCL title win ]

ESPN FC is reporting that the USMNT will likely face Brazil and Mexico — both of whom will travel to Russia in June — later this year, as the U.S. Soccer Federation is in the process of finalizing both friendlies.

The matches are set to be played during the September international window, which runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 11.

Both fixtures will reportedly be played in the United States, although venues haven’t been determined yet.

The U.S. has already begun booking a slate of difficult matches to round out 2018, with England and Italy already confirmed opponents for the Yanks in November.

The Yanks are 1-17-0 all-time against Brazil in all competitions, while the U.S. hasn’t faced Mexico since its 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca in June 2017 during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

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Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

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