Sunderland 0-2 Hull City: 10-man Sunderland make it fairly easy for the visitors (video)

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Steve Bruce will be thrilled with his side’s performance today, with Hull taking all three points against his former club. That puts the Tigers back into 10th, although they could stand to put a bit more distance between themselves and the bottom three. Meanwhile, it’s back to the danger zone for Sunderland, whose loss to Hull puts them just a point above the relegation spots – and it could get worse after Cardiff and Fulham both play.

Sunderland got off to a fantastic start when Wes Brown was sent off for a reckless challenge on Shane Long, catching the Hull City forward as he was headed toward goal. The referee flashed red, Brown’s third sending off of the season. The sending off forced Gus Poyet into a substitution, taking off attacker Fabio Borini and handing defender Santiago Vergini his debut…only for Vergini to grab Sunderland’s first shot of the match.

(MORE: Premier League Roundup Chelsea go top, Liverpool hammer Arsenal, big wins at the bottom)

It wasn’t long until Hull took the lead, however. Just after Vito Mannone tipped a shot from Jake Livermore over the bar, Long got on the end of another shot from the midfielder. His header from close range flew past Mannone to end up in the back of the net, giving Hull the edge at 1-0.

Sunderland must’ve thought they were back in it in the 55th minute, when a deflection sent Ki Sung-Yueng’s shot flying toward Steve Harper’s goal. The ball seemed destined for the back of the net when the Hull keeper managed to push it away.

The hosts were ruing the missed opportunity shortly after, when Hull doubled their lead. The Black Cats gave Maynor Figueroa plenty of space to shoot. His shot was deflected, but Nikica Jelavić was there to head on, getting the ball into the top right corner of the net.

LINEUPS

Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, Bridcutt (Wickham 76), O’Shea, Brown, Ki (Gardner 70), Colback, Johnson, Borini (Vergini 11), Altidore

Hull City: Harper, Rosenior (Koren 45), Figueroa, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, McShane, Jelavic (Aluko 78), Long (Brady 89), Elmohamady

Goals: Long 16′; Jelavić 62′

Pulisic: Dortmund can win the league

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Christian Pulisic isn’t short on confidence these days.

The rising star for the U.S. Men’s National Team is currently in preseason training with Borussia Dortmund, and he believes his side can push Bayern Munich for the title. Bayern has won five-straight league titles, but the last team other than Munich to win was Dortmund itself in 2012.

“We’ve got a big chance to win the league this coming season,” Pulisic said, via German publication Kicker.

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Pulisic has been firing on all cylinders so far in preseason. During Dortmund’s tour of China, Pulisic had three assists in a 3-1 win over AC Milan, and he also started and went the full 90 against Bochum on July 22 back in Germany.

The 18-year-old is coming off a breakout season for the Black and Yellows, scoring five goals with 13 assists over 43 games between the Bundesliga, German Cup and UEFA Champions League.

“Last season was a good step in my development,” Pulisic said, noting he wants to be “more dangerous” in the attack. “I want to build on that.”

Of course, Pulisic followed the U.S. Men’s National Team at the Gold Cup, taking the title for the sixth time. In less than a year’s time, Pulisic will likely be on the field, starting for the U.S. at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the hopes and dreams of many Americans on his shoulders.

“(It was) a good victory,” Pulisic said of the final.

Transfer Rumor Wrap: Bale’s agent laughs off speculation

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It appears Gareth Bale has no plans of following Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez out of Real Madrid this summer.

“It’s a ridiculous, stupid story,” Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told the BBC, following reports that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wouldn’t promise Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo that they’d staying with the club this summer.

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Of course, these prompted counter reports that Manchester United could take advantage of possible instability at the Santiago Bernabeu and swoop in for Bale, but it seems that Bale is not for sale.

Bale played just 27 times for Real Madrid last season in all competitions, scoring nine goals with three assists while dealing with multiple injuries. His entire career at Real Madrid in fact has been plagued by injury, but ahead of a World Cup year with Wales still in contention for a spot in Russia, Bale will be extra motivated to stay fit this season.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the world:

(more…)

Neymar storms off after training dustup with teammate

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Neymar just won’t stay out of the headlines.

As his long-rumored “will he, won’t he go” transfer saga between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona continues, Neymar stormed out of training on Thursday after getting into a tussle with teammate Nelson Semedo.

A video from the Daily Mail shows Neymar pushing Semedo before walking off and removing his training bib.

Neymar has reportedly agreed to personal terms with PSG over a move to France, but PSG have yet to come up with the nearly $260 million it would cost to trigger Neymar’s release clause. The news of Neymar possibly leaving Barcelona came as a shock, as he’s been content since joining the club to play slightly in the shadow of teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

If this fight is any indication, Neymar’s head could be turned and should PSG trigger the release clause, Neymar could be heading to Paris once Barcelona returns this weekend from its American sojourn.

In spite of all the transfer speculation, Neymar has dazzled for Barcelona on its tour of the U.S., scoring three goals in two games and delighting the thousands in attendance.

Australian women beat US 1-0 in Tournament of Nations

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SEATTLE (AP) Tameka Butt scored in the 67th minute and Australia beat the United States for the first time in the 28-game series, 1-0 in the Tournament of Nations on Thursday night.

The Matildas also snapped the Americans’ four-game winning streak.

Just moments after Butt’s goal got past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, Carli Lloyd blasted a cross from Megan Rapinoe at Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who made a fantastic save. Lloyd had another chance that sailed just over the net.

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Japan and Brazil played to a 1-1 draw in the tournament’s opening game in the afternoon at CenturyLink Field.

Each of the four teams in the tournament is in the top 10 of the FIFA rankings. The top-ranked United States went into the game with a 25-0-2 record over the seventh-ranked Matildas.

Rapinoe, who plays for the NWSL’s Seattle Reign, had a good chance early on in the game but the Americans were unable to break through. Rapinoe has 12 goals to lead the NWSL in scoring this season.

The Matildas have been on the rise of the past several years, with quarterfinal appearances in both the 2015 World Cup and the Olympics last year.

Following the stop in Seattle, the tournament shifts to San Diego on Sunday before wrapping up in Carson, California, on Aug. 3.

U.S. Soccer is looking to host a Tournament of Nations each summer that there isn’t World Cup or Olympic competition.