Dutch Eredivisie - AZ Alkmaar v Heracles Almelo

Americans Abroad Review: Boyd and Johannsson shine again

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Mere days after the United States couldn’t find Jurgen Klinsmann’s “miracle” against the Ukraine, many Yanks were back with their clubs for European action. Let’s take a spin around Europe for the goals, cards and unused substitutes of a weekend abroad.

Aron Johannsson scores for AZ Alkmaar,” has become a chorus around these wrap-ups, and the young American sung it twice this weekend. Check out the first one right here, a gorgeous bit of footwork. AZ went on to beat Heracles Almelo by a 4-0 final.

Staying in the Netherlands, Juan Agudelo subbed on for FC Utrecht in the 61st minute but couldn’t find a shot or the goal as PSV Eindhoven held on for a 1-0 win.

Terrence Boyd picked up an assist as SK Rapid Wien was able to control possession but not the scoreline, picking up a draw at FC Wacker Innsbruck. Boyd’s assist came on an 88th minute equalizer from Deni Alar.

It ended up being a merciful day off for Tim Howard, who watched from the bench as four Arsenal balls get past the Toffees in Everton’s 4-1 FA Cup quarterfinal ouster at the hands of the Gunners at the Emirates. Jozy Altidore did not make the bench as Sunderland was ousted 3-0 by Hull City.

It was 90 minutes yet again for Geoff Cameron at Stoke City in their 1-1 draw with Norwich City. Cameron picked up a yellow card as the Potters battled back for a point at Carrow Road.

Birmingham City suited up two Americans for 90 minutes, but Will Packwood and Jonathan Spector failed to help the club pick up a point as they lost to QPR 2-0. Oguchi Onyewu‘s Sheffield Wednesday side fell to Duane Holmes‘ Yeovil Town, as the Glovers pulled themselves out of the Championship’s bottom slot. Onyewu played all 90 while Holmes went for 67 minutes.

Tim Ream went for 90 minutes in Bolton’s 5-1 thrashing of Leeds. There was no time on the pitch or bench for Brek Shea, who has now apologized for his obscene gesture directed at home supporters of his Barnsley squad.

Ale Bedoya‘s Nantes side continued its slide down the Ligue 1 table with a 2-2 draw against ligue-worst Ajaccio. Bedoya did not feature in the scoring after coming on in the 23rd minute, but was very active as a playmaker.

Sacha Kljestan was an unused substitute for Anderlecht as the strong Belgian side was shocked by relegation scrappers OH Leuven 1-0. Anderlecht remains in third, five points back of No. 2 Club Brugge.

There was a goal for Tigres midfielder Jose Torres, whose left-footed finish gave his club the final goal in its 3-0 win over Cruz Azul. It was his first start of the season, and you can see the goal late in this video. Elsewhere in Liga MX, MLSSoccer.com has a solid recap of Club Tijuana’s 2-0 win over Guadalajara, which featured four Americans including Herculez Gomez.

In Germany, Hertha Berlin kept John Anthony Brooks on the bench in its 1-1 draw with Mainz. Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim will be having nightmares of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after his hat trick cleared the way for Schalke’s 4-0 blowout win.

Jermaine Jones played 2/3 of a match for Besitkas as they picked up another win during his loan stint from Schalke.

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 36

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 30: Karl Darlow of Newcastle United is congratulated by Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United after saving a penalty during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James' Park on April 30, 2016 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
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It’s incredible that Karl Darlow is Newcastle United’s starting goalkeeper, let alone a member of the PL Team of the Week.

The 25-year-old Northampton-born backstop is the Magpies’ third-choice keeper, having arrived from Nottingham Forest last summer to learn under Tim Krul and Rob Elliot.

[ VIDEO: Leicester fans react to title ]

But injuries to both of his international superiors thrust Darlow into the spotlight, and it took him some time to acclimate to the Premier League.

He looked just fine in Newcastle’s potentially massive 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, stopping a penalty amongst several other stops as the Magpies moved out of the drop zone for the first time since February.

Premier League Team of the Week — Week 36

Goalkeeper: Karl Darlow (Newcastle United)

Defenders: Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Leighton Baines (Everton), Winston Reid (West Ham United)

Midfielders: Mark Noble (West Ham United), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Andros Townsend (Newcastle United)

Forwards: Troy Deeney (Watford), Sadio Mane (Southampton), Andre Ayew (Swansea City)

VIDEO: Claudio Ranieri’s best moments, quotes this season

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Claudio Ranieri the manager of Leicester City reacts as Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea at the King Power Stadium on December14, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Claudio Ranieri is everyone’s favorite manager.

And not just because “Dilly-ding, dilly-dong” will be added to the English dictionary very soon.

The Italian boss, 64, has guided Leicester City to the 2015-16 Premier League title — the first top-flight trophy in their 132-year history — in just his first season in charge at the King Power Stadium.

[ VIDEO: Leicester players celebrate ]

He has guided the 5000-1 shots at the start of the season to an incredible title win. At the start of the campaign he was the favorite to be the first manager to be fired this season.

After spending four years at Chelsea from 2000-04 where he was ruthlessly sacked by Russian owner Roman Abramovich who didn’t believe he could win trophies, Ranieri has won the biggest one of them all in his first season back in England.  Remarkable.

[ MORE: Latest Leicester news after PL win ]  

The veteran boss has now won his first-ever league title in his long and distinguished managerial career against all the odds. He is, without doubt, the mastermind behind Leicester’s remarkable title win. There are calls for Ranieri to be knighted by the Queen of England and given what his team has achieved, why not?

Despite his obviously skill as a manager, he is also a genuinely nice bloke when it comes to interacting with fans and the media.

The video below looks at some of the most memorable moments this season from the lovable Italian.

Bellissimo.

Premier League Player of the Week — Round 36 (video)

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When Joe Hart looks to his left, he might expect to see a Sadio Mane shot going past him.

That’s how lethal the Southampton attacker was this weekend, recording a hat trick in Saints’ 4-2 win over Manchester City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mane becomes the third Southampton player to snare Premier League Player of the Week honors this season, joining Graziano Pelle and Fraser Forster.

Just two more honors to go this PL season.

Premier League Players of the Week – Round 36

Week 1: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City

Week 2: Romelu Lukaku, Everton

Week 3: Callum Wilson, Bournemouth

Week 4: Bafetimbi Gomis, Swansea City

Week 5: Steven Naismith, Everton

Week 6: Anthony Martial, Manchester United

Week 7: Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal

Week 8: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

Week 9: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

Week 10: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

Week 11: Arouna Kone, Everton

Week 12: Jesse Lingard, Manchester United

Week 15: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City

Week 16: Ayoze Perez, Newcastle United

Week 17: Odion Ighalo, Watford

Week 19: Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke City

Week 20: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland

Week 21: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland

Week 22: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

Week 23: Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur

Week 24: Fraser Forster, Southampton

Week 25: Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa

Week 26: Pedro, Chelsea

Week 27: Marcus Rashford, Manchester United

Week 28: Connor Wickham, Crystal Palace

Week 29: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City

Week 30: Graziano Pelle, Southampton

Week 31: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

Week 32: Alex Iwobi, Arsenal

Week 33: Andy Carroll, West Ham United

Week 34: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

Week 35: Eden Hazard, Chelsea

Week 36: Sadio Mane, Southampton

Pellegrini defends fielding “B” team in loss at Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 01:  Kelechi Iheanacho (72), Samir Nasri (C) and Wilfred Bony of Manchester City (R) looks despondent as Sadio Mane of Southampton scores their fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary's Stadium on May 1, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini does not regret fielding a weakened side at Southampton over the weekend as he prepares for City’s Champions League semifinal at Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Pellegrini chose to rest many of his top players at St. Mary’s, including Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, and Vincent Kompany. City were smashed 4-2 in one of their worst performances of the season.

[ RECAP: Saints 4-2 Man City ]

Pellegrini defended his lineup decisions after the match, saying he is willing to risk results in the Premier League to reach the Champions League final.

We knew before the game it was a risk to put so many players without football against a difficult team but we have to take those risks. If we had played on Saturday we could put more players out. I was disappointed with the team. It’s my responsibility for the starting 11.

I would do exactly the same again because we have an important game.

We play for the final in the Champions League. We continue in the Premier League what we are going to do in the next two games to be in the top four so that was a risk but one we had to take.

While you would expect a drop-off when the likes of Aguero and de Bruyne are not on the pitch, City’s poor performance was much more than just a team selection issue. With Raheem Sterling ($75 million) and Wilfried Bony ($45 million) in the starting XI, it was 19-year-old academy product Kelechi Iheanacho who was one of the few players to show any type of effort against Saints.

Pellegrini may be overlooking the end of the Premier League season, but his side still needs points to secure a top-four spot and berth in the Champions League next year. City currently sit four points ahead of Manchester United, but United have a game in-hand.

[ MORE: Burnley become first Championship side to clinch PL promotion ]

City travel to Spain for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal matchup against Real Madrid on Wednesday. After settling for a 0-0 draw in the first leg, City must put the Southampton debacle behind them and turn things around before the one of the biggest matches in club history.