Swansea City 1-2 West Brom: Pepe Mel gets first win, likely saves his job (video)

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Better late than never, right? Well, it took until the 85th minute of Pepe Mel’s eighth game in charge of West Bromwich Albion for his side to finally secure a win, but the Baggies won’t much care. Those three points put them three points into safety, and they’ve still got a game in hand. Swansea, on the other hand, are now just four points clear of the drop.

The fans were still settling into their seats at the Liberty Stadium when Swansea took an early lead. Roland Lamah, getting his first Premier League start since November, put the Swans ahead, cutting in from the left to latch on to a pass from Wilfried Bony.

West Brom managed their first effort on goal after fifteen minutes, but Michel Vorm had no trouble dealing with a low shot from Victor Anichebe. Minutes later, it was Swansea that nearly doubled their lead, but Ben Foster was there to stop Bony’s close-range shot.

The Baggies got into the swing of things in the second half, and it didn’t take long for them to draw level. James Morrison set up Stéphane Sessègnon, who hit a lovely low shot from about 25 yards out. It sailed past Vorm to land just inside the post.

Swansea had a decent shout for a handball when Gareth McAuley appeared to handle inside the area, but referee Martin Atkinson wasn’t about to give it. That decision might keep Gary Monk up pacing the halls on Saturday night.

Because although both sides were pushing for the win for the final thirty minutes, it was West Brom that ultimately took those three precious points.Youssouf Mulumbu grabbed the ball and slipped through the Swans defenders, before sliding it through Jordi Amat’s legs to land in the corner of the net. Perhaps Amat was blocking Vorm’s sightline, because the Swansea keeper didn’t even move.

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies, Britton (Emnes 87), Canas (Michu 62), de Guzman, Routledge, Lamah (Hernandez 77), Bony.

Goals: Lamah 2′

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Reid, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans (Gera 75), Ridgewell, Sessegnon (Thievy 79), Anichebe (O’Neill 89)

Goals: Sessègnon 52′, Mulumbu 85′

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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