Dempsey shut out, but Seattle’s run continues with 2-1 win over Philadelphia

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After a seven-goal, two-assist month, Clint Dempsey was finally kept off the scoresheet on Saturday, a type of moral victory for Philadelphia. But just as they have in each of their last three games, the Sounders climbed the actual victory, with second half goals from Obafemi Martins and Chad Marshall reversing Brad Evans’ 13th minute own goal, giving Seattle its sixth win of the season.

The Sounders, who didn’t claim their first lead until the 84th minute, finished the match having outshot their guests 6-1, a testament to the game state as well as the run of play. Up for 48 minutes after Evans’ inadvertent open, the Union tried 15 shots – two more than Seattle. Yet true to type, they were to generate quality chances, leaving Sounders’ goalkeeper Stefan Frei relatively untested.

Even the Union’s opener was more of a surprise than a true examination of Frei. On a 13th minute restart by Christian Maidana, a ball targeting Amobi Okugo went off Evans’ head and into goal, giving Philadelphia an unlikely lead.

The advantage allowed Philadelphia to keep the game from getting out of hand. Though the Union maintained their share of possession (particularly in the first half), Seattle was the only team threatening, with missed first half chances by Lamar Neagle (crossbar), Martins (stopped near goal), and Osvaldo Alonso (penalty) giving the impression Philadelphia might pull off the smash and grab.

It wasn’t meant to be. It took Seattle until the 61st minute to break through, but that break through always felt inevitable. When, in the 84th minute, Chad Marshall beat multiple defenders to a Marco Pappa corner, the ball carried a sense of justice into the back of net, with the Sounders’ 2-1 lead reflecting how the game had been played since Evans’ goal.

It was the third time this year that Seattle’s comeback to to get points, but unlike matches at Portland and FC Dallas, there was a sense of destiny in the result. The feeling was more like the Sounders’ earning full points at Chivas USA after conceding an early penalty than the emotion that accompanied Dempsey’s two late goals in Portland. Whereas there was genuine elation after pulling back the Timbers, there was a confident relief after Marshall beat the Union.

It’s a feeling that serves as a huge indictment of a Union team that had such a promising start. Instead of the deficit against feeling like a threat, the early goal became a Chivas USA-esque road bump.

As with Chicago and Portland, Philadelphia seems a tweak or two away from being dangerous. But they remain highly flawed, and unlike the Fire and Timbers, the Union are unquestionably trending in the wrong direction.

WATCH: Pair of inspiring Academy videos from Men In Blazers

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Men In Blazers produced a pair of videos on two teens from rival academies that should give all young players a sense of gratitude and inspiration for their chances in American soccer.

New York City FC Academy center back Prince Amponsah and New York Red Bulls Academy destroyer Amadeo Chapru-Tate get the mini-doc treatment from Roger Bennett.

Amponsah comes from Ghana, and his family moved to the United States where their son found his way to the youth national team.

[ MORE: Fabinho has interest in Man Utd ]

Chapru-Tate comes from Haiti, adopted by his parents after a three-year process. His first game saw him score an own goal, but that was not a sign of what’s to come for the 15-year-old.

Confederations Cup: Scenarios before final group matches

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Seven of eight nations remain alive for the knockout rounds after two-thirds of the group stage at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

Only New Zealand has been eliminated, though the underdogs aren’t the sort of nations who will quit ahead of its group finale against Portugal.

That’s one of two Saturday matches, along with Russia versus Mexico, with two more on the docket for Sunday when Germany meets Cameroon and Chile duels with Australia.

[ MORE: Fabinho has interest in Man Utd ]

We’ve seen zany finishes at the Confederations Cup before, as the U.S. beat Egypt 3-0 and Brazil topped Italy 3-0 on the final day of group play in 2009 to send the Americans past Italy and into the knockout rounds despite a tournament-opening 3-1 loss to the Italians.

Group A

Draws will be enough to send Mexico and Portugal into the knockout rounds, with Mexico currently leading the group by virtue of a single goal scored (The two sides drew 2-2 in the opener).

We mentioned New Zealand’s status as a wild card, but hosts Russia will be under immense pressure against Mexico. The cynic will note that the tournament’s location could help the Russians beyond simple home-field advantage, while a bigger cynic may not that Mexico has been the beneficiary of plenty of officials’ whistles and non-whistles in recent years.

The safe bet is Portugal to win and Mexico to advance via draw or win.

Group B

No one’s safe, but Chile is feeling very good about its chances coming into Sunday’s match against Australia in Moscow. The Chileans battered Australia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and a draw would give them a place in the next round.

The Socceroos need a two-goal win to pass Chile and assure a spot in the next round. A one-goal win could also do the trick for Australia if Germany loses and Australia outscores the Germans (who currently hold a one-goal advantage).

Germany knows it’s result-and-in for them, while Cameroon faces the longest odds. Not only do the Africans need to upset the Germans, but they need a two-goal win and help. If Cameroon won by one, it would fail to pass Germany.

Southampton to hire Pellegrino: “No last minute hitches expected”

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The Southampton Daily Echo says reports of Frank De Boer’s hiring at Crystal Palace were triggered by news that Southampton favors Mauricio Pellegrino.

De Boer has not been announced by Palace, but Pellegrino’s appointment could come first. The Argentine is expected to get the Saints job.

[ MORE: Fabinho has interest in Man Utd ]

Pellegrino, De Boer and Patrick Vieira had been reported as options for Saints, and Pellegrino has emerged as the favorite.

The Southampton and Palace jobs are the only vacant seats in the Premier League, with Watford hiring Marco Silva and Leicester keeping Craig Shakespeare.

From The Southampton Daily Echo:

Palace are believed to have been told that Pellegrino favours joining Saints, and therefore they moved quickly to offer De Boer the job.

It removes the last remaining obstacle and gives Saints a clear run in negotiating a deal to make the 45-year-old Argentinian their new manager, with no last minute hitches expected.

Again, this is going to be a hectic time for Saints fans. That’s not because Pellegrino isn’t a promising hire; He’s a top prospect. No, we’re just worried for the amount of times Mauricio Pellegrino is going to be called by the name of former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Juve’s Kean could leave club over tractor dispute

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No tractors, no teenager.

Moise Kean, 17, broke into the Juventus senior team last season with a trio of Serie A appearances that concluded with a goal against Bologna on May 27.

He also made a token appearance in the UEFA Champions League against Sevilla, which all-in-all is a pretty solid debut for the century’s first birth to make an appearance in a Top Five league in Europe.

[ MORE: Fabinho has interest in Man Utd ]

About that contract, though.

Kean’s father, Biorou, says Juventus has broken a contractual promise to his family, and that could send the teenager into the transfer market. Biorou says that his son’s 18th birthday — Feb. 28, 2018 — could trigger Moise Kean leave town as “an adult.”

From Sky Sports:

“Juventus offered a contract of €700,000-a-year, which was fine, but the problem is they had also promised me some tractors for my agricultural business in the Ivory Coast, but now they say there is no budget for them.

“I own several hectares of land in the Ivory Coast which I would like to cultivate with rice and corn. I’m an agronomist. I asked for agricultural materials and they told me “no problem.”

Now, though, those tractors are not in the Ivory Coast, and Biorou claims that he never signed a contract with agent Mino Raiola. It all sets the table for further complains and a transfer, so it’s worth keeping an eye on this odd saga.