Dwyer

Dom Dwyer says it would be an “absolute honor” to play for the USMNT

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In an interview with Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now, Dom Dwyer said he is more than hoping to be a part of the USMNT future up front.

The Sporting Kansas City striker, originally from Sussex, England, has played in the United States since he was 18 years old, earning a scholarship at the University of South Florida.

With KC CEO Robb Heineman (somewhat unbeknownst to Dwyer) tweeting out that his striker’s application for US citizenship is set to go through in February of 2017, the speculation is there for Dwyer not only to be a part of the 2018 World Cup discussion, but also for the hexagonal round of qualifying.

And he’s excited about it. “Even Zusi and Besler were saying to me how great it would be and how much I would love it,” Dwyer told Sciaretta. “I think the U.S. has a fantastic thing going on. If I was ever to be called up, it would be an absolute honor.”

The 24-year-old said he’s already well acquainted with the players and coach. “I’m a big fan of Jurgen Klinsmann and a big fan of the guys on the team.”

Dwyer took a very unconventional route to his professional contract.  He was part of the Norwich City youth academy as a young boy, but after breaking his foot three times in England, he got the opportunity to come to the United States.  Dwyer says he probably wasn’t even close to the England youth system’s radar, but his switch to the United States was a tough one as the league here was still struggling to gain respect.

[ MORE: Looks like the Dom Dwyer for the USMNT push is on ]

However, after spending two years at a junior college before his stellar year at USF – where he led the Big East with 16 goals – he was drafted 16th overall by KC in the MLS draft, and after the goals came flying in while on loan to Orlando City, he earned a call-up back to his home squad, and he has 12 goals in 16 matches this year.

He’ll be 26 by the time his citizenship goes through, and could be heavily involved in the USMNT discussion. Jozy Altidore is the same age, while Clint Dempsey will be a month away from his 34th birthday.  When Altidore went down in the World Cup with his hamstring injury, it was alarmingly clear how thin the United States is at the striker position.

With the possibility of Dwyer entering the US fold, it could get a lot thicker, but 2017 is still a long, long way away.

Pogba’s agent pumps brakes hard on imminent Manchester United move

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 10: Paul Pogba of France wins the ball from Joao Mario of Portugal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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Super agent Mino Raiola has injected a ray of light into the hopes of both Juventus and Real Madrid fans when it comes to Paul Pogba.

The terrific midfielder has been widely reported as an imminent arrival at Manchester United, but Raiola has taken to Twitter to blast journalists who’ve reported the move and medical as done.

[ RANIERI: Mahrez will stay at LCFC ]

Pogba was photographed in Los Angeles amid claims he was undergoing a physical at United. Multiple reports have said he passed the medical and that Juventus has agreed to sell Pogba to United for a world record fee.

Raiola says different, though taken with the grain of salt that he’s set to make as much as $30 million on the deal and his job is to squeeze every possibly penny from suitors.

Ranieri says “intelligent man” Mahrez will stay at Leicester City

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Claudio Ranieri Manager of Leicester City instructs Riyad Mahrez during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Claudio Ranieri seems to be genuine and honest in his evaluations, as we’ve seen in his dealings with Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante amongst others.

And the manager is making no bones about what he thinks is best for another Leicester City star in Riyad Mahrez.

[ MORE: Gameiro joins new club ]

Ranieri says the Algerian will face far more pressure at a new club then he will face still competing in the UEFA Champions League with the Foxes.

In other words, the 25-year-old should stick around. From Sky Sports:

“I speak often with him and say stay with us, it’s much better for your future, I think he is an intelligent man and he will stay,” Ranieri told Sky Sports News HQ.

“We support him very well, this is important, when you change teams maybe you don’t find team-mates who help you at the same level.

“He improves more if he stays with us for another year, maybe next year he can think about another solution. If he goes for a lot of money, everybody will be expecting something special. He can do something special, but with us.”

We tend to agree. Whereas N’Golo Kante was prepared to use Leicester as a stepping stone — and it seems Ranieri knew it — Mahrez has been with the Foxes since 2014 and seen his stature skyrocket.

Let’s see what happens, Riyad. Cool?

Atletico signs striker Kevin Gameiro from Sevilla

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - MAY 18:  Kevin Gameiro of Sevilla celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final match between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on May 18, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid says it has acquired French striker Kevin Gameiro from rival Spanish club Sevilla.

In exchange, Atletico has agreed to loan Argentine striker Luciano Vietto to Sevilla for one season.

Atletico says Gameiro will sign a four-year contract after undergoing a standard medical exam.

[ MORE: NYCFC, Rapids meet in Bronx on Saturday ]

The 29-year-old Gameiro scored 67 goals during three seasons with Sevilla, helping it win three Europa League titles.

Gameiro will join countryman Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres to form the attack of an Atletico side that reached the final of the Champions League last season.

Atletico did not reveal the financial details of Gameiro’s transfer.

Ex-Guatemalan soccer chief pleads guilty in FIFA bribe case

PRATO, ITALY - APRIL 13: General view during the FIFA Futsal playoff match between Italy and Hungary on April 13, 2016 in Prato, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) A former Guatemalan soccer federation president has pleaded guilty in New York to charges related to a sprawling corruption investigation of world soccer.

[ MORE: Christian Vieri ready for return, pursuing Chinese Super League ]

Brayan Jimenez pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when he’ll be sentenced.

The 62-year-old Jimenez is among 40 people from around the world charged in a FIFA bribery scandal over lucrative broadcasting rights.

Prosecutors say Jimenez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based sports marketing company. They say in exchange for the money Jimenez awarded the company media marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2018 and 2022.

Jimenez’s attorneys haven’t returned a message seeking comment on his guilty plea.