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.

West Ham extend Payet’s contract in “enormous show of faith”

West Ham’s Dimitri Payet celebrates after scoring while soap bubbles are blown during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Newcastle at Boleyn Ground in London, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
AP Photo/Frank Augstein
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West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.

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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.

“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”

Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.

VIDEO: Dele Alli’s magnificent juggling goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon

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Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?

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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.

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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.

Watch Live: Guatemala vs. T&T; Canada vs. Guyana in Olympic qualifying

Canadian players wave to fans after a 2-1 loss to England in a quarterfinal of the Women's World Cup soccer tournament, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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Group B is set to kick off Thursday night at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, as Canada, third-place finishers at the 2012 Olympics, begin their quest to qualify for this summer’s games in Rio de Janeiro.

Guyana versus Trinidad and Tobago is up first (6 p.m. ET) from BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tex, followed by the Canadians, who will take on Guyana (8:30 p.m. ET) in the nightcap.

[ WATCH LIVE: Guatemala vs. T&T live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

[ WATCH LIVE: Canada vs. Guyana live on line on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

The U.S. women’s national began its Olympic qualifying campaign in impressive fashion on Wednesday with a 5-0 victory over Costa Rica, while Mexico jumped to the top of Group A with a 6-0 victory over Puerto Rico.

Sunderland terminate Adam Johnson’s contract after guilty pleas in sex case

Sunderland winger Adam Johnson arrives at Bradford Crown Court, England, Wednesday Feb. 10, 2016. Johnson has pleaded guilty in court to one count of sexual activity with a child and another of grooming. The 28-year-old Johnson, who has made 12 appearances for England, denies two charges of sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE
Peter Byrne/PA via AP
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SUNDERLAND, England (AP) Sunderland has fired winger Adam Johnson after he pleaded guilty to grooming and sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl at the start of his trial.

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Johnson, who has played 12 times for England, continues to deny two further counts of sexual activity with a child.

Sunderland dismissed Johnson ahead of his trial resuming on Friday at Bradford Crown Court.

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In a statement, Sunderland announced Thursday that “in light of Adam Johnson’s guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect.”

The former Manchester City player joined Sunderland in 2012 for 10 million pounds (now about $14.5 million).