American teenager Emerson Hyndman makes Fulham debut

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Another American player has begun their professional career with Fulham. Remember the name: Emerson Hyndman.

You may already know his name, as Emerson’s grandfather Schellas was head coach of FC Dallas for five seasons up until last year. Well, his 18-year-old Grandson is making quite the name for himself in West London.

[RELATED: Hyndman stars for Fulham’s]

On Saturday the American midfielder made his debut for Felix Magath’s side in their season opener in the Championship, England’s second-tier. The Cottagers, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, lost 2-1 to Ipswich Town and in total nine players were making their debut for Fulham.

Hyndman played in central midfield and despite his slight frame in the physical Championship, the teenager held his own for the entire 90 minutes and recorded a pass success rate of 89 per cent.

Speaking to Fulham’s website the academy product had the following to say about his first taste of pro soccer.

“I didn’t find out I was going to be playing until the day,” Hyndman said. “It was a great moment – I was very excited, nervous, a lot of different emotions flying through but I think now that I have that experience behind me it will serve me well. It’s my goal to play as many games as possible. My initial goal was to make my debut this season and that’s come pretty quick so now I just want to build on that.

“It was better than I thought it would be. It is a physical league, especially against an Ipswich side which is known for it. Coming into it and seeing all the big guys, it’s different but I think I coped with it well and as the game went on I just got used to it.”

The U.S. youth international, who has represented the Stars and Stripes at U-17 level, has a bright future in store as his clever passing, intricate dribbles and eagerness to get on the ball shone through. To be battling it out in the Championship at the age of 18 is really something, as England’s second-tier is a rough and tumble division to say the least. Magath is expected to lean heavily on Hyndman and his fellow academy products this season as youth will be given a chance to shine down by the River Thames.

After being handed the No. 28 shirt this season, Hyndman becomes the ninth American-born player to suit up for Fulham and U.S. soccer fans will be keeping on eye on his progress as Fulham aim for immediate promotion back to the Premier League. Having spoken to folks in and around Fulham, they certainly have high hopes for Hyndman. A future U.S. international in the making perhaps?

Pulisic: Dortmund can win the league

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Christian Pulisic isn’t short on confidence these days.

The rising star for the U.S. Men’s National Team is currently in preseason training with Borussia Dortmund, and he believes his side can push Bayern Munich for the title. Bayern has won five-straight league titles, but the last team other than Munich to win was Dortmund itself in 2012.

“We’ve got a big chance to win the league this coming season,” Pulisic said, via German publication Kicker.

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Pulisic has been firing on all cylinders so far in preseason. During Dortmund’s tour of China, Pulisic had three assists in a 3-1 win over AC Milan, and he also started and went the full 90 against Bochum on July 22 back in Germany.

The 18-year-old is coming off a breakout season for the Black and Yellows, scoring five goals with 13 assists over 43 games between the Bundesliga, German Cup and UEFA Champions League.

“Last season was a good step in my development,” Pulisic said, noting he wants to be “more dangerous” in the attack. “I want to build on that.”

Of course, Pulisic followed the U.S. Men’s National Team at the Gold Cup, taking the title for the sixth time. In less than a year’s time, Pulisic will likely be on the field, starting for the U.S. at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the hopes and dreams of many Americans on his shoulders.

“(It was) a good victory,” Pulisic said of the final.

Transfer Rumor Wrap: Bale’s agent laughs off speculation

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It appears Gareth Bale has no plans of following Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez out of Real Madrid this summer.

“It’s a ridiculous, stupid story,” Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told the BBC, following reports that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wouldn’t promise Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo that they’d staying with the club this summer.

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Of course, these prompted counter reports that Manchester United could take advantage of possible instability at the Santiago Bernabeu and swoop in for Bale, but it seems that Bale is not for sale.

Bale played just 27 times for Real Madrid last season in all competitions, scoring nine goals with three assists while dealing with multiple injuries. His entire career at Real Madrid in fact has been plagued by injury, but ahead of a World Cup year with Wales still in contention for a spot in Russia, Bale will be extra motivated to stay fit this season.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the world:

(more…)

Neymar storms off after training dustup with teammate

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Neymar just won’t stay out of the headlines.

As his long-rumored “will he, won’t he go” transfer saga between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona continues, Neymar stormed out of training on Thursday after getting into a tussle with teammate Nelson Semedo.

A video from the Daily Mail shows Neymar pushing Semedo before walking off and removing his training bib.

Neymar has reportedly agreed to personal terms with PSG over a move to France, but PSG have yet to come up with the nearly $260 million it would cost to trigger Neymar’s release clause. The news of Neymar possibly leaving Barcelona came as a shock, as he’s been content since joining the club to play slightly in the shadow of teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

If this fight is any indication, Neymar’s head could be turned and should PSG trigger the release clause, Neymar could be heading to Paris once Barcelona returns this weekend from its American sojourn.

In spite of all the transfer speculation, Neymar has dazzled for Barcelona on its tour of the U.S., scoring three goals in two games and delighting the thousands in attendance.

Australian women beat US 1-0 in Tournament of Nations

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SEATTLE (AP) Tameka Butt scored in the 67th minute and Australia beat the United States for the first time in the 28-game series, 1-0 in the Tournament of Nations on Thursday night.

The Matildas also snapped the Americans’ four-game winning streak.

Just moments after Butt’s goal got past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, Carli Lloyd blasted a cross from Megan Rapinoe at Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who made a fantastic save. Lloyd had another chance that sailed just over the net.

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Japan and Brazil played to a 1-1 draw in the tournament’s opening game in the afternoon at CenturyLink Field.

Each of the four teams in the tournament is in the top 10 of the FIFA rankings. The top-ranked United States went into the game with a 25-0-2 record over the seventh-ranked Matildas.

Rapinoe, who plays for the NWSL’s Seattle Reign, had a good chance early on in the game but the Americans were unable to break through. Rapinoe has 12 goals to lead the NWSL in scoring this season.

The Matildas have been on the rise of the past several years, with quarterfinal appearances in both the 2015 World Cup and the Olympics last year.

Following the stop in Seattle, the tournament shifts to San Diego on Sunday before wrapping up in Carson, California, on Aug. 3.

U.S. Soccer is looking to host a Tournament of Nations each summer that there isn’t World Cup or Olympic competition.