Americans Abroad Wrap: US teenagers go distance for Fulham, Utrecht

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It wasn’t a weekend to remember for Yanks in the Premier League, though a pair of youngsters continued their club progressions in other European leagues.

Starting in the PL, goalkeeper Tim Howard allowed two goals as Everton endured a disappointing opening week draw against newly-promoted Leicester City. Handed two leads, Howard was between the sticks as the Foxes equalized twice. The Toffees are home to Arsenal next week.

Brad Guzan picked up a clean sheet as Aston Villa started its season off right, defeating Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. The American backstop made two saves in the 1-0 win and host Newcastle United this weekend.

Sunderland drew West Bromwich Albion 2-2, and Jozy Altidore was introduced in the 81st minute. Four minutes later, the Black Cats found their equalizer through Seb Larsson.

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Geoff Cameron did not play for Stoke City. Rumors swirled of his discontent at playing outside back and we’ll have more as the situation develops.

In the English Championship, Birmingham City defender Jonathan Spector played a strong 90. He had a shot saved and won several free kicks with good all-around play. Will Packwood did not feature for Brum.

Promising 18-year-old Emerson Hyndman went 90 minutes and nearly set-up multiple goals as the conduit for Fulham, but the Cottagers still fell 1-0 to Millwall as their inauspicious Championship start continued into Week Two.

Bolton and Nottingham Forest drew 2-2, with Tim Ream playing all 90 in the back for the Wanderers. Fellow American defender Eric Lichaj came off the bench and played the final six minutes for Forest.

Zak Whitbread did not appear for Derby County, an unused sub in a scoreless draw against Sheffield Wednesday.

Sacha Kljestan played under 15 minutes as a sub for first-place Anderlecht.

source:
Rubin

Jose Torres went 62 minutes for UANL Tigres, while Herculez Gomez subbed on for the final nine minutes in the club’s 1-1 draw with Pachuca. Joe Corona went 90 for Tijuana in a 2-1 win over Chiapas, and did not record a goal or assist.

In the Netherlands, 18-year-old Rubio Rubin had an impressive debut for Utrecht. He started and finished a 2-1 win over Willem II, working well out wide.

Not a banner weekend for Yanks in Norway, as Mix Diskerud’s Rosenborg side lost 3-1 at Brann. Stabaek and head coach Bob Bradley lost for the first time this month, with Michael Stephens and Andrew Jacobson each featuring in a 3-1 loss.

Former Czech Republic defender Rajtoral kills himself

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PRAGUE (AP) Former Czech Republic defender Frantisek Rajtoral, who won the domestic league title four times before joining Turkish club Gaziantepspor, died on Sunday. He was 31.

[ MORE: Bayern scouted Kyle Walker, Alex Sanchez this weekend ]

The Czech football federation said in a statement that Rajtoral had “committed suicide in Turkey.”

His agent Pavel Zika confirmed the player’s death, describing it as a “huge tragedy.”

Gaziantepspor announced Rajtoral’s death in a brief statement on its website.

Rajtoral played 14 international matches for the Czech Republic.

In the top Czech league, he won four titles with Viktoria Plzen and played in the group stage of the Champions League twice for the club. He moved to Hannover in the Bundesliga in 2014 for half of the season, on loan.

He left Viktoria Plzen last year to move to Turkey.

Bellerin wants to represent Spain U21s despite Wenger’s wishes

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Arsene Wenger has made it clear about Hector Bellerin representing Spain this summer but the Arsenal defender is prepared to go against his manager’s wishes if he is selected.

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The 22-year-old has said he hopes to play for Spain’s Under-21 side this summer during the 2017 European U-21 Championship but Wenger has been weary of Bellerin’s injury status and wants his fullback to maintain a clean bill of health throughout the offseason.

“I really want to play,” Bellerin told IBTimes. “Representing Spain is very important. If [Albert] Celades gives me the chance I’ll be there.

“Those are opinions of the managers. I have to keep working. The truth is that I had a difficult injury but I think that I am at 100% now and I’ll try to prove it when I get the chance.”

Bellerin signed a six-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners in November, where he has resided since coming up in the club’s academy. He has made 102 appearances for Wenger’s team in that span over all competitions.

Roma boosts bid for 2nd in Serie A by beating Pescara 4-1

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PESCARA, Italy (AP) Roma boosted its bid for second place in Serie A and automatic entry into the Champions League with a 4-1 win at Pescara, which was mathematically relegated on Monday.

[ MORE: Newcastle joins Brighton in promotion to Premier League ]

Roma moved four points clear of third-placed Napoli, which drew against Sassuolo 2-2 on Sunday. Third place in Serie A receives a Champions League playoff.

Pescara remained 15 points behind Empoli. There are only five matches left and Empoli has the better head-to-head record, which is the deciding factor if two teams finish level on points.

There were 48 goals in total in the 33rd round, matching the record set in October 1992.

Roma took control shortly before halftime, with Kevin Strootman breaking the deadlock after Stephan El Shaarawy unselfishly rolled the ball across the area.

Radja Nainggolan, who earlier hit the bar, doubled Roma’s lead two minutes later.

Mohamed Salah extended Roma’s advantage three minutes after the break and the winger doubled his tally on the hour following a swift counterattack.

Ahmad Benali got a consolation for Pescara and a Cristiano Biraghi free kick also hit the post for the home side.

Frank Yallop resigns as Phoenix Rising coach shortly after Drogba arrival

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The timing is a bit sudden and certainly leaves many questions up in the air, but Phoenix Rising will have to look for a new manager.

[ MORE: Chicharito talks heating up with LA FC ]

On Monday, head coach Frank Yallop resigned from his position with the United Soccer League (USL) club less than one day after former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba joined the organization as a player-owner.

With Phoenix seen as one of several lower-level clubs with ambitions of making the leap to MLS over the coming seasons, Yallop’s departure is surely a shock to many.

According to ESPN FC, Rising lead owner Berke Bakay was quite surprised by Yallop’s decision to step down, as was Drogba.

“Didier was as surprised and disappointed as we were that Frank is unable to continue coaching our Club,” Bakay told ESPN FC. “But, we all respect his decision to put his family first.

“Didier’s focus will remain on improving our team as a player and assisting our MLS expansion team ownership group as a co-owner. Frank will be helping with our international search for a new head coach.”

Rick Schantz, the current Rising assistant coach, will head the team’s managerial duties for the interim while the club completes a full search for a new manager.