Angel Di Maria unveiled by Manchester United, van Gaal doesn’t expect ‘miracles’

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On Thursday the $99 million man, Angel Di Maria, spoke out as a Manchester United player for the first time.

The Argentine winger, 26, sealed his British transfer record switch from Real Madrid on Tuesday and will wear the famous number seven shirt at Old Trafford, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Nani.

[RELATED: Di Maria arrives at Old Trafford]

Di Maria’s signing came on the same day United were beaten 4-0 by League One side Milton Keynes Dons in the League Cup and there is certainly plenty of work to be done at Old Trafford for a new-look side to get back to their past glory.

Speaking to reporters via a translator, Di Maria revealed he is delighted to be at United as is targeting Champions League qualification this season.

“Manchester United has already won many trophies and are a very big team,” Di Maria said. “I come to help and raise the game and become an important team once again, to win many trophies with them. I’m very pleased to play for Manchester United. I like the team and I wanted to come here even though they’re not playing in the Champions League. I want to help the team get into the Champions League. I’m pleased with the manager for choosing me to come to Manchester United.”

While Di Maria’s new boss, Louis van Gaal, is delighted to have signed the Argentine winger from Real Madrid but urged United’s fans to not expect ‘miracles’ from Di Maria.

“I’m very pleased that we can have such a class player in our squad,” Van Gaal said. “But we have many class players and for me it’s important he is a team player. That is what I am liking in Di Maria. Not only class, he can accelerate the game for us and can also play in the interest of the team. That’s why we have chosen this player and I hope he shall give us good results but we cannot expect after two days’ training sessions that he is the miracle. No, you have to work for the miracle and he knows that.”

Van Gaal is a hard task master, isn’t he?

At least he’s realistic. There will be a huge amount of pressure on Di Maria’s shoulders, especially with the famous No. 7 shirt on his back.It will certainly take time for Di Maria to settle in to life in the Premier League. First up for him is a trip to newly promoted Burnley and the ‘homely’ confides of Turf Moor.

Welcome to England, Angel.

USMNT AT HALF: Dempsey, Gomez trade goals in chippy first half

AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco
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Christian Pulisic and Clint Dempsey combined for another goal, and the USMNT leads Panama 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday in Panama City.

A physical, chippy first half didn’t see many clear cut chances and was 0-0 after 38. minutes.

[ STREAM: Live on Telemundo Deportes ]

The first 10 minutes were a bit frenetic, with the U.S. focused on adventurous first touch passes when it managed to earn the ball from Panama.

That feel wasn’t aided by the officiating, as Cesar Ramos was inconsistent in a very physical opening half-hour.

Then, the breakthrough. Dempsey moved to within a goal of Landon donovan’s all-time mark thanks to Pulisic, who cooked Felipe Baloy and held off Roman Torres before laying off to the veteran. 1-0, 39′.

The lead lasted all of three minutes, as Gomez pounced on a loose ball with the Yanks’ back line at sixes and sevens off a long throw-in. Gomez turned off Jermaine Jones and lost Villafana to bury his chance behind Howard. 1-1, 44′.

STREAM LIVE: USMNT looks for 3 more points in Panama

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The United States looks to finish the international break in an automatic qualifier spot in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table when it faces Panama in Panama City at 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

A lot of the faces are the same from the 6-0 demolition of Honduras in California on Friday, though John Brooks and Sebastian Lletget are out with injury.

Jermaine Jones replaces Lletget while Tim Ream moves into the fray for Brooks. Geoff Cameron played Friday’s match with a minor injury, and moves out of the XI for Graham Zusi.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Ream, Zusi; Bradley, Jones, Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore

Subs: Bingham, Rimando; Beasley, Besler, Camron, Zimmerman; Acosta, Arriola, Bedoya, Kljestan, McCarty, Pulisic; Wondolowski

Reyes header gives Mexico three points in T&T (video)

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Diego Reyes’ 58th minute header off a corner kick gave Mexico a lead it wouldn’t give up in a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Hasely Crawford Stadium in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

The win gives Mexico a table-topping 10 points, seven ahead of last-place T&T.

[ MORE: Honduras 1-1 Costa Rica ]

The Soca Warriors were in fine, stingy form early, and looked to have gone ahead on the counterattack when Joevin Jones belted a left-footer into the Mexico goal.

The linesman, however, ruled that Jones was offside. He almost certainly was not, as Mexico’s supreme luck in CONCACAF play continued for at least one night.

Hector Herrera hammered a shot off the far goal post early in the second half as Mexico attempted to grab control.

T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams jammed Miguel Layun’s shot over the bar moments before the breakthrough from Reyes.

Williams then saved Javier Hernandez’s 64th minute offering as Mexico looked to put three points to bed.

Joevin Jones won a free kick in the 76th minute that gave a brief moment of light to T&T’s hopes, but Jones hit the wall and Mexico cleared the ball.

Honduras holds Costa Rica 1-1

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
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Honduras did the United States a favor by taking a point from visiting Costa Rica in Tuesday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

Anthony Lozano pushed a 35th minute chance past an indecisive Keylor Navas, as Los Catrachos set the stage for a hopeful three points.

[ STREAM: T&T-Mexico, Panama-USMNT ]

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston’s haphazard defending helped allow the goal, but he scored off a late Costa Rica corner kick to ensure Costa Rica will finish the international break in second place.

With four points, Honduras moves ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States before both sides play Tuesday.

Costa Rica beat the U.S. 4-0 in 2016, while the Yanks battered Honduras 6-0 on Friday.