Lingard signs new contract at Manchester United

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Jesse Lingard has committed his future to Manchester United by signing a new long-term deal at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Conte to remain at Chelsea

It was announced on Thursday that Lingard, who has been at the club since the age of seven, signed a new four-year deal contract with an option of a further year.

Lingard, 24, has spent various spells out on loan during his time at United but over the past two seasons he has become a regular for the Red Devils.

Speaking about signing a new deal — widely reported to be worth over $125,000 per week — for his boyhood club, Lingard was ecstatic.

“Manchester United has always been a big part of my life. I have been with the club since the age of seven and I feel great pride every time I pull the shirt on. To have scored in two cup finals for my boyhood club were immensely proud moments for me and my family,” Lingard said. “As a team, we have already won a major trophy this season and I look forward to helping us win many more under this great manager. I would like to say a special thank you to the fans for the great support they have always given me and the team.”

Mourinho added that Lingard has “a great future ahead of him” and said he was “delighted” to see the winger remain a Red Devil.

Lingard has been clutch in United’s last three finals as he scored an extra time winner in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace last year, a goal in the Community Shield against Leicester last August and also scored in the 3-2 win over Southampton in the EFL Cup final back in February at Wembley.

In total Lingard has scored 11 goals in 70 appearances for United as his tricky play out wide is combined with pace and eye for a pass, plus his stunning strikes against Palace in the FA Cup, Chelsea in the Premier League last season and recently against Middlesbrough (see video above) showcase his undoubted talent.

He has also broken into the full English national team over the past 12 months and with the ability to play on either flank or through the middle he has been a valuable member of Mourinho’s squad this season as they aim to win the UEFA Europa League and push hard to finish in the top four of the Premier League.

Lingard may not have a big reputation like many of his United teammates but he’s certainly a big part of Mourinho’s plans moving forward.

Photo: Flamengo supporter tattoos club jersey on body

MAURÍCIO DOS ANJOS VIA VICE
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A supporter in Brazil has taken fandom to a whole new level with a piece of body art that shows his devotion to the club.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Maurício dos Anjos, a passionate Flamengo fan, has been a life-long supporter of the Rio de Janeiro-based club, and has the tattoo to prove it.

While it may look like body paint, Dos Anjos has a tattoo on the upper-half of his body depicting the Flamengo jersey, and it’s pretty awesome.

“People ask me if I don’t find it strange that I’m always wearing a Flamengo shirt. And I just don’t,” dos Anjos told VICE. “To me, it’s normal. But it doesn’t seem like anyone I talk to about it actually dislikes my tattoo.”

In total, Dos Anjos says the body work took over 90 hours and 30 sessions to complete the tattoo.

Has the perception of MLS really changed?

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When David Beckham arrived in Los Angeles back in 2007 his presence changed the complexion of Major League Soccer for all the right reasons, and the perception of the growing league changed.

[ MORE: Go behind the scenes at NYCFC’s new training facility ]

Over the years, MLS has strived to move into the upper-echelon of the global game, in an attempt to compete with the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, but naysayers still indicate to this day that the United States’ top flight lacks the quality of the aforementioned.

Phrases like “retirement league” and “uninspired” have been used to describe MLS in the past, particularly when it comes to the league’s willingness to spend boatloads of cash on notable players well past their prime.

Examples such as Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Marquez have at times dampened the perception of MLS due to the lack of quality on the pitch from those players, along with several others that had previously boasted extensive resumes.

Now, we’re at a time where MLS has picked up its scouting, with clubs focused more on younger, more skilled talents from South America and Europe.

That has led to major signings over the past several years, such as Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Diego Rossi and Jesus Medina, to name a few.

Has that changed the overall complexion of MLS though?

On Thursday, Kevin De Bruyne‘s agent, Patrick de Koster, suggested in an interview that the Belgium international would likely “finish” his career in MLS.

“For now, he’s very happy at this club,” De Koster said. “We always look what the best solution for the player, both financially and football wise. Kevin’s future? I can see him finish at Los Angeles.”

This comes on the heels of a 36-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining the LA Galaxy in a move that has sent shockwaves across the league and the world because of the Swede’s great presence on a global scale.

It’s not to say that players like Ibrahimovic, or previous signings like David Villa and Didier Drogba cannot help the overall growth of MLS, because they certainly bring an awareness to the matches and draw attention to their respective clubs.

However, the long-term viability of MLS has been and will continue to be sustained on youth players succeeding in the league, as well as being able to draw promising young talents into the top flight of the U.S.

Report: USMNT likely to face Brazil, Mexico in September friendlies

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The U.S. Men’s National Team won’t have a busy schedule throughout the summer, but Dave Sarachan and his side will get a tiny taste of the World Cup in September.

[ MORE: Chivas’ Almeyda exhales after CCL title win ]

ESPN FC is reporting that the USMNT will likely face Brazil and Mexico — both of whom will travel to Russia in June — later this year, as the U.S. Soccer Federation is in the process of finalizing both friendlies.

The matches are set to be played during the September international window, which runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 11.

Both fixtures will reportedly be played in the United States, although venues haven’t been determined yet.

The U.S. has already begun booking a slate of difficult matches to round out 2018, with England and Italy already confirmed opponents for the Yanks in November.

The Yanks are 1-17-0 all-time against Brazil in all competitions, while the U.S. hasn’t faced Mexico since its 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca in June 2017 during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

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Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

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