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Bobby Wood’s Hamburg still in relegation zone after draw with Mainz

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BERLIN (AP) Hamburger SV and Mainz played out a scoreless draw Sunday, leaving both teams in danger of relegation with two rounds of the Bundesliga to go.

“I can imagine that the point could be worth its weight in gold,” said Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol, whose side remained in the relegation playoff spot.

Hamburg’s Christian Mathenia was the busiest of the two `keepers in a scrappy game of few clear-cut chances. Mathenia produced a good save to deny Jhon Cordoba and then Yoshinori Muto from the rebound early on.

A long ball put Bobby Wood in a good position at the other end but Mainz captain Stefan Bell cleared for a corner.

“The relegation fight is dirty. It was a good reaction after Augsburg,” Mathenia said of his side’s performance following last weekend’s 4-0 loss at relegation-rival Augsburg.

Hamburg is the only founding member of the league never to have been relegated. But it faces the prospect of its third playoff in four seasons unless it can claim points from its final games at Schalke and then at home to Wolfsburg.

“You could see that both teams are under enormous pressure,” Mainz sporting director Rouven Schroeder said. “But we’re above Hamburg and that’s what counts.”

Mainz remained above Hamburg on goal difference, four points above Ingolstadt. Augsburg and Wolfsburg were both two points clear of the relegation zone, while last-placed Darmstadt was relegated on Saturday.

Two first-half goals from Florian Niederlechner lifted Freiburg to fifth and all but ended Schalke’s hopes of European football from its inconsistent season.

Markus Weinzierl’s side needs to win both its remaining games against Hamburg and Ingolstadt, and hope for favors from others against Freiburg and Hertha Berlin. Schalke is six points behind Freiburg and five behind Hertha. Even if Hertha and Freiburg do stumble, Cologne, Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach are better placed than Schalke to take advantage.

Goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann was the visitors’ best player, and Schalke would be even lower than its 10th place without his interventions during this season.

Promoted last season, Freiburg was leading Hertha by a point. Cologne and Werder Bremen are both a point further back, with two games remaining. Sixth place is the last to guarantee European qualification.

Daly collapses during match, treated for heat illness

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HOUSTON (AP) Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly collapsed during the final minute of a National Women’s Soccer League match against the Seattle Reign as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

The 25-year-old Daly was stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital, where the team said she was being treated for heat illness.

The temperature at BBVA Compass Stadium was 92 degrees at the 3 p.m. kickoff. The Reign won 2-0.

[ MORE: Perisic talking with Man Utd? ]

The NWSL issued a statement that said the league had worked with the Dash before the season to schedule any afternoon games early in the year to help avoid heat issues. The teams took a hydration break late in the match.

“We will immediately review these measures to prevent this situation from occurring in the future,” the statement said.

Reign coach Laura Harvey posted to Twitter: “Proud of the team today. Some of the hottest conditions I’ve seen. Road games are tough but that was crazy.”

MLS roundup: Outrageous dive, posts doom ‘Caps; Ramirez stays red hot

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Six matches are in the books on a busy Saturday in Major League Soccer, and five of them finished 1-0.

How they got there? Much different stories. With the Cali Clasico still to play, let’s dig into the five that followed Seattle 1-0 Portland.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]


Vancouver Whitecaps 0-1 DC United

It’s especially difficult to win on the road in Major League Soccer, unless the hosts fritter away four good chances off the woodwork — including a Cristian Techera PK — and give away a spot kick of their own. Lamar Neagle converted the 61st offering after a sinister dive from Jose Guillermo Ortiz. He was taken off soon after, and is probably going to miss sometime when the DisCo is done with him. Outrageous.

New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution

Not one, not two, nor three, but four New England players saw a low cross slide by them for Daniel Royer to finish as New York came from behind to take all three points at Red Bull Arena. Cody Cropper committed a gaffe that allowed Bradley Wright-Phillips to equalize after a Lee Nguyen PK had put the Revs ahead early.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting KC

Homegrown defender and University of Denver product Kortne Ford has his first MLS goal, as the Rapids surprised the Western Conference leaders on Saturday. SKC outshot Colorado by nearly 20 attempts (Shoulder shrug emoji).

Minnesota United 1-0 Orlando City

There were questions as to whether NASL superstar Christian Ramirez could translate his game to Major League Soccer.

Yes. The answer is yes.

Ramirez has eight goals in 13 MLS matches, and should be hearing his name from a certain Bruce Arena around Gold Cup time. Those USMNT dreams of last season should come true.

Bobby Shuttleworth made six saves for his third shutout of the season. All have come at home.

Real Salt Lake 1-0 Philadelphia Union

Joao Plata keeps shooting, and the tiny Ecuadorian menace keeps scoring, too. His 36th minute goal was enough for the hosts at Rio Tinto.

Raiola: Zlatan to “100 percent” stay in Europe for two seasons

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]

Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:

“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”

It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.

But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

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Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.