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Wayne Rooney wasn’t told he was dropped by England

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Wayne Rooney, the captain of England and Manchester United, was dropped from the Three Lions’ squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifier at Scotland and the friendly in France.

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We learned that last week, but England boss Gareth Southgate revealed on Tuesday that he didn’t call Rooney to discuss the reasons why his skipper and the all-time leading goalscorer was left out of the squad.

Asked if he had spoken to Rooney to tell him about being left out of a second-straight England squad following a season mostly spent on the bench at Manchester United, Southgate revealed there had been no talks.

“Not this time,” Southgate said. “In the end, there is only so many times you can speak about the situation. We’ve been very clear. I am very conscience from his point of view that it is a big story when you don’t select him. I want to do that in the right way. Equally, when we have had previous conversations, there’s no point in revisiting those at this stage.”

So, Rooney found out like the rest of us last week when the squad was announced. England’s all-time leading goalscorer (53 goals) and appearance holder for an outfield player (119 caps) didn’t warrant a heads up. There’s something not quite right about that.

Southgate added that Rooney’s international career “doesn’t have to be” over and that “there’s no way we would dismiss him” from future England rosters  but Rooney not playing regularly for United (just 15 starts in the PL this season) has been a huge reason why he’s no longer part of England’s plans.

For now, Rooney is on the outside looking in and until he can play regularly it will remain that way.

“From Wayne’s point of view he’s not played very much this season. Other people have come into the squad and done very well, in very good form,” Southgate said. “As far as I’m concerned it would appear Wayne has got some decisions to make across the summer regarding next season… I have no idea what the future is for Wayne at Manchester United, so it is very difficult for me to comment if he’s part of the plans there or not. We hope he is back playing regularly and playing well and he is a fantastic player to have in your squad.”

England have yet to name a captain for the upcoming squad with the likes of Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling perhaps the leading contenders for the role, but there’s no doubt the biggest story regarding the Three Lions right now is Rooney’s future, and if he has one with the national team.

The upcoming World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park against England’s bitter rivals Scotland could see Marcus Rashford supporting Harry Kane in attack.

There may be no way back for Rooney who had previously stated his intention to retire from the international game following the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.

England have given him a pass for much of the last 12 months but now they can’t justify having him in the squad as a passenger.

Bravo fit again, but will he start Chile’s Confed Cup group finale?

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MOSCOW (AP) Claudio Bravo is fit again and could start in goal against Australia at the Confederations Cup on Sunday, Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said Saturday.

Bravo – who is Chile’s joint most-capped player with Alexis Sanchez – hasn’t played since April 27, when he injured his calf for Manchester City in a derby game with Manchester United.

“Claudio is fit, he’s managed to train the last couple of days just like his other teammates,” Pizzi said. “He’s ready and available to play.”

Pizzi brushed off concerns about a lack of match fitness, saying that “quite obviously we take into account that factor” but players like Bravo are “are of such good quality that it isn’t that important they haven’t played in the last couple of months.”

Stand-in Johnny Herrera played in Chile’s 2-0 group stage win over Cameroon and Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Germany.

Gary Medel was substituted with a minor injury while playing in defense for Chile against Germany. Teammate Francisco Silva said Saturday that Medel had complained of “a very small muscle contraction issue” but was now fit.

Pizzi said he will aim to tire out Australia with Chile’s trademark all-action style, even though his team struggled for energy in the latter stages against Germany.

“This energy drop we had in the second half didn’t damage us too much because the opposing team couldn’t maintain a high pace because of the demands we’d imposed on them,” Pizzi said of the Germany game.

“We’re going to try to get (the Australians) tired as well and use this to beat our opponent, and we hope this is going to translate into goals.”

USMNT’s Wood extends Hamburg contract through 2021

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HAMBURG, Germany (AP) American forward Bobby Wood extended his contract with Bundesliga side Hamburger SV on Saturday to 2021.

Wood, who joined Hamburg from second-tier Union Berlin, scored five goals and set up two more in 28 Bundesliga games. He had 17 goals in 31 second-division games for Union the season before.

“Not only his goals count for us, but his readiness to run and challenge,” Hamburg sporting director Jens Todt said. “Bobby is a key player for our offense and a real team player.”

Wood has eight goals in 32 appearances for the United States.

MLS Snapshot: NYCFC run rampant on Red Bulls, win 2-0

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The game in 100 words (or less): The only thing standing in the way of New York City FC avenging their infamous 7-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls with a lopsided demolition job of their own, on Saturday, was an otherworldly goalkeeping performance from Luis Robles. It was the Red Bulls shot-stopper, with his four saves on the afternoon (three of them coming in spectacular fashion), who kept Jesse Marsch’s side within touching distance for more than an hour. Jack Harrison was denied early on by Robles, but got the better of him not long later for the game’s opening goal. Heroics from Robles kept the score at 1-0 for another 32 minutes, before Ben Sweat’s (accidental?) header made it 2-0 in the 65th minute. The Red Bulls, on the other hand, managed their first shot on target in the 80th minute. That’s three wins in a row for NYCFC, who go seven points clear of their Hudson River rivals and keep Toronto FC in sight at the top of the league table, five points ahead.

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Three moments that mattered

18′ — Robles goes full-stretch to deny Harrison — David Villa’s vision and Rodney Wallace‘s hold-play created the chance for Harrison, but Luis Robles’ acrobatics denied the 20-year-old Englishman in spectacular fashion.

33′ — Harrison not to be denied this time — Sweat delivered the ball to Harrison near the top of the box, and the second-year man did everything right with what’s a really, really difficult chance to take — facing away from goal, first-time, ball traveling across the goalkeeper, upper-90 to the far post.

65′ — Sweat loops a header past Robles for 2-0 — Sweat probably didn’t mean it, but the ball hit the back of the net, and that’s all that matters. Not a bad time to score your first MLS goal, either.

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Man of the match: Luis Robles

Goalscorers: Harrison (33′), Sweat (65′)

Watford signs Will Hughes from Derby County

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Watford has completed the capture of 22-year-old central midfielder Will Hughes, a fantastic transfer for one of England’s younger talents.

Hughes, despite his young age, racked up 189 appearances for Derby County (despite missing significant time in 2015 for an ACL tear) and now gets his first shot at the Premier League, and with it potentially a chance to push his way into the England fold. Hughes has been a staple for the England youth system, making 22 appearances for the country’s U-21 side but is yet to feature for the senior team.

The fee for the transfer was undisclosed but reports have tabbed the amount at around $10 million.

Hughes came close to making the Premier League with Derby County on multiple occasions, reaching the Championship playoffs in both 2014 and 2016. Now, he’ll battle the likes of Valon Behrami, Tom Cleverley, Etienne Capoue, Abdoulaye Doucoure for a spot in Watford’s midfield.

The club release confirmed that Hughes has not yet completed his medical, and will do so when he returns to the U.K. from competing in the U-21 European Championships in Poland.