US hammer New Zealand to reach U20 World Cup quarters

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This young U.S. team is pretty darn good.

The U.S. U-20 national team beat New Zealand 6-0 in Incheon, South Korea on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2017 U-20 World Cup.

A first half goal from Josh Sargent (his fourth of the tournament) set the U.S. on their way, with Jeremy Ebobisse, Brooks Lennon, Justin Glad, Auston Trusty and Lagos Kunga adding a goal each in the second half to put some extra gloss on the scoreline.

Without the suspended trio of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Aaron Herrera and Derrick Jones, Tab Ramos’ men strolled into the last eight where they will face a much tougher test against Venezuela on Sunday.

[ MORE: Latest U-20 World Cup news

The U.S. started brightly as Lennon skipped past one defender but then hammered over the bar and although New Zealand always carried a threat on the counter, the longer the first half went on the more likely the U.S. seemed to take the lead.

They did just that in the 32nd minute as a corner from the right was played in to Glad and he controlled before volleying towards goal through a crowd and the ball took a nick off Sargent and past Michael Woud in goal for New Zealand. 1-0 to the U.S.

Danny Acosta drilled a shot on goal which was saved well by Woud before half time and the U.S. handled a few dangerous set pieces from New Zealand with ease.

In the second half New Zealand came back into the game and captain Moses Dyer had a wonderful chance to equalize. The Kiwis broke down the right and a cutback to the penalty spot found Dyer unmarked but he scuffed his effort wide. A huge let-off for the U.S.

The U.S. then sealed the win with two goals in two minutes as Ebobisse hammered home a wonderful strike to make it 2-0 and then moments later Lennon raced clear and finished well to make it 3-0.

New Zealand never recovered and Sargent almost added a fourth but his fine turn and low shot was turned around the post by Woud.

From that corner Glad did add a fourth goal as he headed towards goal and Woud made a real mess of it. 4-0 to the USA. Game over.

Trusty then added a special strike late on as he rifled home a shot from the edge of the box after a short corner found him unmarked, and then Kunga finished off a mazy run with a cool finish to make it 6-0.

Ramos’ men will have a much tougher test next time out, but winning 6-0 in a Round of 16 game will do wonders for confidence.

AC Milan completes signing of forward Kalinic

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MILAN (AP) Big-spending AC Milan has signed another player, completing the transfer of Croatia forward Nikola Kalinic from Fiorentina.

In a brief statement on Tuesday, Milan said it signed Kalinic “on a loan deal with obligation to buy.”

Kalinic has signed a four-year contract through to June 30, 2021.

Milan has been in negotiations with Fiorentina for the 29-year-old Kalinic for a while, and he missed training last week as he attempted to push through the move.

Milan, which was bought by a Chinese-led consortium in April, has spent more than 200 million euros ($234 million) in the offseason, signing Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Ricardo Rodriguez, Franck Kessie, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Lucas Biglia and Mateo Musacchio.

Alan Shearer has a message for Wayne Rooney

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Alan Shearer finally has a friend.

On Monday Wayne Rooney scored in Everton’s 1-1 draw at Manchester City (see in the video above) and he became just the second-player in history to reach 200 goals in the Premier League.

Rooney, 31, still has some way to go to catch Shearer’s all-time record of 260 goals in the PL but the former Manchester United striker has a few more years left in the tank to try and get as close as he can.

Take a look at the video below as Shearer (or, Mary Poppins to Newcastle fans) delivers a message to Rooney.

What’s next for Julian Green, and what’s gone wrong?

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Julian Green will have a new team again soon, in all likelihood.

A Stuttgart publication says Green is on the transfer market this month, just eight months after moving from Bayern Munich to the then-2.Bundesliga side for less than $500,000.

Now 22, Green is three and a half years removed from Jurgen Klinsmann’s long campaign to get him into a USMNT shirt. It’s been a little less time since he scored in extra time against Belgium in the World Cup, but also less than a year since he scored goals in consecutive USMNT matches. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

[ MORE: Man City 1-1 Everton | 3 things ]

Green scored one goal in 10 appearances for Stuttgart, who was promoted to the Bundesliga at the end of last season. He fell out of favor there, but was far from poor. Green completed 87 percent of his passes and averaged 1.3 dribbles per game (only four teammates had more, though 10 matches is a smaller sample size).

Before that, he spent parts of three seasons with Bayern Munich and made just four appearances, taking a loan to Hamburg in 2014-15 that saw him banished to Hamburg II after just five appearances.

What gives? Whether attitude or skill, Green has a lot of work to do to get back to a level where he’s a reasonable USMNT call-up (Green has a respectable three goals in eight call-ups, netting against Cuba and New Zealand in Oct. 2016). Still, it’s far from over for Green at 22.

There are legit questions here, as the list of not high-profile players Bayern Munich has used in its senior team at a young age and blossomed elsewhere isn’t necessarily impressive (at least relatively speaking). Nils Petersen, Thomas Kraft, and Sandro Wagner are exceptions to the rule. Better put: Bayern has a really good idea what it’s doing when it lets young players walk, and it begs discussion on the best path for Green.

It seems likely he could get a move to another 2.Bundesliga club, and there’s an outside shot he could get a look in the top flight. It would be interesting to know where the interest lies abroad. Would it be hard to acquire a work permit for France or Spain (England seems a hard sell)? Could a move to a free-flowing Eredivisie club work?

Obviously Major League Soccer clubs would welcome his talent and it’s difficult to imagine he wouldn’t be a useful piece in the United States’ top tier, even if on a short-term move as he looks to regain confidence. Would Green see it as below him?

Arsenal’s Wilshere sent-off after brawling in U-23 match vs. Man City

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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere isn’t standing around waiting for his next team, he’s fighting.

Period.

Wilshere got into with several members of Manchester City’s U-23 side in a match on Monday, with the English midfielder taking exception to a hockey-style hip check from City’s Matthew Smith.

[ MORE: Man City 1-1 Everton | 3 things ]

Shoving the 17-year-old Smith, Wilshere saw the City man take a tumble and stay prone. Still riled up, Wilshere tangled with City’s Tyreke Wilson.

Wilshere and Wilson were sent off.

Given his injury history, we’re not surprised Wilshere took exception to a hard and needless foul in a U-23 match.

The Arsenal man has been linked with moves to Newcastle, West Ham, AC Milan, and Sampdoria, but Arsene Wenger wants to keep Wilshere at the Emirates Stadium.