Photo credit: Sydney Leroux / Instagram: @sydneyleroux

Dwyer, Leroux become first husband-wife pair to score for U.S.

Leave a comment

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Dom Dwyer volleyed in a go-ahead goal in the 19th minute of his international debut, ran to the corner flag and did a double back flip that would make a gymnast proud.

Back home in Missouri, wife Sydney Leroux was overjoyed.

The goal made Dwyer and Leroux the first husband-and-wife couple to score for the United States, which beat Ghana 2-1 on Saturday in an exhibition ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

[ MORE: Dwyer, Acosta power USMNT to win over Ghana | Three things ]

“I’m very proud of Sydney and what she’s achieved and still achieving in the national team,” Dwyer said. “I’ve got quite a few caps to catch up to her, and a few goals, too.”

Brad Guzan saved Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick in first-half stoppage time, and Kellyn Acosta added his first international goal in the 52nd minute on a low free kick that bounced in. Gyan curled a free kick just under the crossbar in the 60th, leaving the final 2-1 – matching Ghana’s victories that eliminated the U.S. from the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and the American win over the Black Stars at the 2014 tournament.

“I got fired in 2006. It took me 11 years to get this job back,” Arena said, laughing, after the U.S. improved to 4-0-4 since he replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November.

Born in Cuckfield, England, Dwyer was in Norwich City’s youth system but broke his right foot three times and was released. He moved to the United States in 2009 to attend Tyler Junior College, shifted to the University of South Florida, then was drafted by Sporting Kansas City in 2012 and has played for the team ever since. He became a U.S. citizen on March 16 and made his international debut at age 26.

Leroux, a 27-year-old forward from British Columbia, played for Canada at age 14 in the 2004 Under-19 Women’s World Cup, became a star at UCLA and switched affiliation to the U.S. She has 35 goals in 75 international appearances and helped the Americans win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and the title at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

[ MORE: Germany outlast Chile to win Confederations Cup ]

They met when she was training with the national team in Kansas City and were introduced by a mutual friend.

“We just kind of hung out. We were buddies, and then we started to hit it off,” he said.

Dwyer and Leroux announced on Valentine’s Day 2015 that they had married a month earlier. She wears No. 2 and he No. 14

Of course, the home is filled with competition.

“We have little bits here and there. We definitely encourage each other,” he said. “She definitely owes me money for this one.”

They are only the fourth husband and wife to both play for the U.S., joining Jim Gabarra and Carin Jennings, Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan and Zach Loyd and Casey Nogueira. Egan’s only goal was in 1993, four years before she married Reyna.

“I’m insanely proud of him and so happy for the overall win for the MNT,” Leroux said through a spokesman. “I love the fact that we both came to the USA from other countries and get to chase our dreams together wearing the crest that means so much to us. When he scored, it’s really hard to describe the feeling. Just chills. I know this is only the beginning for him.”

Arena changed eight starters from his lineup in the June 11 World Cup qualifier at Mexico, retaining only Guzan, Acosta and Paul Arriola. Seven American starters entered with fewer than 10 international appearances.

[ MORE: Infantino still expects VAR to be used at 2018 World Cup ]

There also were debuts for a pair of midfielders: Kelyn Rowe started on the left flank and Kenny Saief, who played twice for Israel before switching his affiliation to the U.S. last month, entered in the 71st.

Atop a 4-5-1 formation, Dwyer failed to take advantage of scoring chances in the 14th and 17th minutes, then broke through. Jorge Villafana dribbled from the left flank past defenders and laid the ball back to Joe Corona, who made his first U.S. appearance in two years. Corona’s shot hit Villafana and bounced up to Dwyer, who scored with his left foot from 8 yards.

Dwyer broke in again in the 24th and was sent tumbling by a studs-up tackle from goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who was given only a yellow card by referee Ismael Ornejo of El Salvador.

“First 10 minutes or so, he looked a little nervous out there, but he got ahold of the game and did well,” Arena said.

Getting ready to open the Gold Cup against Panama on July 8, the U.S. wore new uniforms with red and blue horizontal stripes. Leroux, at home for FC Kansas City’s National Women’s Soccer League match on Sunday, watched with 10-month-old son Cassius and teammate Becky Sauerbrunn.

Cassius wore a white home U.S. kit with mom’s number, according to a photo she posted on Instagram. Will he wind up playing for the U.S.?

“I’m not going to put any pressure on him,” Dwyer said, “but he’s probably going to want to copy mommy and daddy.”

Arena, 65, won’t be waiting.

“You don’t expect me to be coaching, do you?” he said.

La Liga & Serie A: Bale leads Real to seven-goal outburst and more

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Real Madrid 7-1 Deportivo La Coruna

Now, this is more like it from the defending European champions. Zinedine Zidane’s side went behind on Sunday when Adrian put the visitors in front, however, Real Madrid woke up and scored seven unanswered goals at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale was the star on the day with a brilliant curler that kicked off the first of his two goals (below). After Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to go down inside the penalty area, Bale carried on and put the ball onto his left foot before sliding his shot in off the inside of the far post.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo picked up a brace of his own on the day, both of which came off of headers for the Portuguese international. The veteran goalscorer also got bloodied on the day, but that didn’t stop him from adding to his impressive goal total.

Real Betis 0-5 Barcelona

A slow start to the match was aided by a Barcelona team that came out for blood in the second stanza. Ivan Rakitic and braces from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi paced the road side in the second half, keeping their unbeaten La Liga record in tacked.

Although Rakitic was the first to find his name on the scoresheet, it was his assist to Suarez that later on that proved to be a thing of excellence from both parties.

The first half was mildly uneventful for the Blaugrana, however, the Catalonians suffered another injury blow as Thomas Vermaelen left the match after pulling up in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring pull.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 2-2 Leganes
Real Sociedad 1-2 Celta Vigo


Lazio 5-1 Chievo Verona

Lazio moved into third place in Serie A after a convincing victory at the Stadio Olimpico. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s double for the hosts helped propel them to the win, after Luis Alberto kicked off the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Chievo found a brief response two minutes later, but from there it was all Lazio as they closed to within 11 points of league leaders Napoli.

Cagliari 1-2 AC Milan

Franck Kessié scored twice in six minutes to pull Milan back into the match on the day, and that was exactly what they needed to secure three points at the Sardegna Arena. AC Milan sits seventh in Italy’s top flight through 21 matches, 23 points behind Napoli.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Inter Milan 1-1 Roma
Udinese 1-1 SPAL
Sassuolo 1-1 Torino
Sampdoria 3-1 Fiorentina
Bologna 3-0 Benevento
Hellas Verona 0-3 Crotone
Atalanta 0-1 Napoli

Video: Kurzawa silences Lyon with spectacular volley

Twitter/ @lequipe
Leave a comment

Lyon went ahead inside the opening two minutes, but then Layvin Kurzawa had his say for the visitors on the stroke of halftime.

[ MORE: Fekir’s free kick stuns PSG in opening two minutes]

Dani Alves set up the defender for one of the best volleys you’ll see in first-half stoppage time on Sunday to level the match at 1-1.

Watch below as PSG ties things up with just seconds remaining before the halftime whistle.

Video: Fekir’s brilliant free kick has Lyon leading PSG

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
Leave a comment

Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]

Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.

The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.

The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.

That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie injured in Schalke draw

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.

American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.

McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.

To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.

More to follow…