Video: LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane training at Spurs

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If the LA Galaxy gets off to a slow start this year, it probably won’t be Robbie Keane’s fault.

The Galaxy striker, who finished 2012 as such an effective force, driving the defending champions’ late regular season push and then maintaining momentum through the playoffs, clearly wants to keep the pace as 2013 begins.

He’s been training lately with Spurs in London, staying fit and sharp in advance of the Galaxy’s preseason, which gets going later this week.

The Galaxy (in addition to other MLS clubs involved in CONCACAF Champions League, Houston and Seattle) cannot afford a slow start once the games begin in March. They can deal with a slightly sluggish launch to the MLS season, which kicks on March 2, but they need to be galloping at full pace as those CCL quarterfinals get going just a few days later.

Otherwise, that’s going to be a short and painful ride. The Galaxy was eliminated in this round last year, remember.

Here, from Tottenham, is Keane talking about his training with the London club.

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Who scored it better: Mata, Townsend pot League Cup beauties

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There’s team goals, and there’s solo goals.

The League Cup saw both in its early Tuesday throes.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ] 

First, Frank Lampard‘s Derby County received a rude welcome to Old Trafford.

Manchester United went up 1-0 in under 200 seconds with a breakneck rush up the left of the field (see above).

Ander Herrera spotted Anthony Martial, and an exquisite touch sent the Frenchman toward the corner flag.

His cross was touched to Jesse Lingard by Romelu Lukaku, and the English winger laid off to Juan Mata.

Mata made no mistake, supplying the finish required by such an electric move.

The second goal came at the Hawthorns, where Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend punished West Bromwich Albion with a long dribble and shot from distance.

LIVE, League Cup: Man United, Man City in action

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Ten League Cup games take place on Tuesday, with the third round of the competition kicking off.

[ LIVE: Follow League Cup scores ] 

There is one all-Premier League clash as Wolves host Leicester City, while Manchester City, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Burnley and Fulham all face lower league opposition.

Jose Mourinho’s United side host Frank Lampard‘s Derby Country at Old Trafford, while reigning League Cup champions Man City head to Oxford United in a real David vs. Goliath battle.

Below is the schedule in full for Tuesday’s games, while we will keep you up to date with the action here at Pro Soccer Talk.


Tuesday’s EFL Cup schedule (all games 2:45 p.m. ET, unless noted)

Manchester United vs. Derby County — 3 p.m. ET
Oxford United vs. Manchester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Leicester City
West Bromwich Albion vs. Crystal Palace — 3 p.m. ET
Bournemouth vs. Blackburn Rovers
Burton vs. Burnley
Millwall vs. Fulham
Blackpool vs. Queens Park Rangers
Wycombe vs. Norwich City
Preston North End vs. Middlesbrough

Report: Mourinho tells Pogba he will not captain Man United again

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Reports are circulating that Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba he will not captain Manchester United again.

After United’s 1-1 draw against Wolves on Saturday, Pogba approached reporters in the mixed zone at Old Trafford and told them United must “attack, attack, attack” when playing at home.

He set up United’s goal against Wolves but was at fault for the equalizer.

Pogba has worn the captains armband for several games this season (mostly due to Antonio Valencia’s ongoing injury problems) despite his outspoken nature in the media and reports of a rift between himself and Mourinho over the past 12 months.

The BBC claim that Mourinho has told Pogba he will not wear the captains armband again, as the French superstar appeared to undermine his authority when it came to tactics. A separate report from The Times states that Mourinho told his entire squad that Pogba would no longer captain the team on Tuesday ahead of their League Cup clash with Derby County at Old Trafford, as he addressed the team at the training ground and dropped Pogba from the matchdsy squad.

Mourinho is said to have reminded his players that nobody is bigger than the club and was furious with Pogba’s attitude in recent games.

Speaking in his programme notes ahead of their clash with Derby on Tuesday, Mourinho said the following about his players.

“[The game against Wolves was] an important lesson; a lesson that I repeat week after week after week, a lesson that some boys are not learning,” Mourinho said. “Every team that play Manchester United are playing the game of their lives, and we need to match that level of aggression, motivation and desire – 95% isn’t enough when others give 101%.”

Rumors persisted all summer long about Pogba leaving United to move to Barcelona or going back to Juventus.

Those reports will now intensify ahead of the January transfer window as Mourinho seems to have finally lost his patience with the enigmatic midfielder. Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has had plenty to say about his client and will no doubt be talking in the coming days.

Since his then world-record transfer of $120 million from Juve in the summer of 2016, Pogba has struggled to find cosistency at United under Mourinho and was dropped last season and his attitude was questioned.

Even though his form for France in their 2018 World Cup win was much improved and he won many plaudits, Mourinho was hardly complimentary of Pogba’s displays, further fuelling the fire of a significant rift between the duo.

It seems that the relationship between Mourinho and Pogba has now hit rock bottom. Where do they go from here? What a mess.

Details for free NBC Sports Gold Premier League pass

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A free preview of the NBC Sports Gold Premier League pass is now available to sign up for.

[ SIGN UP: Get NBC Sports Gold free ]

The deal will begin on Sept. 26 and run until Oct. 1, with access to a huge range of exclusive live Premier League games online, plus plenty of other shows and features from around the PL.

If you can’t get enough from the Premier League, Gold’s Premier League Pass is for you.

Click on the link above to sign up for the deal.