One more stop for Freddy Adu

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It sounds as though young — yes, still young — Freddy Adu is off to see the wizardplay in Brazil.

The 23-year-old attacker will reportedly undergo a medical evaluation at Bahia with the intention of joining the club. That’s far superior to his current persona non grata status with the Philadelphia Union. In exchange, the MLS side stands to receive former Manchester United midfielder Kléberson.

It’s all still pretty unclear, though, with Bahia president Marcelo Guimarães Filho telling reporters, “If the deal is done, costs will be reduced, as Freddy Adu would earn less than Kléberson, who would join Philadelphia Union in a swap deal,” but Union chief executive Nick Sakiewicz saying that Adu has not been asked to take a reduced salary.

(Sakiewicz also reported that while no MLS team inquired about Adu’s services, the player rejected offers from Russia, Ukraine, Australia, South Korea, and Mexico. “After the third time, I stopped trying to guess what Freddy Adu wants,” Sakiewicz said. “The Korea deal was substantially more than what he’s making now.”)

Bahia, for what it’s worth, sounds excited about securing Adu’s services. The team released a statement: “The player is good, young, and could adapt to Brazilian football.”

The newest team would be Adu’s eighth club since 2007, although his first one in South America. So that’s fun. The days of Freddy Adu as the future of American soccer are over, a thing of the past that seems ridiculous in retrospect, but I still but the man might not be totally done yet. He still has the vision and the skill to make an impact, and Brazil, which offers players plenty of time on the ball, might be the perfect place for him. And well away from the spotlight. Who knows? If this works out well, he could still turn things around.

One last thought: The other day, I posted a video of an interview of Jozy Altidore conducted by Jimmy Conrad. The following exchange caught my attention:

Conrad: “Who’s the best player you’ve ever played with?”

Altidore: “Honestly? Talentwise, Freddy Adu.”

That doesn’t go away. I’m just saying…

VIDEO: Captain Kane puts England on the board early

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It may be the easiest goal-scoring opportunity Harry Kane‘s ever had in an international competition, and he finished it as easy as you’d like.

Kane side-footed home after Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen made a terrific save on John Stone’s header off a corner, but the save was directed right into a wide-open Kane who was standing ready inside the six yard box. The 11th minute goal will surely settle some of the Three Lions’ nerves as they open their World Cup bid in Russia.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

After slow start, Belgium takes care of business against feisty Panama

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All it took was one goal to bring Belgium to life.

Following a frustrating first 45 minutes, in which Belgium put a pair of shots into the side netting and forced saves from Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, Dries Mertens 47th minute goal opened the floodgates, as Belgium went on to defeat Panama, 3-0, Monday afternoon in Sochi.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

But Panama never made it easy for the Belgians. From the opening whistle the CONCACAF nation showed its incredible spirit, chasing down Belgium all across the field and making life incredibly difficult for Belgium attackers Romelu Lukaku, Mertens and Eden Hazard. Hazard was hacked down all over the field, and while he did earn fouls and a few yellow cards were issued to Panamanian players, it was enough to get in Hazard’s head.

Two minutes into the second half, everything changed. A wonderstrike from Mertens opened the game, and forced Panama to attack and try and tie the match, which gave Hazard, de Bruyne and Lukaku more space to operate.

In the heat and humidity of the Sochi summer, Panama’s veteran defense began to tire, allowing de Bruyne the space to deliver a terrific assist to Lukaku in the box, putting Belgium up 2-0 in the 69th minute.

 

Six minutes later, Lukaku was put through on the break, chipping over Penedo to confirm the victory.

With the win, Belgium moves to the top of Group G. Up next for Belgium is Tunisia on Saturday, while Panama takes on England on Sunday.

VIDEO: de Bruyne delivers gorgeous assist on Lukaku goal

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It took a little bit of patience, but Romelu Lukaku finally got on the scoresheet at the 2018 World Cup, thanks to a delicious assist from crosstown club rival Kevin De Bruyne.

The Manchester City playmaker delivered a spectacular outside-of-the-boot cross into the box, where Lukaku’s head met it and guided it towards the far post for Belgium’s second goal of the day.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal close in on Leno; Man City near Jorginho signing, and more

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Arsenal looks like it will have a new man between the pipes for next season.

According to a report from German publication SportBild, Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno will be introduced as an Arsenal player on Tuesday, after a reported $23-29 million transfer fee. The 26-year-old was on Germany’s 35-man pre-World Cup squad, but was one of the last cuts as Joachim Low went with Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp in Russia.

Leno became the full-time starter for Leverkusen as a 20-year-old, and has held the position of the No. 1 for the last six seasons, earning plenty of Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League experience along the way.

It’s unclear what will happen to current Arsenal No. 1 Petr Cech. The 36-year-old Premier League legend experienced one of his worst seasons in net for Arsenal and he could begin the season as a backup, unless he moves to a new club. He reportedly has a contract through 2019.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the Premier League and Europe.

(more…)