Jozy Altidore will complete Sunderland transfer by Monday

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Amid wild transfer speculation the past few weeks, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Jozy Altidore will indeed join Premier League side Sunderland, with the deal to be wrapped up by the end of the weekend.

The official website of Jozy Altidore has also confirmed the deal – for an undisclosed fee – announcing his medical has been scheduled for Monday.

AZ had confirmed a bid from Sunderland a few days ago, but the 23-year-old has remained very quiet regarding his prospective whereabouts for next season.

It will be a triumphant return to the Premier League for the U.S. international, having already played out a disappointing loan spell with Hull City four years ago, scoring just one goal in 28 appearances.

With Sunderland, Altidore will play under former Italian striker Paolo Di Canio at the Stadium of Light.  He joins a thin strike squad that includes Steven Fletcher and young Connor Wickham.

Altidore has been in the USMNT picture for a few years now, but only recently burst into the club limelight.  Having played in the Dutch Eredivisie the past two seasons with AZ Alkmaar, Jozy netted 31 times in 41 matches last year across all competitions, breaking Clint Dempsey’s record as the top scoring American overseas and leading AZ to the KNVB Cup title.  He’s scored 51 goals the past two years with AZ.

Jozy put a lengthy goalless streak with the U.S. national squad behind him this summer, netting in four consecutive matches.  He started with a score against top European side Germany, and finished it off by helping the United States grab all nine points in their three CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches that planted his country on top of the Hexagonal table.

The switch back to the Premier League is a chance for the young striker to prove his spell with Hull City was a fluky season of youthful mistakes, and that he can still play in a top European league.

It will also be a chance for him to play not just his international soccer, but also his club game in front of fans in his home country, with NBC bringing all 380 Premier League match next season to the United States airwaves.

MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

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At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

[ MORE: Willian’s shot at Conte ]

That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

Willian “edits” Conte out of FA Cup champions photo

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Willian is not a fan of Antonio Conte.

Come to another conclusion if you like, but it’s hard to argue the Brazilian wizard’s feelings following his Instagram post after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

[ MORE: Matic wants squad changes at Man Utd ]

Willian covered his manager in trophies following the win, and it’d be a stretch to call that a tribute to the Italian’s tactical brilliance.

The player recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing less than all but 12 Chelsea players in league play (12th place Alvaro Morata had 11 and 6).

We’re accepting alternative explanations for the since-deleted Instagram photo below:

Elis scores twice as Dynamo beat Fire 3-2

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Alberth Elis scored two second-half goals to help the Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday for their first road win of the season.

Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give Houston (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

The Dynamo’s Romell Quioto opened the scoring in the fourth, running onto a long through ball from Tomas Martinez and rolling the finish past sliding goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Nemanja Nikolic tied it in the 14th minute and then fed Diego Campos for a goal about two minutes later. Elis converted from the spot to make it 2-2 early in the second half after Mauro Manotas drew a foul in the area conceded by Sanchez.

Chicago (3-6-2) has lost three of its last four games.

 

Inter Milan back in the Champions League after late heroics (video)

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It’s been more than a half-decade since Inter Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League, an infamous run that ended on Sunday.

Inter scored twice in the final 13 minutes to beat fifth-place Lazio and advance into the Top Four via head-to-head record.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

Lazio held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not get the job done at home, collecting red cards in the 79th minute and stoppage time.

Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino scored his third goal of the season, redirecting a corner kick home in the 81st minute, as Inter clinched fourth place in Serie A.