Fulham could face transfer embargo over signing of French teen

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French Ligue 2 side Lens are furious over the transfer of 18-year-old midfielder Ange-Freddy Plumain, and could potentially take Fulham to court over the move.

Fulham confirmed the free transfer of Plumain on Thursday, but Lens claim in a statement on their official website that the Paris-born midfielder was still under contract and therefore could not be sold on a free.

According to Lens, Plumain was under contract, and had been absent from the club since July 8, therefore in violation of the contract.  They also said he had not received permission to speak with any other clubs.

The official statement from the club reads:

English club Fulham recently reported the signing of Ange-Freddy Plumain. Racing Club de Lens is surprised to hear the information to the extent that the player still under contract, and had no authorization on a possible engagement. The player has been absent from his place of work since July 8, without a valid reason. A procedure has been initiated against the various parties concerned.

This situation bears eerily similar basic pretenses as the spat Lens had with Chelsea in 2007 over the transfer of striker Gael Kakuta.

Kakuta, then with Lens in Ligue 1, signed with Chelsea against his former club’s wishes, who then complained to FIFA.  The world governing body imposed an immediate and shocking 2-year transfer embargo on Chelsea.  Kakuta was suspended from play for four months, as FIFA declared both player and club were “jointly and severely liable.”

Chelsea appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who then ruled Kakuta’s contract with Lens was not valid and therefore could not be breached, lifting the embargo in the process.  Chelsea also came to an agreement with the French side, compensating Lens about £100,000 for the player.

It would be hard to imagine, having already gone through the process once, that Lens would be putting a wrong foot here.

This could be a devastating situation for Fulham if a transfer embargo were to be placed on the club, and would serve as a serious blow to new owner Shahid Khan.  Many fans are expecting Khan to inject new money into the club to be used in the transfer market this summer.

USMNT remains perfect, tops Panama to win group (video)

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In his first start since the U.S. Men’s National Team’s infamous defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, Jozy Altidore showcased his strength, speed and technical ability to help lead the U.S. to victory.

Altidore’s outstanding bicycle kick goal proved to be the difference in a sometimes dour game as the USMNT topped Panama, 1-0, Wednesday evening at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. The win kept the U.S. perfect through the Gold Cup group stage with no goals allowed, and it has somewhat erased the memory of the USMNT’s horrible run-up to the tournament, with defeats to Jamaica and Venezuela now firmly in the rear-view mirror.

[MUST-SEE GOAL: Jozy Altidore]

With the win, both teams head to Philadelphia for the quarterfinals this Sunday. Panama plays the undercard matchup against Jamaica while the USMNT faces Curacao.

Must-See Goal: Jozy Altidore puts USMNT in front with Bicycle Kick

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Jozy Altidore put his stamp on the game and gave U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter more to speak about with one fell swing.

Altidore finished off a corner kick in spectacular fashion, executing a perfect bicycle kick to put the USMNT up 1-0 in the 66th minute. The goal came one minute after the entrance of Christian Pulisic, which perhaps was on the mind of the Panama defense.

It was Altidore’s second-straight game vs. Panama with a goal. His last two were in October 2017, when the U.S. pummeled Panama, 4-0. Of course, a few days later, a tired USMNT failed to win at Trinidad and Tobago.

FOLLOW LIVE, Gold Cup: USMNT closes out group v. Panama

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It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]

Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.

Must-See Goal: Wayne Rooney v. Orlando City

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.

In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.

[FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Panama]

Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.