How the Manchester United job has become a poisoned chalice

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With rumors already rife about who will succeed David Moyes as the new manager of Manchester United, you have to ask yourself this question: who would really want to take this job?

The term ‘poisoned chalice’ comes to mind as the relentless pressure associated with this job, especially given the fact that a monumental rebuild is now needed, means only a handful of candidates are ideal. Coaches who could come in are putting their own reputations at risk, as the Glazer family who own United have proved they’re ruthless in their search for success.

A special type of person is needed to take charge of United and Moyes simply wasn’t up to it.

Yet the way in which he was ruthlessly cast aside must spark some doubt in the minds of potential replacements, as how long will a new boss really get to turn things around at Old Trafford?

(MORE: Man United fire David Moyes as manager)

Moyes failed as United boss. In nine months and 22 days in charge of the Red Devils, he did little positive in the role as he turned the reigning Premier League champions into a team that will likely finish in seventh spot this season, wasted over $100 million on new players and instilled a sense of foreboding throughout the entire club. However with United’s aging squad acknowledged by many, key injuries to Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and many others throughout the course of the season, were the Glazer’s right to cut Moyes’ time short? I’m not so sure. Given time, he could’ve turned things around, yet he was never going to get that chance.

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Is Dutch national team coach Louis van Gaal the right man to replace Moyes?

Now as United look for their new manager, will they be able to attract top coaches to the position?

Any manager would acknowledge managing a club like United means they’ve reached the pinnacle of the game. The endless resources handsome wages you can demand, a global outreach and the history of being England’s most successful team means it is still an attractive proposition, even after one season of supreme struggle.

(MORE: Candidates you need to know as United looks for a manager)

Louis van Gaal, Jurgen Klopp, Diego Simeone or even Ryan Giggs, whoever takes over from Moyes can’t do much worse than the 50-year-old Scotsman. Does that mean that the sentiment that has been banded around for months that ‘the manager who succeeds the manager who replaced Ferguson is the big winner’ is true? It’s hard not to argue with that.

Yet any new manager will be eying up the United job with a sight feeling of trepidation as the ruthless ownership group has shown that  finishing in the top four and delivering silverware is a must at Old Trafford. Moyes couldn’t handle that pressure and it cost him his job. The next man who arrives has to do better or similarly risk damaging their reputation by taking on a job too big to turnaround in just one season.

United’s owners need to get realistic. They are in the middle of a massive overhaul and time is needed for new players to bed in, a new philosophy to flourish and now a new manager to seamlessly knit this together.

Who will take on the immense challenge to revive England’s largest and greatest soccer club to its past glory?

MORE: Jurgen Klopp rules himself out of Manchester United gig
MORE: Is Ryan Giggs ready to take over permanently as Manchester United boss?
VIDEO: Where David Moyes went wrong at Manchester United
MORE: Premier League Playback – Why Moyes should go

Atlanta leads way with six All-Star Fan XI selections

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It may be hard to believe with all the World Cup festivities going on, but the Major League Soccer season is nearly halfway over.

[ MORE: Toronto FC’s 2018 has been far from their cup-winning 2017 ]

And that means it’s almost All-Star time.

The MLS All-Stars will continue their recent tradition of facing a European superpower in August, with Juventus being welcomed to the United States in early August.

But, which players from MLS will we see in action?

Last season’s expansion sweetheart Atlanta United leads the way in the fan voting with six players from the Eastern Conference side voted into the Fan XI, including attackers Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco, Darlington Nagbe and Josef Martinez.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender/captain Michael Parkhurst also made the team from Atlanta.

In all, only five clubs were represented based on the Fan XI, with the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela and Laurent Ciman, Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi and Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri each rounding out the squad.


Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)

Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)

Saudi Arabia steals late win over Egypt in Group A finale

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Saudi Arabia pulled off a late 2-1 win against Egypt on Monday in their Group A finale, as the two nations ended their 2018 World Cup run in the group stage.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Salem Al Sawsari scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to give the Saudis a late winner in the match, as the attacker struck the post in the dying moments before the ball crossed the line.

The Pharaohs took the lead in the 22nd minute, after a tremendous run from Mohamed Salah and lob over the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper.

Salah has two goals at the World Cup for Egypt, who were already eliminated heading into Monday’s match.

Saudi Arabia was granted a chance to equalize prior to halftime, however, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary brilliantly stopped Hattan Bahebri’s penalty kick in the 41st minute to preserve the Egypt advantage.

El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history to appear in a match at the age of 45.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

The Egypt keeper wasn’t as lucky the second time around though, with Salmon Al Faraj converting a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

Saudi Arabia finishes group play in third place on three points, while Egypt goes winless in its three matches.

Uruguay tops Russia & Group A with perfect record

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The host nation looked strong in its opening two matches, but they ran into a far superior side on Monday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Uruguay finished atop Group A with a 3-0 win over Russia in Samara, behind goals from Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and an own goal from Russia’s Denis Cheryshev.

With the victory, the South Americans win Group A with nine points, while Russia finishes runners’ up with six points.

Suarez gave the Uruguayans the lead after just 10 minutes, when the Barcelona man struck via a free kick on the edge of the penalty area.

The goal for Suarez is his second of the World Cup, which leads Uruguay.

The lead was quickly doubled in the 23rd minute, when Diego Laxalt unleashed a shot from distance that took a wicked deflection and went beyond goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Laxalt’s effort hit Russia attacker Denis Cheryshev before gliding towards the near post for the own goal.

The fortunes for Russia just got worse as the first half wore on, and the hosts were reduced to 10 men just beyond the hour mark when Igor Smolnikov was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.

Meanwhile, it had been a disappointing start to the World Cup for Edinson Cavani, but the PSG man finally got a goal for his country in the late stages of the match to extend the lead to 3-0.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

Uruguay will face the runner up in Group B, while Russia will await the Group B winner in the Round of 16.

El Tri star Lozano staying focusing amid Barcelona rumors

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Hirving “Chucky” Lozano was a player everyone needed to pay attention to heading into the 2018 World Cup, and through two matches, the El Tri star has been every bit the price of admission for his country.

[ MORE: Group scenarios heading into the final group stage matches ]

Mexico sits atop Group F with six points at the moment, and much of the team’s success can be attributed to Lozano’s endless motor and creative attacking vision when he finds space down the wing.

The PSV Eindhoven attacker has been linked with various big clubs, including La Liga giants Barcelona, but that hasn’t halted Lozano’s pursuit of guiding Mexico to an unprecedented run at the World Cup.

“The important thing is to focus on the next [Mexico] game, do as well as possible and go step by step,” Lozano said.

Despite winning their first two games, El Tri needs at least a point in its final Group F match to ensure qualification without any complications.

Mexico will take on Sweden on Wednesday, as Juan Carlos Osorio’s side aims to remain perfect in the group stage.

Meanwhile, Andres Guardado — who has been a mainstay of the Mexican national team for years — only confirmed the work ethic of his teammate and hopes that a dream move becomes a reality for Lozano in the near future.

“It makes me very proud to say he is a kid that is very centered, despite everything he is going through,” said Guardado after Saturday’s 2-1 win over South Korea. “He is conscious that he has to continue like he’s not achieved anything.”

“He’s the same kid I met the first time he came with us,” continued Guardado. “Hopefully he stays like that and the rumors about a possible transfer to a big team become reality. It would be marvelous, he’s a great teammate.”