Nigeria names provisional roster with without La Liga, MLS stars

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After Toronto FC forward Bright Dike’s injury ended his World Cup hopes, the hopes for a Major League Soccer player to suit up for Nigeria this summer fell to Seattle striker Obafemi Martins.

But Martins has been left off head coach Stephen Keshi’s preliminary roster, a move which is not entirely surprising considering he has not been one of nearly 75 call-ups for the Super Eagles over the past year.

Some other bigger name omissions include Dynamo Kiev’s Brown Ideye, and Ikechukwu Uche of Villarreal is perhaps the biggest name missing. Keshi hasn’t selected Uche in a year after describing the player as “tactically undisciplined”, and the forward has 12 goals for the La Liga club this year, though he hasn’t scored since Jan. 25.

There are five Premier League players on the roster, with Joseph Yobo of Norwich City, Victor Moses of Liverpool, Shola Ameobi of Newcastle, John Mikel Obi of Chelsea and Peter Odemwingie of Stoke making the cut so far.

The full squad:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco); Efe Ambrose (Celtic); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC); Joseph Yobo (Norwich City); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars).

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio); Joel Obi (Parma); Nnamdi Oduamadi (Varese); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis), Sunday Mba (CA Bastia), Reuben Gabriel (Waasland-Beveren), Michael Babatunde (Volyn Lutsk).

Forwards : Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce); Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona); Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge); Victor Moses (Liverpool), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen).

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.

Benfica: Atletico Madrid make $143 million bid for Felix

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The legend of Joao Felix appears to have reached full market value potential.

The 19-year-old Portuguese striker is coming off a breakout year for Benfica, and now the Portuguese giants have received an impressive $143 million offer from Atletico Madrid for Felix. The club confirmed the offer in a statement on its website, stating it was analyzing the deal. Felix has a $136.5 million release clause in his contract, but it appears the additional $7 million is in processing costs.

[READ: Kroos wants to retire at Real Madrid]

Felix was outstanding at Benfica last year, scoring 15 goals with seven assists in 26 league games and three goals and one assist in five Europa League game. Felix has already made his international debut for Portugal.

If confirmed, Felix would become the fifth-most expensive transfer in world history, and the second-most expensive transfer for a teenager behind Kylian Mbappe.

AFCON: Nigeria 1st team through to round of 16 at African Cup, joined by host Egypt

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CAIRO (AP) Former champion Nigeria became the first team to reach the last 16 at the African Cup of Nations after defender Kenneth Omeruo‘s second-half goal delivered a 1-0 win over Guinea on Wednesday.

The Nigerians were unimpressive in the first half in Alexandria but lifted their game in the second. Alex Iwobi‘s rasping shot was pushed away by Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone and Ahmed Musa almost set up Odion Ighalo on a counterattack.

The former Chelsea defender Omeruo did what the forwards had not been able to do when he beat Kone with a glancing header at the near post off Moses Simon’s corner in the 73rd minute.

Nigeria, which won the title in 2013, has two wins from two games in Group B. It beat Burundi 1-0 in its first match and now needs a draw from its last fixture against Madagascar to finish top and stay in Alexandria for the last 16.

There was more good news for Nigeria when Samuel Kalu came on as a substitute near the end. The midfield player collapsed at a training session the day before the first game, suffering from dehydration, and was hospitalized.

Coach Gernot Rohr rested captain John Obi Mikel against Guinea.

Elsewhere, Egypt also confirmed a place in the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahmad Elmohamady and Mohamed Salah each scored in the first half to lead the Pharoahs to victory, the hosts second-straight win in the competition.

In the other match of the day, Uganda tied Zimbabwe, 1-1.