US stars Howard, Cameron selected in World Cup “team of the last 16”

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Source: WhoScored.com

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According to the leading statisticians over at WhoScored, two U.S. players performed well enough against Belgium to make the “team of the last 16” at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Everton’s Tim Howard (obviously) got the nod in goal as he scored a perfect 10 in the rankings with his record breaking 16-save performance, while Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron made the central midfield spot after he was moved from central defense to holding mid in favor of Kyle Beckerman.

Putting Howard in this squad was an obvious choice, but seeing Cameron’s name in the XI certainly makes Klinsmann’s decision to drop the incredibly popular Beckerman seem like a good one. Time and time again Cameron won the ball back for the U.S. and provided a vital shield in front of the back four. Imagine how much worse the attacking onslaught would’ve been if what was virtuall a ‘third center back’ wouldn’t have been deployed by Klinsmann? Yeah. Cameron had more touches (113) than any player on the pitch, completed four dribbles, made five tackles and eight clearances.

Other players named in the “team of the last 16” were Argentine trio Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Pablo Zabaleta,  playmakers Mesut Ozil and Arjen Robben, plus the Belgian duo of Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen. Algeria defender Essaïd Belkalem and Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Congrats to Tim and Geoff, who will now both take a break before heading back to England to prepare for another season in the Premier League with their club teams.

You, of course, can watch every single one of their PL games live on NBC Sports Live Extra online or via the app.

Jadon Sancho to Man United off? Dortmund say he will not leave

Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
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Jadon Sancho to Manchester United may not happen after all, as Borussia Dortmund are holding firm over the talented winger.

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According to numerous reports Dortmund still want $140 million for Sancho, 20, but were said to be willing to accept a smaller initial payment and larger instalments for the England international and wanted a deal done before Aug. 10 when they ramp up preseason.

Aug. 10 is today and Sporting Director Michael Zorc has spoken as the team flew to Switzerland for preseason training and Sancho was with them.

“We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season, the decision is final. I think that answers all our questions,” Zorc said. “Last summer we adjusted Jadon’s salary to match the development of his performances. So in context, we had already extended his contract until 2023 back then.” 

Reports had stated that Sancho had all but agreed personal terms on a five-year contract at Man United and was just waiting on the two clubs to agree a transfer fee. But Dortmund and Man United have both distanced themselves from that in recent days as the German giants have not received any bids for Sancho from Man United.

We have now reached an impasse.

The England international is wanted by so many top clubs around Europe but Jadon Sancho to Manchester United seemed like the best fit.

Now it may not happen at all and Man United can play hardball here. They don’t really need Sancho. He would be a luxury signing.

Sancho will be a menace out wide with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as United’s other forward options and Paul Pogba and the brilliant Bruno Fernandes creating just behind them. But he would be an extra sprinkle of stardust to an already star-studded attack rather than the cherry on top.

The summer transfer window closes on Oct. 5 and few will bet against Sancho leaving Dortmund between now and then.

Manchester United are going to wait for their man and Dortmund know it.

USWNT star Sam Mewis signs for Man City

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Sam Mewis to Manchester City is a huge move both for the USWNT star and the WSL club.

Mewis, 27, was a star for the USWNT as they won the 2019 Women’s World Cup and the central midfielder has left the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL to sign for the FA Women’s Super League side in England.

Speaking about her move to Man City, a club among one of the most ambitious in the women’s game, Mewis is delighted to start a new adventure after three seasons with NC Courage.

“I’m so happy to have everything sorted. The opportunity came along at a really great time – as soon as I heard about the chance of coming to play for Manchester City, I was immediately interested,” Mewis said. “The club is one of the best in the world and I’ve heard such good things about the women’s side as a whole and the incredible facilities. I’ve followed the men’s team too for a long time. This is a really cool, unique and amazing opportunity in my career and I’m so excited to come and see Manchester as a city, be a part of this incredible Club and hopefully help the team achieve their goals.”

Mewis follows in the footsteps of USWNT legend Carli Lloyd who played for Man City in recent seasons, while Canadian star Janine Beckie is also in City’s squad and England captain Steph Houghton is also the captain at City. The new WSL season in England kicks off on Sept. 5-6 and Man City are among the favorites to win it all in England and will also compete in the UEFA Champions League in 2020-21.

Man City battle with Chelsea each season to be crowned the WSL champions and the arrival of Mewis will give them a big boost towards becoming the dominant force in the women’s game in England. She is an unsung hero for the USWNT and has been instrumental in the NC Courage dominating the NWSL in recent seasons with back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019.

It will be intriguing to see if more USWNT players follow Sam Mewis to Manchester City, and other WSL clubs in England, in the coming months.

Report: Blaise Matuidi to sign for Inter Miami

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A report has stated that Blaise Matuidi will sign for Inter Miami from Juventus.

According to our partners at Sky Sport in Italy, the World Cup winner, 33, has signed a contract with Inter Miami, as the clubs have agreed the transfer and the medicals are now scheduled in order to complete the move.

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The French central midfielder has been linked with a move to Manchester United and plenty of other Premier League clubs in recent seasons, as he has been a consistent performer for Juventus as he won three-straight Serie A titles since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Blaise Matuidi would be a major coup for David Beckham’s Inter Miami and although they have been linked with several big-name forwards to help solve their lack of goals — Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Willian to name a few — this is a very smart pick-up.

Beckham knows Matuidi well from their time playing at PSG together and he’s a talented central midfielder who simply makes every player around him better.

We’ve seen that at PSG and more recently at Juventus and Matuidi isn’t the most glamorous player around but was a key cog in France winning the 2018 World Cup.

This is one of those deals which makes sense for everyone concerned.

Matuidi’s injury record has been very good and he’s the perfect type of player to help Inter Miami boss Diego Alonso instil a winning a mentality in his squad.

Inter Miami are serious about being a successful MLS team and their debut season has obviously been tough so far for many reasons as they’ve lost their opening five games and scored just three times.

This move is a smart one and there will no doubt be many more signings of the caliber of Matuidi arriving in the coming months and years. Miami do have one DP spot open so you’d expect Matuidi to take that position alongside Rodolfo Pizzaro and Matias Pellegrini.

Report: USMNT’s Robinson to sign for Sheffield United

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Antonee Robinson looks to be heading to the Premier League, as the USMNT left back is closing in on a move to Sheffield United who have reportedly had a bid accepted.

Robinson, 23, has been sensational for Wigan Athletic in the second tier this season but due to Wigan going into administration, their 12-point penalty saw them relegated to the third-tier on the final day of the 2019-20 Championship season.

The Everton academy product, who joined Wigan permanently in the summer of 2019 after a successful loan spell, almost joined AC Milan in January but a medical uncovered a heart issue which required surgery and the deal fell through.

Robinson has recovered superbly from that setback and several Premier League clubs including West Brom, Newcastle, West Ham and Sheffield United were battling to sign him for $2.6 million.

Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have more information on Robinson’s potential move to Sheffield United, as it appears he will join the Blades this week.

“Sheffield United have had a bid of around £2m accepted by Wigan for Antonee Robinson. The former Everton defender is expected to agree terms with the Yorkshire club and complete a deal this week.”

This would be a very, very good move for Robinson and this is the perfect Chris Wilder move.

He is an attacking left back who gets up and down the pitch well and in Sheffield United’s 3-4-3 formation he will be a very useful asset. Robinson will battle with long-term Blades left wing-back Enda Stevens for minutes but when he does play he will be encouraged to get forward and support attacks and link-up with those famous overlapping center backs.

Robinson will also be asked to improve his defensive capabilities and although he’s been a regular in the Championship, the step up to the Premier League and learning Sheffield United’s unique system will take a little time.

Sheffield United have a habit of picking up gems in the second and third tiers of the game and turning them into gems. USMNT fans will be hoping Robinson’s move to the Premier League sees him progress to the next level as he is the clear frontrunner to be the USA’s starting left back for many years to come.