Stoke hope to sign Barcelona’s Bojan Krkic

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Stoke City, under new manager Mark Hughes, finished 9th in the Premier League with 50 points — their best finish since the 1974-1975 season. With an approach less oriented toward Pulis-ball’s defensive tactics, and more toward a free-flowing style, the Potters are hopeful of signing more attacking players.

With that in mind, Stoke are pursuing Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic. The 23-year-old came through the ranks of the Barcelona youth system, making his senior debut when he was barely 17. However, Bojan soon fell behind the likes of certain players. Like, say, David Villa. Or Pedro. Or Lionel Messi.

So in 2011, Bojan made his way to Serie A side Roma, under a complicated deal agreeing certain fees for Roma’s retention or Barcelona’s buyback. Ultimately the forward returned to Barcelona, having stopped off for a loan at Milan along the way. At neither side did he become a regular in the starting XI.

In search of consistent playing time, Bojan spent the next season on loan in the Eredivisie. There he played in 24 of Ajax’s league matches, scoring four goals along the way.

It would be easy to right Bojan off as being a bit of a flop — after all, four goals in a season isn’t many, particularly for a forward. But it’s quite possible he’s simply yet to find the right fit. Stoke are eager to find out if he can shine in England:

Mark has met with the player and we’re quietly confident of getting it all completed soon. Attacking players have been very much the focus for Mark since the end of last season and obviously Bojan would be another very good addition.

What do you think? Would Bojan be a quality signing for the Potters?

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.