MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 1-3 Houston Dynamo

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One game in 100 words: The rain delay didn’t hinder any of the game action, as a scuffle between Kofi Sarkodie and Benny Feilhaber marked what was an aggressive game steeped in yellow cards. Will Bruin scored the first goal in the 35th minute, and after halftime, Dominic Dwyer equalized in the 54th minute, netting his 17th score of the season on a deflected shot. The two goals within five minutes of each other bolstered Houston’s lead to 3, and the scoreline never changed, as Sporting failed to convert during a hefty six minutes of stoppage time.

Goals

Houston: Will Bruin (35’), David Horst (62’), Ricardo Clark (67’)

Sporting Kansas City: Dominic Dwyer (54’)

Three moments that mattered:

26′ —  KC’s missed opportunity to capture the first goal  — Sporting Kansas City had a golden chance to seize an the first score of the competition to possibly change the outlook of the match. A corner kick was thrown into the box for Sporting, and it took a hard deflection straight at the net, forcing a pure reaction save from Tally Hall.

62′ — Horst blasted header — At this point, neither team was the favorite to win the game as the score was level at 1-1, but when David Horst stood completely unmarked on the doorstep to receive Brad Davis’ set piece cross, that notion quickly dissolved. It was a great delivery from Davis, and Horst crushed the ball into the upper netting with his head. Young goalkeeper Jon Kempin couldn’t realistically have been able to save the chance.

67′ — Sporting succumbs to a two-goal hole — Five minutes after Horst put his team ahead, Ricardo Clark struck, and the crowd at Sporting Park was stunned. Again, Brad Davis hit a perfect ball toward into the penalty area, and Clark barely made contact with the pass, skipping it off the top of his head. There was still a fair amount of time left in the game, but a two-goal deficit only presents an uphill battle.

LINEUPS

Sporting Kansas City — Kempin, Ellis, Collin, Besler, Sinovic, Steuble (Claros 66’), Olum, Feilhaber (Saad 68’), Sapong, Dwyer, Zusi

Bench — Palmer-Brown, Toni, Claros, Lopez, Bieler, Saad, Melia

Houston Dynamo — Hall (Deric 80’), Sarkodie, Horst, Taylor, Ashe, Garcia, Clark, Garrido, Davis, Barnes, Bruin (Johnson 40’)

Bench — Deric, Cochran, Driver, Ownby, Carrasco, Lopez, Johnson

Reina faces hearing over links with trio connected to mafia

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ROME (AP) Outgoing Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina has been summoned to a hearing at the Italian football federation over his association with people with links to the mafia.

Reina, along with Paolo Cannavaro and Salvatore Aronica, is to face the FIGC’s disciplinary committee after an investigation by Naples’ anti-mafia department.

It is reportedly one of the reasons why Napoli decided not to renew Reina’s contract, with the former Liverpool goalkeeper set to move to AC Milan on a free transfer.

The FIGC says Reina “has had and continues to have inopportune association and friendship with Gabriele Esposito, Francesco Esposito and Giuseppe Esposito.” It adds that that includes holidays and “an exchange of favors.”

Cannavaro, who had two spells with Napoli, retired at Sassuolo last year. Aronica also spent several years at the southern club before joining Palermo in 2013.

Iran names initial squad for World Cup

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Jalal Hosseini and Vouria Ghaffouri have both been left off Iran’s provisional 24-man squad for the World Cup.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz did not say why Hosseini, a Persepolis defender, and Ghaffouri were not included.

There was space for midfielders Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi, however. Both played with Greek club Panionios against Maccabi Tel Aviv in August 2017. Iran does not recognize Israel and its supreme leader has threatened the country in the past. Both Shojaei and Hajsafi missed matches with the national team after the game.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh, a 24-year-old forward who plays in the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar, is also in the squad, which was announced Sunday.

In the midfield, Queiroz chose Saeid Ezatolahi, although the Amkar Perm player will miss the team’s first World Cup match because he was given a red card in a game against South Korea in qualifying.

Nottingham Forest midfielder Ashkan Dejagah was also chosen.

Goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh of Portuguese club Maritimo made the squad. His father, Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, was Iran captain and goalkeeper at the 1998 World Cup in France.

Iran will play in Group B at the World Cup with Portugal, Spain and Morocco. The team will play warm-up matches in Turkey and Greece before heading to Russia.

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo)

Defenders: Ramin Rezaeian (KV Oostende), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Al Saad), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Seyed Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal)

Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Ashkan Dejagah (Nottingham Forest), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Hajsafi (Olympiakos), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds FK), Ali Gholizadeh (Saipa)

Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiakos), Mahdi Taremi (Al-Gharafa Sports Club), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (SC Heerenveen)

Six Premier Leaguers named to Argentina, but no Icardi

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Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.

[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]

Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.

Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.

Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.

Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).

Men in Blazers POD: FA Cup recap, UCL final preview and more

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Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.

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