Premier League roundup: Manchester United go third, tight wins elsewhere

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On Saturday six games took place in the Premier League and there was plenty of movement in the table.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replay ]

Manchester United were the big winners as Wayne Rooney’s double moved the Red Devils into third place, while there were tight wins for West Brom, Newcastle, Stoke and Swansea elsewhere. Crystal Palace shocked West Ham in the early game, as plenty of teams continue to pull clear of the relegation zone.

[ RELATED: Standings | videos | schedule ]

Below are recaps, videos and analysis from all six matches, as the PL enters a pivotal stage of the season.

Manchester United 2-0 SunderlandRECAP

After a shaky start United coasted past Sunderland, with Wayne Rooney scoring twice in the second half to send the Red Devils into third. A moment of real controversy arrived before Rooney’s first goal. Referee Roger East awarded United a penalty kick after Radamel Falcao was hauled down by John O’Shea… but East then sent off Wes Brown in a case of mistaken identity. Bizarre. Anyway, United have now lost just twice in their last 22 games but Sunderland are only three points off the bottom three.

West Ham United 1-3 Crystal PalaceRECAP

Glenn Murray put Palace ahead in the first half, then Scott Dann added another before Murray made it 3-0 early in the second half. Murray was then sent off for two bookable offences and Enner Valencia pulled one back for the Hammers, but the Eagles continue to soar clear of the relegation zone with Alan Pardew winning on his return to Upton Park in a feisty London derby.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 SouthamptonRECAP

The Baggies have now kept four clean sheets on the spin and Saido Berahino’s 17th goal of the season (which arrived just over a minute into the match) sealed the win for Tony Pulis’ men. Southampton have scored just once in their last five games, as the wheels are coming off for Ronald Koeman’s side in their challenge for a place in the top four.

Stoke City 1-0 Hull CityRECAP

Peter Crouch jumped off the bench and bagged a second-straight win for the Potters who are in 10th place on 39 points. Mark Hughes’ side ground out this one against a Hull City side who were missing several key players including Nikica Jelavic. The Tigers have a huge match vs. Sunderland on Tuesday, while Stoke can move into the top eight with a win over Everton on Wednesday.

Newcastle United 1-0 Aston VillaRECAP

Papiss Cisse’s goal was enough to see off Aston Villa, as Tim Sherwood has started his time in charge of Villa with two defeats on the spin. Christian Benteke went close on several occasions for the away side, but they remain in the bottom three on goal difference. Newcastle stay in 11th on 35 points

Burnley 0-1 Swansea CityRECAP

In a must-win match, Burnley came up short as a scrappy second half goal which went down as a Kieran Trippier own goal was the only strike. Swansea’s fine season under Garry Monk continues, with the Swans climbing to eighth on 40 points and they are now just six points off a place in the top five. As for Burnley, they remain in the relegation zone and have two tough games against Liverpool and Manchester City coming up.

What to expect as U.S. kicks off U-20 World Cup

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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Tab Ramos’ United States men’s national team may have a navigable U-20 World Cup group, but it doesn’t set-up nicely.

Not that supporters are ready to make excuses; The U.S. is expected to make a decent run over the next month in Poland.

[ WATCH: The U-20 World Cup on Telemundo ]

Timothy Weah, Paxton Pomykal, and the Baby Yanks meet Ukraine at 2:30 p.m. ET in their Group D debut, hopeful of a run past the quarterfinals. The Americans haven’t played three post-group stage matches since a fourth place finish in 1999.

A group win is imperative with loaded favorites France expected to win Group E and set for a spot on the other side of the knockout bracket.

Aside from Josh Sargent’s call-up to the full USMNT, the Yanks have every reason to be optimistic about their potential. The 21-man player squad breaks down to six players on German sides, 10 American-based players, two from the Netherlands, and one each from Portugal, Spain, and France.

Weah is probably the most exciting one of the bunch, having success at Celtic on loan from PSG and earning high praise from Neymar amongst others, but Pomykal is one of the best MLS products in some time as a center midfielder.

Both Pomykal and Chris Durkin are getting significant minutes at the Major League Soccer level, while Mark McKenzie has nearly 20 with the Philadelphia Union as a senior player.

Beyond that are exciting strikers Sebastian Soto, who debuted for Hannover 96 this season, and Wolfsburg prospect Ulysses Llanez.

But the Yanks will look to Weah for that extra special something, the 19-year-old scoring six goals between PSG and Celtic this season.

Friday’s debut will be followed by a Monday match against Nigeria before Thursday’s tango witj Qatar.

Winning Group D means the third-place team from B, E, or F, while finishing second is a Round of 16 match-up with France, who boasts a number of high-end players already playing regularly at the highest levels of European soccer.

Everton adds keeper depth with Lossl

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Everton has added goalkeeping depth beyond Jordan Pickford.

Danish keeper Jonas Lossl will sign a three-year contract with the Toffees on July 1, staying in the Premier League after his release from Huddersfield Town.

[ MORE: U-20 World Cup rewind ]

Lossl, 30, was initially on loan to the Terriers from Bundesliga outfit Mainz, but the deal was made permanent before last season.

The Dane had an outstanding loan campaign but wasn’t as strong this season as the Terriers were mowed down by Premier League competition and relegated to the Championship.

He was one of five players released by Huddersfield earlier this month.

Pickford also had a rough season between the sticks for Everton, but played all 38 Premier League matches for the club. Maarten Stekelenburg was his backup.

River Plate to sponsor car in Indy 500

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There will be a soccer presence at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500.

On Thursday, Club Atletico River Plate announced, along with car owner Juncos Racing that Kyle Kaiser’s No. 32 car will feature a River Plate logo on the front of the vehicle. Juncos Racing is named after founder Ricardo Juncos, an Argentine native and clearly a big River fan.

Per a press release from River Plate, it’s the first time a soccer team is sponsoring a car in the Indy 500, which takes place this Sunday, May 26.

[READ: Pochettino hopeful Kane will be ready to make an impact in UCL final]

“As a River fan, I always wanted to have the logo of the Club in the car,” Juncos said in a press release.
“This race is very important for me. I am very happy and I believe that in the goal of River to expand into the Indy 500. From here to there will come positive things for both.”

Kaiser, just 23, is one of the new guys on the main IndyCar scene, especially after winning the IndyCar Lights title in 2017. It’s the racing equivalent of winning the Europa League. Unlike River’s reputation as one of the biggest clubs in South America, Kaiser just barely made it into the field all together, bumping former Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso out of the field by about one hundredth of a second.

While it’s cool to see a soccer team get involved in the Indy 500, a worldwide viewing event that’s also akin to a religious holiday throughout the state of Indiana, it’s another Buenos Aires club that really should have been the first to sponsor a car.

Racing Club, defending Argentine league champs, would have been terrific, Racing in Uruguay, or Racing de Santander in Spain. Perhaps one day in the future the three clubs can combine forces to sponsor an IndyCar event or a car competing in a race.

USSF, Relevant Sports clash in court over international matches

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NEW YORK (AP) A lawyer for a promoter asked a judge to order the U.S. Soccer Federation to sanction international league matches in the United States.

The USSF last month denied an application by Relevent Sports, a company partly owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, to have Ecuador’s Barcelona and Guayaquil clubs play on May 5 at Miami Gardens, Florida. The USSF cited an Oct. 26 announcement by FIFA that its ruling council “emphasized the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association.”

During a half-hour hearing Thursday before New York Supreme Court Justice W. Franc Perry, a lawyer for the USSF argued the court should not hear the dispute and it should be sent to arbitration.

Blair G. Connelly, the lawyer representing the USSF, said because Relevent’s application included its executive chairman, Charlie Stillitano, as the FIFA-licensed match agent requesting approval to stage the game, Relevent was bound by a provision in FIFA’s match agent regulations requiring any dispute with a national association be submitted to arbitration. FIFA’s rules specify such a case be heard by its player status committee, whose decision could be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

“What they’re trying to do is outsource the court’s authority … to two bodies in Switzerland that don’t follow New York law and have nothing to do with it,” said Marc Litt, a lawyer for Relevent.

Connelly said the USSF’s decision could be overruled only if the court found it to be irrational. He also cited a 2007 decision by U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber in Illinois, who ordered a suit against the USSF by ChampionsWorld, a previous Stillitano-affiliated company, be stayed pending FIFA’s arbitration procedure.

“They are bound by the contracts their agent enters into on their behalf,” Connelly said.

Litt said FIFA never issued a formal regulation against international club matches in different countries and the USSF cited only a news release.

“Was U.S. Soccer irrational when it concluded that something that FIFA itself called a decision by its decision-making body was in fact a decision? We’re we crazy to think that? Was U.S. Soccer just in outer space?” Connelly said.

Litt claimed the USSF made its decision to protect Soccer United Marketing, an affiliate of the USSF and Major League Soccer.

“We believe that the only reason that they don’t want professional league matches that count in the United States is because that would damage Major League Soccer,” Litt said.

Relevent also attempted to stage the first Spanish La Liga match in the U.S., between Barcelona and Girona, at Miami Gardens on Jan. 26. That effort fell through following opposition from the governing body of Spanish soccer, the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol, and the players’ union, the Asociacion de Futbolistas Espanoles.

Perry did not announce any decision.