USA 1-0 Colombia: Heroic display puts 10-man USA into U-20 World Cup quarterfinals

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Against all the odds the U.S. national team U-20’s advanced to the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, as the young Americans beat Colombia 1-0 in Wellington on Wednesday.

[ PREVIEW: USMNT vs. Germany ]

Tab Ramos’ side were second-best for most of the match but a clinical finish from Rubio Rubin in the second half, then a clutch penalty save from goalkeeper Zack Steffen late on after Kellyn Acosta had been sent off, handed the U.S. a spot in the last eight where they will meet Serbia on Sunday in Auckland.

Despite being outshot 24-8, the U.S. defense dug deep with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga rocks at the heart of the defense. Every single player for the U.S. kept their discipline and shape, as they have now reached the last eight for just the fifth time in history to emulate the likes of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore who did the same with the U.S. back in 2007.

[ VIDEO: Watch Rubin’s goal, Steffen’s PK save ]

Early on in the first half the U.S. were dealt a blow as Bradford Jamieson went off injured and was replaced by Jordan Allen. Colombia were calm in possession and had plenty of the play in the first 45 minutes but failed to really test Steffen in goal for the U.S.

At the start of the second half Alexis Zapata clipped a delightful ball over the top to Jeison Lucumi but his shot was well-saved by Steffen who stayed tall. Colombia’s best chance of the game so far went begging. Moments later Lucumi set up Jarlan Barrera but he curled his effort wide.

Just when wave after wave of attack was coming from Colombia, the U.S. broke away and took the lead against the run of play.

A looping ball forward was nodded down my Emerson Hyndman to Paul Arriola and his blocked shot fell perfectly into Rubin’s path. The FC Utrecht striker instinctively hammered home his third goal of the tournament to put the U.S. 1-0 up and withing 30 minutes of reaching the quarterfinals.

[ VIDEO: Zelalem’s outrageous rabona ]

After going ahead the U.S. grew in confidence and were dangerous on the break as Colombia threw caution to the wind. Allen broke free but squandered a good chance, while Colombia managed to scramble the ball clear after a corner from the left caused plenty of problems.

Late on Colombia won a penalty kick as Acosta and Rodin Quinoes came together in the box and the latter went down rather easily but the referee pointed to the spot and showed Acosta a second yellow card as the U.S. were down to 10-men. However, Steffen emerged as the USA’s hero as he stopped Barrera’s weak penalty kick and moments later Arriola headed off the line superbly as Colombia piled the pressure on.

Despite being down a man the U.S. youngsters dug in and recorded a dramatic 1-0 win to book a spot in the quarterfinals against Serbia on Sunday. The dream of becoming world champions down under goes on.

LINEUPS

USA: Zack Steffen; Desevio Payne, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Matt Miazga, Kellyn Acosta; Marco Delgado, Emerson Hyndman, Gedion Zelalem (Tommy Thompson, 87′); Paul Arriola (John Requejo, 84′), Rubio Rubin, Brandon Jamieson (Jordan Allen, 11′)

Goal: Rubin (58′)

Colombia: Montero; Quinoes, Sanchez, Angulo, Quintero; Zapata (Rodriguez, 72′), Tello, Barrera, Lucumi (Ibarguen, 64′); Gutierrez (Quinones, 60′), Santos Borre

Report: Edinson Cavani set to join Inter Miami next summer

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Edinson Cavani is reportedly set to make a big splash in Florida.

According to Uruguayan journalist Alvaro Izquierdo, Cavani, 32, is set to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami next summer. The club will make their MLS debut next season.

The specifics of the supposed move are not know, but per the report from Izquierdo, Cavani will join Miami on a free transfer after his contract with PSG expires in June. Since joining in 2013, El Matador has been irreplaceable for the French giants, scoring over 160 goals and becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. This season, Cavani is off to a perfect start -scoring in the first two games of the Ligue 1 season.

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The striker is one of the first superstars linked to Miami, but the general vibe given off by owners Jorge Mas and Beckham is that the club will look to spend big – similar to Atlanta United, LAFC and LA Galaxy.

Miami has signed three players so far ahead of their 2020 MLS debut – Christian Makoun, Julian Carranza, and Matias Pellegrini all currently makeup the squad.

‘But hey this is MLS’: Wayne Rooney slams MLS’ travel arrangements

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Wayne Rooney is not a fan of MLS’ travel arrangements.

D.C. United lost 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday in Canada, and had to fly back to the nation’s capital before prepping for a midweek showdown with visiting New York Red Bulls. To the 33-year-old Englishmen the trip should’ve taken six hours, not half a day.

MLS is notoriously known for the lack of charter flights it offers its teams, a mere four per season is the reported amount each team is allocated. Traveling on commercial flights has caused routine delays for a slew of team’s this season, with certain teams arriving only hours before the first whistle in some cases.

Players, however, will reportedly push for better travel in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not only for Rooney, but for the majority of professional athletes around the world, flying charter is customary.

Upon his arrival to D.C. in 2018, Rooney turned down first-class flights offered by the Black-and-Red, among other fine accommodations. “If you are going to be part of the team, you have to be part of the team,” Rooney said on his decision to reject first-class flights and private hotel rooms. “All in and do the same things. I don’t want special treatment — I wanted to be treated the same as the players. I’m part of this team.”

Rooney, despite being on his way out of D.C. to join Derby County in January, is certainly a part of the team.

He is also now a part of the complex fight for better travel in MLS.

Vela scores 24th, LAFC clinches playoff berth

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SANDY, Utah (AP) – Carlos Vela scored his MLS-leading 24th goal of the season, Tyler Miller had four saves and Los Angeles FC beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night to clinch a playoff berth.

LAFC played a man down after defender Walker Zimmerman, who was shown a yellow card for time wasting in the 17th minute, was given a red for unsporting behavior in the 48th., Real Salt Lake’s Aaron Herrera, who blocked two would-be goals in the first half, was shown a straight red for denial of a goal scoring opportunity on Vela, who then converted from the spot to make it 1-0 in the 64th minute.

Vela, whose 15 assists are tied with Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers for the league lead, broke the MLS record for combined goals and assists. Sebastian Giovinco’s had 22 goals and 16 assists for Toronto FC in 2015.

Miller has eight shutouts this season for LAFC (18-3-4), who have won four consecutive games and seven of their last eight dating to June 28.

Adama Diomande side-netted a rising right-footer to cap the scoring in the 82nd minute.

Salt Lake (12-10-4) had its six-game unbeaten streak, including three straight wins, snapped and allowed multiple goals for the first time since a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on June 1.

Lampard: ‘We need more personality’

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Frank Lampard‘s baptism of fire as Chelsea boss continued on Sunday, as the Blue coughed up a 1-0 lead and were lucky to draw at home against Leicester City.

[ MORE: Pulisic watch. How did he do?

After being hammered at Manchester United in their opening PL game last weekend, then losing to Liverpool on penalty kicks in the Super Cup final in Istanbul on Wednesday, Chelsea started superbly against Leicester but only led 1-0 thanks to academy graduate Mason Mount scoring his first goal for the club.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports after the game, Lampard revealed he was not happy at all with the second half display and urged his young side to show more personality on the pitch.

“It was a really good start, fantastic, and we could’ve been two or three goals up. We were quick, bright, energetic, then we allowed Leicester back in the game and in the second half I was not very happy, we offered them too many chances on the counter attack,” Lampard said. “We can only look at ourselves. In all our matches I have been delighted in big passages of having the ball but we didn’t have enough angles or options to keep the ball moving. We have to have more personality, we saw that in midweek, but today we didn’t have that.”

The most disappointing thing for Lampard will be the way Leicester grabbed hold of the game in the second half.

Brendan Rodgers‘ side launched counter after counter as Jorginho and N’Golo Kante were overrun in midfield by James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, and both Maddison and Jamie Vardy should have won the games for the Foxes.

“You can attack, but still be in positions to not allow the counter-attack,” Lampard added. “I’m not here to play great attacking football and then concede counter-attack goals. We need to show more than we did. I was under no illusions that there would be moments like this. We have to work on the pitch on the things we can improve.”

Lampard is spot on with his assessment, but how does he change things?

The most obvious thing is that he needs his team to be more consistent. They’ve started their last three games fast but failed to make the most of big chances and have been made to pay for that with some sloppy passing in midfield.

It is still early days for Lampard in his first season as a PL boss, while many of his youngsters are also finding their feet in the top-flight. Chelsea’s fans will stay patient but the fact that have yet to grab a win shows there is plenty of work to do but the Blues have shown flashes of brilliance, usually at the start of games.

Having a consistent lineup is one thing, but Lampard now needs his players to be brave, show their personality and stand tall for the cause as he ushers in his new era. Too many of them went missing in the second half against Leicester at Stamford Bridge, which will be more than a little concerning for the Chelsea legend.