Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Walker’s own goal sinks Spurs

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  • Walker’s own goal gives United win
  • 5 players make United debuts
  • De Gea watching on from the stands
  • Eriksen has Spurs’ best chances

MANCHESTER — Louis van Gaal’s side started the season off with a win, as Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday in the opening game of the new Premier League season.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Kyle Walker’s bizarre first half own goal was the difference, as Spurs’ bright start faded but United labored to an opening day win.

Early on Spurs had a great chance to go ahead as Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane combined superbly on the edge of the box in the fifth minute but Eriksen’s delicate lob looped over Romero and onto the top of the net. So close to an early lead for the north London club.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

United struggled early on as Daley Blind and Chris Smalling looked unnerved by Eriksen and Kane, with Walker being denied by Romero bravely in the 17th minute. Against the run of play, United took the lead in the 22nd minute as Ashley Young raced down the right after Nabil Bentaleb was dispossessed then found Rooney unmarked in the box. United’s captain dallied on the ball, but as Walker rushed in to tackle Rooney, Spurs’ right back accidentally got a toe on the ball and sent it past his own goalkeeper Michel Vorm at a snails pace. 1-0 to United in the most unfortunate of circumstances for Spurs. That goal took the wind out of Spurs’ sails and Juan Mata dragged a shot just wide as United pushed for a second before half time.

In the second half Spurs struggled to get going even though Blind was guilty of some poor giveaways on the edge of his own bow. Ryan Mason came on to add drive to midfield but it was United who liked more likely to score as Memphis had a shot sail over and Young forced a good save from Vorm down low.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Bastian Schweinsteiger made his United debut as a second half sub, becoming the first German to play for the Red Devils in the process, as the former Bayern Munich man was given a standing ovation from the home fans.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score ]

Late on Spurs brought on youngsters Delle Alli to try and break United’s stubborn defense down, but the Red Devils made some changes of their own to see out the game as Antonio Valencia replaced the impressive Matteo Darmian after the Italian international stood out on his debut.

Kane was shackled well by United’s defense, but late on Eriksen had a powerful drive pushed away from Romero as United’s new goalkeeper helped them seal three points on the opening day.

Atletico Madrid roster for MLS All-Star Game includes Felix

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Major League Soccer fans will get a good luck at one of the hottest prospects in world soccer when the MLS All Stars take on Atletico Madrid in next week’s MLS All Star Game.

Joao Felix, the $142 million 19-year-old, is among the roster announced by Diego Simeone for the match.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

Felix scored 20 times with 11 assists in 40 matches for Benfica before moving to Atleti in the summer. Those numbers include a hat trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarterfinals first leg.

The other stars will be there, too, provided no transfers happen in the interim. Koke, Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa, and Saul Niguez are in the squad.

New Atleti defender Kieran Trippier and longtime El Tri hero Hector Herrera will also be sure to help drive attendance in Orlando City.

The full roster is here.

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

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It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.

From Goal.com:

“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.