Leicester 3-2 Aston Villa: Foxes complete stunning comeback to stay unbeaten

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  •  Aston Villa went 2-0 up with goals bookending halftime
  •  Leicester struck twice in 10 minutes to pull level with 8 minutes to go
  •  Nathan Dyer scored a debut goal in the 89th minute to win it

Leicester City found themselves down 2-0 just after the hour mark, but the Foxes simply wouldn’t allow that to happen.

Instead, Claudio Raneiri’s bunch completed a stunning comeback to win 3-2 to remain unbeaten on the season and move up to second in the Premier League table with 11 points.

Being a local derby, the game had a palpable atmosphere to it early on, and it reflected on the field with bright yet cautious attacking play and physical attitudes. Leicester had a pair of chances go just over the bar in the opening 10 minutes.

Things settled down a few minutes later, and the chances dried up, but the atmosphere in King Power Stadium did not. Despite a lack of cutting edge as the game progressed, the tension continued to build and came to a head six minutes before halftime. A frantic spell in front of the Leicester goal ended with the ball squirting out to Jack Grealish in acres of space above the box, and he delivered a curling effort that left Kasper Schmeichel with no chance to stop Aston Villa from taking the lead.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Just moments after the halftime break, Jamie Vardy nearly pulled Leicester level with a stunning back-heel flick that went just wide of the post. The Foxes came out of the interval with real zest but didn’t immediately profit from it, and that would be a problem later.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Aston Villa scored their second, a beautiful swerving effort from Carles Gil who received the ball at the top of the box after lots of hard work by Gabriel Abgonlahor down the left flank.

The second goal forced the home side to bring on striker Leonardo Ulloa, sacrificing new signing Gokhan Inler who was less impactful than manager Claudio Raneiri would have hoped for his debut. Tim Sherwood responded by immediately pulling goalscorer Gil in favor of Jordan Ayew.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Leicester, though, weren’t phased and continued to push. A corner in the 70th minute finally bore fruit as Ritchie De Laet redirected at the near post, and while the ball was cleared off the line by Ashley Westwood, goal-line technology correctly ruled the ball in over the line. The goal is De Laet’s

The goal galvanized the hosts, and the Foxes pushed for another, which would come soon. Danny Drinkwater crossed into the box for Jamie Vardy, and the Leicester frontman beat a pair of Villa defenders to the ball to poke home an equalizer.

But Leicester wasn’t finished. A third – the winner – would be delivered in thumping fashion by debutant Nathan Dyer, who came on at halftime. A ball over the top from the electric Riyad Mahrez came down in the center of the box, and Dyer became the second Fox attacker to perfectly split the Villa defenders. Dyer stuck out a leg and poked the ball home just before being pummeled by Guzan.

That was it for Villa, who had nothing left to offer. They were unable to capitalize on the chance to move into the top half of the table, and instead remain languished in the bottom quarter.

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.

Clark County “declines to prosecute” Ronaldo for rape

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.

An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.

[ MORE: Bayern keen on Zaha ]

Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.

From News3LV.com:

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”