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Hi-C’s kid: Spurs youngster Carter-Vickers shining as Americans face final Olympic qualifying group match

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Tuesday night marks a bit of a “warm-up” for the U.S. U-23 men’s team, which has already qualified for the semifinals of CONCACAF’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

So we don’t know whether or not you’ll get the latest look at a man who could one day solve the USMNT’s center back quandary: Spurs’ defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, who turns 18 on New Year’s Eve.

[ MORE: Mexico unveils roster for CONCACAF Cup clash with USMNT ]

Our own Joe Prince-Wright profiled CCV — is this his nickname? It certainly should be — last month in this space after the 17-year-old continued his rise from Spurs Academy player to U-20 World Cup star to Olympic hopeful.

The son of 1983 NBA Draft first round pick Howard “Hi-C” Carter — another good nickname! —  Carter-Vickers scored the opener in the weekend’s 6-1 clobbering of Cuba. And while you can see that undermanned Cuba didn’t supply much defense or goalkeeping on Luis Gil’s free kick into an obvious area on the field, the teen made little doubt of his chances (seriously, Cuba, what is happening here?!?).

Carter-Vickers is the focus of an Associated Press profile ahead of tonight’s match against Panama in Colorado. And he reveals that he’s open to anything to get him on the field in England, where he’s currently with the Spurs’ U-21 side.

From the Associated Press:

“It’s all up to the coaches,” Carter-Vickers said. “I just have to stay focused and keep working. But obviously, the end goal would be to play for Tottenham, be a regular on Tottenham’s first team. If that means going on loan to get some experience, if the coaches think that would be helpful, yeah, that would be good.”

Carter-Vickers has been solid with New York Red Bulls youngster Matt Miazga in the center of the back line, and could be a part of the answer for the USMNT. From Carlos Bocanegra and Oguchi Onyewu, to Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, to John Brooks and Ventura Alvarado, there has been a clear deterioration in the American attempts at a CB pairing.

The States need a win on Saturday to secure an Olympic spot, something they failed to do under Caleb Porter in a spectacular 2011 flameout. A loss on Saturday means the U-23s would need to win the third-place game and then beat South America’s playoff combatant, Colombia.

Haiti stuns Costa Rica to claim Group B at Gold Cup

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Poetic justice, put it in a Song.

Haiti’s Djimy Alexis made up for his early own goal by scoring a deserved winner as Haiti won Group B of the Gold Cup with an upset of Costa Rica on Monday.

[ ROUNDUPS: AFCON | Copa America ]

Los Ticos got everything they could handle from the upstart Gombey Warriors, who are now 3-0 on the tournament, and the World Cup mainstays tossed aside their early lead to meet Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Haiti will challenge Canada in the quarters, guaranteeing the semifinals an intriguing participant.

An early own goal had Costa Rica in control, but Duckens Nason’ 16th international goal was a part of a hard charge from the Haitians in the second half.

The other match saw Bermuda earn a 2-0 win over Nicaragua via goals from Lejuan Simmons and QPR’s Nakhi Wells. That gives the Gombey Warriors a 1-2 record while dropping Nicaragua to 0-3.

Bermuda was ranked 174th by FIFA to Nicaragua’s 129, but that will certainly change next month.

AFCON wrap: Diaby’s sensational rip highlights trio of matches

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The Africa Cup of Nations said hello to six more competitors on Monday, with a thrilling goal amongst the eight tallied across the competitions in Egypt.

[ MORE: Copa America roundup ]

Mali 4-1 Mauritania

Two different men named Adama Traore — neither of them the Wolves winger — joined Moussa Marega on the score sheet but it’s difficult to describe the class and small margins that defined the tournament’s goal of the day.

Sporting Lisbon’s Abdoulay Diaby somehow got this shot off through two defenders and into the upper reaches of the goal to open the scoring in the three-goal win for Mali, which is having some summer when you take into account the U-20 World Cup.

Ivory Coast 1-0 South Africa

There were only 13 total attempts in the game, and Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija scored the lone goal of a tournament opening win for Les Elephants.

Tunisia 1-1 Angola

A draw was probably fair, as Youssef Msakni’s first half penalty was met by Djalma Campos’ late goal to split the spoils in Group E.

Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

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Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7

Norwich City adds Switzerland international Drmic on free transfer

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Norwich City has added a new star striker to a unit which produced 93 goals in the Championship last season.

Josip Drmic will join Swiss national teammate Timm Klose with the Canaries for the next three seasons, hoping to bring his Bundesliga and international experience to a Premier League safety campaign.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

Drmic turns 27 next month, and scored two goals in five appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach last season. He has 31 goals and seven assists in 107 Bundesliga appearances between Gladbach, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Nurnberg.

Coach Daniel Farke got 30 goals from target forward Teemu Pukki, who plays a similar role to Drmic and has plenty of top flight experience with Celtic and Schalke amongst others.

Drmic can also operate on the wing, usually left over right, and has featured in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cup. From Canaries.co.uk:

“I’m going to do everything and give 100% on the pitch. I will be ready to give everything for the club. My job is scoring but I also want to help my team and help us be successful.

“When I first came to Norwich, the first thing I noticed was how kind everybody was. It’s given me a lot of positive energy and I’m excited to see what happens.”

Between Pukki and Drmic, Norwich can have faith that its well-prepared to have an answer up top.