Crystal Palace 0-1 Leicester: Foxes eight points clear at top

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  • Mahrez’s 16th goal of season
  • Palace without PL win in 2016
  • Leicester 8 points clear at top
  • Four-straight 1-0 wins for Leicester

Leicester City ground out yet another 1-0 win as they beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Riyad Mahrez‘s first half goal was the difference and the win could’ve been comfortable for the Foxes but a combination of brave Palace defending and missed chances saw them squeak to the win.

Palace battled hard throughout and created plenty of chances but the Foxes held on despite Damien Delaney smashing the crossbar.

With the victory Claudio Ranieri‘s side moved eight points clear at the top of the table and now have 66 points, while Palace still haven’t won in 2016 and remain on 33 points.

[ MORE: Watch full match replays

Leicester started brightly and Shinji Okzaki’s cross looped up towards the back post and towards Mahrez but he couldn’t get his head on the ball under pressure from Pape Souare.

The Foxes should have scored again as Danny Drinkwater‘s ball set up Mahrez who went clean through but Wayne Hennessey blocked his shot.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Palace began to grow into the game with Yannick Bolasie and Wilfred Zaha running at Leicester’s full backs and the former crossed for the latter but he fluffed his effort at the back post.

10 minutes before the break Leicester took the lead as Drinkwater played in Jamie Vardy and his pull back was swept home by Mahrez. 1-0.

Palace almost equalized within minutes but Bolasie’s deflected effort was saved superbly by Kasper Schmeichel and at the other end Marc Albrighton forced Hennessey into a smart stop down low.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Leicester started the second half brightly and Albrighton teed up Okazaki who sent an effort just wide.

Okazaki then had another great chance as he put a header over the bar at the near post following Fuchs’ long-throw.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Palace finished the game strongly and substitute Bakary Sako whipped in a dangerous delivery which nobody could get on the end of, then fellow sub Martin Kelly fizzed across an effort which Schmeichel held onto down low.

Robert Huth should have been awarded a penalty kick as Scott Dann held on to his shirt and dragged it off his back but nothing was given and at the other end shots were flying in from Palace as Schmeichel pushed away Sako’s effort acrobatically and then Huth blocked a shot from Cabaye.

A last-ditch tackle from Delaney denied Vardy who broke away late on, and Palace came agonizingly close to equalizing in stoppage time with Delaney thundering an effort against the crossbar.

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.


“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.