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Rumor: Monaco boss ditches Ligue 1 for shock China move

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On the heels of its first Champions League semi-final appearance in over a decade, AS Monaco’s head coach is apparently cashing in.

According to a report by Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Leonardo Jardim is leaving Monaco high and dry to accept a $40 million, 3-year contract with Chinese club Beijing Guoan. Jardim had two years left on his Monaco contract. According to the report, Jardim’s contract with Monaco includes a $17 million release clause.

Beijing Guoan fired Spanish coach Jose Gonzalez just four days ago with the club seventh in the Chinese Super League table, immediately following a 1-0 defeat to 11th placed Chongquig Lifan. Former Chinese international Xie Feng was placed in charge as interim manager for the third time.

Monaco is potentially dealing with a mass exodus of players this summer, but the Venezuelan-born manager was not expected to be among those to depart.

Some are not convinced. Get French Football followed that up on Twitter by saying it’s possible this rumor was started as leverage in Monaco negotiations. With the report not coming from either the country of his current job, his new job, or his birth (although he is of Portuguese nationality), it’s admittedly odd that A Bola would have this information first.

Losing Jardim could arguably be more harmful to Monaco than the departure of any individual player. Young winger Bernardo Silva has already moved to Manchester City, and high-profile striker Kylian Mbappe is expected to depart, netting the club a massive transfer fee in the process. Other players rumored to be leaving for greener pastures include midfielder Fabinho, wing-back Benjamin Mendy, and winger Thomas Lemar.

USMNT remains perfect, tops Panama to win group (video)

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In his first start since the U.S. Men’s National Team’s infamous defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, Jozy Altidore showcased his strength, speed and technical ability to help lead the U.S. to victory.

Altidore’s outstanding bicycle kick goal proved to be the difference in a sometimes dour game as the USMNT topped Panama, 1-0, Wednesday evening at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. The win kept the U.S. perfect through the Gold Cup group stage with no goals allowed, and it has somewhat erased the memory of the USMNT’s horrible run-up to the tournament, with defeats to Jamaica and Venezuela now firmly in the rear-view mirror.

[MUST-SEE GOAL: Jozy Altidore]

With the win, both teams head to Philadelphia for the quarterfinals this Sunday. Panama plays the undercard matchup against Jamaica while the USMNT faces Curacao.

Must-See Goal: Jozy Altidore puts USMNT in front with Bicycle Kick

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Jozy Altidore put his stamp on the game and gave U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter more to speak about with one fell swing.

Altidore finished off a corner kick in spectacular fashion, executing a perfect bicycle kick to put the USMNT up 1-0 in the 66th minute. The goal came one minute after the entrance of Christian Pulisic, which perhaps was on the mind of the Panama defense.

It was Altidore’s second-straight game vs. Panama with a goal. His last two were in October 2017, when the U.S. pummeled Panama, 4-0. Of course, a few days later, a tired USMNT failed to win at Trinidad and Tobago.

FOLLOW LIVE, Gold Cup: USMNT closes out group v. Panama

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It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]

Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.

Must-See Goal: Wayne Rooney v. Orlando City

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.

In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.

[FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Panama]

Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.