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Man United injury update; Major League Soccer “better than before”

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Manchester United have dispatched both LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake over the past 48 hours with most of Jose Mourinho’s men getting at least 45 minutes in each game.

Now, United are stepping things up with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona to come in the next 10 days in the U.S.

[ MORE: Can Lukaku handle the pressure? ]

United’s win against RSL saw them once again use two teams for each half and although players reportedly struggled with playing at altitude at Rio Tinto Stadium and Antonio Valencia sent off controversially late on, Mourinho’s men rallied for the win with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku on target in the comeback 2-1 win. 

Following the game Mourinho gave an injury update on Juan Mata and Matteo Darmian, with the former suffering an ankle injury.

“Mata has a big ankle but hopefully nothing really important. I would say a few days, a week, something like that, in principle,” Mourinho said. “And Matteo Darmian I don’t think is even an important problem.”

The two keys from preseason games is the following: 1) don’t pick up injuries. 2) don’t pick up injuries.

So in that regard this friendly was far from ideal for the Red Devils but Mourinho has been pleased with the way United’s first two preseason games have gone against MLS opponents and has been impressed with not only the quality of play from both LA and RSL, but also the MLS stadiums.

“I think the quality [of the MLS] is better [than before],” Mourinho said. “I like to play in soccer stadiums. I know you have absolutely amazing [American football] stadiums that sometimes you adapt but I like the concept of the soccer stadium, even if it’s smaller. So I like it, I like the fans, I like the enthusiasm around and the quality is improving all the time, I think, so I am happy with that.”

Mourinho added that the team RSL put out for the first 35 minutes gave United a tough test, but Mike Petke was forced to make wholesale changes to his team with an MLS regular season game coming up at Portland Timbers on Wednesday.

There you have it. Mourinho is a fan of MLS, despite the trolling from LA Galaxy’s mascot Cozmo…

Real Monarchs beat Louisville City to win first ever USL Cup

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Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.

Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.

Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.

Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.

The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.

On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.

Man arrested after English soccer player reports homophobia

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TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.

Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.

Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.

In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.

Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”

Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video)

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Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio BezerrĂŁo on Sunday.

Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.

With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.

Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.

What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.

Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.

EURO qualifying wrap: France, Iceland, Turkey earn wins

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With their tickets already booked to next summer’s big tournament, France and Turkey picked up wins in Sunday’s Euro qualifying action, which saw defending champions Portugal clinch qualification.

[ READ: Defending champions Portugal qualify to EURO 2020 ]


Albania 0-2 France

Albania opened their new, 22,500-seat stadium with a hard-fought loss against France.

Early on, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso gave the impression that the home fans were in for a long night at the inaugurating Air Albania Stadium, opening the score just eight minutes in with a well-placed header. In the 31st minute, an unfamiliar face, Leo Dubois, connected with Antoine Griezmann, who slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner. France finish the qualifiers leaders of Group H with 25 points. Throughout the 10 matches, the world champions lost only once, a 2-0 loss against Turkey.

Andorra 0-2 Turkey

Real Valladolid’s Enes Unal scored a first-half brace as Turkey coasted past Andorra 2-0. Turkey, who clinched a spot next summer after finishing Group H two points behind France, controlled possession and chances at goal.

Moldova 1-2 Iceland

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the visitor’s second and winning goal in the second half, as Iceland walked away from Zimbru Stadium with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

With 19 points throughout 10 games, RĂșnar Kristinsson and company felt five points short of qualifying directly for next year’s competition. That said, they’ll partake in the Euro 2020 playoffs, looking to squeeze their way in.

Elsewhere

Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal

Serbia 2-2 Ukraine

Kosovo 0-4 England

Bulgaria 1-0 Czech Republic