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Unsworth, Dyche discuss Everton managers job; Tuchel open

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The contenders are lining up to replace Ronald Koeman at Everton.

24 hours after Koeman left the Toffees two names are dominating the scene: David Unsworth and Sean Dyche.

[ MORE: Koeman releases statement ]

Reports also suggest that both Thomas Tuchel and Phil Neville are interested in the job with the former certainly the type of manager who would fit the profile Everton are after given his success at Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga with a young, talented, attack-minded squad.

As for Unsworth, Everton’s current U-23 coach, the former Toffees defender has been placed in caretaker charge after Koeman’s firing and obviously fancies the  job on a permanent basis after having great success with Everton’s youngsters in recent seasons.

Speaking ahead of Everton’s League Cup last 16 clash at Chelsea on Wednesday, Unsworth repeated what he said when he was placed in caretaker charge at the end of the 2015-16 season.

“I spent the afternoon with the chairman yesterday and we spoke everything Everton. I’ll repeat myself from last time I sat here 18 months ago, who wouldn’t want this job?” Unsworth said. “The chairman has given me an opportunity to hopefully get a run of games where hopefully performance levels go up. From that, performances will dictate any future for me as Everton manager. I want to manage and this is an amazing club to be manager of. I make no secret of it.”

Burnley’s Dyche has also spoken to the media and wasn’t shy about discussing links with the vacant position at Goodison.

“It’s very flattering, I’ve been linked with other situations before,” Dyche told Mail Online. “I just keep getting on with my job until things change. It’s out of my hands, I’m just getting on with what I do.”

Dyche has also been linked with the vacant Leicester job and is a man in demand after building a solid squad at Burnley as the Clarets have consolidated themselves in the Premier League under his stewardship. He would be a safe, reliable option but he could he really kick Everton on to the next level and challenge for a spot in the top four?

As for Tuchel, well, reports state he is open to the Everton job after leaving Dortmund at the end of last season. He has a German Cup to his name and experience of managing in the UEFA Champions League and has never hid his desire to one day coach in the Premier League.

Tuchel would be the “sexy name” Everton fans would clamber for but so was Koeman and look how that ended up.

Unsworth could well be the safe (and cheapest) choice for the rest of this season which is largely a write-off considering their shockingly poor start of five defeats and just two wins in their opening nine PL games, plus the worst-ever start to a Europa League group stage campaign by a PL club. Unsworth also has the trust of Everton’s youngsters as he nurtured them through their academy at Finch Farm.

What about this: Unsworth steadies the ship this season, then maybe next summer Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright could chase Carlo Ancelotti (who is on a sabbatical) or maybe entice Tuchel to arrive at a time when he could mold the squad and start again.

Whatever Everton do they have to act fast. After all, it is still early days in the season but they are in the relegation zone for a reason.

Puel insists Chelsea hasn’t inquired about goalkeeper Schmeichel

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Chelsea could very be in the market for a goalkeeper over the summer, but Leicester City’s manager insists that their number one isn’t being targeted by the Blues; or at least not yet.

[ MORE: Klopp discusses Christian Pulisic, Liverpool’s spending ]

With the Blues likely set to lose Belgium international Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, new manager Maurizio Sarri would have to look elsewhere to solidify the team’s goalkeeping situation.

One player that has drawn significant interest after a strong World Cup performance for Denmark is Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel, who played a big role in the Foxes’ 2015/16 Premier League title.

Although Schmeichel would be a viable replacement for Courtois at Stamford Bridge, Leicester boss Claude Puel says Chelsea hasn’t expressed its interest to this point.

“No, there is no problem with this,” the Frenchman told Sky Sports. “There is a lot of speculation at this moment, it is normal.

“I think he [Ward] can bring more competition to the squad and more possibilities. It is a good thing to have competition between players in the squad to develop desire.

“It gives good focus and concentration.”

The Foxes recently brought in young Liverpool keeper Danny Ward, which raised further questions about the future of Schmeichel at Leicester.

FC Dallas, Houston play to 1-1 after scoring early goals

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HOUSTON (AP) FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo each scored early goals in a 1-1 draw Saturday night.

Matt Hedges put Dallas (11-3-6) ahead 47 seconds into the game with his first goal of the season, converting a header off a cross from Santiago Mosquera.

Houston (7-6-6) tied it in the eight on Mauro Manotas’ 10th goal of the season. He scored on a header off Romell Quioto’s cross.

Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis stuffed Roland Lamah‘s penalty kick at the 61st minute to keep the score knotted. Ten minutes later, Lamah missed an open look and sent a short shot high that ricocheted off the top of the post.

In stoppage time, Houston’s Alberth Elis missed high and wide to the right just outside the box.

Houston is unbeaten in four games.

MLS 3 Things: Resurgent Zardes, Toronto up, New England down

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A busy Saturday in Major League Soccer sees three interesting results bolstering the story lines of the final few months of the season.

[ MORE: Unstoppable Josef | Zlatan, too ]

1) Imagine a world with the reigning champs as your reward for finishing first.

With 14 matches to play, Toronto FC has Jozy Altidore back in the fold and has pulled to within eight points of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot after a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday.

Sebastian Giovinco looks like Sebastian Giovinco in scoring another outstanding goal, just his fifth of the season, while Jonathan Osorio also scored in the win.

Before you watch Seba’s goal, picture you’ve won the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now picture TFC as your semifinal reward.

2) New England is well and truly slumping

Brad Friedel‘s Revs are slipping after losing a third-straight league match, and New England has gained a solitary point since the calendar turned to July following a 2-0 loss at Red Bull Arena.

Fourth through ninth in the East are separated by nine points, and New England is very much in that mix now. Friedel is certainly at the most trying time of his tenure.

Second half goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer did the trick for RBNY, who have claimed 15 of the last 18 points available to them (The lone blemish is the Hudson River Derby).

The Red Bulls are now 8-1-1 at home this season, while New England is 1-4-4 away from Foxboro.

3) Gyasi Zardes’ return to form is surprising and wonderful

Columbus has its second win since May 19, and will be feeling much better about itself following a 3-2 comeback win over Orlando City which included a pair of equalizers.

One of those came in the 88th minute, as Gyasi Zardes completed his brace by converting a penalty won by new arrival Patrick Mullins.

The Crew won late via a rare Wil Trapp goal — the USMNT midfielder has just two in 161 matches — but let’s focus on Zardes.

Zardes’ 13th goal of the season continues an amazing turnaround under striker whisperer Gregg Berhalter. It’s Zardes’ second double-digit season, and his first since 2014. He is firmly in frame for another USMNT look, this time as a center forward, but first there’s plenty to like about the big man.

Surging Galaxy ride Ibrahimovic magic to 3-1 win (video)

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a man on fire, and the LA Galaxy are rounding into form.

The Galaxy overcame an early deficit in Chester to clobber the Philadelphia Union 3-1 on Saturday behind a goal and an assist from their world-class striker.

[ MORE: Neymar on diving ]

Romain Alessandrini had two assists, while Michael Ciani and Ola Kamara also scored for LA. CJ Sapong scored for Philly, assisted by Borek Dockal.

Unbeaten-in-seven LA moves into fourth in the West with the win, while Philadelphia remains three points back of sixth in the East.

Ibrahimovic has now scored in six of his last seven matches, and has 12 goals and two assists in 21 matches overall.

Let’s start with the assist, which we must’ve seen two dozen times when the big Swede was with Paris Saint-Germain.

Ibrahimovic takes a difficult pass out of the air with absurd touch, then waits for the right time to send an impeccable through ball into the path of Kamara.

As for the goal, you almost feel for Mark McKenzie.

The Union’s Homegrown defender has to choose between Alessandrini darting into his box and allowing Ibrahimovic a lick of space.

He gives it, understandably, then rushes to close down Ibrahimovic.

It wasn’t fast enough. Boom.