Who is Rhian Brewster? A look at England, Liverpool teen

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Liverpool appear to have a star in the making.

Rhian Brewster has scored consecutive hat tricks at the 2017 U-17 World Cup in India to propel England to the World Cup final on Saturday.

Brewster, 17, scored trebles in both of England’s wins against the USA at the quarterfinal stage and then against Brazil in the semis and led the line superbly.

His displays of predatory finishing suggest the hype around him at Liverpool is well-placed as Jurgen Klopp is known to be a huge fan of the youngster who was previously on the books at Chelsea, his local club after he was born and raised in London.

Brewster signed for Liverpool in 2015 from Chelsea and has scored three goals in six PL 2 appearances so far this season, as well as scoring a hat trick in a behind closed doors friendly earlier in 2017 at Melwood.

Here’s more on that hat trick from Brewster as he spoke in an interview with Liverpool’s website earlier this year.

“That was a great experience. I didn’t think I was going to start and to then score the first goal after a great team move was a fantastic feeling. I got a second goal and then luckily for me I managed to get a hat-trick. I got a ‘well done’ from the boss which was amazing. My confidence was sky high.”

The Londoner leads the 2017 U-17 World Cup Golden Boot race heading into the final with seven goals in the tournament and his exploits will mean he is watched very closely by Liverpool fans when he returns from India with England.

Brewster was previously asked by Liverpool’s staff to describe one player he looks up to and sees a little of himself in.

“Luis Suarez. I know he is no longer in the Premier League but what a player he was for Liverpool! Suarez is amazing and I look up to him. His playing style is a bit like mine, quick feet, can score goals and if I could play for Liverpool’s first team like him one day that would be amazing.”

Scoring back-to-back hat tricks at the latter stages of a World Cup tournament will do his chances of breaking into Liverpool’s first team no harm at all…

Mohamed Salah starts for Egypt despite int’l retirement talks

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Mohamed Salah is coming off of his best season as a professional, but reports suggest that his time with the Egyptian national team could soon be coming to an end for reasons that extend beyond soccer.

Salah will however be included in Egypt’s Group A finale against Saudi Arabia on Monday, though, after the team sheet was revealed by the Pharaohs ahead of the match.

CNN reported over the weekend that Salah believes he is being used by Egypt as a political symbol to represent Chechnya, which has sparked talks of the talented Liverpool winger ending his international career.

Egypt has already been eliminated from reaching the Round of 16 after losing its first two matches at the World Cup.

The tides have turned significantly for Toronto FC

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2017 gave Toronto FC its first MLS Cup, as well as significant notoriety for the club’s historic season, but Greg Vanney and his side are in a world of trouble in 2018 for reasons that are still unfathomable.

[ MORE: NYCFC tops TFC in come-from-behind victory ]

A deep run in the CONCACAF Champions League (which ended in heartbeat at the hands of Chivas) and a number of injuries have plagued Toronto this season, and for that, the defending champions find themselves in unchartered MLS waters.

Over the course of Major League Soccer’s 22 previous seasons, only three defending champions have gone on to miss the playoffs the next year (D.C. United in 2000, LA Galaxy in 2006 & Portland Timbers in 2016).

So, how poor has TFC been through nearly half the season?

The Canadian side has acquired 15 points in as many matches, which puts the club on pace to finish with 34 points in 2018.

That total would leave TFC well below the average points needed for a club to get into the playoffs. It varies on a year-to-year basis, but teams typically need somewhere in the range of 45 to 50 points to finish above the red line in their respective conferences.

Last season, three teams in MLS finished with less than 34 points (D.C. United, LA Galaxy & Colorado Rapids), and none of the clubs finished within striking distance of the postseason.

While Toronto wouldn’t be the first team to show signs of struggles in the first half of the season and then proceed to turn things around over the second portion, there are definite concerns for Vanney and Co.

In 2018, the Reds haven’t earned back-to-back victories in MLS play, leaving the club in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

The talent within the squad remains there, and if TFC gets the rest of its squad healthy there could be a run made by the team, but as things stand, the club’s historic run a season ago looks to be crumbling in 2018.

Gressel ties it in Atlanta United’s 1-1 draw with Timbers

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ATLANTA (AP) Julian Gressel tied it in the 56th minute and Atlanta United held on for a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

A loose ball deflection off defender Larrys Mabiala bounced into Gressel’s path and he pounced on it with a right-footed volley. Atlanta (10-3-4) stayed atop the MLS standings and extended its unbeaten streak to five games.

Mabiala opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. Samuel Armenteros was the first to get a touch with a left-footed stab on Diego Valeri’s free kick. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan blocked it out, but Mabiala headed home the rebound and Portland took the early lead.

The Timbers (6-3-5) extended their unbeaten run to nine.

MLS: NYCFC beat TFC in new coach Torrent’s debut

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NEW YORK (AP) — Jo Inge Berget scored twice and coach Domenec Torrent celebrated his New York City FC debut with a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday.

Berget made it 2-1 in the 68th minute, following Maximiliano Moralez’s direct pass up the right channel and slotting it home.

NYCFC (9-3-4) tied it at 1 in the 51st minute on Berget’s back heel from the top of the 6-yard box.

Víctor Vazquez opened the scoring for Toronto (4-8-3) in the 37th minute. Vasquez outran his defender on Auro’s long ball up the right side and sent a chip shot over the onrushing goalkeeper.

NYCFC’s David Villa left the game in the 28th minute with a non-contact injury.

Torrent replaced Patrick Vieira in New York shortly after Vieira’s departure for OGC Nice was officially confirmed. Torrent had been the right-hand man to Pep Guardiola for the last 11 years, most recently at Manchester City.