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MLS roundup: Rooney, Audi Field debut and DCU win

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It was a wild night in MLS action — even by Major League Soccer’s lofty standards of weirdness — headlined by the debuts of Wayne Rooney and Audi Field in Washington, D.C., Orlando City SC winning a game, and Sporting Kansas City’s ongoing slide down the Western Conference standings.

[ MORE: World Cup final preview — France vs. Croatia ]

D.C. United 3-1 Vancouver WhitecapsFULL HIGHLIGHTS

Rooney and Audi Field were meant to be the stars of the night, and they will ultimately be remember as such, but Alphonso Davies did everything in his power to steal the headlines. Despite the fact his Whitecaps were 3-0 down late in second-half stoppage time, Davies scored one of the goals of the season after taking on a trio of United defenders at the corner of the penalty area.

Yamil Asad’s opening goal, the first in the history of Audi Field, wasn’t half-bad either, and at some point on Saturday, United morphed into Barcelona (Lite) and shredded the Vancouver defense with a pair of tiki-taka sequences for a second and third goal.

As for Rooney, he was quite good. The 32-year-old notched an assist on goal no. 3 (Paul Arriola) and was pretty clearly the sharpest, quickest-thinking player on the field. His speed of play — receiving the ball, reading the field and getting rid of the ball — was phenomenal and he stood out as the best player on the field during his 32-minute shift.

New York Red Bulls 3-2 Sporting Kansas CityFULL HIGHLIGHTS

Sporting KC, without the like of Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Felipe Gutierrez (in the starting lineup) or a natural left back, were in a strong position to secure a quality result away from home, but came away empty handed after conceding a pair of late goals at Red Bull Arena.

Bradley Wright-Phillips put the home side ahead after just four minutes, but the lead last only as long as it took to establish it, as Johnny Russell scored for a second game in a row to make it 1-1.

Six minutes into the second half, Roger Espinoza smashed his own Goal of the Week nominee past Luis Robles to put Peter Vermes’ side ahead and, it appeared briefly, in position to snap a three-game winless skid.

It wasn’t to be, though, as Marc Rzatkowski scored twice in quick succession — in the 72nd and 79th minutes — to punish Sporting’s shorthanded defensive unit and give the Red Bulls a much-needed boost and first victory under new head coach Chris Armas. The win sends New York to 35 points, five clear of fourth-place Columbus in the East, and keeps them within touching distance (five points back) of both Atlanta and New York City with a pair of games in hand. Sporting, meanwhile, remain third in the West, five points back of first-place FC Dallas.

Orlando City SC 2-1 Toronto FCFULL HIGHLIGHTS

It’s been a rollercoaster season for Orlando, who won six straight games between the end of March and the start or May, then lost nine straight immediately thereafter. Jason Kreis was fired as a result, and now — after more than two months without a win, or a point — the Lions are winners again. Somehow, some way, they are only five points out of sixth place in the East.

Toronto, on the other hand, are 11 points back and with each passing game and draw/defeat, they must overcome an even taller task just to return to the playoffs a year after winning MLS Cup.

Chris Schuler scored the opener in the 34th minute and Dom Dwyer made it 2-0, which turned out to be the game-winning goal, three minutes into the second half. Nick Hagglund’s 94th-minute tally was merely a footnote on a relief-filled night at Orlando City Stadium.

New England Revolution 2-3 LA GalaxyFULL HIGHLIGHTS

In a battle of two teams about which no one understands anything after more than half of the season, the LA Galaxy made the most of the 67 minutes playing with a man advantage… by scoring in the 92nd and 93rd minutes to overcome a 2-1 deficit and win 3-2 at Gillette Stadium.

Cristian Penilla was sent off after 23 minutes, but Diego Fagundez and Luis Caicedo had Brad Friedel‘s side 2-1 ahead at halftime (Chris Pontius made it 1-1 at one point). No more goals were scored until Dave Romney made it 2-2 in the 92nd and Pontius completed the scoring in the 93rd. Just like Sigi Schmid drew it up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic not making the trip to Foxborough.

Minnesota United 3-2 Real Salt LakeFULL HIGHLIGHTS

Darwin Quintero has singlehandedly made Minnesota not only watchable, but downright delightful to watch. At some point, MLS goalkeepers are going to remember that he’ll go for the chip, and he’ll probably beat them with it.

After the game, RSL head coach Mike Petke delivered another all-time great MLS rant. Speaking about the inconsistencies with video-assistant review (VAR), Petke hit every high note in perfect pitch (watch until the very end, please, we beg of you).

Elsewhere in MLS action

Montreal Impact 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
New York City FC 2-0 Columbus Crew SC
FC Dallas 3-1 Chicago Fire
Colorado Rapids 0-0 Houston Dynamo

Leicester – Burnley: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Leicester – Burnley: Brendan Rodgers seeks to become just the 23rd manager to win 100 games in the Premier League, and becoming the fourth-fastest Brit to reach the mark, when Leicester City host Burnley at the King Power Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 2 pm ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

LEICESTER – BURNLEY BROM STREAM LIVE

Rodgers moved one step closer to his century of PL wins last weekend when the Foxes began their 2020-21 campaign with a 3-0 thrashing of newly promoted West Bromwich Albion. Burnley, on the other hand, are set for their season debut this weekend after their opening-day clash with Manchester United was rescheduled.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Leicester – Burnley this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Leicester – Burnley (INJURY REPORT)

Leicester will be missing three players Ricardo Pereira (knee), Jonny Evans (thigh), Filip Benkovic (groin) — with absolutely certainty, plus James Maddison (hip) is unlikely to feature and Wes Morgan (thigh) is expected to face a late fitness test to determine his availability.

Meanwhile, Burnley aren’t expecting to have Johann Berg Gudmundsson (knee) or Jack Cork (ankle).


What they’re saying: Leicester – Burnley

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, on transfer target Cengiz Under: “He’s a very, very good player. There have been negotiations with the club [Roma] and we’re hopeful there. We need a different kind of attacking player to help out at the top end of the pitch. It’s clear we have pace and power, but I feel we need more football in there.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, on the club’s desperate transfer approach: “Lastminute.com — [it] started back in the day of Charlie Austin, two days before the first game of the season. There are many different ways that clubs operate. It is very difficult, it is tricky, but it’s the reality of it. I’ve been here eight years. This is not new news. I’ve been saying this for three years at least, saying we’ve got to stretch, we’ve got to pre-plan. But you can only offer these opinions. I don’t sign the checks, I can assure you.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Leicester (-165) are heavy betting favorites with Burnley (+460) widely expected to simply roll over and concede the three points up for grabs. Even the draw (+290) is though a bridge perhaps too far for the Clarets.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction: Leicester – Burnley

Leicester managed to shake off the rust and disappointment that was the end of the 2019-20 season (just two wins from nine games during “Project Restart”) and win going away last weekend. On the other hand, Burnley finished with just two losses from their final nine games, and won four of them. We’ll see if either side is in the midst of a trend, or simply a blip on the radar. Leicester 2-1 Burnley.


How to watch Leicester – Burnley stream and start time

Kickoff: 2 pm ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock

Newcastle – Brighton: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Newcastle v Brighton: A pair of sides that impressed on the opening weekend of the 2020-21 Premier League season — but only one of them with anything to show for it — will meet at St. James’ Park on Sunday (Watch live at 9 am ET, online via Peacock).

NEWCASTLE – BRIGHTON STREAM LIVE

Newcastle United were far and away the better side in their season-opening victory away to West Ham United last weekend, while Brighton looked the better part of Chelsea’s equals for 54 minutes but ultimately fell to a 3-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Newcastle v Brighton this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Newcastle v Brighton (INJURY REPORT)

Newcastle will be without five players — Matty Longstaff (thigh), Martin Dubravka (ankle), Fabian Schar (shoulder), Paul Dummett (thigh), Dwight Gayle (knee) — leaving Steve Bruce with an increasingly thin squad.

Jose Iquierdo (knee), Florian Andone (knee) and Christian Walton (ankle) have all been ruled out for Sunday, with rising star Ben White (ankle) likely to face a late fitness test after picking up a minor injury last week.


What they’re saying

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, on starting with a win: “I’m like everybody else, we all like to get off to a start and we couldn’t have had a better week in terms of results. The players have hit the ground running, which was always part of the reason why we went after who we went after. We’ve got a chance to get off to an outstanding start.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter, on Newcastle: “Newcastle will be strong. They were worthy winners at West Ham and they will be a tough test for us. Impressive, the business they have done. They have added to the squad and they will be really strong. Everyone knows what Andy Carroll brings to the team and physically he is very strong, and aerially he is strong. Him and [Callum] Wilson will be a strong partnership.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

There’s almost nothing to separate Newcastle (+160) from Brighton (+185) as the oddsmakers see Sunday’s clash a near-tossup. Even the draw (+210) isn’t far out of line with either side winning.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

At the risk of placing too much importance upon a game in week no. 2, this one has the feel of an important litmus test for Newcastle. West Ham have been chaotic for quite some time now, but Brighton, despite finishing 15th last season, have appeared far more stable and trending upward under Potter. They’re likely a mid-table side this season, and Newcastle could be, too. In the end, it ends Newcastle 1-1 Brighton.


How to watch Newcastle v Brighton stream and start time

Kickoff: 9 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock

Europa League qualifying – playoff round draw results

Europa League draw
Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates/Getty Images
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Europa League draw results: Tottenham Hotspur will be rather pleased with their draw for the final round of UEFA Europa League qualifying — should they advance to reach it, of course — as they plod toward the group stage.

[ MORE: Is Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham a good idea? ]

After surviving their brush with disaster and embarrassment on Thursday, Jose Mourinho’s men will next be away to Macedonian side Shkendija in the third round of qualifying next Thursday. Should they come on top there, Tottenham will then host either Russian side Rostov or Israeli outfit Maccabi Haifa the first week of October. The winner of that single-leg showdown will qualify for the group stage.

Elsewhere, Serie A giant AC Milan, who face Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt next week, were handed a slightly tougher draw: away to Turkish giant Besiktas or Portuguese side Rio Ave.

[ MORE: Transfer news: Diogo Jota to Liverpool; Yedlin to Besiktas ]

Scottish rivals Celtic and Rangers are also still alive in their quests to reach the group stage and learned their potential future opponents in the Europa League draw. Celtic, the nine-time reigning champions of Scotland, will face Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina) or Buducnost (Montenegro) if they get past Riga (Latvia) first. Rangers will see Galatasaray or Hajduk Split (Croatia) if they advance past Dutch side Willem II next weekn.

Notable Europa League playoff round matchups

Shkendija/ Tottenham Hotspur v Rostov/Maccabi Haifa
Besiktas/Rio Ave v AC Milan/Bodo/Glimt
Sarajevo/Buducnost Podgorica v Riga/Celtic
Willem II/Rangers v Galatasaray/Hajduk Split
Rosenborg/Alanyaspor v Mura/PSV Eindhoven
St. Gallen/AEK Athens v Wolfsburg/ Desna Chernihiv
Sporting CP/ Aberdeen v LASK/ Dunajska Streda

Everton – West Brom: How to watch, start time, team news, prediction, odds

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Everton – West Brom: The Toffees and Baggies are set to kick off weekend no. 2 of the 2020-21 Premier League season on Saturday (Watch live at 7:30 am ET, online via Peacock).

EVERTON – WEST BROM STREAM LIVE

Everton were one of the PL’s most impressive sides last weekend, as they began their campaign with a 1-0 victory away to Tottenham Hotspur. Most impressively, though, was the instant impact of three newcomers — James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure — who slotted into the team and played important parts in collecting three points on their debuts.

As for West Bromwich Albion, returning to life in the PL brought something of a rude awakening in the form of a 3-0 home defeat to Leicester City. After two seasons in the EFL Championship, West Brom undeniably have their work cut out for them if they’re to stay up this season.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Everton – West Brom this Saturday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Everton – West Brom (INJURY REPORT)

Everton will be without four players — Mason Holgate (ankle), Cenk Tosun (knee), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (calf), Fabian Delph (calf) — none of whom were available for selection to the 18-man squad a week ago.

West Brom will be missing Danish forward Kenneth Zohore (calf), who also missed out on the opening weekend.


What they’re saying

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, on his squad’s depth: “They are experienced players, all three of them in different ways, James, Allan have international experience. Doucoure has played really well in the Premier League. They have brought more confidence to their teammates. We have a more competitive squad. It is difficult to do the lineup, difficult to make the bench and the most difficult part is to tell the player to stay home and watch the game on TV. But if we want to be a more competitive team we have to have competition in the squad.”

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic, on wanting more signings: “We would love to do it. It is important we bring a different type of striker to what we have into the club. We are trying to get it done but it’s not easy, but it is instrumental for us. Then the next phase is to improve the team from last season. We got Button the goalkeeper, we got Kipre from Wigan – two good additions to our squad. We’ve got [Branislav] Ivanovic, and now [Conor] Gallagher, and we’re hoping and trying to get a couple more. It’s not a secret — we have good numbers of strikers, but we’re looking to add a bit more quality.”


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Everton (-190) are, predictably, heavy favorites for this one, with West Brom checking in at +525. The draw is currently sitting +320, if you’re a firm believer that West Brom stand a chance.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

It’s a mighty tough schedule to start the season for West Brom, as they go from last season’s fifth-place finishers to a side with similar aspirations this season. For as long as James and Co., stay healthy and fit, Everton look set to be a handful and a half for bottom-half sides like West Brom. They will have to wait another week for their first points — and their first goal. Everton 2-0 West Brom.


How to watch Everton – West Brom stream and start time

Kickoff: 7:30 am ET Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock