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Southgate unfazed by goal drought: “Harry will get us goals”

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Harry Kane hasn’t scored a goal for England since July 3, in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup, but Gareth Southgate insists he is unconcerned about the Tottenham Hotspur striker’s ongoing goal drought.

[ MORE: PSG want Arsene Wenger for front-office role ]

Most forwards wouldn’t elicit mass hysteria over six appearances (479 minutes) without a goal on the international stage — it’s hard to score goals, you know — but most forwards aren’t Kane, either. From the first time he put on the senior-team shirt and marked his debut with a goal, Kane has been bagging them with ease — 19 in 33 caps thus far.

For that reason, Southgate refuses to panic or stray from the course that says one of the world’s best, most complete forwards should be the first name on the team sheet every time out. Plus, he can sense that once Kane finds the net again, the floodgates will open; he sensed the moment was close in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Croatiaquotes from the Guardian:

“He buried that chance but was just offside, but Harry will get us goals. We were a real threat. The most important thing for the team is we create chances, look dangerous, and I have faith the players who didn’t score will score.

“This feels like a game we should have won but I was really pleased with the way we played. We dictated the flow for a long period and the second-half performance was excellent, pushing right to the end. I couldn’t ask for more from the players. We just have to make sure we finish the chances. On another day, we will”

On the other hand, Kane hasn’t exactly been the sharpest version of himself since injuring his ankle in mid-March. He was likely rushed back for the finish of the Premier League season, followed by the World Cup with a very short week’s break in between. A prolonged period of rest wasn’t possible post-World Cup either, as the PL season began in early August. At some point — whether by design or another injury that may come along — he’ll likely need a few weeks of rest and rehabilitation to regain top form for club and for country.

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.

Benfica: Atletico Madrid make $143 million bid for Felix

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The legend of Joao Felix appears to have reached full market value potential.

The 19-year-old Portuguese striker is coming off a breakout year for Benfica, and now the Portuguese giants have received an impressive $143 million offer from Atletico Madrid for Felix. The club confirmed the offer in a statement on its website, stating it was analyzing the deal. Felix has a $136.5 million release clause in his contract, but it appears the additional $7 million is in processing costs.

[READ: Kroos wants to retire at Real Madrid]

Felix was outstanding at Benfica last year, scoring 15 goals with seven assists in 26 league games and three goals and one assist in five Europa League game. Felix has already made his international debut for Portugal.

If confirmed, Felix would become the fifth-most expensive transfer in world history, and the second-most expensive transfer for a teenager behind Kylian Mbappe.

AFCON: Nigeria 1st team through to round of 16 at African Cup, joined by host Egypt

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CAIRO (AP) Former champion Nigeria became the first team to reach the last 16 at the African Cup of Nations after defender Kenneth Omeruo‘s second-half goal delivered a 1-0 win over Guinea on Wednesday.

The Nigerians were unimpressive in the first half in Alexandria but lifted their game in the second. Alex Iwobi‘s rasping shot was pushed away by Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone and Ahmed Musa almost set up Odion Ighalo on a counterattack.

The former Chelsea defender Omeruo did what the forwards had not been able to do when he beat Kone with a glancing header at the near post off Moses Simon’s corner in the 73rd minute.

Nigeria, which won the title in 2013, has two wins from two games in Group B. It beat Burundi 1-0 in its first match and now needs a draw from its last fixture against Madagascar to finish top and stay in Alexandria for the last 16.

There was more good news for Nigeria when Samuel Kalu came on as a substitute near the end. The midfield player collapsed at a training session the day before the first game, suffering from dehydration, and was hospitalized.

Coach Gernot Rohr rested captain John Obi Mikel against Guinea.

Elsewhere, Egypt also confirmed a place in the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahmad Elmohamady and Mohamed Salah each scored in the first half to lead the Pharoahs to victory, the hosts second-straight win in the competition.

In the other match of the day, Uganda tied Zimbabwe, 1-1.