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Steffen wins USMNT award; Speaks on Man City transfer

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Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been named U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year.

The longtime Columbus Crew backstop, who will be with the club until summer, was the 2018 Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year.

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For country, Steffen earned his first six USMNT caps. One of those was a stunning performance in a 1-1 draw against France.

Steffen, 23, says he’s honored to be among the list of award winners in USMNT history.

He also talked about his upcoming move to Man City, via USSoccer.com:

“They’re a top-five team in the world – if not the best right now. I’m well aware of how good Ederson is, and I know I need to grow and get better in a lot of different areas. But my mentality is that when I get over there, I want to play. I’m really highly motivated to get the most out of these next six months in Columbus, and hopefully with the national team. I’m going to really push myself so that when I get to Manchester next summer, I’m that much more confident and prepared.”

Alex Mendez won the Young Male Player of the Award award, and like Steffen he’ll leave the U.S. for a new club in 2019.

The LA Galaxy product, 18, scored a goal with three assists for LA Galaxy II in the USL this season, and will join Freiburg — Steffen’s former club — in January.

Mendez will star for the U.S. U-20s at the World Cup in Poland this summer after appearing in 13 matches for the team this year.

U.S. Soccer provided this list of previous award winners.

Year Male Player of the Year Young Male Player of the Year
2018 Zack Steffen Alex Mendez
2017 Christian Pulisic Josh Sargent
2016 Jozy Altidore (2) Christian Pulisic
2015 Michael Bradley Matt Miazga
2014 Tim Howard (2) DeAndre Yedlin
2013 Jozy Altidore Wil Trapp
2012 Clint Dempsey (3) Rubio Rubin
2011 Clint Dempsey (2) Brek Shea
2010 Landon Donovan (4) Gale Agbossoumonde
2009 Landon Donovan (3) Luis Gil
2008 Tim Howard Sacha Kljestan
2007 Clint Dempsey Michael Bradley
2006 Oguchi Onyewu Jozy Altidore
2005 Kasey Keller (3) Benny Feilhaber
2004 Landon Donovan (2) Eddie Johnson
2003 Landon Donovan Freddy Adu
2002 Brad Friedel Bobby Convey
2001 Earnie Stewart DaMarcus Beasley
2000 Chris Armas Landon Donovan
1999 Kasey Keller (2) Ben Olsen
1998 Cobi Jones Josh Wolff
1997 Kasey Keller
1996 Eric Wynalda
1995 Alexi Lalas
1994 Marcelo Balboa (2)
1993 Thomas Dooley
1992 Marcelo Balboa
1991 Hugo Perez
1990 Tab Ramos
1989 Mike Windischmann
1988 Peter Vermes
1987 Brent Goulet
1986 Paul Caligiuri
1985 Perry Van der Beck
1984 Rick Davis

Jadon Sancho to Man United off? Dortmund say he will not leave

Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
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Jadon Sancho to Manchester United may not happen after all, as Borussia Dortmund are holding firm over the talented winger.

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According to numerous reports Dortmund still want $140 million for Sancho, 20, but were said to be willing to accept a smaller initial payment and larger instalments for the England international and wanted a deal done before Aug. 10 when they ramp up preseason.

Aug. 10 is today and Sporting Director Michael Zorc has spoken as the team flew to Switzerland for preseason training and Sancho was with them.

“We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season, the decision is final. I think that answers all our questions,” Zorc said. “Last summer we adjusted Jadon’s salary to match the development of his performances. So in context, we had already extended his contract until 2023 back then.” 

Reports had stated that Sancho had all but agreed personal terms on a five-year contract at Man United and was just waiting on the two clubs to agree a transfer fee. But Dortmund and Man United have both distanced themselves from that in recent days as the German giants have not received any bids for Sancho from Man United.

We have now reached an impasse.

The England international is wanted by so many top clubs around Europe but Jadon Sancho to Manchester United seemed like the best fit.

Now it may not happen at all and Man United can play hardball here. They don’t really need Sancho. He would be a luxury signing.

Sancho will be a menace out wide with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as United’s other forward options and Paul Pogba and the brilliant Bruno Fernandes creating just behind them. But he would be an extra sprinkle of stardust to an already star-studded attack rather than the cherry on top.

The summer transfer window closes on Oct. 5 and few will bet against Sancho leaving Dortmund between now and then.

Manchester United are going to wait for their man and Dortmund know it.

USWNT star Sam Mewis signs for Man City

Sam Mewis
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Sam Mewis to Manchester City is a huge move both for the USWNT star and the WSL club.

Mewis, 27, was a star for the USWNT as they won the 2019 Women’s World Cup and the central midfielder has left the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL to sign for the FA Women’s Super League side in England.

Speaking about her move to Man City, a club among one of the most ambitious in the women’s game, Mewis is delighted to start a new adventure after three seasons with NC Courage.

“I’m so happy to have everything sorted. The opportunity came along at a really great time – as soon as I heard about the chance of coming to play for Manchester City, I was immediately interested,” Mewis said. “The club is one of the best in the world and I’ve heard such good things about the women’s side as a whole and the incredible facilities. I’ve followed the men’s team too for a long time. This is a really cool, unique and amazing opportunity in my career and I’m so excited to come and see Manchester as a city, be a part of this incredible Club and hopefully help the team achieve their goals.”

Mewis follows in the footsteps of USWNT legend Carli Lloyd who played for Man City in recent seasons, while Canadian star Janine Beckie is also in City’s squad and England captain Steph Houghton is also the captain at City. The new WSL season in England kicks off on Sept. 5-6 and Man City are among the favorites to win it all in England and will also compete in the UEFA Champions League in 2020-21.

Man City battle with Chelsea each season to be crowned the WSL champions and the arrival of Mewis will give them a big boost towards becoming the dominant force in the women’s game in England. She is an unsung hero for the USWNT and has been instrumental in the NC Courage dominating the NWSL in recent seasons with back-to-back championships in 2018 and 2019.

It will be intriguing to see if more USWNT players follow Sam Mewis to Manchester City, and other WSL clubs in England, in the coming months.

Report: Blaise Matuidi to sign for Inter Miami

Blaise Matuidi
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A report has stated that Blaise Matuidi will sign for Inter Miami from Juventus.

According to our partners at Sky Sport in Italy, the World Cup winner, 33, has signed a contract with Inter Miami, as the clubs have agreed the transfer and the medicals are now scheduled in order to complete the move.

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The French central midfielder has been linked with a move to Manchester United and plenty of other Premier League clubs in recent seasons, as he has been a consistent performer for Juventus as he won three-straight Serie A titles since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Blaise Matuidi would be a major coup for David Beckham’s Inter Miami and although they have been linked with several big-name forwards to help solve their lack of goals — Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Willian to name a few — this is a very smart pick-up.

Beckham knows Matuidi well from their time playing at PSG together and he’s a talented central midfielder who simply makes every player around him better.

We’ve seen that at PSG and more recently at Juventus and Matuidi isn’t the most glamorous player around but was a key cog in France winning the 2018 World Cup.

This is one of those deals which makes sense for everyone concerned.

Matuidi’s injury record has been very good and he’s the perfect type of player to help Inter Miami boss Diego Alonso instil a winning a mentality in his squad.

Inter Miami are serious about being a successful MLS team and their debut season has obviously been tough so far for many reasons as they’ve lost their opening five games and scored just three times.

This move is a smart one and there will no doubt be many more signings of the caliber of Matuidi arriving in the coming months and years. Miami do have one DP spot open so you’d expect Matuidi to take that position alongside Rodolfo Pizzaro and Matias Pellegrini.

Report: USMNT’s Robinson to sign for Sheffield United

Antonee Robinson
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Antonee Robinson looks to be heading to the Premier League, as the USMNT left back is closing in on a move to Sheffield United who have reportedly had a bid accepted.

Robinson, 23, has been sensational for Wigan Athletic in the second tier this season but due to Wigan going into administration, their 12-point penalty saw them relegated to the third-tier on the final day of the 2019-20 Championship season.

The Everton academy product, who joined Wigan permanently in the summer of 2019 after a successful loan spell, almost joined AC Milan in January but a medical uncovered a heart issue which required surgery and the deal fell through.

Robinson has recovered superbly from that setback and several Premier League clubs including West Brom, Newcastle, West Ham and Sheffield United were battling to sign him for $2.6 million.

Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have more information on Robinson’s potential move to Sheffield United, as it appears he will join the Blades this week.

“Sheffield United have had a bid of around £2m accepted by Wigan for Antonee Robinson. The former Everton defender is expected to agree terms with the Yorkshire club and complete a deal this week.”

This would be a very, very good move for Robinson and this is the perfect Chris Wilder move.

He is an attacking left back who gets up and down the pitch well and in Sheffield United’s 3-4-3 formation he will be a very useful asset. Robinson will battle with long-term Blades left wing-back Enda Stevens for minutes but when he does play he will be encouraged to get forward and support attacks and link-up with those famous overlapping center backs.

Robinson will also be asked to improve his defensive capabilities and although he’s been a regular in the Championship, the step up to the Premier League and learning Sheffield United’s unique system will take a little time.

Sheffield United have a habit of picking up gems in the second and third tiers of the game and turning them into gems. USMNT fans will be hoping Robinson’s move to the Premier League sees him progress to the next level as he is the clear frontrunner to be the USA’s starting left back for many years to come.