Solskjaer beats Pochettino in public Man United job interview

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LONDON — The boardroom was 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium. The interview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer v. Mauricio Pochettino for the Manchester United job.

The former has his nose in front, for now.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Billed as a clash between Solskjaer and Pochettino and who will be handed the chance to lead United long-term, an absorbing end-to-end clash took place at Wembley as United shaded a splendid encounter.

This was a statement win from United and Solskjaer which breathed new life into their season.

David De Gea made several wonderful saves to deny Spurs in the second half as the Red Devils sealed a fifth-straight Premier League win (it was the biggest so far by some margin) to kick off Solskjaer’s reign as caretaker boss.

The way he has rejuvenated Marcus Rashford as a central striker and Paul Pogba as a dominant no.10 are two of the biggest reasons for giving him the United job on a permanent basis right now.

After the game both Solskjaer and Pochettino, who were shown enjoying a warm embrace before the game, were asked about their supposed duel to be sat in the hot seat at Old Trafford for the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

“This game was never about me or him. You made it out to be, for us it is three points,” Solskjaer said. “We had to beat them today if we are going to have the chance to catch them. We were 10 points behind them, now we are seven. Seven points is catchable. 13 impossible. 10 difficult. Now, we have a chance.”

Pochettino was standoffish when asked about the rumored battle between himself and Solskjaer to take the United job.

Instead he focused on how much better Tottenham were than United throughout the 90 minutes and how De Gea was the difference between the teams.

“It is not ethical to talk about what he is doing or what I am doing. You can only talk about the game. Today, to talk about the game, of course we were better,” Pochettino said. “I think we dominated the game, we created more chances than them, and the second half we created 11 shots on target that produced 11 saves from the goalkeeper. It was a game and a battle between Tottenham and Manchester United. If not, we need to play him against me, one v. one, on the pitch. And then the next game against Fulham, Ranieri. The next game, Sarri. Come on, it is football.”

The fact that Solskjaer beat Pochettino to close the gap on Spurs and leave United just six points off the top four shows his ability to deliver big wins at key moments, and how that extends from his playing career to his managerial career.

He is getting the most out of this Man United squad and has them playing to their strengths. No doubt.

But the sample size is still too small to suggest he is by far the best long-term prospect to take charge of United.

Pochettino may well be the best man to lead them into a brave new world with youngsters at the core if United decide to make their move for him this summer and he decides he has taken Spurs as far as he can.

But back to the man of the moment, Solskjaer: United’s legendary forward admitted he isn’t thinking about taking over full-time when his caretaker role ends, even if he has mentioned it a few times over the last month since he took over from Jose Mourinho.

“I am just doing my job every single day here until the contract runs out, the end of June, I will have a holiday in there. I am not thinking about that whatsoever,” Solskjaer said.

But there’s no doubt the win at Spurs, and against Pochettino, has massively boosted his chances of getting the gig on a permanent basis.

“The win here was massive. The team spirit was massive. The belief and joy in the dressing room absolutely fantastic,” Solskjaer said. “Of course we have been away for a week working on certain things and when the boys see the benefits of that work, both fitness and maybe tactically. It is massive. Results like this, against big teams, they do give you confidence.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, De Gea summed up what Solskjaer has done to lift the gloom from the Mourinho era.

“The manager brought some happiness, the players are playing well and the team is very strong now. This is the real Manchester United.”

Tottenham signs Mauricio Pochettino’s son to contract extension

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Mauricio Pochettino put his arm around the player as he always does when a Tottenham member signs a new contract. This one was different.

A proud dad smiled for the camera as son Maurizio put pen to paper on a new deal seeing him move up to the U-23 side. The 18-year-old has been with Spurs youth side since following his father from Southampton to the English capital four years ago.

The boy impressed in 21 appearances for the U-18 squad last season, deployed on the wing where he scored four goals and assisted another. He was part of the squad that took on his old club Southampton in the very first event held in the club’s new stadium, essentially a trial run before the true opening match for the senior side.

Unlike his father, who is Argentinian and played for the Argentina national team, Maurizio was born in Barcelona and therefore could choose to represent Spain if he so desires, or his father’s native Argentina – given, of course, he reaches those heights. First, it will be the Checkatrade Trophy he takes part in, with the Spurs U-23 squad set to take on Gillingham, Colchester United, and Ipswich Town in Southern Section Group A.

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2019/20 underway… #COYS

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USMNT notes: Robinson moves to Wigan, and more

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It’s been a busy day of U.S. Men’s National Team related news, from Tyler Boyd signing with Besiktas to U.S. Soccer announcing a friendly match with Mexico in September at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Here’s everything else you may have missed today relating to the USMNT and Americans Abroad.


Robinson joins Wigan in permanent transfer

Antonee Robinson is heading back to the Championship, but this time, he won’t be heading back to Everton at the end of the season.

Robinson on Monday completed a permanent transfer to Wigan. where he spent last season and helped the club avoid relegation. Robinson has signed a three-year contract and he joined for a reported $2.5 million transfer fee, per Wigan Today. He battled injuries to make 26 appearances in all competitions.

Robinson, born in England to an American father and British mother, came up in Everton’s Finch Farm academy but never broke through to make a first team appearance. Instead, he spent time in the lower levels on loan to Bolton and then Wigan. With Everton’s signing last year of Lucas Digne, the left back spot is locked up for quite a while, leaving Robinson second-choice and in search of first team minutes again.

For the USMNT, Robinson made his debut in the 3-0 win over Bolivia in late May, 2018, and has gone on to make seven appearances for the senior team, including a start against Jamaica, though it didn’t go well in a 1-0 defeat at home. Robinson was on the 40-man provisional Gold Cup roster for coach Gregg Berhalter and he also took part in a European-based training camp for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team as the team starts preparing for Olympic qualifying, which will likely take place later this year.

Robinson will likely play a key role in helping the U.S. make it to their first Olympics since 2008 in Beijing.


Reyna heading to USA with Borussia Dortmund

Claudio Reyna’s son Giovanni Reyna is off to a strong start after officially being announced as a signing by Borussia Dortmund. Whether for marketing reasons or sporting reasons, Reyna was one of the 26 players to make the flight to Seattle as Dortmund takes some preseason action in the U.S.

BVB will face the Seattle Sounders in Seattle on Thursday before heading to take on Liverpool in South Bend, Indiana on Saturday.

It’s a quick burst in the U.S., but perhaps Reyna can get a few minutes of action in his home nation before heading back to Germany to try and see if he can break into the squad.


Scott set for Newcastle? 

British-born American midfielder Kyle Scott appears that he will still be on the books at a Premier League club next season.

According to multiple reports, including the Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle FC is interested in signing Scott, thanks to a reported recommendation from former coach Rafa Benitez. Scott, 21, has spent the past 12 years in Chelsea’s academy and reserves, but he’s hardly sniffed a match, at least for the first team. He spent some time on loan with Dutch second-division side Telstar last year, but it wasn’t declared permanent.

Now, having been let go by Chelsea, Scott is looking for a new club. It’s unclear, however, considering his lack of first team experience, if he’d be able to step into the lineup at Newcastle and really make a difference so soon.

In the past, Scott has appeared for the U.S. Under-18s and U-20s. Perhaps some regular playing time in the Premier League can get him into the senior national team.

Watch: Hear from Bournemouth’s Howe in training

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Ever wondered what it is like to go through preseason training with a Premier League?

Thanks to AFC Bournemouth, now we know.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was “mic’d up” during a preseason training session on Monday, giving fans an inside look into his team gaining fitness and going over some key movements that they’ll surely be using during games this season.

Plus….players biking to practice and the dreaded beep test.

Here from Howe and the players above and take a look at a Premier League preseason.

Dietrich quits as club president of crisis-hit Stuttgart

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STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Wolfgang Dietrich quit as president of German second-division team Stuttgart on Monday after saying he no longer wants to be made a scapegoat for all that’s wrong at the crisis-ridden club.

The 70-year-old Dietrich, who took over as president in October 2016 and whose term was due to run until 2020, said he never expected such “hostility and malice” as he experienced at the club’s annual general meeting on Sunday.

[READ: Tyler Boyd signs with Besiktas]

The AGM had to be cancelled after about 4,500 members were unable to vote for the club’s management board because of Wi-Fi problems. Dietrich broke off the meeting to loud jeers and protests and was accompanied by bodyguards from the interior of the stadium.

Dietrich said he no longer wants to “be in charge of an organization that is neither willing to stand up to these interests against me nor is able to guarantee the smooth running of a general meeting.”

Dietrich was already under fire for his links to investment company Quattrex Sports, which provided loans to several of Stuttgart’s rivals. In his 3+ years at the club, Stuttgart has had three coaches, two sporting directors and was relegated from the Bundesliga last season.