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Praise for Pulisic; Gold Cup to delay Chelsea debut?

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Christian Pulisic is getting ready to head to London this week, as his Borussia Dortmund side play against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash.

[ MORE: UCL last 16 picks

All eyes will be on the USMNT star, officially a Chelsea player but on loan at Dortmund for the rest of the 2018-19 campaign, as the hype around his Premier League arrival continues to grow.

Pulisic, 20, could play a key role for Dortmund against Spurs as Marco Reus is out injured for the game at Wembley, while multiple outlets in the UK are focusing on the fact that he will likely be called up to play for Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT squad for the Gold Cup this summer.

With the U.S. expected to go far in the competition, Pulisic could miss the start of Chelsea’s preseason as they’re scheduled to play a game in Japan in mid-July, just a few days after the Gold Cup final.

Pro Soccer Talk understands that Chelsea will go on a tour of Asia this summer, with the game in Japan the first leg of their preseason.

Pulisic will likely be given a 21-day break after the Gold Cup final, meaning he will not be able to train with Chelsea until a week before the 2019-20 PL season begins. That said, Pulisic hasn’t played a lot for Dortmund this season so even if he features, as expected, for the USMNT this summer, he could make a good impression by turning up early for Chelsea’s preseason.

As for the British perception of Pulisic right now, BBC and BT Sport host Gary Lineker  told football.london that he likes Pulisic but prefers Sancho.

“I’ve seen quite a bit of him and I think he’s got a lot of talent,” Lineker said. “He’s not been an out-and-out regular in their side. I prefer Jadon Sancho to be perfectly honest from what I’ve seen, which is quite a lot as I do watch a hell of a lot of football from all leagues like a geek! He is talented, there’s no question about that.”

“It’s good to see a young American talent because if he does become a superstar that will be a real lift for the game over the other side of the pond. He’s got a lot of talent and it will be interesting to see how he does at Chelsea. He’s got a real chance, but if I could pick one of them I would definitely go with Sancho.”

Pulisic isn’t one for focusing on what others think about him, and when asked about the game against Spurs and impressing fans in England he said it is a “it’s a chance to show them what I’m about.”

If Pulisic helps Dortmund knock Spurs out of the Champions League, he will already be a fans favorite at Chelsea before he has even kicked a ball for the Blues.

“Sounds good,” Pulisic said. “I don’t look at that stuff all that much. I’m just trying to focus here and trying to enjoy the rest of my time here.”

Inter Miami refutes report claiming Beckham selling MLS club shares

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After all the delays, obstacles, and promise, David Beckham may not wind up overseeing a minute of Inter Miami CF.

Yes, really.

A report from Cristian Rivas of AS says the Manchester United legend is selling his shares of his expansion club, which is set to begin play in 2020 (from US.AS.com).

[ MORE: Mata staying with Man Utd ]

Inter Miami CF has denied the report to several outlets, including intrepid MLS reporter Paul Tenorio.

Beckham’s MLS contract allowed him the option of starting a club at the end of his playing career, and he opted for South Beach.

But the English midfielder watched as stadium sites, lawsuits, and myriad issues got in the way of his project, which led to questions of “Will this ever happen?” and multiple public announcements.

It wasn’t all negative, as speculators salivated over the megastars expected to play for “Beckham United.”

According to the report, current IMCF partners Jorge and Jose Mas Santos will purchase Beckham’s shares. Nutty. If true, this report would be a face palm for the executives of Major League Soccer, who backed Becks at every turn (though maybe they knew, too).

And if it happens, maybe this was always Beckham’s plan. It would’ve been foolish for the entrepreneur to turn down the rights to his own team, and staying behind the brand this long certainly aided in the group’s growth.

But how will players and fans react in a market which has certainly had its problems growing, and has been rivaled by a number of upstart teams?

Perhaps it’s all foolhardly speculation, and a reporter was given bad information. Let’s hope so, for the good of Miami having a successful team.

Women’s World Cup: Marta sets record, Kerr scores four

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The missions were clear for Australia and Brazil as Group C play concluded Tuesday at the Women’s World Cup in France: Don’t lose.

Neither did, and Marta became the leading scorer in the history of the World Cup, stretching her women’s record in the process.

[ MORE: Mata staying with Man Utd ]


Italy 0-1 Brazil

Marta increased her Women’s World Cup record for goals to 17 with a second half penalty as Brazil finished third in Group C with Italy, Brazil, and Australia all finishing on six points.

Cristiani Girelli had a goal rightfully ruled out for offside in the 29th minute, and Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara made a point blank save as the match neared halftime.

As the match wore on, Brazil was seemingly content with handing Italy the group in exchange for the point which would hand it a place in the knockout rounds, but Debinha hit the deck under a challenge by Elena Linari and Marta converted the penalty with 16 minutes to go.

Jamaica 1-4 Australia

With its World Cup hopes in jeopardy, Australia turned to its superstar to get the job done; Sam Kerr scored twice in both halves to leave the Reggae Girlz without a win at the 2019 World Cup.

The Matlidas wasted little time in establishing control, getting a goal from Kerr to make it 1-0 and firm up control of their knockout round hopes.

Kerr headed the below gem of a cross from former Liverpool and Ottawa Fury player Emily Gielnik into the goal, and doubled her output with an unmarked header in the 42nd minute.

Jamaica did manage its first World Cup goal early in the second half, with Havana Solaun working around the keeper to score with one of her first actions of the game.

Kerr added a third before this gift from Jamaica completed her four-goal haul.

Watch Live: Copa America — Day 5

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Brazil and Venezuela meet with a knockout round berth up for grabs with the Copa America continues Tuesday in South America.

The Brazilians smashed Bolivia while Venezuela drew Peru, with the hosts again heavy favorites against a Venezuelan side who beat up the USMNT last week.

Bolivia and Peru start things off in Rio at 5:30 p.m. ET, both in dire need of a win.

[ LIVE: Watch every single Copa America game ]

Salvador is the spot for the host nation’s meeting with Venezuela three hours later.

You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.

2019 Copa America schedule

Group A: Bolivia v. Peru – 5:30 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Group A: Brazil v. Venezuela – 8:30 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

Reports: Mata agrees to stay with Manchester United

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Manchester United and Juan Mata are going to stay an item.

The 31-year-old has reportedly found common ground with United just days before his contract expired at Old Trafford, having been linked with Barcelona and Newcastle United should he have reached free agent status.

[ MORE: Latest on Rodri, Man City ]

Mata, 31, may be a key piece for a United team which is set for massive turnover this season, and had six goals and four assists in just under 1800 minutes last season.

He’s an extremely consistent player, scoring 50 Premier League goals with 60 assists between the Blues and Red Devils. He’s won the FA Cup and Europa League with both clubs, winning the Champions League with Chelsea and the League Cup with United.

Mata also has a Copa del Rey from his time with Valencia, and is a World Cup and EURO winner with Spain.

At least this way, Mata can be almost completely sure he won’t face a third stint under Jose Mourinho. Mata was sold by Chelsea after Mourinho lost interest in the midfielder, only to see United hire the Portuguese manager.