Former Arsenal midfielder Diaby announces retirement

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Arsene Wenger had high hopes for Abou Diaby when he signed just over 13 years ago in London. Unfortunately, injuries kept Diaby from realizing his sky-high potential.

Arsenal confirmed on Monday that Diaby has announced his retirement from playing soccer at the age of 32. Diaby has been without a club since the end of the 2016-2017 season, where he left Marseille after playing just five league matches in two years.

Despite a career with Arsenal that lasted nearly a decade (January 2006 through July 2015), Diaby made just 180 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners. That’s because, according to the Daily Mail, he suffered an incredible 42 separate injuries in London. Diaby missed action due to injuries to his calf muscles, thigh muscles, knees, back, and one concussion he suffered as well.

All in all, he only had two seasons in his entire career where he played more than 20 league matches in a season – 2008/2009 and 2009-2010. Diaby’s 2009/2010 season was enough to get him into the France National Team squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, despite starting all three group games, that tournament ended in infamy for Les Bleus, with some players staging a mutiny.

Amazingly, despite the years of injuries and lack of matches, Wenger continued to believe in Diaby and give him a second chance, hoping that if healthy, he could shore up the team’s shaky central midfield position. Alas, Diaby was never truly able to be fit for long enough stretches, and Arsenal let him leave in 2015.

When he did play, Diaby showed good technical ability for a player standing at 6’4″, and he was agile enough to evade tacklers when dribbling through midfield.

It’s a sad end to Diaby’s career, but by officially calling it quits, perhaps the Frenchman can now move on to another career, within soccer or on the outside. Even though he never became a club legend, he’ll always have a connection to Arsenal.

Kevin Paredes scores spectacular goal as US U20s fall to England (video)

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A day after the United States men’s national team pumped home seven goals against Grenada, Wolfsburg phenom Kevin Paredes showed them a bit of what could be in store for the program.

The U.S. U-20 men ultimately fell 4-2 to England in Marbella, Spain, on Saturday, but Paredes scored an acrobatic goal before cuing up an Owen Wolff finish to tantalize American fans.

[ MORE: Dual national Folarin Balogun meets with U.S. Soccer ]

Paredes, still a teenager until early May, made his U-20 debut going 68 minutes on Wednesday as the Baby Yanks were smacked 4-0 by France in a friendly.

He’d find the scoresheet twice via his goal and assist against England, however, and both showed off the technique and power that has USMNT fans tickled by the potential of the left-sided man.

Paredes’ goal is the stuff of wonder, a scissor kick goal to finish off a wonderful turnover-and-counter. He left DC United for Wolfsburg last season, making two appearances before really finding his footing this season.

Wolfsburg’s called his name 18 times this season, 16 of those coming in the Bundesliga, and Paredes has responded with a goal and two assists. He’s appeared in nine of Wolfsburg’s last 10 matches, missing once for illness.

Leeds’ Mateo Joseph scored a brace for Leeds, while Chelsea starlet Harvey Vale and Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah also bagged goals in the win.

The U.S. U-20s finish the international break with a friendly against Serbia on Tuesday.


Kevin Paredes goal video: Acrobatic finish pulls one back

Jack McGlynn forces a turnover and drives the 18 before laying off for Wolff.

The Austin FC kid’s cross is hammered home by Paredes with a scissor kick.


Owen Wolff backheel goal video: Kevin Paredes assist for 2-2

Paredes then turned provider for Wolff after the Baby Yanks drove the ball from the back through the midfield with Colorado Rapids product Darren Yapi helping it along to Hajduk Split phenom Rokas Pukstas.

Pukstas, 18 and a squad regular, found the Wolfsburg man on the right. Paredes then dribbled inside from the right, finding Wolff for an improvised backheel finish.

Phil Foden has appendix surgery, to miss Manchester City vs Liverpool

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Manchester City star Phil Foden will be unavailable for the club’s big Premier League match with Liverpool, and he may be out longer.

Foden, 22, withdrew from the England squad in order to undergo an appendectomy, and City says he has returned to Manchester to begin recovery.

His recovery means he will not feature for second-place City when it hosts rivals Liverpool on April 1.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

Foden’s nine goals put him into a tie for 12th on the Premier League’s season goals list, and he’s chipped in four assists in league play.

City has 61 points, eight fewer than leaders Arsenal but with a match-in-hand on the Gunners.

Man City’s bidding to win a third-straight Premier League Trophy, something that hasn’t been done since Manchester United completed a “three-peat” at the end of the 2008-09 season.

England plays Ukraine at Noon ET Sunday.

Premier League top scorers: Who is leading Golden Boot race?

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Harry Kane scored twice on Saturday to give him 20 goals on the Premier League season, and impressive figure with 10-plus matches left for the teams of the Premier League this season.

Then Erling Haaland converted a penalty at Crystal Palace to give him 28 on the season, reminding the country that the Golden Boot race remains in fait accompli territory.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

There is something somewhat dull about knowing the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, the lone curiosity being the final number of his final tally, we get it, but most of what Haaland is doing this season is simply marvelous and to be admired without much fear.

Haaland’s Premier League-leading 28 goals have him seven goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s fantastic and firing Harry Kane.

The Norwegian star piled up 20 goals in a single Premier League season faster than any player in history… by seven games (Kevin Phillips of Sunderland did it in 21). Now he’s within five goals of equalling Kevin Phillips’ record for most goals in a debut Premier League season.

And the later this season goes with him projected so far over the current record, the less chucking is accompanied by marking out the pace (especially considering Haaland was not beaten up by the World Cup, as Norway was not in the tournament). And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is rather realistic.

Which records can Haaland break?

Haaland may not be likely to hit 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault and that figure isn’t entirely absurd. He’s played in 23 of Man City’s 24 games, scoring 26 goals.

Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.

Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.

Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:

  • 30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
  • Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
  • Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
  • 11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)

Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.

Premier League 2022-23 Golden Boot race

    1. Erling Haaland, Man City — 28
    2. Harry Kane, Tottenham — 21
    3. Ivan Toney, Brentford — 16
    4. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United — 14
    5. Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal — 13
    6. Bukayo Saka, Arsenal — 12
    7. Miguel Almiron, Newcastle — 11
    8. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham — 11
    9. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool — 11
    10. Rodrigo, Leeds United — 11
    11. Martin Odegaard, Arsenal — 10
    12. James Maddison, Leicester City — 9
    13. Phil Foden, Man City — 9
    14. Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa — 9
    15. Harvey Barnes, Leicester City — 9
    16. Leandro Trossard — Brighton/Arsenal — 8
    17. Danny Ings, Aston Villa/West Ham — 8
    18. Darwin Nunez, Liverpool — 8
    19. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool — 8
    20. Callum Wilson, Newcastle — 7
    21. Brennan Johnson, Nottingham Forest — 7
    22. Alexis Mac Allister, Brighton — 7
    23. James Ward-Prowse, Southampton — 7
    24. Kai Havertz, Chelsea — 7
    25. Solly March, Brighton — 7
    26. Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace — 6
    27. Pascal Gross, Brighton — 6
    28. Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton — 6
    29. Heung-min Son, Tottenham — 6
    30. Phillip Billing, Bournemouth — 6
    31. Alexander Isak, Newcastle — 6

USMNT vs El Salvador: How to watch live, team news, updates

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The USMNT host El Salvador in a winner-take-all CONCACAF Nations League Group D finale on Monday (7:30 pm ET), at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings vs Grenada | Recap/highlights ]

The group winner will qualify for the finals (four teams) of the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League (June 15-18) as well as the 2023 Gold Cup (June 24-July 16). The group runners-up will also qualify for this summer’s Gold Cup.

Following their 7-1 thumping of Grenada on Friday, the USMNT is in good shape and interim head coach Anthony Hudson will likely rotate his first-choice back four back into the lineup.

[ MORE: Folarin Balogun to USMNT? “It’s something that will come to me”

Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and Ricardo Pepi all sparkled in the final third against Grenada and we could see Alex Zendejas and Daryl Dike from the start in Orlando.

Of course, Folarin Balogun is also expected to be watching on from the stands as intrigue grows around his possible switch from England to the USMNT to give the Americans another fine young attacking talent.

Here is everything you need for the USMNT vs El Salvador.


How to watch USMNT vs El Salvador live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30pm ET
Stadium: Exploria Stadium – Orlando, Florida
TV in English: TNT
TV/streaming en Español: Universo/Peacock

[ LIVE: CONCACAF Nations League scores – USMNT vs El Salvador ]


USMNT squad

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders (8): Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juarez), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards (6): Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)