Man United battle to victory at Palace (video)

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  • Lukaku scores twice 
  • United unbeaten in 11 PL games under Solskjaer
  • Palace five points above relegation zone

An injury-hit Manchester United beat battling Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park on Wednesday to further underline the progress they have made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Two goals from Romelu Lukaku set United on their way to victory and despite Joel Ward pulling one back, Ashley Young sealed a ninth win in 11 PL games for Solskjaer. With so many injuries going into this game and teenagers handed their debut off the bench, this win was hugely impressive.

The win sees United stay in fifth but they are just one point back of fourth-place Arsenal, while Palace sit in 14th on 30 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Palace had plenty of the ball early on but it was United who had a glorious chance to take the lead.

Romelu Lukaku somehow smashed over from close range as he got a clean connection on the ball, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ruing the missed chance.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Palace almost took the lead themselves moments later with a similar chance, as James McArthur did superbly to find Andros Townsend at the near post but he shot wide. Townsend flashed another effort just wide soon after, then United took the lead.

Lukaku brushed off his earlier miss as Luke Shaw did well to find him on the edge of the box and the Belgian finished well. 1-0. Jeffrey Schlupp missed a glorious chance to make it 1-1 as he somehow nodded wide, with Palace far from out of it at the break.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

United were given a glorious chance to wrap up the win early in the second half, as a lovely ball clipped in from Diogo Dalot found the onrushing Pogba unmarked but he sent his header just over the bar.

Palace forced their way back into the game as David De Gea saved well from Zaha’s effort at the near post, and then the Eagles made it 2-1.

Schlupp’s cross to the back post found Ward charging forward from right back and his diving header set up a tense finish for United. Game on.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

After Palace scored plenty of tackles flew in, but youngster Scott McTominay excelled in midfield and settled things down.

As United kept their cool, they sealed the win.

Pogba teed up Young perfectly and their skipper slammed home to make it 3-1 to keep the Red Devils’ unbeaten run going under Solskjaer.

Atletico Madrid roster for MLS All-Star Game includes Felix

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Major League Soccer fans will get a good luck at one of the hottest prospects in world soccer when the MLS All Stars take on Atletico Madrid in next week’s MLS All Star Game.

Joao Felix, the $142 million 19-year-old, is among the roster announced by Diego Simeone for the match.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

Felix scored 20 times with 11 assists in 40 matches for Benfica before moving to Atleti in the summer. Those numbers include a hat trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarterfinals first leg.

The other stars will be there, too, provided no transfers happen in the interim. Koke, Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa, and Saul Niguez are in the squad.

New Atleti defender Kieran Trippier and longtime El Tri hero Hector Herrera will also be sure to help drive attendance in Orlando City.

The full roster is here.

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

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It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.

From Goal.com:

“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.