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Klopp: ‘It means so much’ to Liverpool players

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Few fans and pundits gave Liverpool even a half a chance to come back and tie Barcelona, better yet win the match in regulation. And yet, that’s what Liverpool did.

Following Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Barcelona to advance to the UEFA Champions League Final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises his team for their fight, effort, and heart to multiple media outlets.

The whole game was too much. It was overwhelming,” Klopp said to BT Sport following the match. “We played against maybe the best team in world. Winning is difficult but winning with a clean sheet, I don’t know they did it. It’s unbelievable.

“I saw James Milner crying on the pitch after the game. It means so much to all of us. It’s the best phase of football. There are more important things in the world. But creating this emotional atmosphere together is so special. It’s all about the players.

“The mix of potential and unbelievable heart is just a mix I never saw before. You have to be confident in a game like this. Divock and Shaq didn’t play a lot. Putting a performance in like that, it was so important. It shows what’s possible in football. It’s so nice. It’s really nice.”

Despite many Liverpool fans feeling miserable after Barcelona’s 3-0 first leg win, Klopp was feeling confident. He seemed to know that if Liverpool could just be a little more clinical, they’d be just fine. It turns out he was right.

Liverpool didn’t just play heavy metal soccer with a high line for the first 15 minutes of the game, it played that way for all 90 minutes, and Barcelona couldn’t keep up.

“Things got on top of us after those two quick goals,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters. “We didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet and they rolled us over really. It’s a terrible result for our fans and for ourselves. It’s really, really unfortunate, but credit to Liverpool.

“We tried to sit a little bit deeper, but the tie ended for us with the fourth goal. We couldn’t respond.”

But even with Liverpool on the front foot all night, Klopp admitted it took some ingenuity and creativity to break Barcelona down. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking and both of Divock Origi’s finishes took both skill and a confident mentality, while Georginio Wijnaldum showcased the never-say-die attitude that is a hallmark of Klopp’s sides.

“We had to be serious,” Klopp said. “But we needed to be cheeky as well. It was necessary. Barcelona defend predictable things well. But you need to be unpredictable at moments. I saw the ball flying in the goal, I didn’t see the corner. I didn’t see who took the corner. Ben Woodburn said ‘what happened?’”

USMNT remains perfect, tops Panama to win group (video)

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In his first start since the U.S. Men’s National Team’s infamous defeat to Trinidad and Tobago, Jozy Altidore showcased his strength, speed and technical ability to help lead the U.S. to victory.

Altidore’s outstanding bicycle kick goal proved to be the difference in a sometimes dour game as the USMNT topped Panama, 1-0, Wednesday evening at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan. The win kept the U.S. perfect through the Gold Cup group stage with no goals allowed, and it has somewhat erased the memory of the USMNT’s horrible run-up to the tournament, with defeats to Jamaica and Venezuela now firmly in the rear-view mirror.

[MUST-SEE GOAL: Jozy Altidore]

With the win, both teams head to Philadelphia for the quarterfinals this Sunday. Panama plays the undercard matchup against Jamaica while the USMNT faces Curacao.

Must-See Goal: Jozy Altidore puts USMNT in front with Bicycle Kick

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Jozy Altidore put his stamp on the game and gave U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter more to speak about with one fell swing.

Altidore finished off a corner kick in spectacular fashion, executing a perfect bicycle kick to put the USMNT up 1-0 in the 66th minute. The goal came one minute after the entrance of Christian Pulisic, which perhaps was on the mind of the Panama defense.

It was Altidore’s second-straight game vs. Panama with a goal. His last two were in October 2017, when the U.S. pummeled Panama, 4-0. Of course, a few days later, a tired USMNT failed to win at Trinidad and Tobago.

FOLLOW LIVE, Gold Cup: USMNT closes out group v. Panama

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It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]

Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.

Must-See Goal: Wayne Rooney v. Orlando City

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I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.

In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.

[FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Panama]

Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.