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USMNT hangs 7 on overwhelmed Cuba

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The United States men’s national team made its CONCACAF Nations League debut in style, riding a six-goal first half to a 7-0 demolition of Cuba at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

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Weston McKennie had three goals and an assist in a stellar first half, while Jordan Morris had a goal and three assists.

Josh Sargent buried a chance, Christian Pulisic converted a penalty, and Cuba scored an own goal to round out the scoring in our nation’s capital.


Cuba’s defense saw the the Yanks blaze down the right side to open the scoring, Reggie Cannon playing Jordan Morris down the right flank and theSeattle Sounders man drove into the box before cutting back toward a sea of players in the box.

Christian Pulisic couldn’t reach the pass, which was good because McKennie may’ve been the intended target.

The Schalke man collected the ball with his first touch and lashed into the yawning cage as the clock hit :30

He didn’t need to wait long for the second, and Cannon again played Morris into the box to cross for McKennie’s finish.

McKennie then set up Morris for 3-0 in the ninth minute, with a hockey assist to Josh Sargent, before Morris and Cannon again cued up McKennie. Hat trick. 4-0. 13 minutes.

Jackson Yueill was lively, and spotted McKennie who in turn cued Pulisic up for an arrow just over the bar. Moments later Yueill found McKennie but one extra touch saw his shot blocked over the bar for a corner kick.

McKennie made a sensational touch to set up the fifth goal, which will go down as an own goal after Morris’ shot was saved off a defender’s face and into the goal.

Sargent made it 6-0 as Cuba’s midfield was nowhere to be found as Morris dropped a pass for a calm Sargent finish.

The Yanks won a penalty in the 61st minute, and Pulisic snapped up the ball and slotted it down the middle for his 14th international goal.

Roldan had a vicious deflected shot saved for a corner kick in the 79th.

VIDEO: Dutch 2nd-division game stopped for racist abuse; player later scores goal

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A Dutch second-division game between Den Bosch and Excelsior was temporarily stopped on Sunday due to suspected racist chanting and Nazi salutes performed by some of Den Bosch’s fans.

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The game was halted by referee Laurens Gerrets in the 30 minute. Dutch winger Ahmad Mendes Moreira, who plays for Excelsior, was the player targeted by the racist chanting. He was at that time seen gesturing toward the crowd, indicating to Gerrets and teammates that he was hearing racist abuse from the stands.

In a mixed zone for media availability after the game, Den Bosch manager Erik van der Ven is reported to have called Mendes Moreira a “pathetic little man” for pointing out the racist abuse to Gerrets. Den Bosch released a statement claiming that no racist abuse occurred, that the fans were instead making “crow sounds” and treating Mendes Moreira to a “crow concert,” which they claim is part of customary treatment of opposing players.

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Mendes Moreira appeared emotional after scoring a goal to put Excelsior 2-1 ahead fewer than 15 minutes after the game was restarted.

Defending champs Portugal qualify for EURO 2020

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Defending European champions Portugal booked their place at the 2020 European Championship with a 2-0 victory away to Luxembourg on Sunday, the final day of qualification.

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Portugal (17 points) finishes second in Group B behind Ukraine (20), three points ahead of third-place Serbia which will now go the qualification playoffs route in March.

Bruno Fernandes scored Sunday’s winner in the 39th minute, followed by a late insurance goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 86th.

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As things stand, Portugal, who won the European title in 2016 and followed it up with the inaugural UEFA Nations League crown earlier this year, will be placed into Pot 3, alongside Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria and Sweden. Ukraine, meanwhile, is assured of being seeded in Pot 1.

Southgate: Gomez to ‘clear his head’ following injury, Sterling incident

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Gareth Southgate believes Joe Gomez has a chance to “clear his head” in the wake of this week’s incident with England teammate Raheem Sterling, thanks to the minor knee which forced Gomez out of the England team for Sunday’s game against Kosovo.

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Gomez suffered the injury in a clash of knees during Friday’s training session, but Southgate stated emphatically that Gomez is “absolutely fine” after undergoing a scan “and I think he’ll be fine in a couple of days.”

As Southgate sees, the injury could be something of a blessing in disguise for Gomez, who earlier this week was involved in a brief physical confrontation with Sterling, to “clear his head” before beginning his regular work week back at Liverpool. Southgate believes that both players have received closure over the incident and can now move forward without issue.

“I think now is a good moment for him just to go home for a couple of days, clear his head.”

“I think the fact that Raheem put out the tweet was real closure on that whole incident. We get Raheem back on the pitch tomorrow. We won the match on Thursday and we can now just look forwards.

“You couldn’t make it up, really, if you tried, but he’s absolutely fine. He took a clash of knees yesterday. We scanned it just to be certain and I think he’ll be fine in a couple of days.”

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England secured qualification to this summer’s European Championship with a 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro, a game for which Sterling was dropped. Even before Gomez’s injury forced him out of the team, Sterling was set to return to the England team for Sunday’s qualifying finale.

Players in Spanish women’s league go on strike

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MADRID (AP) Spanish women’s league players have gone on strike this weekend demanding better wages and worker protections. Both of Saturday’s games and the six games scheduled for Sunday were postponed due to the players’ refusal to play.

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Players had announced the strike last month after failing to reach a deal with clubs over wages and working hours. More than 90 percent of the 200 players who voted favored the strike, the first in women’s soccer in Spain.

The players’ and clubs’ associations in Spain have been mired in negotiations over a first collective agreement for more than a year.

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Among other issues is the protection of benefits for players in the event of pregnancy.

Spain has 16 first-division women’s clubs, but only a few are fully professional.

The clubs claim they can’t afford the changes currently proposed by the players.