Dominic Solanke

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Premier League friendly roundup: West Ham, Crystal Palace win; Everton falls twice

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With two weeks to go before the start of the season, there were a number of Premier League teams in preseason friendly action Saturday morning, and almost all of them came out victorious.

Early in the morning, Manchester City topped Yokohama FM in Japan 3-1, with Kevin De Bruyne impressing for the defending Premier League champions.

[ MORE: Man City tops Yokohama FM 3-1 ]

West Ham United visited Craven Cottage and came away with a 1-0 win thanks to Manuel Lanzini‘s 18th minute goal. The defense for the most part kept Fulham in check and the Hammers were in control for the entire first half. The Whites only found one good opportunity with 12 minutes to go as Aboubakar Kamara came close, and Andriy Yarmolenko nearly scored at the death for West Ham.

Everton played a pair of matches, with the Opel Cup featuring two 60 minute games against Sevilla and Mainz. The Toffees dropped both games, falling to Sevilla 1-0 before dropping to Mainz 3-1. A penalty was the difference in the opening game against Sevilla, while Lewis Gibson scored in the losing effort against the German side. Robin Quaison did the damage for Mainz with a pair.

Aston Villa came out on top of Charlton Athletic 4-1 as Scottish international John McGinn scored twice. His second was an absolutely blistering solo effort that came when he stole the ball in the attacking third, skipped around a foul by a defender, rounded the keeper on the end line and scored from a tight angle.

Anwar El Ghazi and Andre Green were also on the scoresheet as Villa heads into its final week of preseason preparations, with one more friendly coming next weekend against RB Leipzig.

Leicester City got a winner from Youri Tielemans in the 84th minute as the Foxes topped Stoke City 2-1. The Belgian finished off a cutback from Ben Chilwell for the winner, which added to Marc Albrighton‘s strike on the hour mark. The two goals were required to wipe off Stoke’s 70th minute goal by Nick Powell. The game was marred by a horrible ankle injury to Ryan Shawcross which had the home fans spooked for quite some time at bet365 Stadium.

Bournemouth got goals from Jordan Ibe and Dominic Solanke as the Cherries topped Brentford 3-1. Ibe was especially bright, opening the scoring just before halftime and assisting the third from 20-year-old Sam Surridge. A pair for Bournemouth against Lyon and Lazio on back-to-back days in early August are the final tuneups before the season.

Burnley drew with Wigan 2-2, throwing away a two-goal lead they built in the opening 10 minutes thanks to goals from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil. The Clarets were pegged back by a James Tarkowski own-goal just before halftime and Joe Gelhardt’s equalizer past the hour mark. Burnley controlled much of the first half but they were forced to defend for significant stretches after the break.

Brighton clobbered Birmingham City 4-0 as Glenn Murray got on the scoresheet early and a Shane Duffy second-half pair finished things off. It was all seagulls, as Jurgen Locadia also found the back of the net and Martin Montoya struck the crossbar 15 minutes from time. Only the first 15 minutes of the second half saw Birmingham City truly threaten, and Brighton was able to weather the storm. New manager Graham Potter utilized a three-CB defense and it worked wonders in the opening 20 minutes, working a team goal finished off by Murray before Leandro Trossard stole a poor pass by the goalkeeper and fed Locadia for a turn-and-shoot.

Sheffield United also took a four-goal haul to victory, topping nearby Barnsley 4-1. Callum Robinson scored twice and Ben Osborn scored on his debut for the club as the Blades won for the fourth this this preseason. Ravel Morrison also made his club debut, seeing time in the final 15 minutes.

Watford secured a 1-0 victory over QPR as main man Etienne Capoue scored the game’s only goal in a repeat of the same opponent, scoreline, and goalscorer from the FA Cup 5th round last season. QPR had chances and moments throughout the game, but Capoue took charge past the half-hour mark in an otherwise drab first half.

Crystal Palace obliterated Bristol City 5-0 as everything was working for the Eagles in their preseason tuneup. Christian Benteke provided a thumping header while Andros Townsend and Jeffrey Schlupp were also on target in the match. Wilfried Zaha was not in the squad for Palace but they certainly didn’t miss him as Luka Milivojevic controlled the midfield powerfully and the attacking threat was constant.

U.S. U-20s meeting potential head-on

AP Photo/Sergei Grits
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The Yanks are coming.

Given the past year for the U.S. men’s national team, that’s a statement which might’ve required different and perhaps excessive punctuation even a few months before the U-20 World Cup in Poland.

Maybe: The Yanks are coming?

Or even: The Yanks are coming?!?

[ RECAP: France 2-3 U.S. U-20s ]

There was a cautious optimism regarding the United States U-20 team heading into the tournament, no doubt. Tab Ramos’ men had suitcases full of swagger and a boatload of nerve honed from win after win in CONCACAF and plenty of advancement in their club careers.

Sebastian Soto and Timothy Weah had broken into the fold at Hannover 96 and Celtic (and PSG). Paxton Pomykal was having one of the best seasons of any midfielder in MLS, and a handful of players including Chris Richards and Alex Mendez took MLS Academy-developed careers to Bundesliga clubs.

Ukraine, Nigeria, and Qatar was a manageable group, not an easy one, but if the hype and hope met halfway the Baby Yanks could have a shot at placing for the first time in 20 years (when the tournament had fewer teams).

Looking at the tournament field, the mandate of the ambitious seemed simple: Don’t just advance, but win the group and probably avoid France. The oddsmakers had France as better than even money to win the tournament.

So when the Baby Yanks’ early 1-0 lead turned into a 2-1 deficit via goals before and after halftime, many would’ve been forgiven for sensing in air of inevitability. That Ramos’ men would flip the script with two goals in the final 16 minutes was wondrous.

Perhaps that amazement is a product of how much weight was put on the Baby Yanks winning Group D with the hopes of avoiding France. Maybe that added to the specter of Les Bleus, casting a longer shadow over the field.

Of course it could all fall apart for the U-20s against Ecuador, even though the Yanks will be favored in Gdynia. These are young players, more likely to be swayed by in-game emotions. Wisdom is there to be gained from these tournaments, win or lose.

Yet this makes three-straight quarterfinal berths for the U.S. who, by the way, has U-20 eligible Josh Sargent on USMNT duty.

It’s a terrific feather in the cap of Ramos, whose 2017 squad took eventual finalists Venezuela to penalty kicks in the quarters and had neither Christian Pulisic nor Weston McKennie on the roster (Tyler Adams and Sargent were there, it should be noted).

That Venezuela team, for what it’s worth, lost to England who had Lewis Cook, Dominic Solanke, Dominic Calvert-Lewin as three of a several to now have Premier League experience under their belts. 2015 winners, Serbia, defeated the U.S. in the quarters (penalty kicks) and had Sergej Milinković-Savić and Marko Grujic.

The U-20 World Cup isn’t a kingmaker of a tournament, and many stars of this month (and last) won’t dance onto FIFPro Best XI, but tell any sad sacks trying to thumb their nose at this U.S. win to take a hike.

Only eight teams will remain once Argentina and Mali finish their tangle on Tuesday, and the United States is alive. For a men’s program which failed so fantastically in World Cup and Olympic qualifying, these wins are welcome feats of strength.

And really, it could be huge given the full USMNT’s promise under Gregg Berhalter, with three key players 20 years old and promise building into the Gold Cup and, we can only hope, the 2022 World Cup.

Burnley ease past dismal Bournemouth (video)

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  • Second-straight win for Burnley
  • 1 win in 9 for Bournemouth
  • Clarets now two points behind Cherries

Burnley came from behind to win 3-1 at Bournemouth on Saturday, as the Clarets left the Vitality Stadium with a massive three points.

Ashley Barnes scored an early own goal to put Bournemouth ahead, but then Chris Wood and Ashley Westwood each scored in quick succession to put them ahead with Asmir Begovic not covering himself in glory in goal for Bournemouth.

Barnes then scored after another Begovic howler to seal the win, as Sean Dyche‘s side now move eight points clear of the relegation zone and are on 36 points, just two points behind Bournemouth.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth took the lead inside four minutes as a free kick was flicked on by Jefferson Lerma and under pressure from Nathan Ake, Barnes nodded into his own net. 1-0.

David Brooks was causing plenty of problems cutting in from the right flank, but Burnley then struck back. A corner caught out Asmir Begovic as it looped to the back post and Wood nodded home to make it 1-1. Game on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Burnley were soon 2-1 up, as Dwight McNeil caused havoc on the left and his cross eventually found Westwood who struck an effort into the far corner to put the Clarets 2-1 up.

Before the break Bournemouth had a great chance to make it 2-2, but an unmarked Callum Wilson somehow nodded over from close range. Burnley went close on two occasions before the break as Begovic was almost caught out at his near post with a free kick, as the end-to-end nature continued.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Right at the start of the second half Barnes hit a shot goalwards which hit Ake on the arm and deflected wide, but no penalty kick was given.

Burnley did extend their lead, as Charlie Taylor‘s cross from the left was spilled by Begovic and Wood pounced to set up Barnes to slot home. 3-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The away side threatened to extend their lead further late on with some dangerous crosses, while Josh King nodded wide for Bournemouth.

Dominic Solanke, Ryan Fraser and Wilson went close late on, but Bournemouth couldn’t launch another of their famous late rallies and Burnley secured a big win in their battle against relegation.

Newcastle grab last-gasp draw at Bournemouth (video)

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  • Ritchie scores stoppage time equalizer
  • King’s double gave Bournemouth the lead
  • 1 defeat in 6 for Newcastle

Bournemouth were haunted by a former star, as Matt Ritchie scored a late, late leveller for Newcastle United at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The former Bournemouth winger made it 2-2 in second half stoppage time with a fine volley, in a game played in swirling winds on the South Coast. Salomon Rondon had given Newcastle the lead right on half time, but two Josh King goals looked to have sealed all three points for Bournemouth.

Ritchie’s goal grabbed a point for the Magpies, who now move seven points clear of the relegation zone and are just three points behind Bournemouth who have 38 on the board.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle had plenty of the ball early on and DeAndre Yedlin was brought down in the box by Charlie Daniels but no penalty kick was given. Ryan Fraser hit the post with a low shot but the game was a scrappy encounter.

Ayoze Perez then sent a shot in on goal which Artur Boruc saved smartly, as the Magpies took the game to the Cherries.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Jefferson Lerma was then lucky to not be sent off as he caught Perez with a late challenge, but that Colombian midfielder was only shown a yellow card.

The wind on the South Coast of England impacted both teams in the first half, but right on half time Rondon gave Newcastle the lead. His stunning free kick, won by Miguel Almiron who almost ran the length of the pitch after a Bournemouth corner, flew in at the near post to put Newcastle 1-0 up.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Bournemouth equalized right at the start of the second half, as they were awarded a penalty kick. Federico Fernandez had his arm around Nathan Ake‘s neck and Mike Dean pointed to the penalty spot. King finished calmly to make it 1-1. Game on.

Moments later Bournemouth should been ahead. Chris Mepham‘s header across goal from a corner went towards Ake and instead of nodding home he got out of the way of the ball as he thought it was going on.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Rondon fired across goal and Matt Ritchie was inches away from knocking home to put Newcastle back ahead in an end-to-end encounter, with Rondon also going down in the box after being pulled back by Callum Wilson but no penalty was given. Lerma then headed over from close range as Bournemouth missed a big chance.

Wilson then thought he had given Bournemouth the lead, but Paul Dummett acrobatically cleared off the line as Newcastle survived a huge scare. Soon after they weren’t so lucky as Dominic Solanke took his time in the box and set up King to sweep home and put Bournemouth 2-1 up late on.

However, the drama wasn’t over. DeAndre Yedlin sent in a cross and Ritchie popped up, in stoppage time, to smash home a beautiful volley to make it 2-2. He then celebrated wildly with the travelling Newcastle fans, as the point gained felt like a win for the Magpies.

Bournemouth-Wolves penalty-fest ends in draw (video)

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  • Three penalties
  • King hits one, misses late bid to win
  • Jimenez converts for Wolves

Raul Jimenez’s 10th goal of the Premier League season helped Wolves to a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The Mexican also has six assists on the season, and moved his club level with Watford on 40 points. Wolves are behind on three goals of differential.

Bournemouth saw Joshua King convert a penalty and miss another, the Cherries now six points back of seventh.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

About a minute after Wolves’ Raul Jimenez had a goal pulled back for a foul, Bournemouth earned a penalty when King hit the deck under pressure from Joao Moutinho.

King finished his effort, and it was 1-0.

Dominic Solanke won a corner with a fine dribble into the 18 in the 27th minute, but Rui Patricio collected it.

At the other end, Diogo Jota sent a shot/pass through the six that Jimenez couldn’t slide through to equalize in the 38th minute.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule

Bournemouth was better money for a second goal than Wolves a first, though possession was in favor of the visitors.

Jordon Ibe smashed the cross bar with under 20 minutes to play.

The Cherries were punished for their lack of finish when Matt Doherty was fouled in the box by Adam Smith.

Jimenez rolled the ball to the opposite side of a diving Artur Boruc in the 83rd.

Amazingly, a penalty came within a minute or so of restart. Ivan Cavaleiro was adjudged to have committed a foul on Ryan Fraser inside the box (it was outside). But King hit his shot off the outside of the right post.

Hilariously, the sprinklers began as the match hit its fifth of five scheduled minutes of stoppage time.