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Sunderland, Rodwell cancel contract as player pursues MLS

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Well, here’s an MLS measuring stick for you.

Sunderland and Jack Rodwell have agreed to cancel the player’s contract ahead of a move to Major League Soccer, where 27-year-old ex-England national teamer will test his mettle on North American soil.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Rodwell has played for Everton, Man City, and Sunderland, though he appeared just twice for the Black Cats in the 2017-18 Championship season (which saw Sunderland relegated to League One).

The MLS transfer window opens July 10, but Rodwell will now be a free agent.

Who would benefit from a player like Rodwell, should he be fit and functional? Might he interest NYCFC, a sister club of his former pals Man City, or perhaps might he made a move to join Wayne Rooney (presumably) at DC United?

How he performs, should he sign somewhere in MLS, would be the latest litmus test for the league and its standing relative to the top few divisions in England.

Adama Diomande has four goals in four matches since coming to LAFC from Hull City, but Jordon Mutch hasn’t done much of anything in Vancouver. Adam Henley’s adjustment to Real Salt Lake has been slow, but Sporting KC’s Johnny Russell is one of WhoScored’s highest rated players on one of the league’s best teams.

Colorado has a pair of Championship transfers, with Jack Price faring better than Joe Mason though the club isn’t doing well at all.

Transfer rumor roundup: Chelsea after Richarlison, Carroll

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Monday’s transfer rumor roundup begins with wobbling Chelsea, who has already added Ross Barkley this January.

[ PL PLAYBACK: Man City blueprint, Alexis, VAR, relegation ]

The Blues apparently prefer to take Andy Carroll off of West Ham’s hands, viewing the Irons’ tall striker as the ideal backup for Alvaro Morata and an upgrade or competition for Michy Batshuayi.

Goal.com also says the Blues are readying a move for Watford discovery Richarlison in the summer, with the Hornets unwilling to part with the electric Brazilian this month.

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s edge over Man City in the chase for Alexis Sanchez may come down to salary, as the Arsenal star could nab as much as $25 million a year in wages from the Red Devils (really, it’s peanuts after taxes).

United also wants to pry Cagliari youngster Nicolo Barella from Serie A, though Liverpool is also after the $61 million 20-year-old with two goals this season.

Finally, Jack Rodwell is set to become a free agent, as Sunderland is willing to cancel his contract in order to let the ex-Man City and Everton man skip town. Does David Moyes want him at West Ham for a third stint together?

League Cup wrap: Sane saves Man City; Big boys roll (video)

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There were neither upsets nor much drama to be found as five European contenders joined the League Cup on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Pulisic scores 10th BVB goal ]

Man City needed to overcome a surprising late equalizer from Premier League hosts West Brom, and Arsenal’s finishing wasn’t up to par in the lone close score line of the day.

Blowouts dotted the landscape as second-choice and fuller-strength giants powered past lesser competition to reach the fourth round.


Everton 3-0 Sunderland

USMNT winger Lynden Gooch got a start for the Black Cats, who also had ex-Everton players James Vaughn, Jack Rodwell, and Darron Gibson on the pitch.

The familiarity didn’t stop Dominic Calvert-Lewin from giving the Toffees a first half lead, and buttressing the advantage with a second half marker. Oumar Niasse rounded out the scoring for Everton.

Chelsea 5-1 Nottingham Forest

Kenedy, Michy Batshuayi, and Charly Musonda scored first half goals. Batshuayi completed a brace after fine work from Eden Hazard in the second, then completed his hat trick late. Ex-Burnley man Tendayi Darikwa spoiled Chelsea’s clean sheet in second half stoppage.

For Musonda, it was this goal on his full senior debut.

Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers

Alexis Sanchez opened up the defense and found Theo Walcott to make it 1-0. That was all the Gunners needed to top Darren Ferguson’s League One side.

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Manchester City

Leroy Sane put home an Ilkay Gundogan rebound in just the third minute, and avoided blushes for City after a late concession with an even later winner. Hal Robson-Kanu missed a point-blank shot deep into stoppage as City survived the Baggies’ fight back.

Here’s Claudio Yacob‘s surprising equalizer.

Manchester United 4-1 Burton Albion

The below statistic was accurate before Marcus Rashford added his second of the first half. Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial also scored for United, while Lloyd Dier ruined the Red Devils clean sheet minutes from full time.

 

League Cup Weds. preview: Top teams mind the underdogs

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The giant killers aim their arrows at Premier League foes on Wednesday in the final five matches of the League Cup’s third round.

[ MORE: League Cup Tues. wrap ]


Arsenal vs. Doncaster Rovers

March 29, 1902 — Doncaster beat Arsenal 1-0. In the century-plus since, Arsenal has won five and drawn once with Doncaster.

Pretty safe to say the in-form Gunners’ and their back-ups will run through the Rovers, though as the old cliche goes, “That’s why they play the games.”

Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest

For a long time, this was a Premier League fixture each season. Now Chelsea welcomes the Championship’s Forest for the third time since 1999.

Everton vs. Sunderland

The Toffees could badly use a nice win after its Europa League beatdown in Italy and a series of tough results against Premier League giants.

Enter Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady, Jack Rodwell, and James Vaughn in a Sunderland squad with plenty of experience playing at Goodison Park (The Black Cats have two further players, Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway, on loan from Everton). USMNT youngster Lynden Gooch could get a starting run versus PL opposition.

Manchester United vs. Burton Albion

The visitors surprised United by forcing an FA Cup replay in 2006, and the Red Devils repaid them with a 5-0 lashing. Burton was in the Conference then, and have risen dramatically in the last few seasons and surprised by surviving a Championship campaign in 2016-17. This one won’t be close, but it’ll be better than 5-0 for Nigel Clough’s Brewers.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City

Tony Pulis has been able to stymy a lot of teams, but Man City isn’t one of them. West Brom boasts 11-straight wins over the Baggies, the last of which have been by multiple goals. West Brom’s last draw vs. City was Boxing Day 2011. Its last win? Sept. 22, 2010 in the League Cup. Can the Hawthorns be the venue for a surprise?

Chelsea 5-1 Sunderland: Blues set record for most wins

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  • John Terry subbed out in 26th minute
  • Manquillo put Sunderland ahead
  • Willian, Hazard, Pedro, Batshuayi score for Chelsea
  • Chelsea win 30th game of season

Chelsea beat Sunderland 5-1 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Antonio Conte‘s men sealed the Premier League trophy in style and celebrated with their fans.

Sunderland took the lead through Javier Manquillo early on but Willian equalized in the first half, Eden Hazard scored a second, then Pedro scored to make it 3-1. Michy Basthuayi then added two off the bench to seal a stunning campaign.

Chelsea finish the season top of the table on 93 points, while Sunderland finish bottom on 24 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sunderland stunned the party atmosphere at Stamford Bridge early as Manquillo slammed home a loose ball from a set piece situation to make it 1-0.

Chelsea responded to going behind well as Marcos Alonso hit the crossbar with a free kick and the ball cannoned back into play. Chelsea worked it to the back post and Willian fired home at the near post. 1-1.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Diego Costa then couldn’t get on the end of a cross and Eden Hazard couldn’t finish at the back post as Chelsea piled on the pressure. Sunderland struggled to see any of the ball as wave after wave of Chelsea attack came at them.

Terry was then subbed out in the 26th minute (his shirt number) to a rapturous applause from all of the fans at Chelsea, plus he had a guard of honor from Chelsea’s players and Sunderland’s players applauded him off the pitch.

Willian then went close to making it 2-1 and John O'Shea had a good chance for Sunderland but Chelsea but the Blues couldn’t get ahead before half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

There were chances for both teams early in the second half as Jack Rodwell forced Thibaut Courtois into a save and at the other end Willian went close again.

Chelsea did go in front as a quick counter teed up Hazard and he made no mistake by slamming across goal and in. 2-1 to Chelsea.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Pedro jumped off the bench and scored late on to make it 3-1 as Lescott headed over his own goalkeeper Pickford and the Spaniard nodded home.

Basthuayi then jumped off the bench to continue his good form as he scored twice to seal the convincing 5-1 win.

Stamford Bridge erupted at the final whistle as Chelsea’s record-breaking season had ended and they hoisted the PL trophy aloft.

Worthy champions.