Jadon Sancho

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Bundesliga wrap: USMNT’s Steffen shines on debut; BVB stomps Augsburg

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A day after Bayern needed Robert Lewandowski heroics to rescue an Opening Day draw, more thrills were on the menu Saturday.

Werder Bremen 1-3 Fortuna Dusseldorf

Zack Steffen was under siege but only beaten once in his Bundesliga debut, as the Man City loanee from these United States helped the visitors to a massive three points on Saturday.

Steffen saw 25 attempts from the hosts, including two from American substitute Josh Sargent, as Fortuna Dusseldorf got into the win column. From Bundesliga.com/En:

“It’s a lot of new challenges for me, and I want to perform and execute my job,” said the former Columbus Crew backstop. “I’ve got a good group of guys around me, a good coaching staff to lift me up and give me confidence, and make me feel at home.”

Borussia Dortmund 5-1 Augsburg

Augsburg’s first minute goal from Florian Niederlechner had some thinking that BVB could join Bayern Munich in an opening weekend stumble, but that was simply a mirage.

Paco Alcacer scored twice, new boy Julian Brandt also scored, and Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho found the score sheet as BVB scorched the visitors at the Westfalenstadion.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Paderborn

It was expected to be a cakewalk for the Champions League outfit, but Bayer had to twice overcome pesky Paderborn equalizers.

Leon Bailey and Kai Havertz had their 10th and 19th minute goals answered before Kevin Volland put it to bed in the 69th.

Elsewhere

Bayern Munich 2-2 Hertha Berlin — Friday
Freiburg 3-0 Mainz
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-0 Schalke
Wolfsburg 2-1 Koln
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Hoffenheim
— 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Union Berlin v. RB Leipzig
— Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 1 1 0 0 5 1 4 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 SC Freiburg 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 0-0-0 1-0-0 3
 Bayer Leverkusen 1 1 0 0 3 2 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 VfL Wolfsburg 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Hertha BSC Berlin 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
 Bayern Munich 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
 FC Schalke 04 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
 Mönchengladbach 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
 1. FC Union Berlin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 1899 Hoffenheim 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Eintracht Frankfurt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 RB Leipzig 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 SC Paderborn 1 0 0 1 2 3 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 1. FC Köln 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 Werder Bremen 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0-0-1 0-0-0 0
 FSV Mainz 05 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 FC Augsburg 1 0 0 1 1 5 -4 0-0-0 0-0-1 0

Sancho, Alcacer fire Dortmund past Bayern in German Super Cup

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Once again, Borussia Dortmund appears the club best positioned to challenge Bayern Munich and end the evil empire’s seven-year reign as Bundesliga champions, if you’re someone who puts stock into the annual tradition of domestic curtain-raisers.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Jadon Sancho and Paco Alcacer, two players Dortmund will lean upon very heavily to unseat Bayern, each scored a goal en route to a 2-0 victory in a Der Klassiker edition of the German Super Cup inside Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.

Alcacer opened the scoring just after halftime, rewarding Sancho with an assist for his unbelievable, mazy run through midfield and into Bayern’s penalty area. The 19-year-old (he won’t turn 20 until March) appears hellbent on raising his game another level — or two, or three — following a glittering breakout 2018-19 campaign.

Dortmund were quite easily the better side over the whole of 90 minutes, but Lucien Favre’s was more than a little lucky to escape a chaotic goal-mouth scramble without conceding an equalizer just before the hour mark.

[ MORE: 6 days until new PL season: Modern no. 6 is flourishing in PL ]

Dortmund made the most of their get-out-of-jail-free card and Sancho put the game away not even 10 minutes later. A helpful (free) tip to teams in the Bundesliga and across Europe: don’t let the kid lead a one-on-three counter-attack from the halfway line. More often that not, it’ll end badly for you.

Bundesliga play is set to begin in just under two weeks’ time, when Bayern host Hertha Berlin on Friday, Aug. 16, followed by Dortmund hosting Augsburg the following day. The two title-chasing sides will renew their rivalry on Nov. 9 and again on April 4.

Pulisic dazzles as Chelsea beat Barcelona

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Christian Pulisic‘s first start for Chelsea saw him put on a show as the Premier League side beat Barcelona 2-1 in Saitama, Japan on Tuesday.

The USMNT star made his first start of preseason for the Blues and his pace off the left flank tore Barca apart on numerous occasions.

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His early shot was parried by Marc Andre ter Stegen and Tammy Abraham should have finished off the rebound but blazed over the bar. Abraham did grab the winner though, as Jorginho intercepted the ball in a key area which led to Abraham showing quick feet to finish in the first half. Ross Barkley then came on in the second and scored a beauty for Chelsea’s second, and although Ivan Rakitic pulled one back in stoppage time, Frank Lampard grabbed his second preseason win as Chelsea’s new boss.

As for Pulisic, he played the first 60 minutes and again wore the No.24 shirt for the Blues. His squad number for this season is yet to be confirmed (USMNT fans everywhere are still waiting with bated breath to buy their Chelsea shirts) but the Pennsylvania native is unlikely to get Eden Hazard‘s No.10 jersey as Willian has confirmed to Brazilian media he will wear that next season.

The 20-year-old impressed Lampard by cutting short his summer break after playing for the U.S. at the Gold Cup. Pulisic is quite fresh after being in and out of the Borussia Dortmund team last season due to injuries and the emergence of Jadon Sancho, but the fact he wanted to hit the ground running with Chelsea as soon as possible certainly starts his Blues career off in the correct manner.

Putting in an impressive display against Barcelona in a preseason friendly will no doubt help his chances of being a key player for Lampard as he battles with Pedro, Willian and other to start in one of the wide positions early in the season.

A fairly strong Barcelona side (missing Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as they rest after the Copa America) did see Antoine Griezmann play his first game for Blaugrana as they will Vissel Kobe, Arsenal and Napoli in Japan, Spain and the USA as their mammoth preseason tour continues.

Chelsea will now return to England to play against Reading, then travel to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria and Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany before their opening game of the Premier League season against Manchester United on Aug. 11 (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Pulisic is certainly pushing to be in the Blues’ starting lineup at Old Trafford on the opening day.

Should Chelsea risk not selling Hudson-Odoi?

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With Chelsea likely unable to sign any new players this summer, the club’s biggest decision before the close of the European transfer windows in early September is whether it can hold onto one of its rising stars.

It took Maurizio Sarri months, but he finally moved Callum Hudson-Odoi into his Premier League starting XI, and it appeared to pay dividends, despite Bayern Munich reportedly hot on Hudson-Odoi’s tail. Unfortunately for Hudson-Odoi, he suffered a season-ending injury in mid-April, an Achilles tear that could keep him out from 9-12 months or more.

[READ: USMNT’s Novakovich scores for Reading]

However, the injury hasn’t deterred Bayern, which is reportedly raising its offer for Hudson-Odoi to $56.6 million, more than $12 million above the club’s last reported bid on January 31.

For a Chelsea club that isn’t spending like it used to, that’s quite a bit of money to bring in for a player who is rehabbing a very serious injury, and for all they know, won’t find the game-changing speed again, though there’s every chance he can make a full recovery.

In addition, it’s a decent sum and likely one of the best offers Chelsea may get while it have a chance. Hudson-Odoi is entering the final 12 months of his contract. Sarri urged him to stay at Chelsea, and Lampard has said in press conferences that he plans to meet with Hudson-Odoi to try and convince him to remain at Stamford Bridge. However, Lampard will have to wait a few weeks, as Hudson-Odoi is recovering at Chelsea’s practice facility in Cobham, south of London, and the club is heading out soon to Japan for preseason training.

By the time Lampard comes back in late July, will it be too late to convince Hudson-Odoi to stay, that he can have a Jadon Sancho-like impact in England as well? Or will Bayern have turned his head again?

It’s a big question for Chelsea, and they have to judge what his potential future value is and whether Bayern passes that. Due to the injury, it’s fair to say that Chelsea won’t expect too much productivity out of Hudson-Odoi this season, but in the future, if he returns to his previous speed and form, he could be a key member of the squad.

Perhaps Chelsea can let Hudson-Odoi leave and include a buy-back clause after one or two seasons, allowing Chelsea to re-purchase Hudson-Odoi at a spot lower than his market value.

But either way, Chelsea has a massive decision to make in the next 40 or so days, as Callum Hudson-Odoi’s future remains in the balance.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Trio chasing Dortmund youngster, Everton eyes Traore

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As teams motor towards preseason, front offices are hoping to wrap up deals to give the squad plenty of opportunities to gel rather than make late additions that are sometimes jarring to team chemistry. Still, there are holes to be filled and as dominoes fall, some moves affect others as the transfer window rolls on.

Borussia Dortmund has produced a stunning amount of young wingers who have gone on to become massive assets to the German side. First Christian Pulisic arrived and netted the club millions in a move to Chelsea this summer. He was pushed out by fellow teen winger Jadon Sancho who has turned into a valuable piece himself. Behind the England youngster is Danish youth international Jacob Bruun Larsen who broke into the first team setup last season alongside Sancho and made 24 Bundesliga appearances, scoring two goals and assisting two more.

According to English tabloids, Larsen is on the watch list of several Premier League clubs and, like Pulisic, could be considered expendable by the German side after the explosion of Sancho last season. Among others, the Daily Mail has linked Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool to the 20-year-old who would cost somewhere in the region of $19 million, a relatively cheap price in a market that more and more values young talent more than anything.


French television program Telefoot reports that Everton is chasing former Chelsea winger Bertrand Traore who has spent the last two seasons at Lyon. The 23-year-old has come into his own in France, scoring 20 goals in 65 league appearances with Lyon.

According to the report, Traore would cost somewhere in the vicinity of $34 million, tripling Lyon’s investment two years ago when the brought Traore to France from Chelsea. That price could also increase should the three clubs find themselves in a bidding war. Traore could pair well with Richarlison, either playing on the left wing or through the middle.


Aston Villa is back in the Premier League after winning the Championship playoff, and now they look to strengthen the squad to prepare for a long stay in the top flight. One target mentioned is Bristol City defender Adam Webster who has been with his current club just one season after joining from Ipswich Town last summer.

Webster, 24 years old, started all but three of Bristol City’s league games last season and scored three goals. The Bristol Post report states that Villa has seen a $15 million bid rejected as the Championship club apparently holds out for an offer as high as $38 million, a strong position for a club in the second tier, but the new Premier League side feels they can negotiate that price down to meet somewhere in the middle.

Bristol City has sent a couple of players to the Premier League in the past few years, with Bobby Reid going to Cardiff City and Joe Bryan moving to Fulham both last summer.


According to Spanish publication El Dorsal, Newcastle is fearing the imminent departure of star attacker Ayoze Perez, who has been linked with moves to Spanish sides Valencia and Real Betis. The report states that Perez, who scored 12 Premier League goals last season and 42 in his Newcastle career, would net somewhere in the vicinity of $25 million, a surprisingly attractive price for a dangerous 25-year-old attacker.

The links are nothing new for Perez this summer, who last month was connected to Valencia by Spanish radio station Radio Cope, and now English tabloids claim that the La Liga side has held talks with Perez’s agents.


Real Madrid is hoping to keep Ajax attacker Donny van de Beek on its radar with uncertainties surrounding Paul Pogba and Christian Eriksen, according to Spanish publication AS. The report claims, as many have before it, that Zinedine Zidane prefers Pogba but Florentino Perez are hoping to pull off a move for Tottenham star Eriksen.

There are roadblocks to both moves, however. Any approach for Pogba would be extremely expensive and while Pogba has been rumored to be unsettled at Manchester United with the club missing out on the Champions League, the club at this point seems unwilling to sell one of its most valuable assets. Eriksen is a more realistic option financially, but the AS report says talks for the Danish playmaker have “ground to a halt.”

With that in mind, they have kept in touch with van de Beek who impressed in Ajax’s Champions League run and is considerably younger than the other two options at just 22 years old. However, he would be a more long-term move as the Dutch international would have to battle to beat out the likes of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.


English tabloids have claimed that Tottenham and Juventus are chasing Burnley’s Dwight McNeil who made 21 Premier League appearances for the Clarets last year on the left wing. The 19-year-old England youth international arrived in Burnley’s youth system from the Manchester United academy in 2014 and has come through the Burnley setup, becoming a regular in the squad in mid-December of last season, scoring three goals and assisting five.

The teen has made six appearances for the England U-20 side, scoring and assisting in the 4-0 win over Guatemala back on June 11 in his last showing.

An aging Juventus squad is hoping to get younger, claims The Sun, while Spurs will also consider a bid in the range of $38 million.