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Jonathan David
Jonathan David

Canadian winger David linked with host of top European clubs

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Is Gent winger Jonathan David the next North American headed for a top five European league?

The Canadian playmaker is currently leading the Belgian First Division in goals, and his agent is saying this summer means the next step for the 20-year-old.

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David has 18 goals and eight assists in league play for Gent, adding five goals and two helpers in Europa League play.

Football.London says that David prefers a move to Bayern Munich, but this his agent prefers an interim club over a leap to a UCL club like the Bavarian side or Arsenal.

David has 11 goals in 12 caps for Canada, providing the Canucks with a flyer on the other side of Alphonso Davies (who’s with that aforementioned Bayern side, if you haven’t heard).

The gossip pages have also linked him with Lazio, Porto, Ajax, Lyon, Everton, and Leicester City.

Where’s the best spot for him? Well, it depends on how badly the biggest clubs want him, but a “second-tier” slot that still brings UEL would be dynamite for his growth.

WATCH: Fourth-tier sides clinches spot in German Cup semifinals

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Two teams qualified for the German Cup semifinals on Tuesday.

One is Bayern Munich, the most celebrated team in the country’s history, and the other you’ve likely not heard of prior to, well, maybe this post.

Saarbrucken, a club from Germany’s fourth tier, knocked off Fortuna Dusseldorf in a dramatic round of penalty kicks, 7-6, after the match finished 1-1.

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Cuban-born Canadian midfielder Kianz Froese assisted Saarbrucken’s goal in regulation and scored in kicks, and it had to feel sweet: The former Vancouver Whitecaps man is also a former Fortuna Dusseldorf man.

Fortuna’s American midfielder Alfredo Morales had a very good match as well, converting his penalty while completing 90 percent of his passes including a perfect 8-for-8 on long balls. He registered four interceptions and two tackles.

There are only Bundesliga sides left aside from Saarbrucken, as Wednesday quarterfinals see Bayer Leverkusen host Union Berlin and Werder Bremen visiting Eintracht Frankfurt.

USWNT guarding against letdown with Olympic berth on line

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Carson, Calif. — The United States isn’t really motivated by what happened four years ago in the Rio Games as the team heads into an all-important Olympic qualifying match Friday night.

Coming off a World Cup championship in France last summer, the United States just wants to guard against any letdown.

Christen Press said it’s difficult after all the attention that comes in the wake of winning soccer’s premier tournament to transition so quickly to preparation for the Olympics.

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“I think that the mentality the group that was a part of 2015 and 2016 is bringing into this transition is that we have to have a short memory,” she said. “We have to let go of the World Cup and we have to go into this like this is our big tournament for the next three years. And so I think that that’s a good lesson to have learned.”

The United States had also won the World Cup in 2015 and went into the Rio Games brimming with confidence – only to be ousted in the quarterfinals by Sweden. It was the U.S. team’s earliest ever exit from the Olympics.

On Friday, the top-ranked United States will play Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament with one of the region’s two berths in the Tokyo Games on the line. Canada faces Costa Rica for the other spot.

The U.S. and Canada won the Olympic berths four years ago. The Canadians went on to win their second consecutive bronze medal in Brazil.

Canada is led by captain Christine Sinclair, who surpassed retired U.S. star Abby Wambach’s international goals record in the group stage. Sinclair, who has been on the national team since 2000, has 186 career goals heading into the semifinals. That’s the most among men or women.

Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller said it was important that his team avoids complacency during qualifying. And indeed, the team swept group stage play without conceding a goal.

“No matter who we play, we need to play to Canadian standard. It has to be our level of performance that we play to. It’s so easy to play a team that you’re better than, and then drop to their level,” he said.

By winning its group handily, eighth-ranked Canada avoided facing the United States in the semis. Costa Rica, ranked No. 37 in the world, has never made the 12-team field for the Olympics, although Las Ticas did play in the 2015 World Cup.

The Canadians are undefeated in 13 previous meetings with Costa Rica. In the 2016 qualifying tournament, Canada defeated Las Ticas 3-1 in the semifinals.

“It was a close match. It was a match where we made many mistakes, but it is in the past,” Costa Rica coach Amelia Valverde said. “We’re focusing on right here, right now.”

Mexico, ranked No. 26, made the field for the 2004 Olympics but has not been back since. However, Mexico is on the rise, boosted by a domestic women’s league. The team won its first two group-stage matches before falling 2-0 to Canada.

Like Canada, the United States swept its group stage matches without allowing a goal. Lindsey Horan led the way with five goals and Press added four.

U.S. midfielder Rose Lavelle emphasized that the team can’t get ahead of itself.

“I think that we know that what we did in France is kind of meaningless now. It doesn’t dictate how the rest of the year goes or dictate right now what our future is,” she said. “So while last year was so fun, we know that we have to set our sights on new goals. And I think before we even talk about the Olympics, we have to talk about our game versus Mexico and qualifying there.”

FA Cup: Liverpool’s kids triumph; Saint-Maximin stunner saves Newcastle

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There was drama throughout the FA Cup’s fourth round replays on Tuesday, including a dominant performance from Liverpool’s youngest team ever.

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Only one other Premier League side was in action, and they managed to throw away an early 2-0 lead at League One opposition.

Liverpool 1-0 Shrewsbury Town

Liverpool’s kids more than held their own at Anfield, they dominated League One side Shrewsbury to leave little doubt about how this would’ve gone had Jurgen Klopp deployed even a handful of senior players.

The Reds took the first nine shots of the match, and Shrewsbury Town scored on its first shot of the night but saw it disallowed by VAR.

Canadian 20-year-old Liam Millar was one of many Reds to make their senior debut in the win.

An own goal ended up being the difference on the day for Liverpool, who will enjoy a fifth-round visit to Chelsea.

Derby County 4-2 Northampton Town

Andre Wisdom scored early and American midfielder Duane Holmes had the Rams up 2-0 when he contributed to a goal for the fourth time in five matches.

Jack Marriott had a quick answer for Nicky Adams’ early second-half goal. Wayne Rooney rounded out the scoring as his Derby earned a visit from old pals Manchester United in the fifth round.

Oxford United 2-3 Newcastle United

Sean Longstaff finally found his form for the Magpies, scoring a beautiful goal and setting up Joelinton for another as the Magpies took a 2-0 lead into the break.

The U’s pulled one back through a terrific Liam Kelly free kick in the 84th minute, and Nathan Holland scored a beauty in stoppage time to send the match into extra time.

The second half and start of extra time was almost exclusively under Oxford United’s control, but Allan Saint-Maximin‘s incredible late goal lifted Newcastle to victory.

One thing to watch: Joelinton limped off the pitch after scoring from a rib injury suffered earlier in the match. Newcastle will visit West Bromwich Albion in the fifth round.

Cardiff City 3-3 (1-4 penalties) Reading

Josh Murphy and Robert Glatzel scored for the Welsh side, but Omar Richards and Andy Rinomhota answered in the second half to put the fifth-round berth back on the table.

Murphy completed his brace in the third minute of extra time, but Reading again had an answer through Yakou Meite in the 116th minute.

Cardiff’s first penalty was saved and second attempt wayward, while Reading made its first four to move into the next round and will host Sheffield United in the final 16.

Birmingham City 2-2 (4-1 penalties) Coventry City

Amadou Bakayoko broke a second-half deadlock, but Birmingham City’s Harlee Dean scored in stoppage time to push the replay deeper.

Maxime Biamou scored in the 114th minute to restore Coventry’s lead, but Jeremie Bela answered in the 120th to force kicks.

Coventry City a date at Leicester City in the fifth round.

Sinclair passes Wambach as all-time international leading goalscorer

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Canada hammered St. Kitts & Nevis 11-0 in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, but the lopsided scoreline was not the highlight of the match.

Canadian striker Christine Sinclair scored a pair in the contest, equalling and then passing Abby Wambach’s all-time goal record with 185 career international goals. With more goals than anyone else in the history of international soccer, Sinclair achieved the feat in 290 caps for Canada in a career spanning 20 seasons.

Sinclair’s debut came as a 16-year-old at the Algarve Cup and her first goal came at the age of 17 in March of 2000. Now at 36 years old, she has secured one of the most coveted international milestones.

American forward Abby Wambach, the old record holder after bagging her 184th goal in 2015, tweeted her congratulations to Sinclair for the achievement.

Sinclair won the MAC Hermann Trophy twice as a student at the University of Portland, winning NCAA titles in 2002 and 2005 and setting the NCAA Division 1 record for goals in a season with 39. She has been a member of the Portland Thorns since 2013 where she has scored 52 goals in 137 appearances.