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Menez experiment ends at Club America

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After one and a half seasons at Mexican giant Club America, the Jeremy Menez experiment has come to an expected conclusion.

Both Club America and Menez on his social media account confirmed the announce, mutually agreeing to terminate the Frenchman’s contract. In a post on his Instagram account in both Spanish and French, Menez didn’t seem to hold any hard feeling over the way his situation worked out, thanking the fans, the clubs and his teammates in Mexico City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It’s unclear whether Menez will remain in Mexico, the Americas, or return to Europe, though the timing of his move allows him to move to a European club just before the transfer deadline.

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Anuncio mi salida del club después de 2 temporadas muy gratificantes para mí. Quería agradecer a los fanáticos por la increíble bienvenida que me dieron. Me gustaría agradecer al club por su dedicación y habilidades y a todos mis compañeros con los que jugué. Nunca te olvidaré Vamos America somos aguillas 🦅🦅🦅🦅 ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Je vous annonce mon départ du club après 2 saisons très enrichissantes pour moi. Je tenais à remercier les supporters de l’accueil incroyable que vous m avez fait. Je te tiens à remercier les gens du club pour leur dévouement et leurs compétences ainsi que tous mes partenaires avec lesquels j ai joué. Je vous oublierai jamais. Vamos America somos aguillas 🦅🦅🦅🦅❤️❤️❤️❤️ #mnz

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Menez arrived at Club America with much fanfare in January 2018, with Club America hoping he could be a carbon copy of fellow Frenchman Andre-Pierre Gignac at Tigres. Gignac has gone on to lead Tigres to four Liga MX titles and three Campeones Cup trophies, along with becoming Tigres’ all-time leading scorer.

Menez, on the other hand, had a decent start at America in the 2018 Clausura tournament, but was completely out of the picture last season. He had multiple injuries and operations on his left leg, and manager Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera had some veiled criticism for Menez, stating that Menez wasn’t training hard enough when healthy and wasn’t bringing the right attitude to training.

After playing just 3 times over the course of last season for the first team, Menez had surprisingly been re-incorporated, both for America’s preseason friendly matches in the U.S. as well as their Leagues Cup participation.

However, since coming off the bench in the 2019 Apertura opener on July 21, Menez has been with the reserves and it seemed he had no chance of winning over Herrera moving forward.

It still remains to be seen whether European stars towards the end of their prime can succeed coming to Mexico like they can coming to MLS. Vincent Janssen, who is still just 25-years-old, moved to Monterrey in late July and is finally seeing the pitch off the bench. Janssen scored his first league goal last Saturday in Monterrey’s 2-1 defeat to Santos Laguna.

First Leagues Cup will be an all-Liga MX affair

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Given Major League Soccer’s record against Liga MX sides when both teams are bringing their best players to the party, it’s no surprise that the former has been left out of the Leagues Cup Final.

Instead, Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL will meet on Sept. 18 for the first ever crown in the history of the competition pitting teams from Mexico, Canada, and the United States top flights.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

Choosing not to play Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan Dos Santos, and Carlos Pavon amongst others, the LA Galaxy fell 2-1 to Cruz Azul in Carson, California, getting an Emil Cuello goal but allowing the below delightful winner from Orbelin Pineda just after halftime.

The Galaxy were in the midst of a nasty four-match fortnight, and opted for this match — a tournament semifinal against a league which has bossed its league — to rest their men. Not a choice we love, but a fair choice given the Galaxy’s mere 4-point advantage on 7th place in the West.

Tigres needed penalties to get past Club America in an absolutely bonkers semifinal.

The match was level at 2 after regulation, with two own goals, a penalty, and a 90th minute red card doled out to Tigres’ Roger Martinez.

The second Tigres own goal, which came before the club outlasted America 5-3 in penalties, came deep in stoppage.

Transfer Roundup: Benedetto, Cahill and more

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Outside of Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille might now have the best attacking trio in all of France.

Olympique Marseille on Monday announced the signing of Argentine striker Dario Benedetto on a four-year contract. The 29-year-old striker has had a long and storied career throughout the Americas. From his upbringing with small Argentine clubs like Arsenal di Sarandi, he made his first big move moving to Northern Mexico to play for Club Tijuana.

Benedetto was an instant sensation, scoring a hat-trick in his first game and eventually earning the interest of Mexican giant Club America. While Benedetto never truly lived up to his potential in Mexico City, he earned a move to Boca Juniors, where he won three Superliga titles and led Boca to the Copa Libertadores final against rivals River Plate.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

He also scored 21 goals in his first season, though his hard-as-nails mentality (which matches his tattoos) has earned him a fair share of injuries. That being said, playing up top in Marseille in-between former West Ham winger Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin could prove to result in double-digit goals for the Argentine. He’s also playing for Andre Villas-Boas, a coach with plenty of experience in England and abroad. It will be up to Villas-Boas to get the best out of Benedetto in Ligue 1 this year. Unfortunately for Benedetto, at least this year, he won’t be playing in Europe. Marseille’s fifth-place finish, coupled with Rennes and Strausbourg winning the cup competitions, meant Marseille missed out on even the Europa League.

Here are more transfer stories from around Europe and the Premier League:


Report: Cahill signs with Crystal Palace

For the first time since 2012, Gary Cahill has a new home. Luckily for Cahill, he didn’t have to move very far to find his new club.

According to the BBC, Cahill has signed a contract with Crystal Palace, after London neighbors Chelsea released Cahill at the end of the 2018-2019 season. The 33-year-old centerback was a standout starter for Chelsea until Maurizio Sarri arrived at Stamford Bridge. Cahill, older and unable to keep up with Sarri’s high-pressing style to play a high line defensively, only made two Premier League appearances and eight across all competitions for Chelsea last season.

With Crystal Palace, Cahill could potentially step into a starting role alongside either James Tompkins, Scott Dann, or Martin Kelly. Or, he could be available for a late-game insertion to hold onto a tight lead as Crystal Palace hunts to get over the 40-point mark yet again.

Leagues Cup: Beasley’s beauty not enough v. Club America (video)

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DaMarcus Beasley’s rocket goal in the 85th minute forced penalty kicks, but Giovani Dos Santos scored the decisive seventh effort to send Club America past the Houston Dynamo in the Leagues Cup quarterfinals.

Nicolas Benedetti scored for Club America.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s Leagues Cup wrap ]

Agustín Marchesín stopped Romell Quioto’s opening penalty kick, and Club America took the lead when Nicolas Castillo rolled in its first attempt. Houston made its next four shots, but Roger Martinez of the visitors blazed his effort over the bar to force extra kicks.

Sam Junqua was unsuccessful with Houston’s seventh try, and old foe Dos Santos won it for Club America, who will face the winner of Real Salt Lake and UANL Tigres in the semifinal, while LA Galaxy is set to meet Cruz Azul in the other.

The semifinals are Aug. 20 and the final is Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

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It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.