Derlis Gonzalez

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Sounders nearing potential game-changing transfer for Gonzalez

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And another one.

Major League Soccer’s trend of adding younger players still entering their prime is set to continue with a significant Seattle Sounders acquisition from Dynamo Kyiv.

Derlis Gonzalez is the name, and you may recall it from Copa America Centenario scouting reports. The Paraguayan 23-year-old has four goals for his country, including markers against Brazil and Argentina.

[ MORE: Gold Cup Final preview ]

Gonzalez joined Benfica in 2012, taking a pair of loan seasons before moving to Basel in Switzerland. He moved to Ukrainian champs Dynamo in 2015, and operates as a left wing with the ability to play central or right if necessary.

Sounder At Heart says Gonzalez will play in Dynamo’s UEFA Champions League match against Young Boys on Wednesday before jetting to Seattle. In 21 UCL appearances, Gonzalez has five goals and three assists. He’s scored against Real Madrid, Besiktas, and Porto on two occasions.

So, yeah, this would be a significant addition for not just the Sounders but MLS. Bravo. The transfer fee is will also be an interesting figure.

Uncle of Paraguay’s Derlis Gonzalez dies celebrating win over Brazil

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Terrible news out of South America, as the uncle of Derlis Gonzalez suffered a heart attack and died while celebrating Paraguay’s win over Brazil in the 2015 Copa America yesterday.

Gonzalez scored the equalizer for Paraguay from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute, and then scored the game-winner in the shootout to eliminate Brazil and send La Albirroja to the semifinals.

[ RECAP: Paraguay ousts Brazil in penalties ]

His uncle Irrazabal Manuel, 44, was watching the match with friends in Paraguay and died of a heart attack while celebrating, which was reported by Paraguayan newspaper Ultima Hora.

The 21-year-old striker posted a picture of his uncle on his Twitter page, with a caption that translates to “Why today uncle? Why? You left me after a heart attack because I gave you so much joy and so much happiness. I can’t believe it.”

Paraguay is set to face Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday, and Ramon Diaz’s men will have to rally around their teammate to try and pull off another upset in the Copa America.

Gonzalez signed a five-year contract with FC Basel last May, and scored in the Champions League for the Swiss-side against Real Madrid this season. His goal against Brazil was his first competitive tally for Paraguay.

Brazil 1-1 (3-4 PKs) Paraguay: Neymar-less Brazilians out of Copa America

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Down goes Brazil! Down goes Brazil!

Dunga’s Brazil side, severely weakened without captain and talisman Neymar for the rest of the tournament, were knocked out of the 2015 Copa America in the quarterfinal round by Paraguay. Following 90 minutes that ended with the sides level at 1-1, La Albirroja advanced to the semifinals after five rounds of penalty kicks.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Copa America coverage ]

It wasn’t all bad for Brazil, who went ahead early on, when Robinho opened the scoring in the 15th minute. The former Real Madrid and AC Milan man hammered home the right-sided cross of Dani Alves which made its way all the way through the box and found Robinho at the back post. Roberto Firmino had a chance to control the ball at the near post, but wisely opted for the dummy and let the ball run on for Robinho.

Paraguay were undeterred, though, as Ramon Diaz’s side happily chased the game in which Brazil were content with meaningless possession and showed little interest in venturing forward in search of a second goal.

In the 72nd minute, Paraguay’s equalizer arrived in the form of Derlis Gonzalez’s converted penalty kick after Thiago Silva was adjudged to have handled the ball inside his own penalty area.

As is the case in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of Copa America, the game went straight to a penalty shootout after the 90 minutes ended with the two sides level at 1-1.

[ QF RESULTS: Argentina 0-0 (5-4 PKs) Colombia | Chile 1-0 UruguayPeru 3-1 Bolivia ] 

Fernandinho converted Brazil’s first attempt, which was followed by Osvaldo Martinez’s successful spot kick for Paraguay. Brazil’s Everton Ribeiro was the first to miss when he pulled his penalty attempt wide of the right post. Victor Caceres converted Paraguay’s second attempt to give the underdogs a 2-1 lead in the shootout.

Miranda converted Brazil’s third attempt, briefly bring his side level at 2-2, until Raul Bodabilla hammered one into the upper-90 to reclaim Paraguay’s lead at 3-2. Douglas Costa was next up for Brazil, and the Shakhtar Donetsk attacker skied his well over the crossbar. With a chance to clinch Paraguay’s place in the semifinals, Roque Santa Cruz skied his well over the crossbar as well. Still 3-2, Paraguay.

Philippe Coutinho stepped up and converted on Brazil’s fifth attempt, keeping his side alive and hopeful. Gonzalez stepped up to the spot for his second penalty of the game, and the 21-year-old Basel man showed all kinds of composure in converting his spot kick and sending Paraguay into the semifinals, where they’ll face Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and the rest of Argentina’s star-studded squad.

Champions League roundup: Real Madrid cruises through Schalke, Porto gets road goal in Basel

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At least we saw more than two goals on Day Two of the Round of 16.

The UEFA Champions League champs asserted themselves on the road in Germany, while a pair of non-celebrated sides tangled in a tense affair about 560 kilometers to the South.

[ RELATED: Champions League schedule ]

Let’s dig into the second day.

Basel 1-1 PortoRECAP

Basel is a bit like the Italian national team, at least traditionally speaking. The game is going to be a lot more entertaining if the opponent scores first and the Swiss side has to open up its ideology and show its skills.

source: Getty ImagesUnfortunately, that didn’t happen in Switzerland on Wednesday, as Derlis Gonzalez continued his fine UCL form with an 11th-minute goal that ensured we’d watch the wild talents of Porto try to break through the Basel defense for the next 79 minutes or more.

Porto did convert a late penalty through Danilo to equalize and pick up a valuable road goal, and looked like the better team for most of the match. The 2004 champions can put a scare into any side, and we also learned that this version of Basel is still pretty capable of defending with the best of them.

Schalke 0-2 Real MadridRECAP

Seriously, if the UEFA Champions League season ended right now, at least we could take solace in the fact that Marcelo’s goal is ours to watch over and over and over again.

But there was much more to this tie in Gelsenkirchen, as Cristiano Ronaldo broke out of his mini-slump in a big way to allow Madrid to tie Bayern Munich for most consecutive UCL victories (10). Ronaldo headed home a cross from Dani Carvajal in the first half before opening up space for Marcelo to hammer home his nail in the late part of the second half.

Schalke had a chance or two and looked a bit better than their work as last year’s blowout victims, but Roberto Di Matteo has to wonder what his team can do come next month in Spain. Madrid toyed with the German club like champions do, and looked the part of a team that can make it an eye-popping 11 European Cups come May.

Next week’s first legs
Barcelona at Manchester City – Tuesday
Borussia Dortmund at Juventus – Tuesday
Monaco at Arsenal – Wednesday
Atletico Madrid at Bayer Leverkusen – Wednesday

[ MORE: Tuesday’s UCL roundup ]