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USMNT’s Gabriel Slonina unveiled by Chelsea, loaned back to Chicago

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Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina is officially a member of Chelsea, though the USMNT teenager will head back to Chicago Fire on loan for the rest of the 2023 MLS season.

Slonina, 18, makes it three American goalkeepers on “Big Six” Premier League sides after Man City’s Zack Steffen, currently on loan to Middlesbrough, and new Arsenal signing Matt Turner (New England Revolution).

The transfer is a club record for Chicago and sees the U.S. youth international signing a six-year deal with Chelsea.

[ MORE: Premier League season preview – The Big Six ]

Slonina is eligible to represent Poland and the USMNT but has so far rebuffed the former’s advances in the hopes of representing his home country.

Chicago is two points back of Major League Soccer’s final Eastern Conference playoff spot, currently held by Cincinnati. A playoff berth would be its first since 2017 and just its third since 2009.

“I want to thank you all for supporting a local boy from Addison. You have inspired me to work my hardest day in and day out. I promise that I will continue to give everything in these final 11 games to help get us back into the playoffs and compete for a championship.”

Sacramento Republic breaks MLS hold on U.S. Open Cup Final berths

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We’re all Sacramento Republic fans now.

That’s hardly an exaggeration after the USL Championship side became the first non-MLS side to qualify for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final since 2008 with a win over Sporting KC in penalties on Thursday.

[ MORE: Palace unveils USMNT defender Chris Richards ]

Yeah, Orlando City fans will be rooting for their team in the Sept. 7 final in Florida, but even Sacramento’s hardened USL rivals will be hoping to see the Republic punch above its weight one more time.

A win would make the Republic the first team outside of Major League Soccer to win the 105-year-old trophy since the 1999 Rochester Rhinos made the most of their second attempt at USOC glory.

Sacramento fans won’t need any extra sweetener, as its wait to join MLS as an expansion side has lasted for ages and its fan base is quite worthy of top-flight status.

How did Sacramento Republic make this happen?

The Republic pasted USL League Two side Portland Timbers’ U-23s in the second round, then took down Central Valley Fuego of USL League One.

Fellow USL Championship side Phoenix Rising was the next obstacle and was dispatched 2-0 before the Republic handled its first MLS opposition, San Jose Earthquakes, in the Round of 16. Then came the LA Galaxy and Thursday’s win over Sporting KC.

Premier League preseason video highlights: Christian Pulisic scores, Everton humbled

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There were plenty of eyebrow-raising moments from Wednesday’s friendlies involving Premier League sides readying themselves for their 2022-23 seasons.

A strong Everton lineup was battered 4-0 by Minnesota United and Chelsea couldn’t beat Charlotte FC despite a goal from home country hero Christian Pulisic.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Richards set for Crystal Palace ]

Kevin De Bruyne scored two nice goals for Manchester City against Mexican powers Club America in Houston, while Arsenal looked fluid in a comfortable win over Orlando City that nonetheless wasn’t decided until late.

Aston Villa scored a stylish goal, Nottingham Forest ran past Bundesliga opposition, and Leicester City ran all over Hull City away from the King Power Stadium.

Christian Pulisic scores but Chelsea draws Charlotte 1-1

Christian Pulisic scored and Chelsea looked set to waltz to a win, but Charlotte won and converted a late penalty to leave the match level after 90 minutes.

The teams decided to go to penalties and Conor Gallagher’s sad penalty kick was the lone miss as Charlotte had a better day at the spot than their Premier League foes.

Arsenal cruises to 3-1 win over Orlando City

Gabriel Martinelli and Orlando’s Facundo Torres traded first-half goals and the Gunners had control but needed to work for their win over the final half hour.

Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson bagged late goals to help Arsenal get their win.

Wolves batter Alaves 4-0 as Raul Jimenez scores

Wolves got goals from four bonafide contributors including Mexican star Raul Jimenez in a four-goal win.

Also scoring were Daniel Podence, Max Kilman, and Pedro Neto in an encouraging runout for the Premier League side.

De Bruyne double includes vicious shot, Man City beats Club America 2-1

Kevin De Bruyne scored both of Man City’s goals in a fiery match in Houston.

Club America was physical, in particular with Jack Grealish, as all the goals were scored in the first half.

Archer finishes stylish Aston Villa team goal in 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar

The Australian crowd only saw one goal, but boy was it a special bit of business.

 

Leicester City hangs four on Hull City in blow out clean sheet at the MKM Stadium

Everton has night to forget in Minnesota

Frank Lampard’s Toffees went down three goals after barely more than a half hour, and never found the score sheet in a humbling friendly setback to former pal Adrian Heath’s Loons.

This was a pretty full-strength Everton side, with Jordan Pickford struggling in goal behind James Tarkowski, Michael Keane, and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Minnesota kept Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Demarai Gray, Anthony Gordon, and Alex Iwobi off the board. As we said, humbling.

Nottingham Forest takes care of Hertha Berlin 3-1

USMNT defender Shaq Moore joins MLS side Nashville SC from Tenerife

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — USMNT right back Shaq Moore was acquired by Nashville of Major League Soccer on Tuesday and agreed to a contract through the 2025 season.

Nashville acquired the 25-year-old’s MLS rights from Montreal for $50,000 in general allocation money. The deal includes an option for 2026.

Moore spent the last three seasons with Tenerife in Spain’s second division. A native of Powder Springs, Georgia, he went to the IMG Academy and signed with Spain’s Huracan, then a second-division team, ahead of the 2015-16 season.

[ MORE: Aaronson impressing at Leeds ]

He moved to another second-tier team, Oviedo, for the second half of 2015-16 and then Levante’s reserve team in the third tier for 2016-17.

Moore made his debut with Levante’s senior team in the Copa del Rey on Oct. 26, 2017, at Girona and his La Liga debut three days later at Eibar. He was loaned to second-division Reus for 2018-19 and was among the players who left the team in December 2018 when their salaries weren’t paid.

He signed with Tenerife in July 2019.

Moore has one goal in 15 appearances for the U.S., in a 1-0 win over Canada at last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. He appeared in four of the 14 World Cup qualifiers.

Wayne Rooney unveiled as new DC United manager

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Wayne Rooney is headed back to the Black-and-Red.

The England legend, 36, won’t be playing for DC United this time around, as the manager is taking on his second managerial role following a well-praised run at troubled Derby County.

Rooney won’t begin his run as DC boss until the visa process is confirmed, and Chad Ashton will continue in the interim role for now.

[ MORE: Chicharito, Vela make MLS All-Stars ]

DC has won just five times in 17 matches this season, conceding the joint-most goals in MLS and boasting the second-worst goal differential despite having played the fewest times.

The Black and Red are nine points off the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot, and have attacking talent in newly-minuted All-Star playmaker Taxi Fountas as well as Ola Kamara

Rooney, the author of so many memorable Premier League moments with Manchester United and Everton, scored 23 times with 13 assists in 48 MLS appearances for DC.