Matthijs de Ligt

De Ligt signs on with Juventus

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Matthijs de Ligt is finally, officially, irredeemably property of Juventus.

The well-tracked 19-year-old Ajax center back has signed a four-year deal with the serial Serie A champions after months of speculation.

[ MORE: Atleti signs Trippier ]

De Ligt was connected with almost all of the big boys this summer, but momentum swung in Juventus’ favor around June 22.

The 6-foot-2 Dutch center back chipped in seven goals in 55 appearances last season, scoring against both Juve and Spurs in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Now in Turin, De Ligt can focus on helping Maurizio Sarri‘s men deliver a UEFA Champions League title since scudetti have become common place for the Old Lady.

Ajax reportedly pockets a cool $84 million for its academy star.

Juventus is loaded for 2019-20, and will bid to win its first UCL crown since 1996. It has lost the final five times since that triumph over Ajax.

Player ratings: USWNT v. Netherlands


The USWNT beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday in Lyon, as Jill Ellis become the first coach in history to win back-to-back World Cups.

[ MORE: Latest 2019 World Cup news ]

There were plenty of dominant performances from the U.S. women’s national team, but a few stood out above the rest as a star was born and veterans stood tall.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Below is a look at the player ratings for the USWNT from the final.

Alyssa Naeher: 7 – Solid enough. Came off her line well in the first half. Didn’t have much to do.

Kelley O’Hara: 6 – Reliable at right back but a nasty head collision saw her taken off at half time.

Abby Dahlkemper: 6 – Still a little shaky and was caught out and booked in the first half. Got better throughout the tournament.

Becky Sauerbrunn: 7 – Took a nasty knock to the head but held the US defense together.

Crystal Dunn: 8 – Another brilliant display at left back and could have scored late on.

Julie Ertz: 8 – The glue that holds this USWNT team together. Superb defensive leader. Great tournament. Almost scored in first half.

Rose Lavelle: 9 – Her fine solo goal capped off a fine display and tournament. The newest USWNT star.

Sam Mewis: 7 – Went close with a header in the first half and proved she deserved to start over Horan.

Tobin Heath: 7 – Never stopped running and caused so many problems for the defense.

Alex Morgan: 6 – Went down easily in the box in the first half. Battled hard and won the PK. Not her best tournament.

Megan Rapinoe: 6 – She scored the penalty kick, whipped in a good cross in the first half and was named the official woman of the match, but again, a pretty quiet game.

Ali Kireger : 6 – Very solid at right back after replacing the injured O’Hara at half time.
Christen Press: 6 – Late cameo saw her open up the Dutch defense on a few occasions.
Carli Lloyd: 6 – Some trademark surging runs after coming off the bench in what could be her last USWNT game.

Three things we learned: USA v. Netherlands

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The USWNT beat the Netherlands to win their second-straight World Cup title, as the U.S. women’s national team dominated from start to finish.

[ MORE: Latest 2019 World Cup news ]

Goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle did the damage against a dogged Dutch side, as it was far from a classic final but the U.S. will not care about that at all as they once again outworked their opponents and broke them down.

Here’s what we learned from a tight, tense final in Lyon which burst into life in a few second half minutes.


The pivotal moment of the game arrive in the 61st minute as Alex Morgan went down in the box under a challenge from Stefanie van der Gragt and VAR was used to correctly award the USA a penalty kick. It was the right call and that is why VAR is around.

The Netherlands dug deep to try and put the USWNT off their game, with plenty of late tackles and forceful moments from the European champions. But it wasn’t enough as Rapinoe scored her third penalty kick in a tournament dominated by VAR penalty kicks. In the end, whatever you think about VAR, it did its job in the final.


Sure, we’d all like to see the USWNT score more goals and play a more attractive style but you can’t argue with the way they have completely dominated this World Cup. Ellis set this team up to be solid in midfield as Rose Lavelle, Sam Mewis and Julie Ertz totally shut down Dutch playmaker Danielle van de Donk, with Lavelle’s runs from central areas caused the Netherlands plenty of problems.

For all of their attacking weapons, as the stat above suggests, the play of the USWNT’s full backs, center backs and defensive-minded central midfielders stole the show in the final and in the knockout round wins against France and England.

The 13-0 win against Thailand somewhat blurred the amount of goals the U.S. scored in France, but this was a totally composed and balanced World Cup performance throughout as Ellis had her tactics questioned but she got all of the big calls correct. The U.S. weren’t beautiful to watch but they got the job done with minimum fuss as their strong squad was rotated expertly by Ellis.


Amid TV viewing audiences breaking records across the globe, there’s no doubt this was the best women’s World Cup in history. It has captured the imagination of millions across the world and with FIFA stating its plans to expand the tournament to 32 teams in the future, as well as promising to double the prize money, this tournament will only get bigger and better.

The USWNT were the deserved champions this summer. But all of women’s soccer won after a fine tournament which proved that the level of play is improving rapidly in Europe and other areas of the globe.

Most importantly interest levels have increased exponentially, as talking points were plentiful as Rapinoe and Co. will be seen as true pioneers.

USA beat Netherlands, win back-to-back World Cups (video)

  • 4th World Cup win for USWNT
  • Second-straight WC win
  • Ellis first coach to win successive WWCs
  • Rapinoe, Lavelle score for USA

The U.S. women’s national team won the World Cup for the fourth time in their history, as they beat the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon on Sunday.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned |  Player ratings

Second half goals from Megan Rapinoe (from the penalty spot) and Rose Lavelle did the job for Jill Ellis’ side, as they became just the second team to complete back-to-back World Cup wins. Ellis is also the first women’s coach in history to win consecutive titles.

[ MORE: Twitter reacts to victory

Although the Dutch, led by their brilliant captain and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, sat back and frustrated the USWNT, the Americans always seemed likely to break through in the end.

[ VIDEO: USA lift World Cup trophy ] 

A quiet start to the game saw the Netherlands sit back and they were tough for the USWNT to break down as their customary early blitz didn’t arrive.

A yellow card for Sherida Spitse did arrive, as the Dutch midfielder terrier slid in late towards Rose Lavelle. Even though there was no contact on Lavelle, Spitse was still cautioned.

[ MORE: Latest 2019 World Cup news ]

Alyssa Naeher had to be quick off her line to thwart a rare Dutch attack with Lineth Beerensteyn in on goal, as the USWNT had plenty of the ball but their best chance came from a set piece situations.

Julie Ertz’s volley on target was pushed away by Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, and as half time approach the U.S. poured forward in search of an opener.

Van Veenendaal made a fine stop from Alex Morgan to push her effort from Megan Rapinoe’s cross onto the spot, and did her best to put Sam Mewis off as another cross flew in. Van Veenendaal then tipped Morgan’s effort away as their personal battle continued, with the Dutch a threat on the counter.

At the start of the second half a corner towards Ertz at the near post came off her shoulder instead of her head, as the USWNT continued to dominate the play as the Dutch sat deep.

The game was gritty and tackles flew in as the Dutch did their best to thwart the rhythm of the USWNT, but then Morgan went down in the box under a challenge from Stefanie van der Gragt and VAR was used to award the USA a penalty kick.

Rapinoe stepped up to slot home the penalty kick for her sixth goal of the tournament amid wild scenes of celebration with 30 minutes to go.

Lavelle then added a second as the Dutch team pushed forward in search of an equalizer. The young midfielder surged forward and then cut inside before slamming home to make it 2-0.

Heath was denied a third late on as the USWNT totally dominate the final stages of the final, with van Veenendaal denying Morgan and Crystal Dunn to cap her incredible performance in the final.

In the end the U.S. secured their second-straight World Cup title in comfortable fashion.

Watch Live: USWNT v. Netherlands, World Cup final

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This is it.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup final is here, as the USWNT face the Netherlands in Lyon on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET online via Telemundo Deportes) with Jill Ellis’ side the heavy favorites to seal back-to-back World Cup titles.

But the Netherlands are the reigning European champions and their talented attacked should not be underestimated as both the U.S. and the Netherlands won all three of their group games.

[ WATCH: USWNT v. Netherlands live ]

The USWNT have won each of their knockout round games 2-1 and have made them all a little more difficult than they should have been, while the Netherlands beat Japan and Italy quite comfortably but battled in extra time against Sweden and have had a day less rest than the USA.

Megan Rapinoe comes back into the starting lineup and captains the USA, with Rose Lavelle fit enough to start and Sam Mewis comes in for Lindsey Horan in midfield.

Dutch star Lieke Martens has also shaken off an injury and will start for the Oranje.